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



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Imazamox Spraying on Eelgrass: The Art of Shellfish Politics

Who is that lobbyist behind the curtain
so adept at influencing the Governor and agencies?
(from The Wizard of Oz)

In Ecology's recently released "Shoreline Master Program Guidance" manual (read here), the art of shellfish politics is brought to light. In discussing eelgrass, the manual clearly states the legislature defined eelgrass as a "critical saltwater habitat" which requires "a higher level of protection due to the important ecological functions they provide."
WAC 173-26-221(2)(c)(iii)
(iii) Critical saltwater habitats.
      (A) Applicability. Critical saltwater habitats include all kelp beds, eelgrass beds,


Legislation which controls the Department of Fish and Wildlife states that eelgrass "serves essential functions in the developmental life history of fish or shellfish."
WAC 220-110-250(3)(a)
(3) The following vegetation is found in many saltwater areas and serves essential functions in the developmental life history of fish or shellfish:
      (a) Eelgrass (Zostera spp);

There is no distinction between species in either law passed and yet the shellfish industry was able to convince the Department of Fish and Wildlife one species is a "pest" which needs to be eliminated. Rather than change the law through the legislature, which would have required far greater public scrutiny, they instead were able to have it declared a "noxious weed".

Despite Ecology's manual pointing out what the law is, it is now considering a permit to allow for the spraying of the herbicide Imazamox on Japanese Eelgrass in Willapa Bay, adding to the other chemicals already sprayed on the state and private oyster beds. The same eelgrass which law says requires "a higher level of protection due to the important ecological functions they provide."

Whoever is behind the curtain has the financial support of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association who, in 2011, took in over $600,000; spent $90,000 for their legal counsel; and, another $36,000 for a "Government Relations Advisor".

Near Wilson Point, Harstene Island
Geoduck Farm PVC Tubes/Netting
(click to enlarge)
 "A Vision of Puget Sound's tidelands"
Painted by Taylor Shellfish


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