Department of Ecology News Release - December 4, 2014
Online version updated 12/8/14 at 7:30 a.m.

Protecting and restoring Washington’s wetlands with a statewide plan
Ecology seeking public comments on proposed plan through Dec. 31

OLYMPIA – Thanks to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Department of Ecology is developing a statewide plan to better manage wetlands.

Once regarded as wastelands, wetlands are now recognized as important features of our landscape. Healthy wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet.

Ecology’s proposed plan includes developing a statewide wetland monitoring and assessment strategy, as well as providing more support for local governments in need of wetland expertise. The plan proposes actions to better protect and restore Washington’s wetlands and to investigate ways to continue streamlining the permitting process.

Ecology worked with tribes, local governments, state agencies and conservation districts to gather input for the proposed plan. The public is now encouraged to review and comment on the plan. 

Review plan and provide comments
The proposed plan is available for review on Ecology’s website or in person at Ecology Headquarters, 300 Desmond Drive in Lacey. Citizens also can request a mailed copy of the plan by calling Susan Buis at 360-407-7653.

Send comments through Dec. 31 to Susan Buis at susan.buis@ecy.wa.gov, or mail to Susan Buis, Washington Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Participate in webinar
Ecology is hosting an informational webinar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10 to provide more details on the plan. To sign up for the webinar, contact Susan Buis at 360-407-7653 or susan.buis@ecy.wa.gov.

About wetlands
Wetlands are part of a diverse and complex set of ecosystems that are vital to Washington’s economy and an important part of our natural heritage. Visit Ecology’s wetlands webpage or ECOconnect blog to learn more about wetlands.

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Contacts:

Jessica Payne, communications manager, 360-407-6548, @ecologyWA