Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994, PA 451, as amended (Part 301), requires a permit from the Land and Water Management Division of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for certain construction activities on inland lakes and streams. The Inland Lakes and Streams Program is responsible for the protection of the natural resources and the public trust waters of the inland lakes and streams of the state. The program oversees activities including dredging, filling, constructing or placement of a structure on bottomlands, constructing or operating a marina, interfering with natural flow of water or connecting a ditch or canal to an inland lake or stream.
The following are typical projects regulated under Part 301. Please note: The following is only a partial list of the most common projects associated with inland lakes and streams. Other types of activities may also require permits.
Shore Protection. Because shore protection structures can have negative effects on natural resources and other shoreline properties, shore protection structures should only be installed when they are needed to address erosion problems and the type of shore protection used should be carefully considered.
Because of these negative effects of vertical walls the DEQ recommends the use of natural shoreline treatments. New shoreline hardening should be avoided where alternate approaches such as plantings and natural stone can be used to protect property from erosion. The purpose and benefits of plantings/stone are to provide a natural transition between the open water and upland, while providing habitat.
Permanent Docks or Permanent Boat Hoists. Permanent docks or boat hoists which are left in year around require a permit. Seasonal docks and hoists do not require a permit if they are for private, non-commercial use by a landowner, do not unreasonable interfere with the use of the water by others, do not interfere with water flow and will not be placed in wetlands.
Beach Sanding. Placement of sand, pea stone, or other clean fill below (waterward) of the water line requires a permit. A reasonable amount of sand may be placed landward of the water line without a permit as long as the sand does not shift the location of the existing ordinary high water mark or the shoreline contour. The sand cannot be placed in a wetland.
Dredging or Excavation. Any dredging below (waterward) of the ordinary high water mark of a lake or stream requires a permit. Dredging of a pond within 500 feet of a lake or stream also requires a permit. Excavation on the upland (dry land) within 500 feet of a lake or stream that does not extend below the water table does not require a permit from the DEQ. (However, a soil erosion permit is required from the county for this activity.) A permit is needed for any excavation where the purpose is ultimate connection with an existing lake or stream.