Solutions sought for fish-blocking Hood Canal bridge – Kitsap Sun

We have been reporting on this issue since before it was found. When I interviewed old timers in 2010 who had fished the Canal all their lives some told me they believed the bridge was the cause of the salmon’s demise in the Canal. That they had seen a dramatic reduction in fish since the bridge was installed. Now, we are getting real data that validates the “local knowledge” that some scoffed at. While no one is saying that the bridge should be removed, at least at this point, there is new work being done to see if there are some quick fixes that can be done to help the salmon, and the water, flow better.

A cloud of little fish loiters alongside the Hood Canal bridge’s floating lower deck. They don’t go around and they don’t go under. Instead they seem to aimlessly swirl about. Lurking nearby is a plump seal, apparently well-fed on the logjam of fish.

There’s mounting evidence that the bridge is a major fish barrier, blocking a third of migrating steelhead trout from reaching the ocean. The bridge also might hamper water circulation, lowering dissolved oxygen levels and altering the canal’s temperature and chemistry.

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local/solutions-sought-for-fish-blocking-hood-canal-bridge-3a5d770d-33e6-0957-e053-0100007f1cbd-390637951.html

Olympic Forest Coalition Files Suit Against Coast Seafoods

It will be interesting to see what comes of this new lawsuit. There have been a number of concerns raised by citizens in the area surrounding Coast, as to changes in the Bay waters. We’ll see if we can get more information on the specifics.

Olympic Forest Coalition, based in Quilcene, Washington, has filed a lawsuitagainst Coast Seafoods Company under Section 505 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1365, for alleged Clean Water Act violations. Located on the shorelines of Quilcene Bay, Coast Seafoods claims to have increased its production of spat (baby oysters) from a capacity of approximately 8 billion annually to 40 billion annually over the past 5 years, which is apparently creating much higher levels of effluent, including “oyster poop,” discharged into the bay. The effluent includes excessive amounts of ammonia nitrogen and other solids that appear to OFCO to create problems for fish, shellfish, and pursuit-diving birds such as marbled murrelets, loons, cormorants, and grebes. OFCO believes that Coast Seafoods filters the incoming water from the bay, but does not filter effluent being flushed back into the bay.

The lawsuit claims that Coast Seafoods uses numerous pipes, ditches, channels and other discernible, confined and discrete conveyances to discharge effluent from its indoor, land-based oyster facilities to the adjacent beach, Quilcene Bay and Puget Sound.

Because the facility uses pipes and ditches to discharge to the bay, conveyances the Clean Water Act clearly and unambiguously defines as “point sources,” the lawsuit alleges that discharges of pollutants from the facility are illegal and in violation of Section 30l(a) of the Clean Water Act because they are not authorized by an NPDES permit. The primary goal of the lawsuit is to reduce water pollution to Quilcene Bay.

Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC in Seattle, Washington, represents OFCO in the lawsuit.

Picture of the Day – Squat Lobster

Squat Lobster in shell. Hood Canal. Sund Rock by Bruce Kerwin. DSC_6173 Squat Lobster in Shell - Sund Rock

Photo of the Day – Anemone from Sund Rock in Hood Canal

Diver Bruce Kerwin brought back this fabulous photo of a tube dwelling anemone at Sund Rock dive spot on Hood Canal. A good example of the beauty worth protecting in the waters below us.

From Sund Rock dive site in Hood Canal. Washington State

From Sund Rock dive site in Hood Canal. Washington State

Hood Canal council names winners of environmental awards – Watching Our Waterways

Awards and recognition for citizens getting together to fix environmental problems in their area of Hood Canal. Congratulations people. You are doing good work!

Beards Cove Community Organization and Newberry Hill Heritage Park Stewards are this year’s winners of the Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, recognize people and groups that have taken actions and fostered relationships to improve the health of the Hood Canal environment. Chris Dunagan writes. (Watching Our Water Ways)

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2015/11/01/hood-canal-council-names-winners-of-environmental-awards/

Judge dismisses lawsuit against easement that blocks ‘pit-to-pier’ project on Hood Canal – PDN

And so it goes. The Pit to Pier people never seem to give up, and seem to have an inexhaustible amount of money to spend fighting anything that stands in their way. I wonder if this is the end of the line for them though?

A federal court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Navy challenging a conservation easement that would block development of a 998-foot pier and gravel-loading project sought by Hood Canal Sand and Gravel. U. S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Tuesday granted a motion to dismiss, ruling that the Navy did not exceed its authority in granting the 55-year easement on state-owned tidelands along Hood Canal…. The easement is an agreement between the Navy and the state Department of Natural Resources announced in July 2014 that would block development on more than 4,800 acres of state land along Hood Canal, stretching from the Hood Canal Bridge south to just below the border between Jefferson and Mason counties. (Peninsula Daily News)

lhttp://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150903/NEWS/150909989/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-easement-that-blocks-pit-to-pier

Biotoxin infesting part of Hood Canal usually free of it – PDN

Warning for those of you going out to do some shellfish gathering.

…. The Department of Health found high levels of the marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in Hood Canal early this summer, leading the state to close several beaches in Jefferson and Mason counties to shellfish harvest, many for the first time. Aria Shephard Bull reports. (Kitsap Sun)

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/biotoxin-infesting-part-of-hood-canal-usually-free-of-it_77950401

See also: More shellfish harvest closures in effect in Clallam County; shut areas stretch from Cape Flattery to Jefferson line http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150816/NEWS/308169987/more-shellfish-harvest-closures-in-effect-in-clallam-county-shut (Peninsula Daily News)

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