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On-Line Regulatory Permitting Guide


Restoration project proponents are typically required to obtain environmental regulatory permits when the project they are working on will affect a stream, river, lake, or tidal waters; riparian habitat and/or wetlands adjacent to streams and rivers; other habitat that can be used by sensitive species; and/or those species themselves.

This permit guide was designed to assist project proponents determine which permits they may need when doing certain types of work. For example, what permits would you need if you were proposing to remove invasive plants (weeds) or conduct bank stabilization? This permit guide will assist you in determining which permits you will need for the specific activities you propose to conduct.

This permit guide is intended to be used by members of the Sacramento River Watershed Program (resource conservation districts, watershed councils, watershed groups, watershed alliances, coordinated resource management plan organizations, etc.) and it is oriented to river and floodplain restoration projects. However, the guide can also be used by other resource management organizations within the Sacramento River watershed area.


This permit guide covers activities within, and is limited to, the Sacramento River watershed area. For a definition and map of the Sacramento River watershed boundaries, click here to go to the Sacramento River Watershed Program’s homepage.

This permit guide discusses regulatory permits as they apply to the Sacramento River watershed area only. While certain permits are issued by federal agencies, and the general process for applying for those permits is uniform throughout the United States, each regional district of these federal regulatory agencies also enforces regional conditions and permit requirements with some individual variations. The same can be said of the regional districts of state regulatory agencies regarding their issuance of statewide permit programs.

This permit guide only covers federal and state regulatory permits. Local permits (e.g., permits from local flood districts, reclamation districts, local and municipal governments, etc.) are not covered in this permit guide due to the number of local agencies and the breadth of permits required by those agencies within the Sacramento River watershed area. This permit guide should not be read as an all-inclusive website for all regulatory requirements.

This permit guide only covers activities within and near stream and river channels, and their associated floodplains and riparian areas within the Sacramento River watershed.

How to Use This Permitting Guide

To use this permit guide, click on the button for the page you wish to review next. The guide can be searched by three main categories: Project Action Type, Permit Type, and Site Type. You may want to print the Permitting_Guide_Tracking_Form.pdf to use for taking notes and keeping track of the pages you visit.

Project Action Type The Project Action Type page is for project proponents who know the type of work they would like to conduct. This page lists common project actions undertaken by resource management groups that would take place within the bed, bank, channel or floodways of streams, rivers and other regulated wetlands within the watershed. From this page, project proponents can select the project actions they intend to conduct, which will lead them to another page that describes the types of regulatory permits typically associated with the project actions.
Permit Type The Permit Type page is for project proponents who have an idea of the type of permit they need, but are unsure of the process and steps required to apply for the permit. From this page, select a permit type and details of that permit type will appear.
Site Type The Site Type page is for project proponents who know generally where they would like to work, but do not know what type of project actions they will conduct or what permits to acquire. From this page, select the area you wish to work within. Scroll through the menu tab to see which permits would apply to the area you chose. Click on the highlighted permit type in the menu box to go to the page with a detailed description of the permit.

EDAW | AECOM — This on-line regulatory permitting guide was developed by EDAW.