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:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pierce County SMP Update: Final Council Hearing Delayed Until Early 2015, Geoduck Expansion Continues

Taylor Shellfish is "troubled." Kitsap County experiences
the geoduck industry's dislike of permits.

Pierce County SMP Update Council Hearing Put Off Until Early 2015
Pierce County has announced its final Council hearing on its updated Shoreline Master Program (SMP) will not occur until early 2015. Comments will continue to be accepted, as will public testimony at the final hearing (click here to comment). To see amendments proposed click here. To see the draft SMP, click here. To see Taylor Shellfish's 156 page document written by their attorney describing why they are "troubled" by the amendments, click here (10mb file).

Marine habitat or PVC?
Seattle Shellfish/Taylor Shellfish/Haley
Geoduck proposal

Older SMP Suits Industry Just Fine - Better than Almond Roca for Christmas 
In the interim the geoduck industry has continued to press for expansion in Pierce County under the old SMP. Most recently, a permit allowing 11 acres of intertidal habitat has been approved for Seattle Shellfish and Taylor Shellfish, the two largest geoduck operators in Washington. The joint project on tidelands owned by both, and by the Haley (Almond Roca) family, is a clear indication of the cooperation between the companies to ensure expansion occurs under the older, more lenient SMP, under terms they find acceptable. A delay of the more "troubling" updated SMP may be a Christmas gift the industry wants.

Kent Kingman's Unpermitted Shellfish Operation
(Mr. Kingman owns Minterbrook Oyster)
To be operated by Taylor Shellfish
So Good You Can't Have Just One - Taylor Shellfish, Picking up Pieces of the King
Among a myriad of other proposals in Pierce County, Taylor Shellfish has also proposed a 25 acre geoduck farm in Burley Lagoon, a small embayment located west of Gig Harbor. Taylor Shellfish has also been chosen to be the operator of Kent Kingman's unpermitted shellfish operation on tidelands he owns (Mr. Kingman is also the new owner of Minterbrook Oyster). The resolution of Mr. Kingman's various violations is currently being worked through by both Taylor Shellfish and Mr. Kingman  (click here to read Pierce County's June 3, 2014 letter to Taylor Shellfish requesting additional information and describing some of Mr. Kingman's violations). (See earlier post for additional details on Mr. Kingman's various shoreline violations.) Located ~2 miles south of the Haley operation, this too would fit well with Seattle Shellfish's hatchery and nursery facilities, ~2 miles to the west in Spencer Cove on Harstine Island.

Geoduck tubes and oyster tumblers.
Oops, did I need a permit?

A Philosophy Spreading into Kitsap County - "New Day Fisheries" (owned by Scott and Joni Kimmel)
Recently Kitsap County began to experience the philosophy of its being "easier to ask forgiveness than ask for permission" some industry members practice. Rather than apply for a permit, New Day Fisheries operators chose instead to simply install PVC tubes last summer into tidelands owned by the Baldwin family, and plant them with geoduck. When reported to the county, instead of being required to pull the unpermitted tubes, New Day Fisheries apparently said they were sorry, and that in addition to the 3,000 unpermitted PVC tubes they were also going to populate another 35,000 square feet with PVC tubes, and "oyster tumblers" on another 27,000 square feet of tidelands (see image above). Kitsap County told the Kimmels and the Baldwin family, the latter being the tideland owners, they do in fact need permits. That permit process has begun with an initial comment period on a SEPA decision of a mitigated determination of non-significance ending November 6, and a public hearing scheduled for January 8. The permit information may be found by clicking here. Unclear is how the lateral boundaries of the tideland parcel were determined. What is clear is the plasticizing of Puget Sound's tidelands is spreading north. Contact/permit information may be found here:

The application file may be examined at the Department of Community Development, 614 Division Street, Port Orchard, Washington, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Fridays 9:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m., except holidays. The staff person assigned to this project is Lisa Lewis and may be contacted at (360) 337-5777. Lisa's email is: llewis@co.kitsap.wa.us
This is not in the "statewide interest"
and should be stopped.

"Statewide interest" or just in the interest of a few geoduck operators plasticizing Puget Sound's intertidal area?
Geoduck growers transforming Puget Sound's intertidal areas claim geoduck sold to China in order to satisfy their emotional belief of its bestowing virility, like shark fin soup or Black rhinoceros horns, is in the "statewide interest."  They claim their industry is a "preferred use" and as such should be allowed to use any methods with minimal regulatory oversight. Through well crafted public relations efforts and well paid attorneys they have to date succeeded in convincing agencies this is somehow good for Puget Sound. It is not.

Governor Inslee and Taylor Shellfish's Bill Dewey

Politics is messy, but it need not be gooey.
Governor Inslee has turned his eyes towards fundraising and sees a large pool of money available to support his campaign and those of others with help from the shellfish industry. Politics is messy, but it need not be gooey. Tell the governor geoduck farming is not in the statewide interest and populating Puget Sound's intertidal areas with PVC pipes is not a "preferred use" allowed under the Shoreline Management Act. Click here to contact the governor.

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