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:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Update on Detienne Geoduck Farm Permit Appeal

Get involved.

Released by those opposed to the proposal to site a geoduck farm on the Detienne subtidal parcel where one of the few eelgrass beds in south Puget Sound exist. The reversal of Pierce County issuing a permit by the Shorelines Hearings Board, followed with agreement by the Superior Court, is being appealed.

Hello Friends & Neighbors.  Happy New Year!
Please take a moment to read the attached letter [see letter here] from the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound which identifies progress and goals for 2016. One of the goals is to continue efforts in support of the Washington State Shorelines Hearings Board and Superior Court order which reverses the Pierce County permit to build out the deTienne geoduck operation in Henderson Bay. 
As you may know, the deTienne case has now moved on to appeals court with briefs due January 8th. The attorney writing the brief is optimistic in prevailing again, however this comes at a cost. We are grateful for all that you and the Coalition have provided in both effort and funds in 2015. Due to your support this fight has gained protections not only for Henderson Bay but for Puget Sound. Please see what you can do at this time to keep that momentum going. 
How you can help?
+ Donate. 
You can donate online to the Coalition at their site http://coalitiontoprotectpugetsoundhabitat.org/ 
Or you may send your check to THE COALITION at PO BOX 233 BURLEY WA 98322
Buy sustainable seafood. 
Know where and how your seafood is produced. What industry practices does your favorite seafood restaurants/supermarkets allow like pesticide/herbicide use?
+ Help dispel the MYTHS 
From the Coalition document, with references: Dispelling the Myths of "The Benefits of Shellfish Aquaculture".

MYTH #1:   the great myth that "shellfish will clean up our waterways"  
There are no studies in Washington state that verify this statement. Pollution must be stopped or removed at the source. 

MYTH #2:    "shellfish aquaculture creates beneficial habitat & species diversity"                     
According to the industry's own management practices, many native species are considered pests, intentionally excluded or killed. Are plastic nets and tubes blanketing our tidelands really going to improve marine habitat for the long term? [Added: Creation of habitat means nothing if that habitat has first transformed the natural ecosystem and, worse, is destroyed every time harvesting occurs. Does replanting a clear cut old growth forest create habitat?]

MYTH #3:   "cultivated geoduck is important for our economy" 
Over 90% of the geoduck cultivated in Washington State is sent over seas, the state receives very little revenue.  [Added: Tidelands converted to aquaculture production are not taxed at their "best use" value. No research shows the expenses incurred by taxpayers for the benefit of the shellfish industry are offset in any meaningful way.]

MYTH #4:   "shellfish industry provides a critical source of jobs"
When compared to other businesses or industries, their jobs numbers are relatively small and these are not high paying jobs. [Added: Mechanization currently underway will eliminate a large number of jobs, just as was done in the timber industry. Further, these jobs are in the worst possible conditions and provide no transferable skills, locking these workers into a life of low paid labor.]

MYTH #5:   "shellfish cultivation is a sustainable use of our aquatic environment"
Sustainability depends upon a healthy natural environment, not just a focus on what sustains an industry. Let's not let industry redefine the term.

MYTH #6:   "shellfish industry provides a good stewardship of the aquatic environment"
Allowed to modify habitat, spray herbicides/pesticides into waterways and on tidelands placing native species such as eelgrass (the bread and butter of the marine environment) in jeopardy, this industry has effectively lobbied to weaken laws and environmental oversight.

MYTH #7:   "no or minimal impacts associated with shellfish aquaculture"
Aquaculture is recognized as a threat to ecosystem health.  Numerous studies show adverse impacts in Washington State and worldwide.

MYTH #8:  "no evidence... geoduck aquaculture causing...shifts in ecosystem...in Puget Sound".
Studies that have attempted to evaluate impacts are, by design, focused narrowly and fall short of representing potential functions altered by intensive aquaculture practices. [Added: Recent papers released now claim it is "too difficult" to determine what the impacts are and have devolved to the use of subjective plusses and minuses forced into a cycle created to benefit aquaculture, not the natural ecosystem.]
+ Contact your representatives/regulators. 
Encourage elected officials and regulators to stand up to an aggressive industry and their lobbyists to protect our public waters and stop the plastic pollution and loss of marine life in Puget Sound.
Thank you for your continued support in this effort and Best Wishes for 2016!

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