Single-family residence bulkheads shall not result in the permanent loss of critical food fish or shellfish habitat.
The following provisions apply to bulkhead projects in saltwater areas on single-family residence property. Except as expressly provided for in this section, construction of single-family residence bulkheads shall comply with technical provisions and timing restrictions in WAC 220-110-240
(1) Critical food fish and shellfish habitats pertaining to single-family residence bulkheads as identified in RCW 75.20.160
are those habitats that serve an essential function in the developmental life history of fish or shellfish. These habitats include but are not limited to the following:
(a) Pacific herring, surf smelt, Pacific sand lance, and rock sole spawning beds;
(b) Intertidal wetland vascular plants (except noxious weeds);
(c) Eelgrass (Zostera spp);
(d) Kelp (Order laminariales);
(e) Lingcod settlement and nursery areas;
(f) Rockfish settlement and nursery areas;
(g) Juvenile salmonid migration corridors and rearing and feeding areas.
(2) The waterward face of a new bulkhead shall be located at or above the ordinary high water line. Where this is not practicable due to geological, engineering, or safety concerns, the waterward face of the new bulkhead shall be located only as far waterward of the ordinary high water line as necessary to excavate for footings or place base rock for the structure and under no conditions shall the waterward face of the bulkhead be located more than six feet waterward of the ordinary high water line. In addition, the waterward face of any bulkhead shall be located as close to the toe of the bank as possible.
(3) The waterward face of a replacement bulkhead shall be located no further waterward than the face of the existing, functioning bulkhead except where removal of the existing bulkhead would result in environmental degradation (e.g., release of deleterious material) or removal problems due to geological, engineering, or safety concerns. Where removal of an existing bulkhead is not practicable for the above reasons, the replacement or repair bulkhead shall be placed waterward of and directly abutting the existing structure. The least impacting type of structure and method of construction shall be utilized in these instances.
(4) Construction work on a bulkhead project under this section shall be subject to the timing restrictions in WAC 220-110-271
if the department determines that the project may affect a critical food fish or shellfish habitat described above. To determine if a timing constraint is appropriate for a bulkhead project under this section the department shall consider the particular location of the project and characteristics of habitats that may be affected by the project, and may include an inspection of the project site to evaluate the particular habitats near the project. The timing constraints listed in WAC 220-110-271
shall be imposed only if the department determines in the particular case that the constraint is necessary to protect a critical food fish or shellfish habitat. In addition, the timing constraints under this section shall meet the following requirements:
(a) When a project under this section may affect more than one critical habitat, the department shall apply the more protective timing constraint.
(b) Timing conditions to protect nearshore juvenile salmonid migration, rearing, and feeding areas shall not be required if:
(i) The excavation for footings or placement of base rock is located at or above MHHW and all construction work is conducted from the landward side of the project; or
(ii) The waterward face of the bulkhead and all work areas and corridors, including stockpile areas, but excluding the area occupied by a grounded barge, are at or above MHHW; or
(iii) The waterward face of the bulkhead is at or above MHHW and the bed of the project site does not contain substantial amounts of silt, clay, or fine grained sediments, so long as the project also meets the following conditions:
(A) If the bulkhead is to be constructed of rock, then work shall be limited to daylight hours in a twenty-five-foot wide corridor immediately waterward of the new bulkhead face (excluding the area occupied by a grounded barge) and construction work shall not occur if tidal waters are within thirty feet of the new bulkhead face or within the stockpile area, whichever is greater. The department may permit rock to be stockpiled within fifty feet of the new bulkhead face.
(B) If the bulkhead is to be constructed of concrete, timber, steel, or material other than rock, work shall be limited to daylight hours in a fifteen foot wide corridor immediately waterward of the new bulkhead face (excluding the area occupied by a grounded barge) and construction work shall not occur if tidal waters are within twenty feet of the new bulkhead face.
(c) Timing conditions to protect surf smelt spawning beds shall be imposed if a bulkhead project is located on or where it may affect a surf smelt spawning area and the surf smelt spawning season for that location is less than six months. If the surf smelt spawning season for the project location is six months or longer, then work may be permitted if it commences within forty-eight hours after the location is inspected by a department representative or biologist acceptable to the department and it is determined that no spawn is occurring or has recently occurred. The project may be further conditioned to require completion within a particular time.
(d) When required by the habitat characteristics of a particular case, location, or project, the department may impose appropriate timing constraints to protect a critical habitat pursuant to WAC 220-110-271
(5) Project activities shall not occur when the project area including the work corridor (excluding the area occupied by a grounded barge), is inundated by tidal waters.
(6) Removal or destruction of overhanging bankline vegetation shall be limited to that necessary for construction of the bulkhead.
(7) All natural habitat features on the beach larger than twelve inches in diameter including trees, stumps, logs, and large rocks shall be retained on the beach following construction.
(8) Excavated materials containing silt, clay, or fine grained soil shall not be stockpiled below the ordinary high water line.
(9) When stockpiling of sand, gravel, and other coarse material is allowed below the ordinary high water line, it shall be placed within a designated work corridor waterward of the bulkhead footing or base rock. All excavated or stockpiled material shall be removed from the beach within seventy-two hours of bulkhead construction.
(10) If sand, gravel and other coarse material is to be temporarily placed where it will come into contact with tidal waters, this material shall be covered with filter fabric and adequately secured to prevent erosion and/or potential entrainment of fish.
(11) All trenches, depressions, or holes created in the beach area shall be backfilled prior to inundation by tidal waters. Trenches excavated for footings or placement of base rock may remain open during construction, however, fish shall be prevented from entering such trenches.
(12) Placement of appropriately sized gravel on the beach area shall be required following construction of bulkheads in identified surf smelt spawning areas.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080
. WSR 94-23-058 (Order 94-160), § 220-110-285, filed 11/14/94, effective 12/15/94.]