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:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Washington Department of Natural Resources to Consider Leasing Public Inetertidal Tidelands to Geoduck Growers

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has announced it is considering leasing some of the few remaining public tidelands to a select group of geoduck growers. Included from the 2006 lease proposals are Seattle Shellfish (Taylor Bay), Arcadia Point Seafood (Dikenson Point), Taylor Shellfish (as subcontractor to Case Cove for Herron Lake bid), Allen Shellfish (Wilson Point, Hartstine Island), and Discovery Bay Shellfish (North Navy). Leasing of these tidelands was first proposed in 2006 by then Commissioner of Public Lands Sutherland. The project has been on hold until now.

Strip mining or managing tidelands?
What people should ask the Department is why are they leasing the few remaining intertidal public tidelands instead of replanting the subtidal tracts being clearcut by dive harvesters. Instead of replanting subtidal areas, a process already taking place in Alaska and Canada, they simply wait for natural seeding to take place, a process estimated to take up to 40 years. In Alaska and Canada, subtidal planting matures in 7 to 8 years. A current proposal for a private subtidal farm estimates 5 to 7 years for maturity.

Why are geoduck different than timber?
Is this managing state tidelands or simply bending to the political pressures put forth by the geoduck growers who have found leasing of private tidelands played out? The Department has a far different management philosophy when managing its timberlands. After clear cutting, timberland is required to be replanted so a new stand of timber is ready for harvesting in 40 years instead of waiting for natural seeding to take place, a process which can take up to 100 years and results in stands that are far more difficult to manage.

Is "science" really science?
In 2007 Sea Grant began studies of geoduck harvesting. Part of that process was to include peer review of studies to determine impacts. To date there has been no peer review of the significant "studies" relied on. In fact, at a recent Shorelines Hearings Board hearing a scientist pointed out how weak the sample sets from which conclusions were being drawn were. So weak that were it a Master's Thesis it would have likely been rejected.

You should first replant what you've harvested. It's resource management.
The public shorelines of Puget Sound are a treasure which was recognized when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. Bending to the political  pressures of lobbyists and public relations firms is why it was created in the first place. It should not be allowed to be bent to those same pressure now. If the Department wants to consider leasing tidelands for geoducks they should first be replanting those subtidal tracts they are clear cutting.

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