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



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Imidacloprid in Willapa Bay: Public Relations Effort to Spray Pesticides in Willapa Bay Begins

"Abandon ship!"
Did you have that boat inspected
before you bought it?

Easier to give up than change.
The Chinook Observer has published an article on why Goose Point Oyster (owned by the Nisbet family) is in desperate need to spray imidacloprid onto one of its Willapa Bay oyster beds. With a picture of their farm manager seeming to sink into a pool of quicksand, Dave Nisbet tells a story of why they are abandoning a parcel near the mouth of the Cedar River, done in by a 2" shrimp. Tidelands which were part of a $1.9 million transaction in 2015 which, had they been inspected, may have shown them to be incompatible with Goose Point's growing technique. And perhaps why tidelands at the mouth of a river with clear cut logging within its watershed may not have the firmest sediments.

Good shrimp, bad shrimp
Good duck, bad duck
Geoduck farming's "happy side": ecosystem services?

"Psst - I think we're giving a mixed message here."
Ironically, the Pacific Shellfish Grower's Association chose to show a diver harvesting geoduck feeding one of the dreaded shrimp to a Scoter, declaring the picture of what they consider to be two of their "pests" the winner of June's ecosystem system photo contest. The winged "pest" is kept off of shellfish beds - and away from the burrowing shrimp - by nets and hazing. Shellfish growers propose to rid the burrowing shrip - the clawed pest - by spraying the pesticide imidacloprid onto the oyster beds, hoping a permit application from the Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) will be approved by the Department of Ecology. Editorials claim it doesn't kill the shrimp, it just "only makes them susceptible to suffocation." Kind of like propofol and benzodiazepine made Michael Jackson only go into a really really really deep sleep. (See a copy of what the shellfish industry considers to be "pests" by clicking here.)
Good eelgrass, bad eelgrass
It's a weed. No, it's a support.

Irony becomes steely
In the Chinook article, the irony continues to grow as the article points out that on the eastern side of the parcel eelgrass provides "...a support system of roots under the surface that allows oysters to sit above the mud during high tide." This would be eelgrass which WGHOGA, in some cases, is currently spraying with the herbicide imazamox. To be fair, it is not clear whether the eelgrass referred to is the native or non-native. But it is clear Goose Point's Mr. Nisbet speaks highly of the "economic services" it provides to his ability to grow oysters. Not mentioned were the other species which benefit from its ecosystem services.

"Get out of my way
and let me do what I want,
how I want, when I want."

Trust us, we're oyster growers and Willapa Bay is not what you think. We aren't either.
In a follow-up Chinook Observer editorial titled "Get out of the way and let oyster growers survive", the public relations push evolves further. In the editorial, Governor Inlsee is described as throwing oyster growers "under the bus in order to notch a symbolic win for environmental purity." Those who believe Washington shellfish can be - in fact should be - grown in unpolluted waters are "urban activists" standing in the way of oyster growers wanting to spray herbicides and pesticides into marine waters for their beneifit. How do they see themselves when they complain of urban runoff and sediments from logging operations running into Willapa Bay? Are "rural activists" pursuing clean and healthy waters so they may profit less pure than urban activists?

Dredging for ecosystem services

(screen shots from 
"Oyster Dredging" in Willapa Bay)

Dreading ecosystem services in Willapa Bay
In the final piece of irony, the public relations editorial printed in the Chinook Observer speaks highly of the habitat services provided by oyster beds: "...more crab, more fish, more birds." Unfortunately, not described is the devastation those oyster growers bring to those oyster beds and habitat at harvest time. In the images above it is clear that not only is eelgrass being ripped from the tidelands of Willapa Bay, but that whatever "habitat" those oyster beds provided is destroyed when harvesting takes place. It's the kind of ironic story which happens when people who sit in urban offices direct how a public relations campaign in a rural area should unfold - it folds up on itself.

Get involved - tell the Governor and your elected officials it is time to stop spraying chemicals into Willapa Bay and oyster growers to move into the future.

Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/



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