US Army Corps of Engineers
New Nationwide Permit 48 (NWP 48)
for Shellfish Aquaculture

In September 2006 the Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed nationwide permit for shellfish aquaculture in the Federal Register, including a section dealing with shellfish restoration.

The Draft Decision Document contains supporting information used by the Corps in formulating NWP D. The meat of the discussion starts on page 12, and includes the strange, false, and grammatically incorrect statement on page 18 that, "Commercial shellfish aquaculture activities may have adverse effects on water quality. Large populations of the species raised through commercial shellfish activities can increase in nutrients and other and pollutants in the water." (sic)

A summary of NWP D was put together by the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) and lists the relevant issues in outline form. It also includes a listing of the general conditions contained in the NWP that are pertinent to shellfish, including General Condition 27 with information that needs to be included in a Preconstruction Notification (PCN).

The PCSGA issue brief was drafted in early 2004 and contains a good description of the permitting problem the Coast Oyster Company encountered in Humboldt Bay, California. This is one of the issues that led to the development of the new Nationwide Permits proposed by the Corps. Coast Oyster now has a permit in place on less acreage than before, but the discussion in this issue brief is still relevant.

The ECSGA drafted "model comments" for members, associates and friends to use as a starting point for their own comments to the Corps, and posted it to the ECSGA listserve on November 19.

Additional Supporting Documents:

Army Corps summary of the permit as it relates to existing shellfish aquaculture activities.

Army Corps discussion document of the permit.

ECSGA summary and talking points.

PCSGA talking points.

ECSGA final comments from December 2, 2006.

A December 2005 update on the Army Corps of Engineers Shellfish Permitting Process.