Department of Ecology News Release - October 13, 2014

Shoreline program approved for city of Yakima

YAKIMA - A program to manage 1,700 acres of shorelines within the city of Yakima 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.

The city’s new shoreline program takes effect on Oct. 16. It provides significant improvements in the protection, use and development of shorelines along the Yakima and Naches rivers, Cowiche Creek, Willow Lake, Lake Aspen, and Rotary Lake.

The city council submitted its shoreline plan to Ecology for review in February. Ecology issued conditional approval in August and final approval on Oct. 2, after the city made recommended and required changes.

This approval puts the final stamp on a significant and locally driven effort that increases protection and restoration of habitat and water quality, provides more certainty for development, and improves public access and recreational opportunities.

The comprehensive update revises the existing shoreline program, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, administrative procedures and definitions.

All cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014.

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

###

Contact:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications, 509-575-2610; @ecyCentral