Salomon bill would increase protections for shoreline habitat

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sen. Jesse Salomon, D-32
Critical fish habitat would receive increased oversight and protection through legislation heard Thursday by the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee in the state legislature.

SB 5885, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), builds on his 2021 legislation to require friendly shoreline development by directing the state to identify illegally built docks and seawalls and to enforce laws prohibiting them.

“When docks and seawalls are built the right way, people can enjoy all the benefits of waterfront property and marine life can thrive at the same time,” Salomon said. “But when these structures are built wrongly, they can destroy shoreline habitat and the species that depend on it.”

Salomon’s bill would direct the Department of Ecology to survey Puget Sound shorelines and identify unpermitted development. A large number of shoreline projects are built illegally and without required permits from local governments, presenting a glaring need to actively monitor shorelines for illegal structures, Salomon said.

“Bulkheads exist on more than 700 miles of Puget Sound shoreline,” Salomon said. “The only way to stay abreast of all the projects that are going on under the radar is by monitoring actual shoreline conditions.”

Salomon’s bill would also mandate that any construction to replace older shoreline structures meet the standards required for new structures.

“Every time someone replaces an older dock or seawall, it’s an opportunity to incorporate techniques that will have the mildest possible impact on marine life,” Salomon said. “With each new structure, we can make our shorelines healthier while still allowing people to enjoy time on and near the water.”

SB 5885 is scheduled for executive action on February 3.

Sen. Jesse Salomon, D-Shoreline, represents the 32nd Legislative District, which includes Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodway, and unincorporated Snohomish County.


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