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 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. If allowed, what precedent might this set for the future?

• The proposed location is regarded as a high use area for waterfowl and shorebirds, especially for winter foraging.

• The level of proposed activity in this location would likely present a significant 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 new growth of native eelgrass and may disrupt natural habitat on the seabed, reducing foraging areas. Areas near the proposed site have eelgrass, which provides habitat for forage fish and shellfish. The forage fish provide food for salmon, and they become food for Orca. Will the proposed location disrupt eelgrass growth and the food chain?

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


January 2021 Update:
The aquaculture project is in the process of being reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Once they provide a decision on the project there may be additional opportunities for the public to comment on the proposal. This page will be updated when new information is available.

US Army Corps of Engineers and WA Department of Ecology seek public comments by May 30, 2020.
Read the full document here.

Conventional mail or e-mail comments on this public notice will be accepted and made part of the record and will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would not be contrary to the public interest. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the permit applicant’s name and reference number as shown below. Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the permit applicant’s name and reference number, as shown below, and the commenter’s name, address, and phone number. All comments whether conventional mail or e-mail must reach this office, no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration.

All e-mail comments should be sent to

Conventional mail comments should be sent to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Branch
Attention: Pamela Sanguinetti
P.O. Box 3755
Seattle, Washington 98124-3755

All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.

Any person desiring to present views on the project pertaining to a request for water quality certification under Section 401 of the CWA and/or Coastal Zone Management consistency concurrence, may do so by submitting written comments to the following address:
Washington State Department of Ecology
Attention: Federal Permit Coordinator
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, Washington 98504-7600

Or e-mail to

To ensure proper consideration of all comments, responders must include the following name and reference number in the text of their comments: Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe; NWS-2007-1213


Other information:

A hearing for final public input was held on November 21, 2019. Read documents about the proposed oyster farm here.

Clallam County issued their final decision of approval on the proposal on January 10, 2020. You can read the decision here.