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:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seattle Shellfish Shellfish Hatchery Hearing Postponed, Tideland Ownership Unclear

Mason County has postponed the hearing on a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit for a shellfish hatchery on Harstine Island. The Mason County Journal reports it may be held in mid-January.
Mason County's contact is Grace Miller at gbm@co.mason.wa.us or 360-427-9670 X360. Permit # is SHR2013-00013
Northeast Harstine Island's lagoon
at the south end of Spencer Cove.
Proposed hatchery within the circle.
(click to enlarge)
Tideland ownership within lagoon in question
Located at the south end of Spencer Cove, the proposed facility is adjacent to a lagoon whose tidelands do not appear to have been sold by Washington. In a 2011 letter from DNR to Seattle Shellfish they noted the state had "never sold the tidleands" (see below). This issue is still unresolved as deeds from the state do not reference any tidelands having been sold.
From DNR to Seattle Shellfish
dated April 15, 2011.

Current use of tidelands
Seattle Shellfish has continued to use the tidelands still apparently owned by Washington and managed by DNR. Information submitted to Mason County by Confluence Environmental Company in August of this year notes it is being used for growing manila clams, oyster culture, and accessing company vessels.
From Confluence Environmental Company
report dated August 30, 2013. 
(Note: Confluence incorrectly refers to the tidal
lagoon as being Spencer Cove. Spencer Cove
is the larger body of water to the north, which
the smaller lagoon is part of, on the south.)
An expanding convenience - and value - for Seattle Shellfish 
For Seattle Shellfish, the convenience of being able to use these tidelands to support its geoduck operations cannot be understated. Upland bags of PVC pipe are staged then loaded onto barges within the lagoon where they are then transported to nearby areas of Spencer Cove. There they are inserted into the tidelands, planted with geoduck, and covered with nets (see picture below). With the proposed upland hatchery supplying seed for Seattle Shellfish's geoduck nursery adjacent to the lagoon its convenience - and value - will only increase with time.
Spencer Cove Geoduck Farm
(click to enlarge)

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