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"DEVELOPING" TIDELANDS WITH PLASTIC, NETTING, AND REBAR

"Substantial Development" of aquaculture in the tidelands along shorelines is being permitted in the State of Washington. 

Commercial ventures are taking place in Pacific coastal areas that support abundant wildlife and aquatic life, along rural residential shorelines, and along stretches of beach property that have been enjoyed for beachcombing,
recreation and for the beauty and health that nature provides.


Tubes in the Tidelands
Click to enlarge photo

Geoduck Aquaculture (also known as Gweduck, pronounced "gooeyduck," are giant edible burrowing clams).
Geoduck aquaculture farming requires PVC pipes (12 " in length and 3-4 " in diameter) to be partially stuck into the tideland clay  spaced
1 foot apart, leaving about 4" jutting out above ground.  The pipes are then covered  with net caps.  Within a 2.46 acre area, there could be 107,158 PVC pipes (each a foot apart) stretched out along the shoreline about 50 feet from shore all the way out to the low mean tide line.  About a year or so later,  the PVC pipes are pulled up (if they are still there) and the geoducks left to continue growing for another 3 years.  After several years have gone by, powerful pressurized waterguns are used to blast away 3 foot deep pits in the acres of sandy mud so the geoducks can be pulled out and shipped off for marketing. 



Tidelands of Plastic,
Netting, and Rebar

Click to enlarge photo
 


Aquaculture farming of manila clams is also being conducted on beaches on a rotational basis.  Clams are planted directly into the beach and then the whole area covered over with large netting held by steel rebar for about 3 years while the clams grow. 


Trashing the Tidelands
Click to enlarge photo


Netting, tubes, rebar, and broken pieces of these components have been dislodged by wind, high tides, and waves and migrated to beaches and out into the deeper waters where they could be ingested by marine species and seabirds. We should say "will be ingested," because debris can move around for years in water that isn't stationary.  Floating netting is a certain deathtrap for any creature unfortunate enough to become entangled in it. Walking on these once pristine beaches is no longer a pleasure, and could very well be a hazard.  Netting and dislodged tubes could also cause harm to boaters, windsurfers, fishermen, skiers and swimmers.

 

 

Residents in these areas are alarmed at this devastation of natural habitat, and wondering why this is being allowed.  More and more of this type of aquaculture is spreading in the Puget Sound area, and less and less questions are being answered for concerned residents. 

Visit the Protect Zangle Cove website to find more information, contacts, photos, and important links.  Various groups are forming and asking for your help and involvement.

 

 

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