Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hundreds of Dead Sea Birds Reported In Eastern Portion of Strait of Juan de Fuca

Why are you dying?

The Peninsula Daily News has reported up to 300 rhinoceros auklets have washed up onto the eastern shorelines of the Strait of Juan de Fuca since May. The cause of death is unknown, with theories ranging from starvation to possible contagions, poisons or toxic algae blooms.

An earlier report from KLCC noted that autopsies in Wisconsin showed "zero body fat" indicating starvation and a probable lack of food. In the recent Daily article, Julia Parrish, executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team notes 72,000 of the birds are successfully breeding, indicating food appears to be relatively plentiful, and is quoted as saying, “That actually is the information we're using to decide it's not a general lack of food.”

While a concern, KLCC also notes: It's a tiny toll compared to the dieoffs of other species of seabirds in 2014 and 2015. Common murres and Cassin's auklets washed up by the hundreds of thousands up and down North America's west coast.

In the end,assuming the marine waters will remain a safe source for sea food with no action remains a risk.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Taylor Shellfish Seeks Responsibility Certifications on Puget Sound/Hood Canal Tideland Plots

Public meetings, July 26, 27 and 28 (see below).

Grow Out Bags:
Oysters responsibly grown?
(Totten Inlet)

Onwards and upwards in a responsible manner.
After achieving responsibility certifications on a limited number of tideland plots in a portion of south Puget Sound and Willapa Bay, Taylor Shellfish is seeking to expand the number of its plots
it may say are certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), an organization headquartered in the Netherlands. Prior to Taylor Shellfish, ASC had certified bi-valve farms in Chile, Peru, Japan and the United Kingdom. Its goal is to promote "...industry best practice to minimise [sic] the environmental and social footprint of commercial aquaculture..." allowing use of a label which "...promotes certified responsibly farmed products in the marketplace." Taylor seeks certification for oyster, manila clam and geoduck operations.

Jersey Oyster Farm: Industry best practice
to minimize the environmental and social footprint
of commercial aquaculture.
(United Kingdom)

We have a few questions for you.
Taylor Shellfish will use SCS Global to audit the farms and determine if they meet the standards Taylor Shellfish helped to develop and used by ASC, the Dutch organization, through the Aquaculture Dialogues. That audit includes site visits (which have already occurred) and public meetings (see below) at which those aware of them may provide input. A final draft report will then be developed which may be commented on over a ten day period, after which SCS Global will determine if the plots looked at meet ASC standards. (See here for reports on earlier plots approved in south Puget Sound and in Willapa Bay.)

Public is Invited to Provide Input July 26, 27 and 28 or on Draft Report (to be released)
Listed below are the areas where the plots are located and associated public meetings. Included is Burley Lagoon where Taylor is proposing a 25 acre geoduck farm. It is unclear whether any geoduck farms exist there at this time. No geoduck operation of that size currently exists anywhere in Puget Sound or Willapa Bay. Comments may be emailed to Juan Aguirre, JAguirre@scsglobalservices.com. If you would like to be notified of the release of the draft report, you may also email Mr. Aguirre and request to be notified.

Samish Bay Areas (see public announcement here)
Community Meeting 1 – Samish – July 26th, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Mt. Vernon Fire Station #2 – 1901 N Laventure Rd, Mt. Vernon, WA
Plots in Samish Bay: Samish Bay, Samish West and Samish East. 

South Puget Sound Areas (see public announcement here)
Community Meeting 2 – SE Puget Sound – July 27th, 2016 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Port of Allyn – 18560 E. SR 3, Allyn, WA
Plots in south Puget Sound: North Bay, Minterbrook, Burley Lagoon, Case Inlet, Harstine Island

Hood Canal Areas (see public announcement here)
Community Meeting 3 – Hood Canal – July 28th, 2016 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Brinnon Community Center – 306114 US 101, Brinnon, WA
Areas of Hood Canal Plots: Dosewallips, Dabob Bay, Discovery Bay, Anna’s Bay 

If you net over $1 million/acre
and pay little to no taxes
you have disposable income.

It's not free, but little in sales is.
The cost to be able to use the ASC label includes the audit and then, depending on use, annual fees and/or royalties. It limits the use to those able to afford it and able to track their product. Whether it helps to differentiate the product enough to offset the cost(s) is unknown. What is known is Taylor and others are generating immense profits from sales of geoduck to China. t

Get involved. Attend a meeting or email your thoughts to Juan Aguirre at: JAguirre@scsglobalservices.com

Monday, July 18, 2016

BC Salmon Farm Impacts on Wild Salmon to be Investigated by Alexandra Morton and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The Martin Sheen

Undercurrent News reports that biologist Alexandra Morton and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will begin a weeks long investigation of salmon farms in the northern area of the Salish Sea. Through use of Society's vessel, The Martin Sheen, Ms. Morton will audit and monitor salmon farms along the migration route of the wild salmon leaving and returning to the Fraser River along the eastern shoreline of Vancouver Island.

Salmon Net Pen Locations
and Routes of The Martin Sheen
and Wild Salmon

Along the route Ms. Morton will be looking for impacts from these pens of concentrated populations of salmon and risks those impacts pose to wild salmon.* Testing will look specifically at the plumes flowing down current from these structures, measuring concentrations of parasitic sea lice, Piscine reovirus, ISA virus, and Salmon alphavirus (see here for a discussion of the virus and their impacts).
*most farmed salmon are non-native with genetically modified species ("frankenfish") having been recently approved
Decades of research leave little doubt to the risks these operations pose to the wild populations of salmon. In Puget Sound there is a press by industry to expand these operations, putting at risk the native salmon runs. Marketing efforts which claim farmed salmon lessen pressure on wild salmon ignore the risks Ms. Morton continues to elevate.

Ms. Morton has spearheaded the effort to bring to light the risks posed by what has been marketed as a benign operation. You can help Ms. Morton on this page or the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on this page. Get involved. Tell your seafood buyer to stop buying salmon farmed in open water net pens.

Monday, June 27, 2016

July Starts with Minus Tides for July 4th

Low tide at
McMicken Island Marine State Park
A "tombolo" connects the state park
to Harstine Island at low tide.

Daylight mid-day minus tides start the month of July. Get out and see what's exposed when the waters of Puget Sound recede to one of their lowest levels. Temperatures are forecast to be in their 70's on the 4th when the lowest tide at McMicken Island Marine State Park will be -3.1, just after noon, at 12:15PM.
tide table from -

South Puget Sound

 At low tide a sand bar is exposed which connects
McMicken Island to Harstine Island.

McMicken Island Marine State Park
(note submerged "tombolo" connection
McMicken Island to Harstine Island)

You don't know what a treasure Puget Sound is if you don't get out. It's worth protecting because once it's gone you can't get it back.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's Summer: Barges of PVC for Puget Sound's Tidelands to Grow Geoduck for China

The movie left an impression
on the young Governor.
(Pictures of PVC below from June 2016)
Barges of "totes" filled with PVC -
-destined for Puget Sound's tidelands.
Followed by bundles of PVC for the same.
Thank you Governor Inslee and Taylor Shellfish.
You've left a lasting impression
for your grandchildren.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat Sues Army Corps over Excessive Permits for Aquaculture

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat has issued a press release announcing their having filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers over aquaculture permits issued. See release below. Click here to read papers filed.

June 22, 2016
CONTACT: Laura Hendricks-Coalition (253) 509-4987
                 Karl Anuta-Attorney (503) 827-0320 

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat announced that it has filed suit against the US Army Corps of Engineers, challenging the Seattle District of the Corps for its excessive issuance of shoreline aquaculture permits. The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington, outlines how the Seattle District has issued almost 1,000 permit verifications/registrations for industrial-scale shellfish operations in Puget Sound over the last four years, under a Nationwide Clean Water Act Permit (#48) - but it claims that the Corps has never done a cumulative impact analysis of the effects of all those permits on the Sound, the Orcas and salmon of the Sound, and the many other resources.  Nor, claims the Coalition, has the Corps evaluated the cumulative impacts of these operations on the people who live and recreate in the Sound.

The Coalition is an alliance of citizens, scientists and conservation groups concerned about the pollution and adverse impacts (both short and long term) of the industrial scale aquaculture that is proliferating in Puget Sound. Local Chefs have also expressed concerns about the potential effects of these operations on the Sound.

"We tried repeatedly to get the Corps to stop issuing these permits, until an evaluation of the cumulative effects of all this nearshore habitat degradation and massive amount of PVC and High Density Polyethylene plastic pollution has been looked at." said Laura Hendricks of the Coalition.

"We talked to them; we sent them many sets of detail written comments, along with more than 40 supporting studies. We even filed a Petition asking them to suspend the use of the permit here in Puget Sound, until the analysis of the cumulative effects were done. But they just kept issuing more registrations. They really left us no choice but to ask the federal courts to make them do their job and follow the law." Hendricks lamented.

The suit alleges that the Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, by not evaluating the cumulative impacts of issuance of so many registrations. "Our environmental laws require the Corps to fully evaluate the effects of these kinds of permits, and to not allow more than minimal harm." said Curt Puddicombe of the Coalition.  "The Corps' own records showed that in the first year of the current Nationwide permit, the Corps issued more than 800 registrations - over 3 times the number that it thought would be issued.  When that happened, the Corps had an obligation to step back and re-evaluate the cumulative effects. That is what any reasonable person would do, that is what the law requires, and that is certainly what we should expect a Federal agency charged by the law with protecting and restoring the waters of the Sound to do." said Puddicombe.

"We recognize the shellfish production in Puget Sound should be an important component of a sustainable Northwest. But that production has to be done on a rational and sustainable scale.  A balanced approach is needed. Right now, the insane number of these registrations already issued, with another hundred applications already pending at the Corps, is converting Puget Sound into an industrial shellfish production site ignoring native aquatic species protection and restoration goals." said Hendricks.

For more information, see attached lawsuit and our website at:

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's Summer and the Tides are Low: Get Out and See What's Worth Protecting for your Childrens' Children

There's an entire world exposed at low tide,
but you have to get out to see it.
Low tide at Carkeek Park. Photo by Elisa Murray.
(from ParentMap)

Some things are worth preserving and restoring more than others. Puget Sound's intertidal area exposed at low tide is one of the most important. Get out and you'll see why.
In 2015, Jennifer Johnson* wrote on the "7 Tips for Low-Tide Beachcombing with Kids in Seattle" which is just as applicable today as it will be tomorrow and for your children's children in the future. A park ranger, Ms. Johnson goes into more detail about the her seven tips to help parents enjoy this area, unique to Puget Sound, with their children. It will leave memories which last a lifetime.

(from https://www.parentmap.com/article/7-tips-for-low-tide-beachcombing-with-kids-in-seattle)
1. Know your minus tides
2. Find a beach naturalist (and a great beach)
3. Learn the rules
4. Be gentle and aware
5. Be safe
6. Be prepared
7. Learn on your own

(*Ms. Johnson writes more on getting children out into nature on her website and on her Facebook page.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

June 20: Pierce County's Community Development Committee to Hear Dave Risvold's Update on Shoreline Master Program

Date:June 20, 2016
Time:1:30 PM
Location:930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 1045
Tacoma, WA 98402

On June 20th, Dave Risvold , Pierce County's Shoreline Planning Supervisor (email address drisvold@co.pierce.wa.us), will present information to the Community Development Committee (chaired by Derek Young, email: dyoung2@co.pierce.wa.us) related to the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Update. The agenda and meeting material, when prepared, may be found on Pierce County's Community Development web page. (Note: At the time of this posting that information was not yet available.) The presentation will be archived and available later on PierceCountyTV.org. (Note: It is possible the presentation may be live.)

Day or night - the more the better.
Or is it?

See how and why people became involved.
The Department of Ecology has summarized comments on Pierce County's proposed SMP Update, received between March 15 and April 29, returning them to Pierce County for their response. Browsing the document, it is clear the shellfish industry continues its political press against regulatory oversight. It is also clear there is a large concern from citizens over this industry's lack in understanding they profit from a healthy Puget Sound, but that does not mean they should profit any way they wish to, just because Puget Sound is healthy.

What's the problem? Isn't advocating
for clean waters enough?
(June, 2016)
No, it's not.

Shellfish politics at its best - we don't like being regulated.
Contained within the summary of comments are concerns from Taylor Shellfish, their attorney Plauche and Carr, and Steve and Vicki Wilson (owners of Arcadia Point Seafood) that the proposed update does not promote development of aquaculture ("foster") as they would like.
(Note: Scan the summary for comments from number 12 to see law firm Plauche and Carr's concerns, and numbers 13, 21, 23, 110, 115 116, 121 and 122 for those submitted by Taylor Shellfish or in the name of Taylor Shellfish.)
Additional comments from the shellfish industry promote their belief that being "advocates for clean water" should allow placement of structures and conversion of tidelands to monolithic populations of shellfish, minimizing the reality of the point source of plastic pollution these operations have developed into. Turning their back to their promotion of pesticide and herbicide application into those same "clean" waters.

Industry also comments that regulatory oversight intended to protect the marine ecosystem they are transforming, which the Shoreline Management Act is meant to protect, is a "burden" to their plans for developments in the tidelands. Included are suggestions to minimize buffer widths intended to protect  native eelgrass, if an activity is related to aquaculture, but feeling larger buffers required for "all other activities" is fine. All the while believing their placement then removal at harvest of structures is somehow as beneficial as eelgrass.

The politics of Puget Sound and the Shoreline Management Act.
The Shoreline Management Act was passed by the legislature and approved by voters not to promote shellfish farming but to protect the shorelines of Puget Sound for everyone. Its intertidal area was never intended to become an area into which plastic structures could be placed anywhere at anytime. Yet this is how shellfish politics promotes it. Politics created the Shoreline Management Act. It will be politics which protects it or dismantles it. Get involved like those who commented have and make a difference.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Neurotoxin Imidacloprid On Oysters Is Back: Welcome to Washington Shellfish Week

Update 6/29: Washington's Secretary of State lists who the "Governing Members" of the Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association are. Included in that list are employees associated with the various companies listed below. When the SOS records indicate representative members are no longer listed an update of who supports the application of imidacloprid on shellfish beds in Willapa Bay will be put out. Until then the list below will remain.
(see https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_detail.aspx?ubi=601866134 for who Governing Members are)
Note: For help in removing people listed as "Governing Members" of WGHOGA contact the Secretary of State at 360-725-0377.

Is this how you want
your oyster treated?

Like a Thanksgiving ham, they won't go away.
While Governor Inslee and shellfish lobbyists celebrate "Washington Shellfish Week", a group of shellfish growers making up the Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) has resurrected their application to apply the neurotoxic pesticide imidacloprid onto shellfish beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. (see list of member companies at the end of this post)

No need for scoping. Aren't you happy?

DOE says no scoping needed for this examination.
As part of the process, the Department of Ecology has issued a new SEPA determination of significance. The Department of Ecology has chosen to adopt the old Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and issue a Supplemental EIS (SEIS). So doing gives DOE the discretion to ask for another scoping period in which public comments help determine what the SEIS will consider. Or the discretion not to, which they have done, thereby avoiding that portion of the public process, leaving it to DOE to determine what it will consider.

How can shellfish growers say
they are advocates for clean water
then propose spraying pesticides?
"If you lose Willapa Bay,
it's of both state and national significance,"
Kim Patten, 2003

Current studies of imidacloprid matter - it's a marine ecosystem, not a terrestrial farm.
The old EIS, drafted in 2014 and adopted in 2015 has listed in its footnotes studies dating up to 2013, with the majority falling far earlier. Since 2013 there has been a large body of evidence showing the impacts of imidacloprid and other neonictinoid pesticides to be far more significant than earlier believed. DOE notes in its SEPA determination it will consider "2014 efficacy results from WGHOGA" in the SEIS. Let's hope they consider more than what WGHOGA wants them to read.

Make a difference - don't buy oysters
from those who belong to this group
who wants to spray pesticides
in Willapa Bay.

What's that merroir your oyster has really from? Better ask before you buy.
Listed below are the shellfish companies who have employees listed as "Governing Persons" on Washington's corporate website. Let them know you'll be buying oysters from other growers, those growers who are truly concerned about clean waters and not higher profits.

Brady's Oysters (Mark Ballow, co-owner of Brady's and Director of WGHOGA)
Bay Center Mariculture Co 
Coast Seafoods 
Ekone Oyster Company (Nick Jambor, President/Treasurer of Ekone and vice-president of WGHOGA)
Goose Point/Nisbet Oysters
Heckes Clams (corrected)
Herrold Fish and Oyster Company
Northern Oyster Company 
Stony Point Oyster Co (Don Gillies, manager of Stony Point Oyster, Director of WGHOGA, past president)
Taylor Shellfish 
Wiegardt Brothers Inc 
Willapa Bay Shelfish Inc

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hot Weather and Lowest Daylight Tides of the Year Coming June 5 and 6

A warm weekend and low tides.
It doesn't get any better.
(Tide table from NOAA's Tide Prediction)

Unseasonably hot weather this coming weekend combines with the lowest daylight tides of the year in south Puget Sound. Tides will be close to 4 feet below the average daily tides on Sunday (-3.37 at 12:32 PM) and Monday (-3.37 at 1:16 PM). There's a world rarely seen about to be exposed. Get out and experience part of what makes up the treasure of Puget Sound.

(See NOAA web site by clicking here)