Shoreline Management photo

Shoreline Management

Marine shorelines

The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) applies to all marine waters of the state below the ordinary high water mark. This jurisdiction extends out to the western state boundary in the Pacific Ocean (the three-mile limit). The SMA also applies to submerged lands underlying all marine waters.

Local shoreline jurisdiction applies to the area waterward of the ordinary high water mark out to the local government’s legal in-water jurisdictional boundary. Note that waterward shoreline jurisdiction of cities may be affected by RCW 35.21.160 and RCW 35A.21.090.

Specific marine areas are called out in the SMA as shorelines of statewide significance.

Shoreline data

GIS data layer of Washington's marine shoreline

For more information

Law: RCW 90.58.030 (Definitions)
Rule: WAC 173-22