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:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

DOE Passes on Considering Current Research on PVC/Plastic Degradation In Marine Environment

*Note: April 18 the Washington Shellfish Initiative Advisory Group
 will meet 9:30am to 12:00pm
John L. O’Brien Building
Room B15/18, 504 15th Ave SE, Olympia,
See Draft Agenda for that meeting by clicking here
Streamlined permitting report will be discussed,
including Burley Lagoon's 25 acre geoduck farm.

Degradation of thought process
Political pressures have pushed the Department of Ecology (DOE) to develop Shoreline Master Program guidelines in the form of their SMP Handbook. In part, these guidelines are in place to help the shellfish industry expand operations in Washington's Puget Sound and Willapa Bay, part of Governor Inslee's "Washington Shellfish Initiative" through "streamlined permitting." In that process, DOE discussed whether research on the degradation of plastics and PVC in the marine environment, more current than 2010, should be considered. It was a thought well worth considering. As recently as July 19, 2015, a peer reviewed study on the degradation of PVC and plastics in the marine environment noted:
"...more studies of reaction pathways and potential degradation products of plastic polymers under conditions that more closely approximate the marine environment are needed. These experiments would also help to make quantitative extrapolations about degradation rates in the marine environment possible." (see Pathways for degradation of plastic polymers floating in the marine environment, published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 2015)

As seen in this email, DOE felt differently, most likely due to political pressures to complete and implement the SMP handbook.

(email is part of a FOI request found here which has links to
a 2010 report and 2014 PVC question/answer paper)

It's not habitat. It's pollution...
...and the shellfish industry's farms are a point source,
and they want to expand, which Governor Inslee
is happy to promote.

What you don't know won't matter until it matters. And then it may be too late.
In a paper titled Environmental Risk of Polymers and their Degradation Products, dated May of 2013, the author points out studies performed in laboratories do not replicate the real world. He writes:
"...there is limited information on the degradation of PBMs [polymer based materials, including PVC] under environmentally relevant conditions, where a number of degradation mechanisms occur at once; and the potential for PBMs to form other chemical compounds during the degradation process and the effects these formed compounds may have on organisms has received little attention."
Good for a few...
...not for Puget Sound.

At what point is enough too much?
In the video clip above, one farm less than 10 acres in size is seen. This is only a precursor to what the shellfish industry wants and what Puget Sound will get if Governor Inslee's "Washington Shellfish Intiative" is allowed to move forward as the industry wants. It is an industry motivated by money, hidden behind the pretext of being "advocates for clean water." Clean water means little if the marine habitat is transformed to PVC forests and nets.

Get involved
Attend the April 18 meeting noted above and point out there is more to Puget Sound's unique habitat than feeding the elite of China.

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