Peninsula marine life centers losing sea stars to mysterious disease – PDN

Visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula’s two major marine science centers are likely to see few sea stars. Sea star wasting disease, which has decimated wild populations, also is tearing through captive collections. The disease has accelerated this summer, said staff members at both the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Marine Life Center. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the rest of the story at the Peninsula Daily News. Subscribe and support local journalism.

MV Salish ferry now equipped with device to gather Admiralty Inlet data – PDN

The state ferries system has attached a device to the hull of the MV Salish on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route to provide data on low-oxygen water and ocean acidification from Admiralty Inlet….  Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Small sewage leak closes Port Townsend’s North Beach – PDN

A “no contact” advisory is in effect for the waters off North Beach Park in Port Townsend, where city officials reported an intermittent leak of treated sewage Monday. Jefferson County Public Health issued the health advisory for all of North Beach, with warning signs at the county park. The public is advised to avoid surfing, swimming, boating, fishing and the harvesting of shellfish and seaweed at North Beach. Shellfishing always is closed in the area because of the proximity of the sewage plant outfall. (Peninsula Daily News)

UPDATE: This has been repaired and is no longer a threat, though the beach there is always closed to shellfish harvest because the outfall is out there. 3/7/2014.

Environmental Lobby Day is no more…

Washington Environmental Council (WEC), who took over the remains of People For Puget Sound after it’s collapse  a few years ago, continued the long running and highly successful Environmental Lobby Day in Olympia. No longer.  WEC has determined that the event needs to die to continue to live. So they are running a new program this year, called 60 Days/60 Ways Action Plan. Here’s how they describe it:

Get Involved! 60 Days/60 Ways Action Plan
This legislative session we’re trying something new and exciting. We’re going to be interacting with legislators throughout the entire session. We have 60 days and 60 ways to help. What does this mean for you? We know you’re busy and time is limited, so whether it’s volunteering one evening at a phone bank, sharing a post on social media, or attending your local town-hall meeting, we’re giving legislators 60 days and you 60 ways to get involved.

Doorbell Days
Every Priority campaign will have at least one doorbell day during this legislative session. These days will entail passing out campaign information to targeted voters in the legislators’ own backyards.

Town Halls
Organized by your local legislators, we have two goals: to pack the room with constituents, and get at least one activist to the microphones to ask a question on each Priority.

Local Party Meetings
This includes attending legislators’ party meetings (both Democrat and Republican) and asking to put our issues on the agenda when appropriate.

Constituent Meetings
Every week during the legislative session we will have one weekly grasstop constituent meeting with a targeted legislator at their office in Olympia. The meetings will be a chance to talk about each Priority.

Most phonebanks will be run out of offices in Seattle, but option may be available to call at home. Phonebanks will call voters in targeted areas to educate the public and legislators on our Priority campaigns.

Literature Drops
Each Priority will have at least one ‘drop’ day in Olympia. A local team of volunteers will canvas the campus with literature or some related item, infographic, or educational piece that will be distributed to all legislators.

Social Media Shares – Facebook/Twitter
Campaigns will develop weekly Facebook and Twitter feeds that will be posted and sent to share. They will include pictures, graphics, interesting facts, or links to action alerts.

You can sign up if interested, here:

Last year, over 300 people attended Environmental Lobby Day, spending time learning about issues, meeting with their State Senators and Representatives.  I’m hoping that the folks at WEC/P4PS will make sure they have their metrics for the success of this new idea dialed in. I always had a lot of good feedback from people who came to the Lobby Day, and it introduced people to their elected officials, as well as to their power in calling for change. Losing the momentum of Environmental Lobby Day to push out to a indistinct cloud of people who you hope will actually take actions over a much longer period of time is fraught with possible problems. Hoping that we see some real successes with this tactic.

Along those lines, as posted here elsewhere, Representative Kevin Van De Wege is going to be holding a public meeting in Port Townsend to discuss his involvement with the Toxic Coalition leader Laurie Valerino at the PT Community Center. See the other post here for details.

Photography of Jellyfish on Display in Port Townsend

Jellyfish are some of the most beautiful animals in nature. Superbly designed to float with little or no propulsion.  Linda Sutton, a Port Townsend photographer, will be displaying a selection of works from three of her series at The Spice and Tea Exchange, 929 Water Street, Port Townsend beginning November 30, 2013 and continuing through the holidays. Hours are daily from 10am to 6pm. The store and display will be open during Art Walk, December 7, 5:30-8.

Included in the display: “The Jellies,” series of high contrast black and white photographs, “Edge of Day,” that special low light time that is so fabulous, and “Floral/Leaf,” the celebration of nature.

“The Jellies” are low light photographs taken at various aquariums using high speed black and white film pushed to the limit. The large prints were hand printed in a darkroom from the extremely thin negatives using a fiber-based graded paper that is no longer available.

Linda Sutton has exhibited locally at the Northwind Arts Center, Olympic Art Gallery/Quilcene, Metro Bagel/PT and Hadlock, Muskan Restaurant in Port Townsend, and Sunrise Dental in Sequim. Prior to moving to Port Townsend, her photography was exhibited throughout California.

All photographs are archivally framed by her husband, Dan Sutton, a Certified Picture Framer and former officer of the Professional Picture Framers Association.


JOB OPPORTUNITY: PT Marine Science Center Volunteer Coordinator

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is seeking an energetic, experienced professional for our full-time paid Volunteer Coordinator position to inspire and manage a corps of 175+ volunteers in serving our mission to Inspire Conservation of the Salish Sea. The position is responsible for volunteer recruitment, training, placement, retention and recognition and will participate in strategic planning including developing a plan to expand the volunteer program. It’s also responsible for administrative oversight of the PTMSC AmeriCorps program and for supervision of volunteer gift shop staff. Email cover letter and resume in PDF format Job description can be found here. Please submit applications by November 18 at 5pm.

NAS Whidbey resumes practices; Fidalgo noise may increase – Skagit Valley News

It’s not just Fidalgo Island, as these jets can be heard in Port Townsend, especially when the air is calm. The region of Admiralty Inlet has been designated, without virtually any debate, a major training area for the Navy. Our politicians failed us on this one, as we are going to see an increasing amount of jet and helicopter traffic.

Fidalgo Island residents might hear some extra noise in the next few weeks as Naval Air Station Whidbey Island ramps up practices for their Electronic Attack Wing at Ault Field. The Field Carrier Landing Practices will begin on Nov. 4in Oak Harbor and last for approximately three weeks, said a release from the base. These practices are crucial for pilots training to qualify for aircraft carrier operations. For the trainings, the base will use either runways 7/25 or 14/32, depending on conditions. This will be the first time runway 14/32 has been used for FCLPs since July. Kera Wanielista reports.

EVENT: Free workshop for homeowners on bluffs!

Given the recent bluff collapse in Port Townsend, this might be of interest to some  of you!
Oct30 workshop press release final

EVENT:Presentation on Fires and Forests in Washington—Past, Present, and Future Oct 17th

Marshall fire photo1

PORT TOWNSEND — The Natural History Society of the Jefferson Land Trust and Humanities Washington invite the community to an engaging conversation with fire ecology photographer John Marshall. This event will take place at 7 p.m. on October 17 at the Cotton Building (607 Water St., Port Townsend).

Marshall’s topic will be “Fires and Forests in Washington—Past, Present, and Future.” He will focus on the history of fire in our state, including the Olympic Peninsula. He will also highlight the critical role of fire in ecosystems, and the hazards of living in areas potentially affected by wildfires. Not only do these issues pertain to the Olympic Peninsula, but as residents of the Pacific Northwest our communities and economy are affected by wildfires elsewhere in the region and beyond.

Historically, lightning strikes and indigenous people ignited many small fires, resulting in open forests with a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats. As Europeans settled North America, many began to argue for the vigilant prevention of wildfires. For nearly a century, the U.S. Forest Service battled all fires and created the mythical “Smokey Bear” to spread the now-discredited notion that all fire is bad. Consequently forests across the Western states have evolved into living tinderboxes. Fires have become increasingly bigger and hotter, and the costs of fighting them have skyrocketed. “By following a national policy of putting out all fires, we have actually made our fire situation much worse,” Marshall says. “The answer to not having extreme fire events is to have a lot of smaller ones. I want to engage the audience in a discussion on what we might do differently about our current wildfire situation and explain how progressive fire managers view the problems. All forests inevitably burn. The question is: How do we want them to burn?”
John Marshall holds degrees in fishery science and wildlife resources. His career as a photographer began with a National Geographic assignment on the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. In 1994 Marshall began a photographic landscape study to track what happens over the long-term to forests following fires. He currently resides in Wenatchee. His current fire ecology work is funded by the U.S. Forest Service.

The Natural History Society of the Jefferson Land Trust was founded in 2012 to foster active exploration, appreciation, understanding, and conservation of the diverse natural environments of the Olympic Peninsula and beyond.
Humanities Washington aims to spark conversation and critical thinking in communities, using story as a catalyst. The HW Speakers Bureau includes 28 experts and scholars, who provide public presentations on a range of topics. The program is funded by the Washington State Legislature.
For additional information and photos, contact:
Noreen Parks
360 379-4007
For an interview, contact:
John Marshall

PT – Quimper Grange to host documentaries on GMO products

Quimper Grange will be hosting four documentaries on how genetically engineered foods impact our health, the health of our agricultural system and the health of the environment. (A poster describing the films is attached).

If you are only now becoming aware of the campaign to get Genetically Modified foods (GMO) at least labeled properly or the threat to our food supplies and your ability to continue to get organic food, then you should think of seeing one of these if not all these films.

The schedule for Quimper Grange screenings are:





GMO Films 11x17 size

Canoe Journey 2013

Canoe Journey 2013

Photos by Al Bergstein

Arriving in the fog in Port Townsend. Sunday

June 8th is World Oceans Day

While this is sponsored by NOAA, the UN and many other agencies, it is oddly not celebrated here in the Salish Sea. Only a couple of minor events are happening, according to their event calendar. Given the huge amount of work being done here, maybe next year we can see a greater uptake in public awareness on this event.

Want to do something to celebrate? Here’s a short list.

  • Take a child to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center
  • Take a child to the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles.
  • Go to any beach with a bag and collect garbage. You’ll find some.

PTMSC Sponsors Ikkatsu: The Roadless Coast Olympic Peninsula Premier Showing

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) will sponsor the film’s Olympic Peninsula premier on Tuesday, January 15th at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Ave., in Port Townsend at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for PTMSC members and $3 for youth.

With the debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami drifting on ocean currents toward the coast of North America, a small group of skilled sea-kayakers set out to document the flotsam as it began to come ashore along the remote and roadless Washington coast. Over the course of the summer, the team filmed their paddling adventures as well as the beach survey processes and the result is a 45-minute documentary that details every aspect of the project, from inception to completion.

Some beaches open for shellfish – PDN

Ok to do some shellfish harvesting.

Port Townsend Bay, Oak Bay, Admiralty Inlet and North Hood Canal have reopened for recreational shellfishing. Levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or PSP, are now below the recreational closure level for these four areas, the Jefferson County Public Health announced Friday. Other beaches in Jefferson County — and all beaches in Clallam County — remain closed because of marine biotoxin levels or pollution. Kilisut Harbor, including Mystery Bay, remains closed to butter clams only.

Read the rest of the story at:

Support local news: Subscribe to the PDN.

Wooden Boat Festival to celebrate all things maritime – PDN

The three-day Wooden Boat Festival that starts Friday is a unique attraction where attendees can celebrate the maritime trades, organizers said. Now in its 36th year, the event draws boating enthusiasts from around the world to the Point Hudson Marina festival grounds to learn the latest and greatest maritime techniques or just to appreciate the lines of a particularly compelling craft. Charlie Bermant reports.

Eleanor Stopps award nominations being accepted – PDN

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is seeking nominations for the 2012 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. The award recognizes people on the North Olympic Peninsula who are stewards of the environment and have demonstrated leadership in efforts to protect the natural world. More at:

Seeking nominations for the 2012 Eleanor Stopps Award

Seeking Nominations for the 2012
Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is seeking nominations for the 2012 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. This award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of our North Olympic Peninsula natural environment. The award pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of citizen leadership.

In the 1960s and 70s she recognized the need to protect the uniquely important marine environment of the Salish Sea. With no special political base or powerful financial backers she testified before the Washington State Legislature and the United States Congress and was instrumental in getting legislation and public support for protection of the area. She was responsible for the establishment of the Protection Island Sanctuary, which was the only refuge created during the Reagan administration. Today, it is a critical link in the preservation of the whole Salish Sea region.

The Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award is awarded annually to a citizen of the North Olympic Peninsula (Jefferson and Clallam counties) who has:
Led a successful resource conservation effort that benefits the north Olympic Peninsula and its residents directly;
Acted as a community catalyst for programs, initiatives or ventures that demonstrate a commitment to the future of the earth and its biodiversity;
Become a model for future leaders in business and education; or has been an exemplary citizen or policy maker who has implemented decisions that, though they may entail risks, have helped our communities take the next step towards environmental sustainability.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to sponsor this award and invites nominations so we can continue to recognize positive leadership. You may nominate someone by downloading the nomination form from, or calling (360) 385-5582 and requesting a form.


Winner(s) will be honored at the PTMSC Stewardship Breakfast at the
Fort Worden Commons at 8 a.m. on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

Previous winners include: 2005: Katharine Baril, natural resource educator and planner Washington State University; 2006: Anne Murphy, Executive Director, Port Townsend Marine Science Center; 2007: Tom Jay and Sara Mall Johani, artists and environmentalists; 2008: Al Latham, Jefferson County Conservation District Ranger; 2009: Peter Bahls, NW Watershed Institute; 2010: Sarah Spaeth, Executive Director, Jefferson Land Trust; 2011: Dick & Marie Goin, lifelong Olympic Peninsula salmon habitat restoration activists

Environmental Groups Proceed with Appeal against PT Paper – Multiple Sources

Five environmental groups are proceeding with their appeal against Port Townsend Paper Corp.’s ongoing biomass project before the state Court of Appeals. No Biomass Burn, the Olympic Environmental Council, the Olympic Forest Coalition, the World Temperate Rainforest Network and PT AirWatchers will file their first supporting brief by mid-July in an effort to get Port Townsend Paper to prepare an environmental impact statement on the project. Paul Gottlieb reports.

Biomass appeal proceeding in Port Townsend

See also: Foes of Port Angeles biomass plant digest judge’s rejection of their appeal

Paper mill’s cogeneration plant touted to Chamber of Commerce audience – PDN

5/3 Peninsula Daily News
Paper mill’s cogeneration plant touted to Chamber of Commerce audience
By Charlie Bermant

PORT TOWNSEND — The biomass cogeneration plan proposed by the Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill will provide essential support for regional education and health care as well as the economy, according to information presented to the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

“These kinds of jobs are needed in order to supply our health care,” Team Jefferson chair Bill Wise said of the jobs he said will be created and sustained by the biomass project.

More at

—The mill, which refuses to talk to the press, and seems to enforce a PR blackout, comes out of the cone of silence to issue essentially a marketing pitch that promotes health by building the plant. I recommend considering the source, and doing some research yourself to find out if these claims are true. – Editor

Orcas in Admiralty Inlet!

Lots of reports of orca sitings by the Orca Network. They went by in large numbers last week and again this week.


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