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:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seattle Shellfish Public Hearing for Shellfish Nursery on Harstine Island

Public Notice for Shoreline Permit
When: January 28 at 1PM
Where: Commissioners Chambers Bldg 1, 411 North 5th St
[map location here]
A public hearing will be held January 28, 2014 at 1PM in Shelton, WA to consider a shoreline permit to develop a shellfish nursery on the shoreline of Spencer Cove, located on the northeast end of Harstine Island.

A good business decision?
Agencies, investors and bankers involved in this decision may want to consider how tenuous the geoduck market is. The geoduck market has recently been shaken due to arsenic found in geoduck from Puget Sound and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins in geoduck from Alaska. Whether the Chinese accept the Department of Health's statement that they are safe to eat, as long as you avoid the skin, remains to be seen. When political posturing is thrown into the question of whether China and other east Asian countries will continue to import shellfish from Washington's Puget Sound it would be wise to think twice about what conditions to put on a project such as this, whether permitting or financing. Or whether it is wise to become involved at all.

China's President Xi Jinping
Not sure gluttony is such a good thing.

(Post on Seattle Shellfish proposal from November 4, 2013)
[Note: The question of tideland ownership remains unanswered. Washington's Attorney General has yet to look completely into whether the tidelands in the adjacent lagoon were ever sold by the state.]

Proposed Location of Hatchery Facility

(click to enlarge)

Mason County will hold a hearing on Seattle Shellfish's proposal to install a new hatchery facility on their upland property located adjacent to Spencer Cove on Harstine Island. The hatchery is to address a seed shortage in general but more specifically to allow Seattle Shellfish to break from being dependent on Taylor Shellfish and the Lummi Tribe for their geoduck seed.

Tideland Ownership
There is a question of whether the tidelands within the lagoon which the proposal is adjacent to were ever transferred by the state into private ownership. While private transactions indicated ownership, there do not appear to be any deeds from the state. The original survey which the state based ownership and sales off of did not include the lagoon area. The surveyor only traced the outer shoreline along the spit, across the entrance, then northward along Spencer Cove, leaving the lagoon separated. As noted, tideland deeds from the state do not indicate they were ever transferred into private ownership.

Plate from 1880 of Spencer Cove and the Lagoon 
State surveyors did not include the lagoon.
Tidelands waterward of the blue line were sold.

 Current Use of Lagoon and Tidelands
Currently the lagoon is used by Seattle Shellfish for staging their barges onto which PVC pipes and other materials are loaded from the upland area. On occasion the barges use the tidelands to rest on when the tide is out (see picture above). How the Department of Natural Resources [and Attorney General] will resolve this legal issue is unknown.

Current Use of Lagoon's Tidelands
(hatchery proposal is upland
from the access road)
(click to enlarge)

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