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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

LNG Foes Enlist Oyster Farmers To Oppose Coos Bay Pipeline

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Activists protest a proposed LNG pipeline at a meeting of the State Land Board in Salem.

Opponents of a liquefied natural gas pipeline on the Oregon coast are enlisting oyster farmers in an attempt to block the project. A group of activists gathered Tuesday before a meeting of the State Land Board in Salem.

They’re trying to convince policymakers that the proposed pipeline would jeopardize sensitive coastal habitats. Coos Bay oyster farmer Lilli Clausen said she's afraid the pipeline would dredge up silt near her family's 600 acres of oyster beds.

"Oysters are filter feeders, and if they ingest that water with the silt, it clogs their gills and they die,” she explained.

Clausen said she's not opposed to the pipeline and the potential jobs it would bring, but she thinks it should take an alternate route. Many of the protesters are opposed to the LNG pipeline entirely.

The project is awaiting permits from both the state and federal government.