Marine Conservation Agreements
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Washington State Maps

Digital Data Availability Summary

Whatcom Skagit San Juan Island Snohomish King Pierce Clallam Kitsap Mason Grays Harbor Thurston Pacific Wahkiakum Jefferson

Click for local parcel information. Map courtesy Digital Map Store

WASHINGTON Spatial Non-spatial None
GIS Data Portals x    
Reference and Supporting Data  
Cadastral Reference Grid     x
Shorelines x    
Coastal Imagery x    
Bathymetry     x
Marine Jurisdictional Boundaries x    
Submerged Lands Boundaries x    
Ownership  
    Submerged Lands Parcels x    
    General Property and Parcel Data x    
    Public and Conservation Lands x    
Leases and Other Use Authorizations  
    Aquaculture and Shellfish x    
    Other Use Authorizations x    
Marine Managed Areas     x
Local Parcel Information 15 coastal counties
    Deed Records   10 5
    Assessment Data   14 1
    Parcels 12   3

Why is marine cadastral data important for conservation and marine spatial planning?

Marine Cadastral Data Management

The Nature Conservancy’s 2010 Nationwide Comparative Assessment of State-level Marine Cadastral Data in Washington included an interview with the Washington Department of Natural Resources1 (DNR) and a review of relevant Internet sites.

State Data Management : The Washington Geographic Information Council (Council) is the state organization responsible for coordinating and facilitating the use and development of Washington State's geospatial information. The Council provides a clearinghouse for access to data and provides a downloadable spreadsheet, the State Agency Significant Geodata List, that lists available data sources. As DNR is responsible for state lands management and leases, they provide an extensive list of relevant data from DNR GIS Data Center. Washington’s Coastal Zone Program is in the Department of Ecology and they publish a rich source of relevant data including an online mapping tool, the Coastal Atlas. Data that is used in the Coastal Atlas can be acquired by making a public records request from the Website.

Marine Cadastre and Supporting Data

Cadastral Reference System: Washington currently does not have a marine cadastre and although they once had grid system in coastal waters, it was not fully implemented.

Supporting Reference Data

Shorelines and Bathymetry: DNR shorelines were mapped from the “blue line” in the 1990s and then the data was improved with the shore zone inventory. This shoreline represents the ordinary high water line. It is used for all cadastre and meander lines in DNR and it has become the de facto shoreline used by other agencies. Shoreline data is available from the DNR GIS Data Center. Shorelines are included within all cadastres.

Coastal Imagery: Coastal imagery is available from the Coastal Atlas and the Washington State Geospatial Data Archive.

Marine Jurisdictional and Submerged Lands Boundaries: The Coastal Atlas provides access to relevant coastal boundaries as does the DNR GIS Data Center (state, county, DNR Districts and major public lands).

The DNR is currently developing a decision support tool to identify areas where licensed shellfish harvesting may be encroaching onto state-owned aquatic lands. The Department of Health tracks their shellfish licenses by county parcel number.

Ownership, Leases and Other Authorizations: During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the state of Washington sold a large portion of its inter-tidal submerged lands. A moratorium on sales of these lands was instituted in the 1970s. The tracts that were sold mostly extended from the MHW shoreline to MLW, from MLW to extreme low water, or from the MHW shoreline to extreme low water. Records are kept on linen index plates that are still used today as the official record. A GIS transaction layer for state-owned aquatic lands was developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This serves as an index to the records. It is not all-encompassing because of complexity of laws, and the accuracy of the original surveys is far from perfect.

The DNR Data Center provides several data sources of various views of state owned lands. The parcel boundaries of aquatic lands on this site are probably accurate within+/- 400 ft. Because the leases and authorizations are more accurate than the boundaries of the aquatic lands, they are maintained separately.

Leases and Other Authorizations: DNR is responsible for shellfish and other aquatic leases. The agency will need to be contacted to acquire relevant data. There was an effort in DNR (2006) to digitize point information on leases and then to tighten up the accuracy of points in Puget Sound using lease jackets (application files for any type of aquatic use authorization) and coordinate geometry. A lease-tracking database was developed (SAP database) that includes legal description down to adjacent section (although PLSS doesn’t extend into waters). DNR is currently (2011) working to identify leases, maintain the currency of points on the leases, and map footprints of leases. Since 2002 any use authorization requires survey or GPS location are submitted with applications. Currently leases are referenced to PLSS. State owned parcels could be very large, so they do not provide a good index for leasing.

Marine Managed Areas: Data targeted to marine managed areas was not found.

Local Parcel Information: Washington has established a Parcel Workgroup to develop a statewide parcel framework that is operating under the umbrella of the University of Washington’s Geographic Information Services (WAGIS). Currently (2011) an online distribution mechanism is under development. Until parcel data is available from WAGIS the only source of parcel data is from local governments (see local parcel information, below).

GIS Portals

  • Department of Ecology GIS. Includes downloadable spatial data, online interactive maps, such as the Washington Coastal Atlas, and a comprehensive set of oblique marine shoreline photos. (web site)
  • EPA Region 10, Puget Sound Atlas Data. Data from the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, available in Arc/Info export format. (web site)
  • Olympic National Resource Center. Clearinghouse for GIS data of the Olympic Peninsula. (web site)
  • Washington DNR - GIS Data Center. This site is a good source of aquatic and ownership data(web site). The data is available in various formats for download and some are viewable in the agency’s online map service (web site).
  • Washington State Geographic Information Council (WSGIC). Information about FGDC-related activities. Some metadata available. (web site)
  • Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse. The Washington State node of the NSDI. (web site)
  • Washington State Geospatial Data Archive. Access to Washington State's DEM, DLG, and other geospatial data coverages for the Pacific Northwest. This site is maintained by The Map Collection & Cartographic Information Services, University of Washington Libraries. Some of the datasets located here are restricted by license agreement and are available only to UW faculty, staff, and students. Other datasets are in the public domain. (web site)

Reference and Supporting Data

Cadastral Reference Grid

None used.

Shorelines

Data State and County Cadastral Jurisdictions
Access Web site
Detail Shorelines are used in all cadastres.
Distributor Department of Natural Resources
Data Shorelines
Access Web site
Detail Various shoreline representations
Distributor Department of Ecology

Coastal Imagery

Data DOQQ
Access Web site
Detail Orthoimagery is available for various areas throughout the state. This includes 1 meter NAIP Aerial Photography and high-resolution imagery including Puget Sound and Bainbridge Island.
Distributor Washington State Geospatial Data Archive

Bathymetry

No state level data found.

Marine Jurisdictional Boundaries

Data Cadastres and Cadastral Jurisdictional Boundaries
Access Data download (Web site)
Detail ESRI shapefile formats
Distributor Department of Natural Resources

The term submerged lands is used here to refer to tidal waters lying between the high water mark and the seaward extent of the state’s jurisdictional limit, which for most states is three nautical miles (i.e., the Submerged Lands Act Boundary). See the Submerged Lands definitions page for specific terminology used in each state.

Submerged Lands Boundaries

Data Cadastre Jurisdiction Boundaries.
Access Download ESRI shapefiles. (web site)
Detail Includes bedlands (beds of navigable waters), tidelands (intertidal), tidal datums, state-federal boundary, and other jurisdictional lines relevant to aquatic lands.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Ownership

Submerged Lands Parcels

Data Aquatic Land Ownership Boundaries and Parcels (Statewide and by County).
Access Download ESRI shapefiles. (web site)
Detail Includes extensive data on classification of aquatic lands.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 2007.

General Property and Parcel Data

No data found.

Public and Conservation Lands

Data DNR Managed Land Parcels.
Access Download ESRI shapefiles. (web site)
Detail Parcels associated with some type of transfer.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Data Major Public Lands.
Access Download ESRI export coverage.
Detail Includes ownership parcels for federal, non-DNR state, county, and city government, and tribal administrative boundaries. 2005.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources. (web site)
Data Tribal Lands.
Access Download ESRI shapefile. (web site)
Detail Ceded Tribal lands in Washington State, current and historic. Draft data. 2006.
Distributor Washington State Department of Ecology.

Leases and Other Use Authorizations

Aquaculture and Shellfish

Data Aquatic Lands GIS Encumbrance Layer.
Access Must contact agency for data. (web site)
Detail Includes finfish and shellfish aquaculture leases; long-term leases only.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Other Use Authorizations

Data Aquatic Lands GIS Encumbrance Layer.
Access Must contact agency for data. (web site)
Detail Includes leases, easements, permits, and others; long-term authorizations only.
Distributor Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Marine Managed Areas

Data Aquatics
Access Data download (web site)
Detail ESRI shapefile formats
Distributor Department of Natural Resources
     

Local Parcel Information

Clallam County

Deed Records Search Auditor's database and document images of deeds and easements. (web page) Download Auditor's scanned images in monthly update zip files of surveys, plats, and subdivisions. (web page)
Assessment Data Search by parcel number or address for non-spatial Assessor’s data. (web page)
Parcels View Assessor’s parcel maps and data using online interactive map and/or download scanned imaged of paper maps. Parcel attributes include link to non-spatial Assessor’s data. (web page)
Other Clallam County has other mapping resources that will be of interest to coastal conservation efforts. (web page)

Grays Harbor County

Deed Records No online index or images of recorded documents was found.
Assessment Data Search non-spatial Assessor’s data by parcel number, address, or legal description. (web page)
Parcels Download ESRI shapefiles for parcels and Assessor’s parcel data or view using online interactive map. (web page)
Other Geographic Information Systems (web page) has other mapping resources that will be of interest to coastal conservation efforts.

Island County

Deed Records Search Auditor's non-spatial database for index records, deeds, easements, and some images of scanned documents. (web site)
Assessment Data Search Assessor’s non-spatial online database by address, parcel number or key number for data, including owner, use, area, valuation, and more. (web site)
Parcels View non-interactive online Assessor’s Quarter-Section Zoning/Parcel Maps that show zoning and parcel boundaries, but no parcel numbers or ownership data. Submerged lands zoning or parcel boundaries appear to be shown. Interpretation may require consultation. (web page)
Other PDF maps of Critical Areas, Shoreline Designations, and Zoning online. No data for download. (web site)

Jefferson County

Deed Records Search online database and document images of deeds and easements. Request hardcopies for a fee using form. (web page)
Assessment Data See Parcel information below.
Parcels Search and view online Assessor’s data and interactive parcel map through Parcel Search (text) or Parcel Map Tools. Map results link to non-spatial data and vice-versa. (web page)
Other Jefferson County has other mapping resources available that will of interest to coastal conservation efforts. (web page)

King County

Deed Records Search Recorder’s Official Public Records showing images of recorded documents, including deeds and easements. (web page)
Assessment Data Search Land Records, including registered land and 70,000 digital maps of recorded surveys at Recorder’s Office. (web page)
Parcels Search and view online parcels maps and property data through interactive maps using text or spatial searches, or order on CD (for a fee). Parcels are linked to tax/property reports, management districts, and permits. (web page)
Other The GIS Center (web page) has strong data resources that may be accessed in a variety of ways. Available data include county property interests, tribal lands, zoning, shoreline master program, and other layers of potential interest for coastal conservation.

Kitsap County

Deed Records Search Auditor's non-spatial database of deeds and easements. (web page)
Assessment Data Search property databases by tax account or address for parcel maps and Assessor’s data, use interactive map, or download ESRI shapefile and dBase table. (web page)
Parcels Use above link to access parcel data.
Other For other spatial data relevant to coastal conservation, see the web page of the GIS Division.

Mason County

Deed Records Search and view Auditor's online data and documents including deeds, easements, and survey maps. (web page)
Assessment Data Search by name, street, and parcel number and view online Assessor’s data and parcel maps with link to online interactive parcel map. (web page)
Parcels View parcels (linked to parcel data) online using interactive map or request ESRI shapefile on CD. (web site)

Pacific County

Deed Records Visit County Auditor’s office for hard copy, microfilm and electronic storage. No online index or images of recorded documents was found. Oyster bed records will be found among deed records. (web page)
Assessment Data Search non-spatial Assessor’s database by multiple fields, including land use and acreage. (web page)
Parcels Parcel information can be found through the Assessor's database (see above).

Pierce County

Deed Records Search online non-spatial data of Official Public Records. (web page)
Assessment Data Search and view Assessor’s data on real property. (web page)
Parcels Request ESRI Tax Parcels shapefiles or view using online interactive map. Shapefiles are derived from Land Layer. Land Layer and other related data sets (such as Deed Boundaries) have distinct sets of attribute data. Includes submerged/wetlands parcels. Owner name is generally withheld, but may be available by special request. However, owner name and other data on individual parcels is available through the online interactive map (Public GIS), as its “Get Info” tool is linked to the county’s electronic Property Information Profile (ePIP). (web page)
Other The GIS Division (web page) has strong data resources, including zoning and other layers, that will be of interest for coastal conservation.

San Juan County

Deed Records No data found.
Assessment Data Search Assessor’s Real Property online database or use interactive parcel map. (web site)
Parcels Download spatial data for Parcel Boundaries, Tax Parcels, and Taxmap CAD Drawings (web page)
Other GIS Data Download Library. (web page)

Skagit County

Deed Records Search Auditor’s non-spatial database for index records and some images of scanned documents. (web page)
Assessment Data Download ESRI shapefiles, AutoCAD DWG files, or PDF files, or use online interactive map. Interactive map allows retrieval of Assessor’s data on individual parcels.
Skagit County GIS (web page)
Parcels Search Assessor’s Office database linked to interactive map and PDF maps of parcel maps and extensive tax assessment records. (web page)
Other Skagit County GIS has other data available for download and an interactive map program that includes zoning layers.

Snohomish County

Deed Records Search Auditor's Official Public Records showing images of public records, including deeds and easements. (web page)
Assessment Data Search Assessor's extensive non-spatial property information data by property number or address. (web page)
Other The Snohomish County Assessor also has selected tabular data available for download. (web page)

Thurston County

Deed Records Search index data and map images of deeds and easements. (web page)
Assessment Data Search Assessor’s Parcel Look-up System online database. Property data is linked to interactive parcel map. (web page)
Parcels Use interactive map viewer or request Arc export or DXF file cod parcel data, extensive associated data, and link to Assessor’s data. (web page)
Other For other spatial data that may be relevant to coastal conservation, consult the GeoData Center. (web page)

Wahkiakum County

Deed Records No online access found to Auditor's recorded documents. (web page)
Assessment Data No online access found to Assessor's parcel data and maps. (web page)
Parcels See above.

Whatcom County

Deed Records No data found.
Assessment Data Search online non-spatial database of assessor Parcel Data Base Information System (web site)
Parcels Parcel Map digitized in 1995-96. Listed in metadata, but not listed as available for download. Inquire with GIS office. (web page)
Other Zoning, Critical Areas, and other data available from Whatcom County Planning and Development Services may be of interest. (web page)

 

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1 Interview with Tim Strickler, WA Department of Natural Resources, June 2010.

 

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