The Department of Ecology is seeking public comments on Grays Harbor County’s proposed comprehensive update to its shoreline master program. The shoreline master program is a locally tailored set of land use policies and regulations designed to protect and guide how the county will develop, restore, and preserve more than 1,200 miles of marine and freshwater shorelines in and around:

  • Grays Harbor estuary
  • Pacific Ocean coastline
  • Numerous rivers and streams including the Chehalis, Hoquiam, Humptulips, North, Satsop, and Wynoochee rivers.
  • Six lakes including Wynoochee Lake

Grays Harbor County last amended its SMP in 1991. The proposed updated master program will replace the county’s current SMP. It is designed to:

  • Prioritize water-oriented uses and development in Grays Harbor County.
  • Provide for public access to public waters and shorelines.
  • Support restoration actions consistent with the county’s shoreline restoration plan.
  • Incorporate critical area regulations to ensure environmentally-sensitive areas within the county’s shoreline jurisdiction are protected.

The draft documents currently out for review and comment are available electronically through the Ecology website at https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Shoreline-coastal-management/Shoreline-coastal-planning/Status-of-local-Shoreline-Master-Programs-SMP/Grays-Harbor-County

Paper copies are also available for review, by appointment, at Ecology:

Washington Department of Ecology

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Drive
Lacey, WA 98504

To arrange a time, please contact Ecology’s Kim Van Zwalenburg. Her phone number is (360) 407-6520.

The documents are also available by appointment at the county:

Grays Harbor County
Department of Public Services – Planning and Building Division

100 West Broadway, Suite 31
Montesano, WA 98563

To schedule an appointment, please contact Jane Hewitt at Grays Harbor County. Her phone number is (360) 249-4222

Comments only need to be provided once before the Dec. 3 deadline. While we prefer public comments be submitted through our online comment form, we also will accept comments by mail sent to:

Kim Van Zwalenburg

Washington Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
PO Box 47775
Olympia, WA 98504-7775

Next steps

After the public comment period closes Dec. 3, Ecology will compare Grays Harbor’s proposed SMP to the requirements of the state Shoreline Management Act and Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. Based on the comparison, we will decide whether to:

  • Approve Grays Harbor County’s proposed SMP as is.
  • Approve the revised SMP with recommended changes.
  • Send the proposed SMP back to the county with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.