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: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
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, December 22, 2014

Montery Bay Aquarium Drops Ratings on Geoduck, Calls for Comments on Rating System

Monterey Bay Aquarium Used as a Tool by the Geoduck Industry in Permitting
After Monterey Bay Aquarium's "green" listing of geoduck was used as "proof" in a permitting process that PVC, netting, and associated CO2 emissions from vessels and overnight air freighting geoduck to China was deserving of a "green" rating for geoduck, the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat sent an email of concern (click here to read that email). As a result of that letter, Monterey Bay Aquarium dropped important ratings on gedouck farming and called for comments on revising its seafood rating system which puts geoduck farming in the "green" category (see below for email addresses and comment link). Those comments are due by December 27.

Cumulative Impacts: Drops "Data" from Green to Yellow With favorable data provided by the geoduck industry, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch" program rated geoduck raised in Puget Sound as "green." This rating, used in the permitting process to "prove" that geoduck farming has minimal impact on Puget Sound's marine habitat was challenged by the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat. That response resulted in a number of categories being downgraded, including the most critical tool used for decision making, "Data", which was dropped from "green" to "yellow" due to a lack of understanding on cumulative impacts from the habitat transformation which is occurring.

Effluent Dropped from 10 to 8
As a result of the continued loss of PVC tubing and netting from geoduck farms this rating was dropped 20%. In addition, they are now considering a separate rating category which is focused on the use and loss of plastics in the marine environment by the shellfish industry.

Habitat Impacts Not Dropped
Surprisingly, the habitat rating was not dropped. How a process which first destroys an original marine habitat area by clearing and placement of PVC tubes and netting in it, then destroys that artificial habitat when it is removed 2 years later, then destroys the habitat at harvesting, all to begin again with new PVC tubes placed in the already altered marine habitat are considered "moderate" is difficult to understand.

Wildlife Mortalities Rating Dropped
While the habitat impact category did not drop, it was recognized that the process of cleaning the beach for PVC does create mortality of intertidal species. Its not being dropped further to recognize the "mortality" of the species which have taken hold on the PVC and netting structures apparently did not happen.

Get Involved: Rating System is Being Revised
To better help the Monterey Bay Aquarium understand the level of impacts which are occurring to Puget Sound's intertidal and subtidal areas comments on their current rating system will be accepted through December 27. Their lengthy comment form is found here:
http://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/standard%20revision%20reference/mba_seafoodwatch_aquaculture_draft.docx?la=en
Monterey Bay Aquarium Email Contacts: Tell them Geoduck for China is not deserving of a "green" rating
 Alternatively you may email Brian Albaum <balbaum@mbayaq.org> and associates at Monterey Bay Aquarium, Santi Roberts <SRoberts@mbayaq.org>, Lisa Tucker <ltucker@mbayaq.org>, Ken Peterson <KPeterson@mbayaq.org> to express how you see geoduck farming impacting Puget Sound's marine habitat areas and beyond. Why? Beyond the aesthetics, PVC placed in the marine ecosystem, continually escaping from farms, is not healthy. That "structure", being ripped out after 2 years with all species associated with it, is not beneficial. Clearing nets of aquatic vegetation left to drift, dry and decay, is not beneficial. Unnaturally high density planting of geoduck displaces native species, lowering the diversity of native species which exists. CO2 emissions from the creation of PVC, marine vessels used, pumps used in harvesting, and overnight air freighting to China - the source of most CO2 emissions impacting the Pacific Ocean - benefits nobody.

Get involved 
Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they know what to create and who to present it to in order to get favorable ratings for one of the most transformative activities occurring in Puget Sound's intertidal area.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Taylor Shellfish Mussel Farm Monitoring: Thurston County Passes Responsibility to DNR

Where is Thurston County lacking expertise?
 
Is this a good hand?
Thurston County's not sure, folds, 
and will let DNR play its hand.

Cumulative impacts analysis not required but you will have to monitor specific parameters (Shorelines Hearings Board reversal of permit denial for Taylor Shellfish 58 raft mussel farm)
In June of 2013 the Shorelines Hearings Board reversed Thurston County's denial of a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit for a 58 raft mussel farm to be operated by Taylor Shellfish. The county's hearing examiner had denied that permit application based on a lack of information, thereby requiring a cumulative impacts analysis.

Taylor Shellfish appealed that decision to the Shorelines Hearings Board which reversed the denial, approving the SSDP but adding a condition which required the development of a plan to monitor very specific items (e.g., dissolved oxygen and mussel fall-off below the rafts) and what Taylor Shellfish would be required to do if problems were found (see below for the specific condition, or click here for the decision which has Condition 2 on pages 33/34).

Taylor Shellfish agrees they will monitor, what they want to monitor and when
Taylor Shellfish took issue with what it was supposed to monitor and provided alternatives which it felt better represented impacts (see Taylor's draft alternative here). The County and Taylor Shellfish were unable to come to terms with the differences between what the SHB had in its condition and what Taylor Shellfish felt was more appropriate, resulting in a letter to the SHB stating future negotiations would be "fruitless" (see letter here).

Those threats of litigation by Taylor Shellfish cause Thurston County to admit they do not have the expertise, believing DNR does
After that letter and the threat of further litigation the County chose instead to turn over the monitoring to the Department of Natural Resources. It would be made part of the lease between Taylor Shellfish and DNR, something none of the other mussel farms Taylor Shellfish has in waters leased from DNR are required to do and which in large part caused the hearing examiner to originally deny the permit and require a cumulative impacts analysis.

Does DNR have a better hand
to play against Taylor Shellfish?
Thurston County thinks so.

Thurston County relies on a draft Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan
The original "Condition 2" would be replaced in its entirety by one paragraph, seen below. The monitoring plan would be based on undefined "conservation measures" and  undefined monitoring requirements developed by DNR. Thurston County felt a draft of the Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan they reviewed was comforting enough to turn all over to DNR. This draft is something the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has just finished accepting comments on, December 4 (click here for the Public Notice from FWS). Why Thurston County felt something currently in its draft stage could be used as a framework by an agency already (DNR) dependent on revenues from similar current leases which do not require monitoring is somewhat of a mystery.

Expertise lacking - in what? Creating a monitoring plan, or pushing back on Taylor Shellfish being unwilling to monitor their mussel farm as the SHB required it to do?
In announcing the agreement, Thurston County stated they lacked the expertise to develop and monitor a plan which would ensure the waters of Thurston County are not adversely impacted by aquaculture. Nobody expects the county to have the expertise in everything. But in this case, to simply give up and replace a condition from the SHB which required specific parameters to be measured and replace that condition with a single vague paragraph, hoping a draft Habitat Conservation Plan would result in an equivalent plan, suggests expertise is lacking in other areas. It also puts in question whether they should be issuing SSDP permits at all.

One paragraph replacement, followed by the original SHB condition

Newer and better?
2. An additional condition shall be added to the approved SSDP as follows:

Prior to operation of the NTI Farm, the permittee shall submit to Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department (TCRSD) a copy of (1) conservation measures, and (2) monitoring requirements approved by Department of Natural Resources in relation to permittee’s lease application for use of state-owned aquatic lands, Authorization Number: 20-013608. The conservation measures, and monitoring requirements shall be incorporated into and attached to the permit. All reports submitted to DNR as a result of the approved conservation measures and monitoring requirements shall also be sent to TCRSD within 10 days of completion.


Original Shorelines Hearings Board Monitoring Condition
2. An additional condition shall be added to the approved SSDP as follows:

Prior to operation of the NTI Farm, the permittee shall submit to Thurston County for approval a monitoring plan consistent with the Taylor Shellfish Farms Environmental Code of Practice (which needs to be incorporated into and attached to the permit issuance). The plan, at a minimum, shall include:

A. Annual benthic sampling under the mussel farm rafts to determine whether any impacts to the benthic flora and fauna in excess of those anticipated in the EIS have occurred.

B. Annual vertical profiles of the water column adjacent to mussel farms to measure potential changes in dissolved oxygen concentrations for an extended period in excess of those anticipated in the EIS.

C. Provisions for the periodic inspection and removal of mussel fall-offs and all unnatural and non-biodegradable materials that accidently fall from rafts and work areas onto the seafloor, as well as periodic inspection and immediate removal of any Beggiatoa that forms around any of the mussel rafts.

D. The plan shall also include specific measures designed to remediate unanticipated impacts to the benthic community identified through the implementation of the monitoring plan.
E. Monitoring shall include surveys that measure at a minimum the following parameters: sulfides, REDOX potential, total volatile solids, sediment grain size, presence or absence of gas bubbles, Beggiatoa, pseudofeces, feces, farm litter, and benthic and infaunal biotic samples.

F. The monitoring plan shall address what actions TSF will be required to take to minimize risks to aquatic life and habitat in excess of those anticipated in the EIS.
All required monitoring shall be conducted by TSF or its consultants consistently with accepted scientific standards and at a scientifically appropriate number of sites to be determined in the approved monitoring plan that are located directly underneath, adjacent to NTI Farms, and at least 1 km away from the actual NTI site.

TSF shall provide the results from the annual monitoring and surveys to Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department (TCRSD) within 10 days of completion. Thurston County shall review the information, and if it determines that the aquatic habitat of Totten Inlet may be at substantial risk of adverse impacts on the benthic community in the vicinity of the mussel farm or with respect to changes in dissolved oxygen concentrations in excess of those anticipated in the EIS, based on the surveys or other reports and analysis, Thurston County may impose additional conditions on the operation of the NTI Farm. If the County determines that the annual reports indicate no adverse impacts with respect to the monitored parameters and conditions for five or more consecutive monitoring years, it may allow TSF to modify the plan to allow for monitoring once every five years, rather than annually.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vibriosis from Oysters Results in Lawsuit - Economic Impact to Growers Likely to be Significant

A lawsuit has been filed by a man who contracted vibriosis from raw oysters containing elevated levels of the naturally occurring bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. A shellfish farmer, distributor, and restaurant were all named in the suit.

The suit claims the plaintiff "...suffered septic shock, multi-organ failure and the need for prolonged critical care, according to the lawsuit, resulting in physical and emotional pain, an inability to engage in normal activities, substantial medical expenses, significant economic loss and permanent disability and disfigurement." It also claims his wife "...suffered extreme distress, fear, anxiety and uncertainty watching her husband fall from perfect health to a month-long struggle for survival..."

In part, as a result of this illness in 2011, and 12 others who also contracted the disease, tighter regulations on how to handle oysters were created in 2012. That year 27 contracted the disease, followed in 2013 with 58 contracting the disease.

While this has occurred in Massachusetts, over the years, shellfish grown in Washington have been a bigger problem and source of vibriosis. As is now happening in Massachusetts, each year in the summer it is guaranteed people will begin to contract vibriosis from oysters harvested from Washington. Despite knowing this, after almost a decade of trying to control the outbreaks and failing, Washington's Department of Health continues to simply wait until cases of vibriosis are confirmed before closing growing areas. By that time oysters with elevated levels of the naturally occurring bacteria have entered into the distribution chain and are spread throughout the United States, resulting in what the Los Angeles County Department of Health called at one time a "multistate epidemic of Vibrio parahaemolyticus linked to contaminated oysters from Washington state."

What should be of bigger concern to the Department of Health, however, is that the more virulent strain of Vibrio, Vibrio vulnificus, has recently been found in Washington oysters. Originally limited to the Gulf Coast's warm waters, this bacteria is far more deadly. Its ability to enter the bloodstream through the stomach walls and intestines places it in the blood stream where it in turn is carried throughout the body. The toxins it creates can result in open wounds, causing it to sometimes be called a "flesh eating" bacteria. Of those who contract vibriosis from this strain, 50% die. Warming water temperatures will only increase the population of this bacteria, now naturally occurring in Puget Sound.

The Department of Health is responsible for ensuring food from Washington is safe to eat. Given the consistent pattern of outbreaks from oysters harvested from Puget Sound, it is time for them to become more proactive, and less concerned about the economic impact to shellfish growers. Those growers may find the economic impact from lawsuits will be far more significant than a few extra hours taken during the harvest/shipping process.


 
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thurston County Board and Shorelines Hearings Board "Concerned" About Impacts of Geoduck Farming - What does it take?

Comments are due Tuesday, December 15th by 4 PM on Taylor Shellfish's proposal to transform Dickenson Cove's critical intertidal habitat into another geoduck farm for the Chinese. Tell Thurston County it's time to stop being "concerned" and require a cumulative impacts analysis.
Comments to: Scott McCormick, Associate Planner mccorms@co.thurston.wa.us
 
May 5, 2013 (Google Earth)

 
How much does Puget Sound's intertidal habitat need to be transformed before agencies recognize it's time to look at cumulative impacts?

Just over 1 year ago the Shorelines Hearings Board denied an appeal of permits for geoduck farms having been granted by Thurston County. Two of those geoduck farms (Taylor Shellfish's Lockhart proposal and Arcadia Point Seafood's Thiesen proposal) were within 1,700 feet of those proposed in Dickenson Cove. Those farms were part of a shoreline becoming transformed by geoduck farming, part of the larger south Puget Sound intertidal area being planted with PVC pipes and netting to grow geoduck for the Chinese. Since then, in south Puget Sound, proposals of 25+ acres in Burley Lagoon (Taylor Shellfish), 20+ acres adjacent to McMicken Island State Park (Seattle Shellfish), 11 acres north of Herron Island (Taylor/Seattle Shellfish), and numerous smaller farms, including those in Dickenson Cove have occurred. In addition, Taylor Shellfish and Thurston County may be near an agreement of monitoring for a mussel farm, producing an estimated 1 million pounds of mussel every 18 months. Taylor Shellfish also sees nothing wrong with a 30 acre proposal adjacent to Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, north of Sequim.

It was a "close call" and everyone's "concerned"

October 11, 2013, the Shorelines Hearings Board issued a decision on an appeal of four geoduck farm permits in Thurston County having been issued. That decision stated:
On balance, it is a very close call whether a cumulative impacts analysis is warranted prior to approval of these four SSDPs. The County apparently reached the same conclusion, because, while not requiring a pre-approval cumulative impacts analysis, it included a special condition on all four of these applications pertaining to the potential for cumulative impacts. (p. 41)
March 26, 2013, after hearing an appeal of one of those permits having been granted, from the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat, and in denying that appeal, Thurston County Commissioners wrote:
"The Board shares many of the Coalition's concerns...about the impacts of geoduck aquaculture on the shorelines of Thurston County. The Board is also concerned about the existing and continued growth of this aquaculture, given that the science demonstrating the long term effects of this practice on the shoreline ecology is relatively new. The Board is further concerned about the carrying capacity of our shorelines to absorb the cumulative impacts of existing unpermitted geoduck farms, the newly permitted geoduck farms, and the anticipated applications for more geoduck farms in Thurston County." (Arcadia Point Seafood/Thiesen farm, Project 2010100420, p. 1)
 January 10, 2013, the Thurston County hearing examiner wrote in her decision, granting the permits for 4 geoduck farms (two being ~1,800 feet east of Dickenson Cove):
"...because many citizens of Thurston County and Resource Stewardship Staff are concerned about any potential long term adverse effects to Henderson Inlet, the recommended condition that would require review of the SSDP in seven years or prior to replanting is adopted." (Arcadia Point Seafood/Thiesen farm, p.39)

 It's time to stop being "concerned" and begin acting, for the benefit of everyone, not just geoduck growers. The Shoreline Management Act requires it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Taylor Shellfish Continues Rolling Over Estuarine Ecosystems to Grow Geoduck for China

Thurston County
Fishtrap Loop's Dickenson Cove
Another estuarine marine habitat transformed for geoduck?
 
Comments due December 16 (Demand the comment period be extended to January 16)
email: Scott McCormick: mccorms@co.Thurston.wa.us
reference Case 2014103991
See here for Notice of Taylor Shellfish application:

 
Taylor Shellfish: Greenfield Creek and Dickenson Cove -
A Marine Habitat - Perfect for PVC, Netting and Sandbags?
Tideland parcels within which 
geoduck farms are proposed.
 
Importance of freshwater outflows to Puget Sound's marine habitat
One of the most critical parts of Puget Sound's larger marine ecosystem are the freshwater outflows - streams, creeks, seeps and rivers - which exist throughout the shoreline areas of Puget Sound. These outflow areas mix fresh and salt water, and carry food and nutrients used by a number of species, many unique to Puget Sound. The importance of them cannot be understated.
 
Fudge Point State Park, Harstine Island
Taylor Shellfish geoduck farm.
In the middle, a wetland outflow.
 
Important for what, and who?
But these unique marine habitat areas also carry with them a different type of importance: economic gain from planting geoduck. In the case of the proposal by Taylor Shellfish, they view the delta area created by the outflow of Greenfield Creek as prime tidelands to grow geoduck. As with all delta areas in Puget Sound, they are flat and expansive, with sandy sediments. This combination creates an area in which PVC pipes are easy to place with nets being easy to lay down. That a stream channel exists in the middle of the proposal is simply unimportant to them and is, in fact, a risk to the survival of the densely planted geoduck.
 
Don't like that outflow? Sandbag it.
Wilson Point, Harstine Island
 
Freshwater and outwash do not mix with geoduck farms. Do sandbags mix with habitat?
One of the primary concerns to geoduck growers about these freshwater stream outflows is that fresh water will kill geoduck, especially young newly planted geoduck. In addition, during storm events, the outwash of sediments, whether from the upland area or those picked up along the upper tidal areas, will bury nets and tubes. It will kill newly planted geoduck and bury netting, making the removal of tubes and nets "very difficult", if not impossible. In a recent biological evaluation for another farm, it was worded this way:
"...sandbags will be used...to prevent a "blowout" coinciding with a heavy rainfall event which would bury tubes and area nets, thus smothering and killing the geoduck seed and making removal of nets and tubes very difficult." Biological Evaluation for Trident Marine Systems
Sandbags on Pickering Passage
placed to divert wetland outflow
away from geoduck farm. 
Maybe it just shouldn't be there.
 
Shoreline Management Act: Part 2 - Protection from the shellfish industry.
The primary reason behind why the original Shoreline Management Act was created was also for a freshwater outflow delta area: the Nisqually Delta. In the late 1960's a proposal was put forth to transform the last large delta area in Puget Sound to a deepwater sea port. As with geoduck farming, this delta too possessed qualities which were needed for a deepwater sea port: flat and expansive, with a deep drop off into deeper waters. It was this one large project which drove the creation of the SMA, created to protect what was then, and still is today, considered the "most valuable and fragile of its natural resources and that there is great concern throughout the state relating to their utilization, protection, restoration, and preservation." How ironic that now it is the shellfish industry who is posing the greatest threat to the marine ecosystem, not through one large project, but with many incremental and cumulatively significant projects.

Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they are not what they were when the Shoreline Management Act was created. A permit process as important as this should not occur during the Christmas planning period. Request Thurston County extend the comment period to January 16 and they deny this permit.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Xerces Society Submits Comments to DOE on Pesticide Spraying in Willapa Bay

(From https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline)

The Xerces Society submits comments on the Department of Ecology's proposal to apply the pesticide imidacloprid in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, a proposal driven by the shellfish industry.
See comment letter here: https://app.box.com/s/566kfjrrab8...n2ney9tlb
Just another native "pest" to the shellfish industry. 
 


In comments sent to the Department of Ecology, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (supported by other numerous groups - see below) notes it has "...substantial concerns about the plan set forth in the draft permit and draft EIS" DOE has proposed which address the application of imidacloprid on shellfish farms in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Its purpose would be to eliminate the native burrowing shrimp which shellfish growers claim make sediments too soft to grow shellfish on. Its action would result in far more damage.
 Let them eat cake. Somewhere else.
 
Among the concerns is "...the significant risk imidacloprid presents to aquatic invertebrates..." which, in turn, "...can also cause a cascading trophic effect, harming fish, birds, and other organisms that rely on them for sustenance." Of special concern noted is the fact that Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor "...are among the most important migratory bird stopover sites on the west coast."

The letter goes on to detail the concerns over neonictinoid insecticides, which imidacloprid is, being applied to critical marine ecosystems of Washington. It clearly defines why it is premature to grant a permit and states clearly that DOE has not provided a "..structure for a robust integrated pest management program."

In its conclusion it states: "Ecology has not adequately justified the use of imidacloprid, especially not the expanded acreage currently proposed."

The letter is supported by the Audubon Washington, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Coalition To Protect Puget Sound Habitat, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Fisheries Resources, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

Citizens need to make clear to agencies the shellfish industry today is not what it was when the Shoreline Management Act was created in the early 1970's. It can no longer say it is a "preferred use" and simply do as it pleases. Get involved. The shellfish industry is, and has been for too long.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat Submits Comments on DNR's Aquatic Habitat Conservation Plan

Comments are due today, December 4
Make a difference - get involved.

Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat provides in depth comments on DNR's Habitat Conservation Plan. We encourage you to submit an email stating your support for these comments, which includes managing the subtidal aquatic lands for all of the state's citizens and tribal members.
Email your support to:
WFWOComments@fws.gov

See comment paper here:
https://app.box.com/s/9r6iy87m71qevap7gsuc
Attachments referenced in comment paper are found here:
https://app.box.com/s/xb922mhu4bwnerltc1l5
https://app.box.com/s/pecdsav8wo7cqe0cu6nj
https://app.box.com/s/ua29yxvmyd0gn55vaoco

Make a difference in how the future of Washington's aquatic lands are managed. Contributions to the Coalition, a non-profit 501c3 are tax deductible. 

Mail contributions to:
The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat
PO Box 228
Vaughn, WA 98394-0228.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DNR Aquatic Habitat Conservation Plan: Comments Due December 4

Comments due December 4
 
Tell DNR to manage the state's subtidal
aquatic lands for the benefit of everyone,
not just a few corporations
selling geoduck to China.

Comments on Washington's Aquatic Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) are due December 4. They can be emailed to WFWOComments@fws.gov. In the subject line of the email, please include the identifier: WDNR Aquatic Lands HCP DEIS.

Details are found on DNR's site here:
http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/AquaticHCP/Pages/aqr_aquatics_hcp.aspx

4 million pounds of geoduck per year are "clearcut" from Washington's subtidal area
There are many facets to managing the state's aquatic lands, but as it relates to geoducks and the subtidal areas, it is not being "managed." It is simply extracting 4 million pounds of geoduck each year and hoping the "clearcut" subtidal areas will naturally recruit, and perhaps in 40 years a new "crop" will be ready to harvest.
 
Clear cutting is not managing
Unlike state and private forest lands, there is no requirement to replant geoduck after harvesting the subtidal areas. On forestlands, DNR does not wait for seeds to slowly spread over lands clearcut, they require operators and land owners to replant them. By managing the forests in this manner crop rotation is shortened dramatically. Trees are available to begin harvesting in as little as 25 years, not 70 plus years. It is called management, something DNR's aquatic division is lacking.
 
40 years from now Puget Sound's waters will not be the same
To wait 40 years is short sighted and misguided, benefiting in the short term a few shellfish companies who are forcing geoduck into the intertidal areas in unnatural densities, excluding other species. Predator nets further exclude species who had relied on these intertidal areas as a food source. Limiting supply by waiting 40 years is not in the statewide interest and DNR needs to be told so. 40 years from now Puget Sound's waters will be far different than they are now and DNR needs to recognize that.
 
If you can do this  you can replant
To see a subtidal harvest, you may view this clip on YouTube (harvesting starts ~6 minutes):
If you can do this you can replant.
 
Get involved - the shellfish industry is 
Tell Washington's Department of Natural Resources it is time to manage the state's aquatic lands like the forest lands and force the subtidal tracks being "clearcut" of 4 million pounds of geoduck annually to be replanted instead of waiting 40+ years for recruitment. If divers are able to harvest geoduck they can replant them, in the areas they grow naturally, instead of forcing them into the intertidal area with PVC pipes and nets. As practiced now it's not management, it's extraction. Tell them it's time to act in the state's interest, not for the benefit of a few shellfish companies.

From DNR's website: 
How can I comment on the proposed Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan?
Send written comments to: Tim Romanski, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, Washington 98503; OR Scott Anderson, NOAA Fisheries, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 103, Lacey, Washington 98503. Comments also may be submitted by e-mail, to WFWOComments@fws.gov. In the subject line of the email, please include the identifier: WDNR Aquatic Lands HCP DEIS.
All comments must be received no later than December 4, 2014.

Monday, December 1, 2014

(Update 12/4: Case Dropped) Tomales Bay Oyster Company: “This case is dead in the water.”

Update 12/4: The Tomales Bay Oyster Company and friends have dropped their case. Unknown is where the near $20,000 raised on indiegogo and other donations solicited by Sarah Rolph from Carlisle, MA will end up. Donors may want to ask. (see Press Democrat for article)

"Like a tenant suing a landlord
over the eviction of another tenant
from the same building."
Press Democrat, November 30, 2014
 
The Press Democrat writes about the final lawsuit being played out in court over the closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Company in California. In that case, filed by Tomales Bay Oyster Company and others, the government has moved for dismissal as Drakes Bay Oyster Company has agreed to cease operating in the Phillip Burton Wilderness Area on December 31. That dismissal hearing, should it occur, will be held February 10.
 
The article notes Heather Bussing, an Occidental attorney and Empire College of Law instructor, saying the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would be obligated to hear an appeal of the Government's moving to dismiss the case in Superior Court. However, as it also notes, because DBOC has signed a settlement agreement it is the equivalent of a tenant suing a landlord over the eviction of another tenant from the same building, a tenant who has agreed to the terms of eviction. She is quoted in the article as saying: "This case is dead in the water."
 
Stuart Gross, the attorney for Tomales Bay Oyster Company and the others, sent an email stating that "...he was leaving for Hong Kong and could not comment." Mr. Gross was told by Superior Court's Judge Gonzales-Rogers she had considered filing sanctions against Mr. Gross for submitting a case for which there was a "complete lack of merit."