Snohomish County’s Shoreline Management Master Program was originally adopted in 1974. In compliance with the State's Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58), the County update its shoreline program to reflect changes in the Act adopted by the State Legislature in 2003. To protect the public interest in the state’s shorelines, all jurisdictions within Washington State that contain shorelines of the state are required to conduct this update process. To achieve coordinated shoreline management statewide, oversight and approval authority over local programs is the responsibility of the Washington State Department of Ecology.
The County and the Department of Ecology worked for several years to prepare updates for the Shoreline Management Program (SMP). The comprehensive update of the SMP was approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology on July 13, 2012 and became effective on July 27, 2012.