help_outline Skip to main content
PO Box 4041
Bellingham, WA 98227-4041

Contact Us
Copyright © 2021 • All Rights Reserved • Terms of Use Privacy Policy • Powered by ClubExpress
Add Me To Your Mailing List
Shopping Cart

News / Articles

Consensus Process Update: Shoreline Management Act

Published on 11/13/2022
Save the date – December 9 – for the first consensus meeting (on Zoom).

Are you ready to join us in the time-tested League consensus process? The statewide study group has done stellar work reporting the results of their study of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA). Through research, meetings with officials at the Department of Ecology (DOE), and interviews, the committee identified several issues that impede the Act’s ability to achieve its intended goals and respond to ever increasing challenges including climate change and population growth.

This study group, with the LWVWA board approval, is asking us to consider nine questions. The consensus from this process will be used to develop LWVWA position(s), which the state and local Leagues can use to advocate for changes to public policy. We have grouped the questions into three categories for breakout group discussions:

Shoreline Usage
  • Environmental Protection
  • Preferred Uses
  • Public Access
  • Climate Change
  • No Net Loss/Net Gain
  • No Net Loss/Net Gain continued
  • Local Government Funding
  • Exemptions
  • State Oversight

To better understand the study, we recommend reading the Executive Summary. See the Study here

After that, consider the first consensus question:

Consensus question #1

Should the LWVWA take a position that the policy goals do not have equal weight, and the protection of the shoreline environment is more important than the policies of public access and fostering reasonable and appropriate uses and preferred uses? (Refer to pages 32-27; 24-28; 42-43 of the Study.)

For local context, here is the link to Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (SMP) goals and objectives.

Then ask yourself, how strongly do I agree or disagree with Consensus Question 1?

Cliff Strong, Senior Planner at Whatcom County, was responsible for the latest revision of the SMP. He will kick off our consensus process meeting with a presentation and Q&A. He will also share his perspective on what is working and what is not, the Act’s relationship to climate change and sea level rise (currently not required in the Act), and the recommendations Whatcom County has sent to the DOE for strengthening the Act.
For more information, visit the Climate Page of our website and contact