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Permits & Authorizations


NEW - Customers can now submit certain applications online

Instructions for removal-fill applications.

Instructions for waterway authorization applications.


The Department of State Lands issues two types of permits and authorizations:

  • Removal-fill permits for removal or fill activity in waterways and wetlands.
  • Proprietary waterway authorizations for use of state-owned waterways.

Removing or filling materials in state-owned waterways requires both a removal-fill permit and a use authorization.

Removal-fill permit information is below. For information on obtaining a waterway authorization for uses like docks, piers, floating homes, or marinas, go to the Use of State-Owned Waterways page.

Removal-Fill Permits

Oregon's Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.795-990) requires people who plan to remove or fill material in wetlands or waterways to obtain a removal-fill permit from the Department of State Lands. The law applies to all landowners, whether private individuals or public agencies.

The purpose of the law, enacted in 1967, is to ensure protection and the best use of Oregon’s water resources for home, commercial, wildlife habitat, public navigation, fishing and recreational uses.

In most cases, a permit is required if an activity will involve filling or removing 50 cubic yards or more of material in a wetland or waterway. For activities in state-designated Essential Salmonid Habitat, State Scenic Waterways and compensatory mitigation sites, a permit is required for any amount of removal or fill. 

Resources for Permit Applicants 

Removal-Fill Brochure

Planning work in wetlands or waterways? This brochure provides an overview of when a removal-fill permit is required, first steps to take, and types of removal-fill permits. 

 View the Removal-Fill Brochure (PDF).

Removal-Fill Guide

DSL's Removal-Fill Guide is an essential resource when applying for permits to work in wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes, and other waters of the state. The guide helps applicants understand the permitting process, timelines, and other important topics related to DSL's administration of Oregon's Removal-Fill Law. 

View the Removal-Fill Guide (PDF)

Tips for Using the Removal-Fill Guide

  • Use “bookmarks” in Adobe Reader to navigate the guide more easily.
  • Be sure you're using the current guide. Guide updates are made on a periodic basis. If you print or save the guide to your own computer, regularly check this webpage for newer versions.

More Removal-Fill Permit Resources