How do I locate the DNREC Building Line on my property?
The Division of Watershed Stewardship's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section has a series of maps that show the location of the Building Line. Copies of these maps are available upon request or online. The line is marked with coordinates in the State Plane Coordinate System. A surveyor can use these coordinates to locate the line on your property. For more information call 302-739-9921.
Do I need approval if I'm just repairing storm damage?
Yes, approval is needed prior to repairing storm damage. Some structures have an adverse effect on the beach and dune, and are not allowed under the current regulations. In order to prevent additional damage to the beach and dune or to adjacent properties, some modifications may be required. The Division of Watershed Stewardship's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section will work with property owners to find ways of making necessary repairs. For more information call 302-739-9921.
I need to remove some sand from my lot at the beach. What steps do I need to take to ensure I am doing this correctly?
Contact the Division of Watershed Stewardship's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section at 302-739-9921. A representative will meet with you on-site and determine if the sand can be removed, if it is suitable beach material and where it can be relocated.
What types of vegetation are suitable for the dunes and the beach area? Where can I find such vegetation?
Cape American Beach Grass (Ammophila breviligulata) is the best vegetation to plant on the dunes. It helps build the dunes by capturing wind-blown sand and prevents wind erosion of the dunes. There are many varieties of vegetation available for planting in back dune areas. It is recommend that when planting in the beach area that you stick to plants that are native to Delaware’s beaches. These plants can be obtained through local nurseries and garden shops.
What is the purpose of the Easement Agreement with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) on waterfront property along the Delaware Bay? Can I build within this easement? How can I find out where this easement is located?
The easements on waterfront property obtained by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are for performing maintenance, protection and preservation work on the property. Construction is prohibited in the easement area. These recorded easements are available through the recorder of Deeds. Copies are available through the Division of Watershed Stewardship's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section . For more information call 302-739-9921.
When looking into purchasing property at the beach, what questions should one ask of the realtor?
Are approvals required for construction on this lot? From what agencies are approvals required? What flood zone is this lot in? What are my restrictions in the particular flood zones? Does the DNREC Building Line bisect this lot? What restrictions am I held to as a result of the location of the Building Line? Is there an Easement on this lot? Contact the Division of Watershed Stewardship's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section - 302-739-9921 - for detailed information before finalizing your purchase
Do I need approval from DNREC before raising a dwelling onto pilings or columns on a lot located in the beach area?
Yes, approvals are required before raising a structure from DNREC and the County. Relocation of the dwelling may be required to comply with current setback requirements.
I'm tearing down a house on the beach. Do I need permits to tear down the house?
Permits are not required for removal of structures. However, permits are required prior to removal of sand and prior to construction of a new house or other structure. Prior to tearing down the existing house you should contact our office at 302-739-9921 to find out what requirements you must meet in order to construct a new house.
How do I find out if I am in a floodplain?
The links below provide information on flooding and flood-related topics:
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency homepage)