How to get a Dock Permit in the New Bern

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To build a pier or bulkhead on a single family lot you will need a CAMA general permit. You, or your contractor, will be able to obtain this permit.

The CAMA Morehead offices Serves: Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties and Onslow County north of the New River
400 Commerce Ave.
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-808-2808 / 1-888-4RCOAST (1-888-472-6278)

CAMA Is an acronym for Coastal Area Management Act. New Bern and all of Craven County waterfront property owners will need to contact this agency if they are going to build a dock, bulkhead, or disturb any land within a certain distance from the water.

CAMA was created through North Carolina General Statues 113A-100 which establishes a cooperative program of coastal area management between local and state governments. The Act, passed in 1974, has been amended several times, states that local governments shall have the initiative for planning.

In addition, CAMA establishes the Coastal Resources Commission, CRS, within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. CRS duties include approval of Coastal Habitat Protection Plans and designation of Areas of Environmental Concern. After designation of these areas the commission is responsible for issuing all permits.

CAMA Permitting System

The CAMA permit system is divided into major and minor permits, based on the size and possible impacts of a project. Major permits are necessary for activities that require other state or federal permits, for projects that cover more than 20 acres, or for construction covering more than 60,000 square feet. Applications for major permits are reviewed by 10 state and 4 federal agencies before a decision is made to grant a permit.

Minor permits used for routine projects, such as single family homes, that do not require major permits. They are reviewed, issued, and administered to Coastal Resources Commission standards by local governments under contract with the Division of Coastal Management.

Riparian Buffers

And how they affect your waterfront property

The word riparian means next to the banks of rivers, lakes, streams, or other waters. A riparian buffer is a strip of forested or vegetated land bordering a body of water and is important in protecting water quality. A buffer may be any combination of shrubs, herbs, and native grasses, but the best vegetation for stabilizing stream banks and removing nutrients is deeply rooted, woody vegetation.

Riparian buffers are managed as 2 zones. The zone closest to the water provides stream bank and shoreline protection. The outer zone slows and spreads out the flow of water coming from the land, trapping sediment and pollutants.

The Division of Water Quality's Buffer Protection Rule is a part of the state's nutrient reduction strategy for the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins. The rule requires protection of existing vegetation in the first 50 feet of riparian area within these basins.

The first 30 feet from the water must be essentially undisturbed. The next 20 feet should be vegetated, however certain uses are allowed.

For more information on the Neuse River Buffer Rules please contact the Division of Water Quality staff. The rules can be viewed or downloaded from the DWQ website, click link below

Neuse River Rules

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