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:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Drakes Bay Oyster Company and Senator Vitter: Part 2

Senator Vitter (R - La)
"I expect clear and complete answers ..."
Factual questions would help.

Senator Vitter (R - La) continues to help clarify what is behind the energy to force the Department of the Interior's National Park Service to renew the Drakes Bay Oyster Company's lease. It is not a love for raw oysters or their perceived effect.

In a letter dated March 18, sent to Ms. Sally Jewell, Interior Secretary Designate, Senator Vitter (a minority member of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works) lists 19 questions he would like "thorough" and "clear and complete answers" to. [click here for letter] What standard he bases "clear and complete answers" on is unknown.

The first 6 questions are focused directly on how to expand or speed up permitting for oil, natural gas and coal. The next 7 meander around the protection of species by the Federal Government, state's rights and individual property rights impacted by that protection. Two more focus on hydraulic fracturing, another on Carbon tax, another implies "gas prices doubled" due to President Obama, and another asks clarification on her role as a board member with the National Parks Conservation Association.

Mixed in with all is a question about Drakes Bay Oyster Company's lease expiration which nobody could, or should, give a "clear and complete" response to as it ignores the fundamental issue: the lease has expired and the commercial operation must cease. Implied is a "vicious campaign" is underway to shut down a commercial operation. Ignored is the fact that Congress (who Senator Vitter is a member of) passed the Point Reyes Wilderness Act in 1976 with the only commercial operation to cease in 2012 [click here for Public Law 94-544]. Ignored is the current owner (who purchased the farm in 2005) having been told multiple times the lease would not be renewed. Ignored is the current owner having been found by the California Coastal Commission to be operating in violation of a cease and desist order from 2007 [click here for article]. Ignored is Congress (which Senator Vitter is a member of) gave the Secretary Salazar the discretion to let the lease expire in 2012, not the requirement to renew it as Senator Feinstein originally asked for [read analysis here].

While the shellfish industry is clearly concerned about Drakes Estero reverting to wilderness, it is becoming clear through the help of Senator Vitter how much the energy industry is involved. Everyone should be concerned about the precedent which allowing a commercial operation to continue in a designated wilderness area would have. It is a direct attack on the Wilderness Act. Contact your representative and tell them it is time for Drakes Estero to become the wilderness Congress intended in 1976.

Find your Representative here:  [click here]
Find your Senator here: [click here]

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