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:

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hot Weather and Lowest Daylight Tides of the Year Coming June 5 and 6

A warm weekend and low tides.
It doesn't get any better.
(Tide table from NOAA's Tide Prediction)

Unseasonably hot weather this coming weekend combines with the lowest daylight tides of the year in south Puget Sound. Tides will be close to 4 feet below the average daily tides on Sunday (-3.37 at 12:32 PM) and Monday (-3.37 at 1:16 PM). There's a world rarely seen about to be exposed. Get out and experience part of what makes up the treasure of Puget Sound.

(See NOAA web site by clicking here)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sohn Geoduck Farm: Residents of Zangle Cove Appeal Thurston County SEPA Determination

Another Estuary Targeted
by the Geoduck Industry
Good for China
Bad for Puget Sound

These geoduck in Thurston County are not The Evergreen State College students.
Residents of Zangle Cove have appealed Thurston County's mitigated determination of non-significance SEPA decision. In that decision, Thurston County felt various conditions would serve to mitigate the environmental impacts the operation of a geoduck farm in this estuary would have. Their attorney writes on numerous issues which were inadequately considered. The full appeal may be found by clicking here.

Another one bites the dust?
First one, then the other, then...
Dickenson Cove: Just another sandy beach
to put plastic and PVC into.

You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
In the mean time, to the north in Thurston County, Dickenson Cove (aka Fishtrap Loop Cove) has also been targeted for development into a geoduck farm by Taylor Shellfish. Apparently not wanting to raise any red flags on the increasing development in the tidelands, this proposal has been put on hold until Zangle Cove has been decided.

Get involved.
The shellfish industry is and they are highly motivated and well financed. Tell your elected officials there is more to Puget Sound and its few remaining estuaries than growing geoduck for China.
Thurston County Commissioners:
Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Key Penninsula Advisory Commission Votes Against Taylor Shellfish Proposal of 3 New Geoduck Farms

May 18, the Key Peninsula Advisory Commission (KPAC) voted against recommending approval of 3 new geoduck farms proposed by Taylor Shellfish on south Puget Sound's Case Inlet. Taylor Shellfish found strong opposition from citizens opposed to the continued expansion of this form of aquaculuture, along with pointed questions from KPAC members asking at what point too many is too much. In the end, KPAC voted not to recommend approval.

This is not how Puget Sound
should be viewed.

Lots of little problems add up to big ones.
Puget Sound is not made up of discrete fish bowls. Yet, that is exactly how the shellfish industry wants regulatory agencies to view it. Studies looking at individual farms are brought out over and over to support expansion, one farm at a time, ignoring the dynamic and cohesive ecosystem of south Puget Sound. Calls for cumulative impacts are met by shellfish attorneys claiming agencies may only look at each farm individually. It ignores the contiguous and continuous ongoing impacts, cycle after cycle, this growing industry is creating, fracturing the cohesiveness which exists within the intertidal area of south Puget Sound. A cohesiveness the Shoreline Management Act was intended to protect.

This fish bowl is already cracked. Should we be forced to buy another?
Existing farms where these 3 new farms are proposed already have problems. Sediment deposition has buried nets and "flow through mesh tubes" which create an entire set of impacts not considered. As seen in the first picture below, removing nets buried in sediments is not as simple as pulling them out. "Flow through" mesh tubes, intended to replace PVC tubes, are buried and disappearing from sight. When they have to be removed, what will be their impact on the area? Contiguous upland parcels have apparent permit violations. Should new permits be granted while possible violations are being investigated? Some at Pierce County believe they are separate, so don't matter. They do matter.

Digging for geoduck? No, nets
which shifting sediments have buried.
How many tidal cycles to fill this hole?

 Flow through mesh tubes
buried in the sands of time.
Out of site out of mind?

The "Shellfish Initiative" is not the Shoreline Management Act, passed by the legislature and approved by the people. It is nothing more than a strategic marketing plan.
A strategic marketing plan is not a mandate to be forced onto agencies in support of expansion. Yet that is exactly what the shellfish industry presents it as. Unlike the Shoreline Management Act which was passed by the legislature and approved overwhelmingly by Washington's citizens, the "initiative" was dreamed up by the industry and its attorneys as a means to promote its expansion (see Shellfish Politics, Shellfish Initiatives, and the Shoreline Management Act  from 2013 for a history of the National and State initiatives). To believe it should force agencies to approve new projects shows a lack of insight by regulatory agencies.

Get involved. Industry is and they are not giving agencies the entire picture of what they want.
These three farms proposed were known of in 2013 when leases with the property owners were signed. Yet throughout recent permit hearings they were not disclosed. What else is not being told by the industry? Get involved. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Zangle Cove - Reminder: Comments due May 17 on Thurston County's SEPA Determination for Geoduck Farm

How much PVC in Puget Sound
is too much?

Comments on Thurston County's determination of non-significance for a geoduck farm in Zangle Cove are due May 17. Comments should be sent to Tony Kantas at  kantast@co.thurston.wa.us.

The determination document may be found by clicking here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Impact of Small and Micro Debris in Washington's Marine Waters

Growing Impacts from Debris
in Washington's Marine Waters
May 16, Sequim

The Clallam County Marine Resources Committee presents two speakers who have worked extensively on marine debris projects from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at the meeting room in the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave.
Hillary Burgess, science coordinator at COASST, and Anne Murphy, retired executive director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, will present “Citizen Science and the Impact of Small and Micro Debris in Washington.”
The public is invited and encouraged to attend, and then consider whether proposals for geoduck farms and associated PVC and plastics are in the state-wide interest.

Is more of this...
...really good for anyone?

Get involved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lummi Tribe Objects to Coal Trains, Causing Corps to Reject Cherry Point Proposal

The Seattle PI writes on the Lummi Tribe forcing the Army Corps to reject the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal. To date the tribe has not objected to the ever expanding PVC and mesh tubes interfering with tribal fishing rights along the shorelines of Puget Sound.

Early Lummi Tribe
Geoduck Seed Hatchery

Look beyond the low tide line for alternatives.
Too bad the Lummi tribe doesn't sell their geoduck seed for replanting subtidal areas harvested by tribal members instead of for intertidal farms which require PVC and mesh tubes. Then, the Lummi may also have asserted their tribal fishing rights - and those of other tribes dependent on those rights - and objected to the current plans for increasing geoduck farm structures in the intertidal areas of Puget Sound which interfere with tribal fishing rights. That may have also caused the Corps to bring permitting of geoduck farms to a halt.

No Tribal Fishing
Allowed on this Beach

No fishing allowed. This beach is for geoducks sold to China, not tribal members to fish from.
PVC pipes and netting interfere with tribal fishing from the shoreline, and as more permits are approved for geoduck farms, less shoreline will be available for all tribes to exercise their tribal fishing rights. Requiring the state to replant subtidal areas stripped of geoduck - and providing an income stream for tribal members - has yet to be implemented.

Small steps.
Small steps taken sometimes get far distances. Were the Lummi and other northwest tribes to see the alternatives available to them they may one day also object to the ever expanding PVC and mesh tubes in the intertidal area which, step by step, are extinguishing their tribal rights to fish from the shores of Puget Sound.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Geoduck Farming: Can anyone do it? Thurston County believes so.

[Update 5/10: Comment information -
Comments on SEPA determination due May 17, 2016
Appeal deadline (must have submitted comment) May 24, 2016
Comments: Send to Tony Kantas
email: kantast@co.thurston.wa.us
Phone: 360-786-5472]
[Updated 5/9: Link to MDNS SEPA decision changed.]

Zangle Cove Geoduck Farm: One Step Closer
(see end of post for who to send comments to)

Despite showing no evidence of shellfish farm management, let alone geoduck farming, Thurston County has issued a mitigated determination of non-significance SEPA decision on a geoduck farm proposal of Chang Mook Sohn's, manager of Pacific Northwest Aquaculture. Based only a description from an environmental firm describing how over 47,000 PVC tubes will be placed in a cove historically used for recreation, Thurston County believes the process to be simple enough anyone can do it, including Mr. Sohn.

Whose tidelands are they?
Thurston County appears not to care.
This "survey plan view" has been
challenged by neighbors whose
licensed surveyor disagrees with it.

Despite a clear dispute among tideland owners over who owns what in Zangle Cove, Thurston County has moved ahead with the SEPA MDNS decision. Without knowing clearly who is putting what where. While Mr. Sohn believes he owns over 1 acre of tidelands (seen above) a professional survey performed for adjacent property owners creates a much different picture, one which changes the assumptions found in the biological report used by Thurston County. More importantly, Thurston County's not requiring clarification of the question of who owns what tidelands creates the impression of accepting a challenged survey. 

State Sales of Tidelands Were Not All for Aquaculture

Wanting agencies to believe all tideland sales were for the purpose of aquaculture has been a falsehood presented by the shellfish industry. In fact, the majority of tideland sales in Puget Sound were not for the purpose of growing shellfish, but to guarantee access to the water at low tide. Even the majority of tidelands which were sold for the purported purpose of growing shellfish were never put in "production" and were, instead, parceled into many small divisions attached to upland parcels of land as subdivisions were created. Not for future shellfish growing but to guarantee access to the water at low tide for upland parcel owners. Currently, the shellfish industry has pressed a belief on agencies that any tidelands sold and not in "production" were merely "lying fallow" and should not require additional permitting. This is the case in Zangle Cove, where tidelands were specifically sold as not being suitable for shellfish cultivation.

Does this mean tidelands are now 
"suitable for cultivation" of shellfish?
And should anyone be allowed to try?

Placing 40,000 PVC tubes/acre to grow geoduck for the elite in China, at the expense of Puget Sound's critical marine habitat, should not be allowed to turn tidelands sold for recreational purposes into the mess it has become. Especially if someone has no demonstrable experience, and even more so, when those with experience cannot prevent PVC and plastics from polluting Puget Sound.

Comments on SEPA determination due May 17, 2016
Appeal deadline (must have submitted comment) May 24, 2016
Comments: Send to Tony Kantas
email: kantast@co.thurston.wa.us
Phone: 360-786-5472