Department of Ecology News Release - November 18, 2014

Shoreline programs for two Whatcom County cities are up for state review

SUMAS – Programs to manage shorelines within the cities of Sumas and Nooksack have been updated and are open for comment through the Washington Department of Ecology.

The proposed shoreline master program (SMP) for the city of Sumas will guide construction and development for about five miles of river including the Sumas River and Johnson Creek, as well as wetlands associated with the floodplain of the Nooksack River.

The proposed program for the city of Nooksack will oversee about three miles of shorelines including the Sumas River, Breckenridge Creek and associated wetlands.

Locally tailored shoreline programs are designed to protect the shoreline environment, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect people’s access to public land and waters. Once approved by Ecology, the shoreline programs will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

Comments will be accepted through Dec. 19th. Comments and questions should be addressed to Chad Yunge, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, 1440 10th St., Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98225, or by email to chad.yunge@ecy.wa.gov, or call 360-715-5206.

The proposed shoreline programs and related documents can be reviewed at:

Taking public comments into consideration, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline program as written, reject it or identify specific modifications to meet the Shoreline Management Act and applicable state regulations.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve each local jurisdiction’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 150 cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or crafting their shoreline programs.

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Contacts:

Krista Kenner, krista.kenner@ecy.wa.gov, communications manager, 360-715-5205, @ecynorth

Chad Yunge, chad.yunge@ecy.wa.gov, shorelines planner, 360-715-5206