Washington State oyster growers still want to spray poison in Willapa Bay & Grays Harbor

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Last year the Washington State Department of Ecology did the right thing by denying a permit to the oyster growers of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to spray poison into the ocean. Details found here.

Instead of using their brains to grow oysters without using poison (done all over the world), these growers are stuck in the ignorant past and demand a permit to spray a neurotoxin to kill native shrimp in order to make millions of dollars growing non-native oysters. Maybe their brains have been damaged by exposure to Carbaryl, the other poison they sprayed on these bays for 50 years.

HB 1037 text found here

Read what The Audubon Society knows about imidacloprid here.

Keep up on Washington State environmental protection issues here.

When oyster growers of Tomales Bay are prohibited from harvesting local oysters (due to heavy rains washing feces and other unpleasantries into Tomales Bay), they import oysters from other areas, including Washington State. Let’s hope local growers NEVER purchase oysters from growers who want to spray poison into the ocean.

One thing I’ve learned from 5+ years of looking into commercial aquaculture as I clean up after commercial aquaculture, there is lots of BS to go around. Bovine and otherwise.


Washington State Dept. of Ecology DENIES permit to spray neurotoxin in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor! Please comment and show your support

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Shellfish growers from Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) have requested a permit to use the pesticide imidacloprid on oyster beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to control native burrowing shrimp.

After carefully considering this request, we have determined that the proposal cannot meet Washington’s environmental protection laws. Therefore, we are denying the request for a permit.

Please write the WA Dept. of Ecology and show your support for them reaching the correct outcome. This is a tentative decision and your support will help cement the deal. Please write!

Articles on this great news may be found at the following links:

Seattle Times – April 9, 2018

Beyond Pesticides – April 11, 2018

Peninsula Daily News – April 11, 2018

The Washington Dept. of Ecology completed the final environmental assessment of a proposal to use the pesticide imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp.

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The supplemental environmental review found:


  • Significant impacts to sediment quality and benthic invertebrates.
  • Adverse impacts to juvenile worms and crustaceans in the areas treated with imidacloprid and the nearby areas covered by incoming tides.
  • Concern about non-lethal impacts to invertebrates in the water column and sediment.
  • New information shows a risk of impacts from imidacloprid even at low concentrations.
  • Likely indirect impacts to fish and birds if food sources are disrupted.
  • Little known direct risk to fish, birds, marine mammals, and human health.
  • Increased uncertainty about long-term, non-lethal, and cumulative impacts.
  • Continued knowledge gaps about imidacloprid.

Read more here.

This matters to everyone, not just Washingtonians. Nearly a quarter of the oysters grown in the US are grown in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

These oysters are shipped all over, including to growers on Tomales Bay.

Read more about imidacloprid, the neurotoxin Washington growers want to spray in local waters to kill native shrimp here.

Washington State shellfish growers propose spraying of neurotoxin over coastal bays

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The banner image above shows the terminals at Grays Harbor.

After watching their promotional video below, you might ask yourself
“What’s in that Grays Harbor water, is it clean enough to grow food for human consumption?”

Watch a public hearing on this issue here. Meeting was held 10 Oct. in Lacey WA, near Olympia.

Watch a public hearing on this issue here. Meeting was held 7 Oct. in South Bend WA, at Willapa Bay.

Shellfish growers from Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) have requested a permit to use the pesticide imidacloprid on burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

You can read more about this here.

Both bodies of water are located on the Washington State coast, SW of Puget Sound.

Shellfish growers in Tomales Bay import oysters grown in Willapa Bay from time to time.

Please comment on the proposed spraying of toxic pesticides, you can do so here< NOTE: COMMENT PERIOD IS CLOSED

Read all comments here.

Read a letter from Washington Fish and Wildlife Office here.

Read a letter from the National Marine Fisheries Service here.

Read a letter from The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides here.

Let Washington State know that spraying a highly toxic, highly soluble, and highly persistent pesticide in Willapa Bay is unacceptable. Other methods to grow oysters can be used.

Please let Tomales Bay shellfish growers know that you will NOT buy oysters grown by those who poison the ocean.

The poison in question has been directly linked to the widespread deaths of honeybees worldwide, known as Colony Collapse Disorder CCD. Read about that here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 6

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Oyster bags, oyster tags, what a drag!

Not only do the oyster farmers of Tomales Bay leave the tools of their trade all over the environment, they leave the tags from the bags shipped here from Washington State.


Let’s have a closer look at those tags


It says, “This tag is required to be attached until container is empty or retagged and thereafter kept on file for 90 days.

90 days from May 21st would be August 21st. Yet, I found these tags littering the shore (along with hundreds of grow out bags) in June, July and August. Does keeping tags on file in the oyster business mean scattering them to the winds to be deposited on the shores of Tomales Bay and Point Reyes Seashore?

There is so much to learn about this local, sustainable, easy on the land business of growing, er shipping from Washington, oysters.

Do you know your oyster farmer? Call them, all the Washington numbers are there on those tags you can see better below.

Does it make sense to ship oysters so far to sell them? Maybe farming what local, non-protected waters can support is the wiser course in the long run. If the local waters can only support X pounds of oysters per year, harvest X pounds.

Either way, picking up after yourself is a given. Why is it accepted that these mariculture operations can leave such a mess in the waters and on the shore? The Leysan Albatross and other pelagic birds that scoop up all the plastic garbage humans dump in the sea, and feed it to their chicks who then die, they have no seat at the table where decisions are made by those in power, those extracting a profit. Who speaks for the animals of the sea?

West Marin oyster farmers want to greatly expand the number of acres in Tomales Bay where they can practice their trade.

From what I have seen so far in my many days on the water and along the shore picking up after them, they don’t deserve to farm the acres they mis-use now. If these farmers sent two people out one day each week, or even every other week to clean up THEIR mess, I’d have nothing to write about. More importantly, the animals of the sea would be less likely to die by ingesting our waste.

This farming can be done responsibly if the farmers are willing to act in a manner many talk about. Are short-term profits going to fog the eyes of these business people such that they are blind to the damage being done?

I hope not.

As always, to see a larger version of the following images, click on it.







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.