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, May 29, 2013

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Changing Tides Changing Attorneys

Updated 5/30:
Link to May 17 COA letter to PBS added. 
Link to Steven Maglivio's piece on COA being dropped, which ends with this succinctly written paragraph:
But it's too little, too late for the oyster corporation, which produces just 3 percent of the oysters on the west coast. The move to cozy up to the right-wing clearly has hurt the company's efforts to portray itself as the little guy vs. big government. And that's something -- like the agreement the Lunny family made to shut down -- it simply just can't walk away from and pretend didn't happen.
And so castles made of sand ...

Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) has severed its relationship with the conservative group Cause of Action (COA) over the latter's request to PBS for video tapes of interviews used for a recent report on PBS Newshour. (Note: COA has removed their post on the FOIA request. Their May 17 letter to PBS may be viewed here: May 17 COA Letter to PBS.)

As written about earlier, Cause of Action felt it had been portrayed unfairly when executive director Dan Epstein was described by PBS as being “an attorney who once worked for a foundation run by one of the conservative activist Koch brothers" and those opposed to the continued commercial operation were not labeled as COA felt they should be (e.g.,  Amy Trainer is only "described as the head of an environmental group.").

Cause of Action also felt it had been somehow portrayed inaccurately to Phyllis Faber, participant in a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission's action on DBOC's inaction of violations, noting, "Environmental activist Phyllis Faber is described as 'not happy to be on the same side as Cause of Action.'  In the May 1, 2013 NewsHour broadcast, Ms. Faber is quoted as stating, 'I am very disturbed by that and I don't agree with it at all.'" (Note: The California Coastal Commission has asked the court to dismiss Ms. Faber's lawsuit and for it to fine DBOC for its “'intentional and knowing' violation of state law and the agency’s orders.")

Beware of pro-bono legal representation

DBOC chose to allow Cause of Action and conservative friends into its house with offers of free legal support. The reasons for and consequences of that action could be seen by anyone with an objective eye. Now DBOC has tied itself directly to those who see this as the opportunity to break the Wilderness Act and extract the minimal resources which exist in those few areas Congress intended be set aside for all citizens, not just an exclusive few. How would Marin County feel if they looked in their rear view mirror and saw Cause of Action - or the Pacific Legal Foundation - representing developers from San Francisco pointing to millionaires developing parcels set aside as farm easements and saying "The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) should be dismantled so we may put up condominiums."

Instead of smoothly winding down a commercial operation DBOC knew was destined to cease in 2012, they instead chose to gamble in hopes they could prevent the completion of the wilderness Congress intended for all citizens to enjoy. Instead of helping their employees start a new operation in Tomales Bay or elsewhere they bussed them from location to location for photo-ops to be used for the benefit of conservative groups. Instead of suggesting to those caught up in the "gift" of the Trojan Horse from COA that they help fund employee training and/or relocation, attorneys from San Francisco and Washington DC are instead made more wealthy.

Stepping back and rethinking what to do in order to avoid another train wreck is something which a group such as Gallatin Public Affairs makes fortunes off of. Whether they, or someone similar is brought into the picture, a broader perspective and solution which is inclusive of all citizens, and not for an exclusive few, needs to be presented.

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