This website has stressed that shoreland areas in the Puget Sound region are complex and often fragile places. Influenced by many factors, they are in a constant state of change from the effects of wind, rain, and the waters of Puget Sound.

While not all landslides and erosion can be prevented, it is clear that the actions of shoreline property owners can have a great impact on the stability of bluff areas. Landowners need to understand how their actions can affect their surroundings and learn to minimize or avoid development-related practices that can set the stage for future problems and require costly, difficult solutions.

The clearing of trees and brush, installation of utilities, construction of access roads, and sitting of homes should all be well-planned with landscape and stability concerns in mind. Compromise is often necessary between the needs of the property owner and the unforgiving realities imposed by land and water.

Wise planning and development will improve property values, reduce maintenance costs, and contribute to slope stability. Before you decide that doing things right is too expensive, talk to neighbors who have lived "on the edge" for a while. Their stories might sound similar to that of the hapless landowner in the introduction. Make the effort to learn to live in harmony with your land.

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