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:

Friday, July 26, 2019

End of July, Beginning of August Bring Minus Tides and Warm Weather

Get out and experience Puget Sound

The low minus tides of late July and early August bring one of the last opportunities to experience Puget Sound's low intertidal habitat. It is an area unique to Puget Sound which supports diverse species unique to Puget Sound which is worth protecting and preserving.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Vibriosis Infections From South Puget Sound's Hammersley Inlet, Now Closed to Harvesting

Vibriosis Closes Hammersley Inlet 
Shellfish Growing Area

Washington's Department of Health has notified shellfish growers the Hammersley Inlet growing area is closed due to multiple cases of vibriosis traced to oysters harvested from that area. Warming temperatures and minus tides contributed to the cause of the increase. Being able to trace illnesses to specific areas, in this case, pointed to Hammersley Inlet.

Over the past years, illnesses from oysters harvested from Hammersley Inlet have caused a variety of closures, some related to vibriosis, some related to noro-virus. Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacterium, the cause of vibriosis, occurs naturally in Puget Sound. As water temperatures rise it becomes more abundant. Because oysters are filter feeders, they retain this bacteria within their systems. If left in warm temperatures, the oyster becomes a petri dish which causes this species of bacterium to grow rapidly.

Food safety is important. The Department of Health does not recommend consuming raw oysters from south Puget Sound during the summer and instead suggests boiling, baking or broiling in order to kill any bacteria.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Growth Management Hearings Board Rejects DOE and Pierce County Restrictions on Aquaculture

Taylor  Shellfish/Foss Family Prevail:
GMHB Tells DOE and Pierce County 
it must
"plan for, foster and give preference 
to aquaculture as a preferred use"

Presidential Candidate Governor Inslee
and Taylor Shellfish's Bill Dewey
China's elite pay a lot of money.
Taylor Shellfish makes a lot of money.
A few waterfront tideland owners 
make a lot of money.
Is that bad for the marine ecosystem Governor?

Aquaculture as a fosster child.
Washington's Growth Management Hearings Board has told the Department of Ecology and Pierce County the purpose of the Shoreline Management Act is to "plan for, foster and give preference to aquaculture as a preferred use". It is not to prevent the fragmentation of the intertidal area which the SMA describes as part of "the most valuable and fragile of its natural resources." As such it has returned Pierce County's updated Shoreline Master Program to them telling them to remove many  regulations the county and its citizens put in place to control aquaculture.

China doesn't care about Puget Sound habitat.
They care about geoduck grown in PVC pipes.
48,000 per acre

A concern then, a bigger concern now.
Citizens who overwhelmingly passed the SMA because there was concern "throughout the state relating to their utilization, protection, restoration and preservation" now find those concerns are apparently secondary to profits of corporations such as Taylor Shellfish and wealthy shoreline tideland/upland owners such as the Foss family's North Bay Partners who lease their tidelands to them. Taylor Shellfish and the Foss family's North Bay Partners appealed Pierce County's SMP approved by DOE and won.


There are some things which do not need to be fosstered.
What you see above may be good for the geoduck industry, China, a few corporations and a few tideland owners. But who else really believes this is good for Puget Sound's intertidal area? Do properties held by the Foss family really need to be fosstered?

~130 acres, ~5,000' of waterfront.
Taxes? $3,957
Does the Foss family really need to have
geoduck aquaculture fosstered to help pay these taxes?

Washington's intertidal areas are being transformed by a few large corporations who believe the money made and jobs created mitigates the damage done. It is an oligopoly - an industry controlled by a few dominant players. These corporations control the price paid to tideland owners, they control the price paid for shellfish, and through well paid lobbyists and attorneys control agencies responsible for protecting, preserving and restoring Washington's "most valuable and fragile of its natural resources" and instead have convinced them their role is to foster aquaculture. 

The industrial level of activities created by these few corporations are what the SMA was meant to hold back. Not foster.

Get involved
Get involved. If you are not, when your grandchildren ask how Puget Sound's tidelands came to be transformed into forests of PVC, you will only be able to say, "Because I didn't care enough to do anything."

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Imidacloprid in Willapa Bay: Goose Point Oyster/Others Press On - "No other way."

Pristine Waters of Willapa Bay?
It just needs pesticides added directly to it.
Growers complain of urban runoff. 
But direct application of pesticides by them is okay.

Welcome to business. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. 
In a presentation put forth for OPB, owners of Goose Point oyster claim there is no other way for them to grow oysters than to be allowed to spray their beds with the pesticide Imidacloprid, banned in the European Union. Because there is a lack of willingness to develop and implement alternative growing methods such as those Taylor Shellfish has, Goose Point's owners believe the only way is to spray Willapa Bay with Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoids being banned in foreign countries*.
*Some ask why let a foreign country control US policy? Some ask why foreign countries grounded 737 Max jets before the US. Sometimes the US isn't always right.
The threat to Willapa Bay is not native species.
It is pesticide use from oyster growers.
And a lack of imagination and willingness
to accept that sometimes business has expenses.

Welcome to "pristine" waters of Willapa Bay. Where pesticides were applied directly.
Willapa Bay is often described as having "pristine waters" which grow some of the best oysters in the world. While it's true that Willapa Bay grows an enormous number of oysters, claiming the waters to be "pristine" while spraying pesticides on oyster beds for decades stretches integrity. Washington's Attorney General went so far as to describe the waters as a "chemical soup" in 2012 (see p. 32 here). Direct application of Carbaryl/Sevin by growers then only made it worse, as Imidacloprid will today.

Use some Thinking Time.
It's not rocket science.

Welcome to business problem solving. It's not, "We don't know what else to do!"
Oyster growers claiming there is no other way are not taking the time to problem solve. Some claim that pole and rack/line systems would work like those used by Taylor Shellfish, but sediments are so soft poles used fall over. Do they not make longer poles which get driven into firmer sediments?  Just because oyster growers have been used to simply throwing oyster shell onto the bedlands of Willapa Bay, spraying pesticides, and using the public waters as a food source to grow oysters doesn't mean there aren't alternative methods. It only means there is a lack of will because it may cost more to grow oysters. Business is tough sometimes.

All the PR help in a tall building
will not convince consumers
oysters from beds sprayed with 
pesticides are safe/good to eat.

Welcome to bad PR advice. The Hard Reality: You will kill demand for oysters from Willapa Bay and all of Washington.
Public Relations firms will be more than happy to take money and make a point you want them to. It's what they get paid to do in their 25th floor offices. It's not to tell you the hard realities in life. In this case, if oyster growers are successful in their appeal to Washington and are granted a permit, the demand for Willapa Bay and Washington oysters will drop. Efforts to export Washington oysters to the European Union will be for nothing when they discover Imidacloprid - a pesticide the EU has banned - is being sprayed on the oyster beds Washington oysters are grown on. The East Coast Shellfish Growers Association has already said, pointedly, they "...use no feeds, fertilizers, pesticides or antibiotics." That is the hard reality Washington oyster growers will be up against if Willapa Bay growers are successful. That advice is free.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Geoduck Aquaculture: Too Controversial for Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee? What are you "protecting"?

June 28, 1-5PM
Shellfish Aquaculture Educational Forum
Northwest Maritime Center
431 Water St
Port Townsend, WA
Registration required (click here for registration)

JCMRC: We only want to educate you 
on aquaculture which isn't controversial.

What habitat is it JCMRC "protecting and restoring"?
The "habitat" 40,000 PVC tubes/acre create?

Really? What "resources" are you protecting by not putting geoduck aquaculture on the agenda? 
In a move which shines a light on the role which the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee is apparently now filling - promoting shellfish aquaculture which the industry wants you to hear about - they have decided not to include geoduck aquaculture in an upcoming "educational forum" on aquaculture. Based on a recent post by Al Bergstein, the past Environmental representative on the Committee, the upcoming June 28 meeting will only discuss the warmer topics of aquaculture, not the ongoing hot button of geoduck aquaculture. Ongoing for over a decade now. 

Integrity still matters to some.
(Al Bergstein has resigned from JCMRC)

Geoduck aquaculture is too hot for JCMRC to touch. 
As a result of geoduck aquaculture being considered too controversial to be included on the agenda,  Al Bergstein has resigned from his long held position as the Environmental representative. Instead of addressing what is the most controversial form of aquaculture taking place in Puget Sound - the growing of geoduck in intertidal areas for the elite in China - the Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee has instead punted and left it off of the agenda. It's too controversial (still). As a result, Mr Bergstein has resigned from his position. 

The Chinese could care less about Puget Sound's
intertidal area and the habitat provided to native species.
Geoduck growers like the money.
So do nonprofits receiving donations.

Geoduck is hard to swallow. 
While it is unfortunate the JCMRC has lost such a strong voice supporting the critical marine habitats within Puget Sound - those marine habitat areas which the JCMRC claims it is "protecting and restoring" - no one should have to compromise their strongly held beliefs for a committee apparently too timid to face down this industrial level of aquaculture taking place in Puget Sound and deal with the controversy surrounding it. There is a point in life where you can only swallow so much of what industry spoon feeds you before you have to act on your beliefs.

Being involved pays. Very well.
"Don't ask how it's done."

It will be quite a show.
Geoduck growers have created a magic show making agencies believe great benefits to all has been created. Well paid public relations firms, well paid attorneys, and well paid "scientists" (either directly or through grants controlled through the political process) have created a magic show in which the belief that geoducks grown in Puget Sound's intertidal areas is somehow good. It is not . It is transformative, creating a monoculture, and fracturing the critical marine habitat of Puget Sound. Growers want more and will get more unless you make your voice heard. 

Get involved. Make your voice heard. 
Register and attend JCMRC "Shellfish Aquaculture Educational Forum". It will be quite a show.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Friends of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge and Commercial Aquaculture

Friends of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge
on the proposed commercial shellfish operation
within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

Commercial Oyster Farm Proposed Within Refuge
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has done many positive things for our community. They have worked with Friends and the Refuge for environmental restoration and other beneficial projects. We support their commercial aquaculture efforts. However, we do object to the proposed location within a closed area of the Refuge that is heavily used by wildlife.
Our concerns about the proposed oyster farm location: 
• The Refuge was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson to protect wildlife. It was not established to conduct commercial aquaculture operations with non-native species. If allowed, what precedent might this set for the future?
• The proposed location is a high use area for waterfowl and shorebirds, especially for winter foraging. The area also has eelgrass, which provides habitat for forage fish and shellfish.
• The level of proposed activity in this location would present a great disturbance to wildlife.
• The proposed location could negatively impact the view and experience of the 100,000 annual Refuge visitors with the visual pollution of up to 80,000 plastic mesh bags, and boats and workers in the area.
• Plastic debris from the mesh bags is a concern. Wildlife could potentially get trapped in the mesh or ingest the plastic debris as it breaks down.
• Bags anchored to the ground could prevent native eelgrass from growing and may disrupt natural habitat on the seabed, reducing foraging areas.
• Noise pollution from workers, boats, and equipment may scare wildlife, causing health issues, or abandonment of the site. Noise may also disturb Refuge visitors and neighbors on the bay.
You may submit comments to Clallam County. Click here to submit or read the Documents about the proposed oyster farm.

Click on the link above, then find several detailed documents regarding the proposal, exhibits, and public comments. On the top right of the page you will find links to submit a comment by email or fill out a an online form. Update – The scheduled April 4, 2019 public hearing has been postponed. The Tribe is seeking government to government negotiations regarding the proposed location. Public input is still being received by the County.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Zangle Cove: "People like PVC tubes in straight lines." What people are those?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
May 19, 2019 - A thing of beauty? 

The populating of Zangle Cove with PVC pipes to grow geoduck for China continues. Conversion of the intertidal area into a monolithic population of geoduck contained within PVC tubes, covered by "predator nets", is found more important to this tideland owner than the native habitat it has provided in the past. 

You need new glasses 
if you think 
this will "feed the world".

A belief this operation is going to help "feed the world" is a sad and out of focus view of reality. After these PVC tubes are placed, removed, and after harvesting with hydraulic water jets has completely transformed this marine habitat, these geoduck are airfreighted to China where only the elite are able to afford the expense of this luxury food. A Chinese elite who care little for the transformation this product has brought to Puget Sound's tidelands. A transformation which continues to grow.

Where did all those straight lines go?
Replaced by a moonscape at harvest.
Do people think this looks good too?

The only people who think PVC in straight lines in the intertidal area look good are those few corporations who are profiting from this transformation. A transformation which leaves a moonscape at harvest, to be replaced by another set of PVC tubes set in straight lines. It is not a thing of beauty. And China could care less.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Taxpayer Dollars Funding Research on Toxic Chemicals to Remove Native Burrowing Shrimp in Willapa Bay Remain

[Update 4/26: EHB 1109, the 2019-2021 operating budget, is waiting for a House/Senate conference meeting to work through disagreements between the two houses. Still remaining in the bill is $534,000 of taxpayer dollars allocated to assess "...the toxicity of candidate chemicals..." to poison native burrowing shrimp (see below for current wording).]

$534,000 to Study Toxicity of Chemicals
Applied to Oyster Beds and Marine Waters
of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor Remains
in Final Budget Bill

Changes have been made to the final budget bill, removing mention of Imidacloprid, but retaining the belief that the only way to deal with this native species is by eliminating it, "...assessing the toxicity of candidate chemicals..". As of yet, funding to assist growers in moving to alternative growing methods used by the oyster growers around the world, and within Willapa Bay, has yet to be accepted as a better alternative. According to the office of Governor Inslee, this funding will cease June 1, 2019. (See final bill, page 625, by clicking here)

(9) $534,000 of the state toxics control account—state  appropriation is provided ((solely for a monitoring program to study the impacts of the use of imidacloprid as a means to control 16 burrowing shrimp and related costs)) to support research related to burrowing shrimp infestations in Willapa bay and Grays harbor. Department costs include, but are not limited to, oversight and  participation on a technical advisory committee, technical assistance, planning, and reporting activities. The department may also use the funding provided in this subsection, as needed, for payments to Washington State University, the United States department of agriculture, and outside consultants ((for their participation in the monitoring program and technical advisory committee)). Research funded pursuant to this appropriation includes but is not limited to dye dispersal studies to understand the oceanographic dynamics of Willapa bay, Grays harbor, or both, laboratory studies to assess toxicity of candidate chemicals to control burrowing shrimp, and support of researchers in publishing original research related to control of burrowing shrimp, including research assessing potential impacts to nontarget organisms in Willapa bay and Grays harbor. The department must report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by June 1, 2019, on the progress of ((the monitoring program)) expenditures under this subsection.

It's time to stop looking to the past
for a solution for tomorrow.

At some point in time legislators and growers will come to realize that taxpayer dollars for funding of ideas from oyster growers who drive by looking in the rear view mirror for solutions to a perceived problem will not work nor be accepted by consumers of Washington oysters and Washington taxpayers. Instead, it will be legislators and companies who drive while looking forward through an evolving marine ecosystem, which does not need to have toxic chemicals applied to it, will be who survives.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Shellfish Politics: Corporate Welfare/Marine Pork - $534,000 in taxpayer dollars to study the use of Imidacloprid to kill native burrowing shrimp.

[Update: Governor Inslee's Senior Policy Advisor has noted the following changes made:

"The revised proviso [on funds for the study Imidacloprid] removes reference to imidacloprid and allows the use of the funds for research related to burrowing shrimp infestations in Willipa Bay and Grays Harbor.  Specifically the funding would be used for
1.       dye dispersal studies in Willipa Bay or Grays Harbor
2.       lab studies to assess toxicity of candidate chemicals to control burrowing shrimp
3.       support of researchers in publishing original research related to control of burrowing shrimp and potential impacts to non-target organisms.

"To date, none of the original proviso money has been spent. The revision of the proviso by the House, if passed, would only be valid through June 30, 2019, which means that the Department  of Agriculture would have only two months to spend the money and complete work. There is currently no extension of this funding in any legislative budget for the 2019-21 biennium."

See the final Bill passed here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1109-S.E.pdf ]

$534,000 in Marine Pork

Pesticides do not belong in Washington's
marine environment. Especially on its oyster beds.

Lipstick won't stick on this pig. 
Buried in the budget before the Washington legislature, to be sent to Governor Inslee, is what can only be described as "marine pork." Despite the Department of Ecology denying the permit; despite the public saying they will not support spraying Imidacloprid on Washington oyster beds; despite virtually all labels saying it is a neurotoxic pesticide lethal to ALL marine invertebrates and should not be applied below the high tide line; and, despite 2 bills not making it to the floor of the Senate or the House which would have overridden DOE's permit denial, shellfish lobbyists convinced legislators to insert a paragraph which allocates $534,000 of taxpayer dollars to study Imidacloprid. To kill native burrowing shrimp so a few shellfish growers, unwilling to accept reality, may grow nonnative Pacific oysters.

From page 610 of ESHB 1109:
(9) $534,000 of the state toxics control account—state 12 appropriation is provided solely for a monitoring program to study the impacts of the use of imidacloprid as a means to control burrowing shrimp and related costs. Department costs include, but are not limited to, oversight and participation on a technical advisory committee, technical assistance, planning, and reporting activities. The department may also use the funding provided in this subsection, as needed, for payments to Washington State University, the United States department of agriculture, and outside consultants for their participation in the monitoring program and technical advisory committee. The department must report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by June 1, 2019, on the progress of the monitoring program.
(See complete budget proposal here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Amendments/Senate/1109-S.E%20AMS%20ENGR%20S3636.E.pdf)

Get involved.
Find your Washington legislator and tell he/she this "marine pork" should be removed from ESHB 1109. IF the legislators want to react to shellfish growers, then allocate monies to help them develop alternative growing methods.
Find your legislator here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/

Tell Governor Inslee to veto this if it should get to his desk, as this is not going to help his image of someone governing a "green state". It will be picked up by others to show he is simply wearing under a green cloak with nothing on underneath.
Contact Governor Inslee here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Contact his "Inslee for America" election web site here and tell them to tell him to veto this:

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Canada Further Restricts Use of Imidacloprid/Neonicotinoids: Willapa Bay Shellfish Growers Continue Appeal to Use in Marine Waters and On Washington Oyster Beds

My grandfather did it this way
and my father did it this way.
It doesn't make it right.

Should Canada drive policy decisions? They helped ground the 737 MAX when the FAA wouldn't. They should also help drive the decision to reject the appeal by the Willapa Grays Harbor Shellfish Growers Association who continue to walk into a cement wall of resistance to applying pesticides to oyster beds, not understanding the wall isn't going to move.

Despite being told by the public, in no uncertain terms, they do not want oysters raised on beds sprayed with pesticides, Washington shellfish growers either support or are silent on the pursuit of a permit to do so. (Read on decision to appeal here: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/oyster-growers-appeal-state-decision-to-deny-pesticide-use-1/863242698)

Despite being told by agencies the application of Imidacloprid on Washington oyster beds should not be permitted, Washington shellfish growers either support or are silent on the appeal of that decision by WGHOGA. (See denial letter from DOE to WGHOGA here:  https://ecology.wa.gov/DOE/files/9f/9f907372-0c3d-4d5c-aea2-116a38516e10.pdf)

"Our Imidacloprid is different."

How much did it cost to convince 
a lobbyist to believe that?

Despite being printed on virtually every label of a product containing Imidacloprid that it is toxic to marine invertebrates and should not be applied in the intertidal area, shellfish lobbyists convinced the EPA that in the case of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, their proposed use of Imidacloprid was different. Their profits should override the concerns every other manufacturer of products containing Imidaicloprid had and they should be allowed use it to eliminate native burrowing shrimp - and any other marine invertebrate which happens to be in the area - so they are able to grow nonnative Pacific oysters. All the while complaining about urban runoff, dairy/cattle farms, and septic systems  impacting marine waters and their ability to grow oysters.

How many times does Washington's shellfish industry need to walk into this wall of resistance to their idea - or silence on it - before they realize it is their product which will be tainted and, along with it, whatever profits they hoped to gain.

The European Union will never accept oysters from Washington when they find out what growers in Governor Inslee's "green state" have done and want to continue to do. That's a wall you don't want to walk into.

Get involved. Tell Washington oyster growers - whether they support the appeal or are currently silent on it - to stop the process. There are alternative ways to grow oysters which will effect their profits far less than a market refusing to buy oysters from Washington where pesticides are applied to oyster beds.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Patagonia's Documentary Film "Artifishal" on Wild Salmon and Risks to their Survival Premiers April 12 in Portland

Premiers April 12 in Portland, Oregon
A trailer and additional information on this documentary 
about the threats to wild salmon are found on Patagonia's site here: https://www.patagonia.com/artifishal.html


Read about Cermaq's sea lice problems in BC's waters here:

This is happening now. Get involved.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Great Migration of PVC to Puget Sound Tidelands Begins

Daylight minus tides arrive in April
and with them comes 
the 'Great Migration of PVC' to south Puget Sound

Minus tides bring much to light.

Like the great migrations of swallows returning to Capistrano or salmon returning to spawn in the gravel beds they were created in, so too do the tons of PVC pipe and mesh tubing used by the shellfish industry return to south Puget Sound when the daylight minus tides arrive in Spring. 8" PVC tubes placed one per square foot are used to grow geoduck for the elite in China, the only ones who can afford the $100/pound price. At the expense of Puget Sound's lowest and most unique intertidal area.

In Governor Inslee's "Green State"
plastic straws and plastic bags are banned. 
PVC pipes and HDPE bags in Puget Sound?
"It's habitat." 
So is an oil drilling platform.
That doesn't mean it belongs in Puget Sound.

Loose PVC tubes in South Puget Sound.
Comment from shellfish employee: 
"Geoduck push them out, 
and unless there is a major wind event, they'll stay put."
Except they don't, with wave energy and tidal currents
moving the tubes throughout the marine habitat area.
Not to mention what a mess it is.

Get involved and make a difference in life today and for the future. Help support those trying to preserve and restore Washington's critical marine habitat, an area unique to Puget Sound and which the shellfish industry sees as little more than a template to generate profits from. Whether protecting the waters from from pesticide application in Willapa Bay or excessive permitting for shellfish operations, these groups are making a difference. 

Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat: http://coalitiontoprotectpugetsoundhabitat.org/
Center for Biological Diversity: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/

And tell Governor Inslee that if he's going to run for the presidential office as a "green politician" he should consider what's going on in Puget Sound under his leadership as Governor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cliff Mass Writes on Orca, Salmon and Impacts from the Shellfish Industry

Cliff Mass questions why, given the declining Orca and Salmon population we are witnessing, Washington is allowing the growth of an industry who sees nothing wrong with spraying pesticides and herbicides in public and tribal waters in order to improve their profits.
See here: https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2019/03/with-declining-orcas-and-salmon-why-do.html

An industry out of control.
Extending this question, one has to ask why Washington is allowing the massive placement of plastics within Puget Sound, needed by the shellfish industry to grow shellfish. Similar to the Orca last year who carried her dead calf throughout the waters of Puget Sound for 17 days, the recent death of a whale found to have 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach should also serve as a wake-up call to the overuse of plastics in the marine environment, especially Puget Sound.
See here: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/18/704471596/stomach-of-dead-whale-contained-nothing-but-plastic

This is an industry which has been used to getting its way prior to and after statehood. They brought to near extinction the native Olympia oyster through over harvesting and forced the newly formed state to sell off over 70% of tidelands normally held for the public's benefit.

This is an industry who, after stripping tidelands of native Olympia oysters imported oysters from the East Coast, packed in Spartina grass. The oysters died. The Spartina, however, took hold, stabilizing nearshore sediments and capturing the upland runoff of sediments created from clear cutting and development, helping to explaining why, on the East Coast "...it is considered a valuable plant making important contributions to the coastal ecology".

But this industry saw it differently, spending over $20 million on its eradication through, spraying with herbicides to remove it. And, in the process, also removing the stabilization of the nearshore sediments it provided, releasing them into the bay and removing any ability to capture and retain upland sediments, and habitat functions it provided.

This is an industry who next decided to import oysters from Japan, packed in Japanese eelgrass. Both were able to grow with the Japanese eelgrass moving into the upper tideland area where it became naturalized and a food source for migratory water fowl and stabilized the upper intertidal sediments. The Pacific oyster, on the other hand, displaced habitat once used by the native Olympia oyster. In fact, Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish said of it, “The Pacific oyster is kind of the weed oyster of the world”.

Being annoyed by the naturalized Japanese eelgrass, viewing it as making sediments too firm to grow  nonnative Manila clams in and difficult for the "weed" oyster to grow in, the industry decided to have it declared a "noxious weed" and thereby began spraying it with an herbicide named imazamox. By killing off the eelgrass, not only was a food source for migratory waterfowl lost, but once again as with Spartina, its stabilizing of the sediments was also lost.

Finally, this industry has decided that most likely as a result of its past actions which released sediments by killing off Spartina and Japanese eelgrass, creating a better habitat for native burrowing shrimp, those native shrimp need to go. By spraying them with the pesticide imidaclorid, a neurotoxic pesticide which on every label - except their product - states to not apply it to water or to the intertidal area.

This is an industry used to getting its way. It will continue until the veil of "ecosystem services" is pulled back to reveal what it really is: Simply another extraction industry bent on using Washington's critical marine habitat to generate profits from. At any cost.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Public Hearings February 19, 1:30 and 3:30 - Pesticides in Washington Oysters: See it live or on TV

Washington Legislature to the 
Department of Ecology:
"You will authorize the use 
of pesticides on oyster beds
in Washington State."

At 1:30 and 3:30 the Washington State legislature will hold 2 hearings on Senate and House bills which will force the Department of Ecology to authorize the use of the neurotoxic pesticide Imidacloprid on Washington oyster beds. 

After DOE denied a permit application. 
After the European Union banned the use of Imidacloprid. 
After France banned the entire class of pesticides Imidacloprid is one of (neonicotinoids). 
After the East Coast Shellfish Growers pointedly said they "...use no feeds, fertilizers, pesticides or antibiotics."

All of Washington's oysters which will be perceived as poisoned.
Washington's oyster industry is about to be tainted in its entirety because a few growers in Willapa Bay are unwilling to change their growing methods. And because a few large growers won't tell them and their lobbyists to drop the idea. Washington's oyster industry and the legislature needs to wake up.

Get Involved
Public Hearings Tuesday, February 19, 1:30 and 3:30
SB5626: "By May 15, 2019, the department [of ecology] shall authorize the use of imidacloprid" in Willapa Bay.
Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks, 1:30
Live on TVW here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019021318
Comment here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill//5626

HB1611: "Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology), by May 15, 2019, to authorize the use of imidacloprid" in Willapa Bay.
Environment and Energy Committee, 3:30
Live TV here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019021324
Comment here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill//1611

Friday, February 15, 2019

Politics and Pesticides in Willapa Bay: Public Hearings on Bills to be held February 19

Didn't you hear the Department of Ecology
and consumers of Washington's oysters say "No"
to spraying pesticides on oyster beds?
Someone go start a Gofundme 
for a hearing aid for 
the WA oyster industry.

Get involved
House Bill 1611 and its companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 5626 will have public hearings on February 19. Both would allow spraying the neonicotinoid Imidacloprid onto Willapa Bay oyster beds and the public/tribal waters flowing over them.

Public testimony on House Bill 1611 is currently scheduled to be heard by the  House Committee on Environment & Energy at 3:30 PM. Public testimony on Senate Bill 5326 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks at 1:30 PM.

The public is encouraged to submit comments at the hearings at the hearings or to comment on the bills here:
HB1611: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill//1611
SB5326: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill//5626

See politics in action.

Bring the political process into focus
The public hearings may also be seen live on TVW (HB1611 here and SB5626 here). See who shows up to testify in favor of poisoning Washington's oyster beds. See politics at its worst. Video of the hearings will also be recorded for viewing at a later time.

What could go wrong?

What is "not subject to change": Pollution is pollution
The schedules are "subject to change". What is not subject to change is the adamant opposition to this ill thought idea of spraying the neurotoxic pesticide Imidacloprid onto Washington's oyster beds and marine waters. The oyster industry has, for years, abused the political and scientific system in order to convince people consuming oysters from Willapa Bay they are from "pristine waters" when, in fact, these waters have been polluted by that very industry with a variety of pesticides and herbicides, all the while complaining about upland sources of pollution impacting these very same waters.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Oyster Industry, Politics and Pesticides

Read it and weep.
This is not a good idea.

Who needs science when you can spend the money on politicians instead?
The Seattle Times writes on the current push by politicians who feel the oyster industry should be free to spray pesticides on oyster beds and the marine waters of WA so they won't have to spend money on improved growing techniques. Or on science which shows this ill thought idea is somehow in the statewide interest.
Read the article here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/politics-has-science-on-the-run-and-not-just-in-the-other-washington/

Like a bad oyster,
this just makes you sick.

Ad nauseam: It makes you feel worse than a bad oyster because it just keeps coming and coming.  
Unlike what the recent lawsuits filed against Pierce County by Taylor Shellfish and the Foss family claim, ad nauseam, the Shoreline Management Act is not in place to "plan for, foster, and give preference to aquaculture." It is in place to protect the critical marine ecosystems from industries who have become blinded by profits and feel their developments and actions within this ecosystem should be allowed to grow, unfettered, free from oversight.
Read Taylor lawsuit against Pierce County's Shoreline Master Program here:
Read the Foss family's companion lawsuit here:

"Shazam! I've created something from nothing!"

It doesn't matter how many times you say it. It's not there.
Nowhere in the Shoreline Management Act does it say aquaculture is supposed to be fostered and given preference over everything else as these suits, and the Department of Ecology seems to believe. The priority of the SMA is to protect this unique and fragile ecosystem from fragmentation.

The Shoreline Management Act is not subservient to NOAA policies created to do nothing more than promote aquaculture, many times based on dubious - at best - "science".

The Departement of Ecology's "handbook" on aquaculture painfully tries to outline the "legal" framework for why aquaculture should be placed on a pedestal, tripping over NOAA and national policies. The reality is the Shoreline Management Act was passed before NOAA's Coastal Zone Management Act. It was passed before the National Shellfish Initiative was created. It was passed before Washington's shellfish initiative was created. The SMA was voted on, and approved, by the citizens of WA.  Most importantly, both the National and State initiatives are nothing more than marketing documents created by lobbyists for the industry and politicians beholden to those lobbyists. They were not voted on - and overwhelmingly approved - by citizens.

Get involved. There are 3 bills politicians are trying to pass which would allow the application of Imidacloprid, a non-discriminate neurotoxic pesciticide (it doesn't care if you're a shrimp or a crab or any other crustacean) on oyster beds and Washington's marine waters. Tell your representative(s) and Governor Inslee the Shoreline Management Act is not meant to allow a wave of the wand to allow pesticides in Washington's marine waters. 

House Bills 1611 and 1037

Senate Bill 5626

Governor Inslee:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Another Day, Another Bill: Imidacloprid on Oyster Beds and Marine Waters of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor

Pesticides in Washington's Marine Waters:
Washington's Oyster Industry 
Tries Again
"Imidacloprid for All"

"Twisted logic"
Oyster industry logic reflected in House Bill 1611: The oyster industry tells cattle farms, dairy farms, hobby farms, agriculture, industry and residents they cannot allow runoff onto their oyster beds and into the public and tribal marine waters. But they say spraying pesticides - in this case Imidacloprid - onto those same beds and into those same public and tribal waters is just fine. 

"There's no harm here, just move along"
Contrary to "studies" created by a scientist from Washington State University, who also happens to own tidelands leased to grow shellfish in Willapa Bay, and whose associates would benefit financially from approval to apply Imidacloprid, pesticides in Washington's waters do cause significant harm to a wide variety of aquatic species (read Audubon comment letter here).  It is a non-discriminant pollutant which kills all invertebrates and impacts the entire food chain. And Washington's oyster industry wants to apply it directly to oyster beds and in public and tribal marine waters.

Mom: "No Johnny, you can't have the car tonight."
Dad: "Go ask your mother Johnny."
Mom: " How many times do I have to say no?"
Child: I'll be back.
Despite having had a permit to apply Imidacloprid withdrawn and another denied, and having already introduced a Bill which would allow Imidacloprid's widespread use on oyster beds (HB1037), Washington's oyster industry thought they may as well try another Bill, this time declaring there is "state of emergency" because a native species is growing where the industry would like to grow non-native oysters. How many times does this industry need to be told "No"?

Tell your representatives to "Just Say No" - again.
Find your District and representative:  https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder
Comment on the Bills: 

Get involved: This is an industry who won't adapt their growing techniques and instead feels pesticides in public and tribal waters is their only answer. It is not. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

House Bill 1037/Imidacloprid - Pesticides/Politics/Oyster Lobbyists in Washington State

An Exercise in the Political Process In WA:
Polluting Washington's Marine Waters.

If at first you don't succeed: How to get approval to apply pesticides directly onto oyster beds and marine waters in Puget Sound, Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay: 

1. Give a Bill a sweet sounding name: "The Aquaculture Fairness Act" (House Bill 1037)
2. Claim that because others are polluting Washington's marine waters then you should be allowed to as well. Section 2(2) of HB1037
"...runoff from the yards pours into storm drains in urban areas and is carried out to the sea"
3. Never give up: After being told by the Department of Ecology they would not approve a permit to apply Imidacloprid to oyster beds and marine waters in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, the oyster industry did not give up. They appealed the denial.
4. Continue to be involved in the Department of Ecology's Clean Water Committee:  When the process fails, continue pressing within the political process and stay involved in Committees. Try to mend fences with other industries you've upset and turn a blind eye to what's being proposed by others within your industry.
From DOE on the shellfish industry being involved in a Clean Water Committee: Polluted runoff from our streets, forested lands and farms can carry nutrients, bacteria and other pollution into our lakes, streams and rivers. Preventing this type of pollution is our greatest challenge to restoring the health of Washington’s waters – a public resource.
5. Approve the draft of a Bill which supports your position that because runoff from the land is polluting Washington's marine waters then it should be okay for you to apply a pesticide directly onto Washington's oyster beds and in its marine waters (HB1037).
[Special Note: In the proposed Bill and any language used to promote the new narrative, be sure that you don't mention other industries as the source of runoff you're concerned with. It's only "...runoff from the yards...". Not dairy, cattle, agriculture or forestry the shellfish industry has so loudly complained about in the past.]

To read more on the history of the shellfish industry's involvement in transforming the tidelands and marine habitat, read M. Pearle's "Toxic Pearl" (read a review of the book here).

Available for purchase: at Amazon or Orca Books

Friday, January 11, 2019

Neurotoxins in WA Waters: The Shellfish Industry Tries Again - Imidacloprid in Marine Waters

[Update 1/16/2019: Application of Imidacloprid in Washington's waters flows along in the political process. HB1037 is introduced.]

House Bill 1037:
Pollution happens
so we should be allowed
to pollute too. 
Sounds good to me - write it up in a Bill!

How to promote a book 
about marine pollution by an industry:
Propose a Bill to allow pesticide application
in Washington's marine waters.
(available at Orca Books)

Imidacloprid: It's back.
In the world of the shellfish industry, "no pesticides in Washington's marine waters" is not understood. Once again, they are attempting through political means to have the neurotoxic pesticide Imidacloprid be permitted for use in Washington's marine waters, not only in Willapa Bay, but as House Bill 1037 is written, in any marine waters along "the Pacific coast of Washington."

Twisted logic: Indirect pesticide pollution happens
so why not allow direct application of pesticides?

The "Bizarro World" of Politicians, Lobbyists and the Shellfish Industry
In a world which only a politician, lobbyists and the profit driven shellfish industry lives, the following logic is being used in HB1037 to allow the direct application of Imidacloprid to Washington's marine waters: 
 Section 2(1) of HB1037: Imidacloprid is found in lawn care products that the people of Washington may purchase without permit and frequently apply to yards. The runoff from the yards pours into storm drains in urban areas and is carried out to the sea with unknown quantities of imidacloprid.
Out damned spot!
Spraying herbides on the shore.

Extinction of Native Species Before our Eyes
Impacts from pollution and rising temperatures on Washington's marine habitat are having an devastating effect on native species. Whether the Southern Resident Orca or Sea Stars, species are nearing extinction before our eyes, within a period of years, not decades. Polluted stormwater runoff entering Puget Sound should in no way justify the direct application of pesticides in Washington's marine waters.  It wasn't a good idea when first proposed and it's still not a good idea. Contact your legislator and tell them to put on their thinking cap and throw this Bill - and its supporters - out. 

Get involved:
Find your District and legislator here:
Comment directly on HB1037 here: