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Agenda for Improving Lake Washington’s Shoreline Habitat July 19, 2007 Ruth Howell, Kelli Roberts, Bryan Russo, Angela Wallis, Gregg Casad, and Dave Fries.

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Presentation on theme: "Agenda for Improving Lake Washington’s Shoreline Habitat July 19, 2007 Ruth Howell, Kelli Roberts, Bryan Russo, Angela Wallis, Gregg Casad, and Dave Fries."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agenda for Improving Lake Washington’s Shoreline Habitat July 19, 2007 Ruth Howell, Kelli Roberts, Bryan Russo, Angela Wallis, Gregg Casad, and Dave Fries UW Program on the Environment Environmental Management Certificate Keystone Faculty mentor: Dr. Tom Leschine

2 Acknowledgments Polly Hicks and Paul Cereghino, NOAA Restoration Center Dr. Thomas Leschine Henry Luce Foundation UW Program on the Environment Jurisdictional interviewees, survey respondents, and other informants

3 Purpose of this Presentation Present our interview and survey findings Provide living recommendations for jurisdictions and citizen groups for creating wildlife-friendly shorelines on Lake Washington Start dialogue and collaboration

4 Lake Washington: History and Conditions Heavily urbanized lake 80 miles of shoreline, largest natural lake west of Cascades in WA State Modified lake system (c.1916) Lowered water level by 9 ft, exposing 5.4 km 2 of shore habitat Level regulated by locks Maintained within 2 ft range year round and opposite to natural cycle Home to a threatened chinook salmon run Z.Thomas (2006) Seattle Lake Washington

5 Regulatory Framework Governing Jurisdictions  11 Cities  1 County  At least 2 State Agencies: WDFW, DOE  At least 4 Federal Agencies: USACE, NOAA, EPA, and USFWS Governing Legislation  Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires implementation of Shoreline Master Programs (SMP)  Growth Management Act (GMA)  Other statutes such as ESA, NEPA, and SEPA All Lake Washington cities are currently revising their SMPs by a 2009 deadline.

6 Lake Washington: Current Status Socioeconomics: 3,600 tax parcels 2,400 single family residences 44% of shoreline residents report annual income between $100,000-$300,000 Shoreline (Toft 2001): 70% Hardened - Bulkhead, riprap 30% Not hardened - Beach, landscaped, naturally vegetated, 2,737 docks

7 Problem Description More than 70% of Lake Washington shoreline hardened Majority of shoreline privately owned No incentive programs currently exist to explicitly encourage fish-friendly modifications on Lake WA No recent studies assessing the perceived and actual barriers or incentives for property owners to engage in fish-friendly modifications Project Goal Identify effective methods to encourage creation of fish- friendly habitat on private property in Lake Washington

8 Methodology 1)Perceived and real barriers to making fish-friendly modifications 2)Potential incentives to encourage fish-friendly modifications 3)Effective vehicles to deliver outreach messages 4)Knowledge level of shoreline ecological functions Postcard announcing online survey, paper option available All 2,300 Lake WA single-family private shoreline property owners REGULATORY INTERVIEWSPROPERTY OWNER SURVEY Research Questions Six interviews conducted with municipalities planning staffs 60 minute semi-structured interviews conducted by two- person teams 1)Incentives (economic or social) that could be used to encourage fish-friendly modifications 2)Strategies to make the permitting process operate more effectively and efficiently Research Questions

9 Who participated in the survey? Profile of Respondents (n = 441, 19.4% response rate) Shoreline type 61% hardened 27% partially 12% natural Age 84% are over 45 years old Piers 97% have a dock/pier Residency 86% live in the property year around Number of people 54% have 2 people or fewer Income 44% have yearly income between $ k Length of ownership Over 62% have lived on the lake for more than 10 years Length of shoreline 57% of the shorelines are over 65ft

10 Respondents By City (zip code) n = 396

11 Shoreline Modifications n = 441 Alternatives considered: 42% who attempted or considered modification did not consider natural stabilization alternatives “I agree that these ‘man made’ natural shorelines are an improvement over the proliferation of concrete bulkheads. For my own concrete bulkhead, I softened the impact by adding rip rap against the bulkhead and a rock groin near the swimming beach.” Have you modified your shoreline in the past 10 years?

12 What are the perceived barriers? n ≥ 396 “Haven’t pursued the improvements partly because my perception is that the regulatory process is a pain (and I am a land use attorney)!”

13 What are the perceived incentives? n ≥ 404 “The best way to improve the Lake Washington Shoreline is to provide incentives and resources for property owners to improve their shoreline voluntarily. Mandating shoreline changes through the permit process or other government regulation is the wrong approach.”

14 Desire For Information About shoreline regulatory system Too little Just right Too much About health of Lake Washington

15 Information Vehicles INFORMATION SOURCES: 79% City newspapers or newsletters 76% Through word of mouth 58% Direct mailings 45% Community newsletters MOST EFFECTIVE: 72% Direct mailings 52% City newspapers or newsletters 41% Community newsletters “It is hard to get information regarding what is happening with the lake”

16 Regulatory Interview Results No direct incentives exist; some indirect requirements via mitigation. Some existing programs could be expanded to shorelines Many incentives suggested; little overlap among jurisdictions Lack of coordination between jurisdictions on permitting, SMP revision or incentives At least three jurisdictions have restored city shoreline (LFP, MI and Kirkland)

17 Outreach Products 1)Life on Lake Washington: A Guide to Wildlife-Friendly Living for Shoreline Owners 2)Survey Summary for Jurisdictions 3)“Agenda for Lake Washington” Presentation to Jurisdictions 4)Website: “I wish that we could have more information on how we as waterfront property owners can help keep the lake healthy…it would be nice to receive some ‘guidelines’ on how to be a good steward to the lake.”

18 Recommended Action Plan I.Outreach Recommendations II.Regulatory Recommendations

19 Outreach Recommendations Continuation of newsletter for property owners Based on ALL lake issues (geese, noise, wakes) Build dialogue, trust & receptiveness Raise awareness through relationship Logistics: Who – collaborative, neutral Frequency Funding Develop appropriate outreach materials for shoreline contractors and other stakeholders

20 Outreach Recommendations Website - Dynamic resource Our project will be static Press Editorials; build relationships with local reporters Demonstration projects Highlight existing restoration projects within jurisdictions

21 Regulatory Recommendations Create Financial Incentives: Matching funds Tax incentives- KC Public Benefit Rating System Other models: KC Rural Stewardship Program

22 Regulatory Recommendations Address Permitting Challenges: Streamline permitting for natural or partially- natural modifications Publicize streamlined process to shoreline property owners Identify permitting hurdles for conducting soft and hard shoreline modification

23 “The best way to improve the Lake Washington shoreline is to provide incentives and resources for property owners to improve their shoreline voluntarily. Mandating shoreline changes through the permit process or other government regulation is the wrong approach.”

24 Questions?


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