If you are someone who enjoys boating or fishing in the lakes and streams of your state, then you should know that waterway protection regulations are working in your favor. This is also true for swimming and even maintaining clean drinking water supplies. Maintaining water flow and levels, the protection of habitat, and keeping the streams free from obstructions all help in offering high-quality water creation.
If you’re a farmer, then you might use the waterways of your state for drainage and even irrigation. Waterway protections are something that make your drainage capacity and supply a lot more reliable while also protecting the water rights that others have.
Again, these rules work for you well if you own any waterfront property. The regulation of dam construction, the establishment of piers, and erosion control projects all add up to helping folks avoid dangerous situations and unnecessary costs, either for themselves or others also using the water.
Conflicts arise frequently between the many various users of your state’s waterways. Water regulations prove a good alternative to battling things out in court anytime someone is impacted by the water-related activities of their neighbors. Free-flowing streams and clear lakes are crucial for healthy wildlife, fish, and the human populace. Most states have public water regulations that have been in place for many decades.
The function of waterway protections and regulation programs is to maintain public interest and rights in the waterways they all share in your state, with an emphasis that no projects will wind up causing harm. It’s not just about protecting the waterways, but also your rights.
There was a time that early settlers had only deer and wolves as their closest neighbors. Back then small bridges over streams or dams in them didn’t impact other water users that much. However, when farming, milling, and lumbering grew, not only did the number of users go up, but so did the variety of water uses. Once the 20th century rolled around, that variety of water needs included swimming, boating, fishing, and even recreational hunting.
Many states have water management specialists working from service centers whose primary function is helping citizens and businesses alike understand their individual water rights. They also work to administer and even enforce the laws that protect them.
Depending on what kind of waterways your state has, the Army Corps of Engineers might mandate permits for dikes, dams, and any other structures that are in federal navigable waters, or for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters and wetlands. Likewise, the United States Coast Guard is the group that regulates any construction of causeways and bridges that go over federal navigable waters.
Local and municipal governments often use shoreland and floodplain zoning in order to control the development that happens along streams and lake shores. Local zoning officials are the ones to administer permit programs for land disturbance, buildings, and any other activities in the areas of floodplains or shoreland.
Everyone is responsible for the protection of waterways and water rights. You can do your part by following appropriate procedures and getting the permits necessary for activities happening in public waters.