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Boat launch ramps are usually located at marinas or public parks but are occasionally proposed for a residential waterfront property. The requirements for a ramp usually require excavating or cutting into the shoreline and placing gravel, rock or concrete to accommodate the launching of a boat

Installation of a ramp involves dredging, filling or cutting of the bank, which may result in:

  • Short term or on-going siltation, erosion and alteration of water movement patterns;
  • Disturbance/destruction of cultural resources;
  • The loss of fish habitat resulting from the placement of ramp material;
  • Removal of shoreline vegetation;
  • A public safety hazard when the launch ramp is constructed in a narrow channel or near the navigation channel.

Launch ramps are routinely approved when the application addresses the following polices.


  1. Boat launches shall be incorporated into the maximum shoreline disturbance limit of 25% of the frontage or 15 m (50 ft.), whichever is less.
  2. Launch ramps must not be constructed in known fish spawning areas or result in the destruction of emergent aquatic vegetation.
  3. Concrete and wood may be used above the upper controlled water elevation level. The in-water portion of a launch ramp shall be an aggregate mixture such as pea gravel or clean granular “B” pit run material: 60 - 70% sand, 30 - 40% gravel (1/8 in [0.2 cm] - 3 in [8 cm] diameter). A steel grid base may also be permitted.
  4. Asphalt surfaces will not be approved in or near the water due to the detrimental leaching impacts on water environments of this petroleum-based product.
  5. Launch ramps must not be located within 30 m (100 ft.) of navigation channels.
  6. Shoreline alterations to accommodate launch ramps must be minimized.
  7. If dredging is required, then the dredging policies will apply.

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