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, May 20, 2011

What are Fudge Point's Tidelands Worth?
$47,500/acre or $250/acre?

(click to enlarge)

County assessors are currently updating property values on Harstine Island.  Using 2010 transactions for similar parcels they determine what the assessed value will be for the next four years, beginning in 2012. From that value tax revenues are generated to support the various services provided in Mason County.  Some of those services help ensure the waters within Mason County remain clean, benefiting everyone who enjoys their use, from shellfish farmers to swimmers. 

Tidelands may be used for many purposes.  Some choose to use them for pedestrian easements.  Some choose to grow shellfish on them.  Some choose to leave them in their natural state. 

In the case of Fudge Point, a choice has been made to grow geoduck on these tidelands.

December 30, 2010 Tideland Sale
$475,000 for ~10 Acres 
(click to enlarge)

Seen above are tidelands just South of Wilson Point which were sold by Manke Timber to Taylor in December of 2010.  Manke sold only the tidelands, retaining a right for the adjacent upland owners to access the tidelands for recreational use.  Taylor is allowed to continue growing geoduck they planted.  As Taylor appears to own the geoduck, Manke only sold the tidelands, retaining the right for the upland users to use them recreationally.

What are Fudge Point's tidelands worth?  What are the other tidelands growing geoduck throughout Mason County worth?  Property tax revenues are what supports Mason County.  The choice to convert tidelands to a geoduck farm is that of the tideland owner.  So doing dramatically increases the value of those tidelands.  Tax revenues resulting from that increase in value will help support Mason County for the benefit of everyone.

Thurston County appraises tidelands used for shellfish farming at a far higher value than Mason County does, helping to pay for their valuable services.  What will Mason County do?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is the Value of Fudge Point's Tidelands?

Ralph Scott, born in 1926, was raised on Harstine Island. As an adult he had a vision of Fudge Point's future. Seen in that vision were upland parcels of property coupled to the 3,295 linear feet of tidelands on Fudge Point, with the entire area between mean high and extreme low tides reserved as a pedestrian easement, accessed by a 50' wide road.  This vision became memorialized when he recorded a document with Mason County in 1991 (AF#524414 - see end for tideland reservations).

 Is this the pedestrian easement 
Ralph Scott saw on Fudge Point's tidelands?
(click to enlarge)
Note:  This picture has been altered
to show what the proposed
geoduck farm would look like.

The value of tidelands is seen in many ways.  Some find the highest value in the tidelands' natural state and record it as such with the assumption it will remain so in the future.  Ralph Scott knew this.  Those who helped create the Shoreline Management Act also knew this.  What neither knew was how aquaculture would transform into what it is now. 

Ralph Scott is gone. Will his vision of Fudge Point as he recorded it remain for future generations?

Ralph Scott's Vision for Fudge Point's Tidlands
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Should Fudge Point be transformed
into a
12 acre geoduck farm?

Ecology and the Corps Want to Hear What you Think

Fudge Point/Buffington Lagoon
Harstine Island, Mason County
April 2011

(click to enlarge)

The Department of Ecology is accepting comments on this proposal through May 4.  Comments should be sent to:   ecyrefedpermits@ecy.wa.gov and should reference "Fudge Point, Taylor Shellfish; NWS-2011-44."

Information on Taylor's portion (which only covers the area above) is found here:

The Army Corps has extended their comment period for this project, and others, until May 26. 

Comments should be sent to: Pamela.Sanguinetti@usace.army.mil and reference "Fudge Point-Taylor; NWS-2011-44."

In addition to extending the comment period for Taylor's Fudge Point, the Corps has also extended the comment period on Taylor Shellfish's "Sullivan" farm in Totten Inlet (NWS-2010-1237).  Information for that proposal, Fudge Point, and adjacent farms on Fudge Point (NWS-2010-1238 and NSW-2011-131) may be found here:

Almost 300,000 PVC pipes will be placed into the wetland drainage area seen in the picture above.  Harvesting will loosen 3' of sediments which will be caught up by the drainage from the wetland area above, entering into Case Inlet, carried throughout the area by tidal currents.  The intertidal habitat will be disrupted through phases of production, starting with PVC insertion; its removal; and, harvesting.  Is there enough information to determine if this farm, and those which already exist near McMicken Island State Park and Wilson Point to the south will not have an adverse impact on Puget Sound's ecosystem?

Are cumulative impacts real? 
To the south on Wilson Point you'll find this:

Wilson Point
Harstine Island, Mason County
(April 2011)
 (click to enlarge)

Cumulative impacts from geoduck aquaculture are real and they do matter. 
Your comments will make a difference.