Registration:                    8:00 – 8:30 am

Morning Session:             8:30 am – 12:15 pm

Lunch (On your own):       12:15 – 1:15 pm

Afternoon Session:           1:15 – 4:30 pm

Identifying Wetlands          M. Schweisberg

   Identifying and delineating resource areas under the
     Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), and wetlands
     and other waters under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA)

      • Wetland Resource areas under the Mass WPA — types and definitions

      • Waters of the United States under the federal CWA

      • Boundary determination for resource areas, including buffer zones

      • Delineating bordering vegetated wetlands under the WPA and wetlands under the CWA

   Identification and delineation under the federal CWA, Mass WPA and
     municipal by laws — similarities and important differences

Understanding Federal Law and Massachusetts’ Wetland Laws          J. Shea

   The Federal Clean Water Act

   Rivers and Harbors Act

   Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and regulations

   Municipal Home Rule Laws

   Implementing/enforcing agencies

      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

      • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)

      • Local Conservation Commissions

   Enforcement defense

      • Conservation Commissions

      • MassDEP/Attorney General

      • Army Corps of Engineers/EPA

Wetlands Permitting Process          J. Shea

   State and Local

      • Jurisdictional determinations

      • Determination of applicability

      • Order of resource area delineation

      • Notice of intent

      • Order of conditions

      • Variance

      • Appeals: MassDEP and courts


      • Jurisdictional determinations

      • Massachusetts general permits

      • Self-verification

      • Individual permits

      • Appeals

Wetland Preservation, Restoration, Creation and Enhancement          M. Schweisberg

   Compensatory mitigation: restoration, replication/creation, enhancement, and preservation

   Protected interests under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act

   Ecological functions of wetlands and other waters under section
      404 of the federal Clean Water Act

   Compensatory mitigation — types and definitions

      • Restoration

      • Creation/replication

      • Enhancement

      • Preservation

      • Regulatory requirements

   Design considerations

      • Reference areas

      • Location, location, location

      • Pre-design factors — water source

      • Topography

      • Hydrology

      • Soils

      • Plants

      • Monitoring and performance standards

      • Long-term protection

   Best practices

      • Planning

      • Budget

      • Contractors

      • Oversight


This seminar is open to the public and offers an education opportunity to attorneys, engineers, floodplain managers, architectsand other interested professionals.

HalfMoon Education is certified by the New York State CLE Board as an Accredited Provider of CLE programs. This traditional format course offers 7.5 CLE hours, consisting of 7.5 Areas of Professional Practice hours. HalfMoon Education is an approved CLE provider in Vermont, and this course offers 6.5 CLE hours to attorneys.

Massachusetts engineers licensed in states with a continuing education requirement will be able to apply the hours earned at this seminar toward those requirements, in most cases. Since the topics covered in this seminar are specific to Massachusetts, it will not qualify for New York engineer continuing education credit. Refer to specific state rules to determine course eligibility.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers has approved this course for 6.5 CECs. The American Institute of Architects has approved this event for 6.5 HSW Learning Units (Sponsor No. J885).

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Matt Schweisberg

PWS Principal with Wetland Strategies and Solutions, LLC in Merrimac, MA

Mr. Schweisberg provides policy, regulatory and technical advice and assistance for clients seeking to navigate a wide range of regulatory and non-regulatory issues related to wetlands and other aquatic resources. He works throughout the U.S. Mr. Schweisberg is a Professional Wetland Scientist under the Professional Certification Program of the Society of Wetland Scientists. He is a retired federal wetlands ecologist and wildlife biologist who spent over 32 years with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency at its headquarters office in Washington, D.C., and at the New England Region office in Boston. Mr. Schweisberg served as chief of the New England Region’s Wetlands Protection Program, as senior wetland ecologist, and on national work groups developing guidance and regulations on Clean Water Act jurisdiction, among other issues. He has testified before federal grand juries and has served several times as an expert witness in federal, state, and private litigation. Mr. Schweisberg has taught courses in wetland regulation, restoration, and creation; wetland ecology; and wetland identification and delineation for federal and state agencies, academic organizations, and environmental consultants. He received his degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine.

John Shea

Mackie Shea P.C.

Shareholder, Mackie Shea P.C.
Mr. Shea has practiced environmental and land use law for over 35 years. He focuses on wetlands, water, wildlife and hazardous waste laws. Mr. Shea is recognized as a master strategist in securing approvals for complex and controversial projects, developing environmental compliance plans for proactive and troubled companies and successfully defending permits in administrative and court appeals. He represents developers, businesses and high net worth individuals in permitting, siting, enforcement defense and litigation. Mr. Shea’s development projects include coastal homes, subdivisions, subsidized housing, hotels, assisted living facilities, hospitals, colleges, banks, coastal erosion protections, docks, marinas, aquaculture farms, radio antennas, industrial plants, office parks and retail complexes. He is recognized as a leader in environmental and land use law by Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The 2013 edition described Mr. Shea as a “Dean of the Environmental Bar;” the 2014 edition reported “there’s nothing he hasn’t seen or done;” and the 2019 edition observed that “he is great at permitting disputes as well as working effectively with regulators to reach a compromise.” He was selected as the 2013 Boston Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America®, and as one of the four best environmental lawyers in New England. Since 2004, he is designated a Massachusetts and New England SuperLawyer by Boston Magazine and Thomson Reuters. Mr. Shea enjoys an AV Preeminent rating for the highest levels of professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell. He chairs professional programs and lectures to lawyers, engineers and business groups. Mr. Shea is a member of The Planetary Society and The Mars Society and lectures on space law.