Speak up to protect Humboldt Bay from harmful expansion by Coast Seafood

Click on the words above “Speak up to protect Humboldt Bay…” to see this entire post.

Coast Seafood has once again applied to expand their shellfish growing operation on Humboldt Bay.

Description of proposed project is here.

Please write the Army Corps of Engineers before 20 April with your request that this expansion be denied.

Be sure to note the Public Notice number of PN-2002-26912N. Highlight the environmental impacts of allowing the expansion rather then simply stating “I am against the expansion.”

These may include: Impact on eel grass, which then impacts brant, salmon, steelhead, coastal cutthroat. If you are a duck hunter, this will certainly impact your ability to navigate on the bay, as well as the number of brant feeding (or not) in the bay. The added plastic that will escape into the ocean is another cause for concern.

Those of us that value the natural diversity supported by an untrampled bay over increased oyster production ask that this expansion be denied.

As in Tomales Bay, shellfish operations in Humboldt Bay harm the eel grass beds that serve an important role for many, many species beyond the non-native oysters, clams and mussels grown for private profit on public lands. Two groups of animals of particular concern are the black brant and a number of salmonids (chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead trout and sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. Eel grass provides food for the brant (their main food source) and it provides refugia (cover) for the salmonids when they are young and need a place to hide.

Expanding shellfish operations on another 256 acres would significantly impact a large number of species that rest and feed on Humboldt Bay. Coast already has approximately 300 acres upon which to profit.

Please write L. Kasey Sirkin (l.k.sirkin@usace.army.mil) at the Army Corps of Engineers with your concerns.
The deadline for comments is 20 April, so please do this now.

See what Eureka Resident Susan Penn has to say on this important issue here.

Below are some documents that will educate you on the issues at hand.

Comments on the application from Audubon of California, EarthJustice and Oceana

Download (PDF, 1.45MB)

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers comments on this project.

Download (PDF, 165KB)

 

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) comments on this project.

Download (PDF, 1.42MB)

Save our Tomales Bay – Part 5

Click the words above “Save our Tomales Bay…” to see this post as it was meant to be seen.

The past several weeks I’ve been picking up the trash left behind by local oyster farming operations on Tomales Bay.

In this post from 29 June, I wondered aloud if those responsible for the mess would pick up after themselves, or would I need to find more help to rid the environment of the trash of private enterprise.

A week later and a few of the larger bales of plastic oyster grow-out bags had been recovered.

This past weekend I went back to have a look at some of the submerged bags, those filled with gravel and embedded in the sand, mud and gravel.

Unfortunately they were still there. as were the many bags I had tossed up high on the shore to keep the tide from carrying them away.

I found that by slicing along one edge of the buried bags, the sand and gravel can be more easily emptied out. But, the freshly sliced plastic is also very sharp. My punctured thumb bled profusely after learning this the hard way.

What follows are images showing the consequences of sustainable, low-impact, no inputs required mariculture of West Marin.

Have a look and ask yourself if this truly is as earth-friendly as it is being portrayed. I imagine with some thought, as well as more labor, oysters could be grown and harvested without leaving such a mess behind.

In a future post, you’ll see evidence of the origin of many of the oysters sold in West Marin to a public that thinks they are buying “local”, as well as sustainable.

All images can be seen larger simply by clicking on them.

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Above or below, which view do you prefer?

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.