Outer Cape Conservation Commission Directory, this reference booklet includes schedules, contact information and basic submittal requirements for each Commission on the Outer Cape: Safe Harbor provides professional consulting services for State and Local environmental permitting. We also offer no cost site visits to answer your questions.

What are Conservation Commissions?

What is their authority?

What do they really do? What do they want from applicants?

What is the process really like?

Each town in MA has a volunteer Conservation Commission which enforces the regulation of MA Wetlands Protection Act. The Act identifies various wetland resources, and in some cases, 100 ft Buffer Zones surrounding them. These are considered Natural Resource areas which benefit all MA residents, giving the State of MA, Commission review. Activities are reviewed to prevent negative impacts to the performance of resource areas which benefit the public at large. Mitigations can usually be designed to prevent or minimize negative impacts. 

The Commission process includes: submission of your proposal on an appropriate form; a Commission site visit; notification of abutters; a public hearing; Q and A with Commissioners; Issuance of an Order of Conditions; The OOC must then be recorded against the homeowner's deed at the registry of deeds (this compels the homeowner to comply with the "conditions" which must be followed for the project to move forward with minimal impacts); Project start up, notifications to the Commission Agent; compliance monitoring; project completion with habitat restoration; Request for a Certificate of Compliance; Recdording the C of C when granted will lift the OOC from the deed.