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:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Native Olympia Oysters Make Comeback On the West Coast

July 20th, The Oregonian

Native Olympia oysters

A July 20th article by Oregonian reporter Katy Muldoon discusses successful restoration efforts of the native Olympia oyster on the west coast. After having been over-harvested by commercial operators to a point of being "functionally extinct" recent efforts at rebuilding the only native oyster populations on the west coast are seeing positive results.

Unlike the non-native Pacific oyster which has fallen into a state of reproductive crisis due to ocean acidification, the native Olympia oyster is beginning to naturally repopulate areas of Puget Sound in Washington, Netarts Bay in Oregon, and a handful of California bays. With control of upland runoff the waters in many areas are now healthy enough to support a diverse set of species, including the native Olympia oyster.

Unlike the commercial operations which never allow natural reefs to form, thereby removing any "structure" they may form at harvest, restoration efforts allow the oyster population to remain and rebuild the great permanent reefs which used to exist. With the increase in surface area and population comes a positive loop which allows for the native shellfish to spawn and seed themselves, further increasing their population.

There are still risks to the efforts. These include increasing population densities and associated runoff as well as non-native species becoming naturalized and taking over the limited habitat needed by the Olympia oysters. Another significant risk is commercial shellfish harvesting spreading the non-native invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum throughout bodies of water.

But with continued effort the inlets and bays of the west coast may one day again see the great reefs of Olympia oysters which existed before the commercial shellfish operators harvested them to near extinction.

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