Regulations & Standards

The Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (SMP) update reflects the adopted goals, policies, and action items of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan as they relate to land use and natural resource management, regulatory review, inter-agency coordination, public involvement, etc.

The new SMP improves coordination and integration between the SMP, the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, and other natural resource regulations.

No Net Loss of Shoreline Functions
Among the goals of the SMP are no net loss of shoreline ecological functions and shoreline restoration. The concept of no net loss of shoreline ecological functions and processes has been broadly addressed through SMP goals, policies, and regulations that integrate implementation of development standards, mitigation sequencing, vegetation conservation within CAO buffers, evaluation of cumulative effects, etc.

The restoration of shoreline ecological functions is a new section within the SMP. This section encourages coordinated and cooperative restoration of impaired shoreline ecological functions and processes through comprehensive planning, nonregulatory actions and voluntary actions.