Dairy farmers tell state its rules on cow manure are too costly – AP

I’m afraid that I’m not on board with these new rules, unless we the tax payers are going to offer no interest loans or fund their needed work.  I want these dairies cleaned up, but am not willing to force them into it when this state could help them out. There is a middle way between forcing the change quickly or exempting huge amounts of dairies. Maybe a tax on all milk for 5 years to help fund the cost of the conversion?

The unintended consequence of this could be farms downsizing to just under the limit, or going out of business all together. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance has sometimes taken wrong approaches in the past to situations like this. It’s not the first time I’ve found myself disagreeing with their tactics. They often take too much of a “Big City” approach, and see the people in the hinterlands as easy targets.

Dairy farmers and environmentalists are criticizing new manure-control rules the state Department of Ecology plans to finalize early next year. The Capital Pressreported that at a public hearing on Tuesday, July 26, farmers said dairies already are heavily regulated and that Ecology’s new layer of mandates would be unnecessary and expensive…. After Tuesday’s hearing, Ecology’s special assistant on water policy, Kelly Susewind, said the department may consider redrawing the line and exempting more dairies…. Environmentalists testified that the department should require dairies to line lagoons with synthetic fabric to prevent leaks and to install wells to monitor groundwater. (Associated Press)



Only 10% of the ballots have been returned so far for the primary. If you need to understand who to vote for, check the tab on the top of the front page of this blog. 2016 Elections.


Scientists look for answers as hundreds of dead birds wash ashore along Strait of Juan de Fuca – PDN

More bad news for seabirds.

Scientists are trying to figure out why hundreds of dead seabirds have washed ashore in the eastern part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. About 300 rhinoceros auklets, seabirds closely related to puffins, have washed ashore dead since May, and there isn’t a clear reason why, said Julia Parrish, executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)…. Dead birds have been found at Discovery Bay, Dungeness Spit near Sequim and across the Strait near Victoria. At this point, scientists are trying to rule out possible causes. Parrish said it seems unlikely that a lack of food supply could be the cause of the deaths. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


Appeals court upholds Hood Canal land deal – Seattle Times

The Washington State Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld an agreement for a Hood Canal easement made between the U.S. Navy and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In 2014, DNR accepted a $720,000 offer from the Navy for 50-year control of 4,804 acres of Hood Canal seafloor. A previous state-approved appraisal valued the lease at $1.68 million; the lower figure allowed the Navy to avoid congressional scrutiny of the agreement. Thorndyke Resource, a company developing a pier project on the canal’s western shoreline, sued the state and the Navy to overturn the easement agreement, which halted the pier project. Tuesday’s court decision upholds a Jefferson County Superior Court ruling that DNR “had the authority to grant the easement to the United States Navy,” according to a DNR news statement. A challenge to the easement in federal court was dismissed last September. Joseph O’Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Nominations now open for Eleanor Stopps Award.

Do you know someone who has worked to conserve or protect the North Olympic Peninsula, taken steps to encourage community-wide environmental sustainability, or altered the way you consider your impact on your local environment?

From the 1960s through the 1990s Eleanor Stopps was an active member of the Northwest 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 the Salish 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, Protection Island 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, like Eleanor Stopps, has created a legacy of conservation.

Please take a moment to recognize your environmental hero by nominating them for the Environmental Leadership Award.

You are welcome to nominate someone that you may have nominated before, but did not win at that time! Each year we have a lot of great nominees, and we have to chose only one. 

The winner of the award will join the visionaries and risk-takers before them with their name engraved on the Eleanor Stopps plaque as well as an official presentation of the award at the Marine Science Center’s annual Stewardship Breakfast.

Everyone nominated for the award will receive public recognition on our blog, Octopress online, and in a press release to regional media.

Email your completed form to info@ptmsc.org.

Nominations must be received by August 23, 2016.

Make that person the next Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award winner!




Photo of the Day – Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch Eggs – Bruce Kerwin

From the Sund Rock area of Hood Canal.

DSC_9305 Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch Egg Ribbons - Sund Rock 2016-02-15

Sea otter madness close to Hoh Head – PDN

Strange behavior for sea otters. Hopefully it does not portend a serious problem, but just a wonderful natural occurrence.

The calls poured in. To the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, to the National Parks Service and to the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary. Have you seen all those sea otters? What visitors were spying off the Pacific Ocean coastline, a raft of hundreds upon hundreds of sea otters, was unusual in both scope and location. “They just look like a dark brown carpet when they are going up and down on the swell,” said Steve Jeffries, a research scientist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Mammal Investigations unit. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)



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