Green Shorelines for Lake Washington and Sammamish

November 2009 Status Update

The Steering Committee is in the process of writing a Final Report for the Green Shorelines Workshops. The report will include a summary of the project, conclusions, and future goals.

Coordination and Communication Workshops - March through June 2009


Green Shorelines use vegetation and natural materials to reduce negative impacts on nearshore habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife while protecting property. Historically, hard engineering fixes such as bulkheads have been used to protect property. These solutions often negatively impact fish and wildlife habitat. You can read more about green shorelines in a brochure created by city of Seattle entitled: Green Shorelines: Bulkhead Alternatives for a Healthier Lake Washington.

In Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, encouraging alternative development options that result in green shorelines is considered an essential step for salmon recovery. In some cases, opportunities to promote green shorelines may appear during initial development while in other cases, during shoreline re-development.

One of the challenges to encouraging Green Shorelines is the lack of a consistent message for property owners by permitting agencies. Numerous regulatory and non-regulatory entities are involved in the process.

Even though Lake Washington is a single geological feature, development along its shorelines is regulated (or permitted) by thirteen local jurisdictions, three state agencies, and three federal agencies. Lake Sammamish provides a similar regulatory framework but with four local jurisdictions. In addition, numerous private citizens, non-profit groups, businesses, and non-regulatory agencies, such as the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council and the King Conservation District, also advance shoreline and habitat restoration.

With the common goal of restoration of the natural resource, all groups working together can make it easier for property owners to understand and take advantage of the benefits offered by Green Shorelines.

Workshop Goals

  1. Promote communication and coordination regarding green shorelines around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Create a shared learning environment by presenting the same information to all parties. Encourage new and mutual understanding which may spur new partnerships, tools, and incentives.
  2. Collect unfiltered feedback for both regulatory and non-regulatory groups such as the Lake Washington/Sammamish Shoreline Master Program Update Group, WRIA 8, and federal resource agencies. Inform policy and decision makers while at the same time recognizing that each local jurisdiction has a unique regulatory process including SMP updates.
  3. Provide a forum for contractors, consultants, property owners, non-regulatory agencies, planners and permit writers (local, state and federal) to discuss Green Shorelines. Collect feedback from participants on permitting barriers and incentives to promote green shorelines. Record diverse viewpoints – identify where there is agreement and where there are differences.

Workshop 1: Defining Green Shorelines

March 25th, 2009 (10:00 - 2:00) at Kirkland’s Heritage Hall

Focus on defining "green shorelines" and which activities meet this definition. Consider how the green shoreline concept applies to both re-development of urban shorelines and undeveloped shorelines.

Materials from March 25th meeting (pdf files unless otherwise marked):

Workshop 2: Permit Process

April 30th, 2009 (10:00-2:00) at Kirkland’s Heritage Hall

Briefly review local, state, federal permitting processes and how they intersect during project review. The goal of this meeting is to increase general understanding of permitting and overall knowledge of the process and how it relates to green shorelines.

Materials from April 30th meeting (pdf files unless otherwise marked):

Workshop 3: Incentives for Shoreline Restoration

May 20th, 2009 (10:00 – 2:00) at Magnuson Park in Seattle

Present examples and provide discussion of a variety of incentives used by various groups to promote green shorelines. Further, this meeting is intended to define incentives from differing perspectives and discuss what incentives will and will not work.

Materials from May 20th meeting (pdf files unless otherwise marked):

Workshop 4: Greening Your Shorelines – Workshop for Shoreline Owners

June 23rd, 2009 (6:00 – 8:00 pm) at Mercer Island Community Center

Materials from June 23rd meeting (pdf files unless otherwise marked):

Reference Documents



Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance
Phone: 800-917-0043

Jean White
King County, WRIA 8
Phone: 206-263-6458

Dave LaClergue
Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Phone: 206-733-9668

Kathy Minsch
Phone: 206-615-1441

Joe Burcar
Department of Ecology - NWRO
Phone: 425-649-7145

Polly Hicks
NOAA Restoration Center
Phone: 206-526-4861