EVENT: Premiere of “Return of the River” on the Elwha Dam Removal

My friend and fellow filmmaker John Gussman has completed his epic film on the removal of the Elwha dam. Come see his film in Port Townsend

Friday, 6:30 p.m., Rose Theatre
Saturday, 12:15 p.m., Peter Simpson Free Cinema

“Return of the River” is a feature documentary that tells the story of the largest dam removal and river restoration project in history, currently unfolding on the Elwha River in Washington State. The film explores an extraordinary community effort to set the river free, and shows an unlikely victory for environmental justice. Told by an ensemble cast of characters, “Return of the River” offers hope amid grim environmental news.

Find us on facebook at facebook.com/ReturnOfTheRiver

Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome – KPLU

The scientific community apparently needs more help to figure out what is happening to kill off much of our west coast starfish. It’s important to note that this is *not* happening off the African coast, and elsewhere. Something has changed in our waters, and a key link in the environmental chain is vanishing. This is an ecological disaster, and I’m happy to see Representative Heck take a leadership role in trying to find funds at the Federal level for this research. If the answers are worse than we expect, it could be a very crucial problem to solve.

Most people who’ve grown up in the Northwest can remember walking on the beach as a kid, enjoying tide pools full of brightly-colored starfish. But beachcombing has become less joyful over the past year. An epidemic known as sea star wasting syndrome has devastated huge populations of starfish, especially on the West Coast. U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, has introduced an emergency act in Congress to respond to the outbreak. The syndrome was first noticed in Washington waters last summer and has spread rapidly since. White lesions appear on the skin of affected starfish which then curl up, contort and disintegrate. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)


Shellfish Tell Puget Sound’s Polluted Tale – Earthfix

It’s always been a question mark in my mind, about how much of the bad stuff in the Sound are we eating with our delicious meals of shellfish. Now we know. And it’s a good word of caution that if you are regularly eating shellfish, that buying them from growers who are away from urban environments, or harvesting them yourself in remote places, is the best rule of thumb. And it also gives us a very easy way  to measure the recovery efforts at work. The bad news is that PCBs, long banned, continue to be found in the water, as do flame retardants. Both are cancer causing. It points out that storm water runoff and our crazy notion that we can pour our sewage into our Sound, have consequences for us.

Scientists used shellfish to conduct the broadest study to date of pollution levels along the shore of Puget Sound. And in some places, it’s pretty contaminated. This past winter the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife put mussels at more than 100 sites up and down Puget Sound. After a few months, volunteers and WDFW employees gathered the shellfish and analyzed them for metals, fossil fuel pollution, flame-retardants and other chemicals. The WDFW just released the results. [http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01643/] Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)


EVENT – Oct 7 – Community Forum on Ocean Health


Please join us for a free evening event featuring guest speakers Dr. Simone Alin, Supervisory Oceanographer at NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab; and Betsy Peabody, the Director of Puget Sound Restoration Fund. You’ll learn about changes in the marine waters of Puget Sound, and what’s being done to address them by some of the amazing people who live and work here.

Tuesday, October 7

6:30 PM-8:00 PM (Doors open at 6 PM)

Northwest Maritime Center

Maritime Meeting Room (2nd floor of yellow building)

Port Townsend, WA 98368

This event is sponsored by the Northwest Straits Commission, Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), and Puget Sound Restoration Fund.

All are welcome.

Caroline Gibson    –    Marine Program Manager

Northwest Straits Commission

431 Water Street

Port Townsend, WA 98368

360.385.1153 (PT office)


EVENT -March to demand more climate change action – Port Townsend

Sent to me today: if you are on the Peninsula, this could be a good alternative to driving a long ways for a climate change event! Go by bike, take a bus, or walk! At least carpool.

Please join us at the People’s Climate March this Sunday, Sept 21, 3 – 4:30, at Pope Marine Park.  We will be joining thousands of people like us marching at the United Nations in NYC and at other marches around the world.  Our message is simple:

We will be joined by tribal representatives especially concerned about the future of the Salish Sea – our local waters.  Bring your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers so that all our voices can be heard.
PT Climate March

The Mother Nature of climate protests comes Sunday with offspring here – Seattle PI.com

If you are concerned about getting the attention of the general population, who are vaguely aware of the issue of the issue of Climate Change, you might want to take part in one of these two ‘super protests’ or look into the various other local ones being planned around the Peninsula.

….An estimated 1,000 organizations are working to mount the mother of all environmental demonstrations this Sunday in Manhattan.  Its aim, along with other events worldwide, is the biggest impact on public consciousness since the first Earth Day in 1970…. The Puget Sound area will see two offshoot demonstrations. The first will take place Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.at the Peace Arch in Blaine, with a heavy emphasis on protecting the Salish Sea — inland waters of Washington and British Columbia through which millions of salmon pass en route to the Fraser river…. The second event will be a Peoples Climate March in Seattle, slated for Westlake Park at 1 p.m.  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)


State considers listing tufted puffin as endangered species – Skagit Valley Herald

When I first started coming to the Strait, in the late 70s, Tufted Puffins were quite common to see. Now, they rarely are seen.Many nested on Protection Island and the efforts to establish the island as a Federally protected place were an attempt to protect those populations.  Seems like my random observations are accurate. The state is working to see if there’s anyway to bring them back. Listing is one good starting point, but restoring the fish that these birds eat, such as herring which has seen a huge loss of resident populations, and is the target of restoration and protection, is going to be another key issue.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting public comment on a status report for the tufted puffin, and a proposal to add the Pacific Northwest bird to the state’s list of endangered species. Tufted puffins are native seabirds once common in the San Juan Islands, Strait of Juan de Fuca and along the state’s coast, Fish and Wildlife said in a news release. But over the last several decades, 38 of 43 known breeding sites have been abandoned or seen significant declines in use. (Skagit Valley Herald)



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