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Lakes and Ponds Main

Welcome to the
Lakes & Ponds Management and Protection Program

The Lakes & Ponds Management and Protection Program works to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore the health of Vermont lakes and the public uses that healthy lake ecosystems provide through outreach and education, assessment and monitoring, and regulatory programs. Specific program areas and resources include:


The Shoreland Protection Act celebrates a year of protecting Vermont's shorelands

Peacham Pond

Protected vegetative cover along Peacham Pond shoreland, associated

with permitted new development under the Shoreland Protection Act

It’s been 1-year since the implementation of the Vermont Shoreland Protection Act!  Upon reaching this important milestone that helps protect water quality and habitat along Vermont lakeshores, the Lakes & Ponds Management and Protection Program has the following update on how the implementation of this new regulation has been going.

To date we have received a total of 157 applications, which include shoreland permit applications, shoreland registrations, and include requests for determinations by use of the Shoreland Permit Jurisdictional Determination request form.   Of those applications, 62 permits, 40 registrations, and 10 determinations were issued.  An additional 13 applications were withdrawn due to no need for permit/registration or otherwise not permittable.  The remaining 32 applications are in process. 

Application Turnaround Time

Registration applications have been typically processed/issued within 2 weeks of submittal, and typically take effect within 15 days of submittal.

Permit applications have been typically processed/issued within 40 days of receipt, which includes the required 30 day public notice.


Shoreland permitting staff have and will continue to provide outreach and training opportunities for the public and other interested groups, including for real estate professionals, foresters, lake shoreland property owners, and municipalities.  In addition to the outreach efforts conducted in 2014, permitting staff are actively engaged in outreach and training events across the state during the summer of 2015, including at various state parks along southern and northern Lake Champlain, the Northeast Kingdom, and southern Vermont.  A complete list of these events is available on the shoreland permitting web page.  In addition, shoreland permitting staff have been responsive to development and clearing activities that may be proceeding on lake shorelands without necessary permits or in conflict with the new Lake Shoreland Vegetation Protection Standards.

Municipal Delegation

The Shoreland Protection Act allows the Agency of Natural Resources to delegate this new authority to municipalities that adopt and implement functionally equivalent shoreland zoning/bylaws.  In delegated municipalities, lakeshore property owners would not need to obtain shoreland permits/registrations from the state, but could simply obtain their local municipal permit in place of any additional shoreland permits.  It should however be noted that other state permits may still be applicable to a project regardless of delegation.  To date, three municipalities have been delegated this authority; Greensboro, Colchester, and Burlington.  The municipality of Elmore is also in process of requesting delegation.


A link to shoreland permitting is available here:


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VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


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