Where are the monitoring results of impacts which are supposed to be posted on Mason County's website as agreed to in November of 2010?
Spencer Cove Geoduck Nursery
(click to enlarge)
In the picture above, taken in July of 2012, Seattle Shellfish's "geoduck nursery" facility and barges loaded with bags of PVC pipe are seen. Had monitoring of impacts begun? No.
Kiddie Pools in Spencer Cove's Intertidal Tideland
(click to enlarge)
As a result of citizen concerns over adverse impacts from ~1,000 "kiddie wading pools" on the nearshore environment, those pools were removed. In their place a floating facility the length of a football field was proposed for which a permit application was submitted by Seattle Shellfish. The permit approval was appealed to the Shoreline Hearing Board by Case Inlet Shoreline Association (CISA) and an agreement was negotiated in good faith between Mason County, Seattle Shellfish and CISA in November of 2010. The case was dismissed and Mason County issued the permit November 24, 2010.
The November 2010 Agreement - Hire a consultant and post the results quarterly.
That settlement agreement and resulting permit resulted in a condition which required Mason County to hire a consultant to implement a five year monitoring plan. That monitoring plan would be paid for by Seattle Shellfish and required the County to post the results of that monitoring plan on its web site quarterly.
May 2012 - Where is the consultant? [click here for RFP]
In May of 2012 a Request for Proposal was issued by Mason County asking for qualified consultants to respond. After reviews of responses, Hart Crowser Inc. was selected and October 2, 2012 Commissioners Sheldon and Ring Erickson voted to approve signing the Professional Services Agreement. Commissioner Bloomfield, a Seattle Shellfish shareholder, recused himself.
January 31, 2012 - Where is the plan and where are the quarterly results?
Over two years after the settlement agreement was signed and agreed to, Mason County has yet to post anything on its web site except the RFP and the "Decision." [click here] In the mean time, Seattle Shellfish began installation of the floating facility in the Spring of 2012 with final completion in the late summer. A consultant who was to have been hired to determine the impacts had yet to be hired. How meaningful will the results be if there is no baseline to judge impacts from?
The Lesson: Get Involved in Mason County's Shoreline Management Plan - The shellfish industry has been for far longer than you know.
The meaningful result from this is Mason County's focus is not sharp when it comes to ensuring aquaculture will not result in harm to the near shore environment. It is why citizens of Mason County need to be aware of what is happening with the Shoreline Master Program update and be invovled. The shellfish industry has been invovled in crafting the update to their benefit since at least May of 2012, as seen in this comment from Arcadia Point Seafood to others in the industry: Mason County is working on its Shoreline Management Plan and Vicki [Wilson with Arcadia Point Seafood] is a member of their 20-member citizen advisor committee. They are currently discussing aquaculture policy.
The next meeting is at 411 N. 5th Street: February 11, 2012; 6:00 PM; Building 1-BOCC Chambers; Subject: Draft SMP Workshop 2
Commissioners may be contacted at [this site]