Draft report of Shoreline Cumulative Effects Evaluation available

Submitted by San Juan County.

San Juan County is conducting a Cumulative Effects Evaluation of its shorelines for the Department of Ecology. A virtual public meeting to review the draft report is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Find meeting information, review the draft report, and provide feedback at: sanjuanco.com/1971/Shoreline-Cumulative-Effects-Evaluation.

What are shoreline cumulative effects?

Shoreline cumulative effects are changes in coastal health resulting from human development activities across a region. Development activity on a single property (clearing trees, constructing a boat ramp, etc.) may have localized effects that alter coastal habitat quality near that property. When many properties within a reach of the shoreline are altered or developed, the cumulative effects of those actions on nearshore habitat health are greater than the impacts from altering a single property.

Why does San Juan County track shoreline cumulative effects?

San Juan County has an obligation to protect the health and beauty of its shorelines for current and future generations. The study will be conducted every four years. By tracking and evaluating cumulative effects, San Juan County can identify opportunities to improve its existing shoreline development code.

What does this mean?

The Cumulative Effects Evaluation is a scientific study of the relationship between permitted development and coastal ecosystem health. If you are a shoreline property owner, County staff or representatives may ask to access your coastal property in order to observe current conditions and evaluate habitat health during future iterations of this study.

Property owners will have opportunities to give feedback on proposed changes to development codes and permitting processes. We’d like to hear more about your experience with the permitting process.

What if my property isn’t up to code?

This study is not tied to code enforcement. Documenting and/or taking punitive action against code-noncompliant development is not within the scope of this study.

If I participate in the study, will my permit requirements change?

No retroactive changes can be made to existing, issued permits based on the results of the study.