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



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lower Dungeness River: Army Corps Releases Environmental Assessment for River Restoration for Comment

Why bother with restoring the Dungeness River
if you are only going to be putting
millions of PVC tubes and "predator" netting
in the intertidal marine habitat you are trying to improve?
[Note: This site supports this restoration proposal and
the Wild Olympics campaign, but it does not
support Taylor Shellfish's geoduck farm.]

Is this the balance the SMA is intended to ensure?
(click to enlarge)
 
DPR/EA Released for Comments (email: melissa.l.leslie@usace.army.mil)
The Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft Integrated Detailed Project Report and Environmental Assessment (DPR/EA) (6Mb file) for the Lower Dungeness River Ecosystem Restoration Project near Sequim. This restoration project would remove an existing Corps levee and reconnect the river to an historic floodplain and re-establish historic side channel and back channel habitat "critical for fish spawning, rearing, and refuge." Comments will be accepted until February 18. (Information on how to comment may be found by clicking here.)

Area of restoration preferred.
(click to enlarge)

Restoration of one habitat should not mean another is transformed into PVC and netting - for years on end. Recent tideland leases extend into 2050, encumbering tidelands for decades.
At the same time this project and other tribal and taxpayer funded restoration projects - which reach into the multiple millions of dollars - is occurring, Taylor Shellfish is proposing to place millions of PVC tubes, covered with netting in the delta area created by this river to grow geoduck for Chinese consumption. The ongoing cycle destroys/transforms marine habitat multiple times.

 Habitat Transformation Stage 1: >38,000 PVC/acre
are inserted and covered with "predator" netting.

Habitat Transformation Stage 2: After ~2 years, mussels
barnacles and aquatic vegetation has taken hold 
on the thousands of PVC tubes and "predator" netting. 
They are removed, leaving the monolithic population 
of geoduck in its place, sometimes covered
for another year with "predator" netting.

Habitat Transformation Stage 3: Harvest
Sediments to 3' in depth are liquefied
to remove the geoduck, leaving 
a barren moonscape in its path.

Months later, the PVC and "predator" netting return,
to begin the habitat transformation cycles again.
 
Restoration and protection of the Olympic Peninsula's watersheds and resources does not end at the high tide line.
Taylor Shellfish and Clallam County planners believing there is nothing wrong in spending multiple millions of dollars to restore the lower Dungeness River so millions of PVC pipes and netting may cover an area in the intertidal tidelands stretches reason. Taylor Shellfish supporting the expansion of wilderness areas and wild/scenic rivers through the Wild Olympics campaign "...so that shellfish companies can continue to grow..." (Bill Taylor on why he supports the Wild Olympics) should not be used as a veil to hide the reality of how geoduck farming is transforming the intertidal habitat areas of Puget Sound.
 
Joan Thomas, 1931-2011
Helped negotiate and pass the SMA.
"I do not read the original intent or the original guidelines
[of the SMA] to promote the [shellfish] industry
as we know it today." Joan Thomas, 1991
 
The Shoreline Management Act and shellfish aquaculture are no longer in-synch.
When the Shoreline Management Act was passed aquaculture was perceived as benign. In 1991 one of its original authors, Joan Thomas, recognized the transformation which had occurred in the industry. It has continued to evolve into the very thing which the SMA is in place to protect part of Puget Sound from: the fragmentation and fracturing of the intertidal area. Studies to date have looked at small and discrete farms which in no way compare to the current proposals nor methods used. That Taylor Shellfish sees nothing wrong with an operation of this type, of this size, and in this location only shows what it has evolved into.



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