Nov. 30, 2010
Executive signs updated shoreline protections for rivers, lakes and Puget Sound
First major update to the Shoreline Master Program since the late 1970s provides essential support for survival of salmon and orca
King County Executive Dow Constantine today signed into law the first major update to the County's shoreline protections since the late 1970s, following adoption of the legislation earlier today by the Metropolitan King County Council.
"This update establishes the foundation for long-term protection and recovery of Central Puget Sound, and is essential to supporting survival of salmon and orca," said Executive Constantine. "I appreciate the leadership of Council Chair Bob Ferguson and the Chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee, Larry Phillips, in shepherding this comprehensive update to final adoption. It is critical that we have this legislation in place to have any long-term hope of helping salmon and other wildlife return to our area waters."
Today's Council action is the culmination of a 4-year effort to update local shoreline protections based on current science and shoreline conditions. Since the late 1970's, much has changed in terms of population growth, development patterns and what is now understood about the fragile resources protected under this legislation.
More than two-thirds of the shoreline in central Puget Sound has been altered in some way. The Shoreline Master Program protects the remaining natural shoreline, and puts a plan in place for restoration of damaged habitat. The update also synchronizes King County's shoreline standards with other environmental protections, making them more predictable and transparent to the public.
The Executive will sign the Shoreline Master Program update in time for the December 1 deadline under the state Shoreline Management Act.
King County has more than 1,500 miles rivers, 50 miles of marine shorelines, and 100 lakes that are covered under the Shoreline Management Act.