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, October 24, 2016

Oct. 25: Double Header - Pierce County (25 acre geoduck operation) and Mason County (Shoreline Master Program update)

Tuesay, October 25th, presents two significant shoreline regulation events for the public. Both occur at the same time and in different counties, one in Pierce County, the other in Mason County. Both will play large roles in determining what Puget Sound's tideland habitat supports in future generations: commercial operations or native species.

Burley Lagoon
When should "intensification" stop
and be put back in its box?

Location 1 (Pierce County/Taylor Shellfish 25 acre geoduck operation)
Peninnsula High School
14105 Purdy Drive NW
Gig Harbor, WA

In the first, Pierce County and Taylor Shellfish will present what they have been meeting about since 2014: The County's requirement* for Taylor Shellfish to develop an Environmental Impact Statement to address the significant and adverse impacts from a proposed 25 acre geoduck operation in Burley Lagoon. The public meeting will consist of an open house between 6 and 6:45, followed by a public meeting during which Taylor Shellfish and Pierce County will explain what they developed (over almost two years of meeting about the project) followed by the public being allowed to comment. [Note: Pierce County told citizens who wished to have a table for presenting information from their perspective they would not allow it.]
*The County's SEPA process found the environmental impacts significant, and concluded it should have a "Determination of Significance" requiring an EIS. Taylor says they offered to create the EIS. When asked by the press, the County said it was a mutual decision. Either way, the County has said they will be the lead agency responsible for its creation. How much Taylor directs the lead agency is unknown.
Overall, there are three alternatives which will be considered: a 25.5 acre operation; a 17 acre operation; or, continuation of manila, oyster and "scatter planted" geoduck. All 3 will consider the impacts on Burley Lagoon, currently experiencing what has been termed an "intensification" of aquaculture, beginning when Taylor Shellfish leased the tidelands from private owners. While there have been numerous disputes over whether aquaculture ever took place in the areas Taylor has expanded into, the County has allowed all to occur, except the proposed geoduck operation, with no permitting.
Mason County
How important is aquaculture?

Location 2 (Mason County's Shoreline Master Program Update)
Mason County's Building I 
Commission Chambers
411 North Fifth Street 
Shelton WA

In the second, Mason County's Shoreline Master Program Update will be presented to the County Commissioners with a recommendation they accept the update (click here for SMP information). The meeting begins at 6 with the Public Hearing portion beginning at 6:30. As with the Burley Lagoon project above, the shellfish industry has been intimately involved. In this case, development of the SMP update has had representatives from Taylor Shellfish and Arcadia Point Seafood on the Planning Advisory Commission since April of 2013.

As noted in earlier comments, Mason County's SMP update includes the following: Existing aquaculture activities include areas that are actively cultivated and/or dormant. Dormant areas include property that was acquired under the Bush or Callow acts of 1895... While Mason County has supported shellfish aquaculture in the past, this definition will open the door to aquaculture on the vast majority of tidelands sold in Mason County with apparently no county oversight or consideration to the fact that many tidelands sold for aquaculture were consequently abandoned and used instead to enhance the value of residential developments, becoming parts of upland parcels. Bulkheads, docks, accessory dwelling units, boat launches, or stairs are not afforded the same luxury.

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