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



Thursday, January 24, 2013

California Coastal Commission to Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Cease and Desist

Drakes Bay Oyster Company Just Doesn't Get It

Does the shellfish industry?
 
The California Coastal Commission (CCC) will meet February 7, 2013 to discuss a new Cease and Desist Order against Drakes Bay Oyster Company (see "ENFORCEMENT" below). The CCC will also discuss proposed actions to address DBOC's unpermitted development and actions taken which were inconsistent with a previous Cease and Desist Order issued December 12, 2007. CCC concerns about that Order not being followed by DBOC were expressed in a letter dated December 29, 2011.
[click here for Staff Report on 2007 Cease and Desist Order]
[click here for 2011 follow-up letter from CCC]

Now, new violations related to the discharge and spread of the nonnative invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum (Dv) and the nonnative Manila clam will also be discussed.

Nonnative invasive Didenmum vexillum
 on oysters from DBOC farm.
When dislodged during handling,
colonies of Dv drift and survive for weeks
attaching to any hard substrate, 
including native shellfish.


Cessation and Restoration of Unpermintted Development Required
In addition to addressing the past, ongoing and current violations, the CCC will also discuss Restoration Order No. CCC-13-RO-01. That order will require immediate cessation of unpermitted practices and restoration onshore and within Drakes Estero.

The shellfish industry doesn't get it.
Drakes Estero where DBOC operates is not the only area where shellfish operators take a cavalier attitude towards their impacts on the marine environment.
  • In Puget Sound, Taylor Shellfish's Diane Cooper's most famous line is impacts from shellfish farming are "at worst benign, and at best they're beneficial."
  • When regulations are enforced the typical response from the shellfish industry is to appeal then sue. Currently, Taylor Shellfish is appealing denial of a permit for a 58 raft mussel farm, believing cumulative impacts required by the Examiner should not be considered.
  • Seattle Shellfish is suing the Corps of Engineers, claiming inaccurate information provided by the shellfish industry should be used by USDFW and NMFS to determine whether industry impacts are adverse or not.
  • Despite Washington's Attorney General describing Willapa Bay as a "chemical soup" the shellfish industry now wants to add the herbicide Imazamox to remove eelgrass it finds "bothersome" in its attempt to grow the nonnative Manila clam.
  • Despite California's ban on Gulf Coast oysters harvested during warm months bringing the deadly disease caused by raw shellfish containing Vibrio vulnificus to a halt, and the continuing infections from Vibrio parahaemolyticus (including an outbreak traced to DBOC this summer) the shellfish industry feels their economic needs outweigh the families of those who become sick, or die, and complain about how the FDA communicates warnings.
  • Creation of "jobs" falls flat when Taylor Shellfish has to let go 160 employees (almost 1/2 of their employees) due to a lack of documentation, bringing forward the questions "just who wants these jobs" and "who is it that really benefits"?
Nonnative invasive tunicate Dv found
on Taylor Shellfish
mussels in Totten Inlet, Puget Sound.
 
Geoduck farm's PVC pipes and
grow out bags for oysters.
Taylor Shellfish - "at worst, benign."
 
Shellfish Politics
Currently the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association are organizing for their annual "walk on the hill" in Washington DC, taking place at the end of this month. Oyster bars will be open and shellfish recipes will be provided to politicians. Complaints of "burdensome regulations" and "shellfish initiatives" and "jobs" will be bantered about, with little care for the long-term impacts of their growing industrial activities. At least one state, California, is at the fore-front of being sure impacts from these activities are kept under control. We can only hope other states will also "get it" before it gets away.

 

CCC Meeting, February 7, 2013

[click here for full agenda]

ENFORCEMENT

11.ENFORCEMENT REPORT. Report by Chief of Enforcement on Statewide Enforcement Program. (LAH-SF)
11.1.Cease and Desist Order No. CCC-13-CD-01 (Drakes Bay Oyster Company, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co.) Public hearing and Commission action on proposed Cease and Desist Order to address unpermitted development related to offshore aquaculture operations and actions taken inconsistent with Consent Cease and Desist Order No. CCC-07-CD-11, on property located at 17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Marin County, identified by the Marin County Assessor’s Office as Assessor Parcel Number 109-13-017, and in the adjacent waters of Drakes Estero. The proposed Cease and Desist Order authorizes and requires Drakes Bay Oyster Company: (1) to cease and desist from conducting or maintaining unpermitted development; (2) to remove onshore unpermitted development; (3) to remove and/or cease unpermitted development, including discharge of invasive Didemnum sp., Manila clams, and marine debris from Drakes Estero and beyond; and (4) to follow requirements to seek Coastal Act authorization for specified unpermitted development, and (5) to limit any interim operations and conduct them pursuant to a set of guidelines designed to protect the environment, including by controlling the invasive Didemnum sp. (HJ-SF)
11.2.Restoration Order No. CCC-13-RO-01 (Drakes Bay Oyster Company, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co.) Public hearing and Commission action on proposed Restoration Order authorizing and directing Drakes Bay Oyster Company to address unpermitted development related to offshore aquaculture operations and actions taken inconsistent with Consent Cease and Desist Order No. CCC-07-CD-11, on property located at 17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Marin County, identified by the Marin County Assessor’s Office as Assessor Parcel Number 109-13-017, and in the adjacent waters of Drakes Estero. Actions required by the proposed Restoration Order to address unpermitted development on the property include: (1) cessation of certain unpermitted practices and development; and (2) restoration of those areas, both onshore and within Drakes Estero, impacted by unpermitted development. (HJ-SF)

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