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, September 10, 2016

September 13, 1PM: Army Corps' Update on Regulatory Oversight

Update September 13: In January, Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish and Vicki Wilson inserted an absurd definition of what an "existing" aquaculture activity is into the proposed SMP update for Mason County. They defined an existing activity as being any tidelands sold in Washington under the 1895 Bush and Callow Act. Even if nothing was planted over 120 years ago. Politics pays and profits flow.

Paving a Fallow Brick Road 
With PVC and Plastic

Contact, by Monday afternoon, for Web and/or audio participation on September 13
Patricia Graesser, Public Affairs Chief
phone: (206) 764-3760

Where are we and how did we get down this road?
September 13 the Army Corps of Engineers will hold a meeting to discuss their current situation as it relates to regulating the shellfish industry in Washington. A similar meeting was held on April 20 (click here for a pdf overview of that meeting).

The preliminary agenda is as follows:
1:00 p.m. Welcome By Col. John Buck, District Commander, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1:05 p.m. Brief overview of the Corps aquaculture regulatory program
1:15 p.m. Update on ongoing activities:
Status of the programmatic Endangered Species Act consultation for shellfish activities in Washington
Permit tools for 2017
Upcoming milestones and opportunities for involvement

• 1:45 p.m. Questions & Answers
• 2:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Politics pays - and when you have lots of money it helps move the process in your direction
Related to the ongoing Army Corps' oversight of this industry which wishes to greatly expand its footprint in Puget Sound and elsewhere are Biological Opinions released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In 2015 the Corps asked each to provide their opinions on information provided to them by the Corps, in turn largely provided by the shellfish industry, on whether acres of aquaculture proposed and anticipated would have an impact on Puget Sound's habitat and species of concern.

Zangle Cove: Fallow or never planted?
Not "historically used for aquaculture" as claimed
in a permit application for a new geoduck farm.

Fallow me down the golden brick road
A summary document explaining the past history, which in part exemplifies the challenges with gathering information from the shellfish industry, may be found by clicking here. One of the primary issues relates back to 2007 permits which included ‘areas that are periodically allowed to lie fallow as part of normal operations’ in the public notice. This gaping door left open, by not defining what "fallow" means, was taken full advantage of by the industry, claiming huge numbers of acres not planted currently were simply lying fallow, implying they had been used at some undefined time in the past. Current proposals for the Nationwide permits call for defining "fallow" as tidelands not having been planted for as long as 100 years. As seen below, this has led the Corps to believe over 14,000 acres not planted were not done so simply because they were "fallow".

Put on the BiOp focals to review the opinions
Currently, "fallow" areas are included in the information presented to FWS and NMFS, asking them to rely on that information and to issue opinions on what the Corps should do. Those Biological Opinions are located here:
Click here for NMFS Biological Opinion
Click here for FWS Bilogical Opinion

You're going to need these to get through those opinions.

Read along with me and get involved
Currently the Corps is in the process of reviewing the opinions submitted by FWS and NMFS. As it is unknown at this time whether any changes or refusals to accept what each say it is best not to comment. But what is clear is the Corps and services have been put under immense political pressure to help promote this industry. Good intentions can get lost when politics get involved. Hoping for the best when industry is driving a process will not result in the best interests of the public. Get involved. The shellfish industry is and what they want is not good for Puget Sound and species dependent on the integrity of its habitat.

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