Aquaculture for all

Jefferson County: Shoreline Programme Approved

Sustainability Politics +2 more

US - After weighing hundreds of public comments and 30 hours of deliberations, Jefferson County commissioners approved earlier this week a shoreline programme requiring a 150-foot buffer on all marine shores.

A 100-foot buffer proposed on lakes remains in the proposal.

A 150-foot buffer also remains on streams and rivers in the county.

Rejecting the Planning Commission's recommended 50-foot buffer, or setback from the high tide line, the commissioners now toss the issue to the state Department of Ecology for final approval.

But according to the commissioners know that property rights and real estate interests, which have fought against long development buffers along beachfront properties, aren't happy with the decision.

The unanimous action also incudes an immediate ban on net-pen aquaculture, which will not affect shellfish.

Finfish aquaculture has been a point of debate with the commissioners supportive of a prohibition on fish pens that farm salmon and other fish.

The commissioners gave a qualified prohibition on all finfish aquaculture that uses or releases harmful materials, in contrast to the Planning Commission's proposal to allow such operations when they didn't have negative effects.

Jefferson County is required to update its Shoreline Master Programme to comply with the state's 1971 Shoreline Management Act and 2003 Shoreline Master Programme guidelines.

All jurisdictions in the state must update their Shoreline Master Programme rules by 2014.

The Department of Ecology must review and approve the plan before the new shoreline provisions would take effect, anticipated no sooner than the coming spring.

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