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:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

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



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification: Is it Science or a Feeling?

The Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification met again on May 23 to press ahead on meeting the Governor's mandated October deadline. Emphasized again at the meeting is whether the current scientific information available is accurate and the importance of monitoring on a spatial and temporal scale in order to determine exactly what is driving the lowering pH levels in Puget Sound.  (the May 23 hearing is very poorly recorded here) (the May 23 pdf presentation files are located here)

Deadlines for projects are important, but critical to the successful implementation of any project is those deadlines be realistic. Important in this case is recommendations on actions be based on sound science, not feelings.

Daniel Jack Chasan discusses a similar problem created by Governor Gregoire in her setting 2020 as the end date for a "restored Puget Sound" (read here). Its title: "After 5 years, Gregoire's Puget Sound progress is uncertain." Its subtitle: "The governor launched an effort to restore the Sound to good health by 2020. But money, goals, and data remain elusive." An important point:   "'Swimmable, diggable, fishable' makes a nice sound bite..." Applicable to sound science is this: "That dead zone in Hood Canal? Turns out leaky septic systems aren't primarily to blame...the main culprit is a slug of cold, dense, oxygen-poor water from the deep ocean" It is the latter which is believed to be the overwhelming cause of lowering pH levels in Puget Sound. The questions of "how much and what else" are currently unclear and their answers should not be based on a feeling.

Currently there is no state funding nor legislative oversight of Governor Gregoire's Shellfish Initiative. Federal funding for the Ocean Policy, which NOAA's National Shellfish Initiative falls under is at risk of being withheld entirely by the Appropriations Committee (read recent article here). Coastal communities are upset that Puget Sound is the focus of energy where the few funds available from EPA are being spent (read from The Daily News, Hoquiam/Aberdeen here). NOAA and Dr. Lubchenco are under intense political pressure, with calls for Dr. Lubchenco to resign coming from Senator Brown (read article from Gloucester Times here).

Puget Sound is under pressure which will not be relieved from actions based on a feeling. Sound scientific evidence must be what is called for from the Blue Ribbon Panel. Scientists on the panel know that. Will Governor Gregoire accept that? Or is she being pressed to act on a feeling by others herself?

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