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Getting Started: Permits and Permissions

Which activities are or are not allowable in a certain area of beach or dune is regulated under Cafra 7:7E (coastal zone management rules).  If you are a home-owner or community group or association, the best first step would be to talk to your town or township to see if your town already has beach and dune permits under that regulation, and if so what the conditions of those permits will / will not allow you to do.  Your best first point of contact here would be your town's public works department.

In response to Hurricane Sandy the DEP has relaxed its rules for landuse  . Basically, if your township does not currently have a beach and dune permit, this relaxation temporarily makes beach and dune maintenance "permit by rule".  What that means in practice is that, if you follow the rules in the legislation, you are covered by the permit by rule even without the actual permit in hand.

Before making or planting a dune, it is important to find out if your area is home to any threatened or endangered (T&E) species, because the presence of such species will mean that there will be additional restrictions on what can and can't be done in terms of dune creation.  To find out if there are endangered species in your proposed work area you should contact federal (USFWS) and State (NJDEP, DFW) agencies.  A good contact at USFWS for this is Annette Scherer (phone  609 383 3938  ext. 34;  Email: and at NJDEP, DFW Todd Pover (phone 609-628-2103; Email:

Since planting of dune grasses is not regulated, you can probably plant a dune whether or not you have a beach and dune maintenance permit, BUT you canít ever bulldoze DOWN dunes in your township or area.

If you have additional questions about permits and permissions that your public works officer can't answer, we suggest contacting Colleen Keller at NJDEP's Division of Land Use Regulation (; Phone: 609-984-0846)


Content of these pages was contributed by Chris Miller, Jon Miller, Michael Peek, Ray Bukowski, and Louise Wootton.  Edited by Louise Wootton.