State of the Beach/State Reports/WA/Website

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Washington's Coastal Zone Management Program was approved by the federal government in 1976, making it the first to be approved. The program applies to the fifteen coastal counties which front on salt water. The terms and features of a state’s approved CZM program are provided in what is commonly known as a state’s "CZM Program Document." Washington’s program document, Managing Washington’s Coast was most recently updated in 2003.

The Washington Department of Ecology's Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) Program website, within which the CZM program website resides, is very well organized and easy to use.

This excellent website provides detailed information on water quality and beach erosion, including extensive information on Puget Sound landslides.

Other highlights on the website include:

  • Aerial vertical photography: 1940s coverage of selected areas, and 1991-97 coverage of all of western Washington
  • Coastal aerial oblique photos from Ecology's 1976-77, 1992-97, and 2000-02 series.
  • Mapping of wetlands, drift cells, slope stability, various regulated features, and other items, and background imagery such as nautical charts, USGS topo maps, plus historic estuary mapping.

Information about the Shoreline Management Program, including relevant statutes and rules, is available via the website. Statutes and rules can be viewed directly online or downloaded.

The SEA website links to an index of numerous publications, newsletters, videos, etc. available from the Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands & Environmental Assistance. Topics covered among those that can be viewed online include: managing drainage on coastal bluffs, controlling erosion using vegetation, and tips for buying, building, and maintaining property along the Puget Sound shoreline.

The Puget Sound Slope Stability Maps and Exploring the Puget Sound are some other great features on this website.

Links to a range of state, regional, and national organizations can also be found on the SEA website.

Website Contact Info

Tim Schlender

Web Coordinator — Shoreland and Environmental Assistance Program

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