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:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification: Facing Godzilla or Swatting Flies?

"The panel itself is silent on that question."
Brad Warren, panel member,
when asked about coal exports to China. 
"It's big! It's terrifying!"
Brad Warren* on Ocean Acidification
*Brad Warren is with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
who, with Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish, helped to
create the "Blue Ribbon Panel" on Ocean Acidification.
On November 27, Governor Gregoire's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification (OA) will release recommendations on what Washington should do about OA. OA was brought to the Governor's awareness by the shellfish industry's Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish, and Brad Warren with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Taylor Shellfish had been experiencing hatchery failures in producing the non-native/genetically modified triploid Pacific oyster. Brad Warren had been trying since the mid-2000's to make people aware of CO2's link to OA and, initially, its impact on the salmon industry. Oyster hatchery failures is now the conduit being used by Mr. Warren to build awareness of CO2 emissions and OA. [click here for one of Mr. Warren's first presentations].

What will the perception of the public be when the panel releases its recommendations? A truly meaningful "attack" on Godzilla or something far less? [click here]

At a meeting on OA in 2011, Norm Sims called for "actionable advice" agencies could take. Three weeks later, Mr. Dewey and Mr. Warren were able to convince Governor Gregoire OA should be made part of her "Shellfish Initiative." [hear Mr. Warren's presentation on meeting with Bill Dewey]. The "Blue Ribbon Panel" on Ocean Acidification was created and made part of the Washington Shellfish Initiative, announced in December of 2011. Its task: to create "actionable advice" on which government agencies could act to address OA, tied directly CO2 emissions, and in turn climate change. [read Charter here]

Hurricane Sandy, October 29

November 27 those recommendations will be issued. At hand is the opportunity for the panel to present actions which are truly meaningful, locally, nationally and internationally. Many people are watching. Ocean Acidification and its cause - elevated levels of CO2 emissions - is real. Tied directly to it is climate change, its effect most recently seen on the east coast.

Whether those recommendations will in fact face up to "Godzilla" or simply be perceived as swatting at flies already being dealt with remains to be seen. Will calling for further "actions" to reduce local inputs of nitrogen be more effective than those already in place? Will calling for preservation of aquatic vegetation while spraying Willapa Bay to eradicate eelgrass be taken seriously?  How does dramatically expanding shellfish grown in Puget Sound help when calcifying agents, already diminished by CO2, will be used up by them at the expense of other species? Is calling for a tax on miles driven to reduce CO2 more effective than telling China Washington will not allow hundreds of tons of coal to be exported until they limit their emissions?

The panel and incoming Governor Inslee have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference on CO2 emissions, climate change and Ocean Acidification. They risk being perceived as simply a tool to further the gains of others. When asked about their stance on coal exports to China at the Northwest Straits annual meeting, their answer: "The panel itself is silent on that question."  [hear the response to this first, difficult to hear question, here]

Norma Smith, Representative for the 10th District and also a panel member was not silent and said: "This is a global issue and we have to engage with our Pacific Rim neighbors because the problem is upwelling."

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