Watercourses are integral parts of the landscape that carry water and sediment from headwaters to downstream lakes, estuaries, and the ocean. Watercourse flooding usually involves a slow buildup of water and a gradual inundation of surrounding land. The presence of non- intact floodplains, wetlands, and forests contributes to a slower release of this stormwater buildup and helps to mitigate damaging peak flows of water.
Local governments can increase their resilience to flooding by protecting watercourses, floodplains, wetlands, and the marine coast. They can adopt local laws to define wetlands; and regulate activities that may affect floodplains, watercourses, marine coastal shorelines and freshwater and tidal wetlands and their buffers. These laws can address the need to absorb floodwater and reduce risk; and adjust to changes expected from increased precipitation, storm surges, and sea-level rise
The chapter is available as a PDF and as a Word document for easy editing and adaption to local needs. Download PDF of Wetland and Watercourse Protection Measures Chapter (136 pages).
2. Wetland and Watercourse Protection Measures
2.1 Wetland Protection
2.1.1 Simple Wetland Setbacks
2.1.2 Wetlands Buffer
2.1.3 Wetland Conservation Overlay District
2.1.4 Local Freshwater Wetland Law
2.2 Watercourse Protection
2.2.1 Simple Watercourse Setbacks
2.2.2 Stream-Related Zoning Standards
2.2.3 Watercourse Overlay District
2.2.4 Local Watercourse Law