Comments Sought on Shoreline Programs

In an effort to preserve and protect more than 225 miles of shoreline along rivers in Walla Walla County, several cities joined the county to update their shoreline programs.

Prescott, Waitsburg, Walla Walla and Walla Walla County participated in a regional planning process to update their shoreline programs.

They individually submitted their updated programs to the Washington Department of Ecology, which is making them available for public review and comment August 29 through September 27.

Each of the cities shared environmental studies and an inventory of current shoreline conditions with the county, during development. The communities then tailored portions of their individual shoreline programs to meet local needs.

Mill Creek in Walla Walla’s downtown core is an essential migration and rearing area for spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead. The Touchet River and its shoreline provide important habitat for these fish as well as threatened bull trout.

These shoreline programs will guide construction and development along shorelines, including the Columbia, Snake, Touchet and Walla Walla rivers. The programs also provide guidance for floodplain management.

Once approved by Ecology, the shoreline programs will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.