Conservation project within $15,000 of completing Grovers Creek Preserve; Online campaign ends May 29

A very worthy cause. Deadline is May 29th. Please donate if you can. Anything can help.

The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project is nearing the end of an online campaign to “Save Grovers Creek Preserve” by raising money towards the purchase of over 200 acres of ancient trees, wetlands, and salmon stream in North Kitsap County. The campaign, which ends on May 29, can be found online at igg.me/at/SaveGroversCreek.

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With four days to go, just over $15,000 separates the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project from its goal of conserving this crucial property on the west side of Puget Sound. The online campaign is the last step in a multi-year fundraising effort that began in 2012, which has now raised over $1.9 million. Funding has come from various sources, including state grants, Kitsap Forest & Bay partner organizations, and individual donations ranging in size from $10 to $200,000.

Not only is Grovers Creek Preserve a magical place of big trees and bears, it is a critical link in in the future Sound to Olympics Trail that is envisioned to span the Kitsap Peninsula. With its location at the center of the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project, Grovers Creek Preserve is an important piece of the community’s dream for a regional trail, like Burke-Gilman Trail and Olympic Discovery Trail.

“Imagine riding your bike from Kingston all the way to the Port Gamble Trails through the beautiful forests,” mused Brian Kilpatrick, President of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, West Sound Chapter. “That’s the dream of our community.”

“Linking our parks together with trails creates an unparalleled outdoor experience that will be lost if we don’t keep Grovers Creek from being developed,” continued Kilpatrick. “Obtaining the Grovers Creek Preserve will achieve two meaningful goals—protecting an important wetland and providing for a critical regional trail route,” added Evan Stoll, President of North Kitsap Trails Association.

“We really need the community’s help to make the Grovers Creek Preserve a reality,” said Sandra Staples-Bortner, Executive Director, Great Peninsula Conservancy. “We are so incredibly close to our goal. If funds fall short, we won’t be able to purchase the whole property.”

“Over the years, so many people have been supportive of the mission of the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project and expressed a desire to help,” said Sandra Bullock, President- Elect of Kitsap Audubon Society. “We need those people now—any donation, of any size, helps and matters. We are grateful for it all.”

The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project is an effort by Kitsap County, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Pope Resources, and many community partners to conserve 6,700 acres of forest and shoreline owned by Pope Resources around Port Gamble Bay on the western shore of Washington’s Puget Sound. To date, the Project has protected 1,100 acres in North Kitsap.

Tighter rules aim to limit seafood poisoning from raw oysters – Seattle Times

Having once been poisoned by what I assume was vibrio, I’m looking forward to seeing if this new technique works. I can tell you that you do not want to get sick from this. It was debilitating for a number of days. I was out of work almost a week. And I was lucky enough to have had someone to get my sailboat home or I would likely have gone into a hospital. Yes, it’s that bad.

To avert illnesses, a new plan uses varying temperatures to assist Washington state growers of oysters destined to be eaten raw.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/tighter-rules-aim-to-limit-seafood-poisoning-from-raw-oysters/

Your contribution to the California drought – NY Times

Think you don’t contribute to the California drought? Or that it’s “their problem”? Guess again. An eye opening piece of journalism. We all lose from the drought and the choices that Californians are going to have to make.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/21/us/your-contribution-to-the-california-drought.html?_r=1

Renowned Port Angeles conservationist John Willits dies at 78 – PDN

Another loss of a local leader of protection of our lands. Along with the loss of Dick Goin in the last month, now John. He will be missed.

John Willits, a dedicated conservationist whose passion helped preserve hundreds of acres of farmland and wildlife habitat, is dead. He was 78. He died last Friday at his Port Angeles home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150521/NEWS/305219987/renowned-port-angeles-conservationist-john-willits-dies-at-78

KING 5 finds gaps in septic tank inspections – KING

This has been a problem for a long time, but because of a child’s death, it’s finally coming to light. The problem is funding the inspection of septic tanks. Most communities like Jefferson County simply don’t have the money to staff inspections. The state should step in and help fund this, as should the septic owners.

After a two-year-old boy died and a 10-year-old girl was hurt in accidents involving septic tanks, KING 5 examined state and county data and discovered a trail of incomplete records and out of date inspections. The Washington State Department of Health admits it doesn’t know exactly how many on-site sewage systems exist in the state. DOH estimates 934,000 exist in the state and 613,000 of those are in the Puget Sound region. Of those, only a fraction are closely monitored. The majority of those are in marine recovery areas where a failure could be catastrophic to the area’s waterways. Danielle Leigh reports. (KING)

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2015/05/20/gaps-in-septic-tank-inspections/27694115/

Using Fish Ear Bones To Track Salmon – KUOW

New research for fish tracking.

If you were to catch a salmon in Puget Sound, chances are you won’t be able to say exactly where that fish came from. That’s because salmon spawn in rivers and streams and then swim hundreds or even thousands of miles to the ocean to mature. Some new research could help fisheries managers better protect salmon by studying their ear bones – that’s right, ear bones. They’re called otoliths and they help fish with balance and hearing. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of fish, but they share a common, very cool, growth pattern. Each year, the otolith adds a ring, just like a tree trunk. Those rings are incredibly valuable to scientists like Sean Brennan because they reveal where the fish spent time over the course of that year. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)

http://kuow.org/post/using-fish-ear-bones-track-salmon

Citizens Ask Island County commissioners to halt “irreparable injury” from jets  – Islands Weekly

The mounting evidence of harm from the Navy base is going to be what eventually turns the tide on this issue. The day has long past that it is appropriate to have this base, this close to such a huge population base. As I have pointed out here in the past, these jets have woke me up at after midnight, and I am farther away from the base than Edmunds is from Seatac. Or to think of it another way, would we ever consider it appropriate to allow this base here if it already wasn’t?

Island County Commissioners faced a room full of concerned and sometimes tearful Whidbey Island residents requesting specific actions be taken in response to documented proofs of on-going health harms. Proof of noise inflicted injuries were presented to the commissioners at their May 12 meeting in the form of declarations from medical experts, a local practicing physician, an acoustical expert, and victims suffering health problems attributed to the hazardous noise from low-flying Navy ‘Growler’ jets.  (Islands Weekly)

http://www.islandsweekly.com/news/304132211.html

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