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:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pierce County Public Hearing March 27 on Detienne Intertidal/Subtidal Geoduck Farm

March 27, 9AM (be early)
Pierce County Public Services Building
South Entrance
Public Meeting Room
2401 South 35th Street, Tacoma, Washington 98409
[click here for public notice]
[click here for updated staff report]

Intertidal/Subtidal Tideland parcel
owned by the Detienne family,
near Burley Lagoon and
state owned tidelands.

Pierce County will hold a public hearing on a permit application by Chelsea Farms and the Detienne family for the first intertidal/subtidal geoduck farm in Puget Sound, located near Burley Lagoon. It will determine whether the nearshore subtidal area (always underwater) will to be added to the already numerous existing geoduck farms. DNR has prohibited harvesting from state owned lands in these shallower subtidal areas (from 0 to -18 feet) and commercial development of this area was not considered in any Biological Opinions from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

One of many things to consider are recent concerns over Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP).
Clifford Barnes Research Ship
Testing sediments for
Alexandrium cysts
near Burley Lagoon.
From the University of Washington on why the Clifford Barnes was testing sediments in and near Burley Lagoon: We are working on mapping the distribution of Alexandrium catenella cysts in the surface sediments of Puget Sound. This dinoflagellate (type of phytoplankton) has a life cycle where it spends the winter months as a cyst in the sediment and then when conditions are right (warmer for instance) can germinate into the water column and reproduce.  [click here for study site]

Numerous subtidal tracts of geoduck have been closed due to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) caused by Alexandrium, now during the cold winter months. In February alone, tracts 01000 (Protection Island), 10150 (Maury Island), 07850 (Restoration Point) and 09450 (Lisabeula) were closed due to elevated levels of PSP toxins, caused by Alexandrium catenella. Why these closures are increasing in frequency, during the winter months, is currently unknown. But in a Master's Thesis prepared by an Evergreen student this specific issue was considered as an impact to be addressed when geoduck harvesting was being considered. [click here for paper] From that paper: Water jet harvesting turns over the sediment and releases buried cysts and egg into the water column.
Current methods used by the shellfish industry did not exist when the shoreline management act was passed. It is misguided to consider current methods of shellfish aquaculture a "preferred use" of the shorelines. It has become an industrial development of the tidelands and as such should be much more tightly regulated.

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