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Shoreline Master Programs

Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs) are local land-use policies and regulations that guide use of Washington shorelines. These programs apply to both public and private uses for Washington's more than 28,000 miles of lake, stream, wetland, and marine shorelines. They protect natural resources for future generations, provide for public access to public waters and shores, and plan for water-dependent uses.

We review and approve SMPs for local governments and provide guidance and technical assistance to help governments develop their programs. We work with local governments to help create and update these programs to ensure they comply with the state Shoreline Management Act and state Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. More than 260 cities and counties have shoreline programs. These programs are an important tool for wise management of these precious and valuable areas.

Managing our use and development of shorelines is important. It helps to preserve what people in Washington value while protecting life and property. Sharing and caring for state and local shorelines is everyone’s responsibility.

Shoreline Master Programs by town, city, or county

Shorelines are for everyone. Comment on proposed changes to your local shoreline master program. Contact our regional planner assigned to your area.

Shoreline Management Act

State law guides our planning regarding access to, using, and protecting the state's freshwater and coastal shorelines.

Shoreline permits & enforcement

We provide details about shoreline permits and enforcement regulations for local governments and citizens.

Shoreline Master Program Handbook

Our guidance for local governments helps our city and county partners interpret state laws and rules, and helps them update and keep their Shoreline Master Programs current.