Rochester is rich with wetland resource areas – ranging from Rochester's largest pond and open space – Snipatuit Pond, to vast swamps scattered throughout town, to the Mattapoisett & Sippican Rivers which eventually empty into Buzzards Bay, to cranberry bogs and small vernal pools which serve as amphibian breeding grounds.
These wetlands buffer Rochester's abundant water supply – which provides drinking water to the communities of Marion, Mattapoisett, Fairhaven & Rochester.
Under Massachusetts General Law the term "wetlands," is defined as wet meadows, marshes, swamps, bogs, areas where groundwater, flowing or standing surface water or ice provide a significant part of the supporting substrate for a plant community for at least five months of the year; emergent and submergent plant communities in inland waters; that portion of any bank which touches any inland waters.
The Wetlands Protection Act and the regulations recognize eight important public values or functions provided by wetlands, water bodies and other areas "subject to protection."
These are referred to in the regulations as "interests" and listed in 310 CMR 10.01(2). Work in such areas is regulated to protect these values.
The eight interests of the Act are:
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