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:
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline



Monday, April 21, 2014

Senator Roach and the Shoreline Management Act Workshop - Politics can be Messy

[Update 4/23: Is Ecology getting "roached"?
 
Time changes - in 2010 many things happened, some which people regret.
 
Freedom Foundation emails - Are emails over 3 years old reflective of the current situation? Are emails from a Director who is no longer with the agency meaningful? These are the emails which David Morgan with the conservative Freedom Foundation waved before Senator Pam Roach's Shoreline Mannagement Act workshop and which he said would be put up on his group's site, which he has now done.
 
The emails are available here:
11/3/2010 email from then Director Sturdevant  on the EPA being prevented from acting on greenhouse gasses. His one word response leaves little doubt of how he feels.
2/25/2010 email from then Director Sturdevant on the conservative "free-market solutions" Washington Policy Center complaining about a proposed tax on hazardous materials.
4/1/2010 email from Erik Stockdale, employee with DOE, suggesting an email string be deleted. The email (also waved about in 2012 by the conservative Trojan Heron group) discussed how to address what Ecology felt were misleading or untrue statements made by Dr. Ken Brooks. It is presumably the same Ken Brooks hired by Taylor Shellfish to support their 58 raft mussel farm.
4/22/2011 email from Bill Moore, employee with DOE, responding to concerns initiated by Asotin County employees stating to be aware that "emotions may be running a little high tonight" by saying the mediator kept the rable [sic] "in line." He did not mention who the "rable" were.
7/19/2012 email from then Director Sturdevant commenting on a NY Times article about how a local "Tea Party Patriots" group had stalled implementation of the February 2010 agreement on restoring the Klamath River, something agreed to by a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Klamath, Yurok and Karuk Tribes, as well the states of California and Oregon. Ironically, that agreement was  signed April 18 of this year
September 2012 manual on how to best present the issues of the Shoreline Management Act.  Mr. Morgan claims says officials should appeal to "fear." In fact, the use of the word "fear" is in describing a conservative group's perception of land use regulations.
"These opposition blogs reflect both confusion...as well as alarm, fear and anger at 'new' land use regulation."
Are these emails important? Mr. Morgan certainly believes they are. Senator Roach believes Mr. Stockdale's four year old 2010 email which he suggested then be deleted is "a scary thought." By coincidence, 2010 was also the year in which Senator Roach was expelled from the private GOP caucus meetings for, in part, what was described as staff getting "Roached." ]
 
 
[Update 4/22: Comment for shellfish attorney Denike to consider.
In his presentation to the Senators and Council members Mr. Denike feigns concern for the amount of seafood which is imported to the USA. If, in fact, it is such a concern, he might consider speaking to his clients to suggest the following:
1. Stop exporting geoduck and oysters to China (Taylor Shellfish by itself exports up to 10,000 dozen oysters/month and >40,000 pounds of geoduck/month to China alone); 
2. Require that DNR not export geoduck harvested from state tidelands as they do with timber (~4 million pounds per year from state tidelands alone are exported);
3. Require re-planting the vast subtidal tracts which are harvested each year instead of waiting 40 years for natural re-seeding to take place; and,
4. Stop lobbying the European Union to open their markets to shellfish exports from the USA.]

Shoreline Management Act Workshop
Politics is messy, sometimes more so than others.
 
Put the shellfish growers' attorney on-stage
and give him as much time to speak as needed.
Everyone else gets to sit in the audience
and be limited to 2 minutes.
 

 
Shellfish attorney is invited to speak:
Gordon White with the Deparatment of Ecology - A tough presentation with tougher questions.
Jesse Denike, attorney for the Pacific Shellfish Growers Association - You have as much time to present your problems and we won't question you.
 
Audience members, you have 2 minutes:
Laura Hendricks with Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat - responds to the shellfish industry being allowed to sit on the stage and the industry in general.
Jerry Johannes with Friends from Anderson Island speaks about property values being decreased from aquaculture activities and the efforts by the shellfish industry to minimize oversight.
 
Special time allowance:
If you are from the conservative Freedom Foundation, then you can have 8 minutes, part of which includes Senator Roach leading Mr. Morgan to answers she wants to hear.
(Note: Mr. Morgan was to have put his "emails" from DOE on his web site, but as of 4/21 they are not to be found.)
 
Senator Roach sets up a workshop - DOE and the shellfish grower's attorney are asked to make their presentations and sit on stage

After hearing of the intense concerns about Pierce County's Shoreline Master Program, a workshop was set up and hosted by Senator Pam Roach to hear concerns about the Shoreline Management Act and property rights.  She was joined by her son, Pierce County Council member Dan Roach and council members McDonald and Jim McCune. In addition,  Senator Doug Erickson, Senator Bruce Danmeier, Senator Jan Angel, Senator Hunt, and Senator Bob Hasegawa were also present.

Included as part of the formal agenda was Gordon White with the Department of Ecology. There he defined the role of Ecology as being one of helping the local governments responsible for creating their local Shoreline Master Programs. He was asked to define buffers and setbacks to which he responded the purpose of each but noted it was the local government who set the specific numbers. After Mr. White's presentation and responses to questions, shellfish attorney Jesse Denike was allowed to speak. He was not questioned.

Ecology's Mr. White may have wished for another venue
While Mr. White was presenting the history and logic behind buffers and setbacks Senator Roach pulled out a poster board to show how many fish were in Lake Taps. She asked, numerous times, what the rules were to determine the specific setbacks. Mr. White pointed out that each local jurisdiction was allowed to determine those distances, based on how the shorelines were assessed. So doing helped determine how far back the setbacks should be. Senator Roach was persistent in wanting to know what "manual" was used. Mr. White noted Ecology's expertise in a number of fields, but Senator Roach, not hearing of a clear "ruler" or "bible" was left unsatisfied. An alternative she presented was to be given the least possible distance which would be acceptable so a local agency could just set it there, or further back if they desired.

Council member Dan Roach furthered his mother's discussion by asking why different areas had different setbacks or buffers. Mr. White noted again there was no one rule and it was dependent on the local conditions which was supported through the local assessments and local negotiations. Mr. Roach asked if that were the case then how could Pierce County lower a setback for Spanaway Lake, or more specifically, how could Pierce County get what they wanted? Senator Roach then inserted herself noting that she did not believe they were getting straight answers and it was just subjective.

Senator Erickson next began a series of questions on buffers and setbacks. What he was interested in knowing was whether it was becoming more difficult to determine what service a buffer or setback should provide. Mr. White, again, noted it really depended on the local conditions. Senator Erickson wrapped up his questioning by asking whether Ecology and local governments met to discuss how to determine what the setback or buffers should be, which Mr. White confirmed.

Senator Roach ended Mr. White's questioning by asking him, of the 100 SMA already adopted, how many were accepted on the first drafts. He was unable to answer but assured those present he would be sure to get back to them. She also pointed out that she felt he was unaware of how people really felt, apparently because the local officials were unable to express those feelings, whatever they may be. Mr. Morgan with the Freedom Foundation had not problem speculating that the answer was every one of them was perceived by local citizens as having major problems. He didn't say what science he used to make that determination.

Shellfish attorney Jesse Denike - we don't like permits
After Mr. White, shellfish attorney Jesse Denike was allowed to speak. Mr. Denike  praised the Shoreline Management Act for its protection of the resource his industry uses to generate profits - the tidelands and waters which flow over them. His complaints focused on how long it takes to obtain permits. Apparently lost on Mr. Denike is that the industry's use of PVC pipes, plastic grow-out bags, and predator netting are more transformative than methods used when the SMA was originally passed. In fact, it has become exactly what the SMA was focused on: preventing the fragmentation of the state's most valuable resource.

Names and emails to be sent out, select council members to meet with Ecology and citizens
The workshop was brought to a close by Senator Roach promising to send names and email addresses to everyone so they could use them to organize themselves for the future. Senator Roach was also able to press Mr. White with Ecology to agree to meet with a few select council members and citizens to hear what they have to say. Politics can be messy.

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