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Policy for Development in Shore Water Zones

POLICY DIRECTIVE
Division: Water Resources Management P.D. W.R. 97-1
Prepared By: Anil Beersing Issue Date: June 3, 1997
Approved By: Martin Goebel Director Re-Issue Date: Jan 17, 2001
Approved By: Ken Dominie ADM Review Date:
Authorized By: Paul L. Dean DM Superseded:
Oliver Langdon Minister Cancelled:

Subject:

Development in Shore Water Zones

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The shore water zone is the interface between land and water, and includes the land along the edge of an ocean, or a fresh water body. The shore water zone owes its unique ecological attributes to the area encompassing both the land draining into the water body and the water body itself. Unplanned and imprudent development on shore water zones, including infilling and waste disposal, may have detrimental effects on water quality, water quantity, and on terrestrial and aquatic life and habitat. Human impacts on salt water shore zones, caused by, for example, untreated sewage disposal, surface runoff from urban and industrial sites, etc., has led to closures of bays to aquaculture and shellfish harvesting. The economic impacts of environmental damage of fresh water shore zones include loss of recreational opportunities, depreciation of land values, etc. Shore water zones are also areas that are subject to flooding, with possible adverse impacts on life and property along the zones.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

This policy will establish the criteria for issuing a permit under Section 48 of the Water Resources Act, SNL 2002 cW-4.01, for all development activities in and affecting shore water zones. The objective of the policy is to permit developments of shore water zones such that potential economic losses and impacts on water quantity, water quality, and terrestrial and aquatic habitats and life are minimized.

3.0 LEGISLATION

Water Resources Act, SNL 2002 cW-4.01, ("the Act") sections 30, 48 and 64

4.0 DEFINITIONS

Body of Water
(Statutory definition from the Act) "body of water" means a surface or subterranean source of fresh or salt water within the jurisdiction of the province, whether that source usually contains liquid or frozen water or not, and includes water above the bed of the sea that is within the jurisdiction of the province, a river, stream, brook, creek, watercourse, lake, pond, spring, lagoon, ravine, gully, canal, wetland and other flowing or standing water and the land occupied by that body of water
Shore Water Zone
"Shore Water Zone" means the land that is intermittently occupied by water as a result of the naturally fluctuating surface water level in a body of water which can be either a fresh or salt water body and, in either case, the low water mark and high water mark of the water body defining the edges of the shore water zone.
Development
"Development" means the carrying out of an activity or operation which includes construction of wharves, moorings, jetties, other docking facilities, marinas, boathouses, etc., mechanical disturbance of the land, infilling, drainage, dredging, channelization, erosion control works, and removal of vegetation on shore water zones for social or economic benefits, or any change in the use or the intensity of use of any shore water zone.

5.0 POLICIES

5.1 High Water Level of a Water Body

The high water level of a water body is taken to be the 1:100 year return period water level. For a fresh water body, this level includes water levels caused strictly by storm runoff or hydraulic effects of ice or both. In marine situations, the level must include maximum waves, wind setup, storm surge, and ultimate mean sea levels under current global climatic forecasts for a 1:100 year design.

5.2 Developments Not Permitted

5.2.1 Infilling, drainage, dredging, channelization, or removal of surface or underwater vegetation on or along shore water zones which could aggravate flooding problems will not be permitted.

5.2.2 Infilling, drainage, dredging, channelization, or removal of surface or underwater vegetation on or along shore water zones which have unmitigable adverse water quality impacts on the shore water zones will not be permitted.

5.2.3 Infilling, drainage, dredging, channelization, or removal of surface or underwater vegetation on or along shore water zones which have significant impacts on water circulation patterns within the shore water zones or on sediment deposition or accretion or removal rates along the shore water zones will not be permitted.

5.2.4 Placing, depositing or discharging into shore water zones of any raw sewage, refuse, municipal and industrial wastes, fuel or fuel containers, pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals or their containers, or any other material which impairs or has the potential to impair the water quality of the shore water zones will not be permitted.

5.2.5 Construction of extensive paved surfaces along a shore water zone which changes the intrinsic character of the shore water zone will not be permitted.

5.3 Developments Requiring Written Permission

The following developments on or along shore water zones will be permitted subject to the prior written permission of the Minister of Environment and Conservation (the "Minister") in accordance with the Act:

5.3.1 Limited removal of surface vegetation cover for the construction of marinas, boathouses, jetties, wharves, moorings, and other docking facilities.

5.3.2 Construction of marinas, boathouses, jetties, wharves, moorings and other docking facilities which would require only minor disturbances to water circulation patterns within the shore water zone and which have limited impacts on sediment deposition or accretion rates along the shore water zone.

5.3.3 Extension and upgrading of existing buildings, structures and facilities within shore water zone areas.

5.3.4 Development related to recreational activities including the setting up of camp grounds, permanent and semi-permanent facilities, etc., along shore water zones.

5.4 Implementation of Mitigative Measures

All developments which are permitted within shore water zones and which could result in potentially adverse changes to water quantity or water quality of the shore water zone will require the implementation of mitigative measures to be specified in the terms and conditions for the environmental approval.

5.5 Restoration Measures

The terms and conditions of the environmental approval will specify the restoration measures to be implemented upon cessation of activities or abandonment of facilities on shore water zones.

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