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, limited public input, and with minimal peer-reviewed science. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline
Older News: from 2006 to 8/20/10
(This blog evolved from: http://protectourshoreline.org/)



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reminder: Zangle Cove Geoduck Farm Comments Due April 1

Not all tidelands are equal.
 
See Public Notice of application here:
Send comments to: Tony Kantas at kantast@co.thurston.wa.us
(see Public Notice for additional contact information)
 
Intensive commercial development
should not be permitted in residential areas
on tidelands NOT purchased for aquaculture.
 
Zangle Cove, Thurston County
A residential community with tidelands
shared by everyone for generations.
 
If you order today I'll include shipping and handling.
Mr. and Mrs. Sohn have created a LLC ("Pacific Northwest Aquaculture", formed in December of 2013) through which they have submitted a permit application for a geoduck farm in Zangle Cove. Their consultant, ACERA, who bills themselves as a firm providing services for a "competitive quote"  with a "current special offer" of $200 off their already low price, details in the application what the Sohn's intend to do. Who will be doing it is not explained, something of importance as the Sohn's have no apparent experience in aquaculture, let alone geoduck operations.
 
Whose tidelands are they and where are they located?
 
Are those stakes out there a mistake?
In mid-2014 stakes appeared in the middle of Zangle Cove, the result of a survey. Residents immediately began questioning why the stakes were placed where they were and for what reason. Explanations from the surveyor fell flat and it quickly became apparent the survey being done was not based on accurate information. As seen in the notes on the "Tideland Survey Plan View" above, the plan submitted is based on a "we think it's ours" assumption. Surveys are not supposed to be "it's close enough for government work." Project plans submitted on questionable data should be rejected.
 
 
That BE looks familiar.
ACERA was recently noted for its involvement with an unpermitted geoduck farm near Poulsbo. There, Scott Kimmel with New Day Fisheries "didn't know" he was supposed to get permits He has since withdrawn his attempt to obtain an after-the-fact permit, using ACERA. In south Puget Sound, ACERA was used in the Wheeler geoduck permitting process. The amount of cut-and-paste from the Wheeler Biological Evaluation to the Sohn's Biological Evaluation  should make regulators look closely at what is being provided.
 
"There is currently no commercial aquaculture,
but Zangle Cove was a historic shellfish farming area for oysters."
ACERA, page 9
Application to purchase the Sohn tidelands
from the state says that's not why they were purchased.
(click to enlarge)
 
Not all tidelands are equal - "Not suitable for the cultivation of oysters."
Of particular focus for regulators is just why these tidelands in Zangle Cove were purchased in the first place and what they have been used for since. The shellfish industry would have all believe that the only reason tidelands were purchased in Puget Sound was for aquaculture. This is far from the truth. In fact, it can be safely said that the majority of tidelands were not purchased for aquaculture. Especially the type of aquaculture being proposed by the Sohn's and described by ACERA. There is no commercial "historic shellfish farming" which has occurred in this residential cove of the type being proposed. These tidelands in Zangle Cove were purchased for the benefit of upland owners to ensure access to water at low tide. It clearly states on the application to purchase the tidelands they "are NOT suitable for the cultivation of oysters" which clearly proves they were not purchased for aquaculture then, nor were they ever intended to be.
 
Get involved: The shellfish industry is and they will say anything to obtain access to tidelands for commercial shellfish production.

 


 
 

 

 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

APHETI Provides an Update on Taylor Shellfish's 58 Raft Mussel Farm Proposal

Background (update follows): For almost 20 years APHETI has been opposed to a proposal by Taylor Shellfish to expand their mussel growing operations in south Puget Sound's Totten Inlet. Able to get Taylor Shellfish to reduce their original proposal by almost half the number of rafts, down to 58, APHETI was also able to force the permit to include monitoring of Totten Inlet's waters and sediments, to be managed by the Department of Natural Resources (Thurston County did not feel it had the expertise to design and implement a monitoring plan). Totten Inlet's waters are categorized as "extraordinary" by the Department of Ecology, leaving little room for man made impacts to its dissolved oxygen levels, one of the most critical parameters to measure. The mussel shell falloff onto the sediments below the rafts, especially during "harvest" when lines of mussels are pulled up will also be measured, of special concern as there are recovering subtidal geoduck tracts nearby. Finally, the non-native invasive tunicate, didemnum vexillum, which uses the surface area of the mussels and "predator netting" to grow on, which then becomes dislodged during harvest events, spreading throughout the water column of south Puget Sound, is of concern. It is assumed DNR will create and oversee a robust monitoring plan, and not allow the revenues received from leasing this area to Taylor Shellfish to diminish the oversight required. Too much is at stake.

Update from APHETI:

Greetings, APHETI members-  

Our last communication to you was almost one year ago. Since then APHETI has continued to address the concerns of Taylor's proposed expansion of mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet. The attached APHETI newsletter will detail APHETI's efforts and next steps. As always, Thank you for your support. Please feel welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. 

APHETI Board of Directors


Association for the Protection of Hammersley, Eld, & Totten Inlets
-APHETI-
PO Box 11523, Olympia WA 98508-1523
(360) 866-8245                                                         www.apheti.com
 
March 25, 2015
 
Re:  Update / Pending expansion of Taylor mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet
 
Greetings APHETI Members and Supporters - 
 
Our last letter reported that Taylor had appealed the environmental monitoring requirements required by the State Shoreline Hearings Board (SHB) and that the Judge sent the monitoring issue back to the SHB for Thurston Co. and Taylor to argue in support of or in opposition to the monitoring conditions – or Taylor and Thurston Co./APHETI could choose to negotiate a mutually agreed upon outcome to the monitoring issue.
 
All parties agreed to negotiate, Thurston Co./APHETI arguing for strong environmental monitoring and Taylor arguing for something much weaker.  The following outcome has only now been agreed to by all parties: 
 
Taylor's Thurston Co. permit, when issued, will include all environmental monitoring elements as required by Thurston Co. Hearing Examiner Tomas R. Bjorjen; all Thurston Co. Resource Stewardship Department recommended conditions; all mitigation measures from the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS); and a formal environmental monitoring plan approved by the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) including all conservation measures as required by the DNR Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan as mandated by the US Dept of Ecology.
 
Next Steps: 
With your generous support over the last 19 years, APHETI has produced hundreds of hours of scientific study and litigation in opposition to Taylor's proposed expansion of mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet.  All possible scientific and legal challenges to Taylor's proposal have now been exercised with the Court’s final decision in place requiring Thurston Co. to issue Taylor a permit to proceed if all permit requirements are met. 
 
APHETI 's efforts will now be directed (1) toward assuring all public rules for granting a mussel raft permit to Taylor are complied with and (2) providing input to the elements of a strong environmental monitoring plan as a part of that permit.  To start, Thurston Co. will not issue a permit until Taylor has a lease from the Washington State Dept of Natural Resources (DNR). 
 
DNR lease discussions will not begin until Taylor has a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers requiring independent study by the Corps, US Dept of Ecology, US Fish & Wildlife, and National Marine Fisheries Service.  A Corps permit will likely take considerable time, require public input and include its own monitoring requirements.  Presently, DNR has not received any indication that Taylor has yet applied for a Corps permit.
 
DNR has committed to keep APHETI informed of all aspects of DNR lease negotiations with Taylor including an invitation to review and provide input to the environmental monitoring plan for Taylor's operations.  Follow us at www.apheti.com for links to DNR  and Thurston Co. publications regarding the permitting process.
 
APHETI's financial resources are presently sufficient to support our near term custodial activities.  However, your sustaining contributions are always welcomed and put to good use.  If a major need may arise, we will let you know what it is and what may be needed to support that action.   Please send your e-mail address to apheti@gmail.com for future updates via e-mail or contact APHETI, PO Box 11523 Olympia WA 98508-1523, or telephone (360) 866-8245 for any questions.  
 
Best Regards! /            APHETI Board of Directors    

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Drakes Bay Oyster Cleanup Progresses

Drakes Estero
 
The Press Democrat writes on March 23 about the ongoing cleanup of Drakes Bay Oyster Company's operation left behind for taxpayers to pay for. When completed the question of how significant a commercial shellfish operation is to a marine ecosystem, positive or negative, can be answered.
 
You clean it up. I'm going to go start a restaurant.
Thank you Mr. Lunny.
 
 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Paralytic Shellfish Poison Toxins in Geoduck Causing Canadian Geoduck Industry Concerns


Hong Kong Ban Impacts 70% of BC Geoduck Market

Turns out there's more to it.
A "buried treasure" turns out not be pure gold
Geoduck harvesters in British Columbia are beginning to worry about a ban which Hong Kong has placed on geoduck harvested from the Canadian province. When testing by Canada showed levels of PSP toxins higher than levels accepted by China, overseas labs confirmed some geoduck harvested from the same area in BC did have elevated levels of PSP toxins. In turn, Hong Kong banned the import of all geoduck from BC. The response by growers in BC was described in the article this way:
Particularly galling to BC harvesters is the fact that other exporters have stepped into the gap, including Washington state – whose waters border BC – and Mexico, which Austin said did not even test its clams for PSP toxin prior to export.
Offer: $500,000= 5% ownership + 50% of royalties
Agreement: $500,000=5% ownership+interest+100% of royalties


YouTube from Dragon's Den, 2012
Reality: Investing is a risky business.

And I just invested based on past projections
It is reported that harvest boats are no longer leaving the dock and shipments to date are 180,000 kg below last year at this time. James Austin, with the Underwater Harvesters Association, was reported to have described it this way:
Austin said the Hong Kong ban had had a huge impact; the BC harvest is down about 180,000kg compared to this time last year. Boats are lying idle and divers who gather the wild delicacy from the seabed are taking time off work.
Testing? Sure, we do that.
Of concern to the Chinese was the geoduck were allowed to be harvested and shipped to Hong Kong before testing found the elevated levels of PSP toxins. As Washington's oyster growers have found, reacting to illnesses is not in the best interest of the consumers. As Washington's geoduck harvesters found, China also had concerns about arsenic in geoduck from Washington, made extreme when they discovered Washington did not even test for it. This resulted in a five month ban of geoduck from Washington, beginning in December 2013. Testing has since shown only a few areas have geoduck with arsenic levels of concern, and those areas are now closed.
Now we will do even more testing.
In the case of vibriosis contracted from oysters harvested in Washington, it took people becoming ill from the naturally occurring bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus before harvesting would be banned. The lag time created from becoming ill, seeing the doctor and in some case becoming hospitalized, and records of illnesses being reported back to the Department of Health, stretched reaction out for weeks. In the interim, hundreds of dozens of oysters could have been harvested and shipped around the United States and to China, resulting in unnecessary illnesses.

Not all testing programs are the same. 
Washington's Department of Health does have a proactive system in place to test for PSP toxins. When elevated levels are found either in geoduck or in an indicator species, such as mussels, harvesting is halted. At the time of the BC shipment three geoduck tracts had been closed due to elevated levels of PSP toxins. DOH is currently in the process of implementing a proactive system to prevent vibriosis (caused by Vp in oysters), relying heavily on growers to monitor water temperature. Training has begun. 


 A new use for tulip bulb harvesters.
Will it remove PVC pipes too?
What will we do with the tulip bulb harvesting machines if the tulip bulb market collapses?
What matters in the case of Hong Kong's reaction is the significance of having one primary market for this product. Despite claims of a domestic market, the reality is the huge majority (reported to be 90%) are exported to Asia, most to China. If this market collapses, whether it be from the rising dollar making this clam too expensive, illnesses contracted because poaching allowed untested geoduck to be exported, or China simply waking up to the modern world and realizing geoduck will not bestow any male virility qualities to its consumers, Puget Sound's intertidal area will be left with PVC tubes and nets nobody can afford to remove. It is a market waiting to collapse.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Washington's Mason County Oysters Cause Norovirus-like Illnesses for a Second Time in 3 Months


Oysters Harvested from Hood Canal
Cause Norovirus-like Illnesses
 
One more "wee beastie" to worry about.

A second outbreak from norovirus carried by Mason County oysters?
Oysters harvested from in Washington's Mason County have again caused what the Department of Health describes as "norovirus-like illnesses." DOH has not yet said whether the oysters have tested positive for norovirus, nor whether the source is the harvest site in Hood Canal or at another point along the distribution chain, only describing the illnesses as being "norovirus-like." For now, DOH has closed the area in Hood Canal to commercial and recreational harvest while they research the cause.

Commercial and Recreational Harvesting Closed
on Hood Canal, near Lilliwaup

Are they "vibriosis-like" or "norovirus-like" symptoms?
Like vibriosis, caused by the naturally occurring bacterium vibrio parahaemolyticus, symptoms from infection of the unnatural norovirus (aka Norwalk virus) are described in a similar way by DOH. Those are described on the website of the Department of Health as:
Norovirus: The most common symptoms are watery diarrhea, explosive projectile vomiting (that shoots out), and stomach pain.
Vibriosis: Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills. The illness is usually mild or moderate and runs its course in 2 to 3 days. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.  
Norovirus illnesses appeared to have been dropping
Until December's outbreak, norovirus had not been as big of a problem for Washington's shellfish growers. Based on a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest on norovirus caused by oysters harvested from Washington between 1993 to 2009, since 2007 it has been rare (0 reported in 2007, 2008 and 2009). DOH did report December 2011 illnesses in their March 2012 newsletter but the number was not noted and, until December of 2014, there do not appear to have been any other reported norovirus illnesses traced to Washington.

Until December of 2014
In early December a similar outbreak of illnesses from Washington oysters was confirmed to be norovirus. It is currently believed a leaking septic system was the source, although that could not be confirmed. That harvest area, also in Mason County, was in Hammersley Inlet and like Hood Canal's, was closed.

Will a new plan be needed to address norovirus?
The norovirus-like illness from oysters harvested from Mason County's waters comes at an awkward time as the Department of Health is just now implementing a new training program of 10 classes to try and be proactive in preventing vibriosis, something neither the growers nor DOH had been able to do under the old system. Growers will now be required to monitor water temperatures and, if the water temperature reaches a certain level, will voluntarily cease harvesting. In the past, DOH waited until a certain number of illnesses were traced to a growing area, then retroactively closed the area. Whether relying on the shellfish industry to control vibriosis through the new system will be successful remains to be seen, as does how DOH address the possible growing problem with norovirus in oysters harvested from Washington.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Taylor Shellfish Has a New Friend: Lobbying Firm Glover Park Group

[Update 3/19: Taylor's "new friend", Glover Park Group, is mentioned in a 3/17 Equal Times article entitled "Pr firms at the service of human rights abusers." It will be fascinating to see what sort of "conversation" GPG develops for Taylor Shellfish and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.]
 
The best politics money can buy.
Control the process, you get what you want.
Sometimes. Sometimes not.


The little fish in the big pond needs a big fish for a friend
Taylor Shellfish and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, through their law firm Plauche and Carr, have hired WPP's Glover Park Group to address federal permitting issues in Washington DC. WPP bills itself as "the world's largest communications services group, employing 179,000 people working in 3,000 offices in 111 countries." As one of WPP's >450 separate companies listed, GPG is noted as being "...a nationally-recognized strategic communications and government relations firm."

Still a little fish of the  new big friend
To put in perspective where Taylor Shellfish falls in GPG's client list, Foreign Influence Explorer reports on foreign funding sources and expenditures of lobbying groups. It notes GPG's client list includes Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ($342,000 in 2013), Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt ($750,000 in 2014), Taipei Economic And Cultural Representative Office in the United States ($1.6 million received in 2013, $353,000 in 2014).  Open Secrets reports that domestically, Berkshire Hathaway ($180,000), the American Bankers Association ($280,000), United Health Group ($240,000) and Fuels America ($620,000) are a few of their clients. In the past, Taylor Shellfish has been reported to have spent $20,000 with Vitello Consulting, in 2006. The Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association is reported to have spent $50,000 with lobbyist David Weiman, in 2008. In short, while past experience is no indication of future performance, in Washington DC they are still a small fish, but to their credit, they are focused.

Taylor Shellfish/PCSGA: We need to "control the conversation" on Federal permitting
The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group reports the purpose GPG has been enlisted by Plauche and Carr, fronting for Taylor Shellfish and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, is to deal with "Federal permitting related to shellfish operations." Whether this is to address current issues Taylor Shellfish is not pleased with or to begin lobbying for changes in the upcoming Nationwide permits for 2017 which the Corps of Engineers uses in its oversight of the shellfish industry is unknown. Maybe they just need help communicating. What is known is "controlling the conversation" and "leading the action" with "rock stars" is one way to get what you want. Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they don't like regulatory oversight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Let the Taxpayers Clean Up the Mess

The National Park Service has released its report inventorying what was left behind by shellfish industry member Drakes Bay Oyster Company and its owner, Mr. Lunny, in Drakes Estero, part of the Phillip Burton Wilderness. For taxpayers to clean up while he starts a new restaurant with the profits gained while stalling the closure of his operation for 2 years.

 One of the many images 
from the NPS report.

Thank you Mr. Lunny.

Plastic pollution from the shellfish industry is a real problem and the "cowboys in the tidelands" don't care enough about it. They feel entitled to the use of a resource all taxpayers help to exist: clean and healthy water. Federal and state regulators should not allow politicians to be caught up in lobbyist's "stories" and "messages" which try to "frame" this industry as providing "3 dimensional structures" and "habitat" through their actions.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Haley/Seattle Shellfish-Taylor Shellfish Geoduck Farm: Presentations from Shorelines Hearings Board Hearing Availabe

Get involved. Become aware of what is happening
to Puget Sound's critical marine habitat
and why the Haley/SS/TS Permit
should be denied.
 
Area proposed to be transformed
into a geoduck farm.
 
Presentations from the Shorelines Hearings Board expert witnesses are available on-line through links provided below.
 
It's not grandpa Taylor's oyster farm
Become more aware of how aquaculture has stepped far beyond its past benign activities to those which can only be described as "industrial." Below are links to various presentations made before the SHB by the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat's witnesses in support of why the permit for this farm should be denied and a cumulative impacts analysis should be required.
 
See why current proposals are not in the state wide interest
Get involved. Become aware. These activities are not in the state wide interest nor should they in any way be considered a "preferred use" of Washington's critical marine habitat. File sizes are noted, some large, but the information contained is invaluable.
 
Presentations
Jim Johannessen - coastal geomorphology and sediment transport (11mb pdf file)
http://coalitiontoprotectpugetsoundhabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/johannessen-haley-20150223.pdf
 
James Brennan - impacts from geoduck farming, focused on Haley proposal (5mb file)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7ftnf9p5o5e99j/Brennan-pptSHB3.pdf?dl=0
 
 
Dr. Gary Ritchie - on Seagrant's Dr. Van Blaricom's study lacking in statistical rigor (Dr. Van Blaricom's study is often quoted by the shellfish industry as "proof" there is no harm to habitat) (less than 1mb)
http://coalitiontoprotectpugetsoundhabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ritchie2.pdf
 
Slide shows of what is happening now
South Sound Aquaculture Pictures - side show of how south Puget Sound's critical marine habitat is being transformed by intensive aquaculture (8mb file)
http://1drv.ms/1FzSZJ4
 
Burley Lagoon Aquaculture Pictures - how Taylor Shellfish is "intensifying" aquaculture activities in Burley Lagoon (15mb file)
http://1drv.ms/18rFz89  
 
Get involved
Get involved - become aware of what is happening to Puget Sound's critical marine habitat. The shellfish industry is and they have money and motivation to transform Puget Sound's critical marine habitat into their vision, devoid of native species they consider "pests."


Saturday, March 7, 2015

"Under the Dome": Chinese air pollution, CO2, Ocean Acidification and Geoduck Profits

The Chinese equivalent of "Silent Spring"
 
Smog in Wuhan, China
Where does that CO2 drift off to?
 
The New York Times reports on a Chinese film documentary titled "Under the Dome", a film on China's air pollution, termed "catastrophic." This documentary became viral in China, spreading throughout the country, viewed by millions wanting to know more about the obvious: China has some of the worst air pollution in the world. Viral until Friday, when "...major Chinese video websites deleted it under orders from the Communist Party’s central propaganda department."
 
It's not rocket science.
Pictures
Fewer carbonate ions = less calcification.
 
Smog, a relative term, does have as a major component, CO2. Prevailing westward winds shift those air masses of CO2 over the Pacific Ocean, where much of the CO2 is absorbed. Through a chemical process CO2 breaks down and carbonate ions are bonded to form a new molecular structure, removing those ions needed for calcification. A picture of the process is seen above, a verbal explanation is seen below. It seems to be an accepted fact by the shellfish industry that CO2, whatever the source, is causing them a problem.
 
Words
 
As a result, the shellfish industry claims it is in a state of near crisis, which may be the case. It appears that larvae of the non-native Pacific oyster cannot form shell because of the diminished supply of carbonate ions. Millions of federal and state funds are being supplied to the shellfish industry and universities in an attempt to help create more shellfish "seed" for their hoped for expansion. Once larvae have made it past their "incubation" stage they are then able to use up whatever supply of carbonate ions there may be, resulting in growth, albeit more slowly. Increasing the number of shellfish will, however, naturally decrease the number of carbonate ions available, for everything.
 
What about me? Do I get any government help?
Pteropod, at the base of the food chain.
 
Wait - there's more.
 
But, it is not only the non-native Pacific oyster which is in need of help. There are thousands of other marine species who are also in need of those diminished carbonate ions. Whether it be the shell of pteropods, a Dungeness crab or the skeleton of salmon, carbonate ions are needed throughout the diversity of life which exists in Puget Sound's marine waters. Non-native Pacific oyster "production" will use up that supply, leaving native species to fend for themselves.
 
What do you mean you don't like
a higher aragonite saturation level?
 
 
Complicating matters, however, is something pointed out by Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish in the January 20 edition of Hatchery International. In an article titled "Strategies to thwart ocean acidification" about how Taylor Shellfish is dealing with ocean acidification, it notes Taylor is making "...progress by keeping a very close watch on seawater chemistry and adding water treatment systems in the hatcheries." Mr. Dewey, however, points out an interesting observation when those same methods used to increase survival of the non-native Pacific oyster are used on the native geoduck. The article writes:
Dewey explained that with geoduck clams, it appears to be an overabundant ramping-up of aragonite in the water that is preventing the tiny geoduck cells from forming protective shells once they’re fertilized. That causes the ova to develop deformed and to die – usually within the first 48 hours post-fertilization.
Beyond Taylor Shellfish apparently being unsure of why geoduck don't like the modified water the non-native Pacific oyster do, the industry so impacted by Ocean Acidification has no problem profiting from the country which is most likely the biggest source of their problem: China. The industry may find that threatening to withhold the perceived source of male virility in China may give the Chinese the manhood needed to tell industry it is time to stop polluting the air, in turn the Pacific Ocean, and in turn acidifying Puget Sound.

 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Willapa Bay: Oyster growers ask to spray over 3,000 acres of oyster beds with imazamox.

Environmentally Sensitive Oyster Growers
Brant Geese: No time left for you,
on your way to a better place. Right?

Another chemical added to the "chemical soup" of Willapa Bay
Public Notice has been given that oyster growers ("good stewards" as they like to describe themselves) wish to spray over 3,000 acres of oyster beds with the herbicide imazamox. Their goal is to eliminate Japanese eelgrass, a naturalized species of eelgrass which has long been used a  food source for the great migrating flocks of marine birds which stop over in Willapa Bay, and by young salmon as habitat and protection on their great migration out to the ocean.

Restore habitat for native oysters
so non-native invasive Pacific oysters
can take it over?
(click here to read the complete paper)

Shellfish logic: Spray the naturalized non-native so we can grow the invasive non-native Pacific oyster
Ironic in all of the press to shape Willapa Bay into something the shellfish growers are happy with is it is for the purpose of growing non-native Pacific oysters and non-native Manila clams. In fact, Sea Grant has recently noted their concerns about restored habitat for native oysters being lost to the invasive and non-native Pacific oysters. In the article they note: 
The traits that make it so suited to culture could also make it a formidable invader..."Our worry is that native oyster restoration efforts may backfire and we will end up creating habitat for the invasive oyster,” said Danielle Zacherl, a professor at Cal State Fullerton, who has been documenting the Pacific oyster’s spread in San Diego and Orange counties and is involved in native oyster bed restoration in Southern California.
Dredging for oysters - and native eelgrass.
Collateral damage.
(click here to watch dredging in Willapa Bay)

And while we're at it, we may has well pull up the native eelgrass as well, without a permit
Equally ironic is that while the shellfish growers are spraying Japanese eelgrass, they are also dredging the bedlands for oyster and in the process removing the native eelgrass. Far more easily as they don't need a permit so are able to avoid regulatory oversight.

Sign the petition and add Willapa Bay 
in the comment section.

Get inolved - Washington's marine habitat is not for the shellfish industry alone
The shellfish industry views Washington's marine habitat as theirs alone. They have the money to spend on contract scientists, politicians, and attorneys and are relentless in their push to expand. And in this case, propose spraying over 3,000 acres with the herbicide called imazamox. One small step you can take is to sign the petition to Governor Inslee, adding that Willapa Bay is equally important to Puget Sound in the comment section.