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Natural Environment Policies
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The protection of the natural environment will continue to be a priority in all Island development. Protection of the environment and private property rights will be consistent with all state and federal laws.

18.1The City of Mercer Island shall protect environmentally sensitive lands such as watercourses, geologic hazard areas, steep slopes, shorelines, wildlife habitat conservation areas, and wetlands. Such protection should continue through the implementation and enforcement of critical areas and shoreline regulations.

18.2Land use actions, storm water regulations and basin planning should reflect intent to maintain and improve the ecological health of watercourses and Lake Washington water quality.

18.3New development should be designed to avoid increasing risks to people and property associated with natural hazards.

18.4The ecological functions of watercourses, wetlands, and habitat conservation areas should be maintained and protected from the potential impacts associated with development.

18.5The City shall utilize best available science during the development and implementation of critical areas regulations. Regulations will be updated periodically to incorporate new information and, at a minimum, every eight years as required by the Growth Management Act.

18.6Encourage low impact development approaches for managing stormwater and protecting water quality and habitat.

18.7Services and programs provided by the City with regards to land use should encourage residents to minimize their own personal carbon footprint, especially with respect to energy consumption and waste reduction.

18.8The City’s development regulations should encourage long term sustainable stewardship of the natural environment. Examples include preservation and enhancement of native vegetation, tree retention, and rain gardens.

18.9Outreach campaigns and educational initiatives should inform residents of the collective impact of their actions on local, county, and state greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.