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These are the beds and shores of all lakes, rivers, streams and any permanent and naturally occurring water bodies within Alberta.

Services and information

The province manages the shorelands and sensitive nearshore areas next to permanent and naturally occurring bodies of water in Alberta.

It is important to protect the natural areas around lakes from the effects of development.

Rivers and streams can change course over time, and affect land ownership boundaries.

Working in and around a water body will require provincial and possibly federal approvals.

The province protects riparian areas – the productive and valuable vegetated lands beside water features.

The Alberta Wetland Policy helps conserve, restore, protect and manage the province’s wetland areas.

Bodies of water are bounded by natural boundaries which can shift over time and affect the area of the adjoining lands.


In Alberta, the province generally owns and is responsible for managing the beds and shores of water bodies.

Find out more: Shorelands – overview.