Shoreline buffers have a maximum effective width.

When local cities and counties draft Shoreline Master Program (SMP) updates and Critical Areas Ordinances (CAO), they hire consultants to assemble the “best available science” to use as the basis for policies and regulations. When property owners in the San Juan Islands started wondering about the science used to justify huge shoreline buffers in their CAO, they looked past the consultant and went straight to the source, the scientist who did the research the consultant used to justify the buffer widths. They were surprised by what he told them. He pointed to research by another scientists that concluded…

Buffers, for all practical purposes, have a maximum effective width. At some point, buffer width reaches diminishing returns.

Read more at The Trojan Heron blog.

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