Navigability Assessments of Washington's Rivers and Lakes
State-owned Aquatic Lands Ownership & Navigability
At statehood in 1889, Washington's Constitution established state ownership to the "beds and shores of all navigable waters in the state…" (Article XVII). This includes about 2,000 square miles of marine waters - beaches tidelands and bedlands of Puget Sound, the coast - as well as most of the navigable rivers, streams and lakes. Over the years, DNR has carried out navigability assessments of the state's fresh waters to more accurately establish the state's (public) aquatic land ownership.
State-owned Aquatic Land Boundaries Fact Sheet (195KB PDF)