Department of Ecology News Release - January 11, 2013


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

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on Ruston’s recently updated shoreline master program.

The proposed updated shoreline master program will guide construction and development along the city’s Commencement Bay shoreline. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Ruston’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 public lands and waters.

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

Ecology will accept public comment on Ruston’s proposed shoreline program through Feb. 6. Comments and questions should be addressed to Kim Van Zwalenburg, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, PO Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775. Email Van Zwalenburg at, or call 360-407-6520.

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

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

Ruston’s proposed 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 among 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.


Media Contacts:


For more information:

Ecology’s website for Ruston’s proposed shoreline master program (

More about shoreline master programs (

Our Living Shorelines web portal  (

Ecology’s social media (