Presentation Title

The Shoreline Management Act and shoreline armoring

Session Title

Protecting Natural Shoreline Functions with Existing Regulations and New Approaches

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Presenter/Author Information

Kyle Loring, Friends of the San JuansFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

In 1972, Washington enacted the Shoreline Management Act (“SMA”) to protect the state’s shoreline resources as fully as possible by thoughtfully managing shoreline development and providing public access to public waters. Or perhaps to promote shoreline residential development while protecting shoreline resources if it does not interfere with property owner expectations. Depending on the context, and given the SMA’s multifaceted purpose statement, it can mean many things to many people.

To the extent that its primary purpose is to protect shorelines while supporting reasonable use, the SMA has yet to achieve complete success; shoreline resources and natural functions continue to be lost to shoreline development such as bulkheads. However, the SMA’s structure and its implementing regulations bring that goal within reach if local jurisdictions and the Department of Ecology choose to meet it. To do so will require the use of scientific information that has been gathered about the functions that occur along Washington’s shorelines, and the impacts that different activities can cause. Some local jurisdictions are making better use of this information, or applying more protection in the absence of full information, than others.

This presentation will explore methods by which the SMA could prevent the impacts of unnecessary shoreline armoring, a type of development that the Puget Sound Partnership has identified as a significant threat to healthy shorelines in the Salish Sea. In doing so, the presentation may address questions like: (1) can the SMA protect and restore shoreline functions? and (2) can the no-net-loss standard protect shoreline functions if it authorizes impacting development without guaranteed compensation of lost functions?

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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The Shoreline Management Act and shoreline armoring

2016SSEC

In 1972, Washington enacted the Shoreline Management Act (“SMA”) to protect the state’s shoreline resources as fully as possible by thoughtfully managing shoreline development and providing public access to public waters. Or perhaps to promote shoreline residential development while protecting shoreline resources if it does not interfere with property owner expectations. Depending on the context, and given the SMA’s multifaceted purpose statement, it can mean many things to many people.

To the extent that its primary purpose is to protect shorelines while supporting reasonable use, the SMA has yet to achieve complete success; shoreline resources and natural functions continue to be lost to shoreline development such as bulkheads. However, the SMA’s structure and its implementing regulations bring that goal within reach if local jurisdictions and the Department of Ecology choose to meet it. To do so will require the use of scientific information that has been gathered about the functions that occur along Washington’s shorelines, and the impacts that different activities can cause. Some local jurisdictions are making better use of this information, or applying more protection in the absence of full information, than others.

This presentation will explore methods by which the SMA could prevent the impacts of unnecessary shoreline armoring, a type of development that the Puget Sound Partnership has identified as a significant threat to healthy shorelines in the Salish Sea. In doing so, the presentation may address questions like: (1) can the SMA protect and restore shoreline functions? and (2) can the no-net-loss standard protect shoreline functions if it authorizes impacting development without guaranteed compensation of lost functions?