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Discover
how Wisconsin protects waterways by holding them in trust for everyone to enjoy.
Find
the permits you need for your waterfront property projects.
Learn
about the permit process that protects public waters.

Waterway and wetland permits: shoreline

In their natural state, Wisconsin waters are protected by thick and diverse shoreline vegetation. Development often changes the face of that shoreland buffer. Every activity on a lake shore, even small ones, changes the water and the land. It is for this very reason that shoreline activities must be conducted with the utmost care.

Shoreline

Shoreline

Permit Activities

Eighty percent of the land bordering Wisconsin lakes and rivers is privately owned and each year, thousands of shoreland parcels are developed. The cumulative effects of individual lake and stream projects harm water quality and diminish the waterway's natural beauty.

But just as cumulative actions can harm the water's edge, cumulative actions can restore the shoreland and shoreline as well. Preserving or planting shoreland buffers, managing aquatic invasive species, and even protecting the shoreline from erosion can have beneficial effects.

Through positive activities, reasonable and knowledgeable users can protect the fragile zone where land meets water.

Last revised: Thursday October 31 2013