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 7, 2013

NMFS Proposes 1,700 Square Miles of Puget Sound to be Critical Habitat

Public Notice Published August 6, 2013 in the Federal Register
Public Comments Due November 4, 2013
Log on to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NOAA_FRDOC_0001-2633 and click on "Comment Now" where you will be able to submit comments and/or attachments.

The National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) has proposed over 1,700 square miles of Puget Sound be declared critical habitat for three species of rockfish listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the threatened distinct population segment (DPS) of Yelloweye rockfish, the threatened DPS of Canary rockfish, and the endangered DPS of Bocaccio.

Proposed Critical Habitat in Puget Sound
From the Federal Register/Public Notice

The reason
As with the southern resident population of Orca, the populations of these rockfish were also determined to be distinct population segments (DPS) in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Puget Sound's habitat supports these protected species, among many others. One (Boccacio) is considered endangered and the other two (Canary and Yelloweye) are threatened. Concerns noted in the Public Notice include escaped nets, something which, with the expansion of geoduck farming in south Puget Sound is a growing concern.

South Puget Sound Critical Habitat

Critical Habitat Proposed in the San Juan Islands

Given that the proposed critical habitat areas are intended to support distinct population segments (DPS) of rock fish which are also found elsewhere the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) will no doubt challenge the proposal, initially in comments, followed by petitions to delist the species. As PLF attorney Damien Schiff noted a Seattle Times article in response to NMFS rejecting PLF's petition to remove the southern resident Orca from the list of endangered species, "Although we disagree with the service, the finding does tee up various issues that we would like to litigate over," With over $30 million in net assets they are well funded to do so. With the current focus of conservative groups and some industries - large and small - to weaken the current environmental protections in place there are those motivated to weaken, if not prevent, this current proposal.

PLF Attorney Damien Schiff

"would like to litigate"


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