What this permitting pathway covers


  • The Statewide Restoration General Order (SRGO) provides a more efficient process with greater regulatory certainty for Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Water Quality Certification for projects that require authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) under CWA Section 404 and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) Section 10 and Section 14 (33 USC 408, known as “Section 408”). This could include Army Corps Nationwide Permits, Regional General Permits, Individual permits, or Section 10 permits, as long as the project qualifies under the terms of the SRGO.
  • The SRGO also provides Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) pursuant to the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (California Water Code §1300 et seq.). The SRGO covers projects that may directly or indirectly discharge to “waters of the state,” including “waters of the U.S.”
  • Protection measures were coordinated with USFWS, NMFS, and CDFW for consistency with their restoration permitting efforts.
  • You can use Sustainable Conservation’s Protection Measures Selection Tool to filter the list of General Protection Measures for applicability to your project. Measures from USFWS and NMFS programmatic authorizations can also be filtered using this web tool.
  • Projects involving state-only jurisdictional waters (discharging to waters of the state but not waters of the U.S.) would need to use the SRGO instead of the General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects.

Applicable locations

Statewide, for projects that may directly or indirectly discharge to "waters of the state," including "waters of the U.S."

Permit documents

How to apply

Read the overview of steps that occur before a restoration project is permitted under the Order at the beginning of Attachment B, Notice of Intent Form.

Pre-application consultation: Project proponents shall request a pre-application consultation as soon as the project concept is developed, or at least 30-days prior to submitting the NOI. Use the Staff Directory to locate contact information for your Water Board.

Submit a completed NOI and application fee: After the pre-application consultation step and earlier steps in the process have been completed, apply for enrollment under the SRGO using one of the Notice of Intent (NOI) forms linked below. The NOI must be electronically submitted to the approving Water Board, including an electronic carbon copy (cc) to the State Water Board at:


May be used with:

Example projects

Activities covered

All covered projects must meet the definition of a restoration project as defined below and comply with all applicable water quality control plans and state policy for water quality control.

A “restoration project” is defined as one that would result in a net increase in aquatic or riparian resource area functions and/or services through implementation of the eligible project types, relevant general protection measures (GPMs), and consideration of design guidelines, summarized below and described in detail in Attachment A, Order Description and Eligibility.

The approving Water Board determines if a proposed project meets the definition of a restoration project and is eligible for authorization under this Order. If the eligibility requirements set forth in the SRGO, including Attachment A are not met, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) or Regional Boards (collectively Water Boards) will not authorize the proposed project under this Order and instead require the project proponent to apply for an individual certification or certification under another Order. A project proponent may also independently choose to apply for an individual water quality certification or WDRs.

The categories of eligible project types covered under this Order are listed below. Detailed eligible project type descriptions are provided in Attachment A. An individual project covered under this Order may include more than one of these types:

  1. Improvements to Stream Crossings and Fish Passage
  2. Removal of Small Dams, Tide Gates, Flood Gates, and Legacy Structures
  3. Bioengineered Bank Stabilization
  4. Restoration and Enhancement of Off-Channel and Side-Channel Habitat
  5. Water Conservation Projects
  6. Floodplain Restoration
  7. Removal or Remediation of Pilings and Other In-Water Structures
  8. Removal of Nonnative Terrestrial and Aquatic Invasive Species and Revegetation with Native Plants
  9. Establishment, Restoration, and Enhancement of Tidal, Subtidal, and Freshwater Wetlands
  10. Establishment, Restoration, and Enhancement of Stream and Riparian Habitat and Upslope Watershed Sites


The following activities are not within the scope of the Order and will require separate permitting approvals with the State Water Board and/or Regional Boards:

  • Use of gabion baskets, boxes, or cages.
  • Use of cylindrical riprap (e.g., Aqualogs).
  • Use of undersized riprap (e.g., will not remain in place during a 100-year flow event or other standard accepted by the approving Water Board).
  • Construction of permanent dams (does not apply to beaver dam analogs) or concrete-lined channels of any sort.
  • Use of chemically treated timbers used for grade or channel stabilization structures, bulkheads, or other structures within or immediately adjacent to waters of the state, or where runoff from the treated material could enter waters of the state.
  • Activities that result in long-term, substantial disruption of the movement of those species of aquatic life indigenous to the waterbody, including those species that normally migrate through the project areas.
  • Elimination of a riffle, pool, or riffle/pool complex that is not replaced/enhanced elsewhere by the project. (Note: In some instances, a restoration project may affect or modify riffle/pool complex depending on project-specific conditions and design objectives. For example, a culvert removal may affect an existing pool. These types of projects would be allowed under the Order.)
  • Water diversions, except diversions associated with water conservation projects as described in Section A.4.5, Water Conservation; diversions associated with delivery or conveyance to and within managed wetland habitats as described in Category A.4.9, Establishment, Restoration and Enhancement of Tidal, Subtidal and Freshwater Wetlands; and those necessary to temporarily dewater the construction site of a restoration project.
  • Installation of flashboard dams, head gates, or other mechanical structures are generally prohibited; however there are exceptions for certain projects that require them to meet ecological goals (e.g., storage projects to reduce low flow stream diversions (Section A.4.5), off-channel/side-channel managed floodplain, and managed wetland habitat), and for the required replacement of legacy structures under the Small Dam, Tide Gate, Flood Gate, and Legacy Structure Removal project category.
  • Creation or potential creation of a barrier to anadromous fish passage as determined by the NMFS fish passage guidelines or equivalent CDFW guidelines, as applicable (including any associated maintenance activities, or lack thereof).
  • Use of excess riprap bank protection, other than the minimum amount needed to achieve project goals, as determined by the State Water Board or appropriate Regional Board, as applicable.
  • Installation of infiltration galleries (subsurface structure, typically including perforated conduits in gravel, to expedite transfer of water to or from a soil).
  • Managed surrogate floodplain and managed returned flows that do not allow for volitional movement (ingress and egress) of fish to the main channel (up and/or downstream).