Aquatic Habitat Guidelines Program
The Aquatic Habitat Guidelines Program provides technical assistance related to management, conservation, and design strategies to aid in the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of Washington's marine, freshwater, and riparian habitats.
The program helps DNR as steward and land manager by producing guidelines and standards intended to help streamline the permitting and approval process for projects that could negatively affect aquatic habitats.
The aquatic habitat guidelines program is an interagency cooperative program with three lead agencies
Other state and federal agencies participate in the program
Objectives of the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines Program
- Make the expertise of professional resource managers available to a wide variety of organizations and citizens who are seeking assistance in habitat protection and restoration activities;
- Streamline local, state, and federal regulatory review of activities involving aquatic environments by providing guidelines based on best available science;
- Provide a scientific basis for any future changes to current local policies or activities associated with aquatic resources in the state; and
- Maintain ongoing reviews and updates to the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines documents to reflect experience and emerging science and technical practice.
Prior to drafting guidelines, the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines program completed a series of brief documents that provide the scientific and technical basis for guideline development. The papers address the current understanding of impacts of development and land management activities on aquatic habitat and potential mitigation for these impacts. The following topics have been addressed in the series of papers:
Completed Guidelines Include:
Draft guidelines for fishway design and fish screens have also been written, but are not yet finalized. These Draft Publications can be viewed at the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines web page.
The Aquatic Habitat Guidelines program is now shifting attention to guidelines that may be necessary for marine environments, although these subjects are still in the preliminary planning stages.