Washington State Department of Ecology - August 29, 2013

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First shoreline program approved for city of Shoreline

BELLEVUE - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved the city of Shoreline’s first shoreline master program (SMP) that will significantly improve the protection, use, development and restoration of about four miles of the city’s Puget Sound shorelines.

“Our community values a sustainable natural environment,” said Rachael Markle, Shoreline’s Director of Planning and Community Development. “The completion of the city’s first shoreline master program is a tangible step toward ensuring the protection of the Puget Sound for generations to come.”

The new program combines local plans for future development and preservation with new shoreline development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

“We greatly appreciate the city’s commitment in developing this program,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s regional shorelines program supervisor. “City staff, elected officials and many other people devoted significant time and energy toward this effort. We believe that this program will ensure long-term protection of shorelines in the city of Shoreline.”

Cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or developing their shoreline programs under the state’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act.

Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the act. The law requires cities and counties with regulated shorelines to develop and periodically update their locally tailored programs. These 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.

Shoreline’s process brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. These groups included waterfront property owners, scientists, non-profit organizations, tribal government representatives, and state and local resource agency staff.

The city of Shoreline master program:

Under state law, the local shoreline program takes effect after approval by Ecology. It then becomes part of the state shoreline master program. The department will help defend the city’s program against legal challenges.

Cities and counties are developing or updating their shoreline programs by December 2014, following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement among 58 parties — including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties and Ecology — approved by the courts and enacted by the Legislature.

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Media Contacts:

Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, Larry.Altose@ecy.wa.gov

Barbara Nightingale, Ecology shorelines planner, 425-649-4309, Barbara.Nightingale@ecy.wa.gov

Miranda Redinger, City of Shoreline Senior Planner, 206-801-2513, mredinger@shorelinewa.gov

For more information:

City of Shoreline’s shoreline master program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/shoreline.html)

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

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

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