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Great Lakes Submerged Lands Permit (Part 325)

The Water Resources Division (WRD) within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), is responsible for issuing Great Lakes bottomlands permits under the authority of Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands (formerly Public Act 247 of 1955, as amended), of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). The purpose of this permit is to protect the waters of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes bottomlands (the land lying below the ordinary high water mark (OHWM)).


Great Lakes Bottomlands Permit


Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994


Michigan Administrative Code, Rules Administered by EGLE, WRD

Great Lakes Submerged Lands (R 322.1001 - 322.1018)


 1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)
  • Any dredging, filling, modifying, constructing, enlarging, or extending of structures in Great Lakes waters or below the OHWM of the Great Lakes; or connecting any natural or artificial waterway, canal, or ditch with any Great Lake including Lake St. Clair; or constructing a marina requires a Great Lakes Bottomlands Permit. Applicants may be required to secure leases or conveyances from the State of Michigan to place structures on bottomlands.

A General Permit for Shoreline Management activities is available for some activities. See the program description.

 2.  Pre-Application Requirements

Permit applications are reviewed jointly by WRD and the USACE (the USACE may also require a permit). Currently, Great Lakes Bottomlands permits are valid for up to five years.

 3.  Application Submission Requirements
  • Joint permit application submitted to the WRD.
  • Application fee
  • Only riparian land owners or authorized agents may file an application for a permit
  • Application must also contain detailed drawings showing plan and cross-section views and be accompanied by the proper application fee
  • Applicant may be required to submit other information depending on complexity of project
  • Activities which require a permit under Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams; Part 31, Floodplains; or Part 303, Wetlands Protection, of the NREPA do not require separate permits
 4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
  • Applicant submits Great Lakes Bottomlands permit application in MiWaters and fee
  • Application reviewed by the WRD
  • Final decision by the WRD
  • Permit processing can take anywhere between 2 and 4 months. A permit processing flowchart is available
 5.  Operational Requirements

Applicant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations and any stipulations set forth in the permit or Letter of Approval

 6.  Fees
 7.  Appeal Process

If an application is denied for a proposed activity, the landowner may appeal the decision to the EGLE Director requesting a contested case hearing pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act, Public Act 306 of 1969, as amended (a decision from this process can be appealed to the courts).

Information regarding contested case hearings can be obtained from the Administrative Hearings Website.

 8.  Public Input Opportunities

The decision makers in this program are district staff. Substantial or unresolved issues may be reviewed by the EGLE deputy directory or the WRD division director. The WRD has many mechanisms for public notice of certain pending permit decisions. A record of applications received is available on an online permitting and compliance system called MiWaters. This online system allows queries related to public hearings, public notices, year, county, township, range, section, water body, file number or applicant name. The WRD district contact can be found through MiWaters. The best opportunity for public input is during the 20 day public review and comment period for individual permits. If the proposed project impacts regulated wetlands under the jurisdiction of Part 303 then the local units of government (village, city, township or county) have 45 days to submit comment. If a public hearing is scheduled, then all previously notified groups and individuals are notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.


EGLE, Water Resources Division, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7704

  • Program Phone: 517-284-5561


Revision Date: December 2019