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:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Of the shellfish industry, by the shellfish industry, for the shellfish industry

Harstene Island geoduck net

To All Interested in Requiring Regulations for Aquaculture,
The Department of Ecology has determined that aquaculture/geoduck rulemaking (HB2220--Citizen requested) may be deferred based on their interpretation of the Governor's order to suspend non-critical rule development. The rulemaking should go forward now and the following statement that you will find on page 8 of the initial determination list---- is not acceptable and should be removed from their initial determination list document:

"Geoduck aquaculture is an acceptable use of state shorelines. This rulemaking is designed to address conflicts between the industry and others over aquaculture operations. It will provide critical information to Puget Sound communities undergoing shoreline master program updates now."

Ecology does not have an EIS or even completed SeaGrant science to state that geoduck aquaculture is an acceptable use. It is also not just about conflict, but the destruction of nearshore and the elimination of our native species. This rulemaking certainly does fit the Governor's criteria #d as shown below:

" Rule making proceedings are non-critical unless the rule is:
a. required by federal or state law or required to maintain federally delegated or authorized programs;
b. required by court order;
c. necessary to manage budget shortfalls, maintain fund solvency, or for revenue generating activities;
d. necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare or necessary to avoid an immediate threat to the state’s natural resources; or
e. beneficial to or requested or supported by the regulated entities, local governments or small businesses that it affects."

Send comments to rulemaking@ecy.wa.gov.

I am the Puget Sound Videos

Oyster bags on the shoreline, Totten Inlet

A recap of the Oct. 30th meeting of the South Sound Sierra Club:
Guest speakers included:
* Sam Garst who educated us on the latest in Green Building Initiatives
* Ben Davenport from the National Sierra Club who encourages us to become involved. ...basically saying the Sierra Club is not here nor there, but right here....WE all are the Sierra Club and encouraged us to stay involved.
*Laura Hendricks updated us on the progress of meeting our goals in protecting the Puget Sound.

Thank you to the creators and performers of the The I AM PUGET SOUND videos

YouTube #1: I am the Puget Sound
YouTube #2: I am the Puget Sound Woven Web

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Geoduck operation ever more invasive

Photo: 7/4/08  Tractor and "kiddie pool" geoduck nurseries on the tidelands of Spencer Cove in Case Inlet.

In 2008, without any type of permitting, Seattle Shellfish covered the tidelands in an area of Spencer Cove with plastic "kiddie pools" that contained geoduck seed.  Sometime after that these were removed and an on the water system was set up.

Now Case Inlet shoreline homeowners have appealed to the Shoreline Hearings Board the approval by Mason County for a more massive raft and boom system for a geoduck nursery in Spencer Cove.  The controversy is described in an article entitled "Geoduck operations still stuck in the mud" in the Mason County Journal. The project under consideration would add six 14-by-40-foot rafts and a 360-foot log boom supported by eight 12-inch diameter steel pilings to the existing nursery.

Industrializing pristine areas of the shoreline does not comport with the efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound. Following is an aerial view of the "kiddie pools" in 2008 to give an idea of the extent of the unapproved project as it existed at that time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shoreline Management Act rule updates available for public comment

Photo: Geoduck Farm in Zangle Cove in 2006.  These are ongoing operations.

For information about the Shoreline Management Act rule updates go to:
The draft rule changes will affect Ecology’s guidance on commercial geoduck aquaculture requirements in local Shoreline Master Programs. Several other housekeeping updates are also proposed.

Public Comment Period
Comments due 5:00 p.m. Oct. 18, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The two faces of Taylor Shellfish

Photo:  Pulling tubes on a geoduck farm on Totten Inlet in 2006 -- part of the 20 some acres that were deemed a trespass of state owned land in 2009, requiring a substantial fine from Taylor. 

Touting their "environmental stewardship" in an opinion piece in the Olympian on August 19, 2010 , Bill Dewey, chief spokesperson for Taylor Shellfish, argues that "spatial planning" in Puget Sound should include growing shellfish as a protein for our region's diet, yet fails to mention that their most lucrative product, geoduck, is being sold primarily to the luxury food market in Asia.

While Taylor peddles its spirit of cooperation for plans that will enlarge their footprint Puget Sound, when it comes to common sense regulation at the county level, Taylor and Arcadia Point Shellfish cry foul and file lawsuits.  Following are the appeals by Taylor and Arcadia to the new Thurston County policy that deems geoduck farming substantial development requiring a Substantial Shoreline Development permit.

Taylor Shellfish Appeal
Arcadia Point Seafood Appeal #1
Arcadia Point Seafood Appeal #2

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sierra Club asks Taylor Shellfish to drop legal threats

Photo: Taylor Shellfish geoduck farm on Totten Inlet on July 30, 2007.

In a letter dated 8/19/2010 to Interested Parties, Morgan Ahouse of the Sierra Club denies Taylor Shellfish accusations of "slander, defamation and wrongdoing" on the part of activist leader, Laura Hendricks, and urges Taylor to drop its legal threats.  Key points of the letter include:

"This letter is to inform you that the Sierra Club is continuing to actively pursue our campaign to protect shoreline and nearshore habitat from the impacts of industrial aquaculture operations in Puget Sound. The health of Puget Sound, salmon and the organisms living within the Sound is closely linked to the health and viability of the nearshore environment in which commercial aquaculture operations are conducted. We continue to advocate for better regulation of the shellfish aquaculture industry so that commercial shellfish aquaculture operations are consistent with maintenance and preservation of Puget Sound nearshore habitat functions. The following specific goals are key to achieving more environmentally benign operations of shellfish aquaculture while we support recovery efforts:

"--Stop removal/destruction of native species and marine vegetation from our nearshore environment.
--Stop the introduction of plastics/PVC into our marine waters.
--Stop locating geoduck and oyster bag aquaculture in the nearshore.
--Stop the spraying of carbaryl and pesticides in the shoreline environment.
--Stop the permitting of large-scale aquaculture rafts in the subtidal zone.

"You may be aware that the Sierra Club received legal notice alleging that Sierra Club activists engaged in slander, defamation and wrong-doing. Our attorneys have thoroughly evaluated the allegations levied by Taylor Shellfish, and we have determined that neither Laura Hendricks nor any other Sierra Club activists have defamed or slandered Taylor Shellfish/industry or engaged in illegal or improper activities. Again, protection of the shoreline environment from impacts due to commercial aquaculture practices is a high priority for the Sierra Club and our activists. We appreciate the leadership role that Laura Hendricks has played in representing the Sierra Club on this issue. We recognize that our work and Laura Hendricks’ representation of our position have increased the public perception regarding the need for better regulations governing shellfish aquaculture practices, which may not be welcomed by the aquaculture industry. We have urged Taylor Shellfish to drop its legal threats."

Read the full text of the letter.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Allen Shellfish barge -- still there


Brian Allen's geoduck barge anchored in Zangle Cove for the better part of the last four years and nearly continuously for the last two, in spite of the request by the Department of Natural Resources in 2007 to anchor the barge at the Boston Harbor Marina. Actually there is one barge at the marina, but the second barge is here. We guess Mr. Allen determined that technically, DNR was only referring to the first barge. Does Mr. Allen have a buoy permit for this barge?