How to get involved in local Shoreline Master Programs
Here are some ways to get involved in your local SMP. Check with
Ecology, your town, city, or
county to find out all your options.
Find out if your town, city or county is currently
updating your local SMP
- Check Ecology's web page:
Local Shoreline Master Programs.
- Check the
SMP update schedule to find out the legislative deadline
for updating your local SMP. Some towns, cities and counties
have finished, others are underway or will be soon.
- Contact your local planning
department and ask about the SMP. Get the contact
information for the employee (planner) in charge of the SMP
- Find the phone number in the government pages of
your phone book, or visit the website. (List of
If your town, city or county is updating the SMP,
sign up for notices
- Ask to be added to the list of people receiving notices
about the SMP.
- Local governments use this list to send notices
about changes, public meetings, review and comment
periods, tours, etc.
- This list is also used by the Washington
Department of Ecology to notify the public when an
updated SMP is going through final
If you are on the list, you will be notified of this
opportunity to review and comment on your local SMP.
Provide input in many ways
- Below are some common ways local governments solicit
public input. Check with your local planner to learn about
your specific options.
- Talk or write to the local planner and informally
share what you know about local shorelines.
- Have you observed wildlife nests or dens? Do
you want to revegetate your subdivision’s
waterfront? Is there a special fishing spot you’d
like better access to? Do you have shoreline photos
of historic uses and development?
- Provide written comments (via letter or email) on
draft reports and documents.
- Make sure you meet the deadline and any other
requirements. If you want your comments to be
understood, make sure they are clear and specific to
the document you are reviewing.
- Ask about joining a technical advisory committee created by your
- Local governments seek
technical advice from experts in water quality,
watersheds, fish and wildlife, geology, and other
fields. These experts often work for state and
federal agencies – but can also work with local
- Ask about joining a citizen advisory committee created by your
- This is a long-term, rewarding, volunteer
opportunity which may last for 2-3 years. Members of
advisory committees represent segments of the larger
population rather than just their own interests.
They should be good listeners and willing to gather
input from their neighbors, businesses, and other
- Attend citizen advisory and technical committee
- Even if you don’t have time to participate on
a committee – committee meetings are open to the
public and are usually where the bulk of discussion
occurs. They are a great way to learn more
about shoreline issues and provide input throughout
- Attend public meetings (e.g. hearings, workshops,
- Attending public meetings is a great way to
learn and provide input. These events are opportunities to talk one-on-one with the
and shoreline experts. Displays or other materials
are usually available.
For more information
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