The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved Clark Countyâ€™s updated shoreline master program.
Clark Countyâ€™s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of 280 miles of shorelines and the water quality of many river, stream and lake shores in the county, including those along the Columbia, Washougal and Lewis rivers.
Clark County is one of more than 54 local governments that have completed updates. The updated master program combines local plans for future shoreline development and preservation with new shoreline development ordinances and related permitting requirements.
Ecologyâ€™s Southwest Regional Director Sally Toteff said: â€śClark Countyâ€™s shoreline master program helps protect both the economic base reliant upon our waterways and the environmental health of those waters, including the Columbia River. By working together to update these regulations, we are protecting our treasured shoreline resources benefiting our community vitality.â€ť
About 200 cities and counties statewide are in the process of or soon will be updating or crafting their master programs under the stateâ€™s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act.
Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the act. The law requires cities and counties with regulated shorelines to develop and periodically update their locally-tailored programs to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the publicâ€™s right to public lands and waters.
Press Release, September 7, 2012