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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Marina

  • Overview
  • Freshwater Wetlands
  • Flood Hazard
  • Coastal
  • Tidelands

Marinas can be found along along many NJ tidal and non-tidal waterways, as well as some of the larger lakes. They provide both residents and non-residents alike with the ability to explore a host of recreational opportunities here in the Garden State.

Activities, including the construction of Marinas, which may disturb special areas of the State that are regulated by the Department, may require an approval from the Division prior to construction. An area containing sensitive and endangered plant species for example, may be irreparably damaged by such activities. It is important therefore to closely examine a proposed project relative to the sensitive areas which may be impacted.

Marinas may require multiple approvals from the Division, depending on the special areas impacted by the project. If you don't know what special areas are on your site, please check out the before you buy, before you build section of this website for guidance on determining if your site has one of these regulated special areas on it.

For information on Land Use permit requirements for Marinas within specific "special areas", please click on each of the tabs above.*

*For impacts to Streams, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Flood Plains, Flood Way, Riparian Zones and other water body related areas, please click on the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please click on the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, click on the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab. Information on Tidelands can be found in the "Tidelands" tab.

 

There are no Freshwater Wetlands General Permits for the construction of a marina within freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters. However, if the marina will be impacting transition areas only, the project may be eligible for a (Transition Area Waiver (TAW) Averaging Plan) [link to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-6.2]. A TAW Averaging Plan allows an applicant to reduce the width of the transition area in one location, as long as they increase the width of the transition area in another location on the site. Please click on the link above for more information.

If the marina will disturb freshwater wetlands or State open waters, or it cannot comply with the TAW requirements, a (Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit (IP)) [link to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.1] would be required. An IP application would need to include a description as to why the marina cannot be constructed outside of regulated areas.

The in-water construction of a marina does not require a permit under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act (FHACA) as it will be reviewed under the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) rules.  However, compliance with the FHACAR is still required and will be reviewed during your application for the CZM permit.  No Permit by Rules or General Permits will allow for the construction of a marina, therefore, please refer to the applicable Individual Permit standards.  These will vary depending on what activities are associated with the marina (i.e. roadways and parking areas at 7:13-11.6, buildings at 7:13-11.5, etc.).

Construction activities at an existing marina or the construction of a new marina generally require a coastal permit.  The range of activities related to marina operation may qualify for an exemption, a permit-by-rule, or a general permit.  If the proposed activities do not qualify for a coastal exemption, a permit-by-rule or a general permit, they will generally require a CAFRA or Waterfront Development Individual permit or a Coastal Wetlands Permit.    If the project involves the construction, repair, or replacement of docks, bulkheads, or boat ramps or dredging activities, please refer to those sections in the “List of Common Project Types” on this website.
Please refer to the “Jurisdiction” section of the "Coastal Permitting" section of the website to determine which areas regulated under the Coastal Permit Program Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.1 et seq.) and the Coastal Zone Management Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1 et seq.) occur on your site. The availability of certain permits and exemptions for a project depends on where your project is proposed.

Additional information regarding the Division’s coastal program can be found on the “Coastal Permitting” section of this website.  If necessary, please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center for further assistance.

These permits-by-rule may apply to your project --

  • Permit-by-Rule 11 authorizes the installation of a boat wash wastewater system at a marina boat yard or boat sales facility provided it meets the requirements of this permit-by-rule.. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)11 for information on the requirements of this permit-by-rule..
  • Permit-by-Rule 20 authorizes the construction and/or installation of a pumpout facility and/or pumpout support facility provided it meets all requirements of this permit-by-rule.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)20 for information on the requirements of this permit-by-rule.

This general permit may apply to your project --

  • Coastal General Permit 13 authorizes the construction of support facilities at legally existing and operating marinas such as boat rack systems, marina support buildings, restroom facilities, pumpout facilities, gasoline pumps, and storage structures excluding residential development.  For further information regarding the requirements of this general permit, please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.13

 

Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all those lands now or formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway; that is to say any land that is currently or was previously covered by tidal waters.  The State of New Jersey, and therefore the people of New Jersey, owns all Tidelands except for those to which it has already sold its interest in the form of a riparian grant.  

Marinas that are proposed in a tidelands area may require a tidelands license if the activities are taking place at or below the mean high water line of a tidal waterway or a tidelands grant if the activities are taking place in an area that is currently landward of the mean high water line but was, at some point, flowed by the tide. It is important to note that the State generally does not own artificial waterways such as lagoons however, the State does claim those lands within a lagoon that were flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway which existed prior to the creation of the lagoon.

A tidelands license is a short term revocable rental document to use tidelands generally for structures such as docks, bulkhead extensions, mooring piles, and other temporary structures as well as for dredging projects. Licenses are project specific and expire after a finite term ranging from one to ten years. Most licenses may be renewed.

A riparian grant, or tidelands grant, is a deed from the State of New Jersey selling its tidelands. Tidelands grants are generally only issued for lands that have already been filled in and are no longer flowed by the tide.

For more information on tidelands instruments, please see the tidelands section of this website.

For information and instruction on how to determine whether you are in an area that may require either a license or a grant, or for information how to apply for Tideland instruments please see the "Before you Build, Before you Buy" webpage.

 

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Last Updated: May 21, 2014