Seattle Times: Conservation groups seek increased shoreline protections in Puget Sound

From the Seattle Times this morning:

Three conservation groups on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers to increase habitat protections along Puget Sound shorelines.

Such concrete or rock structures prevent erosion and protect waterfront homes, but they also alter beaches and disrupt habitat for juvenile salmon, forage fish and other species.

So Friends of San Juans, the Washington Environmental Council and Sound Action are asking the Corps’ Seattle District to use its authority to regulate so-called “shoreline armoring” projects in tidal areas.

More than 1 mile of Puget Sound shoreline is built up each year, most without Corps permits and thus without a review by federal fisheries biologists of whether such projects harm federally endangered species, NOAA has told the Corps.

The concern of these conservation groups is real. We really do continue to lose salmon habitat faster than we can restore it.