Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8821
Title: Marine shoreline management--a 35-year evaluation of outcomes in San Juan County, Washington, US
Author: Amy H. Windrope, Timothy Quinn, Kurt L. Fresh, Andrea MacLennan, Joseph K. Gaydos
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Coastal Management
Volume: 44
Issue: 6
Pages: 1-24
Keywords: Coastal Zone Management Act, marine Shoreline Permit, Public Policy, Shoreline Management Act, Armoring, Washington State,
Abstract:

In 1976, Washington became the first state to implement the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) primarily through the 1971 WA Shoreline Management Act (SMA).  However, there has been little effort in Washington to evaluate outcomes of shoreline protection programs post SMA.  In 2006-2008, we characterized shoreline conditions in San Juan County over three time periods spanning pre and post SMA and engaged community members to improve effectiveness of shoreline protection.  We found modest improvements in forest retention on marine shorelines between pre and post 1977, but few other improvements through time.  While we could not measure shoreline construction rates, construction practices for shore armor and overwater structures (docks) have changed very little, despite the increased regulatory standards.  The vast majority of shore armor constructed post SMA occurred without mandatory county or state permits likely due to:  widespread perception that permits were unnecessary and that permit standards were arbitrary and inconsistently applied; poor understanding of shoreline ecology by community members; lack of county or state enforcement authority and shoreline monitoring programs; and poor permit tracking systems.

Description:

This article evaluates the effectiveness of the Shoreline Management Act in one county, San Juan County, in Washington, USA.  Shoreline conditions in San Juan County were characterized over three time periods spanning pre- and post-SMA, and engaged community members were surveyed to identify improvements in the effectiveness of shoreline protection.  We found modest improvements in forest retention on marine shorelines between pre- and post-1977, but few other improvements through time.  While we could not measure shoreline construction rates, construction practices for shore armor and overwater structures (docks) have changed very little, despite the increased regulatory standards.  The vast majority of shoreline armoring constructed post-SMA occurred without mandatory county or state permits likely due to:  widespread perception that permits were unnecessary and that permit standards were arbitrary and inconsistently applied, poor understanding of shoreline ecology by community members, lack of county or state enforcement authority and shoreline monitoring programs, and poor permit tracking systems.

URL1: The next link will exit from NWFSC web site http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2017.1237242
Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.
Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management