New guidelines for recreational docks in Burrard Inlet

The new guidelines for recreational docks in Burrard Inlet apply to all new applications for docks located in Burrard Inlet (including Indian Arm and Port Moody Arm) and all Project and Environmental Review (PER) permit applications for maintenance, removal, and repairs to pre-existing recreational docks within the port authority’s jurisdiction.

These guidelines have been developed over the past several years and will supplement the port authority PER process, and are intended to:

  • Provide a fair and consistent process for all applicants
  • Provide guidance on the requirements of recreational dock permit applications related to location, design and other environmental considerations
  •  Ensure that recreational dock use does not negatively affect the environment, navigational safety or the community
  • Reduce impacts on habitat, seabed and the marine environment
  • Support an efficient and effective review of proposed recreational dock projects

Environmental areas

As part of the development of the new guidelines, important environmental areas were established and mapped for Burrard Inlet. Important environmental areas are those that have fish and fish habitat value, occur within or in close proximity to intertidal zones, conservation areas, cultural areas, and estuaries of streams. These areas provide food and shelter for wildlife and marine mammals living in Burrard Inlet.

There are 21 environmental areas in Burrard Inlet and you can see where they are by clicking on the Environmental area map in the resource section.

To help protect the environment, no new recreational docks will be allowed to be constructed in environmental areas. Existing licenced docks in environmental areas will be allowed to remain with restrictions.

Recreational docks on the Fraser River

The new guidelines only apply to Burrard Inlet.

There are different considerations for the Fraser River from those in Burrard Inlet, and therefore separate guidelines and licences for recreational docks along the Fraser River will be developed.


Refer to our Q&A document or contact us directly at: [email protected].