Washington's Coastal Zone Management Program

We administer Washington's Coastal Zone Management Program, which meets broader national interests of protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing the coast. The program applies to all the lands and waters in the 15 coastal counties, and extends seaward three nautical miles into the ocean. Federal and tribal lands are excluded.

How we administer our program

Washington does not have a stand-alone program for coastal zone management. Instead, we fulfill our national Coastal Zone Management Act requirements through a collection of existing state laws and programs. This structure allows us to manage coastal resources in a more locally relevant and comprehensive way that fits our state priorities. In 1976, Washington became the first state in the nation to receive federal approval of a Coastal Zone Management Program.

Incentives to a federally-approved program

By participating in this voluntary federal-state partnership, we work with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management to design and administer a program that best reflects our state needs and local circumstances. Our approved program is important because it means we are eligible for federal coastal zone funding and provides our review authority over certain federal agency actions. Our partnership with the federal government enhances our work by creating a mechanism for better agency coordination and collaboration, and provides additional funding that strengthens our capacity to partner with, offer assistance to, and plan for the future needs of coastal communities.

What we do

We meet the goals of the federal law through a comprehensive approach to coastal resource management. This work requires us to balance the often competing — and occasionally conflicting — demands of coastal resources use, economic development, and conservation. We partner to achieve this mission and focus our efforts on key priorities, which include:

  • Protecting and restoring coastal wetlands.
  • Preventing or reducing threats from coastal hazards.
  • Attaining increased opportunities for public access.
  • Partnering to manage the impacts of growth and development.
  • Planning for the use of ocean resources.

Staff contact

Bobbak Talebi
Washington State Department of Ecology
Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program
Direct Line: 360-407-6529
Email: Bobbak.Talebi@ecy.wa.gov



Interactive Mapping
of Washington's
Coastal Counties

Training workshops for Shoreline Planners and Coastal Resource Managers

slide signs
Puget Sound Landslides

Shoreline & Coastal Planners Seminars

Celebrating CZM's 40 years!
(Non-Ecology Video)