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Conservation Commission
Contact TypeContact Information
Deborah Cunningham, Administrative Clerk
Ken Whittaker, Agent
Essex Town Hall - 3rd Floor, 30 Martin Street 
Essex ,MA 01929 
The Town of Essex does not accept emails from Yahoo accounts.
Office Hours:
Wednesdays 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm

If you are unable to come in during regularly scheduled office hours, please call or email to schedule an appointment.

To schedule appointments with the Agent email

Hours are subject to change. Please call ahead to assure someone will be available to assist you.
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Additional Links:
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The Commission will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in September and October.
Please plan your filings accordingly.

The Conservation Commission now has a drop box!
Applications or any other correspondence may be dropped in the box on the third floor landing.
Package too big? If the office is closed, please see the Town Clerk on the first floor for assistance.

Looking for a Legal Notice?

Starting January 21, 2017, newspapers will have to ensure that a public entity’s legal notice is published (1) in print; (2) on the newspaper’s website, if it has one; and (3) on the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association’s (MNPA) website ( Legal notices for the Conservation Commission are posted in the Gloucester Daily Times (


WHO NEEDS TO FILE: Generally, if you are within 100 feet of a wetland area and/or 200 feet of a riverfront you should check with the Conservation Commission to see if you need to file an application. Both the Agent and the Administrative Clerk are available to assist in determining if you are within the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission.

MEETINGS: The Commission generally meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 pm in the Stage Conference Area. Please see the calendar on the left for exceptions. For 2018, the Commission will meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays for the months of January, July, September and October.

FILING INFORMATION: Filings requiring a legal notice are due TWO WEEKS prior to the hearing date. Please see the Commission's calendar on the left of this page for exact dates for filing deadlines.

PLEASE NOTE: A check made payable to Gloucester Daily Times in the amount of $130.00 together with a Request for Legal Notice form (see link above) must accompany all filings. Filings which do not have both a check and the request form will be deemed incomplete. This could delay the project from being added to the Commission's agenda. The Request form can be obtained by using the link above or can be completed and signed at the time the application is submitted, if hand delivered.

About the Conservation Commission
In the 1950s, the need to protect the environmental resources in Massachusetts was well known. In 1957, Representative John Dolan of Ipswich filed a bill in the Legislature which eventually became the Conservation Commission Act (G.L. Chapter 40 §8C). The new law would allow municipalities to establish Conservation Commissions through a vote of the local legislative body. By 1958, twelve towns had already formed Conservation Commissions. In 1972, Conservation Commissions were given the responsibility of administering the Wetlands Protection Act (G.L. Ch. 131 §40). Click here to see a copy of the Act. This allowed the Conservation Commissions to serve their communities in a regulatory as well as a conservation capacity.
The Essex Conservation Commission reviews applications for permits to do work in and near wetlands, flood plains, banks, riverfront areas, beaches and surface waters. At this time, Essex does not have any non-zoning bylaws or ordinances giving the Commission further power to protect the wetlands. Although the Commission does review plans which must be approved by other regulatory boards, the sole responsibility of the Commission is to determine if a project will have significant impact upon environmental resources and if it falls within the scope of the Wetlands Protection Act. If a project falls outside the scope Wetlands Protection Act, no other action will be taken by the Commission. In Essex, it is required that most building permit applications be reviewed and approved by the Commission to determine if the project is covered under the Wetlands Protection Act.

Term Expiration
Michael Burke
June 30, 2020
Kevin Clarke
June 30, 2021
Angus Bruce
June 30, 2019
Cliff Ageloff
June 30, 2020
Thomas Barrieau
June 30, 2020
Edward Marshall
June 30, 2021
Jack Schylling
June 30, 2019
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