Wetlands Board Jurisdiction

Before development occurs in a wetland or navigable waters, an individual is required to submit a Joint Permit Application (JPA). The purpose of the JPA is to determine if permits for development are required from the City of Suffolk Wetlands Board and several state and federal agencies such as the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

State/Local Definitions

Vegetative Wetlands Are Those Which Satisfy These Criteria

  • Between Mean Low Water (MLW) and an elevation above MLW equal to 1.5 times the mean tide range
  • Contiguous to MLW
  • Vegetated with any of the listed wetland plant species as specified in the Virginia Wetlands Act as amended

Non-Vegetative Wetlands Are Those Which Satisfy These Criteria

  • Between MLW and Mean High Water (MHW)
  • Contiguous to MLW
  • Not otherwise considered vegetated wetlands

Subtidal Land or Subtidal Bottom

Subtidal land or subtidal bottom refers to the area channelward or seaward of MLW, without regard to political subdivision or land ownership.

Subaqueous Land or Subaqueous Beds

Subaqueous land or subaqueous beds refer to ungranted beds of the bays, rivers, creeks and shores of the sea which are owned by the Commonwealth. This includes the beds of tidal and nontidal water bodies. Because property ownership in Virginia extends channelward to MLW in tidal areas, subaqueous land is the land channelward of MLW, with some exceptions.
Jurisdictional Boundaries