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Wetlands play an important role in the landscape; they reduce impacts from flooding, improve water quality, and provide unique habitat for many plants and animals. Protecting wetlands is important to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Our Wetlands Protection and Preservation policy (pdf 47 kb) directs WSDOT staff to protect and preserve wetlands, ensure no net loss of wetland acreage and functions, and increase the quantity and quality of wetlands over time. Read Chapter 431: Wetlands from the Environmental Manual to become familiar with wetlands policies.

Visit our permits & approvals page for information on permitting requirements for work in or near the water. See our Water resources & erosion control pages for information about stormwater, surface water (including floodplains), ground water, and erosion control. 

For information on training opportunities for wetlands and other environmental disciplines, see the Environmental training webpage.

Determining jurisdiction of wetlands and other waters

Determine which agencies, if any, have jurisdiction over wetlands and other waters in the work area.

Identify potential wetlands and other waters and approximate their locations during early planning and scoping stages of projects.

Learn about compensatory mitigation options, how to use WSDOT or third-party mitigation credits, mitigation site selection and how to prepare a mitigation plan or memo including writing performance standards.

Use the information on this page to plan and develop wetland mitigation proposals.

Determine the location, boundary, and area of wetlands and their rating, classification, functions, and buffers during the environmental review and permitting phase of a project. Include other waters such as lakes, streams, and ditches and their location, boundary, classifications, and buffers.

Ensure work around wetlands, including mitigation sites, meets compliance standards during construction.

Find out how to coordinate with the WSDOT Wetland Program to monitor wetland and other environmental mitigation sites for permit compliance after construction, and information on transferring department-owned wetlands to qualified entities after closeout for long-term preservation.

The most recent two years of wetland monitoring reports for compliance with permits and other reporting requirements.

Each summer, about 16 internship positions are available through The Evergreen State College (TESC) for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in Olympia, Washington. This internship program provides hands-on field and laboratory experience. Interns collect and analyze environmental data gathered from WSDOT wetland compensatory mitigation sites.