Approval to Develop Coastal or Beach Crown Land
Normally, the "dry" part of the beach or "backshore" is owned by the upland property owner while the "wet" part of the beach or "foreshore" that is exposed when the tide goes out (inter-tidal area) is owned by the Province and administered by this department. The ordinary high water mark (ohwm) is normally the boundary between a waterfront property owner’s land and Provincial Crown land. The ohwm is defined as the mean or average of the normal high tides at a given location. It can be formally delineated by a Licensed Surveyor.
Depending on the type and location of the work you are proposing, provincial and/or federal approvals will be required. Any works located along the beach, on Crown lands below the ohwm, require prior review and approval from the Department. Such applications should be directed to this Department or the local District Planning Commission. Applications for works landward of the ohwm should be directed to the local District Planning Commission, municipality, or this Department.
Property owners can undertake erosion control structures or works to protect their properties from erosion. However, the structures or works must be located on their own private lands, above the ohwm, and all relevant municipal, provincial and federal permits must be obtained. New development standards established under the Provincial Coastal Areas Protection Policy must also be complied with. Erosion control structures or works may be permitted on Crown lands, below the ohwm, under special circumstances. Proposals to construct erosion control works should be forwarded to the local District Planning Commission or the Department of Environment & Local Government. Any proposals involving Crown lands, below the ohwm, should be directed to the Crown Lands Application Service Centre or the local District Planning Commission.