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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Thursday, March 26, 2015

APHETI Provides an Update on Taylor Shellfish's 58 Raft Mussel Farm Proposal

Background (update follows): For almost 20 years APHETI has been opposed to a proposal by Taylor Shellfish to expand their mussel growing operations in south Puget Sound's Totten Inlet. Able to get Taylor Shellfish to reduce their original proposal by almost half the number of rafts, down to 58, APHETI was also able to force the permit to include monitoring of Totten Inlet's waters and sediments, to be managed by the Department of Natural Resources (Thurston County did not feel it had the expertise to design and implement a monitoring plan). Totten Inlet's waters are categorized as "extraordinary" by the Department of Ecology, leaving little room for man made impacts to its dissolved oxygen levels, one of the most critical parameters to measure. The mussel shell falloff onto the sediments below the rafts, especially during "harvest" when lines of mussels are pulled up will also be measured, of special concern as there are recovering subtidal geoduck tracts nearby. Finally, the non-native invasive tunicate, didemnum vexillum, which uses the surface area of the mussels and "predator netting" to grow on, which then becomes dislodged during harvest events, spreading throughout the water column of south Puget Sound, is of concern. It is assumed DNR will create and oversee a robust monitoring plan, and not allow the revenues received from leasing this area to Taylor Shellfish to diminish the oversight required. Too much is at stake.

Update from APHETI:

Greetings, APHETI members-  

Our last communication to you was almost one year ago. Since then APHETI has continued to address the concerns of Taylor's proposed expansion of mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet. The attached APHETI newsletter will detail APHETI's efforts and next steps. As always, Thank you for your support. Please feel welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. 

APHETI Board of Directors

Association for the Protection of Hammersley, Eld, & Totten Inlets
PO Box 11523, Olympia WA 98508-1523
(360) 866-8245                                                         www.apheti.com
March 25, 2015
Re:  Update / Pending expansion of Taylor mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet
Greetings APHETI Members and Supporters - 
Our last letter reported that Taylor had appealed the environmental monitoring requirements required by the State Shoreline Hearings Board (SHB) and that the Judge sent the monitoring issue back to the SHB for Thurston Co. and Taylor to argue in support of or in opposition to the monitoring conditions – or Taylor and Thurston Co./APHETI could choose to negotiate a mutually agreed upon outcome to the monitoring issue.
All parties agreed to negotiate, Thurston Co./APHETI arguing for strong environmental monitoring and Taylor arguing for something much weaker.  The following outcome has only now been agreed to by all parties: 
Taylor's Thurston Co. permit, when issued, will include all environmental monitoring elements as required by Thurston Co. Hearing Examiner Tomas R. Bjorjen; all Thurston Co. Resource Stewardship Department recommended conditions; all mitigation measures from the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS); and a formal environmental monitoring plan approved by the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) including all conservation measures as required by the DNR Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan as mandated by the US Dept of Ecology.
Next Steps: 
With your generous support over the last 19 years, APHETI has produced hundreds of hours of scientific study and litigation in opposition to Taylor's proposed expansion of mussel raft aquaculture in Totten Inlet.  All possible scientific and legal challenges to Taylor's proposal have now been exercised with the Court’s final decision in place requiring Thurston Co. to issue Taylor a permit to proceed if all permit requirements are met. 
APHETI 's efforts will now be directed (1) toward assuring all public rules for granting a mussel raft permit to Taylor are complied with and (2) providing input to the elements of a strong environmental monitoring plan as a part of that permit.  To start, Thurston Co. will not issue a permit until Taylor has a lease from the Washington State Dept of Natural Resources (DNR). 
DNR lease discussions will not begin until Taylor has a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers requiring independent study by the Corps, US Dept of Ecology, US Fish & Wildlife, and National Marine Fisheries Service.  A Corps permit will likely take considerable time, require public input and include its own monitoring requirements.  Presently, DNR has not received any indication that Taylor has yet applied for a Corps permit.
DNR has committed to keep APHETI informed of all aspects of DNR lease negotiations with Taylor including an invitation to review and provide input to the environmental monitoring plan for Taylor's operations.  Follow us at www.apheti.com for links to DNR  and Thurston Co. publications regarding the permitting process.
APHETI's financial resources are presently sufficient to support our near term custodial activities.  However, your sustaining contributions are always welcomed and put to good use.  If a major need may arise, we will let you know what it is and what may be needed to support that action.   Please send your e-mail address to apheti@gmail.com for future updates via e-mail or contact APHETI, PO Box 11523 Olympia WA 98508-1523, or telephone (360) 866-8245 for any questions.  
Best Regards! /            APHETI Board of Directors    

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