Tulsa District Header Image
Home
Home > Missions > Regulatory > Wetlands

Wetlands

You need to be aware that wetlands merit special consideration in the Section 404 Regulatory Program regulations. Wetlands are recognized as a productive and valuable resource, the destruction of which is discouraged as contrary to the public interest. In developing plans for a construction site, ample consideration must be given to alternatives, which avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands where practicable. The Corps is restricted from authorizing activities in wetlands where there is a practicable alternative with less adverse impact on the aquatic environment. Once the presumption of the availability of a less environmentally damaging practicable alternative is refuted, remaining wetland impacts, which cannot be avoided or minimized, will require compensatory wetland mitigation. Compensatory wetland mitigation may take the form of wetland restoration, enhancement, construction, or preservation.

Any wetland delineation performed by a consultant must be completed in accordance with the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual and the applicable Regional Supplement. The submitted wetland delineation should be accompanied by appropriate documentation and will be subject to review and validation by this office.

Wetland Delineation Manual Regional Supplements

The Corps of Engineers has developed Regional Supplements to the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual.   The Corps Manual provides technical guidance and procedures, from a national perspective, for identifying and delineating wetlands that may be subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. 403). According to the Corps Manual, identification of wetlands is based on a three-factor approach involving indicators of hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soil, and wetland hydrology.

Map of Wetland Delineation Manual Regional Supplements Nationwide

These Regional Supplements were developed by wetland delineation experts from state and Federal agencies and academia with experience within the applicable regions. Each of these Regional Supplements addresses regional wetland characteristics and improves the accuracy and efficiency of wetland-delineation procedures. Regional differences in climate, geology, soils, hydrology, plant and animal communities, and other factors are important to the identification and functioning of wetlands. The development of these supplements followed National Academy of Sciences recommendations to increase the regional sensitivity of wetland delineation methods (National Research Council 1995). The intent of regional supplements is to bring the Corps Manual up to date with current knowledge and practice in the region and not to change the way wetlands are defined or identified. The procedures given in the Corps Manual, in combination with wetland indicators and guidance provided in each supplement, can be used to identify wetlands for a number of purposes, including resource inventories, management plans, and regulatory programs. The determination that a wetland is subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 or Section 10 must be made independently of procedures described in this supplement (see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determination (JD) Form Instructional Guidebook).

Regional Supplements Applicable to the Tulsa District

The Tulsa District includes geography served by four Regional Supplements. Specifically these are:

  • Great Plains Region
  • Midwest Region
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region
  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region

Map of Regional Supplements Applicable within Tulsa District 

The appropriate Regional Supplement data forms and indicators must be used for any data collection in support of wetland delineations in the region. A copy of each manual is available on our Headquarters website.

The following links are Adobe pdf downloads of the applicable documents.

Great Plains Regional Supplement (Effective May 2010)

Midwest Regional Supplement (Effective October 2010)

Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Regional Supplement (Effective April 2012)

Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Regional Supplement (Effective January 2011)

Regional Boundaries Caution

Region and subregion boundaries are depicted in the Regional Supplements as sharp lines. However, climatic conditions and the physical and biological characteristics of landscapes do not change abruptly at the boundaries. In reality, regions and subregions often grade into one another in broad transition zones that may be tens or hundreds of miles wide. The lists of wetland indicators presented in these Regional Supplements may differ between adjoining regions or subregions. In transitional areas, the investigator must use experience and good judgment to select the supplement and indicators that are appropriate to the site based on its physical and biological characteristics. Wetland boundaries are not likely to differ between two supplements in transitional areas, but one supplement may provide more detailed treatment of certain problem situations encountered on the site. If in doubt about which supplement to use in a transitional area, apply both supplements and compare the results.