Department of Ecology News Release - September 15, 2014

Grant County shoreline program approved

SPOKANE – A program to manage shorelines along six rivers and 80 lakes within Grant County, including portions of the Columbia River and Banks Lake, has been approved by the Washington Department of Ecology.

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

Ecology approved the shoreline program following a public comment period requiring some minor changes, including clarification of shorelines covered by the program and appropriate management of historic and archeological resources.

“We appreciate the strong partnership developed with Ecology through the shoreline program update process. Grant County has several unique challenges, including arid shorelines heavily influenced by the federal Columbia Basin irrigation project,” said Grant County Planning Director Damien Hooper.

“The County’s thoughtful, collaborative approach allowed adoption of a program that reflects local needs and still meets state requirements,” said Ecology shoreline planner Jaime Short.

With Ecology’s approval, the county’s shoreline program is now part of the overall state shoreline program, subject to a 60-day appeal period.

Grant County spearheaded a regional update process in 2011 with Coulee City, Electric City, Grand Coulee, Krupp, Soap Lake, and Wilson Creek. Each of these cities will individually submit their shoreline programs once their local adoption is complete.

All of Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. Grant County is one of nearly 105 local governments that have completed their updates.

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Contact:

Brook Beeler, communications, 509-329-3478; @ecyspokane