The new environmental protection standard for updated shoreline master programs is
no-net-loss of shoreline ecological functions. While restoration of degraded areas is encouraged, this does not mean all shoreline areas are required to be made pristine or returned to pre-settlement conditions. Local governments are required to inventory current shoreline conditions, including identifying existing ecological processes and functions that influence physical and biological conditions.
When a shoreline program is adopted, existing ecological conditions on the ground must be protected while development of shoreline areas is continued in accordance with adopted regulations. This is accomplished by avoiding or minimizing the introduction of impacts to ecological functions that result from new shoreline development.