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, August 28, 2018

Pierce County SMP Update: County Complains to DOE

Shoreline Master Plans: Local Discretion
Department of Ecology Mandate?

September 17 - Before the Community Development Committee
October 2 - Before the County Council

Email: Dave Risvold - dave.risvold@piercecountywa.gov

Pierce County is in the process of reviewing and ratifying its Shoreline Master Plan update. Part of the update process has included responding to the Department of Ecology's required changes. In a letter dated June 27, Pierce County wrote of the "...apparent inability to exercise local discretion in certain areas of shoreline management."

Specifically, Pierce County writes:
"Pierce County would prefer to prohibit the dumping of dredged material within the State's designated Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve due to various factors including the existence of alternative dredged material disposal sites within the County."
"Pierce County would also prefer to prohibit certain aquaculture activities in proximity to estuaries and within select bays and inlets that are developed with high density residential densities."
"Obligating the County to accept uses in inappropriate areas that will result in unavoidable impacts and user conflicts is unfortunate." 
Not allowed by Ecology:
18. Aquaculture is prohibited in Estuaries within 300 feet of the mouth of freshwater streams (as measured at extreme low tide).
19. Aquaculture is prohibited adjacent to residential neighborhoods in Horsehead Bay, Wollochet Bay, Lay Inlet and adjacent to Raft Island due to water quality and visual impacts.
d. Disposal of dredged material within the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve
17. With the exception of Olympia Oyster propagation which is a conditional use, new commercial shellfish aquaculture operations are prohibited within the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve.

For complete document showing what was struck by DOE, added by DOE, and why, see this link:

For DOE's "recommended changes" see this document:

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Farmed Salmon: An Industry in Transition to Enclosed Operations - The old model is dead.

"the economics are all there for us
and 10 more [companies] in terms of demand.”
(Whole Oceans chief development officer Ben Willauer)
UndercurrentNews, August 16

Farmed salmon is an industry in transition, moving from open net pen operations to upland/enclosed operations. In the United States, three major developments are currently underway with 2 in Maine and 1 in Florida. The latter, Atlantic Sapphire's, is expected to supply up to 10% of the US demand for farmed salmon when completed. Whole Oceans in Maine already has sold out its first 10 years of production.

Atlantic Sapphire's "Bluehouse"
All operations are all withing one location.

There are both ecosystem and economic advantages to the change in how salmon are grown. The risk to the native ecosystem and habitat from virus, waste, and escapes are eliminated with enclosed systems. Placing enclosed operations closer to population centers minimizes the energy wasted in moving salmon smolt to the pens, well boats needed to treat disease, and energy wasted in moving salmon to markets from the pens at maturity. 

High cost of transportation
is collapsed 
with land based operations.
(from Atlantic Sapphire)

There are active arguments against the transition, but all fall by the wayside on closer examination.

Too much fresh water is used: Open net pen operations currently require the same amount of fresh water to hatch and grow out small salmon for transport to their open pens. Salt water required for grow out to market size would be drawn in from the ocean or deep salt aquifers, representing virtually nothing. Further, once drawn, the water is recirculated, and filtered, with the waste contained and not allowed to spread throughout the environment as it does in open net pen operations.

Too much energy is required for pumps: This argument ignores the evolution - if not revolution - also currently taking place in the energy field. Whether in the form of wind turbines (currently used at Atlantic Sapphire's Denmark facility) solar cells, or tidal turbines, these operations are able to easily produce much of the power needed. As seen in the image above, reducing energy requirements for current open net pen operations is simply not possible (e.g., there are no electric boats nor planes).

Land is scarce
: While land may be scarce in some European countries, this is simply not the case in north america. Further, even where land is scarce, the size of the facilities maximizes the land used to produce protein for consumption. As seen in the image below from Atlantic Sapphire's Bluehouse in Denmark, the tanks use for grow out are immense in height.

Rural jobs are at risk: Some jobs may be lost, but many will be created as construction and operation of these new facilities begins.

Enclosed/upland salmon growing operations will revolutionize and change forever the farmed salmon industry. Disease and waste entering the natural ecosystems and escapes impacting native species will be eliminated. While companies operating in the United States and British Columbia will resist the transition, it will happen, with capital and jobs flowing to those areas supporting this transition. The market will demand it as more and more problems with open net pen operations are brought to light.

Healthy, sustainably grown salmon is here now
and it won't stop coming.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thurston County Shoreline Master Program Updated Files On-line

Get involved: Thurston County has announced updated files having been added to its online site. Documents added/updated include the Draft Shoreline Master Program regulations and associated appendices. A County Commissioners meeting will be held September 12 where a presentation on the proposed updates will be given (see below for time and location). This update, in the beginning phases, will control developments along the shorelines, tidelands and waters of Thurston County. The public is encouraged to participate (see below for were to send comments).

From Thurston County:

Thurston County government is updating its shoreline codes, also called the Shoreline Master Program (SMP).  The documents page has been updated to include the remaining appendices of the Draft SMP Document for review and comment.
The complete set of draft SMP documents are online here:  https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/shorelines-update-docs-list.aspx 
The SMP document website contains the following:
Shoreline Master Program Document
Appendix A:   Shoreline Environmental Designation Report - with supporting documents and maps
Appendix B:   Mitigation Options to Achieve No-Net Loss
Appendix C:   Shoreline Restoration Plan
Appendix D:   Channel Migration Zone map data
Inventory and Characterization Report - with supporting documents and maps
Cumulative Impacts Analysis Report - with supporting documents/maps
A briefing with the Board of County Commissioners is scheduled for September 12, 2018 from 3:30-4:00pm to discuss proposed updates. The public is welcome to attend. 

DATE           Wednesday, September 12, 2018

TIME           3:30 pm - 4:00 p.m.

Thurston County Courthouse Complex
                    Building 1, Room 280
                    2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
                    Olympia, WA  98502 


You can send comments via email or mail.
There is currently no deadline for sending comments, but the process is moving forward.

If you have questions, please contact the County's Senior Planner and SMP Project Manager, Brad Murphy. Email smp@co.thurston.wa.us or call 360-867-4465


Thurston County Community Planning Staff

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

PCC Markets Writes on Southern Resident Orca With Ecosystem Wide View

Get involved:  Tell your grandchildren
you helped preserve 
Southern Resident Orca
watched them go extinct.

A young orca and Chinook salmon near San Juan Island. 
Image: National Marine Fisheries Service permit #19091.

PCC Markets provides a piece penned by Anne Mosness on ecosystem wide impacts resulting in the endangered Southern Resident Orca population threatened with extinction in our lifetime. Impacts from development range from impassable culverts, dams and industrial level aquaculture activities threatening habitat for both forage fish and Chinook salmon, the former a food source for the salmon, the latter the food source for the Orca. The article ends with suggestions on actions to take, copied below.


  • Dispose of unused drugs in garbage. Do not flush down the toilet.
  • Don’t wash your car in the driveway or on the street. Wash your car on the lawn to filter oily chemicalrunoff — or take it to a car wash where suds and chemicals are diverted to a water treatment plant, away from storm drains that empty into Puget Sound. It is illegal to let detergents and contaminated waste enter storm drains in King and Snohomish counties. If you do, you could be fined.
  • Switch to an electric car.
  • Stencil “No Dumping — Drains to Sound” at your neighborhood storm drains. Contact public works or storm water maintenance in your city, or the following, for stencils, paint and guidance.
Seattle – carlton.stinson@seattle.gov or 206-684-7624
Bothell – christi.cox@bothellwa.gov or 425-806-6790
Burien – marye@burienwa.gov or 206-248-5511
Edmonds – steve.fisher@edmondswa.gov or 425-275-4801
Kirkland – wayers@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3859
Redmond – jcapis@redmond.gov or 425-556-2865
  • Consider commenting to our U.S. senators and Gov. Inslee about the four lower Snake River dams. See wildsalmon.org.
  • Join Sierra Club’s Water/Salmon Committee and learn more here.