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, June 18, 2019

Imidacloprid in Willapa Bay: Goose Point Oyster/Others Press On - "No other way."

Pristine Waters of Willapa Bay?
It just needs pesticides added directly to it.
Growers complain of urban runoff. 
But direct application of pesticides by them is okay.

Welcome to business. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. 
In a presentation put forth for OPB, owners of Goose Point oyster claim there is no other way for them to grow oysters than to be allowed to spray their beds with the pesticide Imidacloprid, banned in the European Union. Because there is a lack of willingness to develop and implement alternative growing methods such as those Taylor Shellfish has, Goose Point's owners believe the only way is to spray Willapa Bay with Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoids being banned in foreign countries*.
*Some ask why let a foreign country control US policy? Some ask why foreign countries grounded 737 Max jets before the US. Sometimes the US isn't always right.
The threat to Willapa Bay is not native species.
It is pesticide use from oyster growers.
And a lack of imagination and willingness
to accept that sometimes business has expenses.

Welcome to "pristine" waters of Willapa Bay. Where pesticides were applied directly.
Willapa Bay is often described as having "pristine waters" which grow some of the best oysters in the world. While it's true that Willapa Bay grows an enormous number of oysters, claiming the waters to be "pristine" while spraying pesticides on oyster beds for decades stretches integrity. Washington's Attorney General went so far as to describe the waters as a "chemical soup" in 2012 (see p. 32 here). Direct application of Carbaryl/Sevin by growers then only made it worse, as Imidacloprid will today.

Use some Thinking Time.
It's not rocket science.

Welcome to business problem solving. It's not, "We don't know what else to do!"
Oyster growers claiming there is no other way are not taking the time to problem solve. Some claim that pole and rack/line systems would work like those used by Taylor Shellfish, but sediments are so soft poles used fall over. Do they not make longer poles which get driven into firmer sediments?  Just because oyster growers have been used to simply throwing oyster shell onto the bedlands of Willapa Bay, spraying pesticides, and using the public waters as a food source to grow oysters doesn't mean there aren't alternative methods. It only means there is a lack of will because it may cost more to grow oysters. Business is tough sometimes.

All the PR help in a tall building
will not convince consumers
oysters from beds sprayed with 
pesticides are safe/good to eat.

Welcome to bad PR advice. The Hard Reality: You will kill demand for oysters from Willapa Bay and all of Washington.
Public Relations firms will be more than happy to take money and make a point you want them to. It's what they get paid to do in their 25th floor offices. It's not to tell you the hard realities in life. In this case, if oyster growers are successful in their appeal to Washington and are granted a permit, the demand for Willapa Bay and Washington oysters will drop. Efforts to export Washington oysters to the European Union will be for nothing when they discover Imidacloprid - a pesticide the EU has banned - is being sprayed on the oyster beds Washington oysters are grown on. The East Coast Shellfish Growers Association has already said, pointedly, they "...use no feeds, fertilizers, pesticides or antibiotics." That is the hard reality Washington oyster growers will be up against if Willapa Bay growers are successful. That advice is free.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Geoduck Aquaculture: Too Controversial for Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee? What are you "protecting"?

June 28, 1-5PM
Shellfish Aquaculture Educational Forum
Northwest Maritime Center
431 Water St
Port Townsend, WA
Registration required (click here for registration)

JCMRC: We only want to educate you 
on aquaculture which isn't controversial.

What habitat is it JCMRC "protecting and restoring"?
The "habitat" 40,000 PVC tubes/acre create?

Really? What "resources" are you protecting by not putting geoduck aquaculture on the agenda? 
In a move which shines a light on the role which the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee is apparently now filling - promoting shellfish aquaculture which the industry wants you to hear about - they have decided not to include geoduck aquaculture in an upcoming "educational forum" on aquaculture. Based on a recent post by Al Bergstein, the past Environmental representative on the Committee, the upcoming June 28 meeting will only discuss the warmer topics of aquaculture, not the ongoing hot button of geoduck aquaculture. Ongoing for over a decade now. 

Integrity still matters to some.
(Al Bergstein has resigned from JCMRC)

Geoduck aquaculture is too hot for JCMRC to touch. 
As a result of geoduck aquaculture being considered too controversial to be included on the agenda,  Al Bergstein has resigned from his long held position as the Environmental representative. Instead of addressing what is the most controversial form of aquaculture taking place in Puget Sound - the growing of geoduck in intertidal areas for the elite in China - the Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee has instead punted and left it off of the agenda. It's too controversial (still). As a result, Mr Bergstein has resigned from his position. 

The Chinese could care less about Puget Sound's
intertidal area and the habitat provided to native species.
Geoduck growers like the money.
So do nonprofits receiving donations.

Geoduck is hard to swallow. 
While it is unfortunate the JCMRC has lost such a strong voice supporting the critical marine habitats within Puget Sound - those marine habitat areas which the JCMRC claims it is "protecting and restoring" - no one should have to compromise their strongly held beliefs for a committee apparently too timid to face down this industrial level of aquaculture taking place in Puget Sound and deal with the controversy surrounding it. There is a point in life where you can only swallow so much of what industry spoon feeds you before you have to act on your beliefs.

Being involved pays. Very well.
"Don't ask how it's done."

It will be quite a show.
Geoduck growers have created a magic show making agencies believe great benefits to all has been created. Well paid public relations firms, well paid attorneys, and well paid "scientists" (either directly or through grants controlled through the political process) have created a magic show in which the belief that geoducks grown in Puget Sound's intertidal areas is somehow good. It is not . It is transformative, creating a monoculture, and fracturing the critical marine habitat of Puget Sound. Growers want more and will get more unless you make your voice heard. 

Get involved. Make your voice heard. 
Register and attend JCMRC "Shellfish Aquaculture Educational Forum". It will be quite a show.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Friends of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge and Commercial Aquaculture

Friends of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge
on the proposed commercial shellfish operation
within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

Commercial Oyster Farm Proposed Within Refuge
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has done many positive things for our community. They have worked with Friends and the Refuge for environmental restoration and other beneficial projects. We support their commercial aquaculture efforts. However, we do object to the proposed location within a closed area of the Refuge that is heavily used by wildlife.
Our concerns about the proposed oyster farm location: 
• The Refuge was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson to protect wildlife. It was not established to conduct commercial aquaculture operations with non-native species. If allowed, what precedent might this set for the future?
• The proposed location is a high use area for waterfowl and shorebirds, especially for winter foraging. The area also has eelgrass, which provides habitat for forage fish and shellfish.
• The level of proposed activity in this location would present a great disturbance to wildlife.
• The proposed location could negatively impact the view and experience of the 100,000 annual Refuge visitors with the visual pollution of up to 80,000 plastic mesh bags, and boats and workers in the area.
• Plastic debris from the mesh bags is a concern. Wildlife could potentially get trapped in the mesh or ingest the plastic debris as it breaks down.
• Bags anchored to the ground could prevent native eelgrass from growing and may disrupt natural habitat on the seabed, reducing foraging areas.
• Noise pollution from workers, boats, and equipment may scare wildlife, causing health issues, or abandonment of the site. Noise may also disturb Refuge visitors and neighbors on the bay.
You may submit comments to Clallam County. Click here to submit or read the Documents about the proposed oyster farm.

Click on the link above, then find several detailed documents regarding the proposal, exhibits, and public comments. On the top right of the page you will find links to submit a comment by email or fill out a an online form. Update – The scheduled April 4, 2019 public hearing has been postponed. The Tribe is seeking government to government negotiations regarding the proposed location. Public input is still being received by the County.