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.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Burley Lagoon: Comments on Taylor Shellfish 25+ Acre Geoduck Farm Due July 3

Taylor Shellfish Proposal

Comments on the proposed 25+ acre geoduck farm by Taylor Shellfish are due July 3, by 4:30 (see earlier post here).
Comments Due July 3, 4:30 P.M.
Must include permit number SD/CP15-14 and Applicant, Taylor Shellfish – Western Oyster
Properties LLC aka Burley Lagoon
Attn: Ty Booth, Senior Planner
tbooth@co.pierce.wa.us 253-798-3727

Planting Schedule
(click to enlarge)
Add ingredients and stir continuously
As seen in the image from the Environ's "Habitat Review" submitted to Pierce County, Taylor Shellfish intends to plant areas on a 3 year cycle, although Environ notes it would "vary, depending on site and seasonal conditions." Tubes would be placed on 12.2" centers and left for "one to two growing (years). Because there is no clearly fixed time frame there may be over 1 million tubes and 25 acres of netting at times. Tubes would then be pulled and either re-used or somehow "disposed of." Harvesting will occur at undefined schedules, based on market conditions. Both "dry" and underwater harvesting will occur, both stirring the sediments of Burley Lagoon. As it is a low flushing body of water the waters will remain clouded with sediments for an unspecified time.
Burley Lagoon Is not Case Inlet
Isn't it all the same? Really?
Within Environ's "Habitat Review" an attempt to paint this project as being nothing different is created. Studies of various subtidal and intertidal operations are referenced, all being in open bodies of water where current flow and dynamics are far different than the enclosed body of Burley Lagoon. Environ goes so far as to state this is only a "change in culture practices" and "because it [Burley Lagoon] is currently cultured, the current background conditions already include boat use, sediment disturbance, and maintenance activities" it is really just the same. As the Shoreline Hearings Board has clearly stated, geoduck farming is not the same as oyster cultivation or manila clam cultivation. Nor is one site comparable to the next.
Is this greater than 24/square foot?
And just where do I put my foot?
And if more than 24/square foot,
where is my new home going to be?
Crunch time for Sand Dollars - how to "interact" at planting, and simply ignore them at harvesting
Also described within the "Habitat Review" is how Taylor Shellfish intends to interact with beds of sand dollars which exist within Burley Lagoon. Initially, the strategy is "planting through" or, if too thick, to "push them aside by hand." Relocation would "only be necessary in densities greater than 24 animals per square foot." They do not say how they will deal with the planter's boots "interacting" with the sand dollar beds. Also not mentioned is what happens at harvest time, after they have moved "back to orientation that allows for feeding" after planting.
"If densities are too thick to plant through, the grower will try to push them aside by hand. Because sand dollars are typically found within the top 4 inches of sediment, the grower only needs to push enough sand dollars aside to get in the PVC tube (or suitable alternative) so that the sand dollars do not restrict juvenile geoducks from burying into the sediment." "After the tubes are in place, sand dollars would be able to move back to an orientation that allows for feeding."
Eelgrass and herring spawning
in Burley Lagoon.

Is eelgrass really all that important? It's just a dot on a map.
One final note of significance made, or not, within the habitat review is on eelgrass. It is noted that a new Herring population exists (the "Purdy" population). It is noted eelgrass exists. It is noted the herring use this eelgrass for spawning. Dots are used to show where it exists. Not discussed is how planting harvesting will effect these dots.

Comments due July 3

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