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

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

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 
Bay Center Mariculture Co 
Coast Seafoods 
Ekone Oyster Company 
Goose Point/Nisbet Oysters 
Heckes Clam Company 
Herrold Fish and Oyster Company
Northern Oyster Company 
Stony Point Oyster Co 
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)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sohn Geoduck Farm: Residents of Zangle Cove Appeal Thurston County SEPA Determination

Another Estuary Targeted
by the Geoduck Industry
Good for China
Bad for Puget Sound

These geoduck in Thurston County are not The Evergreen State College students.
Residents of Zangle Cove have appealed Thurston County's mitigated determination of non-significance SEPA decision. In that decision, Thurston County felt various conditions would serve to mitigate the environmental impacts the operation of a geoduck farm in this estuary would have. Their attorney writes on numerous issues which were inadequately considered. The full appeal may be found by clicking here.

Another one bites the dust?
First one, then the other, then...
Dickenson Cove: Just another sandy beach
to put plastic and PVC into.

You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
In the mean time, to the north in Thurston County, Dickenson Cove (aka Fishtrap Loop Cove) has also been targeted for development into a geoduck farm by Taylor Shellfish. Apparently not wanting to raise any red flags on the increasing development in the tidelands, this proposal has been put on hold until Zangle Cove has been decided.

Get involved.
The shellfish industry is and they are highly motivated and well financed. Tell your elected officials there is more to Puget Sound and its few remaining estuaries than growing geoduck for China.
Thurston County Commissioners:
Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Key Penninsula Advisory Commission Votes Against Taylor Shellfish Proposal of 3 New Geoduck Farms

May 18, the Key Peninsula Advisory Commission (KPAC) voted against recommending approval of 3 new geoduck farms proposed by Taylor Shellfish on south Puget Sound's Case Inlet. Taylor Shellfish found strong opposition from citizens opposed to the continued expansion of this form of aquaculuture, along with pointed questions from KPAC members asking at what point too many is too much. In the end, KPAC voted not to recommend approval.

This is not how Puget Sound
should be viewed.

Lots of little problems add up to big ones.
Puget Sound is not made up of discrete fish bowls. Yet, that is exactly how the shellfish industry wants regulatory agencies to view it. Studies looking at individual farms are brought out over and over to support expansion, one farm at a time, ignoring the dynamic and cohesive ecosystem of south Puget Sound. Calls for cumulative impacts are met by shellfish attorneys claiming agencies may only look at each farm individually. It ignores the contiguous and continuous ongoing impacts, cycle after cycle, this growing industry is creating, fracturing the cohesiveness which exists within the intertidal area of south Puget Sound. A cohesiveness the Shoreline Management Act was intended to protect.

This fish bowl is already cracked. Should we be forced to buy another?
Existing farms where these 3 new farms are proposed already have problems. Sediment deposition has buried nets and "flow through mesh tubes" which create an entire set of impacts not considered. As seen in the first picture below, removing nets buried in sediments is not as simple as pulling them out. "Flow through" mesh tubes, intended to replace PVC tubes, are buried and disappearing from sight. When they have to be removed, what will be their impact on the area? Contiguous upland parcels have apparent permit violations. Should new permits be granted while possible violations are being investigated? Some at Pierce County believe they are separate, so don't matter. They do matter.

Digging for geoduck? No, nets
which shifting sediments have buried.
How many tidal cycles to fill this hole?

 Flow through mesh tubes
buried in the sands of time.
Out of site out of mind?

The "Shellfish Initiative" is not the Shoreline Management Act, passed by the legislature and approved by the people. It is nothing more than a strategic marketing plan.
A strategic marketing plan is not a mandate to be forced onto agencies in support of expansion. Yet that is exactly what the shellfish industry presents it as. Unlike the Shoreline Management Act which was passed by the legislature and approved overwhelmingly by Washington's citizens, the "initiative" was dreamed up by the industry and its attorneys as a means to promote its expansion (see Shellfish Politics, Shellfish Initiatives, and the Shoreline Management Act  from 2013 for a history of the National and State initiatives). To believe it should force agencies to approve new projects shows a lack of insight by regulatory agencies.

Get involved. Industry is and they are not giving agencies the entire picture of what they want.
These three farms proposed were known of in 2013 when leases with the property owners were signed. Yet throughout recent permit hearings they were not disclosed. What else is not being told by the industry? Get involved. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Zangle Cove - Reminder: Comments due May 17 on Thurston County's SEPA Determination for Geoduck Farm

How much PVC in Puget Sound
is too much?

Comments on Thurston County's determination of non-significance for a geoduck farm in Zangle Cove are due May 17. Comments should be sent to Tony Kantas at  kantast@co.thurston.wa.us.

The determination document may be found by clicking here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Impact of Small and Micro Debris in Washington's Marine Waters

Growing Impacts from Debris
in Washington's Marine Waters
May 16, Sequim

The Clallam County Marine Resources Committee presents two speakers who have worked extensively on marine debris projects from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at the meeting room in the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave.
Hillary Burgess, science coordinator at COASST, and Anne Murphy, retired executive director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, will present “Citizen Science and the Impact of Small and Micro Debris in Washington.”
The public is invited and encouraged to attend, and then consider whether proposals for geoduck farms and associated PVC and plastics are in the state-wide interest.

Is more of this...
...really good for anyone?

Get involved.