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: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Senators Feinstein and Vitter Dismantle the Wilderness Act

Politics Are Messy and Cloudy
"establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund
to reinstate the reservation of use and occupancy
 and special use permits
to conduct certain commercial operations.”
What?
 
In a direct attack on the integrity of the Wilderness Act and congressional actions in place for decades, Senators Vitter (R - La) and Feinstein (D - Ca) have attached a last minute amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution attempting to force the National Parks Service to allow Drakes Bay Oyster Company's commercial operation in Drakes Estero to continue for another 10 years. [read LA Times article here] So doing will mean continued commercial development of over 1,000 acres within a larger designated wilderness area will continue. It will be one of, if not the, largest commercial developments within any designated wilderness area. More importantly, it sets a precedent on how to dismantle the Wilderness Act.

Not just an oyster shack. 
Drakes Bay Oyster Company is not just a small "oyster shack" operating on the shoreline of a pristine body of water. This commercial operation spans over 1,000 acres of publicly owned tidelands which is generating over $1.5 million in revenue for the Lunny family, currently being allocated to attorneys and public relations firms. Placed within these 1,000 ares of Drakes Estero are artificial structures and materials used to grow non-native shellfish in densities never seen in the history of Drakes Estero. If implemented, this single amendment will put every National Park and every designated wilderness at risk of being commercially developed, forever removing those few minimal acres set aside as wilderness for current and future generations to experience.
 
Drakes Estero is Neither National Forest nor Private Property
Drakes Estero is neither a national forest nor private property. It has been a designated wilderness area for decades, waiting only for the Special Use Permit of the only commercial operation, Drakes Bay Oyster Company, to end. That end came November 30, 2012 when the Special Use Permit was not renewed. Instead of graciously thanking the public for being allowed to profit from the use of its public lands, the Lunny family has instead allowed itself to become pawns in the new "Great Game."
 
The New Great Game - Wilderness is not Wilderness
Within the new "Great Game," public relations firms are attempting to create a "new environmental view" of what wilderness is. It is financed by large corporations who see nothing wrong in profiting from developing any and all acreage, wilderness or otherwise. The framing of Drakes Bay Oyster Company as working "in harmony" within a designated wilderness area on 1,000 acres of tidelands is the equivalent of saying clear cutting old growth forests in the Olympic National Park is somehow "in harmony" with wilderness. It is equating open pit mining in Theordore Roosevelt National Memorial Park to being "in harmony" with wilderness. None of these are in harmony with any normal person's perception of what wilderness is, yet public relations firms and attorneys are being paid immense sums to market the idea that "wilderness" is now something where any commercial operation should be allowed.
 
Drakes Bay Oyster Company Is Not Restoration
Contrary to what Drakes Bay Oyster Company's supporters are being lead to believe, it is not an operation which is restoring anything in Drakes Estero. Native Olympia oysters are not grown nor are native Littleneck clams. Instead, non-native and in some cases genetically modified triploid Pacific oysters are being farmed on and within artificial structures. These structures and surface area of shellfish are allowed to have non-native invasive tunicates grow on them which, during harvest, shed colonies which are spread throughout Drakes Estero. Outboard motors, pneumatic hammers, conveyor belts and mechanical tumblers are used in their operation. It is not restoration and it certainly is not wilderness.
 
Senator Feinstein and Senator Vitter - Oysters and Oil Don't Mix
As discovered during BP's ruptured Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, oysters and oil don't mix. Senator Feinstein, unable to see through the messy cloud of politics, has decided in fact oysters and oil do mix and through partnering with Senator Vitter and his ties to the oil industry, has put all designated wilderness at risk. It should be stopped. Contact your Senator or Representative to tell them this is not in the public's interest.
[click here to find your Senator]
[click here to find your Representative]

 

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