Recently noticed on the DFO website was the following notification. What this seems to mean is that if you're not doing anything that's going to harm fish habitat and you're doing it on your own property, above the 348.7m high water mark, you now no longer need DFO approval for your project. Of course this doesn't mean that you don't need other approvals. Our man on the ground, Dave Cunliffe states:
This suggests that "DFO will no longer be involved in approving any of the listed activities and it will all be professional self-reliance. With respect to waterfront retaining walls, the CSRD will still require a riparian DP but as long as it is above 348.7 and on the titled boundary there is also no provincial approval. "
So at a minumu you'll need
Development Permit from the CSRD
And within that development permit you'll likely require a positive report from a QEP (Qualified Environmental Professional) and you'll need to be sure that the QEP is an R.P.Bio (Registered Professional Biologist).. I know, acronyms acronyms.
Anyway this is good news that things are moving in a more reasonable direction.
November 18, 2014 – Update to guidance information
Updated content was released on the DFO website primarily to refine and improve the guidance and criteria for projects requiring a DFO review and those that do not.
Specific changes include:
- Added additional detail to the types of waterbodies that do not require a DFO review
- Made changes to the criteria for project activities that do not require a DFO review:
- Boat Houses
- Boat Launches/Ramps
- Aquatic Vegetation Removal
- Dredging (in the “Cottage, Boating and Recreation” category)
- Shoreline/Bank Stabilization
- Water Intakes (in the “Cottage, Boating and Recreation” category)
- Groynes, Piers and Wharves (integrated with Breakwaters)
- Aquaculture Operations
- Dredging (in the “Harbours and Marine Commercial Activities” category)
- Habitat Restoration
- Beaver Dam Removal
- Added criteria for the following types of activities. If your project includes the specified criteria, it does not require a review by DFO.
- Moorings: added under the category “Cottage, Boating and Recreation”.
- Bank Stabilization: added under the broader category “Drainage, Flooding and Erosion Control, Stormwater and Wastewater Management”.
- Water Intakes – Municipal and Industrial: added to the “Other Activities” category.
- Removed the following types of activities:
- Open Water Disposal: this has been combined with the “Dredging” activity.
- Dewatering/Pumping: associated impacts can be avoided by following the measures to avoid harm and no additional self-assessment criteria are needed.
- Blasting/Explosives: associated impacts can be avoided by following the measures to avoid harm and no additional self-assessment criteria are needed.
- Water Extraction: these projects should be submitted to DFO for review.
- Avoid, mitigate or offset harm to fish and fish habitat
- A page was added to clarify the process for avoiding, mitigating or offsetting harm and where to find relevant guidance.