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Water Dependent Construction Activities

Tampa Port Authority (TPA):
On June 23, 2009 the Tampa Port Authority and EPC entered into an Order of Delegation and Operating Agreement that delegated certain minor works permits for coastal structures on sovereign submerged and tidal lands to the EPC.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP):
On October 13, 2011, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and EPC entered into an Order of Delegation and Operating Agreement that delegated certain permitting, compliance, and enforcement authority within Hillsborough County for limited Environmental Protection (ERP) projects.

Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE):
On June 18, 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and EPC entered into a Coordination Agreement allowing EPC to implement the SPGP IV-R1 in Hillsborough County. On July 26, 2016 the Army Corps of Engineers and EPC entered into a Coordination Agreement allowing EPC to implement the SPGP-V in Hillsborough County.


TPA – Delegated Program

EPC-TPA Delegation Agreement

FDEP – Delegated Program

EPC-FDEP Delegation Agreement


EPC-ACOE Coordination Agreement


All wetlands and other surface water bodies (Tidal & Non-tidal-river, streams & lakes) within Unincorporated Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, Temple Terrace & Plant City

*Limited Marine Construction Minor Works Delegated to EPC*

Mean High Water Line in Tidal water bodies in Jurisdictional Lands; including Hillsborough River, Alafia River & Little Manatee River; Ordinary High Water Line in Non-Tidal Sovereignty Lands, Lake Keystone, & Lake Thonotosassa (except Stone Lake Ranch Sloughs)

*Limited ERP Projects  Delegated to EPC*

All wetland and other surface water bodies within Hillsborough County

*State Programmatic General Permit (SPGP V)

All navigable waters of the U.S. that are subject to the ebb & flow of the tide and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible to use to transport interstate or foreign commerce extending seaward to include all ocean waters within 3 nautical miles from the coast line; or to the Ordinary/Mean High water mark, High Tide Line, or shoreward limit of adjacent (connected) wetlands within Hillsborough County


Ch. 1-11, Wetlands, Rules of the EPC

Ch. 1-11 Basis of Review

Section(m) Ch. 95-488, Enabling Act

TPA Submerged Lands Mgmt. Rules

403.813, F.S.-Exemptions

62-330.051, F.A.C.-Exemptions

Ch. 62-330, F.A.C- General Permits and Individual Permits

State Programmatic General Permit (SPGP V)

Section 10-
Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403)

Section 404-
Clean Water Act


Miscellaneous in Wetlands (MAIW)

EPC Minor Work Permit

Supplemental Dredge Form

Supplemental Fill Form

Joint Environmental Resource Permit (ERP)

General Permit

Individual Permit – Begin with Section A

Miscellaneous in Wetlands (MAIW) or

EPC Minor Work Permit


Summary Fee Matrix

Chapter 1-6, Services- Fee Schedule

Guidance  Documents

Example Dock  Permitting Process

Application Submittal Guidance

TPA Land Classification Maps

Example Drawings


ERP Online Help

Construction Guidelines/ Conditions and Maps

Delegated Types of Projects:

1. Common Structures:

  • Docks
  • Piers
  • Boardwalks
  • Shore protection
  • Adjacent docking & boating related development & navigational dredging

2. Individual, detached single-family dwelling unit, duplex, triplex, or quadruplex on up to 3 contiguous parcels under single ownership

3. In-water activities, not part of larger plan of development:

  • Boat ramps
  • Ski jumps
  • Ski slalom courses
  • Aids to navigation
  • Mooring buoys & fields
  • Piling supported structures not connected to uplands
  • Aquatic plant management activities
  • Fish attractors
  • Artificial reefs
  • Treasure salvage
  • Archaeological research & exploration
  • Removal of organic detrital material

Docks & Boardwalks Overview

In Hillsborough County, all proposed docks and boardwalks must be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) prior to construction. If constructed properly, the EPC believes that docks and boardwalks have a minimal impact on the wetland areas.

This goal can be accomplished during our permitting process where EPC staff have the opportunity to provide information and assistance to the applicants. Guidance is also available within the Applicant’s Handbook, available online for review.

The following are major concerns that are addressed during the application review process and recommendations to minimize potential impacts to wetlands.

Shading Impacts
  • Docks and boardwalks must be elevated their entire length within the Wetland Conservation Area. The height of the boardwalk varies due to its width and existing vegetation but must be minimally elevated three feet above the substrate.
  • The dock shall maintain a bottom elevation above the 10 year flood warning elevation or the Mean High Water elevation. These elevations and current lake level information may be obtained by contacting SWFWMD Hydrologic Data staff at (813) 228-9858 or by visiting the Water Atlas.

Construction Impacts
  • The placement or construction of docks and boardwalks shall avoid any favorable wetland vegetation and shall not cause the removal of or damage to any native non-nuisance trees within the Wetland Conservation Area or associated 30 foot Wetland Conservation Area setback.
  • During the construction of the dock or boardwalk, all efforts must be undertaken to prevent any erosion or turbid water from being discharged off site, into the wetlands and or waters of the county. EPC approved methods of erosion / turbidity control may be required during the construction process.

Watercraft Impacts
  • If a boat slip is proposed with a dock application it must be located so that a minimum of two feet of depth exists under the slip area during Ordinary Low or Mean Low Water conditions. This condition is meant to minimize the potential for any prop-dredging of the substrate during periods of lowered lake level.

Note: Other regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over the construction of docks and boardwalks include the Tampa Port Authority, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Shoreline Stabilization Alternatives Overview
There are many effective shoreline stabilization alternatives to seawalls and these alternatives have many advantages, including reduced cost and maintenance. Seawalls protect only the land immediately behind them but offer no protection to adjacent areas. 

  • Vertical faces may reflect wave energy, causing increased erosion in front or to the sides of the structure. A vertical wall effectively eliminates shallow shoreline areas thereby eliminating functions such as wildlife habitat, stormwater treatment and attenuation / absorbsion of erosion-causing wave energy.
  • Rip-rap, unconsolidated rock material, can also be placed along a shoreline or in front of a seawall to break the force of waves, protect the shore from erosion, and can offer some functionality of habitat since some vegetation is able recruit within the rock voids.
  • A naturalized shoreline is one that is designed to work with and not against the forces of nature and should incorporate existing natural features, such as a gradual slope, native vegetation, rocks, etc. You can design a naturalized shoreline to accommodate boat docking, scenic access, fishing, and other appropriate human activities. A naturalized shoreline can accommodate both proper usage and site conservation.

Note: If you choose to maintain or develop a naturalized shoreline, you may need only to maintain those features that provide positive aesthetic and natural benefits, such as wildlife habitat and stormwater management, in the design of your proposed shoreline. In doing so, you will not only increase your enjoyment of the property, but also enhance both its resale value and its value as a natural system.

Plant Selection

Careful plant selection is required when acquiring plants for shoreline stabilization. Native plants with extensive root systems, adaptable to the rise and fall of water, and not prone to freeze, are preferable. These agencies can assist you in designing shoreline vegetation projects, and local "native plant" nurseries can help you select appropriate plant species and other natural materials.

Consult The Professionals
When considering shoreline management options, property owners should consult marine contractors or design engineers, professionals who are trained to design and experienced in construction of shoreline structures.

In addition, those agencies which require permits for construction should also be consulted, regardless of the likely size or cost of the project.  You can search for your contractor at the webpage.