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:
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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.

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