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:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Totten Inlet's Problem: Ecology Submits Water Quality Assessment to EPA

June 9, the Department of Ecology submitted its final water quality report to EPA, required under the Clean Water Act (read article from San Juan Islander here). Results from that report can be seen on an interactive map on Ecology's site (click here for an interactive map; zoom scale is on the left; clicking on the "i" on top, then the areas in red square will bring up details).

Totten Inlet's Little Skookum Inlet
Now Rated Category 5: "Polluted Waters"
Dissolved Oxygen Samples Below 7mg/L

Samples indicated Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels below 7mg/L which were not attributable to natural conditions (click here for rating, then on "?" for explanation). 

Taylor Shellfish's mussel farm just south was tested and found to cause DO levels to drop as low as 4.5mg/L.  Taylor Shellfish's processing plant discharges over 100,000 gallons/day of waste water on land adjacent to Skookum Inlet's shoreline where water tables flow into Skookum's waters. 

Taylor Shellfish is proposing a large 58 raft mussel farm at the mouth of Totten Inlet (north east of Skookum Inlet's polluted waters) where DO levels are slightly above 7mg/L. The EIS showed Taylor's current mussel farm causes DO levels to drop up to 70%, dropping them below Ecology's standard.

It is technical issues like this which the Hearing Examiner considers when deciding whether a permit for the new farm should be issued. It is why the decision has been extended from April to an anticipated July 9 date.

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