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

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Marinas

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

Marinas provide both residents and non-residents alike with the ability to explore a host of water related recreational activities here in the Garden State.  Development activities at marinas and the development of new marinas may result in impacts to “special areas” that are regulated by the Department.  Therefore, it is important to closely examine a proposed project relative to the sensitive areas on site.  Special areas can be rudimentarily determined using the Department’s online mapping service, NJ-GeoWeb.  Development activities at new and existing marinas may require multiple approvals from the Division, depending on the special areas impacted. 

The above tabs provide additional information on permit requirements relating to marina development.  For impacts to streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, flood plains, flood ways, riparian zones, please see the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please see the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, see the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab.  Information on Tidelands can be found by selecting 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.

Development activities at marinas located along tidal waters within the coastal zone will generally require a coastal permit.  In these instances, no separate Flood Hazard approval is required.  The applicant need only submit a report and plans demonstrating compliance with the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules as part of the coastal permit application.

Marinas not located in coastal areas may require authorization pursuant to the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:13.  There are no Permits-by-Rule or General Permits for 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 (such as  roadways and parking areas at 7:13-11.6, buildings at 7:13-11.5, etc.).

Development activities at an existing marina or construction of a new marina within coastal areas will generally require a permit.  The range of activities related to marina operation may qualify for an exemption, Permit-by-rule, General Permit-by-Certification, or a General Permit.  If the proposed project does qualify for the aforementioned authorizations, the project may require a CAFRA, Coastal Wetlands and/or Waterfront Development Individual Permit. 
The “Jurisdiction” tab of the "Coastal Areas" webpage can help you determine which areas of your site may be regulated.  The availability of certain permits depends on the project’s location.

Potentially applicable Exemption:

Per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)7, a Waterfront Development Permit shall not be required for the repair, replacement, renovation, or reconstruction, in the same location and size of any dock, wharf, pier legally existing prior to January 1, 1981, that appears on the applicable Tidelands Map or that appears on the applicable coastal wetlands map identified pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(c) and chapter Appendix D or that received a waterfront development permit subsequent to the date of the Tidelands Map or coastal wetlands map, as applicable, provided that the repair, replacement, renovation, or reconstruction is in the same location  as the preexisting structure, and does not increase the size of the structure and the structure is used solely for residential purposes or for the docking of or servicing of pleasure vessels.  Please note, the size of any dock, wharf, or pier shall be measured in two dimensions, that is, length and width. 

Per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)8, a Waterfront Development Permit shall not be required for the repair, replacement, renovation, or reconstruction, in the same location and size, as measured in two dimensions, that is, length and width, of the preexisting structure, of any floating dock, mooring raft, or similar temporary or seasonal improvement or structure, legally existing prior to January 1, 1981, that appears on the applicable Tidelands Map, or that appears on the applicable coastal wetlands map identified pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(c) and chapter Appendix D, or that received a waterfront development permit subsequent to the date of the Tidelands Map or coastal wetlands map, as applicable, provided that the repair, replacement, renovation, or reconstruction is in the same location and size as the preexisting structure, and does not exceed in length the waterfront frontage of the parcel of real property to which it is attached and is used solely for the docking of servicing of pleasure vessels. 

Potentially applicable Permits-by-rule (PBRs):

PBR 11 - authorizes construction and/or installation of a boat wash wastewater system at a marina, boatyard, or boat sales facility, provided:

  • The system is located on the upland portion of the marina, boatyard, or boat sales facility and outside any wetlands;
  • Includes a wash pad that is:
    • Equipped with a pit, trough, trench drain, or settling chamber with sump or similar type pump;
  • Bermed or pitched to drain all boat wash wastewater to the pit, trough, trench drain, or settling chamber;
  • Less than or equal to a surface area of 1,250 sq. ft.;
  • Connected to a reclaim/recycling system, collection tank to store boat wash wastewater for reuse or collection/pump out, or a sanitary sewer;
  • If the system has a shed/storage unit to house the boat wash wastewater system, the shed/ storage unit shall be:
  • Used exclusively to house the boat wash wastewater system;
  • Less than or equal to 150 sq. ft. in size;
  • Limited to one shed or storage unit per system; and
  • If the system will discharge to a sanitary sewer, connection shall be to an existing sewer line located on-site or immediately adjacent to the site.

Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.11 for the complete rule requirements. 

PBR 19 - authorizes construction and/or installation of a pumpout facility and/or pumpout support facility provided the project does not adversely impact any special areas described at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9 and provided:

  • The pumpout discharges to:
    • A municipal or regional treatment plant where practicable;
    • A subsurface sewage disposal system; or
    • A holding tank with waste being removed by a licensed septage hauler;
  • A sewer line connecting a pumpout facility and/or pumpout support facility into an existing sewer line located on-site or located immediately adjacent to the site, provided:
  • The sewer line and the area of the connection into the existing sewer are located within areas of non-porous cover;
  • For a sewer line that connects from a pumpout facility and/or pumpout support facility that is located on an existing dock, the sewer line does not extend below the stringers of the dock; and
  • The sewer line receives a Treatment Works Approval as required in accordance with the Department’s rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A from the Department’s Division of Water Quality.

Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.19 for the complete rule requirements. 

Potentially applicable General Permit-by-Certification:

The General Permit-by-Certification 10 at N.J.A.C. 7:7-5.1 of the Coastal Zone Management rules authorizes reconstruction of a legally existing bulkhead in-place or upland of a legally existing bulkhead.

Potentially applicable General Permit (GP):

GP 6 - authorizes construction of a bulkhead and placement of associated fill on a man-made lagoon

GP 9 - authorizes construction of support facilities at legally existing and operating marinas

GP10 - authorizes reconstruction of a legally existing functioning bulkhead

For additional information on boat lifts, boat ramps, bulkheads, docks, dredging and piers, please refer to the “List of Common Project Types” section of this website.

Please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center at (609) 777-0454 should you require further assistance. 

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: July 7, 2015