Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, 1977

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Description And Intent

The purpose of Executive Order (EO) 11990 is to "minimize the destruction, loss or degradation of wetlands and to preserve and enhance the natural and beneficial values of wetlands". To meet these objectives, the Order requires federal agencies, in planning their actions, to consider alternatives to wetland sites and limit potential damage if an activity affecting a wetland cannot be avoided. The Order applies to:

  • Acquisition, management, and disposition of Federal lands and facilities construction and improvement projects which are undertaken, financed or assisted by federal agencies;
  • Federal activities and programs affecting land use, including but not limited to water and related land resources planning, regulation, and licensing activities.

Administering Agency

Each federal agency is responsible for preparing implementing procedures for carrying out the provisions of the Order.

Implementing Procedures

FEMA's Regulations at 44 CFR Part 9: Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.

Summary Of Requirements

The procedures require the determination of whether or not the proposed project will be in or will affect wetlands. If so, a wetlands assessment must be prepared that describes the alternatives considered. The procedures include a requirement for public review of assessments. The evaluation process follows the same 8 steps as for EO 11988, Floodplain Management.

Suggested Information to Aid in Project Review

  • Detailed maps (e.g., US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Wetlands Inventory Maps, etc.) defining wetland boundaries within the project area.
  • Studies and reports (e.g., wetland survey maps and reports, flood elevations and velocities, etc.) documenting the project scope as related to the occupancy and modification of wetlands including direct and indirect effects.
  • Documentation of compliance and consistency with federal, state, tribal, county and local floodplain management programs and plans.
  • Documentation of any Public Notices or public meetings.
  • Documentation of coordination with other agencies (e.g., USACE, National Resource Conservation Services (NRCS), National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), State and Local Floodplain Managers, etc.) including studies and reports and recommendations.

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Last Updated: 
06/15/2012 - 11:24
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