Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

A Review of Shoreline Armoring Permitting Effectiveness

Description

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates development of marine shorelines, including the construction and replacement of seawalls, through the issuance of Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permits. In 2014, the Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines (MSDG) were published to offer a dynamic approach to evaluate site characteristics and provide general design recommendations for areas that may need shoreline stabilization to protect a primary structure such as a dwelling. We applied the assessments from the MSDG to previously issued HPA permits to determine to what extent shoreline stabilization designs for HPA permits issued prior to the publication of the MSDG were consistent with the new MSDG design recommendations. We gathered information from permits and available online maps and used the MSDG cumulative risk score, coastal processes assessment and alternatives analysis to identify the MSDG recommended design technique. We then compared the recommended designs to the permitted HPA design specifications to identify the degree of similarity. For projects where permitted designs were inconsistent with MSDG recommendations, we assessed whether the permitted designs would be considered a ‘harder’ or ‘softer’ approach to shoreline stabilization than the MSDG design recommendation. We found that the majority of the HPA permitted designs were inconsistent with the MSDG design recommendations, and of these the majority were a harder design than recommended by the MSDG. While we recognize that there may be additional extenuating circumstances that our assessment did not account for, this exercise highlighted the need to use MSDG at the onset of project planning to help inform appropriate shoreline stabilization design techniques that addresses site-specific conditions and minimize impacts to nearshore ecosystem processes.

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A retrospective assessment of permitted shoreline stabilization designs using new design guidelines

2016SSEC

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates development of marine shorelines, including the construction and replacement of seawalls, through the issuance of Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permits. In 2014, the Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines (MSDG) were published to offer a dynamic approach to evaluate site characteristics and provide general design recommendations for areas that may need shoreline stabilization to protect a primary structure such as a dwelling. We applied the assessments from the MSDG to previously issued HPA permits to determine to what extent shoreline stabilization designs for HPA permits issued prior to the publication of the MSDG were consistent with the new MSDG design recommendations. We gathered information from permits and available online maps and used the MSDG cumulative risk score, coastal processes assessment and alternatives analysis to identify the MSDG recommended design technique. We then compared the recommended designs to the permitted HPA design specifications to identify the degree of similarity. For projects where permitted designs were inconsistent with MSDG recommendations, we assessed whether the permitted designs would be considered a ‘harder’ or ‘softer’ approach to shoreline stabilization than the MSDG design recommendation. We found that the majority of the HPA permitted designs were inconsistent with the MSDG design recommendations, and of these the majority were a harder design than recommended by the MSDG. While we recognize that there may be additional extenuating circumstances that our assessment did not account for, this exercise highlighted the need to use MSDG at the onset of project planning to help inform appropriate shoreline stabilization design techniques that addresses site-specific conditions and minimize impacts to nearshore ecosystem processes.