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:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Friends of Burley Lagoon Prepare for Pierce County Hearing on the DeTienne Geoduck Farm

 March 27 at 9 AM
Pierce County Public Hearing
on Detienne Subtidal/Intertidal Geoduck Farm
Public Services Building, (south entrance)
2401 South 35th, Tacoma
Written submittals must be in duplicate.
email: tbooth@co.pierce.wa.us
Reference: SD35-05
Note: Public testimony will be limited. Written testimony will be accepted at the hearing but must be in duplicate. Written and oral testimony should address specific code in Pierce County's Shoreline Master Plan and in the state Shoreline Master Program. 
(From the Pierce County Staff report)
"In Spring 2006, public outcry started
regarding all geoduck farms."
Six years later it continues to grow.
For good reason.

Proposed Commercial Geoduck Farm
Planting from +2 to -38 feet
4.5 acres planted subtidally
Dive harvesting for geoduck.
Note: This method is only using a
hand pump and only pulling 1 geoduck out.

"Heavier grained sediments settle out quickly"
Is a 10' buffer from eelgrass good enough?
Based on what?
Why does this permit approval matter?
The significance of the proposed Detienne geoduck farm cannot be understated. No county has ever approved a permit for a commercial geoduck farm in the nearshore subtidal (always underwater) area. There has not been any evaluation by federal or state agencies on impacts from commercial farms in the shallow subtidal area where the ~40,000 PVC tubes per acre are inserted and covered by netting, then removed, followed by harvesting.

No peer reviewed studies exist for this type of proposal.
There are no peer reviewed studies on impacts from a commercial geoduck farm in nearshore subtidal waters planted in the densities proposed. Often quoted Canadian studies by Chris Pearce are not comparable. Densities were far lower (2 geoduck per square meter versus 9 geoduck per square meter in Puget Sound farms).  Biological evaluations and opinions did not consider the unique aspects of the nearshore habitat, including currents and wave energy [click here, page 6-3,4 for subtidal wave energy]. The Ebasco plume study for DNR had a diver moving from one hole to the next, taking 50 seconds to go from one to the next, nothing at all like the commercial farm proposed where densities are far greater [click here for description, page 5-7].
Aerial view of a single diver
harvesting in Spencer Cove.
"Heavy grained sediments settle out quickly." More than heavy grained sediments are introduced into the water column, and it is not a "storm event."
As seen in the video of dive harvesting, and in the aerial shot of a single dive harvester above, fine sediments immediatly cloud the area of subtidal harvesting then drift with the current. Depending on currents and waves, but more importantly, the density of geoduck harvested, the cloud is not static nor comparable to those produced while harvesting wild densities. [click here to read DNR plume study] Wile densities are ~1/square yard, commercial 9/square yard. Equally important is the amount of time it takes to harvest geoduck subtidally.
"On a good day, divers may haul up 500 to 1,000 pounds of geoduck each." (Seattle Times, April 23, 2012) 
As proposed, the Detienne subtidal farm will be planted at densities of over 80,000 pounds per acre (assuming 1 per square foot, weighing 2 pounds each). As proposed, over 4 acres will be planted, or 320,000 pounds. This means that sediment disturbance in the near shore environment will be occurring for between 320 to 640 days. If additional divers are hired it means the area impacted will be far greater. Sediment disturbances being of "short duration"  and "settling out quickly" are meaningless in the type of ongoing operation being proposed. There are no peer reviewed studies.


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