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, January 31, 2014

Chinese to Audit Shellfish Testing and Informs NOAA Chinese Eat the Outer Skin/Gutball of Geoduck

[Update 2/1: EarthFix has posted the January 23 letter detailing the concerns China has over how testing of shellfish for paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSP) and arsenic is implemented. Not mentioned but of probable concern is the Department of Health's reactive system to vibriosis which relies largely on the number of people contracting vibriosis from shellfish before an area is closed or shellfish are recalled. The bi-annual International Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) meeting through which the National Shellfish Sanitary Program (NSSP) is implemented ended January 31. It is through the policies developed at the ISSC meeting that each state creates its own safety and testing program. To date, heavy lobbying by the shellfish industry has helped to minimize oversight of shellfish safety. It can be expected there will be heavy lobbying by the Chinese to improve those policies.]

Ban On Importing Geoduck to Continue
Dioxins in Oakland Bay Shellfish Next?

The Chinese have informed NOAA they wish to send a team to audit how shellfish are tested. In addition, in a letter dated January 23, they have also informed NOAA that Chinese consumers do in fact eat the skin and gutball of geoduck where elevated levels of arsenic were found. (Seattle Times, January 31, 2014)

All skin samples tested higher than .5ppm

As seen in the graph above from EarthFix, DOH testing of geoduck harvested from Poverty Bay showed levels of arsenic in the outer skin of all geoduck tested to be higher than the level Chinese consider safe (.5ppm). In some samples, levels over 3 times higher were detected in the skin. The response by DOH to these higher levels was to simply say to peel the skin off and do not eat it, something the Chinese have not found to be very comforting.

Dioxin levels found in various shellfish
harvested from Oakland Bay
from the Oakland Bay Site, July 27, 2010, p. 12)

Dioxins in Oakland Bay Shellfish
Another area the Chinese may wish to focus their auditing efforts on is Oakland Bay's shellfish where DOH testing confirmed elevated levels of dioxins exist in Manila calms and oysters. There, testing for dioxins in shellfish was triggered when testing of deeper sediments confirmed elevated levels of dioxins and other chemicals existed. The resulting tests of shellfish showed average (mean) levels ranging from .11 ppt in Manila clams to .45 ppt in Kumo oysters. Why oysters were over 4 times higher was not addressed.

Is this really safe to eat?

DOH Analysis: Eat Manila Clams, Not Oysters
In the analysis performed on possible effects from dioxins, the Department of Health made an assumption that  heavy consumers of seafood have 50% of their diet consisting of Manila clams and 1% oysters and mussels. In other words, the shellfish with the highest levels of dioxins were minimized in their model. Test results under another scenario, where consumption was instead 50% Kumo oysters whose mean dioxin levels were four times higher than Manila clams were not performed, nor was a model tested using the highest levels of dioxins found, only the mean (average).
"Ingestion rates – This scenario assumed that manila clams from Oakland Bay are consumed 50% of the time from total seafood, and oysters and mussels from Oakland Bay are consumed 1% of the time from total seafood." (page 30)
Oakland Bay's Past not a Mystery
Unlike the tidelands of Poverty Bay, Oakland Bay's tidelands are clearly known to have risk. In fact, many of the tideland deeds in Oakland Bay contain a specific condition about past pollution, many reading:
"Releasing and discharging Rayonier Incorporated, its successors and assigns, from any and all claims or causes of action whether in law or equity, due to acts or operations preceding and including the date of release, it might have against Rayonier, incorporated, with respect to ... past maintenance and operation of a pulp mill and manufacturing plant."
Intensity of the Chinese audit is unknown
Shellfish growers in Oakland Bay were fully aware of the business risk they took on when they began growing shellfish in sediments which for decades had been impacted by industrial operation of a pulp mill. The Department of Health is aware of the elevated levels of dioxins in shellfish harvested from those tidelands. Whether the Chinese will be concerned over assumptions used in the model for testing and include shellfish from Oakland Bay in their audit remains to be seen.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: No Longer Willing to Cooperate with Coastal Commission - Files Suit, Again

To Delay Coastal Act Compliance, Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Sues Commission Again
(see announcement below)
Likes to litigate
Peter Prows
Public Relations Attorney
for Drakes Bay Oyster Company
July 19: The Contra Costa Times reported attorney Prows as saying: "We want to comply and have been complying," Prows said, noting the oyster company has developed several plans to address the commission's concerns. "We are happy to keep working with the commission."

January 30: Never mind, it's your fault, and because we are aquaculture we get a pass. Plus, you are supposed to promote and protect us.
Following a well established pattern of claiming to be willing to cooperate then filing suit to delay actions, Drakes Bay Oyster Company has sued the California Coastal Commission to delay their dealing with violations, some existing seven years. But this time they claim their violations are not violations because they are aquaculture. In fact, DBOC goes one step further, claiming that aquaculture trumps all, including the Wilderness Act.

Like a cancer spreading
adversely impacting eelgrass
Didemnum vexillum continues to be spread through DBOC action
In the mean time, like a tumor shedding cells which metastasize elsewhere in the body, Drakes Estero continues to feel the impact from Drakes Bay Oyster Company's operations. Their artificial structures and planted shellfish create a surface area for Dv which, when harvested, result in matured colonies of Dv breaking lose and spreading throughout Drakes Estero. As a result, eelgrass, one of the critical habitats in shallow marine waters for numerous marine species, is now being adversely impacted. This is the very Dv which Mr. Prows professed to be willing to work with the commission about. It is one of the few areas where eelgrass is being overtaken.

"I don't understand why...."
Really? It's not complicated.
Mrs. Lunny in front of a disarray of
plastic grow out bags used by
DBOC in the marine wilderness area.
We're a shellfish farm, we should be able to do what we want to. Even if it's a wilderness area.
In the cross-complaint Drakes Bay Oyster Company's public relations attorney Peter Prows claims that because DBOC is aquaculture they should not be regulated by the Coastal Act but instead be protected and promoted. That Drakes Estero is a designated wilderness area seems lost on he, the Lunny family, and their supporters. Artificial structures made of pressure treated wood from which metal and plastic are used for non-naitive shellfish to be grown should be promoted. Artificial grow-out bags which scour the sediments they sit on should be allowed in a wilderness area because of an attorney's odd perception that aquaculture trumps the Wilderness Act. Any activity along the coastline, if promoted in the name of aquaculture, should be given a pass, no matter what the impact on native species or the habitat supporting them. Any activity perceived as a threat to aquaculture should be banned - including cattle ranching if it pollutes the water.
Part of the "plan" to eliminate cattle ranching in all of Marin County
What is most ironic of all is Ms. Faber's involvement. Contained within the body of the complaint is the clear threat to any activity which threatens a body of water in which shellfish might be able to grow. Whether a development or cattle ranching, if it is perceived as a threat to aquaculture DBOC says it must go. Included is cattle ranching because it threatens the quality of water their shellfish grow in.
Aquaculture is not restoration
Aquaculture is not restoration - it is a commercial activity and Drakes Estero is a designated wilderness area
Aquaculture is not restoration. It is a commercial activity using structures, motorized vehicles, and in the case of DBOC, growing non-native species. Harvesting activities disrupt an ecosystem, destroying the artificial habitat at harvest time, over and over. Unlike San Francisco Bay where shellfish reefs are being restored, in Drakes Estero shellfish reefs are being destroyed. In a wilderness area. It's not complicated.
Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Amy Trainer, (415) 306-6052 
To Delay Coastal Act Compliance Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Sues Coastal Commission Again
Company’s operations continue to threaten ecological health of Drakes Estero Marine Wilderness area 
Point Reyes, California –  Almost one year after the California Coastal Commission unanimously issued a unilateral Cease and Desist Order against the controversial Drakes Bay Oyster Company (Company) for egregious violations of the California Coastal Act, the Company remains in substantial non-compliance with the Act and yesterday sued the Commission again to continue avoiding legal compliance.  The Company, whose federal lease expired on November 30, 2012 and will not be renewed, demands that the Commission grant it a coastal development permit despite the fact that it does not have approval from the property owner – the National Park Service - for ongoing operations.
“It’s outrageous that since its inception the Drakes Bay Oyster Company has refused to get an operating permit and has ignored all of the most basic coastal protection regulations, yet now sues the Commission for what the Company failed to do for seven years,” said Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin. “This unsustainable Company that pollutes our beaches, causes the spread of invasive species, and disturbs harbor seal has no place in a national park wilderness area. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company needs to stop wasting taxpayer resources on frivolous lawsuits and instead use its apparently considerable financial resources to protect the Estero’s ecology and make some meaningful progress on its shameful Coastal Act noncompliance record,” said Trainer.
As a result of its refusal to get a coastal development permit since 2005, the controversial Company has violated harbor seal protection requirements, failed to control significant amounts of its plastic that has polluted the marine environment and beaches all over the Point Reyes National Seashore, failed to pay fines of $61,250 imposed in 2009 for illegal activities, failed to get permission to grow invasive Manila clams, and failed to address the increasing amount of the invasive sea squirt Didemnum vexillum (Dvex) or “marine vomit” that its oyster operations and practices perpetuate. scientific report released last October revealed that the controversial Company’s production of millions of non-native Japanese oysters is perpetuating “alarming” amounts of the highly aggressive and invasive “marine vomit” and threatens the ecological health of Drakes Estero marine wilderness area.
The study, prepared by Jude Stalker, an experienced Bay Area invasive species removal specialist, documented that  the marine vomit has infested the non-native oysters and oyster infrastructure. Shockingly the marine vomit has invaded both dead and live eelgrass that exists next to the marine vomit-coated oysters and racks on the floor of Drakes Estero. Dvex is considered to be a significant threat to the health of marine ecosystems because of its documented ability to spread rapidly, smother native flora and habitats, and thereby reduce the biodiversity of natural areas. Eelgrass dominates the bottom habitat of Drakes Estero, thus the potential adverse impact from the ongoing Dvex infestation by the Company is substantial.
 “Despite awareness of the increasing marine vomit infestation on its non-native oysters, the Company has failed to take responsibility for or take any steps to remediate this serious ecological mess,” Trainer said. Research has shown that a rapid response to a Dvex infestation is essential to successfully manage and ensure its removal from a natural area. The report recommended the immediate removal of Dvex from all infested sources in the Estero, including infested oysters, infested oyster cultivation infrastructure, infested live and dead eelgrass, and any other infested natural substrate.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company was denied for the second time a preliminary injunction to keep operating by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on September 3rd and was denied its request for review of that decision by an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit on January 14th.  Drakes Bay Oyster Company was removed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Partner list 4 years ago and is being supported by the Koch brothers funded Pacific Legal Foundation and Americans For Prosperity in its quest to commercialize Drakes Estero Wilderness.
# # # 

Amy Trainer
Executive Director
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Box 609 Point Reyes, CA 94956

(415) 663-9312 office
(415) 306-6052 cell

Protecting West Marin Since 1971!
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Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth
find reserves of strength that will endure
as long as life lasts.  ~ Rachel Carson

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Citizens File Petition with the Intent To Sue To Stop Washington Seagrass Eradication

"My clams are small."
Reason enough to classify
Japonica as a "noxious weed"
in all of Washington's waters?

For appeal and supporting study documentation, please visit: 

Citizens File Petition with the Intent To Sue To Stop Washington Seagrass Eradication
Laura Hendricks
(253) 509-4987

The Coalition To Protect Puget Sound Habitat has filed an administrative Rule-Making to Amend Petition with the Governors Office requesting that Jay Inslee take the necessary action to direct the State Weed Board to initiate rule-making to delete Zostera japonica (Japanese Eelgrass) as a Class C Noxious Weed. Despite objections from numerous scientists, citizens, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources, the Weed Board's Class C Noxious Weed listing includes all Washington waters including Puget Sound.

Zostera japonica was listed as a noxious weed at the request of large corporate shellfish growers demanding that they be allowed to eradicate Zostera japonica in Washington waters without limits. The State Weed Control Board ignored the significant ecological benefits that outweigh industry's unsupported claims that Z. japonica reduces their revenues and expansion. The shellfish industry is now requesting that Ecology issue NPDES permits to spray the pesticide Imazamox in Washington waters as early as this April with the public comment period ending February 15. Sierra Club has encouraged citizens to voice their opposition to this proposed spraying as well as the shellfish industry proposed spraying of Imidicloprid, a known bee killer .

As outlined in this appeal, the Coalition has stated that the Weed Board should not be allowed to violate existing county, state and federal laws that afford protection for both non-native and native eelgrass. The proposed eradication documents clearly show that adjacent native eelgrass will also be damaged or eliminated. Food sources for hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl, cover for salmon smolts, vegetation that supports invertebrates and herring spawn medium will also be collateral damage.

The Governor should require a cumulative analysis on this issue since: A new peer reviewed study outlines the need for a non-political analysis of Zostera japonica, a new peer reviewed study documents shellfish aquaculture increases nutrient production in estuaries and harmful algal blooms, seagrasses/eelgrass may reduce effects of sea change and acidification, a new State SHB Pierce County aquaculture ruling required a cumulative impacts analysis and toxins are already a serious concern with Washington shellfish. One State Agency nor Ecology should be allowed to ignore environmental and human health concerns at the demand of one industry.

For appeal and supporting study documentation, please visit: 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Reminder: Public Hearing for Seattle Shellfish Hatchery on Harstine Island the 28th

Public Notice for Shoreline Permit for Seattle Shellfish's shellfish hatchery.

Permit #: SHR2013-00013 (reference when communicating)
When: January 28 at 1PM
Where: Commissioners Chambers Bldg 1, 411 North 5th St
Written comments may be sent to: Grace Miller at gbm@co.mason.wa.us, before the hearing. Questions may be answered at 360-427-9670 X360.

Get involved - Seattle Shellfish is, at many levels.
A public hearing will be held January 28, 2014 at 1PM in Shelton, WA to consider a shoreline permit to develop a shellfish nursery on the shoreline of Spencer Cove, located on the northeast end of Harstine Island. Seattle Shellfish and Mason County already have a close relationship, in part through ex-Commissioner Bloomfield, part owner of Seattle Shellfish.

Questions Mason County needs to address include:
1. How will the bridge hold up to the increased industrial traffic? According to Commissioner Sheldon the bridge is "failing." Who will pay for the repairs?
2. Should a permit be issued for a project which requires the use of tidelands whose ownership is in question? (see below)
3. This project is tied directly to Seattle Shellfish's geoduck farming. Included are proposals for geoduck farms directly east from Harstine Island. Should this project be considered in isolation or should the cumulative impacts which will result from the expanded production of shellfish impacting Puget Sound's tidelands also be required?
4. Within Spencer Cove to the north are large areas of subtidal tidelands which are privately held, most leased by Seattle Shellfish. Neither the Corps nor Ecology ever considered the expansion of subtidal planting in their biological opinions or evaluations. Should this project be required to perform a cumulative impact analysis which will result from subtidal planting/harvesting? As an example, in a recent monitoring report on Seattle Shellfish's geoduck nursery rafts they noted "increased turbidity". They note it may have been plankton blooms or runoff from heavy rains. It may also have been from dive harvesting creating sediment plumes. (see below for picture of dive harvesting)
"Overall, attenuation coefficients (see Table 1) were twice as high as those recorded in May. This can be attributed to greater turbidity in the water from recent plankton blooms, which occur more often in summer in Puget Sound. Recent heavy rains may have also contributed to increased turbidity."
5. As noted in the monitoring report, plankton blooms may have been the cause of the lower light. They have also resulted in lower dissolved oxygen in parts of south Puget Sound. Part of the hatchery process includes large tanks of algae used for feeding the "seed" being grown. Where will that excess algae go? It is discharged into Spencer Cove. Given the concerns from lower dissolved oxygen in south Puget Sound from plankton die-offs, shouldn't this cumulative impact on waters of Puget Sound be considered?
6. Should the recent collapse of the geoduck market be considered as a factor in whether this permit is approved or not, and if so, whether it is conditioned to deal with a business failure?
7. Access to the proposed hatchery is along Yates Road, the same as that used to access the state park. How will the increased traffic be dealt with and who will pay for the required improvements?

Jobs are important. So is protecting Puget Sound's tidelands and its waters.
Northeast Harstine Island's lagoon
at the south end of Spencer Cove.
Proposed hatchery within the circle.
(click to enlarge)
Tideland ownership within lagoon in question
Located at the south end of Spencer Cove, the proposed facility is adjacent to a lagoon whose tidelands do not appear to have been sold by Washington. In a 2011 letter from DNR to Seattle Shellfish they noted the state had "never sold the tidleands" (see below). This issue is still unresolved as deeds from the state do not reference any tidelands having been sold.
From DNR to Seattle Shellfish
dated April 15, 2011.

Current use of tidelands
Seattle Shellfish has continued to use the tidelands still apparently owned by Washington and managed by DNR. Information submitted to Mason County by Confluence Environmental Company in August of this year notes it is being used for growing manila clams, oyster culture, and accessing company vessels.
From Confluence Environmental Company
report dated August 30, 2013. 
(Note: Confluence incorrectly refers to the tidal
lagoon as being Spencer Cove. Spencer Cove
is the larger body of water to the north, which
the smaller lagoon is part of, on the south.)
An expanding convenience - and value - for Seattle Shellfish, at the expense of tax payers? 
For Seattle Shellfish, the convenience of being able to use these tidelands to support its geoduck operations cannot be understated. Upland bags of PVC pipe are staged then loaded onto barges within the lagoon where they are then transported to nearby areas of Spencer Cove. There they are inserted into the tidelands, planted with geoduck, and covered with nets (see picture below). With the proposed upland hatchery supplying seed for Seattle Shellfish's geoduck nursery adjacent to the lagoon its convenience - and value - will only increase with time. At the expense of tax payers who appear to still own the lagoon's tidelands.
Spencer Cove Geoduck Farm
(click to enlarge)
Dive harvesting in Spencer Cove
(image created from satellite photo
of barges/divers in Spencer Cove)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

SHB Reverses Approval and Denies Subtidal Geoduck Farm Permit Issued by Pierce County

[Update/correction 4/23: Ms Meaders is no longer employed by Environ.]

"There is a balance inherent in the [Shoreline Management Act], its associated regulations, and the [Pierce County Code] that, while seeking to encourage aquaculture, also seeks to prevent damage to the shoreline environment, and avoid interference with recreational use."

"...Pierce County's issuance of SSDP No. 35-05 is REVERSED, and the Permit is therefore DENIED."

Area of proposed sub-tidal
geoduck farm in Henderson Bay

Permit approval is reversed and denied
The SHB has denied a permit issued by Pierce County for the subtidal Detienne geoduck farm based on "...the presence of eelgrass at the Farm Site, the proximity of known herring spawning locations to the Farm Site, the specialized recreational use of the area for windsurfing, and the Farm Site's location on a shoreline of state wide significance." Following are brief highlights of the SHB decision.

Eelgrass buffer inadequate
Studies relied upon by Environ's Ms. Meaders provided "...unpersuasive scientific support for the smaller eelgrass buffer at this Site." "The Board finds these studies do not provide sufficient scientific support for [Environ's] Ms. Meaders' opinion that the buffers imposed will adequately protect eelgrass at the Site, and thus finds Ms. Meaders' opinion on the protectiveness of the smaller buffer unpersusasive."

"Overreliance on monitoring and adaptive management"
The use of monitoring and adaptive management has been used by the shellfish industry for years as a form of mitigation to overcome concerns about environmental impacts. Reliance on industry created processes has been accepted by permitting agencies as adequate when, in fact, there is a clear conflict. Only one known shoreline permit has required independent monitoring, Seattle Shellfish's 300' long rafts used as a geoduck nursery. In the case of the Detienne farm there is no condition in the permit at all requiring changes in the buffer if monitoring shows impacts.

Nothing regulates how many dive harvesters
may be harvesting at the same time.
(image created to show multiple barges
and multiple divers operating simultaneously)

"...the Board finds the Applicants cannot limit their assessment exclusively to on-site (on-property) impacts to eelgrass, but must look at impacts to eelgrass off-property as well."
Dive harvesting disturbs large amounts of sediments which become suspended in the water column, along with whatever else is contained in those sediments. The Applicants did not consider impacts to eelgrass on adjacent properties, only whether eelgrass on the Detienne owned property would be impacted. It is akin to ignoring the impact on downwind properties from pollutants discharged from an industrial smokestack.

Herring stock not protected
The Purdy stock of herring is considered to be the largest herring population in Pierce County. Given the use of eelgrass by herring for both spawning and protection, its protection is of critical importance. "The Board finds that, because the Permit fails to adequately protect eelgrass, it also fails to adequately protect herring, which depend on eelgrass for spawning habitat."

Recreational use of the area is unique
"The Board finds that the recreational use in this area, and in particular its popularity for windsurfing, makes this proposed Farm unique from past geoduck farms reviewed by the Board." Yet, Pierce County's permit contained no conditions to address the impact this operation would have on that use.

Cumulative impacts
The SHB recognized the lack of cumulative impacts considered. Both the unique placement of this farm in the subtidal area as well as the additional permit applications nearby and throughout Pierce County were recognized as not having been considered and of importance. The SHB noted: "The careful review required for this shoreline of statewide significance weighs in favor of requiring a cumulative impact analysis of the impacts that might result from granting the first subtidal geoduck farm permit in Henderson Bay - in particular to assess the potential for longer term impacts to fragile resources like eelgrass, as well as unique use of the area by recreationalists like wind surfers."

Shorelines protected for all
The SHB has recognized the importance in protecting Puget Sound's shorelines for all of its citizens. While it was true that aquaculture was a preferred use of its shorelines in 1971, this industry has evolved far beyond what it was then. Impacts from that evolution and the processes used has been recognized by the SHB. All counties must now abide by that fact in their permit decisions.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Updated 1/21: Senate Republicans Question Ecology on Coal Port Position

Update 1/21: For Senate Republicans upset about Ecology's position to consider impacts of coal exported through Washington ports being burned in China is an article in today's NY Times ("China is also an Exporter of Pollution to the Western U.S., Study Finds"). Before holding another hearing they might take the time to read it. Even better would be for them to educate themselves further by reading the article referred to, published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" which opens with:
China is the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic air pollutants, and measurable amounts of Chinese pollution are transported via the atmosphere to other countries, including the United States.
In the end, it all comes back.

Bejing (European Pressphoto Agency)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Petition for En Banc Hearing is Denied

[Update 1/16: Drakes Bay Oyster Company's public relations attorney Peter Prows has announced he plans to appeal the 9th Circuit's denial of an en banc rehearing to the Supreme Court. If that doesn't work he claims to have plans to return to the District Court for further litigation. Mr. Prows and Drake's Bay Oyster may want to consider at what point their legal decisions will be viewed as frivolous. Lawyers advertising in the Yellow Pages for clients may be acceptable to some. Advertising through frivolous litigation is viewed quite differently, both by potential clients and the courts. Especially after having been ruled against so many times.]

"The petition for rehearing en banc is DENIED. No further petitions for en banc or panel rehearing shall be permitted."

"The full court has been advised of the petition

for rehearing en banc and no judge has requested a vote

on whether to rehear the matter en banc."
United States Court of Appeals
For the 9th Circuit, January 14, 2014

Completion of the only marine wilderness
area on the west coast outside of Alaska
will at last be allowed to happen.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seattle Shellfish Public Hearing for Shellfish Nursery on Harstine Island

Public Notice for Shoreline Permit
When: January 28 at 1PM
Where: Commissioners Chambers Bldg 1, 411 North 5th St
[map location here]
A public hearing will be held January 28, 2014 at 1PM in Shelton, WA to consider a shoreline permit to develop a shellfish nursery on the shoreline of Spencer Cove, located on the northeast end of Harstine Island.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Desperation on the Farm

The end-days of agriculture
in Marin and Somona Counties are near.
Phyllis Faber
Don Neubacher whispers to Ms. Faber at a party...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Geoducks and Arsenic: DOH Says Geoduck Safe to Eat - Except for Skin

[Update 1/10: "In my opinion, it's the problem with the form and our inability to put more specific information on it." Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish explaining why the "debacle" resulted after  Chinese testing showed arsenic and paralytic shellfish poisoning in geoduck above levels they consider safe. Or was it political? If the Chinese wanted to make a political point they could have made a far stronger point by ordering Airbus jetliners or timber from Russia. What the shellfish industry may want to consider is that testing shellfish in the US could be improved, not only for the Chinese but for US citizens as well. Anyone who has suffered through vibriosis contracted from from Puget Sound's oysters would most likely agree.]

[Update 1/7 5PM: Added table showing levels of inorganic arsenic found in geoduck samples. Shown is a "whole" sample (D1) which was above China's .5 ppm*. This was not mentioned in the 1/6/2014 DOH press release below, nor were the higher individual samples (e.g., B2 being ~1.75 ppm vs the 1.175 in the table below).
*Note: EarthFix has reported the World Health Organization is said to be considering setting safe levels for inorganic arsenic in food in the .2-.3ppm range in 2014. In addition, they also noted this: “I’d be nervous after a big rainfall event,” said Kathy Cottingham, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College who studies arsenic exposure and human health. “With soils that contaminated you need to worry about the episodic events of a big rainstorm or snowmelt causing pulses into the water.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: From the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - DENIED

To:  DBOC Attorney Peter Prows et al
From: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Re: Motion to File a Reply Brief
"DENIED" (January 2, 2014)
[Capital letters are the Court's]

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a motion filed by Drakes Bay Oyster Company attorney Peter Prows in which he asks for little more than a "do-over". The motion filed is no different than a professional basketball player asking to have a second chance to take a shot which was blocked. The court viewed the request in the same way everyone else would, but responded with far greater restraint and simply wrote, in capital letters: "DENIED".

Friday, January 3, 2014

Willapa Bay - A Proposal to Spice up The Chemical Soup* With Imidacloprid and Imazamox

New Chemicals Proposed
For the Chemical Soup*
Of Willapa Bay
(*Washington Attorney General's description of Willapa Bay, November 2012)

Public Notice
Washington's Department of Ecology has announced an upcoming public meeting and comment period for a proposal to add some "spice" to Willapa Bay, waters which Washington's Attorney General has described as a "chemical soup" (Public Notice is copied at the end of this post).  Proposed are the addition of the insecticide imidacloprid* to "control" burrowing shrimp and the herbicide imazamox to control Japanese eelgrass on commercial clam beds.
*Imidacloprid is within the class of Neonicotinoid pesticides which are believed to be a cause of honey bee colony collapse disorder. The European Union has voted to heavily restrict its use.

Chemically Treated Oysters
From Willapa Bay - Their "Merroir" Explained

One thing leads to another -