Wetlands Permit

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A wetlands permit is needed from the Wetlands Board in order to use or develop wetlands. Examples of activities that may require a permit are the repair or installation of bulkheads, riprap revetments, piers, boathouses, etc. Some activities may also require a permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Obtaining a Permit


In order to obtain a permit, you must submit a joint wetlands permit application to the VMRC, phone number 757-247-2200. VMRC will then send the permit to the Environmental Division which serves as staff to the County Wetlands Board and the Army Corps of Engineers. There is a fee for the wetlands permit which is based on the amount of wetlands impacted.

There are 2 different Joint Permit Applications available for use depending on the type of activity that you are proposing. If you propose to impact tidal waters or wetlands in the Tidewater area of Virginia, you may be eligible to use the TIDEWATER JPA, an abbreviated version of the Joint Permit Application. Activities eligible to use the Tidewater JPA include piers, boathouses, boat ramps, moorings, marinas, aquaculture facilities, riprap revetments, bulkheads, marsh toe stabilizations, breakwaters, beach nourishment, groins, jetties, road crossings over tidal waterways, and utility lines over or under tidal waterways. Dredging and excavation projects in tidal waterways/wetlands must use the full-length JPA. The Norfolk district Corps of Engineers has made the JPA available as an electronically submittable form. You may visit the Corps’ national eJPA site.

Wetlands Board


The Wetlands Board meets monthly, if there are cases to be heard. In order for the Engineering and Resource Protection Division to review the application and advertise the required public hearing in a local newspaper, you need to submit your application a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the Wetlands Board meeting. View meeting dates and application deadlines.