Tidal Wetlands Information / Permits

Wetlands is administered through the Planning and Zoning Department. The Mathews County Wetlands Board only has jurisdiction over tidal wetlands.

Vegetated & Non-Vegetated Wetlands

Wetlands grasses may be cut. You cannot place anything (i.e. rocks, boards, structures, rubble, trash, tires, tree trimming debris, etc.) on vegetated or non-vegetated wetlands without a permit

  • "Non-Vegetated Wetlands" means unvegetated lands lying contiguous to mean low water and between mean low water and mean high water.
  • "Vegetated Wetlands" means land lying between and contiguous to mean low water and an elevation above mean low water equal to the factor one and one-half times the mean tide range.

Obtain a Permit

For placement of material on or around vegetated or non-vegetated wetlands, a Tidewater Joint Permit Application (JPA) (PDF) must be completed. If a hearing is required, Wetlands Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm in the Historic Courtroom of Mathews County, Mathews, Virginia.

For Oyster Floats / Osprey Poles

A JPA for Shellfish Aquaculture Structures (PDF) must be completed.

Fees for Tidewater Joint Permits Requiring Wetlands Board Hearings

Tidewater Joint PermitsFee
Application for single user (private, non-commercial, residential) with the advertising fee paid by the County$150
Application for multi-user (commercial, community, industrial, government) with he advertising fee paid by the County.$200
After-the-Fact ApplicationDouble the application fee and additionally are subject to possible violation fees up to $10,000


2020 Application Submittal Deadlines

Deadline Date

  • September 11, 2020
  • October 9, 2020
  • November 6, 2020

Meeting Date

  • October 7, 2020
  • November 4, 2020
  • December 2, 2020

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

If you have Shoreline questions, please visit the VIMS Center for Coastal Resource Management website.

  1. Access the "Map Viewer" to see aerial photography of your shoreline, VIMS erosion control guidance (Preferred Shoreline Best Management Practices), and yard management (upland) guidance.
  2. Use the scroll bar to the right to find and expand the "Preferred Shoreline Best Management Practices" layers then hit "toggle BMPS on/off."
  3. You can then click on one of the beaded lines along your shoreline to view a results box, click "BMP" at the top for VIMS guidance regarding your shoreline.