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



Monday, November 19, 2012

Thurston County Commissioners Affirm Mussel Farm Permit Denial

"...the law requires an adequate analysis of cumulative impacts before a SSDP permit may be issued in this case."

Thurston County Commissioners have affirmed the Hearing Examiner's denial of Taylor Shellfish's Shoreline Substantial Development Permit application for a 58 raft mussel farm in Totten Inlet. They agreed that denial based on an inadequate analysis of cumulative impacts was correct[click here for decision].

It quotes from a recent Shoreline Hearing Board decision:
"...consideration of potential cumulative effects and precedential effects is warranted in any case where there is proof of impacts that risk harm to habitat." Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat v. Pierce Co. and Longbranch Shellfish, LLC, SHB No. 11-019-2012

Cancel or Appeal?
Taylor Shellfish may appeal the decision to the Shoreline Hearing Board or they may simply cancel the permit application and wait for Mason County to update its Shoreline Master Program. Based on current policy in Mason County and industry's heavy involvement in their SMP update process, Taylor's 58 rafts will most likely be allowed on the Mason County side of Totten Inlet, with little to no permitting requirements.

Become Engaged
The public cannot appreciate the amount of money Taylor Shellfish, the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and other "benefactors" put into minimizing regulatory oversight. The public cannot appreciate how much taxpayer money is spent to support the industry, whether it be the Department of Health's monthly monitoring of waters or funding for hatcheries.  The dairy, agriculture, and timber industries all incur expenses to help the shellfish industry, and pay a far greater percentage in taxes.

All the while, owners of Taylor Shellfish and Arcadia Point Seafood, among others, generate over $1 million/acre in profits from geoducks. That money in turn pays for attorneys, "scientists", and lobbyists to ensure they are able to continue generating wealth for themselves at the expense of Puget Sound's tidelands and waters, and at the expense of taxpayers.

Modern shellfish aquaculture is transforming Puget Sound's habitat. Once converted, that habitat does not recover. The public needs to become engaged in the current Shoreline Master Program updates.

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