Approvals & Regulatory Requirements

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 undertaken.

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 Navigable Waters 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

AEP has established a one-window approach to the submission and review of proposals and applications for approving activities in a water body or watercourse. This includes the development of a single, joint application form suitable for use in seeking approvals under both the Public Lands Act and Water Act.

Important information and changes to the way an application for Shoreline/Water Body Modification is accepted.

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:

Clients will need to acquire a GoA account and password in order to access the Electronic Disposition System and Plan Confirmation Service. For further information, see:

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.

Applicants are required to provide the following items when submitting their application through EDS:

  • First Nation Consultation (FNC) number
  • Plan confirmation number generated from Plan Confirmation Service (PCS)
  • An acceptable plan that meets the requirements. Additional information can be found at:
  • Consents from adjacent landowner
  • Any additional information in support of the proposed purpose.

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.

Regional Offices and Approvals Staff Contact

To find an AEP office with Lands approvals staff near your location, see:

Additional Information

Government of Alberta

Government of Canada


Page Information

Updated: Dec 20, 2017