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What is Washington’s coastal zone?


Under its Coastal Zone Management Plan, Washington’s coastal zone covers the full extent of 15 coastal counties, including offshore to 3 nautical miles and all inland areas of the county. Washington’s coastal zone counties are: Clallam, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom and Wahkiakum.

The coastal zone has diverse regions: the Pacific Ocean coastal area including its estuaries and uplands; the Puget Sound basin including the upland areas to the crest of the Cascade Mountain range; and the lower Columbia River and its uplands.

For more information, read the Department of Ecology’s summary of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

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