Clark County Shoreline Master Program Update
Located in southwest Washington, Clark County and its cities formed a coalition to update their Shoreline Master Programs (SMP) to guide the development and protection of more than 400-miles of freshwater shorelines—including resources like 2,300-acre Vancouver Lake and the Columbia, Lewis, and Washougal, Rivers—into the year 2040. The Coalition, composed of Clark County and the cities of Camas, Battle Ground, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and the Town of Yacolt, required experienced consultants to help them meet their ambitious goals.
Since the Shoreline Management Act’s inception, ESA, formerly known in the Pacific Northwest as Adolfson Associates, has assisted communities surrounding the Puget Sound and rivers and lakes throughout Washington in complying with the Act’s planning and regulatory requirements.
For the Coalition’s SMP Update, ESA prepared an inventory of existing natural and built environmental conditions; characterized and analyzed the potential for future development along the shorelines; identified opportunities for the restoration and protection of natural resources; and prepared a restoration plan. With input from county and statewide citizens, ESA worked with the Coalition and its stakeholder and technical advisory committees, to develop county-wide shoreline goals, policies, and regulations that are being tailored for the unique needs of each Coalition government. Following this, ESA will develop an adaptive management program to assist the Coalition governments with monitoring the effectiveness of their newly updated SMPs.
ESA successfully ushered this regional approach to shoreline management that advanced individual community efforts throughout Clark County while ensuring regional consistency in the use and protection of resources that know no political boundaries.