Department of Ecology News Release - May 29, 2014

Snohomish County shoreline amendment approved
Ecology OK’s updated aquaculture provisions

BELLEVUE – The Washington Department of Ecology has approved new commercial aquaculture policies and regulations in an amendment to Snohomish County’s Shoreline Master Program.

The amendment carries out the terms of a negotiated settlement agreement among the county, Ecology and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. The shellfish growers appealed the county’s Ecology-approved shoreline program in 2012 to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, case number 12-3-0009

The approved changes allow new shellfish aquaculture in tidelands designated as critical saltwater habitat, subject to conditions that include:

The three parties negotiated a settlement in November 2013. The county and then Ecology took public comment on the proposed master program amendment. Snohomish County conducted a public hearing on Dec. 11, 2013, and Ecology held a 30-day public comment in February and March 2014.

Local governments develop, adopt and periodically update their shoreline master programs under the state’s Shoreline Management Act, approved by voters in 1972. Ecology must review and approve each local program. The department helps represent approved programs against legal challenges.

###

Contact:

Larry Altose, communications, 425-649-7009, @ecyseattle

David Pater, shorelines planner, 425-649-4253