The Washington Department of Ecology has approved Island County’s updated shoreline master program.
The updated program will significantly improve the use, restoration and management of development along 210 miles of Puget Sound and freshwater shorelines.
“Island County and its residents have taken a unique approach to many parts of their shoreline program,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s regional shorelines program manager. “This program reflects a high level of public involvement and interaction that shows how highly they value their shorelines.”
The program specifically protects ecologically intact shorelines. It also includes locally developed residential development policies and regulations to protect historic land use patterns in communities on beaches and canals.
Other facets of Island County’s updated shoreline program include:
- Encouraging soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring;
- A restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment;
- Tailoring unique shoreline setbacks and buffers to each shoreline environment designation;
- Incorporating the county’s critical areas regulations and flood damage prevention code;
- Helping support the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.
Ecology’s approval completes a five-year process that involved hundreds of people, including shoreline property owners, a science advisory panel, non-profit organizations, tribal governments and state and local government staff.