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:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cliff Mass Writes on Orca, Salmon and Impacts from the Shellfish Industry

Cliff Mass questions why, given the declining Orca and Salmon population we are witnessing, Washington is allowing the growth of an industry who sees nothing wrong with spraying pesticides and herbicides in public and tribal waters in order to improve their profits.
See here: https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2019/03/with-declining-orcas-and-salmon-why-do.html

An industry out of control.
Extending this question, one has to ask why Washington is allowing the massive placement of plastics within Puget Sound, needed by the shellfish industry to grow shellfish. Similar to the Orca last year who carried her dead calf throughout the waters of Puget Sound for 17 days, the recent death of a whale found to have 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach should also serve as a wake-up call to the overuse of plastics in the marine environment, especially Puget Sound.
See here: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/18/704471596/stomach-of-dead-whale-contained-nothing-but-plastic

This is an industry which has been used to getting its way prior to and after statehood. They brought to near extinction the native Olympia oyster through over harvesting and forced the newly formed state to sell off over 70% of tidelands normally held for the public's benefit.

This is an industry who, after stripping tidelands of native Olympia oysters imported oysters from the East Coast, packed in Spartina grass. The oysters died. The Spartina, however, took hold, stabilizing nearshore sediments and capturing the upland runoff of sediments created from clear cutting and development, helping to explaining why, on the East Coast "...it is considered a valuable plant making important contributions to the coastal ecology".

But this industry saw it differently, spending over $20 million on its eradication through, spraying with herbicides to remove it. And, in the process, also removing the stabilization of the nearshore sediments it provided, releasing them into the bay and removing any ability to capture and retain upland sediments, and habitat functions it provided.

This is an industry who next decided to import oysters from Japan, packed in Japanese eelgrass. Both were able to grow with the Japanese eelgrass moving into the upper tideland area where it became naturalized and a food source for migratory water fowl and stabilized the upper intertidal sediments. The Pacific oyster, on the other hand, displaced habitat once used by the native Olympia oyster. In fact, Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish said of it, “The Pacific oyster is kind of the weed oyster of the world”.

Being annoyed by the naturalized Japanese eelgrass, viewing it as making sediments too firm to grow  nonnative Manila clams in and difficult for the "weed" oyster to grow in, the industry decided to have it declared a "noxious weed" and thereby began spraying it with an herbicide named imazamox. By killing off the eelgrass, not only was a food source for migratory waterfowl lost, but once again as with Spartina, its stabilizing of the sediments was also lost.

Finally, this industry has decided that most likely as a result of its past actions which released sediments by killing off Spartina and Japanese eelgrass, creating a better habitat for native burrowing shrimp, those native shrimp need to go. By spraying them with the pesticide imidaclorid, a neurotoxic pesticide which on every label - except their product - states to not apply it to water or to the intertidal area.

This is an industry used to getting its way. It will continue until the veil of "ecosystem services" is pulled back to reveal what it really is: Simply another extraction industry bent on using Washington's critical marine habitat to generate profits from. At any cost.