Three conservation groups on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers to increase habitat protections along Puget Sound shorelines.

Such concrete or rock structures prevent erosion and protect waterfront homes, but they also alter beaches and disrupt habitat for juvenile salmon, forage fish and other species.

So Friends of San Juans, the Washington Environmental Council and Sound Action are asking the Corps’ Seattle District to use its authority to regulate so-called “shoreline armoring” projects in tidal areas.

“We have good laws for federal oversight and they’re not being implemented,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney with Earthjustice representing the groups.

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