Where’s the science?
The county has an obligation to its citizens to protect their interests in their shoreline property while ensuring no net loss of ecological function from future development. This requires strict adherence to the law, WAC 173-26, which requires that the most current, accurate, and complete scientific or technical information available is used in decision-making, including buffer designations.
Simply rolling over a flawed, one-size-fits-all buffer policy, that employs non-scientific, precautionary-principle oversized buffers, does not meet this standard. Nor does the use of flawed studies such as the Battelle nearshore report or the Brennan Marine Riparian study.
The efforts of Dr. Don Flora and Dr. Kenneth Brooks to assemble and analyze credible shoreline and wetland science should be welcomed by the County – and used as a foundation for the SMP update. Employed properly, this approach will lead to correct, scientifically defensible decisions for buffers and other program elements.
By Bob Benze, environmental engineer. Sent on behalf of the Kitsap Alliance on May 13, 2011, to Larry M. Keeton, Director, Kitsap County Department of Community Development, et al, 619 Division Street MS-36, Port Orchard, WA 98366-4682
- Please see Bob’s entire letter and attachments by Dr. Flora and Dr. Brooks.
- See an article describing Kitsap County’s planned buffer scheme.