Grassroots Public Advocacy For The Protection, Restoration And Conservation Of Great Lakes Beaches And Riparian Property

Important Tips For Riparian Property Owners

If You Want To Recover Land Lost To Erosion......
    It is important to understand that the State of New York (DEC) will generally not permit a property owner to recover/replace any land lost to normal erosion. It is their position that erosion is a normal process and that once your
land is lost, the area now covered by the lake or beach is the property of NY State. However, if you can prove that you have lost property due to a significant event, you have a right to recover the lost property.  

    A simple way to prove that you have lost land due to an "event" (high water, high wave, storm) is to take pictures of your property every year. Take them from several angles (West to East, East to West, from beach, to beach etc). Be sure to include any stationary objects that would show perspective or could be used to calculate measurements to substantiate the amount of loss.

    Be sure to mark the time and date on the photos (most digital cameras make this easy) and then store the photos in a safe place. If you then lose an amount of property worth the expense of recovering, you'll have the proof you need to argue your case with the DEC and/or USACE.

Maintaining Your Erosion Control Structure....
   We all know how frustrating and time consuming it is to obtain and erosion control permit from the DEC and/or the USACE.  It can take months of sending information back and forth while being asked to re-measure, re-draw, re-calculate, it is a process that most of us will never want to subject ourselves to again.

    To make matters worse, once you have built the structure you'll probably need to maintain it and the DEC & USACE will argue that you will need a new permit to maintain your structure.

    Riparians need to be aware that the DEC 505 Regulations require that a property owner maintain any structure and you should make certain that the permit you receive clearly states that you will be maintaining the structure "as needed." Any Article 34 505 permit issued requires that your structure last a minimum of 30 years. You have the legal "obligation and right" to maintain your structure "without" the hassle of applying for a new permit.

Refer to Section 505.2 (bb), 505.8 (b) 3, 4, (d) 6, (e) 3, 505.9 (a) 505.9 (c) (d) and don't let the DEC interpert differently than stated in the 505 Regs. (Click Here For The Link To 505 Regs)

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