Shoreline Management Program

Shoreline Management

Balancing environmental protection, public access, and shoreline development


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The 2.5-mile Long Beach shoreline is a valued natural beach and dune area that supports wetlands and wildlife; it also offers breathtaking ocean views as well as recreational, residential, and economic opportunities. We are drawn to the beauty and bounty of our shoreline; it is where we desire to build our homes and businesses, harvest seafood, and play in the dunes and on the beach. But activities such as these may threaten the very qualities that draw us to the shoreline. How do we balance development/use with protection of the shoreline? Striking that balance is the purpose of the City’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP).





SMP References

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Below are documents and web links. This page updates frequently; please visit it often.
Some of these documents require a PDF reader. A free PDF viewer is available here.

Current City of Long Beach Shoreline Master Program



Washington State Shoreline Management Act Documents
The Shoreline Management Act, Chapter 90.58 Revised Code of Washington
Shoreline Master Program Guidelines, Chapter 173-26 Washington Administrative Code
The SMP Handbook, Washington Department of Ecology, detailed assistance to local governments on complying with the SMA and the SMP Guidelines.

Public Participation
Public Participation Plan, Shoreline Mater Program Update, City of Long Beach (November 2013)

Property Rights Information
See the “Property Issues” section at the Ecology FAQs web page: Frequently Asked Questions about the SMA and SMPs

Useful Links
City of Long Beach GIS system: View recent and historic aerial photographs of the city on an interactive map. This site allows you to search, measure areas and distances, add/remove numerous data layers, and view parcel property and tax data.

Washington State Coastal Atlas : View numerous data layers in 15 categories superimposed on your choice of one of 6 base maps. A fascinating and detailed interactive tool.

Washington State Geologic Information Portal: View maps regarding geology, seismic scenarios, natural hazards, tsunamis, subsurface geological conditions, more.

SMP Basics








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A Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprises policies and regulations that apply to shoreline areas. In Long Beach, two related areas are included in the shoreline: 1) the ocean and its beach, from 3 miles west (in the ocean) to about 200 feet east of the base of the outer dune, and 2) what are termed “associated wetlands,” which are those wetlands generally located between the current outer dune and the old outer dune, just west of Ocean Beach Boulevard. The SMP is intended to guide environmental protection, development, and public access.
Ideally, SMPs are updated about every eight years. However, the existing Long Beach SMP is dated 1997. While a few things have changed in in the Long Beach shoreline area since that time, much has changed in the regulatory world. So, it is time for an SMP update. This update is expected to be completed mid-2016.

The City and State Department of Ecology jointly administer the SMP. For background on the origins of SMPs and the Shoreline Management Act (SMA), see the following links to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s (“Ecology”) website:

What is a shoreline Master Program?

Introduction to the Shoreline Management Act

Frequently Asked Questions about the SMA and SMPs including property rights.

SMP Documents

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The City has conducted an inventory of its jurisdictional shoreline area, characterized that area, and documented that effort in a Final Inventory and Characterization Report. This report and its associated map folio/atlas (the map folio/atlas is Appendix A of the Inventory & Characterization Report) are available your information (see below). A draft of this document was available for about two months for public review and comment. It was also reviewed and commented on by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

After the Inventory and Characterization Report was complete, citizens attended a Visioning open house, and described their idealized future shoreline (in 10 years, and then in 20 years). This exercise is described  in a Final Community Visioning Report, which is available for your information below.

The city also completed a draft and Final Restoration Plan (see below), which lays out a proposed program of restoration actions intended to improve the environmental functions and values of the Long Beach shoreline area over time. Again, this document was reviewed and commented on by the public  and Ecology.

Finally, and relying on the body of work previously prepared and reviewed and commented on by Long Beach citizens and Ecology, the city prepared a Draft SMP, which was reviewed and commented on by the public and Ecology. The city revised the Draft SMP and prepared a Second Draft SMP, now available (see below) for your review and comment. The Long Beach City Council passed Resolution 2016-08 on November 7th, 2016 authorizing the submittal of the Final Draft of the SMP to Ecology. Ecology determined that the submittal was complete on January 6, 2017. Department of Ecology will now submit the document for review comment period.

City of Long Beach
SMP Update
PO Box 310
Long Beach, WA 98631

or to:

or drop your comments off at City Hall:
115 Bolstad West

This is one of a continuing number of opportunities you have had and will continue to have to comment on the SMP process, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say. This is your shoreline, let us know what you think!