Public Invited to Review Mason County Shoreline Plan

The public is invited to review Mason County’s recently updated shoreline program that details how they plan to manage and protect 697 miles of marine, river and lake shorelines. Mason County’s shorelines include approximately 697 linear miles, which are composed of 217 miles of marine shoreline, 330 miles of river shoreline, and 150 miles of lakeshore. Mason County’s diverse shorelines support a wide variety of uses with the majority of shorelands used as low intensity resource lands in forestry use, but the county also supports a prolific aquaculture industry, port and industrial uses, as well as large areas of residential development.

The Washington Department of Ecology is making the plan available for review and comment through June 21. This is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to provide input that will help Ecology decide whether to approve the county’s update as written or request changes.

Mason County’s comprehensive update completely replaces its original shoreline master program, which was first adopted in 1975. The new plan contains locally tailored policies and provisions to protect habitat and encourage restoration of shorelines on water bodies such as Hood Canal, Lake Cushman and a number of rivers and streams. The updated plan will also help the county manage diverse uses such as port and timber activities, highways, neighborhoods, local parks and forests.

Local shoreline programs protect natural resources for future generations, provide for public access to public waters, 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 Shoreline Management Act. Read the Citizens Guide to Shoreline Master Programs for more information.

Comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 21, and can be submitted to Rick Mraz by email, phone 360-407-6221, or mail P.O. Box 47775 Olympia, WA 98504-7775.

Mason County’s updated Shoreline Management Program can be reviewed online. Paper copies are available to read at Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office in Lacey, or at Mason County offices in Shelton, 615 W Alder St.