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:

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thurston County is Targeted By Geoduck Farmers

Better Duck if you live in Thurston County 
The latest county to be targeted for expansion by geoduck farmers is Thurston County. Located in south Puget Sound, Thurston County has seen a number of proposed or actual applications for geoduck farms in the south Puget Sound area. The most recent is an expansion of operations by Greg Reub, currently employed by Eco Analysts, Inc. Previous employment history of Mr. Reub included Environ (now part of Ramboll), a firm who performed numerous studies on geoduck aquaculture, intended to show impacts were not significant. Studies still quoted today and studies which Mr. Reub benefits from directly. [A public hearing on Mr. Reub's proposal will be held September 26. To be put onto the notification list, contact Leah Davis at davisle@co.thurston.wa.us]
(In addition to Mr. Reub, Dr. Fisher and Marlene Meaders were also past employees of Environ, the latter two co-authoring numerous papers on geoduck farming and the application of the herbicide imazamox in Willapa Bay. Dr. Fisher, as with Mr. Reub, benefits directly from positive outcomes of papers he authored on geoduck farming as he too operates a geoduck farm, close to that currently operated by Mr. Reub and close to where Mr. Reub proposes to expand his operations. Dr. Fisher, after leaving Environ, worked for the National Marine Fisheries Services - NMFS - who provided Biological Opinions to the Army Corps on their proposed Nationwide Permits covering aquaculture.)
An existing navigational hazard,
with another proposed.

Showing some mussel
In addition to Mr. Reub's proposed expansion, Chelsea Sea Farms is also proposing a 10 acre operation in Gallagher Cove near where Taylor Shellfish is planning on placing 58 rafts in Totten Inlet. At appeals and hearings for the Taylor Shellfish proposal there was no mention of any geoduck operation so close and what the cumulative impacts may be from the two operations may be, not to mention Mr. Reub's proposed expansion just north. The common refrain from attorneys at the hearings and appeals was that any expansion of aquaculture was simply "conjecture" and should not be considered. Therefor, Thurston County did not consider any of it and simply relied on an overwhelmed staff and papers, including those authored by Dr. Fisher and Mr. Reub.

One word - plastics
The Graduate could not have had a more applicable scene when Dustin Hoffman was told by Mr. McQuire what to do with his life after graduation: "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word....Plastics. There's a great future in plastics." Who would have thought plastics covering Puget Sound's intertidal tidelands would have been the future that unfolded.

Get involved. You will make a difference for the future generations.
The shellfish industry has been for years. Lobbying, free shellfish fests, donations to non-profits, and authors of papers who have clear conflicts of interest have all resulted in an impending expansion throughout Puget Sound and Willapa Bay. You can help by donating to the following:

Consumers for Food Safety [click here]
Tell your elected officials enough is enough.
Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
Thurston County Commissioners

Friday, August 11, 2017

Aquaculture's Impacts: Center for Food Safety Sues Army Corps Over Lack of Regulatory Oversight

What could go wrong? The more the better.
Good for the profits of a few,
bad for all who care about 
Washington's marine habitat.

The Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit August 10 against the Corps of Engineers' decision to issue 2017 Nationwide Permit 48 covering aquaculture activities, asking the courts to:
 (1) declare the Corps’ decision to adopt 2017 NWP 48 in Washington State is unlawful under the CWA, NEPA, and arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the APA; (2) set aside or vacate the Corps’ March 17, 2017 decision to adopt 2017 NWP 48 in Washington (effective March 19, 2017); (3) declare that the Corps, prior to adopting any new NWP for commercial shellfish aquaculture, must comply with NEPA, including the preparation of an EIS, and the CWA, including the requirement that any general permit not cause more than minimal adverse individual or cumulative impacts to Washington’s aquatic environment. 
Read US News article here:
Read article in The Olympian here:

Good old boys, slapping the backs
of politicians, paying a dollar here and there,
with a free oyster or two. It goes a long way.
(2016 lobbying visit by shellfish growers in DC)

In the papers filed, the Center pointed out one of the most glaring assumption swallowed by the Corps at the behest of the shellfish industry, defining a "new" operation:
The revised definition of “new” makes all operations “existing” so long as any commercial shellfish aquaculture took place in the area in the last 100 years. This would allow an operation in 2018 to be considered “existing” and thus avoid restrictions on “new” operations if, for example, oyster culture was conducted in 1919, with nothing in between.
Individual discrete parcels are becoming
one large area with multiple harvesting
cycles impacting the marine habitat
on an ongoing basis. 
Cumulative impacts matter.

Kao Torgeson Roosa - Pierce County, Public Hearing September 27, 9AM (Confirm with Ty Booth at ty.booth@co.pierce.wa.us or 253-798-3727)
Cumulative impacts matter and isolated events do not represent impacts adjacent operations create or vastly increasing operations creates. Throughout Puget Sound alone, what had been individual parcels are now becoming one large contiguous operation. These operations operate on multiple cycles creating an ongoing impact to the marine habitat on a scale not studied. One example is in Pierce County where two previously separate parcels operated. Now before the County is a permit request which would result in one large contiguous parcel. In Burley Lagoon, Taylor Shellfish is proposing a 25 acre operation. Thurston County has a 10 acre operation proposed by Chelsea Sea Farms and numerous smaller parcels. As noted in the papers filed, cumulative effects is defined as:
the changes in an aquatic ecosystem that are attributable to the collective effect of a number of individual discharges of dredged or fill material. Although the impact of a particular discharge may constitute a minor change in itself, the cumulative effect of numerous such piecemeal changes can result in a major impairment of the water resources and interfere with the productivity and water quality of existing aquatic ecosystems. 
Get involved and help support Center for Food Safety's efforts.
The papers filed go in to great detail about the current and future adverse impacts which will result directly from the Corps's issuing the 2017 Nationwide Permit 48 covering aquaculture. While lobbying over the past 3 years was effective in minimizing regulatory oversight of the shellfish industry by the Corps, that does not mean it should be accepted. You can help ensure the future of Washington's marine habitat will be protected by helping.
Read the Center's release here: 
Donate to the Center for Food Safety here:
Read the suit filed here: