public port in Washington
DNR works with public ports in Washington state to ensure that the citizens receive a balance of benefits from the state-owned aquatic lands used by port districts. The agency's predecessors and current Ports Program and port districts have worked together since the legislature authorized formation of port districts in 1911.
In 1984, the state legislature adopted the Aquatic Lands Act that enabled DNR to enhance its stewardship of state aquatic lands. Under certain conditions, DNR may enter into an agreement that authorizes a port to manage some or all of the eligible state-owned aquatic lands in their district.
A port is eligible for a Port Management Agreement if it controls the uplands that abut the state-owned aquatic lands. Of the 76 public ports in Washington, 31 have agreements with DNR. The cooperative agreement defines general responsibilities for both the port and DNR. The port still follows all applicable local, state and federal laws. In cases where a port does not have upland control, the Ports Program administers other agreements that include commercial leases, material sales agreements, easements and rights of entry.

Laws and Rules For Ports Program

Aquatic Lands Laws and Agency Rules
RCW Title 79 - Public Lands
WAC 332-30 - Aquatic Land Management
Port Districts RCW Title 53
Management agreements with port districts WAC 332-30-114
Water-Dependent, Water Oriented, and Nonwater-Dependent Uses
RCW 79.105.060 Definitions
Rent Guidelines and Formulas for Water-Dependent Uses 
RCW 79.105.240 
WAC 330-32-123
Rent Guidelines and Formulas for Nonwater-Dependent Uses 
RCW 79.105.270 
WAC 332-30-125

Inflation Adjustment Indexes – and Real Rates of Return (RRR) for Fiscal Year July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024 only, used for calculating rents:

  • Producer Price Index (PPI): +16.33% (1.1633)
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI): +9.00% (1.0900)
  • Oyster Price Index (OPI): +5.49% (1.0549)
  • Leasehold Tax: 12.84%
  • Leasehold Tax - production based rent: 8.6%
  • Water-dependent Rate of Return: 3.00%
  • Nonwater-dependent Rate of Return: 9.50%
2022 Sand and Gravel Royalty Rates
  • All State-Owned Waterways - $1.06/CY
  • Shorecast Dredge Spoils - $1.21/CY