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:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Citizens Speak Out on Concerns over Aquaculture at April 3 Pierce County Shoreline Master Program Update

[Update 4/6: Added additional comments from April 3 hearing.]

"We [Taylor Shellfish] are satisfied with the current draft."
Taylor Shellfish spokeswoman, April 3

"You really ought to be extremely afraid if [the spokeswoman]
for Taylor Shellfish is satisfied with the proposal."
Citizen Comment, April 3

"Taylors are my friends."
Small shellfish grower's comment on
who he'll stand behind if restrictions make his
business unprofitable. April 3

"Creating an environment which will attract people with means
who want to come here, want to live here, want to retire here,
and want to spend there money here is a much greater
economic incentive than the fish farming
or geoduck farming will ever be."
Citizen comment to Pierce County, April 3

Taylor Shellfish lobbyist Diane Cooper implies they
will tell the Department of Ecology to require
Pierce County to "prove" this should be more
regulated than it already is.
Well paid contract scientists can prove anything.
But are their reports really science?

Concerns on geoduck and fish farm pens expressed, written comments submitted
Citizens spoke out on concerns about aquaculture at the April 3 Pierce County Shoreline Master Program Update meeting (click for video). Concerns about geoduck farming and fish pen farming were expressed by numerous citizens in over 2 hours of testimony. Included was the need for a cumulative impacts analysis before expansion occurred. Anyone who is interested in why citizens are concerned over industrial aquaculture's conflict with the Shoreline Management Act will hear many well thought out comments made before the committee.

1908 Application to the State for a tideland purchase
fronting over 10,000 feet of uplands. It wasn't
to convert the tidelands to a shellfish farm.
Not all tidelands were sold for shellfish cultivation
Despite what the shellfish industry would have one believe, not all tidelands were sold with the goal of cultivating shellfish. As seen in the 1908 application for tidelands down to the mean low tide line above, the purchaser was clear in stating these tidelands "were not suitable for the cultivation of oysters". Large tideland sales throughout south Puget Sound were made without the intention of cultivating shellfish, but instead with the idea that upland property owners wanted to enjoy their tidelands in their natural state and to have access to the water at low tide. The shellfish industry is not correct in stating that all tidelands were sold to grow shellfish then and they are not correct in stating all tidelands today should be converted to industrial shellfish farms. In fact, it is the belief that shorelines are best suited for commercial development which brought about the 1971 Shoreline Management Act. It was an action created by the people and passed by the state legislature who cared deeply about the future of Puget Sound and did not believe commercial development of shorelines - and tidelands - was in the best interest of the state.

New Pierce County Shoreline Master Program Meeting Schedule
At the April 3, Pierce County Community Development Committee meeting (see video) on the Shoreline Master Program update (requires Microsoft Word), a new schedule of public meetings was announced. A direct result of the increased public participation the Committee has decided there is a strong need for additional meetings. Pierce County Council has also chosen to delay their vote, pushing that meeting out to the end of July. It was acknowledged that one of the significant problems to be addressed is why upland shoreline owners are having buffers imposed on them while industrial aquaculture development is allowed to transform the intertidal and subtidal areas.

Below is the newly announced schedule:

Monday, April 7, 1:30PM: Study Session
County-City Building, Room 1045
930 Tacoma Ave South

Thursday, July 10, 5:30PM
North Lake Tapps Middle School
20029 12th Street East
Lake Tapps

Monday, July 14, 5:30PM
Pacific Lutheran University,
Scandinavian Cultural Center
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, WA

Thursday, July 17, 5:30PM
Peninsula High School Auditorium
14105 Purdy Drive NW
Gig Harbor

Monday, July 21, 1:30PM
County-City Building, Room 1045
930 Tacoma Ave South

Tuesday, July 29, 3PM
County-City Building, Room 1015
930 Tacoma Avenue South

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