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Wetlands/Shorelands Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4)

Wetlands/Shorelands Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4)

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Shorelands & Environmental Assistance (SEA) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Wetlands/Shorelands Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Eastern Regional Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA. 

As a Wetlands/Shorelands Permit Specialist, you will serve as a senior section environmental specialist with responsibility for implementation of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA of 1971 (Chapter 90.58 RCW)) and its rules and state adopted Shoreline Master Programs. Your responsibilities will include negotiating technical and legal details on major shoreline and wetland proposals with local, state, and federal entities on project actions that may have inter-related environmental impacts. You will also serve as a senior environmental specialist on matters pertaining to wetlands, federal and state wetland guidance, and anti-degradation policies contained within (Chapter RCW 90.48) and coordinate the state level permitting response to federal permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, issuing permits under Section 401 of the Act.

We are looking for applicants who possess excellent people skills, the ability to thoroughly analyze land use proposals to make regulatory decisions, and the ability to communicate complex permitting information to highly diverse audiences.

The mission of the Shorelands & Environmental Assistance (SEA) program is to support community conservation efforts for our shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains. As a Wetlands/Shorelands Specialist, you will help us achieve our mission by working with a number of local governments on shoreline and wetland permitting that allows for development while also protecting the shorelines, wetlands, and water resources of the state within the parameters of the law.

The Eastern Regional Office, Shorelands and Environment Assistance Program is located in Spokane, Washington and offers flexible work schedules and a dynamic, collaborative group of employees committed to protecting Washington's shorelands, wetlands and floodplains.
Spokane is located 92 miles from the Canadian border, and is neighbors with Idaho. We are located near mountains and forests with many lakes within an hour’s drive. The city has 125 beautiful parks and is known for sports, music and the arts.

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embrace the value of people.

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities.
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.

Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.

Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.

Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.

We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued.

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is expected to work in the office up to 3 days a week. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding building occupancy, mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing.

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of January 03, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before January 02, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


What makes this role unique?

You will be joining a team of passionate public servants who work across a broad network of local wetlands and shorelands administrators and grant partners. You will get to work and build relationships with various partners, including tribes, local governments, non-profits, and state and federal agencies. This is a great opportunity to use creative and solution-oriented problem solving skills to protect and restore Washington’s wetlands and shorelands in the Eastern Region.

What you will do:

  • Serve as a senior environmental section specialist with responsibility for implementation of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) of 1971 (Chapter 90.58 RCW)) and its rules and state adopted Shoreline Master Programs.
  • Provide scientific and technical expertise in both wetlands and shorelands environments.
  • Identify, analyze, and make recommendations to local government officials on the identification and delineation of the Ordinary High Water Mark to determine the regulatory boundaries of Chapter 90.58 RCW, Shoreline Management Act.
  • Analyze GIS layers and soil typing and performs field reconnaissance to identify and delineate wetlands utilizing standardized protocols in the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual and the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Arid West Region, Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast Region.
  • Provide senior level technical review and evaluation of project impacts, shoreline and wetland mitigation plans according to state guidance.
  • Make recommendations to department management and other local, state, and federal authorities involved in complex wetland and shoreline regulation and management actions.
  • Serve as a senior environmental section specialist with responsibility for negotiating technical and legal details on major shoreline and wetland proposals with local, state, and federal entities, including briefing upper management on specific shoreline and wetland projects and issues, as needed.
  • Review, analyze, and make recommendations to the section supervisor as to consistency with the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) and as to whether Ecology should deny or appeal permits for developments that would adversely impact shoreline or wetland resources.
  • Prepare policy analysis for signature of supervisor.
  • Draft appropriate scientific and technical permit conditions to ensure consistency with the SMA, its rules, policies, regulations, and state-adopted plans.
  • Perform field reconnaissance/site research to determine the extent of SMA jurisdiction including associated wetlands boundaries and to evaluate shoreline resources, development proposals and their potential impacts.
  • Act as reviewer and coordinator for US Army Corps of Engineers' permits issued to private and public entities in the Eastern Region under Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act.
  • Be responsible for issuing Section 401 Water Quality Certifications. Respond to inquiries from and corresponds with applicants, agents and other agencies regarding application requirements, procedures and status.


Required Qualifications:

A total of Nine (9) years of experience and/or education as described below:

  • Professional level Experience in: environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning.
  • Education: involving a major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

Experience may include but not be limited to a combination of the following: 

  • Investigating environmental complaints or violations.
  • Provides scientific and technical expertise in both wetlands and shorelands environments.
  • Implementing best management practices to protect environmental quality.
  • Performing inspections or field investigations.
  • Planning, developing, conducting data collection, data management, and analyzing the results.
  • Providing technical assistance to the public and businesses on compliance with environmental regulations.

See chart below for a list of ways to qualify for this position:

Possible Combinations

College credit hours or degree

Years of professional level experience – as listed above.

Combination 1

No college credit hours or degree

9 years of experience

Combination 2

30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits.

8 years of experience

Combination 3

60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree).

7 years of experience

Combination 4

90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits.

6 years of experience

Combination 5

A Bachelor's Degree.

5 years of experience

Combination 6

A Master's Degree.

3 years of experience

Combination 7

A Ph.D. Degree.

2 years of experience


Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3, at the Department of Ecology.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Education: Coursework leading to a Bachelor’s degree or higher including ecology, botany, biology, hydrology, or soil science.
  • Professional Certification: Willingness and ability to obtain certification from the Society of Wetland Scientists as a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS).
  • Wetland Experience: Professional experience independently performing wetland delineation, evaluation of hydrology, soil science or plant identification.

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:

Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • Three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc.
  • Do not attach documents that are password protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded.

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees: 

Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Sara Hunt at: Please do not contact Sara to inquire about the status of your application.

To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Not Applicable

Experience Level : Mid to Senior Level

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