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In some cases, a living shoreline project may not meet the requirements of general permit 24. For example, if a sponsor cannot be found, a project cannot be authorized by general permit 24. The applicant will need a waterfront development permit and, if any part of the project will occur in mapped coastal wetlands, will also need a coastal wetlands permit.


To obtain an individual permit for an activity, an applicant needs to demonstrate that all applicable requirements in the CZM Rules are met. First and foremost, the applicant must meet the living shorelines general water area rule, which establishes the basic activity-specific requirements. Under the living shoreline rule at N.J.A.C. 7:7-12.23, a living shoreline needs to be part of a plan for the restoration, creation, or enhancement of the habitat and water quality functions and values of wetlands, wetland buffers, and open water areas; must be consistent with the CZM Rules and its enabling statutes; must improve or maintain the values and functions of the ecosystem; and must have a reasonable likelihood of success or be performed by a college or university and advance the level of knowledge regarding living shorelines in New Jersey.


Living shorelines must also comply with additional environmental requirements. Similar to the requirements of general permit 24, the project must disturb the minimum amount of special areas necessary. Under an individual permit, the Department may approve the reduction in the size of one special area in order to increase the size of a different special area if the Department determines that the activities are sufficiently environmentally beneficial to outweigh the negative effects of the reduction. Consistent with the requirements of general permit 24, a living shoreline authorized under an individual permit cannot include placement of fill beyond the footprint of the shoreline as it appears on the applicable Tidelands Map, except for a structural component designed to reduce wave energy.


Beyond the living shorelines rule, applicants must also demonstrate compliance with the coastal engineering rule at N.J.A.C. 7:7-15.11. This rule requires any shore protection activities to follow a hierarchy from most natural to structural. Applicants must first consider non-structural options that allow for the growth of vegetation. If those are not feasible, then hybrid structures (both non-structural and structural components in one shore protection activity) must be considered. Finally, if a hybrid structure is demonstrated to be infeasible, the Department may approve a hard structural shore protection project. See the CZM Rules for all coastal engineering requirements.


Depending on the activity, various special areas, such as shellfish habitat, intertidal and subtidal shallows, and wetlands, may be potentially affected by the living shoreline. N.J.A.C. 7:7-9 contains all of the special area rules. The applicant must describe how the activity complies with all relevant special area rules to be issued an individual permit.

Coastal Individual Permits



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Email: Phone: (609).633.2201  Fax: (609).292.4608



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