The Conservation Agent got back to me about my wetland faux pas:
I talked to the Commission last Thursday (6-18) and they all thought that the best thing to do is just to let path and turtle/frog pond return to their natural state. Just let it be and do not try and keep it accessable. There will be no fine as long as you just stop trying to keep it up. If this is OK with you then we are all set - if not then we will have to discuss permitting options - but I do not think you will be able to get a permit to do what you did. It just is not a good idea to do things like that in wetlands.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you in the future. Your lot has a large area of wetlands behind it and if you want to do anything that envolves moving dirt or cutting of wetland veg. you will need a permit.
(our friendly Conservation Agent)
I am deeply relieved not to be socked with thousands of dollars in fines, and I am deeply sad at having to let the path revert back to its original state. But I support the laws that protect our wetlands.
If possible, I do want to maintain a path up to the edge of the wetlands so that I can still get close enough to look at what lives there. I have continued the permitting discussion with the agent to find out what is permissable. The thought of living on the edge of such beauty - that I own - and not being able to see it has still got me in quite a funk.