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, January 29, 2015

Lower Dungeness River: Army Corps Releases Environmental Assessment for River Restoration for Comment

Why bother with restoring the Dungeness River
if you are only going to be putting
millions of PVC tubes and "predator" netting
in the intertidal marine habitat you are trying to improve?
[Note: This site supports this restoration proposal and
the Wild Olympics campaign, but it does not
support Taylor Shellfish's geoduck farm.]

Is this the balance the SMA is intended to ensure?
(click to enlarge)
DPR/EA Released for Comments (email: melissa.l.leslie@usace.army.mil)
The Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft Integrated Detailed Project Report and Environmental Assessment (DPR/EA) (6Mb file) for the Lower Dungeness River Ecosystem Restoration Project near Sequim. This restoration project would remove an existing Corps levee and reconnect the river to an historic floodplain and re-establish historic side channel and back channel habitat "critical for fish spawning, rearing, and refuge." Comments will be accepted until February 18. (Information on how to comment may be found by clicking here.)

Area of restoration preferred.
(click to enlarge)

Restoration of one habitat should not mean another is transformed into PVC and netting - for years on end. Recent tideland leases extend into 2050, encumbering tidelands for decades.
At the same time this project and other tribal and taxpayer funded restoration projects - which reach into the multiple millions of dollars - is occurring, Taylor Shellfish is proposing to place millions of PVC tubes, covered with netting in the delta area created by this river to grow geoduck for Chinese consumption. The ongoing cycle destroys/transforms marine habitat multiple times.

 Habitat Transformation Stage 1: >38,000 PVC/acre
are inserted and covered with "predator" netting.

Habitat Transformation Stage 2: After ~2 years, mussels
barnacles and aquatic vegetation has taken hold 
on the thousands of PVC tubes and "predator" netting. 
They are removed, leaving the monolithic population 
of geoduck in its place, sometimes covered
for another year with "predator" netting.

Habitat Transformation Stage 3: Harvest
Sediments to 3' in depth are liquefied
to remove the geoduck, leaving 
a barren moonscape in its path.

Months later, the PVC and "predator" netting return,
to begin the habitat transformation cycles again.
Restoration and protection of the Olympic Peninsula's watersheds and resources does not end at the high tide line.
Taylor Shellfish and Clallam County planners believing there is nothing wrong in spending multiple millions of dollars to restore the lower Dungeness River so millions of PVC pipes and netting may cover an area in the intertidal tidelands stretches reason. Taylor Shellfish supporting the expansion of wilderness areas and wild/scenic rivers through the Wild Olympics campaign "...so that shellfish companies can continue to grow..." (Bill Taylor on why he supports the Wild Olympics) should not be used as a veil to hide the reality of how geoduck farming is transforming the intertidal habitat areas of Puget Sound.
Joan Thomas, 1931-2011
Helped negotiate and pass the SMA.
"I do not read the original intent or the original guidelines
[of the SMA] to promote the [shellfish] industry
as we know it today." Joan Thomas, 1991
The Shoreline Management Act and shellfish aquaculture are no longer in-synch.
When the Shoreline Management Act was passed aquaculture was perceived as benign. In 1991 one of its original authors, Joan Thomas, recognized the transformation which had occurred in the industry. It has continued to evolve into the very thing which the SMA is in place to protect part of Puget Sound from: the fragmentation and fracturing of the intertidal area. Studies to date have looked at small and discrete farms which in no way compare to the current proposals nor methods used. That Taylor Shellfish sees nothing wrong with an operation of this type, of this size, and in this location only shows what it has evolved into.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 28: Fudge Point State Park Public Hearing - Help create a marine park for everyone.

Get involved in what future generations have access to.
Wednesday, January 28
6:30 to 8:30 p.m
Harstine Community Hall
3371 E. Harstine Island Rd. N., Harstine Island
Submit Comments by Clicking Here (reference "Fudge Point State Park")
Fudge Point State Park: Providing 
access to Puget Sound's shorelines for everyone.
One of the last undeveloped pieces of shoreline
and upland areas available for the public to enjoy.*

Washington State Parks has scheduled a public meeting on Harstine Island to discuss the future development of Fudge Point State Park. A series of land acquisitions has created what can become one of the greatest state parks in Washington, providing access to the uplands and shorelines of Puget Sound for everyone. Anyone who believes access to south Puget Sound should be an experience made available to everyone should become involved.

Looking east to Mount Ranier and north
from the shoreline of Fudge Point State Park.

Included within Fudge Point State Park are over 3,200 feet of Puget Sound's shoreline, one of the last shorelines in south Puget Sound of this size which the public will have access to. The views from the shoreline are spectacular, with Mt. Ranier to the east and the Olympics to the north. A fresh water outflow from the upland area has created both a marsh and a delta area over which the tide ebbs and flows, exposing a diversity of life unique to south Puget Sound, including a working geoduck farm.

A freshwater outflow from the upland area.
As proposed, the shoreline area would remain undeveloped in order to retain the sensitive ecological functions of the wetland marsh area and intertidal area. Both are areas where fresh and salt water mix, resulting in a unique habitat supporting both upland, fresh and salt water species. It is one of the few such areas which remains undeveloped and able to be experienced by the public.
Fudge Point State Park: Current
and future ownership.
Additional information about Fudge Point State Park may be found by clicking here. Also found on are comments which have already been submitted which focus primarily on infrastructure concerns (roads and the bridge to Harstine Island) and shellfish companies being worried about poaching on tidelands adjacent to the state park owned lands. The latter has had proposals for exchanging privately owned tidelands for state owned tidelands elsewhere, an easy resolution to the concern. Infrastructure concerns are met by increased revenues generated by visitors which both help to increase the economic activity of the local economy, and perhaps more importantly, to help diversify the economic drivers within the local economy, something Mason County would be helped by. Some of the remaining comments express a desire to retain the natural character of the shoreline so future generations are able to experience an undeveloped stretch of shoreline habitat, and a desire retain the currently rural environment experienced by the local residents. Finally, the types of overnight camping facilities are also commented on.
Take the opportunity to help create what can become one of the great shoreline experiences for future generations. Get involved. Many others are.

For additional  questions contact:
Michael Hankinson, Parks Planner
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
PO Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650
Phone (360) 902-8671 FAX (360) 586-0207
email: michael.hankinson@parks.wa.gov

*Currently, Taylor Shellfish has a geoduck farm in the tideland area below mean low tide. It is exposed rarely and, as Taylor Shellfish has pointed out many times, geoduck farming is compatible with the public's use of tidelands. It is hoped that the state and Taylor Shellfish will ultimately resolve whatever perceived conflict there may be through a 1031 exchange with tidelands elsewhere.

Fudge Point, June 2013, looking north.
Tidelands from mean low tide to extreme low tide
are owned by Taylor Shellfish. Higher tidelands
are owned by Washington State Parks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Willapa Bay: Taylor Shellfish to increase oyster production, happy with chemical applications

Ocean acidification not so bad after all?

The Coast River Business Journal writes that Taylor Shellfish will be increasing its oyster production in Willapa Bay by 40%, equal to roughly 4 million oysters. Apparently ocean acidification isn't too large of a problem now.

Why worry about burrowing shrimp
and Japanese eelgrass
if you can grow oysters this way?

Floats and oyster bags "create" an
oyster "unique" to Willapa Bay.
A Pacific oyster is a Pacific oyster, cupped or not
In the article it is noted that Taylor Shellfish will be expanding their oyster lines from 1,000 to 1,400. Each oyster line has 39 grow out bags with a float attached, each containing roughly 250 oysters at harvest. Through the lifting and falling, the edges of the shells of the non-native Pacific oysters' are broken off, resulting in a thicker shell with a more cup-like shape. This alteration has allowed Taylor to take the liberty of branding it as a "Shigoku" and selling it for $1.25 versus .85 for the Pacific oyster in its "normal" shell.

The old oyster in a new shell 
needs a new box.
Marketing 101: Differentiation

A new shell in a pretty box and a hint of Jerusalem artichoke
The end result of Taylor's marketing department is a Pacific oyster in a smaller shell in a new box. While still the same non-native Pacific oyster from Japan, the ability of the tumbler process to disfigure the shell has created a different enough looking oyster that it is described by Rowan Jacobsen (oyster marketing expert) as, "A small, dense, cornucopia of an oyster. A light, clean taste of cucumber and salt, with a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke." It may be something else Mr. Jacobsen is tasting.

"It's the water."
Unfortunately, it's not from artesian wells
but from a "chemical soup."
Spraying chemicals into Willapa Bay creates a "chemical soup"
Taking a cue from the now defunct Olympia Brewery, the marketing department of Taylor Shellfish has attempted to create an oyster with a unique taste based on its "merroir" (location where it is grown, with the waters and oyster creating something unique, like a wine). Unfortunately, in the case of Willapa Bay, Washington state's Office of the Attorney General has described Willapa Bay as a "chemical soup", primarily the result of the application of a variety of chemicals by the shellfish industry. These chemicals have been used to control the native burrowing shrimp and the Japanese eelgrass, both considered by wildlife experts to be important food sources for both migrating birds and Green Sturgeon.
Would spraying chemicals into Willapa Bay
be needed if long line tumbling is used by all?
The short irony of the long line tumbler
What is ironic about the article quoting Bill Taylor and the use of longlines and tumblers is that this method of growing oysters would end up being a means to avoid the application of chemicals to Willapa Bay. The Japanese eelgrass and burrowing shrimp are described by the industry as being a problem when oysters are grown on the bottom. As Mr. Taylor notes, they sink and become smothered. If that's the case, why not simply do what he is doing and grow them above the sediments? Perhaps the unique taste of Taylor's Willapa Bay oysters would be even better, being grown in something closer to the artesian springs of Olympia Beer. Or maybe that "taste of cucumber and salt, with a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke" is from something being added to the water.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Reminder: January 10, Sequim, forum on Taylor Shellfish's proposed 30 acre geoduck farm

What's wrong with this picture?
Nothing if you're Taylor Shellfish.
Everything if you care about
Puget Sound's critical marine habitat.

An informational meeting will be held at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road, Sequim, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, to discuss implications of Shelton-based Taylor Shellfish Farms’ 30-acre geoduck operation proposal. Read more in the Sequim Gazette.

Should "improved water quality" mean 
this is what can happen in the marine sediments?
Taylor Shellfish thinks so.
(from the Sequim Gazette)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Monterey Bay Aquarium Webinar on Geoducks Happening Now

January 8, 3:30
Monterey Bay Aquarium webinar on geoducks happening now (1/8, 3:30).
Dial 1-877-668-4493 to connect. Meeting ID number is: 629 152 989
https://montereybayaq.webex.com/  (click on SFW Geoduck Webinar)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dungeness Bay Geoduck Farm Informational Meeting, January 10, 2-4 PM, Dungeness Schoolhouse

"Improved water quality" should not give the shellfish
industry a free pass to transform the intertidal
marine habitat area for the benefit of
the Chinese elite, themselves
and those they choose to donate money to.
Land trust organizations and politicians
receiving donations from the overwhelming profits
of geoduck sold to the Chinese should not
turn away from the reality that
 Puget Sound's intertidal areas
are being transformed...
...to this:
"Good for the economy" 
"Good for donations"
is a bad combination for
Puget Sound's future.
Importance: High
An informational meeting will be held at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2nd Floor, Saturday, January 10, 2015,  2-4 PM to discuss implications of Shelton WA based TAYLOR SHELLFISH FARMS proposal to site a 30 acre geoduck operation on tidelands by the mouth of the Dungeness River and close to the publicly owned WA State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 3 Crabs wetland restoration project and the US Fish and Wildlife Dungeness Refuge Graveyard Spit protected for breeding birds.Taylor signed a multi-year lease with Bellevue WA Dungeness Farms tidelands, owners of the gun club at the mouth of the Dungeness River.  Taylor’s plan is to raise thousands of geoducks for commercial export to Asia.  Each acre of tidelands requires thousands of plastic tubes for seeding geoducks and acres of netting. 
Citizens from areas of Puget Sound having experience with shellfish operations on neighborhood tidelands will describe the consequences of industrialized shellfish operations on WA State beaches and elsewhere.
Guest presenters and  panelists include Laura Hendricks:  Coalition To Save Puget Sound, Trina Bayard Ph.D, Director, Bird Conservation for Washington Audubon, Retired University of Oregon Law Professor Maradel Gale now with Bainbridge Alliance For Puget Sound and a Bainbridge Beach naturalist, and marine habitat specialist consultant Jim Brennan,MSc, formerly with the University of WA Sea Grant Program and the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Governing Board, and past President of Pacific Estuarine Research Society.
Large scale aquaculture plantations — shellfish and fin fish lots -- are proposed in the Clallam County Shoreline Master Plan for sitings throughout County shorelines and waters.  That plan can be seen on <http://www.clallam.net/LandUse/smp.html> .   What does this large scale industry mean for our natural resources?  What does this mean for wildlife?  What does this mean for home values?  What does this mean for public recreation?  Who profits?  Who loses?  These questions will be addressed at the January 10 forum.
The Dungeness Schoolhouse Is located at 2781 Towne Road, Sequim WA