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, May 21, 2015

Shorelines Hearings Board Affirms Permit for Taylor/Seattle Shellfish Geoduck Farm

Diagram of proposed geoduck farm
on tidelands owned by Taylor/Seattle Shellfish
and the Haley family.

Appeal by the Coalition is denied.
The Shorelines Hearings Board has affirmed the shoreline permit granted by Pierce County for Taylor/Seattle Shellfish to operate an 11 acre geoduck farm. In a decision dated May 15, the SHB determined the neighbors and Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat had not presented sufficient evidence to overcome that which was presented by the shellfish companies.

It may be my dog leaving things
on your lawn, but I'll pick it up.
Every week or so. What's the problem?

Looking in the woods for PVC does not mean it's not escaping from farms.
Numerous concerns were presented to the Board, including neighbors' concerns that the escapement of plastic PVC tubes was still not being controlled by the shellfish industry. The Board listened to testimony from the shellfish industry who stated their "beach cleanups" - held during times which all geoduck farms and most other farms are covered by water - do not find tubes or much other shellfish gear (is that a surprise?). The shellfish companies stated any tubes which escaped would be picked up by workers during their weekly "patrols" on private tidelands up to 1.5 miles away. It is the equivalent of saying a neighborhood dog who leaves droppings on other's yards can be dealt with by weekly visits to pick up what's there.

I have to count what?? When??
 
How high can you count?
While the SHB did affirm the permit approval, there was a condition it added. The shellfish companies will now be required to inventory all aquaculture gear, including tubes and netting used at the Haley farm. They will also be required to inventory that same gear when it is removed, and have added to it the amount retrieved during the "patrols". It will be a start to determining how much PVC and netting is not retrieved but instead remains in Puget Sound.
 
This bag is not connected to the others
so there is no cumulative impact.

No strings attached so no cumulative impacts.
Finally, the Board disagreed with the shellfish companies who believe cumulative impacts need only be considered if the project is "antecedent" to others. The companies logic is the equivalent of saying because one bag of PVC pipes is separate from the others the cumulative impact of all need not be considered. However, the Board also believes the County did do a "cumulative impacts analysis" when it considered existing and future farms, that there were no pending permits for farms to the north or south (either ignoring or not being aware of Taylor's pending permit to the south on Mr. Kingman's tidelands and others pending in Thurston County and proposals in Clallam County), and they reviewed the Biological Evaluation from Environ (whose principal, Mr. Reub, owns a geoduck farm).

Make a difference.
Get involved and stay involved. A small number of shellfish companies are transforming Puget Sound's tidelands to grow geoduck for the Asian market. Those who benefit disperse the money to well paid contract scientists, lobbyists, and attorneys to support their actions taking place. You can help by donating to the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat.
 

 



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