Aquatic Land Leasing and Other Uses
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Aquatic Land Leasing and Other Uses 
Center for wooden boats 

Leasing state-owned aquatic lands

Projects taking place on or over state-owned aquatic lands require an authorization from DNR--as well as necessary permits from other agencies such as  Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the U.S. Guard and local jurisdictions, depending on the type of use and the location. 

You may obtain permits and a DNR use authorization through a streamlined application process called the Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) and Attachment E.” 


A DNR authorization is a legal contract, different from regulatory permits obtained from other agencies. DNR contracts outline the terms and conditions of the use and convey certain property rights to the user in exchange for rent.

To avoid delays in receiving an authorization, we recommend that project proponents contact staff from DNR's Aquatic Resources Program early in the design process, before applying for permits for the following reasons:

  • To ensure the land is available.
  • To determine if the proposed use is appropriate.
  • To avoid or minimize impacts to aquatic resources.

After we consult with you, DNR will work closely with permitting agencies to communicate our expectations. 

Download the “Leasing State-owned Aquatic Lands” fact sheet for more information.

Installing a recreational mooring buoy or boatlift on state-owned aquatic lands? Download our guidelines for preparing the JARPA.

Have questions? Want to find out if your project will be on state-owned aquatic lands?
View the DNR Aquatics Land Manager Coverage map to find your county's aquatic land manager contact or find a phone number in the upper right of this page under "CONTACTS."

If you already lease aquatic lands with dNR
When it is time to renew your lease, DNR may propose new practices to modernize your Plan of Operations. Work with your Aquatic Land Manager early to avoid wasted time and/or expenses. 
 
View applications received by DNR aquatic districts in the last 12 months:

More information on using state-owned aquatic lands:

DNR -- Steward of State-owned Aquatic Lands
DNR is steward of 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands. On behalf of the people of Washington, we manage the resources attached to or embedded in aquatic lands (ex. seaweed, shellfish, sand, minerals and oil), as well as the man-made structures in the water and air space above these lands.

Through the state constitution and legislature, DNR must ensure a balance of benefits for the citizens of Washington from the use of aquatic lands. These benefits include:

  • Commerce and navigation
  • Public use and access
  • Use of renewable resources
  • Protection of the environment (the health of these aquatic lands)
  • Generate an economic return to citizens (when appropriate)


 


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