City needs volunteers for shoreline advisory groups

The city’s looking for volunteers to serve on advisory groups for the update of the Shoreline Management Plan. Read the city’s press release below.


Ryan Ericson, Shoreline Planner
City of Bainbridge Island
(206) 780-3719

City Seeks Volunteers for Shoreline Advisory Groups

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, July 13, 2010 – The City this week published a call for citizens interested in participating in advisory work groups for the update of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), currently underway. The SMP guides shoreline development under Washington’s Shoreline Management Act. The process is scheduled to continue over the next 18 months.

“As we update our program to protect critical marine resources while also fostering sustainable uses on our shorelines, we want to make sure that we are hearing the voices of all concerned,” said Ryan Ericson, the City’s Shoreline Planner. “Our goal is to pull citizens together through these advisory work groups to explore critical issues, foster the exchange of concerns and ideas, and, we hope, identify some creative and innovative policy approaches.”

Three advisory work groups are planned to tackle the following issue areas:

1. Native vegetation zones, environmentally sensitive areas, environmental impacts, public access and associated definitions;

2. New and existing development, nonconforming uses and structures, and associated definitions;

3. Shoreline modification, bulkheads and shoreline armoring, piers, floats and docks, and associated definitions.

Each group will involve seven members, including three “at large” members as well as representatives of four stakeholder groups identified — Bainbridge Shoreline Homeowners, Bainbridge Citizens, Bainbridge Alliance for Puget Sound, and the Association of Bainbridge Communities. In addition to the work groups, a Citizen Task Force comprised of representatives selected from the three work groups will meet to share information and ideas.

The work groups are expected to meet four times between September and December, and the Task Force is expected to meet six times between October and March.

The Shoreline Master Program is a combination of management goals, strategies and regulations required under the State Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58). State law requires the city to update its program by December, 2011. The update is subject to the approval of the Department of Ecology. Information on the Shoreline Management Act and on Shoreline Master Programs is available on the Department of Ecology’s website at

The City is encouraging broad public participation through its Shoreline Education Program. Upcoming events include:

· Understanding Nearshore Characterization, July 27, 7 – 9 pm: Ron Thom, who leads the Coastal Assessment and Restoration group at Battelle’s Marine Sciences Laboratory, will review the Nearshore Assessment Characterization and Inventory that Battelle completed for the City of Bainbridge Island. The assessment describes the physical and biological aspects of the island’s shoreline and assesses their status. The project is intended to provide an informed basis for nearshore restoration and conservation as well as inform the City’s Shoreline Management Update and salmon recovery planning efforts.

· Science Forum and Discussion of Emerging Issues, Sept. 16, 6:30 – 9 pm. An opportunity for the public to participate in a facilitated discussion with Puget Sound scientists with specific expertise in nearshore issues. Discussion topics will be collected from public comments and questions throughout the previous events.

· Beach walks, field trips and other activities will be scheduled in August and September. Visit the SMP Update Events pages on the City’s website at for information on future events.

For more information and an application for the Advisory Work Groups, visit, contact Ryan Ericson, Shoreline Planner, at 780-3719 or, and sign up for the 2011 Shoreline Master Plan Update ListServ by going to the City’s website and scrolling down to the listserv signup on the left hand side of the home page.