By Sara Thompson
Key Peninsula News 

Public Weighs in on Burley Lagoon Geoduck Farming

Key Peninsula residents expressed concerns about the long-term effects at multiple levels.


Last updated 6/15/2023 at 10:07am

Tina McKail, Key Peninsula News

A view of Burley Lagoon during an outgoing tide as viewed from SR 302 along the Purdy Spit.

Update: The Key Peninsula Land Use Advisory Council voted 5-2 to recommend approving shoreline permits to expand the geoduck farm with several conditions May 30. The Gig Harbor council voted 3-2 to recommend denying them.

More than 100 people gathered May 22 for the first opportunity to speak publicly about a Taylor Shellfish Co. application to convert part of its current oyster and clam bed farms in Burley Lagoon to geoduck. The joint meeting of both the Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor Land Use Advisory Councils was held at the Key Peninsula Civic Center with 42 speakers participating in-person and via Zoom.

Ty Booth, planner for Pierce County Planning and Public Works, summarized the permitting process, which began in 2014. Erin Ewald, director of regulatory affairs for Taylor, briefly reviewed the history of the Burley Lagoon aquaculture operation, and then individuals were invited to the mic to speak for up to two minutes.

About three quarters of the speakers were Burley Lagoon or Henderson Bay residents. The comments included personal observations of the changes observed over time as Taylor has become a more industrialized operation compared to the previous owner, concerns about the environmental impact of a geoduck monoculture, the effects of light, noise and gear on the quality of life for those who live on the lagoon and worries about the extensive use of plastics.

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