Long-term protection of beaches and shorelines begins with public understanding of coastal processes and impact of human activities on the shoreline. We are among many agencies and organizations that work to increase awareness of shoreline issues and to encourage stewardship among shoreline property owners.
We work collaboratively with local governments to develop effective shoreline policies that balance the concerns of property owners with the need to protect public resources.
- Shoreline Stabilization Guidance - This chapter in our Shoreline Master Program (SMP) handbook helps local governments develop effective policies about erosion and stabilization in their SMPs.
- Soft Shoreline Stabilization Guidance - This document helps local planners understand new techniques for dealing with eroding shorelines without the impacts of traditional approaches and how to implement these in their SMPs.
Concerns about the negative impacts of bulkheads and seawalls have greatly increased interest in softer, more environmentally friendly ways of managing shoreline erosion. The terms soft shorelines, green shorelines, and living shorelines are used to describe this new suite of shoreline designs. We provide both technical guidance and planning assistance in identifying and evaluating alternative approaches to managing eroding shorelines.
We contributed to the Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines
, which provides extensive information on the selection and design of different shoreline techniques, and to Your Marine Waterfront
, a simplified guide to alternative approaches for shoreline property owners.
Much of Puget Sound’s shoreline consists of eroding bluffs. These can be hazardous places to build, but they are also critical parts of the Puget Sound coastal ecosystem. Preventing erosion on these bluffs is a logical response, but has significant consequences for our beaches over time. We developed information and guidance that helps local agencies and property owners better understand how to safely develop these areas while also maintaining critical coastal processes.
We’ve developed maps and guidance about the importance of eroding bluffs for maintaining beaches on Puget Sound (and impacts of armoring).
Ecology’s Coastal Atlas includes maps of landslides, feeder bluffs, and other coastal landforms.
Puget Sound’s shoreline is incredibly complex, both geologically and biologically. We work to improve our understanding of these systems and the impacts of armoring on shoreline functions. For a review of scientific work we’ve supported:
Erosion on Washington's ocean coast
- Erosion is also an important phenomenon on Washington’s coast.
Our changing climate is causing sea levels to rise around the world. This will have profound impacts on Washington shorelines.