Regulatory Marker Permit

Each permit application must satisfy certain requirements under current state regulations. Below is a description of the criteria used under the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 15-121-A5 to review and approve regulatory marker permits; i.e. danger, information and swim areas, and speed zones. Each criteria is listed with further clarifications italicized.

R.C.S.A. Sec.15-121-A5 Permission to place markers- Criteria for authorization shall include:
  1. Signed approval from the Chief Executive Authority (CEA) of the town or designated lake authority in which said marker will be placed; The CEA must be the 1st Selectman, Town Manager, Mayor, or designated Lake Authority Chairman or official.
  2. The application must be accompanied by two (2) copies of a scale chart or map of the area with a detailed diagram of the proposed marker location(s). An assessor’s map or navigational chart showing property boundaries and landmarks must be used. The diagram must also be neatly drawn and include:
    • Dimensions, type and number of proposed markers.
    • Magnetic compass bearings and distances from defined fixed shore objects or reference points or GPS latitude and longitudes.
    • Depth of water at the buoy location(s). *Swim Areas are limited to a depth of no greater than five feet at low water unless a swim float is in place, in which case a water depth of ten feet is allowed in the float area. In the case of extensive shallow bottoms or steep drop offs near shore, the size of the swim area must be reasonable and not extend out any further than needed for swimming.
    • Adjoining property boundaries. Markers must be located at least five feet within an applicant’s littoral property boundary. The littoral property boundary for these purposes is defined as an extension of the property boundary OR a line perpendicular to shore projected into the water from where the property boundary meets the shoreline, whichever is more restrictive. *Swim Area applications must include an “Improvement Location Survey” completed by a Connecticut licensed land surveyor. An “Improvement Location Survey”, as defined by the Standards for Surveys and Maps in the State of Connecticut (dated September 26, 1996 as adopted by the Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors) is a survey which depicts the horizontal location of the buoys in relation to the applicant's riparian rights and littoral property boundaries.
    • Locations and descriptions of any nearby channels and water traffic patterns.

      NOTE: Incomplete or illegible applications will be returned to the applicant. If you have any questions, please call the Navigation & Boating Infrastructure Access Unit at (860) 434-8638.
  3. Demonstrated need for the proposed markers; In addition to statements, evidence including photos and reports are desired.  Swim areas must be kept to a reasonable size, with respect to depth of water and distance from shore.  Example: requests for swim areas – not containing swim rafts – that are proposed to extend from shore past the 10-foot water depth will be considered unreasonable, except in the case of steep bottom conditions.  In such instances, markers placed in water deeper than 10 feet in order to obtain a reasonably sized swim area may be acceptable.
  4. Public safety considerations; The effect on waterway traffic flow and boat maneuverability are analyzed during the site inspection.  Unreasonable restrictions on boating activities are unacceptable.
  5. Environmental impact considerations; The surrounding shoreline and bottom are considered from the perspective of erosion, vegetation and sediment disturbance when assessing the effects of a proposed permitted area.
  6. Review of possible conflicts with various water use groups; Use the same considerations as in # 4, however, swim areas must be at least 5 feet from each property line and the float line must not cross littoral property boundaries. These boundaries are the extension of the shoreline property boundary or a line perpendicular from shore, whichever is less.  A letter of permission from the appropriate adjacent property owner may waive this requirement.
  7. Visibility and durability of proposed markers; These requirements are standardized in our permit guidelines as authorized under paragraph (f) of this section and also in accordance with RCSA Sec. 15-121-A2.
  8. Conformity with existing authorizations; Any new permit must not conflict with or lessen the effectiveness of other permits.  In addition, it may not be necessary to approve another swim area adjacent to or very close to an existing permitted area.
  9. Consistency with federal, state and local law.  Self-explanatory.
  Regulatory Marker Permit Application *Download the application to your computer. Once downloaded, open the pdf to complete and save the application.  When opening the form, it is recommended that you use Adobe Acrobat Reader, as it will enable the electronic signature option.  Depending on your computer's settings, you may have to save the form to your computer after downloading it from here and then reopen it with Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Once you complete and digitally sign the form, please save it and send it as an attachment to

Regulatory Marker Information
The below information is for reference only. Do not purchase any markers without first receiving a DEEP Regulatory Marker Permit with detailed marker information, or speaking with Navigation & Boating Infrastructure Unit staff. The below information is for reference only. 

Lakes and Ponds
Minimum = 9 inch diameter
Long Island Sound and Tidally Influenced Waters
Minimum = 12 inch diameter
(Recommended = collar type with 14 to 16 inch diameter barrel.) 

Buoys must be cylindrical in shape with dimensions of not less than sixty one inches (61") in height with a minimum of thirty six inches (36") exposure above the surface of the water.  If collared buoys are used, they must have dimensions of not less than nine inches (9") or twelve inches (12”) in diameter and forty two inches (42") in height with a minimum of twenty four inches (24") exposure above the surface of the water.

Buoys must be made of Ionomer foam or equivalent, or Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) or equivalent, filled with polyurethane foam or equivalent and must have sufficient ballast to maintain proper stability and exposure above the surface of the water. The buoys must be white with a minimum one inch (1") wide white or silver reflective band at the top together with a minimum three inch (3") wide international orange reflective band at the top directly under the white or silver reflective band and another near the bottom but above the waterline. In addition, the appropriate two inch (2”) wide band international orange reflective regulatory symbol and the required wording in black, block lettering at least three inches (3") in height must be centered on two (2) sides of each buoy. The permit number, when issued, must be sized to fit and placed on the top flat portion of each buoy in indelible ink or black vinyl stick-on letters.

BARRIER  FLOATS (for swim areas)

Lakes and Ponds
Minimum = 5 inch diameter
Long Island Sound and Tidally Influenced Waters
Minimum = 7 inch diameter
Barrier floats must be ABS foam filled devices or equivalent, international orange in color and attached to one another by the use of nylon or polypropylene rope.  


NOTE: The use of steel cable on barrier floats and/or buoys is prohibited.


Beacons must be four foot (4') by four foot (4') and made of eighty (.080) gauge aluminum or polymer of hard plastic equivalent at least three (3) mills thick, or three-quarter inch (3/4") marine grade plywood. They must be reflective white with an international orange band of at least three inches (3") in width forming the outer boarder. In addition, an international orange regulatory symbol and the required wording in black, block lettering at least three inches (3") in height must be centered on each beacon.


The manufacturers listed can produce buoys that meet the requirements of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Ensure that the vendor you choose, from this list or otherwise, will construct the buoys to the specifications in your permit. If the buoys do not conform to the requirements in your permit, they are illegal and may be considered hazards to navigation and ordered removed. Please call us at (860) 434-8638 if you have any questions.
Neither the State, the D.E.E.P. nor this Unit recommends or endorses any of these products and/or manufacturers.

Application for Regulatory Marker Permit

Content Last Updated on June 27, 2022