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, December 12, 2013

Year End Fundraising Letter
From Case Inlet Shoreline Association
and Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat
Contact information for donations
(CISA is a 501c3 non-profit organization):
Curt Puddicombe
Case Inlet Shoreline Association (CISA)
PO Box 228
Vaughn, WA 98394-0228
Phone: 206-730-0288

Dear Puget Sound Neighbor, 

Thanks to you we’ve made significant accomplishments in our efforts to protect Puget Sound from continued expansion of industrial aquaculture, especially geoduck aquaculture.  But more needs to be done, and we urgently need your help now to continue our work. 

Since 2006, we’ve been working together with you and other concerned citizens, our expert scientists and our legal team to combat the continued, largely unchecked growth of the shellfish aquaculture industry.  Now, this industry can no longer use public tidelands illegally.  New aquaculture regulations and permits are now required in every county except Mason County.  Shellfish aquaculture is no longer permitted in eelgrass beds.  And now, geoduck harvesting is not allowed when forage fish eggs are present. Due to our efforts, the Shorelines Hearings Board has made it clear that the shellfish industry is not allowed to harass or restrict citizens as they use public waters.  

But we need to continue our work.  Currently, we’re working with our legal team to address the cumulative effects of increasing numbers of aquaculture operations, both active and projected.  To do this, we’ve been appealing these permits at both county and state levels; but more needs to be done.  We’re working to require studies on the accumulation of effects before more aquaculture is allowed to expand further.

The available science tells us that shellfish aquaculture causes adverse impacts to nearshore habitats for fish and birds, including critical habitat for endangered salmon.  The question becomes: how much more of these adverse effects will be allowed?  Are these commercial operations in violation the Endangered Species Act, or the Clean Water Act?  Now more than ever we need to litigate at the Federal level citing these Federal protections. We also need to legally challenge County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) aquaculture regulations at the Growth Management Hearings Board showing that they are a reduction in aquatic protection and inconsistent with the original Shoreline Management Act. The issues of protections of forage fish, eelgrass and salmon habitat, massive amounts of plastic pollution, wildlife eradication devices and biodiversity must be addressed.
In summary, the Coalition’s and the Case Inlet Shoreline Association’s final actions in Federal Court and individual county Shoreline Master Program appeals will determine the fate of our aquatic life and the ability for citizens to be able to use our shorelines for recreation. Two Federal cases could cost up to $50,000 each, the Pollution Control Board case could cost an additional $40,000 and County SMP appeals could cost $20,000 each. In all, over $160,000 will be needed to win the necessary protections. 
I know this is a substantial amount of money, but I also know that we are the last line of defense.  South Puget Sound faces being turned into a monoculture shellfish production estuary. Citizens are virtually defenseless when facing unlimited corporate funds and political lobbying.  
We still have the chance to make a permanent difference for Puget Sound, but we need to finish what we’ve started.  It is the right thing to do and the laws are in our favor.  But we need to get to Federal Court and the Growth Management Hearings Board to be heard. Our partners in Canada have sent us the attached picture that clearly depicts why we need to move forward.
No donation is too large or too small.  Thank you for your generous support.  Donations can be sent to: The Case Inlet Shoreline Association, PO Box 228, Vaughn, WA  98394.  We are an all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization. 
Laura Hendricks
Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat

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