Flowage Easement - An easement that gives the Corps of Engineers the right to permanently flood the property. The Corps owns flowage easements around much of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers. The easements are related to a height above the normal pool elevation. That height varies from lake to lake and may be as high as 9.5 feet above the normal pool elevation. Although the landowner maintains the property and pays taxes on it, the easement prohibits excavation, placement of fill, and construction of structures on the property without a permit from the Corps of Engineers.
General Permit - A permit for a relatively minor structure or activity within the waters of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers such as bulkheads, shoreline stabilization, boat docks, boat slips, removal of floating debris, and boat ramps. Application for a general permit is relatively simple. If all the conditions of the permit are met, then the permit can be issued without a public notice period and lengthy delay. The permits are subject to change every 5 years.
Individual Permit - An individual permit is required for activities that exceed the scope of general permits. Individual permits are processed in the Mobile District Office and generally require coordination with other state and federal agencies and the public.
Navigable Waters - Waters that have been used for transportation of commerce. All waters of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers are navigable.
Waters of the United States - A broad term used to define areas subject to the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers permitting authority. It includes navigable waters, rivers, creeks, intermittent streams, natural ponds, sloughs, and wetlands.
Wetlands - Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and under normal conditions do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands typically include marshes and swamps but may also include areas that appear to be dry during the late summer and fall.