The Superior Court agrees that Thurston County is able to require Shoreline Substantial Development Permits (SSDP) for geoduck farms. It has accepted the fact that geoduck farms' use of structures within the tidelands of Puget Sound allow - in fact require - county regulatory oversight to ensure the goals of the Shoreline Management Act are achieved. In so doing it has rejected the shellfish industry's attempt to create law through an opinion issued by the Attorney General in 2007 which felt a geoduck farm's placement of PVC, netting, bands and rebar within the tidelands was not a structure.
RCW 90.58.020 clearly defines what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to accomplish. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=90.58.020
It states "the shorelines of the state are among the most valuable and fragile of its natural resources and . . . there is great concern throughout the state relating to their utilization, protection, restoration, and preservation." . It states further that "[i]n the implementation of this policy the public's opportunity to enjoy the physical and aesthetic qualities of natural shorelines of the state shall be preserved to the greatest extent feasible consistent with the overall best interest of the state and the people generally."
It was never intended to give the shellfish industry unregulated rights to develop the tidelands any more than it was intended to give upland shoreline property owners the right to unregulated development.