A Cataraqui Conservation Permit is required for any marine development (e.g. docks, boathouses, boat ports, marine railways, etc.) and alterations to shorelines.

What permits are required to build a dock?

A Cataraqui Conservation Permit IS NOT required if:

  • the dock is removable (includes, but is not limited to designs such as floating docks with an anchor), cantilevered docks, and aluminum-framed docks with support rails/posts that sit on the bottom.
  • Where a wetland is present, further conditions must be met to determine whether approvals are required. It is recommended you fill out the Permit Inquiry Form or contact staff when a dock proposal is in or near a wetland boundary to determine approval status.

Illustration of removable floating dock, removable pipe dock and cantilever dock.

A Permit MAY be required in relation to a removable dock it:

  • The dock is attached to the lake or water channel bottom or the shore by a new support system (e.g. concrete pad) or fill is placed or removed.
  • Note: if a permit is needed, it is for the support system or fill, not the removable dock itself.

A Permit IS required if:

  • A new dock design is permanent (e.g. post pile-supported, crib docks).
  • An existing permanent dock is being replaced or significantly repaired (e.g. replacement of framing/foundation, full rebuild).
  • A crib structure is being decommissioned and crib material is being removed from the site.

Illustration showing permanent post dock, permanent open crib dock.

What Permits are required for other shoreline work or in-water work?

(removing aquatic vegetation, swimming areas, building boat ramps, wharfs or boathouses, retaining walls, erosion work)

You will likely require a Cataraqui Conservation permit for marine development or alteration to a shoreline. You may also require approvals from:

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • For works occurring below the controlled high-water level along the Rideau Canal waterway system, approval will be required by Parks Canada. Cataraqui Conservation setbacks from waterbodies still apply for work occurring above the controlled high-water level along the Rideau Canal.
  • Local municipality (planning compliance, building permits etc.)

Shoreline erosion protection measures: cross-section examples

Natural shorelines have many benefits including protection of water quality, providing terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and acts as a natural form of erosion protection. Below are varying degrees of hardened shoreline examples, however natural elements and bio-engineered solutions should be first considered when stabilizing soils for shoreline protection. Click the image below for a full size view or printable PDF version.

Illustration of shoreline erosion protection measures.

Interested in doing more to protect your shoreline and lake? Download a copy of our Lake Protection Workbook. It was created as a self-assessment tool that acts as an excellent educational resource; helps property owners living along a lake shoreline understand how their actions might be affecting their lake and provides helpful tips on how to improve the natural environment along their shoreline.