Lyre River Property Purchased for Conservation Area

Great news from the North Olympic Land Trust. If you have not been to the Lyre, it’s a beautiful small river out west of PA.
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A 280-acre property that is important to several salmon species and wildlife will be permanently conserved, thanks to its recent purchase by North Olympic Land Trust. The property abuts the Lyre River on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, about 20 miles west of Port Angeles. This property features an important estuary at the mouth of the Lyre River, streams, wetlands, tidelands, kelp beds and bluff-backed beaches. It also includes a large upland area with a diverse forest at various ages of growth.

“The Land Trust has been working with community partners for years to conserve this property,” said North Olympic Land Trust Board President Karen Westwood of Sequim. “This is the largest land protection project in the Land Trust’s almost 25-year history and will be a terrific place for the community to enjoy local forests and shoreline.”

The Land Trust and local partners bought the property with grants from the state’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Fund, Marine Shoreline Protection Fund, and Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program. The Land Trust also contributed its own money. The previous land owner has also provided a donation to pay for ongoing stewardship of the property. Critical partners include the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Puget Sound Partnership, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and the Makah Tribe.

This project was ranked eighth among regional large-scale capital projects for 2013-15 PSAR funding by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. This ranking was based on impact to salmon recovery, project readiness, and how the individual project would advance Puget Sound Action Agenda targets.

Planning is underway for the use of the property. Visitors will be able to park about a mile from the beach and walk in from there. Visitors can enjoy day-use activities such as birdwatching, wildlife viewing, surfing, picnicking, and beach walking. The area will be closed to all motor vehicles.

This property purchase is a win not only for the community, but also for the mission of the Land Trust: conservation of open spaces, local food, local resources, healthy watersheds and recreational opportunities. Long-term goals of the Land Trust are to conserve lands that sustain the ecological and economic vitality of the communities of Clallam County.

The Lyre property includes the 3,000th acre that the Land Trust has conserved in Clallam County. This property will join other areas permanently conserved by the Land Trust through ownership, including properties on Elk Creek, Siebert Creek, and the Pysht River. The Land Trust also conserves land through voluntary conservation easements with private landowners. These agreements are in place on properties across the county, from the Bogachiel River to the Miller Peninsula.

This purchase pushes the value of total land conservation by the Land Trust to more than $14 million since 2007. For every unrestricted dollar donated by supporters to run the Land Trust, the organization has conserved $16 of land in Clallam County.

Drift Card Project Shows the impact of an Oil Spill – Globe and Mail

Experiment using plywood cards shows the effects of a major oil spill on the Strait, San Juans and beyond.

An interesting experiment generates unexpected results. And shows how vulnerable we all are to the massive increase in oil tankers that the Canadian Government is hell-bent on creating in the Straits just outside our windows. This issue is trans-border. The San Juans will be one of the first hit by a major spill. The beaches along the Strait are next.

A small piece of plywood that washed up in Haida Gwaii shows the potentially massive reach of an oil spill in the Salish Sea, say environmental groups studying the risks associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/drift-card-project-shows-potential-impact-of-oil-spill/article16845002/

Mystery kelp found in Strait at Elwha River mouth – PDN

An uncommon species of kelp was found last week off the Elwha River mouth — possibly a species that has not been seen there before. A team of scientists found the kelp, thought to be Laminaria ephemera or Laminaria yezoensis, during a survey of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the Elwha River mouth and brought it to the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier for temporary safekeeping. “There is something strange going here, something different,” said Steve Rubin, a fishery biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Arwyn Rice reports.

Read the whole story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130919/news/309199984/mystery-kelp-found-in-strait-at-elwha-river-mouth

Support local journalism: subscribe to the Peninsula Daily News

Halibut and Ling Cod fishing season set.

Season will open in May. Hood Canal and South Puget Sound being closed to help protect the rockfish population, which could be argued is similarly threatened in the Strait, but for some reason the State scientists felt that the populations there are healthy enough to support more by catch.

We hope all you fishermen will stick to one Halibut a day, and report your catch. Your reporting helps make the science better, and ultimately leads to you being able to your grandchildren being able to fish. Given the current trend, that’s seriously in doubt.

Be aware that the Seattle Times is preparing to put a pay wall into affect. Soon you may have to subscribe to get any content from them. I recommend that anyone that appreciates getting substantial local news subscribe to their local papers. Us bloggers don’t get paid to go out and gather the news. The newspapers do, if ever so poorly since the Internet has hobbled their profit model.

Puget Sound getting ready for halibut seasons similar to last year’s
The Seattle Times

Halibut fishing will be closed in Hood Canal (Area 12) as well as
south-central and southern Puget Sound (Areas 11 and 13) to protect
endangered rockfish …
<http://seattletimes.com/html/othersports/2020525080_outn10.html

Nice short video showing forage fish in action in the Strait

When you see the fish diving at the herring balls, this is likely what’s happening under the water.

http://www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org/video.htm

Caffeine flushed into Pacific Ocean stresses marine life–CBC

So my question is: Is Caffeine ‘legacy’ as well as modern? Does it have a half life? Is this the caffeine that was dumped by our fathers in the 30s into the Sound after drinking coffee? Or is it modern?

Caffeine has become a significant pollutant in the ocean off the U.S. Pacific Northwest, according to a university researcher. Elise Granek, a marine ecologist at Portland State University in Oregon, sampled waters up and down the Oregon coast and found measurable levels of caffeine…Granek, who did all her initial research in the waters off Oregon, said she’s curious about caffeine levels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between southern Vancouver Island and the Washington coast. That’s where Victoria pumps untreated sewage effluent directly into its coastal waters, and won’t have a sewage treatment facility in place until 2018.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/08/28/bc-ocean-caffeine.html

Victoria should brace for rising sea levels, more storms: climate change report – Vancouver Sun

Our neighbors across the Strait assess what climate change might mean to us on the Strait.

A risk assessment on climate change for the City of Victoria says it needs to start work now to prepare for rising sea levels, more storms, wetter winters and drier summers. The assessment looks at the projected risks the city will face with changes in climate conditions by 2050. The report predicts temperatures in Victoria could rise by more than two degrees by 2050, the amount of summer rain could drop by 32 per cent, while winter precipitation may jump 14 per cent, along with a similar increase in the number of intense storms.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Victoria+should+brace+rising+levels+more+storms+climate+change/7109202/story.html

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