how Wisconsin protects waterways by holding them in trust for everyone to enjoy.
the permits you need for your waterfront property projects.
about the permit process that protects public waters.
Waterway and wetland information line
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Waterway protection Beach maintenance

Lower water levels the past few years have left many lake front property owners with additional exposed beach areas below the ordinary high water mark (OHWM).

Beach area in Wisconsin

Beach area in Wisconsin

Exemptions and permits

  • Exemptions for this and other activities.
  • Water Permits - choose the "Waterway and wetland" tab and then find activity "Beach maintenance."

Lake front owners get to enjoy these exposed areas, however areas below the OHWM are protected and activities in these areas, even when temporarily high and dry, may require approval and or permits.

For more information about this, please see the "Beach Maintenance Activities" [PDF] factsheet .

Decision tool: Do I need a permit?

Don't have Flash player? Visit our text version of the "Beach maintenance decision matrix" instead.


Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.20 Wis Stats. and Section 30.29 Wis Stats. [PDF exit DNR], Chapter NR 109 [PDF exit DNR], and Chapter NR 345 [PDF exit DNR].

Local permits and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations may also apply. We advise you to contact your local zoning office and your regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office [exit DNR].

Last revised: Thursday October 31 2013