Washington State Coastal Erosion Management Strategy

by Douglas J. Canning, Washington Dep of Ecology, Olympia, United States,
Hugh Shipman, Washington Dep of Ecology, Olympia, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


The shores of Washington's inland coast - Puget Sound - undergo chronic and episodic erosion and landsliding. The problem is not nearly so great here as elsewhere in the U.S.A., but what often counts is the mere perception of a problem. Following the unusually severe northerly storms during the winter of 1990-91, there were reportedly a large increase in the number of permit applications for shoreline armoring. Subsequently some local elected officials requested in 1991 that the Department of Ecology (Ecology) investigate the effects of wide spread shoreline armoring and prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement on the cumulative effects of bulkheading and other forms of armoring. Reacting to the permit processing backlog, bulkheading contractors requested relief from local regulations from the Legislature. The Washington State Legislature in 1992 passed Engrossed Senate Bill 6128 which amends the Washington Shoreline Management Act to require local governments to develop standards governing the protection of single family residences and appurtenant structures against damage or loss due to shoreline erosion and to provide a preference for permit issuance for measures to protect single family residences occupied prior to January 1, 1992, where the proposed measure is designed to minimize harm to the shoreline natural environment.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Shoreline protection | Erosion | Coastal protection structures | Bulkheads | Permits | Armor units | Washington | United States

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