Our Living Shorelines photo identifier

Our Living Shorelines

Living Shorelines center photo

Where the water meets the land

Residents of our state love their beaches, their shorelines, and the waterways that define so much of what makes Washington a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Shorelines are the first places where people settled – close to food, water, and a ready-made way to transport goods.

Ecology works with many partners to protect our shorelines. In 1972, voters passed the state Shoreline Management Act which established a bill of rights for Washington’s shorelines. Ecology works with local governments to develop plans under the Act to achieve three basic goals:

  • Protect environmental resources of state shorelines.
  • Promote public access and enjoyment opportunities.
  • Give priorities to uses requiring shoreline location.

In some ways, it is pretty simple and most citizens understand the importance of managing shorelines for these goals. Everybody loves the beach and it is in their self interest to refrain from doing things that might hurt it. Everybody gains from having good, safe access to the shorelines – after all, it’s where you go on a hot day, fish, hunt, gather shellfish, walk, and just enjoy nature.

And our state benefits from having a thriving waterfront made up of our ports and marine trades and there is long-time appreciation for the role that shellfish growers have had in creating jobs and an important export industry.

We still have lot of work ahead but by working together, we will ensure our children and future generations have the beaches, shorelines, and waterways we love so much today.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT | BUSINESS | SCIENCE | RECREATION | HOMEOWNERS | EDUCATION

 

SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAMS

Working together to protect our shorelines.

COASTAL ATLAS

MITIGATION THAT WORKS

FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT

GREEN SHORELINES