Town to study sea rise impact

Coupeville will move forward with a plan to protect community members from sea level rise.

Coupeville will move forward with the development of a plan to protect community members and their assets on the shoreline from sea level rise.

Tuesday, the Coupeville Town Council unanimously voted to accept a grant contract with the Department of Ecology to identify solutions against the threat of rising sea levels, known as the Coupeville Coastal Adaptation Strategy.

In October, Ecology awarded Coupeville $96,900 for the project.

The strategy follows the Seal Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, a study conducted between 2022 and 2023 that was also funded by Ecology, according to Associate Planner Joshua Engelbrecht. The study looked at what kinds of building and infrastructure are within 200 feet of the shoreline, and what risk does sea level rise and erosion pose to those structures.

According to the contract, the assessment found that a significant amount of public and private infrastructure, including the wastewater treatment plant and historic structures, are expected to be impacted by sea level rise in the next 25 to 75 years.

As part of the agreement, the Town of Coupeville will form a steering committee that will meet every month and will include members of tribal governments, government and non-government entities, minority and low-income communities, businesses, shoreline property owners, community groups and more.

The town will also gather feedback from the public through meetings or surveys and educate residents about the risk of sea level rise, according to the agreement and Engelbrecht, who added that mitigation and resilience strategies will also address impacts to wildlife and habitats.

Once the mayor signs, the town will move on with hiring a consultant by the end of April or by early May, Engelbrecht said.

For more questions, contact Engelbrecht at