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, February 26, 2015

Get involved: Sign the petition to tell Governor Inslee to stop enabling plastic and pesticide pollution in Puget Sound.

Sign the petition to tell Governor Inslee to stop enabling plastic and pesticide pollution in Puget Sound, and stop transforming the critical marine habitat of Puget Sound. Sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/267/157/164/governor-inslee-stop-enabling-plastic-and-pesticide-pollution-in-puget-sound/

It's not grandpa Taylor's oyster farm.

The intensity of aquaculture being promoted as a "preferred use" of Puget Sound's critical marine habitat is not what existed when the Shoreline Management Act was enacted. In fact, the current level of activities occurring now, and which this industry is pressing for more of, is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was enacted to protect Puget Sound's critical marine habitat from.

Telling Governor Inslee that Taylor Shellfish
promotes clean water does not mean they
can lay plastic bags and tubes across the sediments.
Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish political lobbyist.
"Our industry generates as much as two Wal Mart stores!"

Well paid political lobbyists, attorneys, and contract scientists should not be allowed to convince the Governor and regulatory agencies that promoting "clean water" means they may now transform every marine habitat in Puget Sound. Nor should it mean they should be allowed to work at any hour of the night and drive wildlife out of Puget Sound.

Look - our PVC feeds Scoter (diving ducks).
"It's mutually beneficial."
Agencies believe this? And is that Scoter
on the right going under the net?
What money can buy from these contract scientists was seen recently in Sequim where Taylor Shellfish tried to convince Clallam County residents a 30 acre PVC forest would be good for the wildlife. Within that presentation a series of slides was put together showing Scoter diving and eating mussel off of PVC tubes. It was little more than a well staged promotion, in which the netting which blocks Scaup, and other diving avian native to Puget Sound from their food source, was pulled back. Exposed, growing on the artificial "structure" was the food source which netting is in place for up to two years to keep these native species away from. (Click here to see the entire "show" presented by Taylor's contract scientists.)
If you believe that, then look...
it's a flounder swimming between tubes.
This is habitat at its best.
Nets? Oh, well, we were hoping you wouldn't ask.
Get involved. The shellfish industry has been for a long time and they have the money to create the impression that PVC "habitat" is good for Puget Sound. Unfortunately, some politicians and some in the regulatory agencies believe it.

Reminder: March 3 - Charles Moore to speak on plastic pollution in marine waters in Tacoma.

March 3, 5:30 PM, Charles Moore will speak in Tacoma 
on plastic pollution in the marine waters.
(click to enlarge)
Hear how plastics are impacting our marine waters
Captain Charles Moore will present “A Month in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” –the 2014 voyage was his tenth and longest research voyage aboard Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita.  They discovered and walked on an island of plastic and he will show video of his tour of the island.  We also took blood from various fish species to determine the effects of living in a platicized habitat. He will discuss the difference between samples of plastic and plankton taken at the surface and at 10 meters depth.  He will also discuss the use made of drones to survey the tremendous increase in plastic in the garbage patch. Copies of his book, “Plastic Ocean”, revised with a new chapter on the health effects of plastic, will be available for $20.
Click here for a biography of Charles Moore.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Taylor/Seattle Shellfish-Haley Geoduck Farm Hearing: March 2-6

Aquaculture being "water dependent"
does not mean "anything goes"
in Puget Sound's critical marine habitat areas.
Area proposed for conversion
to industrial scale geoduck farm.
More geoduck for China.
Less marine habitat for native species.
March 2-6, Hearing Starts at the Shoreline Hearings Board Office at 9:00am
1111 Israel Rd SW, Tumwater, WA   98501
Coalition Experts  
Monday, March 2
  James Brennan (Puget Sound Nearshore Scientist/Restoration Expert)
  Jim Johannessen (Puget Sound Geomorphologist/Restoration Expert)
  Dr. Gary Ritchie-Lack of Rigor of Sea Grant Geoduck Science
  Jo Jensen-Real Estate Broker--Effect of Industrial Geoduck Aquaculture on  
       Waterfront Home Values
Tuesday, March 3
   Captain Charles Moore-World Renowned Marine Plastic Debris Expert
   Kirk Kirkland-Audubon
   Rob Darling-Real Estate Broker-Effect of Industrial Geoduck Aquaculture on waterfront home values

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shellfish politics: HB 1715 - Countywide annual fees for all properties with onsite septic systems.

[Update 3/13: As HB 1715 has moved through the political process a number of changes have been made, including removing the word "shall" (requiring a $30 fee be imposed on all land owners with on-site septic systems) and replacing it with "may". Further changes and on-going negotiations indicate it is unlikely this bill will pass. The effectiveness of educating how septic systems should be maintained, including adequate record keeping by the land owner, should be given the opportunity to show they are meaningful and work before counties begin imposing another fee on landowners.]
We all want clean water.
Not all want to subsidize
the shellfish industry.

Shellfish politics - HB 1715: More taxpayer funding for the shellfish industry. The twelve counties which border Puget Sound "shall" impose a $30 fee on all on-site septic systems in the "Puget Sound basin", a term undefined in the referenced RCW (90.71.010), if HB1715 is passed.  At the committee hearing, it was confirmed this fee could be charged county wide. Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish acknowledged the industry's benefiting from the fee being imposed.

Are we going to be taxed if they
find out it's our fecal coliform?
Or just shot?

Whose fecal coliform is it?
Asked by committee members whether DNA testing confirmed septic systems were the source of fecal coliform problems a thud could be heard in the silence of the response. Eventually, one response was DNA testing was too expensive. In studies where DNA testing has been done the vast majority of fecal coliform was found to be wildlife (birds, seals, Orca, deer, elk, etc.), cattle and others. Humans represented only 7% of what was tested in Dungeness Bay. In Samish Bay, 17%. 
Testing results and reports are here:
see here for Dungeness sources p. 5.5:
see here for Samish Bay:

My $30 fee shows I need money.
Sorry, we don't have any.
But we did consult about it.

Low interest loans - "may consult with" is not the same as "shall".
A positive discussed at the hearing was how low interest loans being "discussed" was a part of the bill. Something, however, being "discussed" does not guarantee funding is available. Funding for loans is not guaranteed. All HB 1715 "discusses" is the counties "...may consult with the department of ecology..."

Clean water should not mean
all of Puget Sound's tidelands
should look like this.

Clean water is critical for a healthy Puget Sound. The shellfish industry is not critical for a healthy Puget Sound.
We all want clean water, none more so than the shellfish industry whose industrialization of the tidelands and navigable waters generates great profits. For what in return? Virtually nothing in property taxes. Geoducks exported to China pay little to nothing in state taxes. Jobs are menial labor, outside, at night during the winter time low tides.

Beyond messy politics - tax the beneficiaries
Requiring all county residents with onsite septic systems to pay $30 per year to support the shellfish industry is a bad idea which has lead to bad legislation. Urge your representative to vote "no" on this bill. There are other sources of funding - such as a property tax on the shellfish industry's tidelands used for growing shellfish. Find your legislator here:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ Tell them it's time to stop subsidizing the shellfish industry.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Enviromental Politics: HB 1587 - Environmental law is not a one way street.

What's good for the goose 
should be good for the gander.
"I think we're going to need a bigger gun."
Find your Legislator here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
House Bill 1587, currently referred to the Committee on Environment, creates a one way street to weaken the ability of citizens to challenge environmental permit approvals made by agencies. This bill, if approved, would allow a company or individual who believes they are "adversely affected" by a challenge to an approval of an environmental decision, to recover legal costs and potentially an additional $50,000, if that challenge is lost in a "judicial review." A company or individual need only show their project was delayed by the appeal of an approval .
Politics is messy and environmental law does not go one way
Not included in the bill is the equalizing side, which is that an individual or individuals may recover their legal fees, and potentially an additional $50,000 from a corporation or individual, if the decision to approve a project which is challenged, is overturned and the permit denied in a judicial decision. Or, if a denial of a permit on environmental grounds is challenged by a company or individual, and a judicial review affirms that denial, a citizen or citizens who support that denial are also are allowed to recover their legal fees, plus an additional $50,000.
It's not rocket science
To believe that corporations do not use the judicial system to establish precedent, delay implementation of tighter regulatory oversight, use the increase of legal expenses for agencies or individuals as intimidation, or lay the groundwork for weaker mitigation requirements is na├»ve. This bill should not launch from the pad.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Charles Moore to Speak on Ocean Plastics

Plastic Pollution in Puget Sound is no Better

Charles Moore, noted scientist and activist, will speak on "A Month in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch" at the University of Puget Sound on March 3 at 5:30 PM (see posters below). He will also be testifying before Washington's Shorelines Hearings Board March 3, at 9 AM, regarding the Taylor/Seattle Shellfish joint geoduck farm on the Haley family tidelands, along with James Brennan and Jim Johannessen who will be testifying March 2. 

In early December, James Brennan wrote a challenge to the Puget Sound Partnership in which he detailed why an article in Salish Sea Currents by Eric Wagner on "ecosystem services" provided by oysters was "...inaccurate, misleading, and promotes an industry that has a history of actions that run counter to protecting and restoring marine ecosystems." Mr. Brennan rightfully challenges claims by the shellfish industry, among others that they are a "cornerstone to the economy of Puget Sound" (it's not Boeing nor Microsoft) and that relying on Marlene Meaders, a consultant for the shellfish industry, for insight without checking the facts skews his article to one being little more than a promotion for an industry doing long term damage to critical marine habitats.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

It's Taylor Shellfish's Turn: Tell Us Why a 30 Acre Geoduck Farm is Good for the Dungeness Bay

Special Note: Meeting location is changed to Guy Cole Convention Center, 202 N. Blake Ave., Feb 11 at 2 p.m. in order to accommodate the expected crowd. (read article in Sequim Gazette here)
The river's restored, wetlands are functioning,
the outflow of fresh water is clean. Hear why PVC pipes
in the tidelands are a good idea.
Now it's Taylor's turn
On February 11 Taylor Shellfish has their opportunity to explain why a 30 acre geoduck farm in Dungeness Bay is a good idea. This follows a standing room only presentation earlier by citizens and scientists who feel it is not a good idea. (read article about earlier meeting here - note that the meeting location mentioned was changed to the above)
Good for the economy, good for jobs, good for Taylor.
Good for Dungeness Bay?
A million dollars spent for a million PVC tubes
Topics they will try to discuss include why it's a good idea to spend multiple millions of dollars to restore the habitat of lower Dungeness River, and then fill the tidelands with >40,000 PVC pipes/acre on the proposed 30 acre farm.
$7 million to restore wetlands and floodplains
so tidelands may be populated with PVC pipes.
"Impacts are local and short term" - unless you have a farm with sections in "rotation" such that harvesting may occur all the time.
Why it's a good idea to place a geoduck farm next to tidelands acquired by WDFW, considered to be part of a "...significant habitat area for a wide diversity of wildlife, fish populations, including marine mammals, seabirds, migratory shorebirds, migratory and breeding waterfowl, neotropical migrants, salmon, shellfish and Dungeness crab." (From WDFW 'SOUTH PUGET SOUND & NORTH OLYMPIC WILDLIFE AREAS 2014 MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE' page 3)
WDFW recently acquired tidelands
adjacent to Taylor's proposed farm.
Comment on this one.
Hear why it's a good idea for the Army Corps to spend tax payer dollars on re-establishing old river channels and flood plains in order to help establish habitat critical for salmon, only to have the salmon's transition zone where fresh and salt water mix be clouded with sediments during harvest.
Army Corps' preferred alternative.
Is any of that habitat supporting wildlife Taylor Shellfish considers a pest?
Hear whether Taylor Shellfish will consider any of the wildlife supported by the habitat being restored or which now exists are on their list of "pests." (Some ask what native wildlife in Puget Sound don't they consider a pest.) The Dungeness crab noted in the WDFW document above, and almost everything else noted, are on the list. [Note: To read the shellfish industry's guide to what it considers pests and a hindrance to their profits, click here.]
Are these restored areas supporting any pests
Taylor Shellfish doesn't like?
Hear the best paid experts talk about why aquaculture is a preferred use, which logically means any way to grow shellfish is ok.
The public is invited and is encouraged to attend. Presentations by Taylor Shellfish and their "experts" are always well orchestrated and meaningful. It may even be possible Taylor Shellfish will be offering free oysters to those in attendance. Be early to guarantee a seat and bring your cameras to record the event.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vibriosis: Washington's Department of Health Proposes Becoming Proactive to Protect the Health of the Public

Vibrio parahaemolyticus:
the $10,000,000 bug.
Better late than never
After failed years of trying to decrease the number of reported cases of vibriosis caused by oysters harvested from Washington state's water, the Department of Health has decided to become proactive. They should be congratulated. Now, instead of waiting for people to become ill and then retroactively closing harvest areas, they will now require harvest areas to close if temperatures reach levels they deem warm enough, detailed in their recently released Vp Control Plan.
Note: Comments on the VP Control Plan will be taken through February 25. To submit comments on the plan, click here.
“We’re excited about the change."
Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish
A rule even the shellfish industry likes?
Anyone involved in trying to regulate the shellfish industry is fully aware of their being "troubled" over regulations which impact their operations. But in this case, Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish was quoted in the Skagit Valley Herald as saying, "We're excited about the change." If it works as anticipated, the estimated 11,000* people who contracted vibriosis from Washington oysters will also be excited, for those who do not contract the disease in the future.
*The Skagit Valley Herald noted 76 reported cases of vibriosis occurred last year. According to the Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control estimates there are 156 unreported cases for each reported case.
The $10,000,000 bug
Using figures developed by the Center for Disease Control, the DOH has estimated vibriosis creates a $10,000,000 medical expense annually for those who contract the disease. This figure includes hospitalization and appointments with doctors. DOH anticipates a dramatic drop in that expense - if the plan works as they hope.
The cousin nobody wants
is now in Puget Sound.

A cousin nobody wants lurking in the shadows
DOH deciding to become proactive will have benefits far greater than preventing cases of vibriosis from Vp. A cousin to Vp in the Vibrio family of bacteria carried in oysters is one far more deadly, Vibrio vulnificus. Until now this bacterium was only a significant problem in oysters harvested from the warmer Gulf Coast waters, so much so that California banned their import during the warm summer months. Until 2 years ago it was not felt to be anything oysters from Puget Sound's cooler waters would carry. But that changed in December of 2013 when DOH issued a report confirming that Vv had been found in Washington oysters. As temperatures continue to rise and waters continue to warm, the reality grows that Vv will show up in more and more oysters harvested from Washington and become a far more significant problem than vibriosis.

Is a thermometer really an added expense to complain about?
Some are concerned the added cost of a thermometer, and its having to be calibrated to ensure accuracy, is an expense some shellfish growers may not be able to afford. Perhaps those shellfish growers should ask the families of those who have become ill with vibriosis, or worse, whether a thermometer is really an expense to complain about.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tacoma's News Tribune on Pierce County's SMP Update Meeting: Citizens want shellfish harvesting restricted.

You can "just say no" to geoduck farming.
Tacoma's The News Tribune writes about Pierce County's Shoreline Master Program update meeting held at Peninsula High School on February 2. The article's title clearly states how people feel about geoduck farming in Puget Sound's tidelands: Restrict commercial shellfish harvesting.
NAMBI - Not against my business or industry
The article contains the not so veiled threat from Taylor Shellfish's Diane Cooper who stated Pierce County will have to prove that any shellfish harvesting prohibition is based on the “best available science.” This follows their attorney's 156 page missive explaining why Taylor Shellfish is "troubled" over being regulated.
Put geoduck farming where
you don't destroy the habitat?
How about the Tacoma tideflats.
You can "just say no"
The article quotes newly elected Pierce County Councilman Derek Young as saying, "You can't say no to geoducks" and they would just have to "...locate (geoduck farms) in areas that don’t destroy the habitat.” Perhaps better put is to put them in areas where it doesn't matter if the habitat is destroyed, such as the Tacoma tide flats. You can just say no and you can regulate the shellfish industry. Selling geoduck to China is not that important.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Pierce County Shoreline Master Program Update: Meeting Feb 2, 5:30PM, Peninsula High School

Reminder: Pierce County SMP hearing Feb 2, 5:30PM, at Peni...nsula High School, Auditorium, 14105 Purdy Drive NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Pierce County notes: "Now the committee wants to gather feedback on those [amendments] before sending a final version to the full County Council." (scheduled for March 10)
For current amendments, see here:
Good morning neighbor: Sunday morning, 7AM
Industrial operations in Puget Sound tidelands at all hours of the day and night is not the "balance" the Shoreline Management Act was created for.
If you can dive harvest there is no
reason for midnight geoduck harvesting.
Sediment plumes are from 2 divers
from each raft, harvesting geoduck.

Yes, we see you and yes, we hear you.
So does what's left of the wildlife.
Shellfish operator at 4AM
with floodlights. Good for wildlife?
Get involved. The shellfish industry is, and has been for years and what they see in France is what they think is good for Puget Sound.
Mussel platforms in France.