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Living Shorelines: A Permitting Guide for Alabama Homeowners

Filed Under:
Publication Number: P3120
View as PDF: P3120.pdf

Contents

Permitting Agencies 

Permit Application Checklist 

Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands 

Attachments to the Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands 

USACE/ADEM Joint Application 

Vicinity Map 

Site Plan 

Cross-Section Drawing 

Tips to Submitting a Successful Permit Application 

Additional Living Shorelines Resources 

Example Living Shorelines Permit Application 

Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands 

Documentation of Upland Interest 

Property Survey 

State Lands Affidavit 

USACE/ADEM Joint Application 

Vicinity Map 

Site Plan 

Cross-Section Drawing 

The following is meant to be a permitting guide for homeowners who are interested in installing a living shoreline on their property in Alabama.

Permitting Agencies

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Lands Division (ADCNR-SL)

31115 Five Rivers Bend

Spanish Fort, AL 36527

(251) 621-1238

www.outdooralabama.com

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

(USACE)

P.O. Box 2288

Mobile, AL 36628-0001

(251) 690-2658

www.sam.usace.army.mil/

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)

Mobile Coastal Field Office

3664 Dauphin Street, Suite B

Mobile, AL 36608

(251) 304-1176

Permit Application Checklist

To apply for a living shoreline permit, the following documents must be completed and turned in to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Copies of these documents also need to be given to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Lands Division.

  1. ADCNR-SL Division Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands
  2. Documentation of Upland Interest
  3. Survey
  4. Notarized State Lands Affidavit
  5. USACE/ADEM Joint Application
  6. Vicinity Map
  7. Site Plan
  8. Cross-Section Drawing

Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands

  • Land below the mean high water (MHW) line is state-owned submerged land.
  • Notice to the ADCNR State Lands Division of any proposed activity on state-owned submerged lands.
  • Basic information about the waterfront owner (e.g., name, address, contact information).
  • Basic information about the proposed activity (e.g., project location, description, adjacent water body).
  • Additional required documentation:
    1. Satisfactory Documentation of Upland Interest
    2. Survey
    3. USACE/ADEM Joint Application
    4. Vicinity Map
    5. Site Plan
    6. Notarized State Lands Affidavit

Attachments to the Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands

Satisfactory Documentation of Sufficient Upland Interest

  • Demonstrates control and legal interest in the land adjacent to the project area.
  • May be a property deed or other legal documentation of land ownership.

Survey

  • Copy of land survey prepared by a licensed Alabama state surveyor.
  • Must depict a legal description of the property, property boundaries, location of mean high water (MHW), and location of structures existing on state submerged lands.

Notarized State Lands Affidavit

  • Shows that the applicant is aware of state regulations and setback requirements, and is the property owner.
  • Must be notarized.

USACE/ADEM Joint Application

Form requires:

  • General information about the permit applicant (e.g., name, address).
  • Basic project information (e.g., location, materials).
  • Optional: agent authorization if an agent is to fill out the paperwork for the property owner.
  • List of adjacent property owners.
  • List of certifications applied for from federal, state, and local authorities
  • Required attachments (vicinity map, site plan, and cross-section drawing
  • Applicant's signature

Form can be found at http://www.adem.alabama.gov/DeptForms/Form166.pdf.

Vicinity Map

  • Accurately shows the location of the proposed living shoreline.
  • Includes a written description of directions to the proposed location from major landmarks or highways.
  • Internet-sourced maps, such as Google Maps, are acceptable.
  • Can be made on the computer or drawn by hand.
  • Must be drawn to scale or have dimensions written on the drawing.
  • Must be in black and white.
  • Must be done on 8½-by-11-inch white paper.

Hand-drawn map showing the location of the proposed living shoreline, along with directions to the location.

Site Plan

  • Shows existing structures and proposed activities in detail.
  • Must include the mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) line.
  • Must include the name and width of the water body on which the proposed activity is located.
  • Must include, with dimensions, all wetlands or submerged grasses on the property.
  • Must include adjacent property owners.
  • Must include a north arrow.
  • Can be made on the computer or drawn by hand.
  • Must be drawn to scale or have dimensions written on the drawing.
  • Must be in black and white.
  • Must be done on 8½-by-11-inch white paper.

Hand-drawn map showing existing structures and proposed activities in detail.

Cross-Section Drawing

  • Shows the side view and elevation of proposed work.
  • Must include the mean high water (MHW) line, mean low water (MLW) line, and water depths.
  • Must include, with dimensions, all wetlands and submerged grasses on the property.
  • Can be made on the computer or drawn by hand.
  • Must be drawn to scale or have dimensions written on the drawing.
  • Must be in black and white.
  • Must be on 8½-by-11-inch paper.

Hand-drawn map showing the side view and elevation of proposed work.

Tips to Submitting a Successful Permit Application

Top 5 Mistakes that Lead to Permit Application Rejection

  1. Application does not contain a full, narrative description of the proposed project.
  2. Drawings do not display the mean high tide (MHT).
  3. Drawings are not on 8½-by-11-inch paper, in grayscale (black and white).
  4. Application does not list longitude/latitude and section/township/range of the project site.
  5. Drawings are not drawn to scale or they do not show accurate dimensions of proposed work.

Helpful Hints to Obtaining a Living Shoreline Permit

START EARLY

Be prepared to submit your permit application at least 90 days before construction is planned to begin.

BE PREPARED

Schedule a pre-application meeting with DMR to clear up any questions and to address possible complications.

BE PATIENT

The permit application may have to be approved by several agencies, so the approval process takes time.

Additional Living Shorelines Resources

For additional information on living shoreline permitting:

To learn more about the benefits of living shorelines:

For any additional questions, contact:

Mississippi State University Coastal Research & Extension Center

1815 Popps Ferry Road • Biloxi, MS

(228) 388-4710

www.coastal.msstate.edu

Example Living Shorelines Permit Application

What remains of this guide is an example permit application that resulted in a permit being issued. The permit application contains the following documents:

  1. State Lands Application
  2. Documentation of Upland Interest
  3. Property Survey
  4. State Lands Affidavit
  5. USACE/ADEM Joint Application
  6. Vicinity Map
  7. Site Plan
  8. Cross-Section Drawing

Notice to Impact State-Owned Submerged Lands

A sample Notice of Intent to Impact State Owned Submerged Lands form.

Documentation of Upland Interest

Alabama quit claim deed.

Property Survey

Sample of property survey.

State Lands Affidavit

Sample of Alabama state lands division consent.

USACE/ADEM Joint Application page 1

Page 1 of sample of joint application and notification from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

USACE/ADEM Joint Application page 2

Page 2 of sample of joint application and notification from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Vicinity Map

Sample of a vicinity map with directions to the location.

Site Plan

Sample of a site plan with handwritten notations.

Cross-Section Drawing

Sample of a cross-section drawing.


Publication 3120 (POD-4-21)

MASGC-17-068

By Sara Martin, Extension Program Associate, Eric Sparks, Assistant Extension Professor, Nigel Temple, PhD student, and Daniel Firth, master’s student, MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center.

Copyright 2021 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Produced by Agricultural Communications.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution. Discrimination in university employment, programs, or activities based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by applicable law is prohibited. Questions about equal opportunity programs or compliance should be directed to the Office of Compliance and Integrity, 56 Morgan Street, P.O. 6044, Mississippi State, MS 39762, (662) 325-5839.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

Department: Coastal Marine Extension Program
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Authors

Extension Associate I
Portrait of Dr. Eric L. Sparks
Assc Extension Prof & Director
coastal conservation and restoration, living shorelines, marine debris, environmental stewards