Presenter/Author Information

Kyle Loring, Friends of the San JuansFollow

Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Protecting Natural Shoreline Functions with Existing Regulations and New Approaches

Location

2016SSEC

Description

This poster will identify mechanisms for limiting the impacts of residential development on the natural functions of marine shorelines.

First, it will share the results from two recent legal cases that successfully prevented the unnecessary bulkheading of a documented surf smelt spawning beach on San Juan Island. Friends of the San Juans appealed two local permit approvals to the Shoreline Hearings Board. The local permits authorized two-tiered armoring that extended nearly 20 total feet in height and would have removed most of the vegetation that shaded the beaches and supplied insects for juvenile Chinook salmon in an area identified as a highest priority for salmon recovery. These successful appeals required a significant effort to rebut applicant arguments that San Juan County beaches are built by sediments from the Fraser River and that long-term erosion rates do not include infrequent, episodic bank sloughing events.

Second, the poster will provide a case study showing that average shoreline parcels in San Juan County can accommodate a substantial amount of development while retaining vegetated shoreline buffers that provide ecosystem functions and reduce future armoring demand. Although courts have upheld San Juan County’s authorization under the Growth Management Act to concentrate significant development in shoreline buffers, this poster will explain how that level of development is inconsistent with the Shoreline Management Act and unnecessary for reasonable shoreline development.

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Holding the line, to let shorelines move naturally

2016SSEC

This poster will identify mechanisms for limiting the impacts of residential development on the natural functions of marine shorelines.

First, it will share the results from two recent legal cases that successfully prevented the unnecessary bulkheading of a documented surf smelt spawning beach on San Juan Island. Friends of the San Juans appealed two local permit approvals to the Shoreline Hearings Board. The local permits authorized two-tiered armoring that extended nearly 20 total feet in height and would have removed most of the vegetation that shaded the beaches and supplied insects for juvenile Chinook salmon in an area identified as a highest priority for salmon recovery. These successful appeals required a significant effort to rebut applicant arguments that San Juan County beaches are built by sediments from the Fraser River and that long-term erosion rates do not include infrequent, episodic bank sloughing events.

Second, the poster will provide a case study showing that average shoreline parcels in San Juan County can accommodate a substantial amount of development while retaining vegetated shoreline buffers that provide ecosystem functions and reduce future armoring demand. Although courts have upheld San Juan County’s authorization under the Growth Management Act to concentrate significant development in shoreline buffers, this poster will explain how that level of development is inconsistent with the Shoreline Management Act and unnecessary for reasonable shoreline development.