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:
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

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



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thurston County Geoduck Farms, Permit Hearing November 26

Shoreline Substantial Development Permit Hearing for 3 proposed geoduck farms 
November 26, 10AM
Expo Center, Thurston County Fairgrounds
3054 Carpenter Road
Lacey
Comments by email: peterscs@co.thurston.wa.us by 4PM, November 23
Additional permit information: [click here] (Note: Complete permit documentation will not be put up until ~ 1 week prior to the decision.)
 

Existing and proposed geoduck farms
Henderson Inlet
(click on photo to enlarge)
 
Almost 3 years ago Taylor Shellfish and Arcadia Point Seafood were told by Thurston County their proposed geoduck farms would require a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. Taylor and Arcadia, instead of applying, chose to pay for appealing all the way through Superior Court. Their decision was based primarily on an opinion by Attorney General McKenna which said their PVC pipes, netting and rebar necessary for a geoduck farm was not a "structure." In October of 2011, the Superior Court agreed with the Hearing Examiner who said Attorney General McKenna's opinion was legally flawed and they would need to apply for a permit.
[click here for flawed AG Opinion]
[click here for Superior Court decision]

On November 26 the Thurston County Hearing Examiner will listen to testimony on whether the three geoduck farms (Thiesen, McClure, and Lockhart) meet the requirements of Thurston County's current Shoreline Master Program. As seen in the recent permit decision for Taylor's mussel farm in Totten Inlet, the Examiner has the discretion to determine whether cumulative impacts have been adequately addressed. If not, the Examiner can ask for additional information, including an Environmental Impact Statement, to determine whether granting a permit for these three farms is warranted.
Totten Inlet

An individual farm may be inconsequential. But when seven adjacent commercial developments are being operated a far more significant fragmentation of shoreline habitat and use occurs. When seven adjacent operations are taking place, run by separate companies with different planting rotations, a far more continuous pattern of disruption will occur, day and night. When seven adjacent farms are allowed to be permitted there is little to prevent future applicants from pointing to those approved permits in support of theirs.
 
Wilson Point, Harstine Island

Cumulative impacts from corporate shellfish farming do matter, they are occurring, and they are growing. Nothing in the SEPA approval for these farms considered adjacent farms being operated simultaneously. While the hearing has combined 3 of the 5 proposed farms, there is nothing to indicate simultaneous operation of seven adjacent farms has been considered. The Examiner has the discretion to look at the broader picture and determine whether greater analysis of cumulative impacts is required. It should be.

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