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Army Corps of Engineers (Seattle) presentation on Aquaculture (register by 14 Apr)

Army Corps of Engineers (COE) presentation on the Present Status of Aquaculture Permitting

On April 20, the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) will give a presentation in Seattle about how it oversees shellfish aquaculture in the northwest and nationally, now and in the future. This meeting is open to the public. It is likely to be well attended by shellfish industry representatives.

NOTIFICATION:
You must notify Patricia Graesser of the COE by April 14 if you intend to be at the presentation/Q&A session in person. The meeting is in a secure building. and the RSVP enables the COE to notify security officers about who will be attending. Arrive 15 minutes early to allow time to pass through security. To enter the building you will need a valid photo ID, and you will go through a metal detector. Also contact Graesser if you can't attend in person and instead would like to join a web meeting and audio conference call.

POC: Patricia Graesser, email: patricia.c.graesser@usace.army.mil, phone: 206-764-3760

WHEN: 20 Apr 2016, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (arrive 15 minutes early)

WHERE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District Office, Federal Center South, 4735 E. Marginal Way South, Seattle, Washington.
 
PRELIMINARY AGENDA:
•       1:00 p.m.    Welcome By Col. John Buck, District Commander, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
•       1:05 p.m.     Brief overview of the Corps aquaculture regulatory program
•       1:15 p.m.     Update on ongoing activities:
•       Status of the programmatic Endangered Species Act consultation for shellfish activities in Washington
•       Regional General Permit for shellfish activities or 2017 Nationwide Permit 48 for commercial shellfish activities
Upcoming milestones and opportunities for involvement
•       1:45 p.m.     Questions & Answers
•       2:45 p.m.     Closing Remarks
 
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Background information (These quotes were pasted from the "Protect Our Shoreline News" blog that was posted on 10 Apr 2016).

"Get involved: Become aware of COE aquaculture oversight.
The Army Corps of Engineers has released an announcement about a presentation on the current and future oversight of shellfish aquaculture, nationally and more importantly, in the northwest. For almost ten years now the COE in Seattle has helped control the desired expansion of the shellfish industry in Puget Sound. Requirements in 2007 to supply accurate information were found to not have been met with all applications having been rejected and new ones required. 

"Politics pays if you pay lobbyists to complain of oversight.
Political pressures in Washington DC to slacken oversight from the COE have been intense, with recent results being the removal of eelgrass protections when an area having lied "fallow" is considered for production. Current pressures for the COE to require a cumulative impacts analysis have not been met with success. Despite ongoing expansion resulting in small, discrete farms becoming far larger point sources of PVC and plastic pollution of Puget Sound, the shellfish industry continues to see nothing wrong and presses forward through politically driven programs such as the Washington Shellfish Initiative proposal to minimize oversight through "streamlining" the permitting process.
[Note: A separate meeting April 18 will be held by Washington State on their permitting process. The Washington Shellfish Initiative Advisory Group meeting will be held April 18, 2016, 9:30am to 12:00pm John L. O’Brien Building, Room B15/18, 504 15th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501."

Later Event: April 22
Marine Sanctuaries, Keyport