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Oyster growers to appeal after state denies pesticide use

September 28, 2018

SOUTH BEND, Wash. (AP) — A group of oyster growers say they’ll appeal a day after state regulators denied their request to use a pesticide to control burrowing shrimp in oyster and clam beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

The Department of Ecology on Thursday denied the permit. They said mounting scientific research confirms that the insecticide imidacloprid poses “too great a risk” to the environment.

The president of the Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association, Ken Wiegardt, called the state’s decision a blatantly political one and said the group would appeal.

The group says in the meantime burrowing shrimp are destroying oyster beds and damaging an industry that contributes millions to the regional economy.

State officials said the pesticide would harm invertebrates that live in the sediment, and affect fish and birds when their food sources are disrupted.

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