Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award Now Open for Nominations

If you have a person you want to nominate, please do so soon.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is seeking nominations for the 2014 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. This award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of our North Olympic Peninsula natural environment. The award pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of citizen leadership.

From the 1960s through the 1990s Eleanor Stopps was an active member of the NW conservation community. Eleanor founded the Admiralty Audubon Chapter and took over the work of Zella Schultz to protect the nesting habitat for 72,000 pairs of seabirds nesting on Protection Island. She was also a tireless educator working with groups of students and Girl Scouts to raise environmental awareness. Eleanor Stopps recognized the need to protect the uniquely important marine environment of theSalish Sea. With no special political base or powerful financial backers she formed a coalition of grassroots supporters who worked to get legislation and public support for protection of Protection Island and the surrounding marine waters. She was a primary driver behind the establishment of the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the few established by an Act of

Congress at that time. Today, it is a critical habitat link in the preservation of the whole Salish Sea region, providing breeding habitat for Pigeon Guillemots and Rhinoceros Auklets Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons, Harbor Seals and Elephant Seals and a myriad of other species.

The Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to a citizen of the North Olympic Peninsula (Jefferson and Clallam counties) who has:

 Led a successful resource conservation effort that benefits the north Olympic Peninsula and its residents directly;

 Acted as a community catalyst for programs, initiatives or ventures that demonstrate a commitment to the future of

the earth and its biodiversity;

 Become a model for future leaders in business and education; or has been an exemplary citizen or policy maker who

has implemented decisions that, though they may entail risks, have helped our communities take the next step

towards environmental sustainability.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to sponsor this award and invites nominations so we can continue to recognize positive leadership. You may nominate someone by downloading the nomination form from http://www.ptmsc.org, info@ptmsc.org or calling (360) 385-5582 and requesting a form.

NOMINATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL OR BE RECEIVED IN THE

PTMSC OFFICES AT FORT WORDEN BY 5:00 PM AUGUST 27

Winner(s) will be honored at the PTMSC Stewardship Breakfast at the Fort Worden Commons at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

Previous winners include: 2005: Katharine Baril, natural resource educator and planner Washington State University; 2006: Anne Murphy, Executive Director, Port Townsend Marine Science Center; 2007: Tom Jay and Sara Mall Johani, artists and environmentalists; 2008: Al Latham, Jefferson County Conservation District Ranger; 2009: Peter Bahls, NW Watershed Institute; 2010: Sarah Spaeth, Executive Director, Jefferson Land Trust; 2011: Dick & Marie Goins, lifelong Olympic Peninsula salmon habitat restoration activists; 2012: Judith Alexander, community catalyst for NW Earth Institute, Local 20/20, and EarthDay EveryDay; 2013:Rebecca Benjamin, Executive Director, North Olympic Salmon Coalition.

Discovery Bay closed to shellfish harvesting as diarrhetic shellfish poisoning risk rises - PDN

Discovery Bay has been closed to recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish because of the risk of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, Jefferson County Public Health announced Thursday. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the rest of the story here:

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140725/news/307259972/discovery-bay-closed-to-shellfish-harvesting-as-diarrhetic-shellfish

Who Feeds Us Matters: Fishers and Farmers Taking Back Control of the Food Supply —Interview w/ Niaz Dorry

Fish and how they’re caught aren’t always included in the ‘alternative food movement’. But in some communities, “community supported fisheries” or CSF’s are catching on. Similar to “community supported agriculture” or CSA’s, the goal is to reclaim local sovereignty and food justice. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Acre Radio)

http://www.prx.org/pieces/125581-who-feeds-us-matters-fishers-and-farmers-taking-b

Once-common marine birds disappearing from our coast – Seattle Times

For many years I’ve been commenting to friends that I felt I’ve seen a substantial drop in shorebirds around Port Townsend, and on the coast in general. It appears I unfortunately may be correct.

“Scoters down 75% from the 1970′s. Murres have dropped even more. Western Grebes have mostly vanished…”

Craig Welch reports for the Seattle Times.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024155783_birddeclinesxml.html

Signup up for Citizen Action Training School

Citizen Action Training School (CATS) sessions are coming up this fall on the Olympic Peninsula (September) and in Everett (Olympia). CATS sessions include 12 weeks of class and field instruction on local watershed and Puget Sound ecology, as well as guidance about civic engagement around natural resources issues.  For more info or to apply, see www.pugetsoundcats.org <http://www.pugetsoundcats.org>  or email cats@n-sea.org.

North Olympic Sierra Club weighs in on PUD race

Received from the S.C.

The North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club is following closely the race for  Jefferson County PUD Commissioner, District 2. Recently, the PUD has assumed the
role of an electric utility but has fallen far short of what citizens had hoped for when  Jefferson County voted to establish its own pubic electric utility and to end its
longstanding relationship with Puget Sound Energy (PSE).For this reason we think it’s time for new PUD leadership. We encourage Sierra Club
members to support candidates in the primary who understand the importance of  environmental and conservation issues and the important role the PUD can play in
developing a long-range strategy that emphasizes affordable and environmentally  sustainable energy for Jefferson County. After the Sierra Club North Olympic
Peninsula Political Committee Chairs interviewed all three candidates, we felt both  challengers–Tony DeLeo and Kenneth Collins–are worthy of your support in the
primary.

Since taking on the responsibility of a power utility, the PUD has sent hundreds of disconnect notices to lower-income citizens because it failed to continue the
financial assistance programs PSE had in place for helping people pay their winter heating bills. Additionally, the PUD is faced with the prospect of turning back
hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for conservation by the Bonneville Power Administration because of a failure to publicize and aggressively market
these programs. Finally, despite the fact that Jefferson County has one of the highest solar adoption rates in the state, the PUD has failed to make solar one of its
priorities. This is particularly important in light of the fact that, depending on the year, from 10-20% of the PUDs electricity comes from nuclear and coal sources that
need to be phased out. It’s time for a change.

Tony DeLeo’s blogspot provides more voter information. You can view his profile and where he stands on local issues by clicking on this link:
http://deleo4pud.blogspot.com/. Kenneth Collins has provided more voter information at his website. You can view
his profile and where he stands on local issues by clicking on this link:

http://kennethcollinspud.com/

This week…VOTE

The primaries are on. For Jefferson County, there is a bit of confusion as the Republicans have vanished and “independents” are now the label that they are taking.  But let’s look at some of the races.

US. House of Representatives.  Derek Kilmer 

Derek has done an admirable job of navigating the House of Representatives, which are currently controlled by a radically anti-environmental group of Republicans who insist on trying to overturn key legislation, or open more locales to mining, fracking and the like.

The League of Conservation Voters has a good overview of his voting record here.

http://www.lcv.org/elections/environmental-facebook/derek-kilmer.html

Derek has teamed up with Republicans to create a bi-partisan Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, to continue to fight for funding to promote Sound cleanup.

Vote backgrounds

http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/51516/derek-kilmer/30/environment#.U8075OZdXhA

While I applaud the idea of the Green Party coming to the field with Doug Milholland, I would not recommend voting out a successful and proven Congressman with an unproven candidate, no matter what his promises might be. If the current position was filled by an anti-environmental legislator, then I would be seriously considering Mr. Milholland’s candidacy. I attempted to get an interview with Mr. Milholland but apparently we were unable to connect in the last two weeks.

 

State of Washington House of Representatives.  Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege

Both these candidates have proven themselves to support environmental law and policy. I have met them over the years, and witnessed them working. I fully support their return to office over any of the possible other candidates.

Jefferson County Commissioner District 3 – Kathleen Kler. 

Ms. Kler is the hand picked replacement for a very supportive environmentally oriented Commissioner, John Austin. While I have only interviewed two of the other candidates, their lack of depth and experience in environmental issues, and their focus on jobs over all other issues, leaves me coming back to the fact that Ms. Kler has worked closely on a number of issues throughout the County as documented on her  web page:

http://kathleenkler2014.com/about-kathleen/

She is endorsed by the Jefferson County Democrats, which also means that she has proven herself adept at working with large diverse groups. With the County Critical Areas Ordinance up for revision during the next term, it’s important to have  a clear environmental supporter on the Commissioners, along with the current two.

Public Utility District #2       Ken Collins

I think it’s time to swap out Mr. McMillan  after the disaster of the switch over to the PUD. Low income people have had their power cut during winter, billing was poorly executed, and support of environmentally friendly power generation is put on the back burner. A lack of sensitivity to the customer permeates the current PUD, and  Mr. Collins brings experience dealing with other power and energy companies, and also a commitment to help serve low income population, which comprises a large percentage of the county.

 

Lowest tides of summer coming up this week leading to prime shellfish gathering – Seattle Times

Get out and clam! Great thing to do with kids too. Get them out from behind the computers.

The next upcoming low tide series in Puget Sound and Hood Canal for gathering clams and oysters begins Wednesday, and this will be some of the most extreme leading to widespread beach exposure of the summer even for the elusive geoduck. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

 http://blogs.seattletimes.com/reeltimenorthwest/2014/07/08/lowest-tides-of-summer-coming-up-this-week-leading-to-prime-shellfish-gathering/

 

Kilmer urges EPA to seek end to Victoria dumping untreated sewage into Strait of Juan de Fuca  – PDN

Long overdue. Thanks to Rep. Kilmer for making this an issue.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has urged the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to stress with the Canadian government the importance of a quick solution to the continued dumping of untreated sewage near Victoria into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Kilmer, a Port Angeles native and Gig Harbor Democrat whose 6th Congressional District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties, sent a July 3 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asking that she raise with the Canadian government the need for “a speedy resolution” to Victoria dumping about 34 million gallons of raw sewage per day into the Strait directly across from the North Olympic Peninsula. Jeremy Schwartz reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140709/news/307099986/kilmer-urges-epa-to-seek-end-to-victoria-dumping-untreated-sewage

Enviro agency spent $27,000 in tax dollars on anti-dog poop music video – Watchdog Washington

So while I can certainly argue that they might have been able to get this done for a lot less money, the goal of the Partnership is to help clean up the Sound, and the problem of pet poop is a big one.

Critics are outraged after learning that a government agency tasked with cleaning up Washington’s Puget Sound spent $27,000 on an anti-dog poop rap video…. The Freedom Foundation, a government watchdog based in Olympia, criticized the Puget Sound Partnership, saying that the hip hop video is just the latest piece of evidence that the group spends tax dollars recklessly. Dustin Hurst reports. (Watchdog.Washington)

http://watchdog.org/158626/dog-poop-seattle/

As a method of comparison, I did this free public service video for WSU’s Beach Watcher program a few years ago. It’s not the greatest work I’ve ever done, but the budget was zero and we were highlighting the original song of Steve Urbanic.

https://vimeo.com/26983098

 

Project manager: New state, Navy conservation easement for areas of Hood Canal won’t halt pit-to-pier – PDN

If nothing else, this is likely to stall the Pit To Pier project for the next decade while it goes through the courts. Thanks to Charlie and the PDN for covering the story.

A conservation easement between the state Department of Natural Resources and the Navy that prohibits industrial development along areas of Hood Canal won’t stop a gravel-moving facility nicknamed the “pit-to-pier,” the project manager said. …Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140710/NEWS/307109987/project-manager-new-state-navy-conservation-easement-for-areas-of

Washingtonians Could Safely Eat More Fish Under New Water Pollution Rules – Earthfix

Another good step by Governor Jay Inslee. This decision has been a tough problem that he has had to balance against industry, like Boeing. This is positive. Now the work and money has to be put forward to actually implement the rain gardens and permeable pavement that he wants to see put in place to help.

Washington’s pollution standards would be made much tougher — making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of fish — under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to use the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon….

 

 http://earthfix.kcts9.org/water/article/washingtonians-could-safely-eat-more-fish-under-ne/

Craft beer breweries straining Vancouver sewage system  – CBC

Another water pollution issue that needs to be addressed north of the border.

Trouble could be brewing for the B.C. Lower Mainland’s burgeoning craft beer industry, as Metro Vancouver claims microbreweries are overwhelming the sewage system. The region wants bylaw changes that could force brewers to pay to deal with organic matter produced through fermentation, saying many of the new businesses are pumping out more than just great suds. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/craft-beer-breweries-straining-vancouver-sewage-system-1.2703147

DNR signs historic easement agreement with Navy

This is huge. The key takeaway, “The practical effect of the agreement will be to preclude new, nearshore commercial or industrial construction along the areas of the Hood Canal and neighboring waterways where the Navy operates for the next 55 years.”

More analysis will be forthcoming.

NEWS RELEASE

July 7, 2014
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS PETER GOLDMARK SIGNS CONSERVATION EASEMENT WITH U.S. NAVY
Easements On State-Owned Aquatic Lands In Hood Canal To Buffer Navy Operations

OLYMPIA – Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has signed a conservation easement with the United States Navy that will conserve and protect more than 4,800 acres of Hood Canal aquatic lands.

“This agreement will buffer important military operating areas in Hood Canal and ensure the long-term stability of the Navy’s presence at Naval Base Kitsap, which will sustain the jobs that depend on the Navy’s continued presence in the region,” said Commissioner Goldmark, the statewide elected official who administers the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “This agreement will also provide new protections for sensitive marine ecosystems and safeguard public access to Hood Canal.”

“The Navy is pleased to have reached an agreement to purchase a restrictive easement over DNR-owned bedlands in the Hood Canal because this transaction allows us to protect these ranges and military operating areas for the next 55 years,” said Naval Base Kitsap Commanding Officer Capt. Tom Zwolfer. “These ranges and military operating areas are crucial for military readiness and national defense. This transaction represents a substantial step toward readiness sustainment for the Navy.”

The easement will not permit new construction by the Navy, nor will it affect public access, privately owned lands, recreational uses, or aquaculture or geoduck harvest. The practical effect of the agreement will be to preclude new, nearshore commercial or industrial construction along the areas of the Hood Canal and neighboring waterways where the Navy operates for the next 55 years.

As steward of more than 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, DNR ensures that the people of Washington benefit from the use of aquatic lands while also ensuring environmental protection of the state’s aquatic resources.
Environmental Leaders Praise Historic Agreement
Since 2012, DNR and the Navy have been engaged in a collaborative partnership with environmental non-profits including The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to conserve vital aquatic and upland habitat along Hood Canal. Though this specific easement is executed exclusively between the Navy and DNR, its completion is complementary to the many projects successfully completed in partnership with TNC and TPL.
“With this action, we are changing the future for Hood Canal,” said Mike Stevens, Washington state Director for TNC. “Commissioner Goldmark and the Navy have shown profound foresight and historic leadership by preventing destructive development across a huge swath of Puget Sound bedlands. Orcas, oysters, and people should all rejoice.”
“This is a win-win-win for Hood Canal’s natural resources, its traditional economy, and the Navy’s vital mission delivery,” said Paul Kundtz, Washington State Director of The Trust for Public Land. “We congratulate Commissioner Goldmark, the team at the Department of Natural Resources, and the US Navy on another significant success in our ongoing efforts to conserve the Hood Canal.”
“I’m sure I speak for all members of the Hood Canal Coalition when I say that we are delighted that Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and the United States Navy have been able to conclude this historic agreement to protect Hood Canal,” said John Fabian, a retired Air Force Colonel and NASA astronaut who leads the 600-member Hood Canal Coalition.
Media Contact: Matthew Randazzo, Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Public Lands, 360-902-1099, matthew.randazzo@dnr.wa.gov

As dams fall, rapid changes on Elwha River – Houston Chronicle

Good short article about changes on the Elwha.

http://www.chron.com/news/science/article/As-dams-fall-rapid-changes-on-Elwha-River-5601507.php

Event: Film on “Oil and Our Marine Waters” July 11 PA

Olympic Climate Action is sponsoring “Oil and Our Marine Waters”, an evening of education and an invitation to action regarding the burgeoning transport of oil in local marine waters, on Friday, July 11 at 7 pm in the Port Angeles City Council chambers, 321 E. 5th St.

Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty will speak about proposed increases in oil tanker traffic and the associated risks to our communities and resources, and what our community can do to minimize these risks.

OCA will screen the film The Big Fix, a 2012 documentary and Cannes film festival official selection, exploring the worst oil spill in U.S. history—the BP Deepwater Horizon—its causes, consequences, and cover-ups.
This event is part of a continent-wide week of protest of oil transport commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic oil-train disaster which killed 47 people in Quebec.

As our region works to cut our fossil-fuel consumption, oil companies are proposing huge shipments of toxic oil-shale and tar-sands fuel from Alberta and the American Rockies, for export through west coast ports. These proposed cargoes would emit far more carbon than all the mitigation to be achieved in the entire country by improved automobile mileage standards and power plant regulations. And their transport by rail, pipeline, and ship poses risks to all communities en route, which are being asked to shoulder the risk while the profit goes to the oil companies, whose history and modus operandi are explored in detail in The Big Fix.

If all the proposed new oil port facilities in the Salish Sea region are constructed, the increase in tankers passing the Olympic Peninsula would inevitably increase the risk of spills due to rough seas, equipment failure, and human error. A large spill would cause major harm to local communities, particularly in the case of Tar Sands oil, a heavy oil that sinks in marine waters and therefore cannot be cleaned up in any practical way. Much of the increased tanker traffic will bunker (i.e., take on fuel) in Port Angeles Harbor, risking spills that could be particularly devastating to the heart of the Peninsula’s largest community—a community that is about to spend millions of dollars to clean up this harbor from past damage and is spending even more restoring salmon habitat.

By passing its risks and costs on to the American people while pocketing the profits, the oil industry keeps oil prices artificially low and thus suppresses the development of clean energy in order to extract as much profit as it can from the ground. A recent report by Exxon explains that although oil is connected with substantial climate risks, the company nevertheless expects to extract all the oil in its reserves. But if the planet is to stay below 2°C of warming, which scientists believe is necessary to avoid catastrophic risks for life on earth, 4/5 of the known reserves of fossil fuel will have to stay in the ground.

Olympic Climate Action advocates ending direct and hidden subsidies to fossil-fuel companies and kick-starting the inevitable transition to clean energy. A recent Stanford University-based study shows how the country could go fossil-fuel-free by 2050 and help the economy at the same time.

Olympic Climate Action (olyclimate.org) is a group of local citizens working for a safe, prosperous, sustainable future for residents of the Olympic Peninsula by raising awareness of the challenges “climate chaos” poses for our community and of options for mitigation and action.

New environmental short videos by John Williams

Kitsap based filmmaker John Williams has added a group of his latest short films to the Pacific NW Environmental Video channel on Vimeo. Check out his work, especially if you have young children.

http://vimeo.com/channels/salishseavideos

Fishing for Crab Pots – PT Leader

As the Chairman of the  Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee, which is funded by the NW Straits Foundation, that also funded this derelict gear effort, I’m very happy that NWS has been able to get this done in Port Townsend Bay. Thanks to the Port Townsend Leader for a very well done article.

http://www.ptleader.com/news/fishing-for-crab-pots/article_285e3f54-0168-11e4-a7ef-001a4bcf6878.html

Obama Signs Northwest Lawmaker’s Bill For Toxic Algae Research – Earthfix

Toxic Algae blooms affect many of our lakes here on the Peninsula. Now some money has been put towards finding the cause and maybe a fix. Thanks to by-partisan support in Congress and a willingness by the President to sign it into law. These days nothing is taken for granted.

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/water/article/obama-signs-northwest-lawmakers-bill-for-toxic-alg/

A Northwest lawmaker’s battle against toxic algae blooms won the support of President Barack Obama Monday, when he signed into law a bill aimed at controlling such outbreaks. Oregon congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson co-sponsored the bill, which authorizes $82 million dollars for new research meant to control toxic algae blooms nationwide…. Northwest waters have been hit by a number of these outbreaks in recent years. Toxic algae has contaminated Washington’s Puget Sound and several lakes in Oregon, including Fern Ridge and Lost Creek reservoirs. David Steves reports. (EarthFix)

Washington population grows to nearly 7 million – Seattle Times

Not good news for getting us a better environment. More pressure than ever.

The state says Washington’s population grew by almost 100,000 last year to nearly 7 million.  Nick Provenza reports. (Seattle Times)

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/06/washington-population-grows-to-nearly-7-million/

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