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, August 14, 2013

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Conservative Tar is Sticky

[Update 8/18: In an article from PRWatch on the Koch Brothers' funded Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity setting up "news websites" in 40 states, it notes the Franklin Center also donated $994,000 to Cause of Action in 2011. As noted, it was Cause of Action's "agenda" which suddenly made Phyllis Faber aware of there being more than an oyster farm's continued operation in a designated wilderness area driving their legal support of Drakes Bay Oyster  Company's continued operation. Found on the Franklin website are the various "news outlets" in each state, with Washington's being the "Freedom Foundation" where Scott Roberts operates out of. Mr. Roberts has helped Ed Kilduff promote his perceptions on wetlands, not accepted by the Department of Ecology nor San Juan County. Ed Kilduff was recently interviewed by Robin Carpenter in an "infomercial" on whether Marin County is the same as San Juan County in Washington. Tar is sticky.] 
Plausible Deniability

Recent public relations strategies executed by firms representing Drakes Bay Oyster Company have attempted to distance themselves from what has been termed "right wing conservative" groups who support commercial operations within wilderness areas. Most prominent of those groups supporting legal work for DBOC was Cause of Action whose efforts brought the case currently being considered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to this state. The relationship between DBOC and COA was severed in large part when Phyllis Faber realized the agenda of COA and donors to that group were not aligned with her philosophy.

How was I to know?
Phyllis Faber

Since that time press releases, blogs, and radio interviews have all attempted to distance DBOC from any ties to conservative groups, attempting to align themselves with perceived "liberal" entities. Included in this have been alignment with San Francisco restaurant groups whose only stated concern is to continue providing local $3 oysters to their patrons. Another attempt to swing the narrative was public relations "expert" Sam Singer with Singer Associates submitting a statement for conservative radio talk show host "WZ" to read explaining his relationship with DBOC proclaiming that he was "democrat". One other example has been use of the conservative land use group Common Sense Alliance's board member Ed Kilduff's blog, Trojan Herron, to create Trojan Herring, publishing pieces authored by east coast resident, cook book author and fervent DBOC supporter Sarah Rolph (the former was interviewed by Robin Carpenter, lamenting the name calling which was going on but which side stepped Mr. Kilduff's very focused "name calling" of those in Washington who disagree with him).

In the Marin County fog created by public relations firms an attempt to deny past relationships relies heavily on "plausible deniability." Phyllis Faber and Corey Goodman's "how were we to know" letter cutting the ties with Cause of Action on the surface was admirable (an unfavorable News Hour report on public radio resulted in COA demand all interview tapes). Follow-up interviews on conservative radio shows did nothing to distance themselves from those who wish this commercial operation in a designated wilderness area to continue. The Freedom Foundation's use of Ed Kilduff in their videos only served to layer more tar onto the affair.

Citizens in Marin County are fortunate to be able to live in a bucolic landscape, adjacent to one of the most densely populated urban areas in the United States. It is that way because people such as Ms. Faber saw the pressures from development flowing into the county fracturing the landscape. She and other stepped in to implement land use regulations and create groups to acquire farms to prevent development at a local level. Citizens, and Ms. Faber, need to elevate themselves above the fray of Marin County and consider the national impact which the continued operation of this commercial operation in a designated wilderness area is going to result in.

A "cannery" and "local family run business" sound very romantic but they do not hide the reality of this being looked on by those whose agendas are far different than what is being portrayed by the public relations firms enlisted. Plausible deniability has been used in politics for decades. Public relations firms are "gifted" in their ability to create the fog in which this exists. Marin County citizens need to be able to see through this fog.

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