Governor Phil Murphy • Lt.Governor Sheila Oliver

NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs  

Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

DEP Home | About DEP | Index by Topic | Programs/Units | DEP Online


Division Information
HomeNews & NoticesForms & ChecklistsMaps & GuidanceLaws & RulesContact Land UseSubscribe to E-Newsletter

PermittingCommon Project TypesFreshwater WetlandsStreams & Rivers (FHA)Coastal AreasTidelandsHighlandsMitigationPermit Extension ActElectronic (E) ServicesApplication Status

Related InformationFederal AgenciesPrograms/Commissions

Tidelands

  • Overview
  • Grants
  • Licenses
  • Statements of No Interest
  • Leases
  • Tidelands Resource Council

Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all lands that are now or were formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterbody (such as the ocean, bays, and tidal sections of rivers and creeks, and also includes marshlands inundated by the tide). The State of New Jersey owns in fee simple all lands that are flowed by the tide up to the high-water line and claims ownership of those formerly flowed tidelands as delineated on the Tidelands Claims Maps.

Barnegat Bay, a naturally tidal body of water, is an example of currently flowed tidelands. However, New Creek, a tiny tidal stream that formerly flowed through the city of Newark a century ago but has since been filled in and built over, is also an example of tidelands claimed by the state. New Jersey contains an extensive network of tidelands, both big and small, and currently flowed and formerly flowed.

These state-owned tidelands are held in trust for the people of the state. All tidelands are overseen by the Tidelands Resource Council, a board of twelve Governor-appointed volunteers, along with DEP staff at the Bureau of Tidelands Management.

Certain artificially created waterbodies such as an artificial lagoon excavated out of unclaimed uplands would not be tidelands provided the land is not impacted by any former claimed areas such as a former natural creek flowing through the area. See the “Tidelands Claims Maps” for further information.

The Bureau of Tidelands Management has initiated online services as an alternative to certain paper submissions in order to improve customer’s convenience. For more information on current and planned e-Services, please click here

If you have questions not answered by this question and answer document, please email us at tidelandscomments@dep.nj.gov.

A Riparian Grant is a deed from the State of New Jersey for the sale of its formerly flowed tidelands. Obtaining a riparian grant is appropriate if any portion of the upland of a property was, at one time, flowed by the mean high tide. That portion of the property that was formerly tidal is state-owned property despite the fact that it has been filled in and the former waterway is no longer evident. The state-owned section of the property is known as a Tidelands Claim; a Tidelands Claim is a cloud on a property owner's title regardless of whether or not that property owner is aware of the claim at the time of purchase.

Obtaining a riparian grant is not mandatory; however, a grant may be desired to clear title to a property encumbered with a Tidelands Claim.

Current policy is to issue grants only for filled tidelands. That is, the State of New Jersey no longer sells currently flowed tidelands.

To view the instructions and application form for applying for a Riparian Grant, please click here.

Licenses

  • Overview
  • Structures
  • Marinas
  • Yacht/Boat Club
  • Dredging
  • Utilities
  • Bridges
  • Aquaculture

A Tidelands License is a short term rental agreement from the State of New Jersey for the use and occupation of state owned Tidelands. Generally this is usually applied to currently flowed tidelands but can also include formerly flowed tidelands (examples include bulkhead fill, or a change in use impacting a formerly flowed claim area).

Licenses must be procured for the following uses:

  • Fixed structures (i.e. docks, piers, mooring piles, floating docks, boat lifts, riprap, etc) constructed on currently flowed tidelands
  • Bulkhead reconstruction or extensions and associated fill that exceed or will exceed the mean high water line (As formerly flowed tidelands, bulkhead extensions may be purchased from the State if desired; however, they must be rented via a valid License until a Riparian Grant is delivered.)
  • Marina slips (defined as five or more rented boat slips)
  • Yacht and Boat Club structures
  • Dredging within state-owned tidal water
  • Utilities or Utility-related structures (i.e. pipes, cable lines) that cross over or under state-owned tidelands
  • Bridge construction/maintenance over state-owned tidelands

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

There is an online portal for the submittal of license applications, renew existing licenses, transfer a license to a new owner, and pay a tidelands paper invoice. For more information on this and other Tidelands e-Services,click here.

Fixed Structures

Jet Ski FloatFixed structures include docks, piers, mooring piles, floating docks, boat lifts, riprap and other structures that occupy currently flowed tidelands for more than ten consecutive days.

This includes jet ski floats, pictured here.

Moving crafts such as rafts and boats are not considered fixed structures.

Bulkhead extensions include any new solid material beyond the mean high water line that precludes the tide from flowing beneath it.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Marinas

For Tidelands purposes, a marina is defined as a collection of docks, piers, mooring piles or similar structures that together provide permanent or semi-permanent dockage available for rent to five or more vessels. Less than five slips would require a license for fixed structures.

A property that qualifies for a Marina License may also require an additional License for fixed structures if there is a bulkhead extension or other structures in the water that are separate from the rental slips.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Yacht/Boat Clubs

Yacht and Boat Clubs are defined as private, non-commercial marinas with slips available only to club members.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Dredging

Dredging projects that involve the permanent removal of sediment from the bottom of a tidally flowed waterway require a license.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Utilities

Utility and utility-related Licenses are for such structures as pipes, cable lines, storm water outfalls, etc. that cross over or under state-owned tidelands.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Bridges

Only certain bridge construction/maintenance projects occurring over State-owned tidelands require Tidelands licenses. For information on the license applicability for a specific bridge project, please contact the Bureau of Tidelands Management.

To view the instructions/applicaton for applying for a License, please click here.

Except for Individual shellfish markers (i.e. a single stick in the water), aquaculture activities occupying water column require a tidelands license if the activities are taking place in a non-granted area that is at or below the mean high water line of a tidal waterway. A license may also required when agricultural activities are taking place in an area that is currently landward of the mean high water line but was, at some point, flowed by the tide.

Aquaculture activities are unique in that they take up large areas of land (water) that would otherwise be open waters of the State. In addition, they could be, but are not always, in open water without waterfront access. However, in some cases, like the rack and bag systems, acres of water could be occupied, thereby restricting boat traffic in the area.

The Tidelands Resource Council (TRC) has acknowledged the unique nature of aquaculture operations and has developed a policy that allows for these activities to be licensed in a manner that fosters aquaculture opportunities in New Jersey waters while fulfilling the Council’s obligation to collect equitable compensation for the utilization of State owned lands. Please click here to view the TRC’s policy on Aquaculture Activities.

For information and instruction on how to determine whether you are in an area that may require either a license or a grant, or for information how to apply for Tideland instruments please see the tidelands section of this website.

 

A Statement of No Interest is an official document issued by the State of New Jersey attesting to the fact that a particular property or area is free from all state tidelands claims. These documents are only issued when an applicant can prove beyond all doubt that the State of New Jersey has no tidelands claim to that particular parcel. The burden of proof lies with the applicant.

Statement of No Interest applications will only be considered in the following circumstances:

  1. The state's claim is in close proximity to the subject property.
  2. The subject property is affected by a Tidelands Claim according to the adopted Tidelands map, but the applicant questions the validity of that claim.
  3. The subject property has an undefended shoreline that has been augmented by natural accretion.

Statement of No Interest applications will not be considered in these circumstances:

  1. The state's claim is not in close proximity to the subject property.
  2. The subject property is affected by a Tidelands Claim according to the adopted Tidelands map, but the claim has been eradicated by an existing valid conveyance such as a riparian grant. If the validity of the existing conveyance is in doubt, please submit a grant application.

To view the instructions/application for applying for a Statement of No Interest, please click here.

House over WaterA Tidelands Lease is a long term rental agreement from the State of New Jersey for the use of currently flowed tidelands. Leases are only issued for projects that involve long term financing issues such as homes that have been constructed over water or large scale development projects. Smaller construction projects over currently flowed tidelands require a Tidelands License rather than a Lease.

Leases must be obtained for all proposed construction as well as any past construction regardless of whether or not the current property owner is responsible for that construction. The state does not grandfather homes over water with respect to Tidelands conveyances.

A home over water, pictured here, is an example of a property that would require a lease.

To view the Lease instructions/application forms, please click here.

The management of tidelands in New Jersey is overseen by the Tidelands Resource Council, a board of twelve Governor-appointed volunteers, along with DEP staff at the Bureau of Tidelands Management. The Tidelands Resource Council, however, makes all ultimate decisions with regards to tidelands.

Please be advised of the following schedule for the Tidelands Resource Council Meetings:

Scheduled Dates for 2022 - PDF

Please be advised that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual schedule for the remaining in-person monthly meetings to be held at the NJ Civil Service Commission is currently suspended until further notice.  All future meetings will be held remotely. 

See link below to Join the remote meeting on the date and time of the meeting listed.

2022 ANNUAL NOTICE TIDELANDS RESOURCE COUNCIL MEETING DATES

Please be advised of the following schedule for the Tidelands Resource Council Meetings for the year 2022.

All meetings commence at 10:00 a.m. and are held remotely. Click on the link below to join.

Join on Computer: Click to join November 2, 2022 TRC meeting - If you have issues joining check out our Teams FAQ

Join on Telephone: 1-856-338-7074 Conference ID: 327 790 956#

Online Tidelands Application Submission Tutorial

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - Agenda
Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Archive:

Agendas for 2022 (Updated 10/28/22. Agendas start at 01/18/22)

Agendas for 2021 (Updated 11/24/21. Agendas start at 02/03/21)

Agendas for 2020 (Updated 11/29/20. Agendas start at 02/05/20)

Agendas for 2019 (Updated 12/02/19. Agendas start at 02/06/19)

Agendas for 2018 (Updated 11/29/18. Agendas start at 02/07/18)

Agendas for 2017 (Updated 11/30/17. Agendas start at 02/01/17)

Agendas for 2016 (Updated 12/02/16. Agendas start at 02/03/16)

Agendas for 2015 (Updated 11/19/15. Agendas start at 08/05/15)

 

bottom bar

Division: home | news/notices | laws/rules | forms/checklists | maps/guidance | contact
Department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
Statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2021
Last Updated: October 28, 2022