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What is a Wetland?

A wetland is an area that is inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions (for example, lakes, swamps, marshes).

Wetlands provide many benefits and therefore are important resources to a city. Wetlands provide critical habitat for many types of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants. Wetlands can also act to improve water quality and provide water quantity control by storing water during storm events. Wetlands allow for groundwater interactions, whether it is recharge or discharge. Additionally, wetlands provide aesthetic value, nature observation areas, and areas for education and scientific research.

Characteristics of a Wetland

  • They have mostly hydric soils, soils that developed in wet conditions;
  • They are wet either above the ground or wet within 12 inches of the ground surface during all or part of the growing season;
  • They have vegetation adapted to wet soil conditions.


Code Requirements
The City of Saint Paul enforces regulations incorporated by reference from the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources. City code Sec. 63.600 Contains specific wetland ordinance requirements.  

Filing Applications

Wetland Conservation Act administrative determination:

  • $125 for Wetland Conservation Act exemption or no loss compliance letter.
  • Wetland delineation review:
    1. $160 for sites less than 1 acre.
    2. $320 for sites 1 acre or larger.
  • $460 for wetland fill and replacement/sequencing plan review.
  • $490 for appeals to the city council from decisions of the zoning administrator on wetland exemption or no loss determinations.


NOTE: All wetland field work must be performed in accordance with the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: North central and Northeast Region (Version 2.0).

Wetland Type and Boundary (Delineations)
Use this application form to submit a wetland report for LGU type and boundary determinations.
Wetland reports should include the items within this checklist.

Wetland delineations subject to review and approval from the Corps of Engineers must conform with the published guidelines.

Wetland Replacement
Use the joint Local/State/Federal combined form, available on BWSR or DNR website

Wetland No Loss or Exemption (including temporary impacts)
Letter applications are typically filed for this review.  Address the general requirements as outlined in Minnesota Rule 8420.0305 as well as 8420.0315.

How many copies?

Two hard copies and one electronic copy sent to the Water Resource Coordinator along with application fee.

Wes Saunders-Pearce
Water Resource Coordinator
City of Saint Paul
Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI)
375 Jackson Street, Suit 220
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1806
Fax: 651-266-9009

Additional Resources

BWSR Wetland Regulation Information

DNR Public Waters Permit

Army Corps of Engineers

Watershed District (WD) Wetland Management Rules

Capitol Region WD

Ramsey-Washington Metro WD{E8250BC6-E9D4-4E78-8DBE-279B55B047D5}

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