The Washington Department of Ecology has approved the City of Yakima’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) that will manage 1,700 acres of shorelines within the city.
The locally tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect people’s access to public land and waters.
Yakima’s new shoreline program takes effect on October 16th. It provides significant improvements in the protection, use and development of shorelines along the Yakima and Naches rivers, Cowiche Creek, Willow Lake, Lake Aspen, and Rotary Lake.
The city council submitted its shoreline plan to the department for review in February. The department issued conditional approval in August and final approval on October 2nd, after the city made recommended and required changes.
This approval puts the final stamp on a significant and locally driven effort that increases protection and restoration of habitat and water quality, provides more certainty for development, and improves public access and recreational opportunities.
With this approval, the city’s shoreline program is now a part of the overall state shoreline program, subject to a 60-day appeal period.
Press Release, October 14, 2014