Letters of opposition needed now on Navy Electronic Warfare Range

This in from the Protect Olympic Peninsula people:
The Executive Director of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics told citizens that letters to Mr. Bonnie may be the best shot we have to defeat the plan of the Navy’s to turn the Olympic Peninsula into an Electronic Warfare Range.  We only have a few weeks left before the Forest Service makes its “decision”.
The letters don’t have to be long…but we need a lot of them! Can you spread this Alert through your own network, and perhaps share it with the younger generation who are so adept at social media? Know any groups who would post it on their Facebook page?
ACTION ALERT: SAVE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Please help save beautiful Olympic National Park from becoming a Warfare training Range! We have only a few weeks before the decision is made. YOUR voice is needed! See how you can help:
It has been recommended that the letters to Mr. Bonnie also be cc’d to our representatives. Thank you for caring and taking action.
Derek Kilmer’s exec secretary’s email address:

Geoduck farms expand along with rules and critics -KING

The conversion of Puget Sound beaches into industrial aqua farms continues. For some participants, like the Tribes, it’s all about attempting to continue a tradition that goes back thousands of years, and now has an economic component to it. The Tribes are reaching the end of having high quality geoducks for the ever expanding Chinese market.

For others like Taylor, it’s all about profit. (nothing wrong with that, as they are working within the system). And with all the governmental entities, like NOAA, Department of Ecology, and others convinced that “nothing is wrong with expanding aqua farming on our shores”, there is little left but lawsuits for those attempting to slow or stop their expansion. Follow the money.

While the number of acres seems so small as to make the general population wonder, “what’s the issue?”, the conversion often takes place on very beautiful beaches, many times with expensive homes sitting right above the commercial farm. Who wants a sea of nets covering their beaches, or a compression going all night in December at low tide. No beaches will likely ever be converted back once they have been put into industrial use.

New geoduck farming rules are rolling out across Puget Sound, prompting a renaissance in the clam harvest and a growing movement to stop it. In the last decade, Taylor Shellfish has expanded geoduck farms by 30 acres, with another 25 awaiting permit. They produce 700,000 pounds of geoduck per year, through which hundreds of jobs have been created. Their nursery is filled with tens of thousands of growing geoduck seed…. Now, counties across Puget Sound are adopting the new geoduck rules. That’s prompted renewed interest, along with big demand in Asia. The Department of Ecology counts 28 new geoduck farm permits since 2012. However, geoduck growth has also grown grit from critics. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

http://www.king5.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/08/13/geoduck-farm-taylor-shellfish/31679243/

Foundation removes 5,667 lost fishing nets from Puget Sound – AP, KOMO, and others

nwstraits derelict

The boats used to haul up the derelict nets deliver the speakers to the celebration. Some of faces of the celebration.

Thursday in Everett, the Northwest Straits Initiative celebrated the culmination of it’s shallow water derelict net removal project. It’s been a great project and they hope to eventually get funding to go after the deep water nets next. But the numbers below are really impressive. The takeaways from today’s celebration was how politicians of both sides of the aisle actually came together to fund this project. Furthermore, both Republicans and Democrats who spoke, including Senator Patty Murray, hailed the fact that this is an environmental project that actually accomplished what it set out to do. The Northwest Straits fund our local Marine Resources Committee, which has established the eel grass protection zones in Port Townsend Bay, and helped implement and monitor shellfish protection zones in Mystery Bay and Lower Hadlock.

The Northwest Straits Initiative identified the problem of lost and abandoned (derelict) fishing gear in Puget Sound in 2001 and began removing this gear in 2002. Through the years, the program (now managed by the Northwest Straits Foundation) has combined aggressive removal operations with research and prevention outreach to combat this problem on all fronts. The simple goal is to eliminate harm from derelict fishing gear in Puget Sound. Over the course of 13 years, the program has evolved into a national model of how to effectively address this problem.

June 30, 2015 marked the culmination of the removal of shallow (to 105’) water legacy derelict nets in Puget Sound. 5,667 nets have been removed, recovering 812 acres of marine habitat and protecting from entanglement thousands of animals every year. This represents 94% of the estimated 6,000 nets lost over decades. This marks a major milestone in the recovery of Puget Sound.

The removed nets contained over 450,000 entangled animals representing over 260 unique species, including 65 mammals, 1,092 birds, and 5,659 fish. Animals caught and killed in the gear include porpoises, seals, otters, diving birds like pigeon guillemots and cormorants, sharks, salmon, crabs, and octopus. Removing 5,667 nets has protected more than 1,700 mammals, 28,000 birds, 110,000 fish, and over 4.4 million marine organisms in total, from entanglement in derelict gear annually. More information about this effort can be found at www.derelictgear.org. Because of this net removal work, porpoises, diving birds, and fish can now swim and dive in Puget Sound without the risk of being entangled in derelict fishing nets. They now have free access to over 800 acres of marine habitat formally covered by dangerous derelict fishing nets.

In Puget Sound, derelict fishing nets were identified as a stressor on ESA listed marbled murrelets, salmon, and rockfish. Culmination of this work marks the successful completion of Near Term Action B3.2.1 in the 2014 Puget Sound Action Agenda, the comprehensive plan designed to clean up Puget Sound by 2020.

This work was supported by literally dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals over the years. Its final funding was supported by a bipartisan team of state legislators working across the aisle to solve this seemingly daunting problem.

The Northwest Straits Foundation is now working in collaboration with the fishing industry and fisheries co-managers to ensure that newly lost nets do not become. It is also developing methods to remove derelict fishing nets from deeper water and addressing the problem of derelict shellfish pots.

The Northwest Straits Foundation is the non-profit partner of the Northwest Straits Initiative, a collaborative model for marine conservation with a vision of diverse communities working together to restore a thriving marine ecosystem in the Northwest Straits of the Salish Sea. The Foundation works in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission and seven local Marine Resources Committees (MRCs) of the Northwest Straits whose members represent the diverse stakeholders of their communities, and who identify and implement local marine conservation and restoration projects in their communities. Northwest Straits Foundation works with the MRCS to develop projects and attain funding support, as well as implement regional restoration and education programs, including its internationally-recognized Derelict Gear Removal Program. See www.nwstraitsfoundation.orgfor more information.

KOMO short piece on NW Straits Initiative ending it’s successful Derelict

This week the organization is celebrating the removal of 5,667 such nets, a feat it calls a “major milestone in the recovery of Puget Sound,” according to a news release. The foundation has removed 94 percent of about 6,000 nets reported as lost in Puget Sound.

Mhttp://www.komonews.com/news/local/Foundation-removes-5667-lost-fishing-nets-from-Puget-Sound-321765361.html

Lost nets, crab pots pulled from Puget Sound waters http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article31054404.html
Divers pulled more than 5,660 derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound’s shallow water — within 105 feet of the surface — as part of the work to remove lost and abandoned gear that had snared and indiscriminately killed marine life, sometimes for decades. Bellingham-based Northwest Straits Foundation led the project. It started in 2002 and ended June 30 this year. About 3,800 crab pots also were removed. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: Long-running effort to remove deadly ghost nets reaches major milestonehttp://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2015/08/13/long-running-effort-to-remove-deadly-ghost-nets-reaches-major-milestone/Christopher Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Judge declines to stop the Growler overflights on Whidbey Island  – Seattle Times

A setback in the work to end the Growler overflight expansion. I think it might be appropriate for the judge in this case to go live in one of these homes for a month, then make a ruling.
Judge says citizens of Ebey’s Reserve failed to show the impact of Growler overflights was significantly worse than predicted by the Navy in 2005. Mike Carter reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/judge-declines-to-issue-injunction-to-stop-growler-flights-at-whidbey/

Sunshine Coast bans all watering, moves to Stage 4 restrictions – CBC

Our neighbors to the north have moved to banning all outside tap water use. I assume we are not far behind. Or should be!

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) declared Stage 4 water restrictions Tuesday morning, banning all outdoor tap water use, effective Thursday, Aug. 13. It’s believed to be the first region in B.C. to enact such a ban. Residential and commercial water users are subject to the new rules, as the district says only commercial food growers with farm status and water meters are exempt from the ban. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sunshine-coast-bans-all-watering-moves-to-stage-4-restrictions-1.3186965

Initiative’s feat: Ridding waters of nets – Everett Herald

This is the work of the organization that supports our Marine Resources Committees, both in Clallam and Jefferson County. It’s a great milestone. Real success at ridding one of the big scourges of the Salish Sea.

Knowing the deadly consequences abandoned fishing nets pose for marine life, a nonprofit has worked to remove 550 from Puget Sound this year alone. That brings to 5,600 the number of derelict nets the Northwest Straits Initiative and its partners have dragged out since 2002. The effect: restoring 800 acres of marine habitat. The group’s efforts to remove nets identified in shallow Puget Sound waters concluded in June. A celebration is scheduled Thursday in Everett to commemorate the milestone. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150810/NEWS01/150819965/Initiative’s-feat-Ridding-waters-of-nets

Crews to prep Dungeness River this week for huge run of pink salmon – PDN

With the Dungeness River at historic low flows, this is going to be a most interesting year to see if WDFW and others like the Dungeness River Management Team can make this run successful.

Work could begin this week on creating as hospitable an environment as possible for hordes of pink salmon expected to return to the Dungeness River later this month. A preseason prediction that 1.3 million pinks will return to the Dungeness this year may not come to pass, said Mike Gross, biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, who is based in Montesano. That estimate was based on a run of 400,000 pinks in the Dungeness two years ago. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150809/NEWS/308099995/crews-to-prep-dungeness-river-this-week-for-huge-run-of-pink-salmon

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