Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all lands that are currently and formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway.  Barnegat Bay, a naturally tidal body of water, is an example of tidelands.  However, New Creek, a tiny tidal stream that flowed through the city of Newark a century ago but has since been filled in and built over, is also an example of tidelands.  New Jersey contains an extensive network of tidelands, both big and small.

The State of New Jersey claims ownership of these tidelands and holds them in trust for the people of the state.  All tidelands are overseen by the Tidelands Resource Council, a board of twelve Governor-appointed volunteers, along with DEP staff at the Bureau of Tidelands Management.

Since tidelands are public lands, you must obtain written permission from the state and pay a fee in order to use these lands.  Common uses of tidelands include docks, mooring piles, bulkheads and other fill materials.  Some tidelands may be sold in the form of a Riparian Grant while others may only be rented through either a Tidelands License or Lease.

All money collected from the sale and rental of tidelands is deposited into a trust fund for state education and is also used as a guaranty against the bonds that are sold by local school boards.

Source: “State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Land Use Regulation”