USA: Ecology Seeks Comments on Buckley’s Shoreline Program

Ecology Seeks Comments on Buckley’s Shoreline Program

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on the city of Buckley’s proposed updated shoreline master program.

The draft shoreline program update will guide construction and development along the city’s three miles of White River shoreline. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Buckley’s locally-tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to public lands and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Buckley’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. About 200 cities and counties statewide are in the process or soon will be updating or crafting their master programs.

Buckley’s proposed updated master program:

– Establishes new environmental designations along the city’s shorelines to accommodate established water-dependent uses.

– Restricts development in areas unaltered by existing development.

– Fosters diversifying the existing recreation opportunities along the river.

– Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods that protect both property and habitat and also limits construction of new structures that harden shorelines, such as bulkheads.

– Incorporates plans for the Foothills Trail to be extended in areas along the river.

All of Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement between 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.

[mappress]

Press Release, November 2, 2012

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