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:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Comments on the Expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary DEIS Due June 30

Comments due June 30.
West Marin EAC comments are here.
Existing and proposed
marine sanctuary.
(click to enlarge)

The West Marine Environmental Action Committee has sent out a press release regarding the proposed expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Point 2 below is important. Comments are due June 30.
The Draft EIS may be viewed by clicking here.

Press Release From EAC: (Note: The link in the release below will take you to all documents related to the expansion. To see the DEIS click here, to comment on the DEIS click here.)
The deadline to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the northern boundary expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries is Monday, June 30th. Attached below [see above] please find a map of the proposed boundary expansion, as well as EAC's comment letter. You can submit your comments electronically at this website:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2012-0228 [Note: This link takes you to all documents relating to the expansion.]
Please take a few minutes to comment and advocate in favor of the following:

1.  Maintain original legislative intent for northern expansion as proposed by former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.
Unfortunately, the DEIS contains in its “preferred alternative” proposals to rollback Sanctuary protections in significant ways, far from simply carrying forward existing regulations. The DEIS preferred alternative also would not protect sanctuary resources to the mean high tide line. NOAA should abandon its attempt to push through multiple controversial regulatory changes at this time and instead proceed with completing the boundary expansion as originally proposed and championed by former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey. 

2.  Remove new “authorization” proposal that would allow prohibited activities like dredging and sewage outfalls.
The otherwise welcome Sanctuary expansion unfortunately contains a very controversial provision that significantly expands exemptions to prohibited activities “if they were approved by another authorizing entity.”  There are currently no exemptions for purely commercial activities that might be permitted by another agency. The new authorization provision changes that and would allow individuals and corporations to shop for the weak-link agency to permit an otherwise prohibited activity, then obtain a permit from the Sanctuary for activities including:
            a) Discharge, construction, drilling, dredging or other disturbance...
            b) Taking...a marine mammal, sea turtle, bird [or] historical resource...            
            c) Laying cables, pipelines, alternative energy projects,
            d) Sewage outfalls...coastal armoring...ocean discharges,            
            e) Dredging...establishing new dredge disposal sites
 These exceptions are antithetical to national marine sanctuary protections. If this new “authorization” provision were allowed to take effect, we would risk having national marine sanctuaries in name only. 
3.  Amend new “Wildlife Protection Zones” to fully protect wildlife at some of the most important wildlife areas in the Sanctuary.
The Gulf of the Farallones NMS expansion proposal for 1,000 foot over-flight protections for wildlife hot-spots is inadequate and should be increased to 2,000 feet. 

4.  Delete entirely new “Personal Watercraft Zones” along one-third of the Sonoma coastline through Marine Protected Areas.
The DEIS provisions that would create large zones for recreational use of personal watercraft – jet skis – within Marine Protected Areas should be removed. NOAA has mistaken areas where public comment indicated a need for surfer safety and inadvertently converted these into personal watercraft recreation or “jet ski” zones. Use of personal watercraft to provide surfer safety, like the use of personal watercraft for law enforcement or emergency rescues, is reasonable but recreational use is not. 

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