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:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Governor Inslee Announces Phase 2 of Washington Shellfish Initiative: No New Money, No Budget

Governor Inslee and Bill Dewey,
Taylor Shellfish 

Phase 2 To Begin
The San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate writes about Governor Inslee announcing Phase 2 of the Washington Shellfish Initiative to shellfish growers at National and Oyster Company in Olympia, WA. Started in 2011 by then Governor Gregoire at the urging of Washington shellfish growers, the program has been used to fund research on Ocean Acidification, water pollution, expand and promote the shellfish industry, and restore native populations of shellfish. Phase 2 will carry on and add to those initiatives (called the "Phase 2 Work Plan").

No new state money, but no mention of current state monies expended.
Govenor Inslee's press release states there will be "no new state money," but does not say what is currently being spent to support the program and shellfish industry. Both state and federal monies are currently being used to fund the various programs initiated by then Governor Gregoire, and now carried forward by Governor Inslee.

Research and testing, at a cost, partially offset.
One of the goals is to include additional research into harmful algae blooms, currently costing the state an estimated $800,000 for biotoxin testing alone. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) testing is a separate program funded by the state for shellfish growers, in addition to testing for fecal coliform. Some expense is partially offset by fees charged to those involved in harvesting shellfish, including $10,670 to Washington's Department of Natural Resources. (See WAC 246-282-990 for additional details.)

Environmental concerns.
The article notes concerns expressed by environmentalists to the expansion of shellfish farming and its impacts on Puget Sound, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Concerns include the application of chemicals to shellfish beds and waters, plastic and PVC used by growers which "escapes", cumulative impacts of small adjacent farms becoming large contiguous operations, and the spread of non-native species.

Numbers generated by industry are unclear - if not unknown.
The article notes the shellfish industry generated "revenues" of $150 million in 2013 and "contributed" $184 million in 2010. A $300,000 study from the University of Washington estimated 2013 revenues at $92 million. A 2011 release  estimated "total economic contribution" at $270 million. This in comparison to the fruit tree industry generating an estimated $5.6 billion and commercial fishing up to $3.48 billion.

It's election time.
See the entire outline of Govenor Inslee's Shellfish Intiative at his website, located here:

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