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What you need to know before you build...
SEAWALL CONSTRUCTION and the Department of Environmental Protection
To protect Florida's fragile waterways, the DEP requires an Environmental Resource Permit for construction of certain seawalls. If the seawall you are planning does not meet the criteria below, you will need a permit from the DEP prior to construction.
For further information, contact the DEP at (813) 470-5700.
Caution: Construction of new seawalls is not allowed in wetlands or other surface waters which are State-Owned Submerged Land (SOSL) unless all of the following conditions apply:
a. there is an adequate demonstration of significant erosion at the site,
b. no viable alternative exists,
c. riprap or non-structural shoreline stabilization (such as planting vegetation) is included in the project design if practicable, and
d. structures exist on the upland property that are threatened by erosion.
Information showing that these conditions apply to the proposed seawall must be submitted to the Department for proprietary authorization prior to construction. The State of Florida owns the submerged land up to the mean- or ordinary- high water line of connected waterbodies such rivers, streams, lakes over 140 acres, bays, the Gulf of Mexico, and related waterbodies unless the land has been conferred by deed by the State to another party.
Seawalls Which Do Not Require a Permit from DEP:
1. Seawall construction in an artificially-created waterway which is not on SOSL and which meets the following:
2. Seawall construction in a wetland or other surface water, other than in an estuary or lagoon, which is not on SOSL and which meets the following:
the existing seawalls or riprap
3. Restoration of an existing seawall which meets the following:
Alternatives to Seawalls:
These alternatives may be just as effective at preventing erosion as seawalls and are better for the environment.
We hope that this information is useful to you. Preserving Florida's environment is every citizen's responsibility. Thank you for your help.
Last updated: July 31, 2013
D.E.P. Southwest District - TAMPA
13051 N. Telecom Parkway Temple Terrace, Fl. 33637 Phone: 813-470-5700
Contact Southwest District