Dungeness Wildlife Refuge -Opposition to the leasing of the refuge to aquaculture

This is the latest update from Janet Marx who is one of the people leading the opposition to this ill conceived idea. Since I first published this yesterday, I’ve already received mail wondering why this is a problem at all and why the Tribe shouldn’t just have their way with creating a commercial aquaculture farm inside the refuge. Beyond the absurdity of saying because something was allowed once that we still should, (should we open all our national parks to unrestricted commercial activity because it once was allowed there?), I published the following some time ago in this blog:

This web site has published the letter of concern from the Refuge Manager.

As stated by the Department of Interior letter, “The shores and tidelands in this area provide some of the most important wildlife habitat and supports the highest density of waterfowl and shorebirds within the refuge….These shorelines also support one of the largest Brandt haul out sites in the state of Washington….Shorebird densities are highest within the action area and the adjacent lagoon on Graveyard Spit.”

“Human-caused wildlife disturbance and habitat loss are two of the most pervasive threats to shorebird and waterfowl use of the Salish Sea….very little information is available on entrapment resulting from aquaculture structures.”

Actually there is a great deal of photos widely available on the web with a little searching, of entrapment of wild animals by aquaculture structures.

But now, let’s return to the information put out by Janet Marx:

This is what we’ve been up to since the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signed the lease allowing the shellfish operation within the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge.

1)  Contacting Media – We have sent out press releases to state and national newspaper and radio media.  We have received some interest; however, follow up will depend on our actions.  See below.

2)  Reading and reviewing Corps of Engineers and DNR decision- making documents for future use.3)  Seeking legal advice.

3)  Continuing written contact with DNR regarding their explanation of why they issued  the permit.  We encourage you to write or phone DNR requesting they rescind the permit.

4)  A sign waving and printed handouts event is currently scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd, 10am to 3pm near the Refuge.  Please contribute time that morning or afternoon.  Show up and make the public and media take notice. 

Please email or give me a call by September 24 if you will be with us on October 5th.  We will send you detailed information.

Janet Marx


2 Responses

  1. So if the lease is a done deal, it has already been signed, what is the rationale and plan behind this opposition to the Dungeness Bay shellfish lease? While protests may focus attention on the myriad of problems caused by many shellfish aquaculture operations, the reality is that an expansion of shellfish aquaculture is supported by both the WA Department of Ecology and NOAA. Language to that effect is on both NOAA’s and Department of Ecology’s website. Also at the state level, DNR and WDFW are also supportive of shellfish aquaculture efforts.

    It is time to come up with a plan B. Maybe working on a set of specific indicators for what constitutes sustainable and ecologically clean shellfish aquaculture and options for accountability/enforcement are where both energy and effort need to go. Simple opposition doesn’t seem to be working.

  2. Al, Thank you so much for providing us this exposure to your extensive readership. I have to make a correction (my fault, not yours). The last sentence “Please email or give me a call by September 24 if you will be with us on October 5th. We will send you detailed information.” The date should be October 2nd. Thanks for doing what you do so well. Janet

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