Greta Thunberg on hope…

Yesterday in England, Greta Thunberg gave a speech to the crowds at the Glastonbury festival. It was reported in The Guardian.

She said it was time for society to start “creating hope” rather than waiting for it to arrive: “Hope is not something that is given to you. It is something you have to earn, to create. It cannot be gained passively from standing by passively and waiting for someone else to do something.

“It is taking action. It is stepping outside your comfort zone. And if a bunch of school kids were able to get millions of people on the streets and start changing their lives, just imagine what we could all do together if we try.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/25/greta-thunberg-makes-surprise-appearance-at-glastonbury-festival?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over – Seattle Times – Update

The attempt to turn our state parks into training grounds for the military is over for now. The lack of concern by many citizens, including those in roles who’s charters clearly gave them authority to simply speak out against it, like our Port Commissioners and Marine Resources Committee members back in 2016, showed a lack of will to take a stand when needed. Luckily, others came forward to write the Parks Commissioners and fight it in court. Eventually, organizations like the MRC did come around and issue letters of concern.

Not wanting to rock the boat on issues like this, is no excuse for inaction. Thanks to those who did the right thing to challenge this.

Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over as state declines to appeal judge’s decision

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/navy-seal-use-of-state-parks-appears-over-as-state-declines-to-appeal-judges-decision/

I also received this email today.

“In your Olympic Peninsula Environmental News post today titled “Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over,” you implied that the Jefferson County MRC was silent on the issue of naval special operations training in our State Parks. To the contrary, the MRC did write an advisory letter in January 2021 to the Board of County Commissioners, who forwarded our concerns to the Parks and Recreation Commission. Our letter may be found on the Jefferson MRC website at https://www.jeffersonmrc.org/media/20315/jcmrc_letter-re-navaltraining_1152021-signed.pdf.  It would be helpful if you would correct this for the record in your newsletter.

I’m happy to hear that the Jefferson MRC finally did take a stand on this issue. I was a member of the MRC from 2010 to 2019, and during the time of my being chair and beyond, I did attempt to raise this issue and seek a letter taking a stand. At that time, with the membership it had, there was no interest in doing that. Now, with a somewhat different set of members, it appears that they have accomplished it. I am supportive of the MRC following it’s charter to seek to protect the waters and shoreline of Jefferson County.

Quilcene & Dabob Bays closed for shellfish harvest

Port Townsend, WA. Recent shellfish samples taken from Quilcene Bay contained elevated levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP). As a result, the Washington State Department of Health has closed Quilcene Bay and Dabob Bay beaches for recreational shellfish harvest for all shellfish species. Danger signs have been posted at public access points warning people not to consume shellfish from these areas. Other Hood Canal waters outside of Quilcene Bay and Dabob Bay remain under a Vibrio warning to cook all shellfish to an internal temperature of 145°F for 15 seconds.

Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) can cause gastrointestinal illness. Illness is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from the naturally occurring marine plankton Dinophysis.

Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison toxin isn’t destroyed by cooking or freezing. Symptoms of DSP include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The onset of symptoms can range from thirty minutes to four hours after consumption. If mild symptoms occur, call your health care provider and Jefferson County Public Health. For severe reactions call 911. Additional information regarding DSP can be found at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/RecreationalShellfish/Illnesses/Biotoxins/DiarrheticShellfishPoisoning.

To find out which areas are safe to harvest shellfish in Washington, check the map at doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632. For the latest information on regulations and seasons, visit the Fish and Wildlife website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline at 1-866-880-5431.

Pleasant Harbor opponents ask State AG and Federal Consumer Protection Bureau for investigation into sales activities

Since 2006 a Master Planned Residential Resort (MPR) has been in the planning stage by the Canadian Stateman Group, on what is known as Black Point in southern Jefferson County along the Hood Canal. The MPR, 15 miles south of the Hood Canal Bridge, was proposed as an approximate 256-acre destination resort with golf course. The county granted (against much opposition) a land use designation in 2008, and in 2018 approved new zoning and a “Development Agreement”. Despite the go ahead from the county, the Statesman Group has only recently logged the land and has now been marketing the not yet built development. The Brinnon Group, which was formed in opposition to the proposed development, has now asked the State Attorney General and Federal Consumer Protection Bureau to investigate the sales and marketing efforts.

Black Point aka Pleasant Harbor Master Planned Residential Resort – left and center of Peninsula stretching over to marina on upper right. Logged area for golf course can be seen in mid center. Photo courtesy of The Brinnon Group.

The Brinnon Group points out several points of concern.

The county amended their development agreement with Statesman under court order, due to an appeal by Statesman of the original zoning and agreement. The amendment required each phase of development to “contain adequate infrastructure, open space, recreational facilities, landscaping” and other conditions “to stand alone if no subsequent phases are developed.”

Further, the Development Agreement requires ten features of combined infrastructure and resort/recreational amenities be developed before residential units can be built and sold. However, as of this date, none of these infrastructure/amenities have been constructed; the Brinnon Group state that no permit applications have even been filed for necessary features of Phase 1 of the proposal. No water/sewer district has been formed and no sewer treatment plant or water system has been permitted, constructed or installed. No permits have been filed for construction of the staff quarters. No road system has been constructed and no improvements made to the intersection of Black Point Road and Highway 101, the only entrance to the project.

The ten features the agreement states for Phase 1 “required that substantial resort infrastructure and recreational facilities be constructed as follows:

  • Clearing and construction of the golf course.
  • Construction of the road network.
  • Road improvements at Highway 101 and Black Point Road.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Water Storage Tank and distribution piping.
  • Sanitary Sewer Pump Stations.
  • Begin Implementation of Vegetation Management Plan.
  • Construction of Community/Recreation Center, with 208 short term hotel rooms, spa services, pool, water slides, commercial space and sports courts.
  • Construct residential units with 52 units of staff quarters for those working at the facility.
  • Form a water and sewer district.”
    • Only if these amenities and infrastructure elements are completed can the developer construct and sell approximately 252 units of residential housing.
    • As of this month, according to the Brinnon Group’s letter, none of these infrastructure/amenities have been constructed. (emphasis in original email from Brinnon Group.)
  • Additionally, the planned 208 room hotel, complete with premised water slides, spa services, commercial space and sports courts is not constructed, and no building permit applications have been filed.
  • The only progress on Phase 1 is logging (and timber sale) for golf course fairway areas
  • Construction of any sewer and water facilities requires approval of the State Department of Health (DOH). Though application materials were sent to DOH, they were incomplete, as described in a letter from DOH dated September 22, 2020. A recent inquiry to DOH by the Brinnon Group shows no additional material submitted by Statesman.
  • The Brinnon group points out that despite the issues listed above, the Statesman Group have begun marketing efforts.
    • They have constructed a web site.
    • They have put a 6 minute sales video out.
    • Sent out a mass mailer in the Seattle area.

The Brinnon Group points out that both the website and the “Seattle Signal” mass mailing contain multiple inaccuracies and statements which are not – and will not be – accurate within any reasonable time. The five numbered items in the mailing,  “Vista Lots, Sea View Villas, Terraced Lofts, the Inn by the Sea and the Maritime Village” are all described for purchase or lease real estate interests. There is no indication, according to the Brinnon Group,  that these facilities are permitted or constructed, and the brochure does not explain the ten elements of Phase 1 of the PHMPR that must be constructed before the real estate interests can be sold. There is apparently no opportunity offered for prospective buyers to inspect the property.

Additionally, the marketing mailing states that, “While some are golfing or enjoying REJUV-Health, others benefit from the Recreation Center’s indoor pools, skating and hockey rink, indoor soccer, racquetball and numerous training facilities for league sport, as well as the Family Fun Center,”  

However, this recreation center is not constructed and there are apparently no permit applications with Jefferson County, nor even basic plans for the facility, according to the Brinnon Group letter.

The website claimed that “Our Health Center includes an approved surgical operatory for various endoscopic day procedures such as those related to ear-nose-throat procedures, general surgeries, plastic surgery plus urology & gynecology and minor orthopedic procedures.” The Brinnon Group could find no plans nor permits for construction of such a facility.

The Brinnon Group goes on to state, “Even Phase 1 of the PHMPR involves a very expensive proposal with a multi-year permitting and construction program. However, substantially no progress has been made on moving this project forward in the three years since the Development Agreement was approved, after modifications required by the Superior Court. There is every indication that Statesman lacks the financial wherewithal to complete this venture, much less even initiate it.”

A question also is raised by the Brinnon Group as to whether the Statesman Group has the financial resources needed to build this development. Their concern comes from a 2016 proposal made by the Statesman Group that said, “In order to finance this community resource, Pleasant Harbor Marina & Golf Resort LLP (PHM) will be seeking County and State of Washington support, where the stakeholders would all benefit from the increased attraction in the community.”

The proposal included requesting a $2,000,000 grant from Jefferson County and a $9,250,000 grant from the State of Washington from “the Washington State Utility Trust, a Recreational Community Grant . . .” Statesman further proposed that the State “would sponsor through the Federal Government a Tax Exempt Municipal Improvement Bond for $26.5 million dollars at a loan to PHM.” Given the non-existent financial arrangements proposed, neither the State nor Jefferson County advanced any funds, much less the $37,750,000 requested. Indeed, Statesman asked local governments in British Columbia to provide similar financial support in the amount of about $40 million for the recreational center at its Pine Ridge resort, which unsurprisingly was declined by Canadian officials.

The Brinnon Group concludes in their letter, “Statesman, though creating the PHMPR in name, has made no progress toward the completion of facilities necessary to meet the standards of a Master Planned resort, even the basics of water and sewer services. It appears that Statesman lacks the financial resources even to build the infrastructure and amenities required by its Development Agreement. This however does not deter Statesman from wild promises and misrepresentations concerning its proposal, as found in its promotional materials and advertising, all in an apparent attempt to solicit sales of real estate interests in this proposal. The mismatch between development reality and description provided in the promotional materials is substantial. The partial development of an underfunded and half-finished resort has consequences for the community. In summary, the Brinnon Group requests that there be a full investigation of the public solicitation for the sale of interests in the Pleasant Harbor MPR and appropriate actions taken.”

We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.

Are yelloweye rockfish on the path to recovery? -Salish Sea Currents

More good news on one species of rockfish recovery.

“If this is real — and this is based on the most robust model we have with the best available science — then we are very optimistic,” says Lowry. 

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/yelloweye-rockfish-recovery

EVENT: Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate 

Sierra Club North Olympic Group’s June Presentation (Online only)
Dr. Chad T. Hanson Research Ecologist and Author Thursday, June 16, 7PM  

RSVP:  https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7013q000002GriJAAS

Natural fires are as essential as sun and rain in fire-adapted forests, but as humans encroach on wild spaces, fear, arrogance, and greed have shaped the way that people view these regenerative events and have given rise to misinformation. The peril that these myths pose to forests is profound—affecting whole habitats and the wildlife that depend on them. The exploitation of these carbon dioxide-absorbing ecosystems also threatens humanity’s chance of overcoming the climate crisis. 

Dr. Chad Hanson will address these issues and suggest a better, science-based, and more hopeful path forward, as he discusses in his new book, 

Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate 

https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813181073/smokescreen/

Dr. Hanson is a research ecologist and the director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, located in Big Bear City, California, and has a Ph.D. in ecology with a research focus on fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed studies on forest and fire ecology and is also the co-editor and co-author of the 2015 book, The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix.

Battle of Dems over forests

Recently two strongly worded Op-Ed pieces ran in the Seattle Times, highlighting a growing rift between the efforts of Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and Democratic Senator Kevin Van de Wege of the Olympic Peninsula. Both Franz and Van de Wege are staunch Democrats, both often attend the local fish fry’s and usually have been seen as being on the same page.

However, in the last months, to highlight Earth Day, Commissioner Franz went out on a limb to lock up forests (also known by the title “Working Forests” for the fact that they are usually cut down at some point) and trade the lock for “carbon offsets” to polluters.

On the face of it, this might seem like an innocuous “good thing” to do. But it appears that Commissioner Franz decided on this for her own reasons, perhaps to gain an opportunity to host President Biden when he was here, and gain a photo op of her and the President Biden on his trip here in April. Her announcement included protection of forests in Whatcom, Thurston, King and Grays Harbor counties. Oddly missing was Clallam and Jefferson Counties, two counties that non-profits working hard to get Franz to save some old growth that is planned on being harvested this summer. Also, it apparently was done with little or no involvement of Senator Van de Wege, who then launched his own scathing Op-Ed piece denouncing Franz move, one he said “…should be effective, measurable and transparent — standards notably ignored in the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ recent decision to set aside more state trust lands as carbon reserves while selling carbon offsets that allow industrial polluters to keep polluting.”

Van de Wege went on, “Whatever actions we take, our climate policies should be effective, measurable and transparent — standards notably ignored in the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ recent decision to set aside more state trust lands as carbon reserves while selling carbon offsets that allow industrial polluters to keep polluting.

“…DNR adopted this fundamental change of course in state policy without honoring traditional safeguards such as thorough analyses, public hearings and oversight by the state Legislature or Board of Natural Resources.

“While in the past DNR has acknowledged that the sale, exchange or purchase of trust lands must be approved by the Board of Natural Resources, in this case the agency has notably declined to commit to honoring the board’s oversight. At best, DNR has offered only vague promises of “engagement” to some undefined and uncertain degree.

He finished by saying, “Did DNR adequately analyze the impact of unintended consequences from its proposed carbon lease? Reducing the responsible timber harvest in Washington state will decrease our state’s capacity to produce wood products, leading to an increase in carbon-emitting imports from places that do not sustainably manage their forests, or the substitution of concrete and steel, both of which are significant contributors to carbon emissions.

“Until these troubling questions are answered, the state should not proceed with a carbon reserve policy that may be neither effective, measurable nor transparent while undermining well-established practices that combat climate change and support rural communities.”

This blog has been highly critical of Ms. Franz approach to her leasing the Dungeness Spit to a commercial aquaculture farm, over the objections of numerous significant environmental concerns raised by everyone from the Dungeness Spit Wildlife Refuge manager to a number of scientists and environmental organizations. As reported here before, she denied to this reporter in front of a crowd of democratic funders any knowledge of the leasing of the Spit though her signature was affixed to the document. This new initiative seems poorly thought out and even more poorly communicated within her own party.

Ms Franz, it has been rumored in Democratic circles for years, has had her eye on the Governorship. While she is clearly running for future office on her work on fighting fires in Washington State, she might worry a bit more about the political fires she herself is starting on the Olympic Peninsula. Senator Van de Wege is a powerful force in our state politics, especially for holding onto a very conservative district like Clallam County. He is known as an environmental champion, having been given that honor years ago by People For Puget Sound for his efforts to both support ending fire retardants use in industry and his support for the rescue tug at Neah Bay, which has saved many ships over the years. His Op-Ed clearly shows she has angered him, and it’s going to be very hard for her to mend that fence.

Read the whole Op-Ed by Senator Van De Wege here:

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/lack-of-transparency-clouds-management-of-trust-lands/

Read Commissioner Franz’ reply here:

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/we-must-stop-fighting-over-our-forests-and-come-together-to-start-fighting-for-our-forests/

For more on DNR’s Carbon Project that has angered Senator Van de Wege…

https://www.dnr.wa.gov/CarbonProject

Beyond Pesticides Launches Campaign to Save Dungeness Spit from Aquaculture

Beyond Pesticides (BP) has apparently recently learned of the ongoing battle to save Dungeness Spit from an aquaculture farm, supported by Commissioner Hilary Franz and others in our local and state governments. While BP is late to this issue, we welcome their efforts to stop this while we still have a small chance.


In spite of the known harm to migratory and residential birds, salmon, forage fish, other wildlife and their primary feeding areas, and a recommendation by the National Marine Fisheries Service that “an alternative site be identified in a location that results in less potential impacts to wildlife that is more appropriate for aquaculture and meets the goals of the tribe,” permitting agencies approved permits and a lease for a 50-acre industrial oyster farm for private financial gain inside the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. This decision, which is in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, must be reversed.

Agencies are well aware of the potential damage to the lands it is their mission to protect.

>>Tell the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the Dungeness National Wildlife lease must be rescinded.

The Dungeness Bay Wildlife Refuge was created by Executive Order in 1915 by Woodrow Wilson, directing the area to be set aside as a “refuge, preserve and breeding ground for native birds and prohibits any disturbance of the birds within the reserve.” The Refuge provides habitat, a preserve and breeding grounds for more than 250 species of birds and 41 species of land animals. 

The front page of the Refuge website states: “Pets, bicycles, kite flying, Frisbees, ball-playing, camping, and fires are not permitted on the Refuge as they are a disturbance for the many migrating birds and other wildlife taking solitude on the Refuge.” With this level of concern, it is counterintuitive to allow destructive industrial aquaculture. 

These detrimental effects to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge are NOT minimal. Among the negative impacts of this project are: 50% reduction in bird primary feeding grounds;  20,000 – 80,000 toxic plastic oyster bags that exclude the probing shorebird flocks from feeding deeply into the substrate, entrapment of fish and birds, add macro- and micro-plastic bits to the sediment throughout the refuge, and shift the benthic community composition; diminishment of the ecological benefits provided by eelgrass to threatened fish and birds, such as nourishment and cover from predators and, with warming waters, increased toxic algal blooms that will leave a graveyard of dead oysters. Additionally, commercial shellfish operations attract pathogens and non-native species that threaten the area ecosystem and the shellfish. Decision makers should not place financial benefits to the corporation above the long term and cumulative impacts to the refuge.

>>Tell the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the Dungeness National Wildlife lease must be rescinded.

Two Countries, Two Government Officials, Poised to Make One Critical Decision

The Wild Fish Conservancy brings up the impending decisions on net pens that both BC and Washington officials will be making. Given a conversation that I had with Commissioner Franz last year, I hold very little hope of her doing the right thing. She seems either ignorant of the issues, letting staffers make the decisions, or in favor of industry on this topic. But your input now could make a difference. Call her office. 360-902-1000


Causeway removal meant big jump in juvenile salmon – AP

Good news from the work done by North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) and the State.

Only six juvenile salmon were found during seining in the five years before the bridge opened. During this year’s seining, over two days in May, volunteers netted close to 1,000 juvenile salmon

https://www.knkx.org/environment/2022-06-06/causeway-removal-meant-big-jump-in-juvenile-salmon

The Hatchery Crutch: How We Got Here – Hakai Magazine

Hakai Magazine has published an excellent overview of the issue of hatchery salmon. Author Jude Isabella has dove deep into the history of hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest. This is part of a larger project called The Paradox of Salmon Hatcheries. The work is also available in audio format. I highly recommend this to anyone that thinks they know that hatcheries are a “good thing” The history just doesn’t support it.

From their beginnings in the late 19th century, salmon hatcheries have gone from cure to band-aid to crutch. Now, we can’t live without manufactured fish.

J-Pod whales spotted in Salish Sea – Times Colonist

Good news!


All 25 members of J-Pod have returned to the Salish Sea, including the newest member, born in late February. The pod of endangered southern resident killer whales appeared just off Pender Island on Tuesday and has been hunting for chinook salmon around Haro Strait, the U.S. San Juan Islands, Active Pass and the Strait of Georgia toward the Fraser River. Scientist Monika Wieland-Shields of the Orca Behavior Institute said it’s only the second time in the past five years that J-Pod has appeared in the Salish Sea in May. That’s a good sign, she said, and the fact the pod seems to be sticking around indicates there is chinook salmon for the whales to feed on. Darron Kloster reports. (Times Colonist)

https://www.timescolonist.com/local-news/j-pod-back-in-salish-sea-with-healthy-calf-5412859

Clallam County Marine Resources Committee offers paid internships!

Due date extended!

Do you enjoy doing citizen science work in our community? Do you want to earn while you learn? This year the Clallam Marine Resources Committee is expanding their internship program by offering two internships for Summer 2022.

The duration of the internships is approximately 80 hours @ $15/hr. with most of the work to be completed between June – August 2022. The interns will work closely with MRC members, Makah, Jamestown Biologists on one or more of these projects:

  • Green Crab Trapping and Removal: The intern will assist the Makah Tribe’s Marine Ecology program with their efforts to trap invasive European green crab in estuaries on the Makah Reservation. The internship will include both fieldwork and office/lab work.
  • Olympia Oyster monitoring: The intern will assist Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Natural Resource Department with all aspects of Olympia Oyster surveys and monitoring. The internship will include both fieldwork and office/lab work.
  • Other: Pigeon Guillemot colony monitoring, kelp surveys via kayak, shellfish biotoxin sampling,data entry and other duties as assigned.

The interns will present their work at the Intern Celebration August 15, 2022.

If you are interested in being an intern, we recommend you browse the MRC website http://www.clallamcountymrc.org/ for more background, and then submit a letter of intent to the Clallam MRC at rebecca.mahan@co.clallam.wa.us or 223 East 4th St. Suite 5, Port Angeles, WA 98362. The application due date for the two internships is May 27, 2022.

The Power of Denial

Today in the New York Times, a story about the washing away of homes on the Carolina Outer Banks. The article points out that some of these homeowners, climate change believers bought their homes as recently as last fall! What kind of denial needs to exist to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in homes within yards of the ocean? What kind of denial are all of us in regarding the effects of climate change?

Here on the Olympic Peninsula, we all suffer from denial. For the majority of us, the denial of a major earthquake of such magnitude that only struck here 322 years ago, is our biggest. Then, tsunamis 33 feet high wiped out many native villages on the shore. Many modern Olympic Peninsula people were woke to this issue for the first time when the New Yorker published a sobering article about just how unprepared we are for this. The Seattle Times followed up with this piece a few years later.

As humans, we all live with denial. Denial that our health will not hold long into older age is one that many of our old population is familiar with and engaged in on a daily basis. And here on the Peninsula, as climate change wreaks havoc across the globe, we deny we are at risk. Let’s count the ways:

  • Forest Fire – Clearly, living on a tree farm with most of us at close proximity to timber, this is the most likely short term issue. We have seen the east side of the Cascades burn in massive wildfires, as well as B.C., Oregon and California. How many years do we have before the forests around us are on fire?
  • Sea Level Rise – Cities, from what I’ve seen, are simply kicking this can down the road. PA and PT especially are at sea level. Water Street is at, yes water level. Are there any serious plans to the business district uptown. Nope. Are there mitigation plans at work? Not that I’ve seen.
    • At Point Hudson, there are houses literally at sea level. A good friend owned one that faced out to the Strait, until they woke up to waves crashing on their front window panes. They sold and now live high on the hill above the Fort.
    • Beckett Point – A disaster waiting to happen, Beckett Point will likely be the first place you see houses washed away as in the NY Times article above.
    • Cliff dwellers like Seaview Drive – Our county development foolishly allowed houses to be built within 50 feet of the cliff edge in the 70s and 80s. Even trying to change this rule has been a struggle with home and land owners fighting being pushed back from the cliffs even 50 feet for future construction to be a very hard issue to convince them of supporting. Unfortunately, we have seen cliffs sluff over 100 feet back on Whidbey Island. The bottom line is that scientifically, cliffs sluff. That is the nature of a cliff. Putting thousands of pounds of concrete weight, water in the form of lawn watering, and septic tanks only helps destabilize the cliff more. Want to see a cliff sluff in action? Walk from North Beach to the Fort on the beach. That is an active sluffing cliff.
  • River course change – The Dungeness has reclaimed many homes over the decades from folks denying the ability of the river to do that. Now the Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe and Clallam County are working to give the river the room to “breathe” as one biologist once called it. The floodplains, he said, “are the lungs of the river. If you dyke them, you give them emphysema.”
  • That certain business activity won’t destroy our natural resources – The DNR decision to allow a commercial aquaculture farm inside a wildlife refuge is another case of denial that your decisions won’t destroy what you claim you love.

You can do your bit, by asking yourself “what am I in denial over?” Are there direct things you can do now to protect yourself from being the next to find that “you can’t fool Mother Nature.” That may mean much harder decisions than you ever thought. Just ask the folks on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Save the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge Update

Janet Marx, who is a member of Protect the Peninsula’s Future, working to save the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, passed this along.


With the Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) approving a permit despite their Decision Document stating concerns about more than minimal damage to the Refuge, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) quickly signed a lease with Ron Allen of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe (JST) in January without public input. 

In December we sent DNR the ACE document that listed several ways the oyster operation would destabilize the refuge and harm the wildlife.  We then requested a meeting with Hilary Franz, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands (DNR) to discuss ACE findings and why the lease should be rescinded based at least on the ACE concerns.  We received no response.  Follow up requests for a meeting were ignored by Hilary. We finally had two meetings with Alex Smith, Deputy Supervisor – Forest Resilience, Regulation and Aquatics, and other staff.  The outcome was a refusal by DNR to rescind the lease, knowing the bottom lands they are charged to protect will be damaged.

They remarked that DNR can enforce permits but cannot deny them.  Hence, violate first.

Remember back to the Clallam County Hearing Examiner’s (HE) mitigated approval in which he required the applicant have the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) or the local Audubon chapter oversee the project and train the applicant’s staff to identify and monitor Refuge birds.  If both declined, then the County would select an independent corporation to review a modified Jamestown Avian Monitoring Plan (AMP) as the original Plan was inadequate.  Both declined.  So the County hired an independent corporation, West Inc.  West reviewed the AMP and made light-weight suggestions instead of requirements.  West accepted weak statements rather than requiring detailed procedures and oversight.  The report primarily focused on seasonal bird counts but did not have a procedure for monitoring habitat changes that will affect the birds.

We have grown our coalition of Washington State environmental organizations who are also appalled with a commercial operation inside a national refuge.  Recently, nearly a dozen organizations sent a joint letter to DNR Commissioner Hilary Franz expressing their concerns that she approved the oyster shellfish operation knowing full well that this operation will damage the Refuge.  (See letter attachment above.) 

We are working with our partner organizations to find a way to save the Dungeness Refuge.  If you have not written to Commissioner Franz please do so. This is a good time for individual letters to join forces with the joint letter.

                                                Hilary Franz, Commissioner

                                                Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands

                                                MS47001

                                                Olympia, WA  98504

                                                cpl@dnr.wa.gov

Hugh Morrison is the recently appointed interim USFWS Regional Director in the Portland OR office.  Please write him.  It was that office that pulled its earlier comments opposing the oyster project.  We need to keep the pressure on the service to re-engage and oppose.  They too were sent the ACE document spelling out the destruction to the Refuge.

                                                Hugh Morrison, Interim Regional Director

                                                Regional Director’s Office-R1

                                                911 NE 11th Avenue

                                                Portland, OR  97282-4181

                                                Hugh_Morrison@fws.gov

This will take a village to save the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, but save it we will!

Protect the Peninsula’s Future — PO Box 421 — Sequim, WA 98382

http://www.protectpeninsulasfuture.org/dungeness-refuge-alert/

Olympic Coast Ocean Acidification Sentinel Site Symposium on May 10-11

NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is hosting the Olympic Coast Ocean Acidification Sentinel Site (OASeS) Symposium to share information, generate solutions, and address work plan actions related to policy, management, science, education, and outreach needs of the region regarding changing ocean conditions. 

DATE: May 10-11, 2022 
TIME: May 10: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. PDTMay 11: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. PDT
LOCATION:   Virtual attendance through a live stream Join meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone:https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/934726957 or:+1 (872) 240-3412 Access Code: 934-726-957

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries formally designated Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary as an Ocean Acidification Sentinel Site in November of 2019. The four Coastal Treaty Tribes who are sustained by these waters – the Hoh, Makah, Quileute, and the Quinault Indian Nation – together with the state of Washington, support this designation for the Washington coast. A roundtable-style steering committee guides Sentinel Site activities and ensures broad representation of coastal resource manager and stakeholder interests.

The Sentinel Site informs resource managers and coastal communities about the impacts of ocean acidification on their marine resources, cultures, communities, and economies to ensure they are prepared for a changing ocean. Climate change effects are the biggest threats to the condition of the sanctuary, as identified in the recently completed condition report

For more information or to obtain a copy of the agenda, contact Katie Wrubel 360-406-2081, mailto:Katie.Wrubel@noaa.gov .

On the Web:

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary: http://olympiccoast@noaa.gov

Jacqueline Laverdure  (she / her / hers)

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Master Gardners Annual Plant Sale -Saturday!

Spring is in the air, and the Jefferson County Master Gardener Foundation is pleased to announce its annual plant sale will take place on Saturday, May 7.

It’s the first time the sale will be in person since 2019. During the height of COVID, the Foundation pivoted to an online sale format in 2020 and 2021. For this year’s sale on May 7, gardeners will be be able to reconnect in person with fellow plant enthusiasts while shopping the thousands of small trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, ground covers, vegetables, fruits and succulents at the sale. 

The event will take place from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Chimacum High School, 91 West Valley Road, Chimacum.

Shoppers may preview the plant and tree varieties on sale online: jcmgf.square.site/ All plants have been propagated by experienced Master Gardeners on a volunteer basis. Plants may vary in size from the photos shown on the site.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Suzanne Eggleston

Jefferson County Master Gardener (Class of 2019)

Choosing Winners and Losers in Alaska’s Crab Fishery -Hakai Magazine

Great article on the Alaska crab season.

A quota system implemented in 2005 has meant economic and social trade-offs.

https://hakaimagazine.com/news/choosing-winners-and-losers-in-alaskas-crab-fishery/

Anderson Lake Closed due to Toxic Algae

Please don’t let you or your dogs swim or get near it. It could kill them.

Wildlife officials warn of invasive frogs in Washington – AP

Now this….seems like we never learn.


An invasive species is consuming and competing with native species in western Washington, including salmon. Scientists have spotted African clawed frogs in Issaquah, Lacey and Bothell, KING5 reported. The frogs were initially brought into the United States to be used in pregnancy tests and later became pets, said state wildlife scientist Max Lambert. (Associated Press)

https://apnews.com/article/united-states-environment-fish-washington-wildlife-6c84623b376b1a13124a724945cfdd51

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