Help protect a fragile ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest


Thank you for your interest in this petition, however, the comment period is now closed. You may read or sign, but no additional signatures will be sent to the Washington Department of Ecology at this time.

The Washington Department of Ecology is examining an application to allow an imidacloprid insecticide application to the waters of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. The use of imidacloprid is intended to control two native species of burrowing shrimp, ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) and mud shrimp (Upogebia pugettensis), which are negatively affecting oyster farming.

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) has been following this issue. We’ve researched scientific data on this pesticide and we have reviewed the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). We will soon submit a comment letter which raises serious concerns about the conclusions by the Department of Ecology and possible approval of the use of imidacloprid in a tidal area.

Petition Text:

"We, the undersigned, support efforts to protect this fragile ecosystem from a potentially dangerous pesticide application. This plan is understudied, inadequate and fails to protect community and environmental health!

We support timely efforts to expand promising alternatives to neonicotinoids and to increase their feasibility and effectiveness. Investments should be made in educational, technical, financial, policy, and market support to accelerate adoption of alternatives rather than continuing to rely on highly toxic pesticides. Research and demonstration are needed to determine and improve the most effective alternatives and their respective potential and feasibility for farms of different sizes, locations, shrimp population density, and access to equipment. The state should invest its resources in these efforts prior to and instead of allowing toxic contamination of state estuaries.

Department of Ecology must protect Washington’s water, wildlife, public health, and local economies from the harmful impacts of toxic pesticides. The future of oyster farming in Washington State depends on the industry’s ability to adopt sustainable cultural and management strategies."

158 signatures

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Showing 145 reactions

  • Ande Kobek
    signed 2017-10-26 20:49:47 -0700
    The time is now to do what is right.
  • Brenda Gaines
    signed 2017-10-26 20:01:45 -0700
  • Gail Chism
    signed 2017-10-26 19:21:31 -0700
  • F Rodrguez
    signed 2017-10-26 19:15:51 -0700
  • Karen Khan
    signed 2017-10-26 19:04:01 -0700
  • terri silliman
    signed 2017-10-26 18:41:17 -0700
  • Jesse Kirkham
    signed 2017-10-26 18:36:33 -0700
  • Christina Conroy
    signed 2017-10-26 18:35:45 -0700
    Christina Conroy
  • Richard Crerie
    signed 2017-10-26 18:35:44 -0700
    It does not make sense to kill everything just to protect an industry.
  • Diane Weinstein
    signed 2017-10-26 18:07:27 -0700
  • Cindy Risvold
    signed 2017-10-26 18:00:01 -0700
  • Charles & Reida Kimmel
    signed 2017-10-26 17:53:10 -0700
    Herbicides and pesticides are all toxic to invertebrate life, aquatic or land based. As these creatures are the base of life’s pyramid, we are playing with fire in mindlessly destroying systems of nature whose many ways of supporting our whole ecosystem are but imperfectly understood.
  • Howard Blumenthal
    signed 2017-10-26 17:37:35 -0700
  • Gary Ladenes
    signed 2017-10-26 16:49:23 -0700
    Pesticides sh should not be used in an ocean environment as the harm to other organisms cannot be controlled.
  • Nancy Moysiuk
    signed 2017-10-26 16:45:33 -0700
  • Linda Carlson
    signed 2017-10-26 16:42:54 -0700
    Please protect our water, our children and the future!
  • Nancy Lyles
    @NancyLyles tweeted link to this page. 2017-10-26 16:41:43 -0700
    Sign the petition: Help protect a fragile ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest
  • Nancy Lyles
    signed 2017-10-26 16:41:23 -0700
  • Ellen Singer
    signed 2017-10-26 16:29:26 -0700
    Ellen M Singer
  • Helen Rueda
    signed 2017-10-26 16:14:35 -0700
    Helen Rueda
  • Virginia Young
    signed 2017-10-26 16:07:36 -0700
  • Judy Lane
    signed 2017-10-26 16:02:43 -0700
  • Jen Davis
    signed 2017-10-26 15:58:18 -0700
    As a veteran of 20 years as a beekeeper, who firsthand has seen a radical and alarming loss of our bees, I urge you to abandon the idea of using the highly Bee-toxic Imidacloprid in our waterways. Bees must drink water. Further, studies have found Neonicotinoids in water and air samples- showing that these pesticides do not readily breakdown and can easily migrate into the air and even the rain cycle.

    Bees are crucial for pollinating 70 Of 100 of our most commonly eaten foods. They contribute billons annually to our economy- and one in twelve jobs in the US is currently food-related. In short, we need to protect our bees, which are disappearing precipitously.

    Recent studies have found 700 species of native bees, nearly 1 in 4 species, are threatened or spiraling toward extinction in the US.

    “In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction.”

    Further, we continue to annually lose roughly 40% of all domesticated honeybees in the US.
    Neonicotinoid pesticides (which include imidacloprid) have been indicated in many scientific studies as significant contributors to our current Bee decline.

    “More than 70% of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.”

    And another USGS report confirms these concerns:

    “Although overall toxicity of these (Neonicotinoid) pesticides to native bees is unknown, the chemicals do not have to kill the bees to have an effect. For example, neonicotinoids can cause a reduction in population densities and reproductive success, and impairing the bees’ ability to forage. Insecticides and fungicides can also increase a bee’s susceptibility to disease and parasites.”

    Further, according to the USGS, Neonicotinoids affect the nervous system of insects, and were commonly found in water samples in the Midwest:

    “Neonicotinids are a class of insecticides that are chemically similar to nicotine, and affect the central nervous system of insects. The chronic aquatic toxicity of imidacloprid is in the range of 10 to 100 ng/L. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam have a common mode of action and therefore are expected generally to have similar effect levels. Neonicotinoid insecticides are highly soluble in water and do not readily degrade in the environment, therefore they are likely to be transported away from the initial application area to surface water and groundwater. This study provides the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern U.S. and one of the first conducted within the entire U.S. Information on neonicotinoid insecticides in the environment is limited; additional information is needed on concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams and other environmental settings across the U.S., the potential environmental contributions from use as a seed treatment, and potential health effects on biota, including pollinators and aquatic invertebrates.

    Three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid) were detected commonly throughout the growing season in water samples collected from nine Midwestern stream sites during the 2013 growing season according to a team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. Clothianidin was detected most frequently (75 percent) and at the highest maximum concentration (257 nanograms per liter [ng/L]); thiamethoxam and imidacloprid followed with decreasing frequency of detection (47, and 23 percent) and maximum concentrations (185 ng/L, and 42.7 ng/L), respectively. “

    Here is a summary of many Neonicotinoid studies by the Xerces Society:

    A 2014 CA study found Neonics were migrating to groundwater and possibly pose serious concern for aquatic health:

    Further, if all the systemic pesticides, Imidacloprid was found most likely to penetrate soils vertically. This indicates one application of Imidacloprid to waterways could result in the pesticide accumulating in the beds where you grow oysters, harming the oysters and other aquatic creatures, and the humans who consume them.

    I strongly urge you to be more creative and exhaustive to solve your invasive shrimp problems. For example, could these shrimp be extracted with wet vacuums then sold to the pet foos industry to pay for the costs of extraction? You may find locals in Wallapa Bay quite willing to buy these shrimp to feed their pets to support oyster farmers and to protect the bay.

    Thank you so much for your attention. We love Oregon oysters and want the industry to thrive, along with our bees and agriculture.

    Very best regards,

    Jen Davis

    Founder/ chief organizer

    Bee Friendly Portland

    And co-founder of The Pollinator Collective, working with Portland Metro, The Xerces Society, the Audubon Society and many other groups for a healthier environment to help our pollinators survive.
  • Gina Massoni
    signed 2017-10-26 15:43:47 -0700
  • Judy Lechowicz
    signed 2017-10-26 15:25:45 -0700
  • Alisa Rettschlag
    signed 2017-10-26 15:08:43 -0700
  • Linda Perrine
    signed 2017-10-26 14:59:34 -0700
  • Irene Bensinger
    signed 2017-10-26 14:45:18 -0700
  • Bryce Hansen
    signed 2017-10-26 14:35:37 -0700
  • Sandra Joos
    signed 2017-10-26 14:29:21 -0700