Permit Application Guide

Now that you’re ready to obtain your permit for farming oysters in Alabama, let’s walk through the steps one-by-one.

Because you’ll be required to obtain a handful of permits and approvals, we recommend reading through the entire application process before getting started so that you’ll know how much time and money you’ll be investing in this endeavor. As you read through the steps, make sure your timeline and budget are accounted for in your Business Plan as well.

If you'd like to familiarize yourself with the steps in advance, take a glance at this printable checklist.

1Step One

Marine Resources Division Interview

Before you get started, you’ll need to host a visit from a Marine Resources Division (MRD) representative.

It’s not an “interview” in the traditional sense, but the representative will want to make sure your property situation is sound before you move on with obtaining permits and releases. If anything is amiss, this interview will save you plenty of time and hassle down the road.

2Step Two

Land Owner or Lease

Note: Proposing a site that exists within a natural oyster reef or a site that will impact any submerge aquatic vegetation is prohibited.

  • If you own your property, or you’ll be leasing it from the state or another property owner, you’ll need to submit a copy of the deed/lease agreement to the State Lands and Marine Resources Division.

  • If you don’t own your property and you aren’t leasing your property, you’ll need to contact the Alabama State Lands Division for further instructions.

Contact Marine Resources Division Contact Alabama State Lands Division

Competitive bidding process based on appraisal values for land. The Alabama Land Sales and Lease Act applies to state owned land valued over $20,000. Leasing of submerged lands under this provision is subject to a competitive bidding process. Through the services of an appraiser, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – State Lands Division sets the minimum bid and advertises the parcel’s availability. Applicants may submit sealed bids. The lease will be awarded to the highest bidder. Ala. Code §9-15-70.

3Step Three

Alabama Department of Public Health Approval

Is your proposed oyster farming site in waters conditionally approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)?

  • Great! You’re ready to proceed to the next step.

  • You'll need to contact the Alabama Department of Public Health and ask for more specific information.

Contact

Byron Webb

251) 433-2428

byron.webb@adph.state.al.us

P.O. Box 1703
Mobile, AL 36633

4Step Four

Submit Easement Application

Once you’ve been approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health, you’ll need to submit a Shellfish Aquaculture Easement Application to the Alabama State Lands Division.

Download Application
5Step Five

Submit Joint Permit Application

The next form you’ll need to submit is the Joint Permit Application (Form 1668), which will be submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). Copies must also be submitted to the State Lands Division and the Alabama Port Authority

Note: During the review of your application, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district archeologist will determine if your proposed oyster aquaculture site requires a cultural resources survey. If it does, this survey may cost up to $10,000.

Download Application
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Brad Crosson

(251) 690-2658

P.O. Box 2288
Mobile, AL 36628

Alabama Department of Environmental Management

Scott Brown

(251) 304-1176

3664 Dauphin Street, Suite B
Mobile, AL 36608

Alabama State Lands Division

Jeremiah Kolb

(251) 621-1909

31115 Five Rivers Boulevard
Spanish Fort, AL 36527

6Step Six

Submit Private Aids to Navigation Permit Application

After you have you Joint Permit Application approved and signed, you’ll need to submit a Private Aids to Navigation Permit Application to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). This helpful guide may be of assistance as you complete the application.

Note: There won’t be any further action required for this application, but it is very likely that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Division will pay you a visit to determine if there are any navigation hazards on your proposed site.

Download Application
7Step Seven

Submit Operation Plan

Once your U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit application has been received, you’ll need to submit an operation plan to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Note: The Alabama Department of Public Health offers a template for your operation plan that will save you some time and effort.

8Step Eight

Oyster Harvesting License

Similar to a driver’s license or a fishing license, an oyster harvesting license is a small but important step in the process.

No matter which harvesting method you choose, you’ll need to obtain your license from the Alabama Marine Resources Division and have it renewed annually. An oyster harvesting license will cost you $30 per year.

Alabama Marine Resources Division
9Step Nine

Waiting Period

Once you’ve submitted all of your applications and forms, there’ll be a bit of a waiting period. The time it takes all depends on which forms you’re waiting to hear back from. If you haven't already, now is the time to check in with your previously assigned project manager.

In the meantime, now’s the perfect opportunity to make sure your Business Plan is in good shape.

10Step Ten

Final Approval

Once you’ve obtained your U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit, your Alabama Department of Public Health permit, and your U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation permit, provide these documents to the Alabama State Lands Division (ASLD) in order to obtain your final easement and notice to proceed.

Send a copy of these documents to:

Jeremiah Kolb

(251) 621-1909 31115 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL 36527 And once that’s squared away, congratulations—you’re ready to raise some oysters!