A slate of bills passed out of the Washington State Senate this week would work to protect Washington’s beautiful coastlines through varying measures. Two bills sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) and four she co-sponsored with her Senate colleagues provide multiple steps towards further protections for Washington’s coastal waters.
- Senate Bill 6528 would streamline the process for addressing derelict vessels and create greater opportunities to remove boats before they sink. This will protect our delicate marine areas from the pollution that occurs when vessels submerge and save the state money over time.
- Senate Bill 6210 would delay the start of a ban on antifouling paints to 2026 to allow the Department of Ecology to research more environmentally sustainable options than the current copper-heavy paint. The bill would also set a June 2024 deadline for Ecology to produce a report outlining information gathered while researching potential alternatives.
- Senate Bill 6432 would protect Washington’s extraordinary coastline by prohibiting offshore oil and gas drilling on outer coastal waters.
- Senate Bill 6613 allows the Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt rules and ensure adequate cost recovery for inspection, monitoring, and compliance testing of marine aquatic farms.
- Senate Bill 6147 would require property owners to consider more environmentally suitable replacements for seawalls and bulkheads when looking to repair or replace existing structures. This measure would restore forage fish habitat, providing a much needed step in salmon restoration and orca recovery.
- Senate Bill 6213 would prohibit the sale and distribution of Styrofoam-type products in Washington state. These products frequently end up on the shores of our waters after being picked up by wind, and are harmful to wildlife on land and underwater.
“The coasts of Washington are home to habitats and wildlife that are impacted by our actions above the water,” said Lovelett. “We should be using every tool we have to protect our environment so that future generations can experience the same beauty and natural diversity that we enjoy today.”
Having passed out of the Senate, the bills now go to the House for consideration.