Streams & Rivers - The Flood Hazard Area Control Act
Given the many important ecological functions that a healthy riparian zone provides, adequately preserving such areas is essential to protecting New Jersey's natural resources and water supply. However, the Department does recognize the need for construction to sometimes be located within the riparian zones. Therefore, the criteria for construction within a riparian zone was developed and is contained at N.J.A.C. 7:13-10.2 [LINK TO THAT CITATION].
The width of the riparian zone is measured as follows:
- 300 feet along both sides of Category One waters (and all upstream tributaries within the same HUC-14 watershed);
- 150 feet along trout production waters and all upstream tributaries; trout maintenance waters (and tributaries within one mile upstream); waters flowing through an area that contains documented habitat for a threatened or endangered species of plant or animal, which is critically dependent on the regulated water for survival (and tributaries within one mile upstream); and waters that flow through an area that contains acid producing soils; and
- 50 feet along all other waters.
- No riparian zone exists along the Atlantic Ocean or any manmade lagoon, stormwater management basin, or oceanfront barrier island, spit, or peninsula.
The riparian zone is described in detail at N.J.A.C. 7:13-4.1 [LINK TO THAT CITATION].
When planning construction within the riparian zone, there are other portions of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules to consider. Depending upon the nature of the project, specific standards must be referenced as outlined in Subchapters 7, 8, 10, and 11 [Link to N.J.A.C. 7:13-7, 8, 10, 11]of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules.
When planning a project that will impact the riparian zone, note that the riparian zone may also be located within the jurisdictional boundaries of other rules implemented by the Division. Such rules that may need to be addressed include the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7A) [LINK TO THAT RULE], the Coastal Zone Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7 and N.J.A.C. 7:7E) LINK TO THOSE RULES], the Highlands rules (N.J.A.C. 7:38) [LINK TO THAT RULE], and the Stormwater Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:8) [LINK TO THAT RULE].