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, April 5, 2013

Drakes Bay Oyster Company's Knot to Oil Gets Tighter

 "he urged a House subcommittee to open up part of
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil drilling."
Representative "Doc" Hastings
Republican, WA

The knot tying Drakes Bay Oyster Company to oil drilling in wilderness areas was pulled tighter today, this time by Washington state Representative "Doc" Hastings (R - Wa). As a strong proponent for opening wilderness areas to drilling and mineral extraction it is no surprise. Ironically, Representative Hastings was also strongly opposed to the proposed federal protection of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, within his own home state, recently put in place.

Who needs wilderness?
"There is a small but active element in the Republican element in the house that does not support wilderness," Spitzer of the Wilderness Society said. He holds Doc Hastings, the chair of the Natural Resources Committee, most accountable. [click here for article]

We hear what we want to hear.

You only hear yourself if your ears are plugged.
Continuing to ignore the fact that Congress intended for this final commercial operation in Drakes Estero to end in 2012, he continues with ongoing complaints about how irrelevant studies were implemented and interpreted. He writes that in 2009 Congress "authorized" Secretary Salazar to extend for another 10 years the farms authorization and special use permit but ignores the fact that the original 2009 rider was changed from "requiring" the extension to merely giving him the option. We hear what we want to hear. [click here for letter from Hastings]

Oops, I did it again!
Shell Oil drilling platform, grounded.

It's just about an oyster farm.
This issue is far beyond an oyster farm. Any doubts were dispelled when the conservative "Cause of Action," with clear ties to the conservative Koch Brothers, stepped in to provide legal support for the Lunny family. It was made more clear when Senator Vitter attached a rider to his energy bill which would have both required continued operation of the commercial farm and also removed the wilderness designation from Drakes Estero. [click here for article] The oil industry is clear in its wishing to dismantle the protections which the Wilderness Act brings to a small area for current and future generations. They see in the Lunny family's complaints about "big government" a window of opportunity to exploit an opportunity and have drawn in as pawns that family and well intentioned chefs. [click here for Huffington Post article] The objective in the gambit is to open the door for redefining what "wilderness" is and creating a "new environmentalism," a direct outfall of the "personification" of corporations.

Oyster racks in Drakes Estero.
"Wilderness" through corporate eyes.

Riding on the coat tails.
Riding on the coat tails of the oil industry is the shellfish industry who sees a golden opportunity to exploit one of the few remaining bodies of water available for industrial shellfish operations. Drakes Estero, with its clear waters and protected embayment, and minimal payments to the state, offers an economic opportunity for them to exploit further. Despite Tomales Bay and Humboldt Bay offering ample opportunities for reasonable development outside of this wilderness area, they have poured resources into fighting this through lobbyists and attorneys. Is it any wonder the largest shellfish company, Taylor Shellfish, is also located in Washington state which Representative Doc Hastings is from?

Bill Taylor, Taylor Shellfish
Wilderness in the forests is great,
not so in the tidelands.

Wilderness is good - just not on tidelands the shellfish industry uses.
Most ironic in all of what is unfolding in Drakes Estero is the support for expanding wilderness areas on the Olympic Peninsula. The Wild Olympics campaign is endorsed by Bill Taylor, owner of Taylor Shellfish. [click here for endorsement] Where is his support for the only designated shoreline wilderness area on the entire west coast? Clouded in the conversion of tidelands for shellfish production.

Geoduck shellfish farm in Puget Sound.
Coming to Drakes Estero?

The shellfish industry: canary in a coal mine or strip miners of the tidelands?
Doc Hastings may have found a new political donor.


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