LETTER:Refuge lease

Washington’s plastic bag ban went into effect on Oct. 1.

Plastic bags contain chemicals that are toxic once released into the environment.

Plastic pollution poses both physical and chemical threats to the marine environment.

They hurt our wildlife since they often end up inside birds and fish, but also impact our health because the chemicals released into those animals and waterways can wind up in our bodies.

Knowing all the above, the state Department of Natural Resources approved a land lease for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed oyster farm within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

The proposed commercial cultivation methods include 29 acres of on-bottom oyster aquaculture in Phase 1, in addition to 5 acres of bagged oysters and beach harvest of mature oysters.

Bagged oysters require human intervention to avoid sedimentation.

They must be flipped routinely.

This adds an element of human disturbance to the refuge that was not seen in previous on-substrate oyster cultivation.

There is an eventual plan of 80,000 bags of oysters. This presence could be a disaster.

What can you do?

Refuge staff are currently conducting a determination of compatibility to decide if the aquaculture use is compatible with refuge goals.

Let refuge staff know your concerns about how this commercial, economic use of our refuge is not compatible with wildlife.

Contact them at 360-457-8451, fax 360-457-9778, mail 715 Holgerson Road, Sequim, WA 98382 or email fw1wamaritime@fws.gov.

Don Myers