Beyond Mitigation: Achieving Habitat Restoration and Enhancement at the Local Level

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by Jeffrey A. Dickison, Squaxin Island Tribe, Shelton, United States,
Julia Lee Walton, Squaxin Island Tribe, Shelton, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91:

Abstract: The City of Olympia, located on Budd Inlet in Puget Sound, has undertaken the development of an Urban Waterfront Plan. This plan will become part of the Shoreline Master Program, the local regulations which implement the policies of the state Shorelines Management Act and the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. A Comprehensive Habitat Enhancement Plan will become an element of the Urban Waterfront Planning effort. It is proposed that the Enhancement Plan will be developed using the following framework. A Habitat Task Force will be established to accomplish three tasks: 1) Conduct an assessment of historical and current habitat to establish the net loss of habitat over time; 2) Set a goal for habitat restoration projects to work toward; and 3) evaluate regulatory and funding mechanisms to utilize for implementation of the plan. Subsequent implementation of the plan on a broad scale and on a case-by-case basis would be overseen by a Habitat Commission formed of technical experts in the field. They will develop standards and guidelines for mitigation and enhancement projects to follow as well as a comprehensive habitat restoration plan. This plan will become the strategy for the coordination of restoration and enhancement projects throughout the urban waterfront marine environment. Through this mechanism it is hoped that the productive capacity, the diversity, the biological integrity, and the physical extent of the marine habitat of the area will be protected and restored. Benefits will include awareness of the integration between the environment and the development of the working waterfront, and a better utilization of the shoreline amenities by a diverse set of interest groups.

Subject Headings: Ecological restoration | Municipal water | Shoreline | Coastal management | Wetlands (coastal) | Urban areas | Inlets (waterway) |

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