Plastic pollution - Over 40,000 PVC pipes per acre are stomped into the beach for geoduck planting.
Ask Governor Inslee to limit industrial aquaculture expansion to protect wildlife and our shorelines.
The state of Washington is fortunate to have miles of beautiful shorelines teeming with life. However, the balance of this ecosystem is delicate and needs our protection. Loss of shoreline habitat means loss of native species. Endangered salmon, for example, depend for their recovery on forage fish, which in turn depend on eel grass habitat.
The Washington Shellfish Initiative was advocated for by the commercial shellfish industry and promotes expansion of industrial aquaculture. The majority of expansion will be geoduck, clam and mussel aquaculture with some non-native Pacific oyster cultivation. Finfish aquaculture expansion is also planned.
The Shellfish Initiative requires the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) to allow aquaculture on all shorelines, something already mandated in the Shoreline Master Plans (SMPs) in several shoreline communities.
Bainbridge Island residents are leading the way and have appealed this shoreline aquaculture mandate. Other communities want to join Bainbridge Island in the fight to protect shorelines, but these legal battles can cost citizens tens of thousands of dollars.
The planning process and citizen input should be honored in the local SMP and not be overridden by Ecology.
While the shellfish industry claims that shellfish cultivated in high density clean the water, leading scientists have testified to the harmful impacts of intensive aquaculture. Adverse impacts from high density aquaculture include plastic pollution, pesticide contamination, impacts to native species, and habitat alterations. Industrial aquaculture also adversely affects the aesthetic beauty of our shorelines and reduces recreational opportunities for Washingtonians.
Thanks for all you do for the environment,