Ensure Olympia, Washington Plan Protects Shoreline

Target: Olympia City Council

Goal: Accept recommendations to preserve public access, ecological function and habitats of Olympia Shoreline

The Washington State Department of Ecology and Olympia Planning Commission have made recommendations to the Olympia City Council that ensure public access and preservation of the Olympia shoreline. However, Olympia port and business interests are contesting this necessary course of action in favor of further development. For the long term, Olympia must choose the path that will protect the shoreline from ecological degradation, sea-level rise and inhibited public access.

The recommendations which the Olympia Planning Commission has proposed prevent development within 100 feet of the shore along the north and east sides of the peninsula and within 50 feet on the Budd Inlet shoreline; they prevent any new industrial or commercial expansion and place restrictions on existing structures in the area. The Planning Commission has designated the area an urban conservancy, so that open space and ecological preservation are first priorities. The Commission is working to uphold the original goal of the Shoreline Master Programs, to ensure ecological function is maintained, and all degraded habitats are restored.

The State has required that the City approve a version of the Shoreline Master Program, and after years of debate, they may have to extend the deadline again. The Olympia shoreline is a valuable ecological and scenic property that faces risks from development, habitat destruction, and sea-level rise. Please encourage the city to accept the recommendations of the Department of Ecology, Planning Commission, and environmental and citizen groups to ensure public access and preservation of ecological function and habitat on the Olympia Shoreline.


Dear Olympia City Council,

The future of the shoreline of Olympia is at stake as conservation and development interests contest the Shoreline Master Program. While the Port of Olympia and business groups call for expansion closer to the shore, Department of Ecology, Olympia Planning Commission and conservation groups who have the best interests of the shoreline’s future at heart, disagree.

They recommend mindful growth at a distance of 100 feet from the shore in most places, no new commercial or industry development and restrictions on existing buildings. The recommendations presented to the City Council ensure the maintenance of the shoreline’s ecological function, preservation and restoration of vital habitats, mitigation of future sea-level rise, and safe public access to the shore.

Consider the long-term vitality of the Olympia shoreline so that residents and visitors can access and enjoy it, while wildlife and ecological functions are supported, and so that the shoreline is healthy and prepared for future economic and environmental changes. Please ensure a safe and healthy future for Olympia’s people and environment, and take care of the shoreline by accepting and implementing the recommendations for the Shoreline Master Program.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Joel Washing via Flickr

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