What are Critical Areas?
Critical Areas in Island County are environmentally sensitive natural resources that have been designated for protection and management in accordance with the requirements of our State's Growth Management Act (GMA). Protection and management of these areas is important to the preservation of ecological functions of our natural environment, as well as the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of our community.
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List of Qualified Environmental Consultants
Critical Areas and My Development
* Species of local importance habitat and Marine Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (MFWHCAs) are not publicly available. Planning Staff will determine whether your proposal is within the vicinity of these habitats.
For wetland and/or buffer impact, a Wetland Report and Mitigation Plan is involved. For streams and other fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas (FWHCAs), a Biological Site Assessment (BSA) is required. BSA guidance is available here. Development may involve SEPA review and completing a SEPA checklist.
If critical areas are mapped nearby, and your proposal falls outside of critical areas and associated buffers, a Letter of Determination from an environmental consultant may be appropriate. Below is a link to an example Letter of Determination, and an explanation of when a Letter of Determination is acceptable. The Island County Critical Areas Planner can help determine which Environmental Reports are needed for your proposal.
Letter of Determination Explained
Example Letter of Determination