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:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Washington Court of Appeals Agrees to Publish Decision Supporting Permit Denial of Geoduck Operation

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat has released a statement about the Washington Court of Appeals agreeing to publish their decision which affirmed a Shorelines Hearings Board permit denial for a geoduck operation in Pierce County. Despite immense sums of money having been spent by the shellfish industry for attorneys, expert witnesses, and even political donations in support of a Pierce County attorney running for mayor of Gig Harbor, and a final attempt by the industry to claim the decision had little in the way of public interest, the panel of judges agreed to publish their ruling.
Read decision in support of denying permit here:
Read decision agreeing to publish here:

Dear Interested Parties,
The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat is pleased to announce that the Washington State Court of Appeals has granted our motion to publish the Detienne Shoreline Hearings Board win that will serve to protect our marine critical habitat, eelgrass, forage fish, the public's right for safe recreation/windsurfing and the need for cumulative impacts analysis..

The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1 decision affirmed the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) decision to deny the 5 acre geoduck aquaculture permit in Henderson Bay/Pierce County.  The Court of Appeals stated: 

1.  "We conclude the SHB did not err in concluding the Coalition met its burden of proving the permit buffers did not adequately protect eelgrass from adverse impacts in violation of the SMA (Shoreline Management Act) and Pierce County SMP (Shoreline Master Program).".. The Coalition relied on the FSEIS buffer to argue the buffers approved by the Hearing Examiner were inadequate. The FSEIS identifies the need for a "2-foot vertical buffer or a minimum of 180-foot horizontal buffer" between eelgrass and geoduck harvest areas to protect eelgrass."

"The SHB found that while Meaders (industry expert) "is knowledgeable of the geoduck industry and science underlying aspects of industry practices," she was not "a credible expert in all aspects of study related to the nearshore environment to which she claimed expertise."

2. "Evidence presented at the hearing showed there are potential adverse impacts to critical habitat."

3.  "Because the consideration of a cumulative impact analysis prior to approval of the permit is consistent with the purpose of the SMA and clearly furthers the goal of the SMA to prevent "uncoordinated and piecemeal development,"the SHB did not err in concluding consideration should be given to preparing a cumulative impacts analysis."

4.  "De Tienne contends the SHB decision is not timely..... Because de Tienne stipulated to consolidation of the petition he filed on June 28, 2013 and there is no dispute the SHB extended the time period for good cause for an additional 30 days, the SHB complied with the time limits of the statute."

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Laura Hendricks
Director, Coalition To Protect Puget Sound/Habitat
(253) 509-4987

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