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



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.

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