Given the sensitive nature of provincial shorelands and the associated nearshore (littoral and riparian) areas, most activities
that can impact shorelands or have a potential effect on the aquatic environment will require an approval before work is
To work in and around a water body will generally require at least two provincial approvals (Public Lands Act, Water Act), and possibly approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (federal Fisheries Act or Navigation Protection Act).
To reference legislation related to shorelands work approvals, visit the Alberta Queen’s Printer website at:
Also visit the Department of Justice Canada website at:
Submission and Approval Process
Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has established a one-window approach under both the Public Lands Act and Water Act for the submission and review of proposals and applications for approving activities in a water body or watercourse.
Important information and changes to the way an application for Shoreline/Water Body Modification is accepted.
Electronic Disposition System
The AEP application form "LS 102 Application for Shore Line/Water Body Modification" previously used and submitted to the department is no longer being accepted. Applications are now accepted through the Electronic Disposition System (EDS). For further information regarding the EDS submission process please visit:
Plan Confirmation Service
The Plan Confirmation Service (PCS) is a secure site available to clients involved in the business of encrypting plans for applications or amendments of surface dispositions on Public Land. Plan packages that are successfully validated by the system are processed and packaged in a zip file. The submitter can then download the zip file which contains a PDF version of the plan, an encrypted package along with the confirmation number. All surface disposition plans identified for digital submission must be submitted to the PCS website.
Accessing EDS and PCS
Clients will need to acquire a Government of Alberta (GoA) account and password in order to access EDS and the Plan Confirmation Service (PCS). For further information, see:
Applicants are required to provide the following items when submitting their application through EDS, including any additional information in support of the proposed purpose:
- An acceptable plan that meets the requirements; additional information can be found at:
- Consents from adjacent landowner
- First Nation Consultation (FNC) number
- Plan confirmation number generated from Plan Confirmation Service (PCS)
Once the application has been successfully submitted through EDS, the application undergoes two separate reviews: Completeness and Merit. A Completeness Review is done to ensure the application is acceptable for a referral to take place. If the application is unacceptable during the completeness review, the application will be rejected and the applicant will need to reapply to the department.
A Merit Review is done to determine if the application can be approved or refused. Coordinated approvals will be issued pending an approval is provided under both the Public Lands Act and Water Act. A list of what activities requires an approval under these acts is provided above under the section Activities Requiring Approvals.
Prohibited Activities and Unauthorized Uses
Failure to obtain an approval under the Act to undertake an activity or to occupy public land may be considered an unauthorized
use of public land. Section 54 of the Public Lands Act prohibits any unauthorized activity that may result in the injury
to bed and shores. Such activities are considered offences under the Act.
Penalty provisions for such unauthorized uses and for offences have been established under the Act. A person may be liable
to a fine up to $5000 for each day or part of day on which the offence occurs or continues.
To find an AEP office with Lands approvals staff near your location, see:
Government of Alberta
Government of Canada
Updated: Apr 19, 2018