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General Permit for Management of Invasive Species, GP-0-15-005 and GP-0-21-004

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued General Permit GP-0-15-005 - Management of Invasive Species - in 2016. DEC has re-issued that General Permit for an additional five years under GP-0-21-004 (PDF).

The General Permit allows the removal of invasive species using hand harvesting techniques, suction harvesting techniques, and/or benthic barriers

  • within Freshwater Wetlands or their 100 foot wide adjacent areas, and/or
  • within the bed or banks of Protected Streams, and/or
  • within Navigable Waters, and/or
  • in a designated Wild, Scenic and Recreational River area


Hand harvesting of aquatic plants is not regulated under Article 15-0505 (implemented by 6 NYCRR Part 608.5) as an excavation in navigable waters.

In virtually all cases, hand harvesting of plants is not regulated under ECL Article15-0501 (implemented by 6 NYCRR Part 608.2) as a stream disturbance.

Department regional staff will determine if the hand harvesting of invasive aquatic and non-aquatic plants requires an Article 15/Part 608 permit. If a permit is required and the project is within the scope of this general permit, the general permit can be the mechanism for authorizing the activity.

Read General Permit GP-0-21-004 (PDF) to see if your project is covered. If your project is included in the list of authorized activities, read the Instructions for completing the Joint Application Form (PDF) and fill out the Joint Application Form (PDF).

The Joint Application Form must provide:

  • a project description including the targeted species, size of area to be disturbed, and management techniques to be used; and
  • the proposed timeframe of activities.

The following items must be submitted with the Joint Application Form:

  • a project location map;
  • project plans showing the location and extent of work;
  • 3 representative color photographs which clearly depict the site of the proposed activity; and
  • the Permission to Inspect Property Form (PDF) (25 KB).

Who may be the Applicant -

The applicant for the projects under water must be

  • the underwater lands property owner; or
  • the adjacent upland riparian property owner with permission from the underwater landowner to make application, with some exceptions.

Notes about underwater lands owned by the State of New York

1. The NYS Office of General Services' website says: (link leaves DEC's website)

For Lands Now or Formerly Under Water:
Title to the bed of numerous bodies of water is held in trust for the people of the State of New York under the jurisdiction of the Office of General Services. Structures, including fill, located in, on, or above state-owned lands under water are regulated under the Public Lands Law and may require authorization from the state. Please contact the Bureau of Land Management for assistance prior to submitting an application.

In an April 30, 2021 letter to DEC, the NYS Office of General Services has provided landowner consent for the activities under GP-0-21-004 on State-owned lands under the jurisdiction of OGS, outside of the Adirondack Park.

2. For underwater lands are owned by the state, such as State Forest Preserve Lands and other lands controlled or managed by DEC (i.e., Wildlife Management Areas, boat launches/waterway access sites, conservation easements, etc.), the applicant must obtain landowner permission by obtaining a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) from DEC for any activity.

Contact the DEC Regional Natural Resources Supervisor on DEC's website, and obtain the TRP prior to completing the application for GP-0-15-005.

Submit all application materials to the NYS DEC Regional Permit Administrator.

The General Permit and all forms and instructions are also available from the Regional Permit Administrator.

No work is authorized until the permittee receives a specific written authorization under this General Permit from DEC.

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    Division of Environmental Permits
    625 Broadway 4th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
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