Department of Ecology News Release - April 18, 2017

Cowlitz County shoreline program up for state review


A new program to manage river and lake shorelines in Cowlitz County is available for public review and comment through May 4.

Comments will help the Washington Department of Ecology decide whether to approve the county’s update as written or request changes.

Local shoreline programs protect natural resources for future generations, provide for public access to public waters and shores, and plan for shoreline uses and development. Once approved by Ecology, they become part of the state’s overall Shoreline Master Program as outlined in the state Shoreline Management Act.

Cowlitz County’s comprehensive update completely replaces its original shoreline master program adopted in the 1970s. It contains locally tailored policies and provisions to improve habitat protection and encourage restoration of shorelines that include the Columbia, Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and Toutle rivers, and several lakes and reservoirs.

Cowlitz County collaborated with the cities of Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso and Woodland to update the policies that guide construction and development along county shorelines. These policies will shape future decisions on port activities, hydroelectric dams, major highway and train routes, neighborhoods, parks, and forests.

Ecology has posted Cowlitz County’s proposed updated Shoreline Management Program online. In addition, paper copies are available for reading in person at Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, and are also available at Cowlitz County offices, 207 Fourth Ave. N., Kelso.

Ecology will accept public comments and questions until 5 p.m. Thursday, May 4.

How to comment:

  • Mail: Sarah Cassal, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775.
  • Email:
  • Phone: 360-407-7459

Contact information

Curt Hart
Communications manager
Sarah Cassal
Ecology shorelines planner