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:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Updated 1/21: Senate Republicans Question Ecology on Coal Port Position

Update 1/21: For Senate Republicans upset about Ecology's position to consider impacts of coal exported through Washington ports being burned in China is an article in today's NY Times ("China is also an Exporter of Pollution to the Western U.S., Study Finds"). Before holding another hearing they might take the time to read it. Even better would be for them to educate themselves further by reading the article referred to, published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" which opens with:
China is the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic air pollutants, and measurable amounts of Chinese pollution are transported via the atmosphere to other countries, including the United States.
In the end, it all comes back.

Bejing (European Pressphoto Agency)

Just as sediment plumes from harvesting geoduck spread through the waters of Puget Sound impacting adjacent parcels so too do plumes discharged from smokestacks in China impact air and water quality in Washington. Republicans upset about Ecology considering what the cumulative impacts of exporting 48 million tons of coal to China through Washington ports would be only indicates whose interests they have in mind.
An example of what multiple divers harvesting
geoduck in Puget Sound would look like.

EarthFix has reported that Senate Republicans are upset at the position Washington's Department of Ecology has taken on the proposed coal terminal on the northern shores of Washington's Puget Sound.

What goes around
comes around.

Discharge plumes spread in the direction of the prevailing winds
If anything has been learned from the Chinese banning geoduck from Washington's Puget Sound it is that discharge plumes from smokestacks do nothing but spread pollutants in the direction the prevailing winds blow. Elevated levels of arsenic, lead, and cadmium north of the old ASARCO plant are only a few of the things found in Puget Sound's sediments from which geoduck in those areas are harvested. It should be no surprise that testing by the Chinese and the Department of Health both found elevated levels of arsenic in geoduck harvested from Poverty Bay.

We're surprised you're surprised
As such it should be no surprise that the Department of Ecology is concerned about the greenhouse gasses emitted from the 48 million tons of coal which would move through the proposed terminal, primarily to China, where it would be burned. Resultant CO2 would be discharged into the airs and travel east over the Pacific where a portion would be absorbed, creating the cascade of chemical reactions resulting in waters with lower pH.

Pressing for regulatory oversight can sometimes be successful - but be careful what you wish for, it may come true
In the case of considering CO2 emissions from coal burned in China which is shipped from ports in Washington is perhaps a lesson in being careful of what you wish for. The shellfish industry is pressing for regulatory oversight of greenhouse gasses which they and others believe are the cause of Ocean Acidification, currently believed to be the cause of shellfish hatchery failures. If what they say is true the Department of Ecology should absolutely consider what impacts this project, if approved, will have. In this case, questioning whether Washington should be exporting coal to China which may lead to lower pH levels in the Pacific and in turn further problems for many marine species in Puget Sound is a legitimate concern. It may also be one more reason for the Chinese to wonder if geoduck are really that important.
Note: Coincidentally, on Tuesday the 14th, the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee heard testimony  heard from the Department of Health and Department of Natural Resources on the impact of the Chinese ban and the Department of Health having found arsenic in the skin of geoduck (at 8:30). Whether there is any link between the loss of revenue and the recent concerns now being expressed by the Republicans over DOE's current position on greenhouse gas emissions from coal exported from Washington to China is not clear.

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