Opinion

Our shorelines need you

If your vision for San Juan County shorelines includes vibrant ecosystems and a healthy respect for natural erosion, San Juan County needs to hear from you.

If you think it wiser to plan for sea level rise than to ignore it, San Juan County needs to hear from you.

If you want to improve our plan for building out the undeveloped 50 percent or so of our shorelines, San Juan County needs to hear from you.

The county recently held Shoreline Master Program visioning meetings, and voices for clean water, fish, birds, whales, shoreline trees, and public shoreline access were in short supply.

The more vocal message was that human development has not impacted our shorelines and that existing regulations therefore work just fine.

But if you have seen surf smelt spawning beaches covered or squeezed by bulkheads, shorelines denuded of the trees intended to screen houses from shoreline views, or eelgrass threatened by overwater structures that could have been built elsewhere, you know that our current Shoreline Master Program needs work.

So, if your vision for the next 25 years includes stunning viewsheds, sandy beaches, community docks, or spawning smelt, herring, and sand lance, then stand up and be counted.

Share that vision with your family and your friends. And share it with Colin Maycock at the county planning Department by the Oct. 14 deadline, at P.O. Box 947, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

The Shoreline Master Program update is our opportunity to preserve vital shoreline resources for fish, wildlife, and people.

Help improve our plan for the future of our shorelines.

Kyle Loring

San Juan Island

— Editor’s note: Kyle Loring is staff attorney for Friends of the San Juans.

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