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:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 29, 2PM: Is this Oyster Really Safe?

City of Shelton Public Hearing March 29, 2PM
525 West Cota Street, Shelton
Email comments to: Jason Dose - jasond@ci.shelton.wa.us
Reference: SSDP 01-13 and SCUP 01-13

Dioxin and cPAH levels in Shelton Harbor's
upper sediments (0-10cm).
Is this really a good idea?
The City of Shelton will hold a public hearing March 29 at 2PM on a proposal by Chelsea Farms to place a shellfish nursery in the Oakland Bay Marina, on the shores of Shelton. Shelton Harbor's waters are currently classified by the Department of Health as "Prohibited." The upper sediments in Shelton Harbor contain elevated levels of Dioxins and cPAH  which at low tide are easily churned by prop wash from boats launched or in the marina (see table above, click here for DOH report). Boats currently moored at the marina are painted with antifouling paint which is designed to slough off to prevent barnacle and algae from growing, with these chemicals entering the water. A boat launch and well used parking lot are immediately adjacent to the facility. Fueling of boats and discharges from bilges is routine, as in any marina.

Location of Chelsea Farms
proposed shellfish nursery.

But one of many.
In addition to Chelsea Farms, Hamma Hamma oyster is also reported to have an operating nursery in the marina. More importantly, Chelsea Farms' current proposal is only one of a number of nurseries reported to be planned for other marinas throughout Puget Sound.

Is this what a marina is for?
Is a marina really where a shellfish nursery should be located? Isn't a location away from contamination, out of harms way, a better idea? And what of the public's access to the marina's facilities if shellfish nurseries proliferate? Related, will the shellfish industry be idle if their "seed" is found to retain the myriad of chemicals found in any marina or near any large parking lot along the shoreline and be unusable?

A better suggestion.
As noted in the application, there is an existing nursery facility located 1/2 mile east. Wouldn't it be smarter to expand the existing facility which is out of harms way instead of putting shellfish in the cross hairs of a chemical soup?
Existing nursery facility.

 And, by the way, where are all those shellfish going to go?
Chelsea Farms states that by utilizing nurseries, hatchery production will be able to increase 10 fold, stating "if a hatchery could produce 70 million 6mm oysters a season, by outsourcing the nursery phase to growers that same hatchery could produce 700 million 2mm oysters." (Note: Using Chelsea Farms' numbers, put another way, at 250 oysters per grow-out bag, the number of grow-out bags used would increase from 280,000 to 2.8 million.)

Where would 2.8 million extra grow out bags go?

Is this oyster really safe?
"The Department of Health Office of Shellfish and Water Protection recommends that people not harvest or eat fish or shellfish from Shelton Harbor and/or other areas that are prohibited for harvest because of bacterial pollution. If you’re concerned about contact with sediments, the Department of Health recommends that you rinse your hands and feet with clean, potable water after recreational contact with the sand, sediment, and water from this area." [click here]

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