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 29, 2017

Shellfish Grower Threatens Lawsuit, Commissioner Asks, "What's the shellfish industry doing to help pay for all this?"

Put your hand back in your pocket
and stop threatening us with lawsuits.

Just re-engineer the plant for us...
At the April 25 Mason County Commissioners meeting the shellfish Hansen family spoke about illnesses from norovirus in shellfish harvested from Hammersley Inlet impacting their profits and that of others. It is their belief the source of norovirus, and other human fecal related risks, is the City of Shelton's waste water treatment plant. Mr. Hansen suggested the plant be re-engineered and that waste water be discharged and absorbed on the land instead of being discharged into Hammersley Inlet. It was his belief the ongoing discharge was illegal and a threat to his and others business profits. Not mentioned was who would pay for it and it was pointed out the county has no role in the City's treatment facility.

... or lawyer up. 
In a not so veiled threat, Mr. Hansen reminded Mason County they had been sued once by shellfish growers for what he perceived as being a similar set of issues. In that case, it was felt by shellfish growers that the county's lack of oversight resulted in a septic tank pumper discharging his truckloads of sewage onto a field near Oakland Bay, closing or threatening to close shellfish beds. Out of that threat evolved the Oakland Bay Clean Water District which has resulted in cleaner water for shellfish growers to profit from. How much money has been spent in the form of grants and upgrades to the City of Shelton's wastewater treatment plant is unknown.

People who profit from others expense do not gain social goodwill.
In response to the Hansen family's presentation, Commission Jeffreys acknowledged shellfish are important. She also agreed clean water was important. But in recognition of something many have been asking for a long time, she asked what the shellfish industry is doing to help pay for clean water. She reminded all that shellfish are sold at wholesale and therefor little tax revenue is generated for Mason County. Not mentioned were geoduck are exported, avoiding virtually all taxes. Also not mentioned was that tidelands converted from the equivalent of open space to an industrial activity with structures needed to grow shellfish pay virtually nothing in the form of property tax. The suggestion that all property owners with onsite septic systems are by default the problem and therefor should be required to pay an annual fee to fund clean water programs for the shellfish industry to profit from has not and will not go over well. Especially with those who live miles away from any shellfish beds.

Commissioner Jeffreys has asked the question everyone should be asking: Why does the industry who profits so much from everyone else's efforts and expense pay so little? At what point does the threat of a lawsuit stop carrying any weight? Fred Neil's "Handful of gimme" is a fitting song.

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