Shoreline Master Program

Photos of the shoreline of Oak Harbor


After the adoption of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) in 1972, the City of Oak Harbor was part of Island County's Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The City developed and adopted its own SMP in 1998. Following substantive revisions to statewide SMP guidelines, the City initiated a comprehensive update to their SMP in 2010. Adopted in 2013, this SMP was the focus of a periodic review conducted in conformance with WAC 173-26-090. Amendments were made to the 2013 SMP which was subsequently adopted by the City Council in June 2021.

SMPs are required to implement the goals and policies of the SMA. The primary purpose of the SMA is to provide for the management and protection of the state's shoreline resources by planning for reasonable and appropriate uses.

The Act has three broad policies:

  1. Encourage water-dependent uses: "Uses shall be preferred which are consistent with control of pollution and prevention of damage to the natural environment, or are unique to or dependent upon use of the state's shorelines..."
  2. Protect shoreline natural resources, including "...the land and its vegetation and wildlife, an the waters of the state and other aquatic life..."
  3. Promote public access: "The public's opportunity to enjoy the physical and aesthetic qualities of natural shorelines of the state shall be preserved to the greatest extent feasible consistent with the overall best interest of the state and the people generally."

Shoreline Jurisdiction

As defined by the SMA, shorelines include certain waters of the state plus their associated "shorelands." At a minimum, the water bodies designated as shorelines of the state are marine waters, streams whose mean annual flow is 20 cubic feet per second (cfs) or greater, and lakes whose area is greater than 20 acres. Shoreline jurisdiction includes these waters together with the lands underlying them and all lands extending 200 feet in all directions, as measured on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high water mark, as well as all associated wetlands.

Currently Adopted Shoreline Master Program (June 2021)

The currently adopted SMP as well as supplementary documents supporting the development and review of this SMP are listed and available.

Previously Adopted Shoreline Master Programs