NR 328.39   Enforcement.
Ch. NR 328 Note Note: Sections NR 328.01 to 328.09 were created as emergency rules effective April 19, 2004. Sections NR 328.01 to 328.09 were repealed and recreated by emergency rule effective August 24, 2004.
subch. I of ch. NR 328 Subchapter I — Shore Erosion Control Structures on Inland Lakes and Impoundments
NR 328.01 NR 328.01Purpose.
NR 328.01(1) (1) The purpose of this subchapter is to establish reasonable procedures and limitations for exempt activities, general permits and individual permits for placement of shore erosion control structures in inland lakes and impoundments as regulated under s. 30.12, Stats., in order to protect the public rights and interest in the navigable, public waters of the state as defined in s. 30.10, Stats.
NR 328.01(2) (2) The standards for exemptions, general permits and individual permits in this chapter balance the reasonable right of riparians to control shore erosion under Wisconsin law with the public rights and interests in navigable waters. (Doemel v. Jantz, 180 Wis. 225, 193 N.W., 393 (1923)). The public interest in navigable waters includes navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and natural scenic beauty.
NR 328.01(3) (3) Natural shoreline features provide natural erosion control in various ways. Nearshore lakebeds and beach slopes change and shoals form, erosion uncovers or sorts out sand, gravel, cobbles, boulders and bedrock from beneath glacial till and other fine soils. These more energy resistant materials are formed into wave-breaking, energy-absorbing barriers that eliminate, or slow, further erosion. Natural vegetation provides erosion control in several ways. Plants form a network of roots that hold soil particles together and stabilize the bank. Exposed stalks, stems, branches, foliage and fallen trees dampen waves, reduce local flow velocities, and dissipate energy against the plant rather than eroding the soil. Vegetation also acts as a buffer to trap suspended sediment and induce its deposition.
NR 328.01(4) (4) Shoreline erosion control structures allowed under this rule are setting-dependent and based on erosive energy at a site. Erosive energy is a reflection of habitat features at a site. Low-energy settings are found to contain fine-size nearshore sediments, stable natural vegetation, and absent or natural levels of erosion. In low-energy and some moderate energy sites vegetation can effectively meet erosion control needs without infringement on the public interest. Shore protection from vegetation alone may be inadequate in some low- to moderate-energy settings and many high-energy settings; therefore, methods that rely on technical structures or a combination of vegetation with technical structures, i.e., large substrates, may be necessary. Riprap, vegetated riprap and integrated toe protection are preferred structural shore protection methods in high-energy settings with erosion problems.
NR 328.01(5) (5) Standards for exemptions are intended to provide clear and consistent requirements so that individuals can determine whether they qualify, and easily design projects to meet the requirements. To achieve this, exemption standards establish reasonable installation practices to minimize environmental impacts, establish reasonable construction and design requirements consistent with the purpose of the activity, and establish reasonable limitations on location.
NR 328.01(6) (6) Standards for general permits are intended to ensure that cumulative adverse environmental impact of authorized activities is insignificant and that issuance of the general permit will not injure public rights or interests, cause environmental pollution as defined in s. 299.01 (4), Stats., or result in material injury to the rights of any riparian owner. To achieve this, general permit standards establish: construction and design requirements consistent with the purpose of the activity; location requirements that ensure that the activity will not have an adverse impact on fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and natural scenic beauty, or materially interfere with navigation or have an adverse impact on the riparian property rights of adjacent riparian owners.
NR 328.01(7) (7) Standards and factors for individual permits are intended to provide direction for detailed evaluation of permit applications, and to balance case-by-case review with consistent decision-making. Individual permits may only be granted where the department determines that the structure will not materially obstruct navigation, will not be detrimental to the public interest, and will not materially reduce the flood flow capacity of a stream.
NR 328.01 History History: CR 02-099: cr. Register April 2005 No. 592, eff. 5-1-05.
NR 328.02 NR 328.02Applicability.
NR 328.02(1) (1) Except as provided in s. 30.2023, Stats., this subchapter applies to construction, placement and maintenance of shore erosion control structures regulated under s. 30.12 (1), (1g) (a), (i), (j) and (k), (2m), (3) (a) 3c., 3g., 3r. and 13. and (3m), Stats. Any person that intends to construct, place or maintain a shore erosion control structure in any inland lake or impoundment shall comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter and any permit issued under this chapter.
NR 328.02 Note Note: This subchapter does not apply to the Great Lakes or outlying waters as defined in s. 29.001(63), Stats.
NR 328.02 Note Note: Shore erosion control structures for lakes and impoundments in the areas described in s. 30.203, Stats., (Seawalls; Wolf River and Fox River basins) that do not qualify for an exemption are regulated under this chapter.
NR 328.02(2) (2) Shore erosion control measures such as grading to establish a stable slope, revegetation or other bioengineering methods that do not involve the placement of structures on the bed of a waterway are not regulated under s. 30.12, Stats., or this subchapter.
NR 328.02 Note Note: A permit is required under s. 30.19, Stats., and ch. NR 341 if land disturbance or excavation exceeds 10,000 square feet on the bank of the navigable waterway.
NR 328.02 History History: CR 02-099: cr. Register April 2005 No. 592, eff. 5-1-05.
NR 328.03 NR 328.03Definitions. In this subchapter:
NR 328.03(1) (1) “Area of special natural resource interest" has the meaning in s. 30.01 (1am), Stats., and as identified by the department in s. NR 1.05.
NR 328.03 Note Note: “Area of special natural resource interest" means any of the following:
NR 328.03 Note(a) A state natural area designated or dedicated under ss. 23.27 to 23.29, Stats.
NR 328.03 Note(b) A surface water identified as a trout stream by the department under s. NR 1.02 (7).
NR 328.03 Note (bm) A surface water identified as an outstanding or exceptional resource water under s. 281.15, Stats.
NR 328.03 Note (c) An area that possesses significant scientific value, as identified by the department in s. NR 1.05.
NR 328.03 Note Information and lists can be obtained by contacting the department, or found on the department's website at, under the topic “Waterway and Wetland Permits".
NR 328.03(2) (2) “Biological shore erosion control structure" means a structure that relies solely on biological materials.
NR 328.03(3) (3) “Biological materials" means living or organic materials that are biodegradable such as native grasses, sedges, forbs, shrubs and trees; live stakes and posts; non-treated wood; jute netting; fiber rolls and mats; logs; and branches.
NR 328.03 Note Note: Temporary breakwaters, with non-biodegradable elements, are considered a permissible element during the plant establishment phase of a biological erosion control project.
NR 328.03(4) (4) “Commercial marina" has the meaning in ch. NR 326.
NR 328.03(5) (5) “Department" means the department of natural resources.
NR 328.03(6) (6) “Erosion intensity" or “EI" means the degree of erosion as estimated under s. NR 328.08 (2).
NR 328.03(7) (7) “Grading" means the physical disturbance of the bank by the addition, removal or redistribution of soil.
NR 328.03(8) (8) “Hard armoring" means a shore erosion control structure that relies solely on inert materials, and includes but is not limited to riprap and seawalls.
NR 328.03(9) (9) “High energy site" means a site where the storm-wave height calculated under s. NR 328.08 (1) is greater than or equal to 2.3 feet, or where the erosion intensity score calculated under s. NR 328.08 (2) has a score of greater than 67.
NR 328.03(10) (10) “Inert materials" means those materials that slowly degrade, such as chemically treated wood, stone, stainless and galvanized steel, plastics and synthetic polymers.
NR 328.03(11) (11) “Integrated toe protection" means a structure combining 2 separate treatments: toe protection at the base of the bank and vegetation establishment on the remaining upper portion of the bank above the ordinary high water mark.
NR 328.03 Note Note: The maximum toe protection structure elevation is equal to the ordinary high water mark plus one-half of the storm-wave height.
NR 328.03 Note Note: The toe protection relies on materials such as stone, armor units, fiber rolls or wattles to protect the base of the bank. Above the toe protection, the remainder of the bank is revegetated by installing a shoreland buffer or with brush layering, brush mattresses, fiber rolls, live stakes, vegetated geogrid, rolled erosion control products or wattles. Plant materials may also be incorporated as part of the shore protection design below the ordinary high water mark as well.
NR 328.03(12) (12) “Low energy site" means a site where the storm-wave height calculated under s. NR 328.08 (1) is less than 1.0 foot, or where the erosion intensity score calculated under s. NR 328.08 (2) has a score of 47 or less.
NR 328.03(13) (13) “Municipal marina" has the meaning in ch. NR 326.
NR 328.03(14) (14) “Maximum toe elevation" means the elevation of the bank toe mark plus the storm-wave height estimated under s. NR 328.08 (1).
NR 328.03(15) (15) “Moderate energy site" means a site where the storm-wave height calculated under s. NR 328.08 (1) is greater than or equal to 1.0 foot but less than 2.3 feet, or where the erosion intensity score calculated under s. NR 328.08 (2) has a score of 48 to 67.
NR 328.03 Note Note: Common law doctrine of avulsion secures to waterfront property owners the ability to reclaim land suddenly lost to erosion (AG ex rel Becker v. Bay Boom Wild River and Fur Company, 172 Wis. 363 1920.)
NR 328.03(16) (16) “Offshore" means located a minimum of 10 horizontal feet waterward from the ordinary high water mark.
NR 328.03(17) (17) “Ordinary high water mark" means the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognizable characteristic.
NR 328.03(18) (18) “Navigable waterway" means any body of water with a defined bed and bank, which is navigable under the laws of the state. In Wisconsin, a navigable body of water is capable of floating the lightest boat or skiff used for recreation or any other purpose on a regularly recurring basis.
NR 328.03 Note Note: This incorporates the definition at s. 30.01(4m), Stats., and current case law, which requires a watercourse to have a bed and banks, Hoyt v. City of Hudson, 27 Wis. 656 (1871), and requires a navigable waterway to float on a regularly recurring basis the lightest boat or skiff, DeGayner & Co., Inc. v. DNR, 70 Wis. 2d 936 (1975); Village of Menomonee Falls v. DNR, 140 Wis. 2d 579 (Ct. App. 1987).
NR 328.03(19) (19) “Permanent breakwater" means a structure constructed of stone, rock, concrete or other non-degradable materials and located offshore for the purpose of diminishing the force of the waves and protecting the shoreline.
NR 328.03 Note Note: These structures can be designed to provide fish and wildlife habitat in addition to erosion control by incorporating vegetation on the breakwater and in the nearshore zone. Examples of permanent breakwaters include stone dikes, barrier islands, stone islands and submerged offshore shoals.
NR 328.03(20) (20) “Replacement" means a degree of structural changes to the shore erosion control structure by which some or all of the structure is being removed and recreated.
NR 328.03 Note Note: For seawalls, any replacement of a portion of the seawall down to or at the footing of the structure is considered replacement. For riprap, replacement of filter fabric or replacement of the base substrate is considered replacement.
NR 328.03(21) (21) “Riparian" means an owner of land abutting a navigable waterway.
NR 328.03(22) (22) “Riprap" means a layer or layers of rock, including filter material, placed on the bed and bank of a navigable waterway to prevent erosion, scour or sloughing of the existing bank.
NR 328.03(23) (23) “Seawall" means an upright structure that is steeper than 1.5 feet vertical to one foot horizontal and that is installed parallel to the shore to prevent the sliding or slumping of the land and to protect the adjacent upland from wave action.
NR 328.03 Note Note: Seawalls are commonly constructed of timber, rock (including gabions), concrete, steel or aluminum sheet piling, and may incorporate biological components.
NR 328.03(24) (24) “Shore erosion control structure" means a structure with defined shape, size, form and utility constructed and maintained for the purpose of protecting a shoreline from erosion. Shore erosion control structures include vegetated armoring and hard armoring.
NR 328.03(25) (25) “Storm-wave height" means the wave height estimated under s. NR 328.08 (1).
NR 328.03(26) (26) “Temporary breakwater" means an offshore structure consisting of biological components, such as jute, fiber rolls, willow stakes, branchbox breakwater or a structure consisting of inert components that will be removed after a set period of time.
NR 328.03 Note Note: Temporary breakwaters are placed for the purpose of providing an area of quiescent water, when new erosion protection designs and shoreland plant installations are becoming established. Biological temporary breakwater designs degrade naturally and examples include branchbox breakwaters and fiber rolls.
NR 328.03(27) (27) “Toe" means the most waterward edge of a shore erosion control structure.
NR 328.03(28) (28) “Vegetated armoring" means a shore erosion control structure that combines biological and inert materials, and includes 3 types: integrated toe protection, vegetated-riprap and vegetated-geogrids.
NR 328.03(29) (29) “Wave height" means the vertical distance between the wave crest and wave trough.
NR 328.03(30) (30) “Wetland" means an area where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which has soils indicative of wet conditions.
NR 328.03 History History: CR 02-099: cr. Register April 2005 No. 592, eff. 5-1-05; CR 09-123: am. (9) and (15) Register July 2010 No. 655, eff. 8-1-10.
NR 328.04 NR 328.04Exemptions.
NR 328.04(1) (1)Procedures. Exemptions shall be processed according to the procedures in ch. NR 310.
NR 328.04(2) (2)Applicable activities. A biological shore erosion control structure that meets all the standards in subs. (3) and (4) shall be exempt under s. 30.12 (1g) (k), Stats. Riprap repair that meets all the standards in subs. (3) and (5) shall be exempt under s. 30.12 (1g) (j), Stats. Riprap replacement that meets all the standards in subs. (3) and (6) shall be exempt under s. 30.12 (1g) (i), Stats.
NR 328.04 Note Note: Eligibility for an exemption or general permit does not automatically result in a federal permit or state water quality certification for fill in wetlands. Some projects involving minimal wetland fill may be eligible for authorization under a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers general permit which has already been granted state water quality certification or a general permit under s. 281.36 (3g) (b), Stats. (under development). All other projects affecting wetlands will require individual water quality certification including public notice as required by s. 401, Federal Clean Water Act, and s. 281.36 (3b) (b), Stats. and carried out under chs. NR 103 and 299. For further instructions, see the department's website at under the topic “Waterway and Wetland Permits."
NR 328.04(3) (3)General standards.
NR 328.04(3)(a)(a) The structure may not be located in an area of special natural resource interest.
NR 328.04(3)(b) (b) The structure may be placed and maintained only by a riparian.
NR 328.04(3)(c) (c) The project will not result in removal of greater than 20% of the aerial coverage of natural bank vegetation, emergent vegetation or floating vegetation, not including the area covered by the footprint of the riprap, or any access corridors necessary for the placement of the riprap.
NR 328.04(3)(d) (d) Any grading, excavation and land disturbance shall be confined to the minimum area necessary for the construction and may not exceed 10,000 square feet.
NR 328.04(3)(e) (e) Erosion control measures shall meet or exceed the technical standards for erosion control approved by the department under subch. V of ch. NR 151. Any area where topsoil is exposed during construction shall be immediately seeded and mulched or riprapped to stabilize disturbed areas and prevent soils from being eroded and washed into the waterway.
NR 328.04 Note Note: These standards can be found at the following website:
NR 328.04(3)(f) (f) Unless part of a permanent stormwater management system, all temporary erosion and sediment control practices shall be removed upon final site stabilization. Areas disturbed during construction or installation shall be restored.
NR 328.04(3)(g) (g) All equipment used for the project shall be designed and properly sized to minimize the amount of sediment that can escape into the water.
NR 328.04(3)(h) (h) No waterward extension of the property is permitted other than what is reasonably necessary to conduct the project and protect the existing bank. No soil or similar fill material may be placed in a wetland or below the ordinary high water mark of any navigable waterway.
NR 328.04(3)(i) (i) Dredging under s. 30.20 (1g) (b) 1., Stats., is not allowed for the placement or maintenance of any shore erosion control structure under this section.
NR 328.04(3)(j) (j) To stop the spread of invasive species and viruses from one navigable waterway to another navigable waterway, all equipment or portions of equipment used for constructing, operating, or maintaining the project, including tracked vehicles, barges, boats, silt or turbidity curtains, hoses, sheet piles, and pumps, shall be decontaminated for invasive species and viruses before and after use or prior to use within another navigable waterway. Decontamination activities shall be performed by taking actions specified in subd. 1. to 3. or 8. Decontamination shall include either subd. 4., 5., 6., 7., or 8. for any equipment, or portions of equipment, that is used in non-frozen navigable waters when the air temperature is above 19 degrees Fahrenheit at the time the decontamination procedures take place.
NR 328.04(3)(j)1. 1. Inspect all equipment used for constructing, operating, or maintaining the project and remove all plants and animals, and other mud, debris, etc.
NR 328.04(3)(j)2. 2. Drain all water from equipment used in navigable waters.
NR 328.04 Note Note: This does not apply to water in closed engine cooling systems or water tanks, or containers of potable drinking water or other beverages meant for human consumption. If a tanker truck discharges water collected from navigable waters in upland areas, the tank does not require disinfection.
NR 328.04(3)(j)3. 3. Dispose of plants and animals in the trash. An operator may not transfer plants or animals or water from one navigable waterway to another.
NR 328.04(3)(j)4. 4. Wash equipment at a temperature of not less than 212 degrees Fahrenheit water (steam clean).
NR 328.04(3)(j)5. 5. Wash equipment with soap and water or high pressure water of not less than 2000 pounds per square inch.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.