Duties, Responsibilities and Goals

Conservation Commissions in the state were provided for in the Wetlands Protection Act of 1972.

The primary goals of the Conservation Commission are:

  • to protect the quality of the natural environment
  • to ascertain that development and change are as much in harmony with the environment as is possible
  • to protect our natural resources, including but not limited to water supplies, open recreational land, plants and wildlife
  • to oversee the implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act and the Town of Scituate's Wetlands Bylaws, as well as related rules and regulations.
  • To prepare and maintain the Town of Scituate's Conservation & Open Space Plan.

The Conservation Commission works in a complementary relationship with the Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Zone Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Commission:

  • reviews proposals and evaluates projects underway with regard to the Wetlands Protection Act & The Town of Scituate Wetlands By-Law
  • develops and refines long-range plans for conservation & open space
  • identifies property that might be desirable for the Town to purchase and/or protect in order to meet the goals of conservation.

Project-related proposals generally take the form of:

Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA)

Requests submitted by individuals seeking a decision as to whether a proposed project comes under the jurisdiction of the Commission. Forms are available in the Conservation Office; one orignal, three copies of the form and related documents are required. Please also email forms and documents to conservation@scituatema.gov.

Notice of Intent (NOI)

Announces to the Commission the intention to initiate a project on land at least part of which comes under the jurisdiction of the Commission. Forms are available in the Conservation Office or online (see link below); one original and three copies of the form and related documents are required. A public hearing to review the NOI will be held within twenty-one (21) days of its receipt. Please also email documents and forms to conservation@scituatema.gov.

The Commission's response to an NOI generally takes the form of an Order of Conditions. For projects coming under its jurisdiction, the Commission establishes parameters that are intended to protect the natural environment from any adverse impacts that the project might have. The Commission members or Agent will periodically review the project to ascertain that it is proceeding in compliance with the orders. The Order is recorded at the Registry of Deeds in Plymouth, and permanently attached to the deed of the property being conditioned.

When the project is completed and is determined to have met the order of Conditions, the Commission issues a Certificate of Compliance.

The Conservation Agent and Commission members are available to assist individuals by reviewing applications and in helping to determine the best way to proceed with any particular project.

Additional informational materials are available at the Scituate Public Library.

Click Here to access forms needed for filing with the Conservation Commission.