Department of Ecology News Release - November 9, 2012

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Ecology starts review of Steilacoom shoreline program update, seeks public comment

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on the town of Steilacoom’s proposed updates to its shoreline master program.

The draft shoreline program update will guide construction and development along the town’s 3.7 miles of marine shoreline, extending into Chambers Bay. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development regulations and related permitting requirements.

Steilacoom’s locally-tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to access public lands and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Steilacoom’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. About 200 cities and counties statewide are in the process or soon will be updating their master programs.

Ecology will accept public comment on Steilacoom’s proposed shoreline program through 5 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012. Comments and questions should be directed to Chrissy Bailey, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, PO Box 47775, Olympia WA 98504-7775. Email Bailey at chrissy.bailey@ecy.wa.gov, or call 360-407-0290.

Steilacoom’s proposed shoreline program and related documents can be reviewed at:

After the public comment period has closed, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it, or direct Steilacoom to modify specific parts. Once approved by Ecology, Steilacoom’s shoreline master program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

Steilacoom’s updated master program:

All of Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement between 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.

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Media Contacts:

Linda Kent, Ecology media relations, 360-407-6239; 306-791-9830 (cell); linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology’s website for City’s/County’s proposed shoreline master program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/Steilacoom.html)

Steilacoom's website (http://www.townofsteilacoom.org/DocumentCenter/View/141 PDF format)

Shoreline master programs (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/index.html)

Our Living Shorelines web portal (www.ecy.wa.gov/livingshorelines/index.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)