What this permitting pathway provides
A more efficient way to acquire Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 Clean Water Act permits than to apply for individual permits.
Note: In waters outside of coastal waters, nature-based bank stabilization techniques, such as bioengineering and vegetative stabilization, may be authorized by NWP 13.
Structures and work in navigable waters of the United States and discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for the construction and maintenance of living shorelines to stabilize banks and shores in coastal waters, which includes the Great Lakes, along shores with small fetch and gentle slopes that are subject to low- to mid-energy waves. A living shoreline has a footprint that is made up mostly of native material. It incorporates vegetation or other living, natural “soft” elements alone or in combination with some type of harder shoreline structure (e.g., oyster or mussel reefs or rock sills) for added protection and stability. Living shorelines should maintain the natural continuity of the land-water interface, and retain or enhance shoreline ecological processes. Living shorelines must have a substantial biological component, either tidal or lacustrine fringe wetlands or oyster or mussel reef structures.
The following conditions must be met:
(a) The structures and fill area, including sand fills, sills, breakwaters, or reefs, cannot extend into the waterbody more than 30 feet from the mean low water line in tidal waters or the ordinary high water mark in the Great Lakes, unless the district engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the activity will result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects;
(b) The activity is no more than 500 feet in length along the bank, unless the district engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the activity will result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects;
(c) Coir logs, coir mats, stone, native oyster shell, native wood debris, and other structural materials must be adequately anchored, of sufficient weight, or installed in a manner that prevents relocation in most wave action or water flow conditions, except for extremely severe storms;
(d) For living shorelines consisting of tidal or lacustrine fringe wetlands, native plants appropriate for current site conditions, including salinity, must be used if the site is planted by the permittee;
(e) Discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, and oyster or mussel reef structures in navigable waters, must be the minimum necessary for the establishment and maintenance of the living shoreline;
(f) If sills, breakwaters, or other structures must be constructed to protect fringe wetlands for the living shoreline, those structures must be the minimum size necessary to protect those fringe wetlands;
(g) The activity must be designed, constructed, and maintained so that it has no more than minimal adverse effects on water movement between the waterbody and the shore and the movement of aquatic organisms
between the waterbody and the shore; and
(h) The living shoreline must be properly maintained, which may require periodic repair of sills, breakwaters, or reefs, or replacing sand fills after severe storms or erosion events. Vegetation may be replanted to maintain the living shoreline. This NWP authorizes those maintenance and repair activities, including any minor deviations necessary to address changing environmental conditions.
This NWP does not authorize beach nourishment or land reclamation activities.
The activity is no more than 500 feet in length along the bank, unless the district engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the activity will result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects
Application Tips and Resources
Notification: The permittee must submit a pre-construction notification to the district engineer prior to commencing the construction of the living shoreline. (See general condition 32.) The pre-construction notification must include a delineation of special aquatic sites (see paragraph (b)(4) of general condition 32). Pre-construction notification is not required for maintenance and repair activities for living shorelines unless required by applicable.