The Corps of Engineers receives thousands of requests each year to perform wetland delineations for potential applicants for permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Due to limited staff and resources, response time can be several months or longer. To expedite this process, the San Francisco District encourages applicants to use consultants to conduct wetland delineations, especially for large and/or complex areas. The San Francisco District is not authorized to recommend any private consulting services and advises applicants to check references and referrals of prospective consultants before contracting services.
All delineations must be conducted in accordance with the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, or appropriate Regional Supplement, and submitted to the District for review and verification. Four Regional Supplements have been approved for use within the boundaries of the San Francisco District:
Ordinary High Water Mark:
Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheets
Please see the attached document for a list of requested information for verification of Corps' jurisdiction. The Aquatic Resources sheet of the Consolidated ORM Upload workbook is also requested for acceptance of delineation reports. This spreadsheet facilitates efficient and accurate data entry of the aquatic resources into the Corps' database.
The Consolidated ORM Upload workbook spreadsheet contains a validation tool to ensure accuracy of the data. To run the validation tool, first enter all data in the appropriate columns and tabs. Once you have completed entering the data and have saved the document in a .csv format, click the gold shield at the top of the workbook window. The tool has a tooltip showing "Validate Worksheets." After clicking this button, validation of data is performed and any possible errors are added to the Validation tab. This tab is opened after the process is complete to allow the user to see the output. The validation output includes the tab (data type), column, and cell for where the possible error was found and a brief explanation of the issue.
Approved jurisdictional determinations (JDs) and Preliminary JDs are tools used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to help implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA).
Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 16-01 explains the differences between these two types of JDs and provides guidance on when an approved JD is required and when a landowner, permit applicant, or other “affected party” can decline to request and obtain an approved JD and elect to use a preliminary JD instead.
Map and Drawing Standards have been established for the South Pacific Division Regulatory Program for maps and drawings submitted as part of delineations and applications for U.S. Army permits and jurisdictional determinations.
National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) - The NWPL, update May 18, 2020, provides the most recent list of wetland plants by species and their wetland ratings and should be referenced on data forms used in the wetland delineation. Changes from the 2016 list can be found here.