Last week, the Counties Coastal Caucus convened to hear from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and learn about the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area draft Management Plan. The public comment period is open and counties are encouraged to review and comment through the link. Counties’ attention should be given to chapter seven, the Implementation Plan, which identifies short- and long-range actions and performance goals for the heritage area, as well as guiding principles for implementation. This is a non-regulatory plan, and while there does not seem to be anything of concern, it should be reviewed for applicability and feasibility within your jurisdiction. Your parks and recreation divisions may have the best insights.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking letters of support to submit with the Plan. The Coastal Caucus will reconvene on February 24th from 3-4 pm to approve comments and/or a letter of support. Please mark your calendars.

For Background:

The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area (MW-NHA) was officially designated by Congress in 2019 as a nationally significant cultural landscape. The heritage area encompasses 3,000 miles of Washington State’s saltwater coastline, from Grays Harbor County to the Canadian border—including 18 federally recognized tribes, 13 counties, 32 incorporated cities, 30 ports, and your counties.

Managed by the nonprofit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the MW-NHA works to build partnerships and increase collaboration in order to better celebrate, maintain, and share the stories of our state’s saltwater shorelines. National Heritage Areas:

  • Are supported by the National Park Service but are locally managed and entirely non-regulatory.
  • Focus on facilitating partnerships and aligning goals between multiple jurisdictions, private industries, nonprofits, and other entities to support communities in sharing their unique stories and maintaining resources that matter to them.
  • Are flexible programs that can support locally identified needs, including historic preservation, economic development, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and education.

The slides from the presentation and an Executive Summary of the Management Plan can be found here: