Friends of Dungeness NWR Logo
Friends of Dungeness NWR Logo

Friends of Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
715 Holgerson Rd., Sequim, WA 98382

Commercial Oyster Farm Proposed Within Refuge

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has done many positive things for our community. They have worked with Friends and the Refuge for environmental restoration and other beneficial projects. We support their commercial aquaculture efforts. However, we do object to the proposed location within a closed area of the Refuge that is heavily used by wildlife.

Our concerns about the proposed oyster farm location:
• The Refuge was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson to protect wildlife. It was not established to conduct commercial aquaculture operations with non-native species. If allowed, what precedent might this set for the future?

• The proposed location is a high use area for waterfowl and shorebirds, especially for winter foraging. The area also has eelgrass, which provides habitat for forage fish and shellfish.

• The level of proposed activity in this location would present a great disturbance to wildlife.

• The proposed location could negatively impact the view and experience of the 100,000 annual Refuge visitors with the visual pollution of up to 80,000 plastic mesh bags, and boats and workers in the area.

• Plastic debris from the mesh bags is a concern. Wildlife could potentially get trapped in the mesh or ingest the plastic debris as it breaks down.

• Bags anchored to the ground could prevent native eelgrass from growing and may disrupt natural habitat on the seabed, reducing foraging areas.

• Noise pollution from workers, boats, and equipment may scare wildlife, causing health issues, or abandonment of the site. Noise may also disturb Refuge visitors and neighbors on the bay.

You may submit comments to Clallam County. Click here to submit or read the Documents about the proposed oyster farm.

Click on the link above, then find several detailed documents regarding the proposal, exhibits, and public comments. On the top right of the page you will find links to submit a comment by email or fill out a an online form. Update – The scheduled April 4, 2019 public hearing has been postponed. The Tribe is seeking government to government negotiations regarding the proposed location. Public input is still being received by the County.