Great Lakes Submerged Lands Permit (Part 325)

Agency: Environmental Quality

The Water Resources Division (WRD) within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), 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 MDEQ, 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 the LWMD 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • $50 - $2,000
  • Fees are listed in Appendix C of the Joint Permit Application
 7.  Appeal Process

If an application is denied for a proposed activity, the landowner may appeal the decision to the MDEQ 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 Office of Administrative Hearings Website.

 8.  Public Input Opportunities

The decision makers in this program are district staff. In rare instances an MDEQ Deputy director or the WRD Division Chief will issue the permit. The WRD has many mechanisms for public notice of pending permit decisions. A record of applications received is available on an online searchable 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. 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 hearing is requested, then all previously notified groups and individuals are notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.


Land and Water Programs, Water Resources Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7704

  • Program Phone: 517-284-5561


Creation/Revision Date:

June 2016