Chapter 173-26 and 173-27 WAC, Shoreline Management Act

The Department of Ecology is starting the rulemaking process to amend Chapters 173-18, -20, -22, -26, and -27 under the Shoreline Management Act. 

  • Chapter 173-18 WAC: Shoreline Management Act—Streams and rivers constituting shorelines of the state 
  • Chapter 173-20 WAC: Shoreline Management Act—Lakes constituting shorelines of the state 
  • Chapter 173-22 WAC: Adoption of designations of shorelands and wetlands associated with shorelines of the state 
  • Chapter 173-26 WAC: State master program approval/amendment procedures and master program guidelines 
  • Chapter 173-27 WAC: Shoreline management permit and enforcement procedures

We are amending Chapter 173-26 and 173-27 WAC to: 

  •  Add requirements for local governments to address the impact of sea level rise and increased storm severity on people, property, and shoreline natural resources and the environment, and
  • Comply with the Shoreline Management Act (Chapter 90.58 RCW) and address issues that have we have identified through the review, adoption, and implementation of shoreline master programs (SMPs). These revisions will provide clarity around SMP approval/amendment procedures and permit and enforcement procedures, respectively. The topics and specific content of these revisions will be identified during the rule development phase through external engagement and internal coordination.

We are also reviewing and updating sections of Chapters 173-18 and -20 WAC so that the lists of streams, rivers, and lakes reflect completed shoreline master program updates and revising Chapter 173-22 WAC to clarify designations of shorelands and wetlands associated with shorelines of the state. 

Rulemaking timeline


Announcement phase (CR-101)

Filing date:
May 2, 2024

Announcement documents

Rule development phase

Additional languages

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To request ADA accommodation for disabilities, or printed materials in a format for the visually impaired, contact Ecology's ADA Coordinator by email at, or call 360-407-6831. People with impaired hearing may call Washington Relay Service at 711. People with speech disability may call TTY at 877-833-6341.