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



Friday, December 25, 2015

Just Tell them What they Want to Hear, Agencies Won't do Anything

Who let the dogs out?

A recent Army Corps of Engineer permit condition:
f. You shall not use tidelands waterward from the line of mean higher high water (MHHW)  for the storage of aquaculture gear (e.g., bags, racks, marker stakes, rebar, nets, tubes). All gear that is not immediately needed will be moved to a storage area landward ofMHHW. Note: This is not meant to apply to the wet storage of harvested shellfish.

Whose dog messed up this beach?

Loose nets, loose bags. Who cares?  
This geoduck grower doesn't.

More bags loose in the tidelands.


Loose PVC pipes and bag.


Rebar.


Who cares? The people who found these loose on the tidelands do, not the grower who didn't feel it important enough to pick up the mess. Agencies are being taken for a ride by shellfish growers who profess to be "good stewards" of the tidelands and non-profits who gladly hold out their hands and accept donations. This industry's adverse impact on the tidelands doesn't stop and they want to expand, in the case of Taylor Shellfish, three-fold.

Money, jobs, who could ask for more?


Step down Shoreline Management Act. There's a new driver in town and it's not Washington state's taxpayers.
Who's driving the regulatory environment to protect Puget Sound's intertidal areas? The recent Shoreline Master Program handbook released by the Department of Ecology seems clear: it is no longer the state's Shoreline Management Act which controls development in Puget Sound's tidelands but NOAA's misguided policies to "Encourage and foster sustainable aquaculture development that provides domestic jobs, products, and services and that is in harmony with healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystems, compatible with other uses of the marine environment." The handbook goes on to say:
The SMA is one of the enforceable policies of Washington’s Coastal Zone Management Program, which is part of the federal program administered by NOAA. Shoreline Master Programs for jurisdictions along the Pacific coast and Puget Sound are part of the federal program. (p. 4, SMP Handbook)
Street sweepers and tulip bulb harvesters
were not a "preferred use" of Washington's
"most valuable and fragile natural resource."



Washington's SMA is no longer the primary controlling regulatory act protecting Puget Sound's intertidal area. The act, passed by the legislature and approved by an overwhelming majority of Washington's citizens, has been relegated to a second class position when it comes to aquaculture. While aquaculture was considered a "preferred use" when it was passed, it was not the industrial activity found today. It was never intended to be driven by NOAA policies and Washington DC politics.

$70,000 spent on lobbying - in 3 quarters.


If a little money to influence Washington DC is good then more is better. Plauche and Carr: A law firm or a lobbying firm?
There is little doubt this is no longer just a "fifth generation family" growing a few clams and oysters. This is an industry focused on profits and aware that lobbying will craft federal regulations to their benefit. Along the way, Washington's citizens have lost control of what happens to Puget Sound. In the first 3 quarters alone, $70,000 have has been given to the Glover Park lobbying firm  ("Own the Conversation") in Washington DC. As seen in the Disclosure form, these funds are channeled through the shellfish industry's law firm, Plauche and Carr, and focused on influencing a number of agencies, including the Army Corps and NOAA. This is an industry with money and motivation to make more at the expense of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Get involved - the shellfish industry is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Surfrider Announces Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) Meeting this Wednesday (12/9)

“We’re all in this leaky canoe together…”
Washington Policy Manager.)

When: Wednesday, December 9th, 9:30am–3:30pm
Where: Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners Chambers, 111 S. Wooding St. Aberdeen, WA
View Full Agenda: 12 9 15 WCMAC Agenda Draft

Surfrider has announced the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) will hold their next meeting this Wednesday (12/9) in Aberdeen (see here for past meetings, agendas, and meeting notes). Scheduled to speak at 12:30 will be Kim Patten from Willapa Bay.

Native species are a nuisance to non-native
"crops" of Pacific oysters and Manila clams.
Kill the shrimp, create a habitat for 
Japanese eelgrass, kill the eelgrass.
Really?

Eco-engineering so non-native species can be grown for profit.
Among the speakers noted on the agenda is Willapa Bay's Kim Patten with Washington State University. He will present his perspectives, and the shellfish industry's, of how to deal with what he and shellfish growers perceive as a problem to the industry and their profits: native ghost shrimp. It was Mr. Patten who was one of the primary driving forces behind the proposal to spray the neurotoxin imidacloprid (one of the neonicotinoid pesticides) on shellfish beds and the herbicide imazamox, currently being sprayed on shellfish beds and eelgrass.

Plastic bags are bad, but this is okay?
What you can do when you "advocate" for clean water.

Plastic bags are bad. But is PVC or mesh nets in the tidelands okay?
Gus Gates, Washington Policy Manager, has written a piece on describing the shellfish industry as being some of the "...strongest advocates for clean water protections.." There is no question the shellfish industry wants to have clean water, which they need in order to maintain and/or grow their profits. But how can Surfrider, in one hand, ban plastic bags, styrofoam, micro-plastics, and be opposed to the oil terminal proposed for Grays Harbor (providing "80-85 permanent, family-wage jobs"), and in the other hand, support an industry who "advocates for clean water protections" which results in their growing widespread use of plastic and PVC in those same marine waters which Surfrider is trying to keep them out of (providing jobs of questionable need, with mechanization likely to reduce whatever jobs those may be)?

Mechanical harvester and the jobs it replaces.

"Mining" for geoduck.

Is it the canary or the mining we should be concerned about?
Mr. Gates is correct in pointing out we are all together in a leaky canoe trying to improve the health of Washington's waters. But make no mistake on why the shellfish industry is such a strong advocate for clean waters and what the result will be. They advocate for clean water to improve production and profits from Puget Sound's tidelands, and along with them, the spread of plastic and PVC used in production, and the transformation of habitat. Noting the industry's analogy of being the "Canary in the Coal Mine" without noting the impacts from mining ignores the important part of that analogy we should worry about.

Get involved. The shellfish industry, advocating for clean water, has behind it their stated plan of "tripling the size in our business over the next 8 years." (Jeff Pearson, thanking Wells Fargo for their providing financing.) Consider what will come with that.





Monday, December 7, 2015

Public Meeting and Shellfish Politics: Coast Seafoods' Operations Manager, also District Commissioner, Sees no Problem Expanding into Eelgrass Beds

Update 11:05: Read what the California Audubon has to say about this project and help ensure this critical eelgrass habitat will not be destroyed through application of faulty science to support the expansion of aquaculture. (Note: Comments will now be accepted through December 31.) Other public comments on this ill-advised expansion may be found by clicking here, some in support, but most against, including 61 pages of names who signed a petition against the proposal. You can add your name and help save Pacific Flyway birds in Humboldt Bay by clicking here.

Coast Seafoods Southwest Operations Manager Greg Dale
who is also the harbor district’s
2nd Division commissioner
said that he does not believe the company’s
current aquacultural practices have any significant
ecological impacts on the bay, and said the expansion was
designed in a way that “literally has no impact.”

What a surprise. Apparently Coast Seafood workers
are able to levitate above eelgrass instead of
crushing it as these workers do.

Coast Seafoods' oysters are also able to
stop filtering when dioxin laced sediments
are stirred up from workers and boats.
Really?
The best science that money can buy.
Coast Seafood says spacing lines 5' apart lets in more light, ignoring the impact of foot traffic from workers. Coast Seafood believes oysters will stop filtering as dioxins in the sediments are stirred up by foot traffic and boat activity. This is science?

Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they see nothing but profits from impacting native eelgrass beds and selling you oysters filtering water with dioxin laced sediments.

Public hearing on whether Coast Seafoods should be allowed to expand operations in Humboldt Bay and native eelgrass beds.
What: Coast Seafoods Company’s expansion town hall meeting
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday
Where: Sequoia Conference Center, Room Sequoia A, 901 Myrtle Ave., Eureka

Public Meeting and Shellfish Politics: Coast Seafoods' Operations Manager, also District Commissioner, Sees no Problem Expanding into Eelgrass Beds

Coast Seafoods Southwest Operations Manager Greg Dale
who is also the harbor district’s
2nd Division commissioner
said that he does not believe the company’s
current aquacultural practices have any significant
ecological impacts on the bay, and said the expansion was
designed in a way that “literally has no impact.”

What a surprise. Apparently Coast Seafood workers
are able to levitate above eelgrass instead of
crushing it as these workers do.

Coast Seafoods' oysters are also able to
stop filtering when dioxin laced sediments
are stirred up from workers and boats.
Really?
 
The best science that money can buy.
Coast Seafood says spacing lines 5' apart lets in more light, ignoring the impact of foot traffic from workers. Coast Seafood believes oysters will stop filtering as dioxins in the sediments are stirred up by foot traffic and boat activity. This is science?
 
Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they see nothing but profits from impacting native eelgrass beds and selling you oysters filtering water with dioxin laced sediments.
 
Public hearing on whether Coast Seafoods should be allowed to expand operations in Humboldt Bay and native eelgrass beds.
 
What: Coast Seafoods Company’s expansion town hall meeting
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday
Where: Sequoia Conference Center, Room Sequoia A, 901 Myrtle Ave., Eureka