Wahkiakum County Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update

Public comment period Jan. 23 – Feb. 23, 2023

We are seeking public comment on a comprehensive update of Wahkiakum County’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP). 

The proposed SMP will entirely replace the county’s 1975 program, last amended in 1992. The updated goals, policies, regulations, environmental designations, and administrative provisions proposed are locally tailored to reflect current conditions and community vision for future shoreline use and development. While the technical background documents prepared earlier in the process were part of a joint effort with the Town of Cathlamet, the proposed SMP only applies to county shorelines. Shorelines located within the Town of Cathlamet are regulated separately under the town’s SMP.

The county’s SMP applies to approximately 203 miles of rivers and creeks, including the in-water areas, associated wetlands and shorelands of: the Columbia River, a shoreline of statewide significance, along with Grays Bay, Puget Island and many sloughs and islands, as well as the Deep River, Grays River, Crooked Creek, Skamokawa Creek, Wilson Creek, Elochoman River, Mill Creek and many other smaller tributaries. There are no qualifying lake or marine shorelines. The county is proposing the minimum 200-foot jurisdictional extent, not including portions of floodplain or critical area buffers that extend beyond that distance from ordinary high water mark/floodway. 

The Wahkiakum County proposed SMP will be compared to the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. Based on the comparison, we will decide whether to:

  • Approve the program as is.
  • Approve with recommended changes.
  • Send the proposed program back to the county with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

Public comment period

Opens: Jan. 23, 2023
Closes: Feb. 23, 2023 

All interested parties are invited to provide comment during this public comment period. There are several ways to provide comments. You only need to submit your comments once.

Submit written comments and questions:

Online via E-Comment Form; or

Michelle McConnell
Washington Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
PO Box 4775
Olympia, WA 98504-7775

Questions: Michelle.Mcconnell@ecy.wa.gov or 360-701-5262

comments must be received no later than Feb. 23, 2023.

Documents for public review and comment

Note: All documents are PDF

Paper copies can be made available for review upon request.

Next steps: Response to public comment and decision

A summary of comments will be posted here a few weeks after the comment period closes. We will also post the county’s response to comments and a notice of our decision when they become available. Please check back.