Over-the-counter pesticides found in islands’ forage fish-San Juan Journal

Very troubling findings in a recent research on pesticides found in Sand Lance which are fish eaten by many higher level predators. Please do not use pesticide sprays like this for carpenter ants and other insects. You likely are poisoning yourself and the environment.

An intriguing sidelight of the Kwiaht study is a finding that sand lances collected closest to Admiralty Inlet, the entrance to Puget Sound, were on average twice as contaminated with pyrethroid pesticides as sand lances collected on the north side of San Juan County closest to the Fraser River plume.

https://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/over-the-counter-pesticides-found-in-islands-forage-fish/

Event: Forest Defense is Climate Defense – Port Townsend 9-17

Please join Center for Sustainable EconomyCenter for Responsible Forestry, and the Emergency Conservation Committee PNW on September 17th, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the Port Townsend Community Center (right next to Farmers Market)  for a panel discussion on the climate impacts of industrial logging activities and what decision makers at the federal, state, and local level can do to scale up climate smart alternatives that represent a win-win-win for climate, communities, and workers. More information about the event can be found here. Please share the event on Facebook here. The panel will feature former Commissioner of Public Lands (2009-2017) Peter Goldmark, Dr. John Talberth, and Jessica Randall speaking about the scientific and economic case for protecting Olympic forests for their climate benefits and what strategies are in play to accomplish that goal. A lively discussion will follow, so please be prepared to share ideas on what you think needs to happen. See you then!

Study raises questions about using ‘woody debris’ to restore streams -Salish Currents

Some of the woody debris projects work, some don’t. The reasons why are not yet known.


“Efforts to improve salmon streams damaged by past logging and other human activities commonly include the addition of carefully placed logs, tree roots or “woody debris” to mimic this natural system. But a new report raises questions about the value of adding wood to streams — at least in the way it has been done in many restoration projects.”. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Judge: Sustainable Salmon Harvest isn’t Sustainable – Post Alley


King salmon that you might have eaten recently apparently might not be available much longer. I know when I saw them in the fish-market two weeks ago I wondered if whether it had been legal to catch it. I assume it had as our fish market is very good at making sure that the only buy a sustainably caught fish .But here’s the background on it.

Those sustainably harvested Chinook salmon seemingly legally caught by trollers off Southeast Alaska aren’t “sustainably harvested.” So ruled U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones, adding that the plan that has allowed them to be harvested there violates the federal Endangered Species and National Environmental Policy acts. On August 10, the federal judge granted Duvall-based Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) summary judgment against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), its parent Department of Commerce, various officials of both agencies, and the Alaska Trollers Association and the State of Alaska, which had intervened. Dan Chasen writes.

https://www.postalley.org/2022/08/31/judge-sustainable-salmon-harvest-isnt-sustainable/

New film about spring Chinook delves into history, culture and science in unique habitats – PSI

Worth a watch!


A new film, titled “The Lost Salmon,” opens with a video montage that takes us through some wondrous scenes: A wide aerial shot of California’s majestic Salmon River, moving to an underwater view of salmon swimming through the clear water and then to an action spectacle of wild salmon practically flying through the air to surmount a rushing cascades. Christopher Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute) 

Singer Carole King on Olympic Trees – NY Times

Singer/Songwriter and environmental activist Carole King wrote an opinion piece on why the Biden Administration should sign an executive order immediately…

“…directing his secretaries of the interior and agriculture to take all steps available to them to stop commercial logging on public land. We can’t wait a year…..Forest preservation is a climate solution. That’s why we need action to safeguard the forests on the public lands we all share. Federal law requires that most public lands be managed for multiple uses, such as recreation, gas and oil development, mining and logging. But this longstanding policy is running headlong into efforts to slow the warming of our planet.

Read the whole opinion piece here:

Opinion | It Costs Nothing to Leave Our Trees as They Are – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

138K green crabs pulled from Washington waters … so far in 2022 – KUOW

The battle to rid our waters of the invasive European green crabs is making some headway. Losing this battle could mean the end of Dungeness Crab and many other creatures in the Salish Sea. Luckily the State and Tribes are taking this very seriously, as they should.


So far this year, Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says more than 138,000 European green crabs have been removed from Washington waters. It’s a considerable increase in green crabs captured locally than previously reported this year. A total of 85,000 were captured near Bellingham last year. (KUOW) 

Washington to phase out new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 -AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the state will phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by the year 2035. Inslee announced the move in a tweet on Wednesday and said a new rule will be finalized by the end of the year. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)  

California poised to phase out sale of new gas-powered cars California is poised to set a 2035 deadline for all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen, an ambitious step that will reshape the U.S. car market by speeding the transition to more climate-friendly vehicles. (Associated Press)  

Chinese province plans ban on sale of gasoline cars Hainan island in the South China Sea says it will become China’s first region to ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars to curb climate-changing carbon emissions. (Associated Press) 

The move away from fossil fuels can come none too soon. Rivers supplying critical water for cooling nuclear power plants and providing dams with water are running dangerously low across China, the U.S. and Europe. We have no time to waste. The assumptions that we have enough time to wait until the mid-30s are likely to be unrealistic. Many climate scientists warned us years ago that if we did not hit global warming targets the world would reach a tipping point by the end of this decade. What will it look like if we don’t have electricity production to meet the needs of the electric cars? Or even to heat our homes and provide drinking water.

Seeking Environmental Educators for 2022-2023 AmeriCorps Term

From the PT Marine Science Center

Inspire students, visitors, and the whole community to explore, experience, connect with, and take action to protect and steward the unique ecosystems of the Salish Sea.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is seeking three Marine Stewardship Educator AmeriCorps Members to join our team dedicated to conserving the Salish Sea. These are full-time 10 ½ month positions starting October 17, 2022. These stipend-supported positions are sponsored by the Washington Service Corps AmeriCorps program. These positions are contingent upon funding.

PTMSC is a non-profit marine conservation, science and education organization located in Fort Worden State Park and downtown Port Townsend, Washington. Our two park facilities house a small vibrant aquarium featuring life from the nearshore habitats of the Salish Sea, a museum with a fully-articulated orca skeleton and natural history collections, and classrooms. (The new downtown facility is currently being developed.) Our exhibits also explore how human impacts such as climate change stress the fragile ecosystems in the Salish Sea, and what people can do, through their collective actions, to affect positive change. Based in a rural community with limited access to high quality science programming, PTMSC provides valuable, science-based learning opportunities for all ages. We do this through hands-on educational activities, public programs, social media, and citizen science projects. As a long standing part of our community (40+ years) we prioritize and model the positive actions being taken to steward these lands and waters for future generations. 

AmeriCorps members will be recruited and interviewed in August and September, 2022. Primary activities shift seasonally, with an emphasis on school programs in the winter/spring and exhibit interpretation and day camps in the summer. Throughout the term, members help to coordinate and participate in a range of on-site and field-based citizen science projects with staff, volunteers, and our partners. Additionally, team members will learn about and assist with animal collection, animal care, and aquatic life support. And they coordinate volunteers to assist with research and outreach events, and collaborate with staff in developing new programs. There is a lot happening at PTMSC! Visit www.ptmsc.org to learn more.

DUTIES: All AmeriCorps positions will conduct activities within the following focus areas in order to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea:

1) Education (30%): Provide hands-on, inquiry-based K-12 science programs to students in economically disadvantaged schools.

2) Exhibits (40%): Provide meaningful informal science education through the operation, interpretation, and upkeep of our two exhibit halls and engage the public through tours and educational programs.

3) Volunteers/Outreach (15%): Provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds utilizing effective volunteer management strategies, such as training, coordinating, and recognizing volunteers. Provide outreach to the community through programs such as citizen science research, beach cleanups, tabling events, and social media.

4) Research (15%): Assist and coordinate citizen science research projects, collect and enter data both in the field and in the lab for projects that include identifying harmful marine phytoplankton (SoundToxins), surveying intertidal organisms, collecting data on stranded marine mammals, or hosting an iNaturalist BioBlitz.

OPPORTUNITIES:

● Serve with a team of educators developing and delivering state-of-the-art science education, programs, and exhibits

● Support current research through projects in citizen science

● Receive training in natural history, marine biology, ecology, teaching and interpretation techniques, and care of cold water marine animals

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

● College degree or background in marine biology, natural history, environmental education, citizen science, or a related field; or equivalent experience

● Familiarity with concepts and methods of scientific research

● Energetic, self-motivated team player and willing to learn

● Ability and willingness to interact with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds

● Excellent verbal and written communication skills

● Must be over 18 years old

● Must be able to serve a 10 ½ month term of service, and at least 1,700 hours

● Must have a current CPR and First Aid certification

● Must pass required federal background check

● Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National or Permanent Resident Alien of the United States

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands below are representative of those necessary to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

● Ability to walk on uneven terrain for up to two miles carrying up to 30 pounds

● Ability to lift 40 pounds from the floor

● Ability to climb and work from ladders and climb stairs

● Ability to reach, use, lift and move 20 pounds from shoulder height

● Ability to work in small and awkward spaces,

● Ability to work outside in inclement weather conditions

● Ability to stand or sit for up to 8 hours with one 30 min break and two 15 min breaks

BENEFITS:

● Monthly stipend of $1,571 per month (pre-tax)

● Medical insurance coverage

● Education award of $6,495 (for college tuition or loans) upon successful completion of service term

● Workers compensation coverage

● Child Care Assistance if income-eligible

● Loan forbearance on qualifying student loans

● Eligible for Washington State Food Assistance program

● Visit the Become A Member page to learn more about WSC program benefits 

TO APPLY: Applications consist of a letter of interest, resume, two letters of recommendation and three references; email submissions are preferred. Recommendations may be sent separately, but incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure your references will be available for contact. Applicants will also need to register on the MyAmeriCorps website to be considered for these service positions.

Submit applications via email to:

americorpsapplication@ptmsc.org

Port Townsend Marine Science Center 532 Battery Way Port Townsend, WA 98368

PRIORITY DEADLINE: Aug. 21, 2022 

FINAL DEADLINE: October 1, 2022
— 

Tracy Thompson
Volunteer Program Coordinator

Bombshell Court Victory: Chinook Harvest Harms Southern Resident Killer Whales and Wild Chinook Recovery

From the Wild Fish Conservancy:

AUGUST 10, 2022— A bombshell ruling from Seattle’s federal Court landed Monday evening calling out the federal government for failing to protect endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) and wild Chinook by approving unsustainable Chinook harvest at levels that are harming the recovery of both federally protected species.

On Monday, U.S. Judge Richard A. Jones issued summary judgement in a lawsuit brought by Wild Fish Conservancy in March 2020 challenging NOAA Fisheries for authorizing commercial salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska’s Chinook troll fishery at levels that the federal agency admits in their most recent analysis of the fishery are pushing federally protected SRKW’s and wild Chinook closer to extinction. The Court’s order overwhelming agreed that NOAA violated the law by improperly relying on undeveloped and uncertain future mitigation to offset this ongoing harm to species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“We applaud Judge Jones ruling that is finally calling into question decades of unsustainable Chinook harvest management in Southeast Alaska and marks a watershed moment for the recovery of Southern Resident orcas and wild Chinook,” says Emma Helverson, Director of Wild Fish Conservancy. “To date, reducing overharvest on the whale’s primary prey is the only scientifically-proven recovery action moving forward that promises immediate access to Chinook for these starving orcas and which will help to recover and restore larger and more diverse wild Chinook these whales evolved to eat which are fundamental for their long-term recovery.”

“While our entire region has been searching for a solution to this extinction crisis, federal fishery managers and our region’s representatives to the Pacific Salmon Treaty have been approving harvest at levels they acknowledge are pushing orcas and wild Chinook closer to extinction,” says Kurt Beardslee, co-founder and Director of Special Projects of WFC. “What’s worse, the only solution they’re willing to consider to solve this problem is producing more hatchery fish which will further harm wild Chinook recovery and which these managers well-know will largely be absorbed by commercial fisheries under a management paradigm that offers zero allocation to orcas.”

In the Southeast Alaska Chinook troll fishery at issue, many people are unaware that only 3% of all Chinook harvested originate from Alaskan rivers, while the majority 97% originate from rivers throughout British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. As an example, over half of the fish harvested would return to the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River. If given the opportunity, these Chinook will migrate back down the coast serving as the primary prey for the SRKWs as the Chinook pass through the whale’s key forage areas. Instead, these Chinook are being harvested outside of the range of the whales, regardless of their status under the ESA, and at levels that federal fishery managers acknowledge are unsustainable for the long-term survival and reproductive success of both wild Chinook and the Southern Resident population.

“This is unbelievable news, yet so long in coming,” said Wild Orca’s Science and Research Director, Dr. Deborah Giles who filed a declaration in the lawsuit. “Most fish caught in the Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery are from home rivers in the Southern Resident killer whales’ critical habitat—areas designated by NOAA Fisheries as essential to their survival. The government’s own research has shown that Chinook from Washington State rivers are vital prey in winter, and yet they have permitted these fish to be caught when they’re feeding in Alaska, depriving the whales of the vital nutrition needed to sustain healthy pregnancies, and grow this population.”

“NOAA has failed fishers, salmon, and orcas for decades,” emphasized Beardslee. “Alaskan fishers who follow the rules are not to blame here, the fault lies with fisheries managers and NOAA for consistently approving unsustainable harvest plans. The Court’s order will finally hold NOAA accountable for following the law and adhering to best available science, while shining a light on the systemic failure of the Pacific Salmon Treaty— a win-win for wild salmon, orcas, and coastal communities alike.”

The Court further found NOAA violated the ESA by relying on the supposed benefits to SRKWs from increasing hatchery production, without fully evaluating the harm those same hatchery increases will cause to native Chinook salmon populations in Puget Sound, the Columbia River, the Snake River, and the Willamette River. NOAA recognizes hatcheries and associated impacts as one of the top four factors contributing to the decline of wild salmon, along with overharvest, habitat loss, and hydroelectric dams.

Finally, the Court held that NOAA Fisheries violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by approving the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest levels, and by implementing increased hatchery production in Puget Sound and Columbia River to offset those harvests, without any NEPA procedures, which would include opportunities for public input and an evaluation of alternatives.

In October 2021, Wild Fish Conservancy filed a separate lawsuit against the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for implementing massive expansions in hatchery production purportedly to increase prey for SRKW without undergoing legally required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review and procedures.

Four years after Tahlequah’s journey, the legal and ethical debates over orca protection continue to evolve

Salish Sea Currents looks back and forward on the game changing plight of Tahlequah, the mother who lost her young orca.

It has been four summers since a mother orca’s dramatic vigil brought worldwide attention to the plight of Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales. A recent gathering of legal experts, conservationists, and academic scholars looked at how perceptions of the whales have changed since then and whether laws and policies should reflect new thinking about ethical responsibilities to orcas and other animals. Sarah DeWeerdt reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Salish Sea Currents

Net Pen Aquaculture in Puget Sound? A Risk Too High

What if a single mega-corporation polluted Puget Sound with as much untreated waste as the cities of Port Angeles, Bellingham, Everett and Tacoma combined? Would you agree that’s wrong? What if that industry’s products were so plagued with disease that it routinely spreads lethal viruses and parasites to the very wild salmon we are all so concerned about? What if an unknown amount of the farmed fish sold at grocery stores was infected with viruses, would you feel safe eating it? And what if, without knowing it, you were also consuming fish antibiotics, growth hormones, anti-parasitics, and other compounds?

What if you learned that this industry continues to discard into Puget Sound each day, large amounts of fish sewage, carcass leachate, blood water, drug-laced feed, dead fouling organisms, heavy metals, and marine debris–often in violation of its permit, and apparently undeterred after a long history of violations and fines? Would you find that acceptable year after year? A new report from the Olympic Forest Coalition gives the details.

While most people would agree that feeding a hungry world is necessary and good, most would also agree that damaging or destroying natural ecosystems (or bending regulations) in order to do so is bad – and, with the aquaculture industry, completely unnecessary. Aquaculture is considered an essential way to produce protein for humanity, a “blue economy” defined as “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.” But aquaculture in the form of net pens in ocean water has proven to be a double-edged sword for Puget Sound, with significant impacts in the absence of conscientious oversight and ethical management.

Suppose after a catastrophic accident caused by poor maintenance, that you had the authority to cancel the industry’s lease of submerged public lands. More than 250,000 diseased salmon escaped, but the industry sued you for canceling its lease. Though the court sided with your decision time after time, what if five years later the industry is still forcing you to spend more money on lawyers and court costs? When I use the word “you,” it’s not a hypothetical, because you as a Washington taxpayer are paying for this.

What if more sustainable alternatives to this industry’s practices exist, but the will hasn’t yet been summoned to turn to them?

That is precisely the pickle Washington State is in right now. Behaviors like those of Cooke Aquaculture, the company that owns these fish farms, have been likened in a newly-published book to “our generation’s version of Big Tobacco.” The report by the Olympic Forest Coalition gives the details on what is briefly mentioned here. If your reading time is limited, you may find the Timeline most compelling.

A history of agency bungling, lax oversight, inadequate enforcement, and fines that aren’t enough to be disincentives has affected the public’s trust of the very government agencies that should be better at protecting us by reining in such a highly polluting industry. Does Washington State lack the legal grounds that more legislation could remedy? Maybe. Does the will exist to truly fix the problem? Apparently not. Because after the gigantic diseased fish spill and passage of a state law in 2018 banning the raising of non-native fish in net pens in Puget Sound, Cooke Aquaculture immediately applied to raise native steelhead trout, albeit genetically manipulated, without any indication that it was correcting its well-known deficiencies.

And then, despite a contentious process in which a knowledgeable public overwhelmingly opposed the granting of this new permit to Cooke, the State Department of Ecology (DOE) granted them a five-year license anyway. A lawsuit over that poor public process went all the way to the State Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Puget Sound, it was decided in favor of Cooke on such narrow grounds that the cumulative impacts of all that pollution, as well as the intense public opposition, were all but ignored. So, the viruses may now be different for steelhead, but the fish waste, antibiotics, fouling, debris, escaped fish and other pollutants will continue as long as the leases on those submerged lands are in effect. And this is where DNR comes in, because of Cooke’s leases are all expiring.

What’s next? Washington is at a major decision point. While Cooke wants new leases, the advocacy group Wild Fish Conservancy has also applied for them, with the intent to restore the degraded habitats of these public lands. With foresight, British Columbia recently announced that by phasing out or canceling its leases, it will transition away from open water net pens over the next few years. Washington is now the last state on the west coast to allow commercial open water net pens, and the last jurisdiction on the entire North Pacific Coast that has not already banned, excluded, or committed to phasing them out.

Nobody knows how farming steelhead will impact Puget Sound, not even DOE, who granted the permit and whose statements about steelhead being less risky to farm than Atlantic salmon were contradicted by its own documents submitted as proof. With a new biological opinion issued by NOAA Fisheries last winter, the harm to endangered species, including native steelhead, has been officially recognized.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is the deciding official on whether to grant leases to Cooke Aquaculture or to the Wild Fish Conservancy. It’s already well-known that like just about everyone else, both she and Governor Inslee dislike the aggressive and litigious behavior of Cooke Aquaculture, but think about it: this is our state government and we have a voice. We should use it. A vocal chorus from the public might lend more weight to a decision in favor of restoring our public trust resources. Contact the Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands at cpl@dnr.wa.gov, or at MS 47001, Olympia, WA 98504-7001. Phone: 360-902-1004, fax: 360-902-1775.

Link to report: https://olympicforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Net-Pen-Fish-Farms-in-Puget-Sound-Position-Paper.pdf

EVENT: 8/26/22 @ 9am Birding in the Park – Fort Flagler

Birding and nature tours are now being held on the 4th Friday of each month. Wear sturdy footwear and dress for changeable weather. bring binoculars and your own water.

Registration: Please send Bev an email, subject: Birdwatching Walk to Bevybirds53@gmail.com and she will plan directly with you. Please note this program is dependent on good weather.

Presenter: Beverly McNeil, Admiralty Audubon trip leader and photographer, has been conducting bird walks at Fort Flagler. Beverly’s photographs are displayed at the Port Townsend Gallery: http://porttownsendgallery.com/artists/beverly-mcneil/.

 

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Coastal Training Program classes

Registration is now open for the Coastal Training Program classes scheduled for September 2022 – December 2022. 

All classes are eligible for Certification Maintenance (CM) credits through the American Planning Association and the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals. Members of the Society of Wetland Scientists may also apply class hours toward re-certification. 

Waitlist?
Sign up for the waitlist if the class you want is full. This lets us know if we need to add an additional class or offer it again in the near future.

Did you click the “Confirm” Button?

Click the “confirm” button after you fill out the registration form. Otherwise, your registration will not go through. You will immediately receive a confirmation email with your invoice. Sincerely,

Sara Brostrom (she/her)

Coastal Training Program Coordinator

Padilla Bay Reserve | Department of Ecology | Coastal Training Program


September 2022 – December 2022
SeptemberUsing the Washington State Wetland Rating System (2014) in WesternWashington – 9/13 (9:00 am-12:30 pm, virtual), 9/14 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm, virtual), 9/15 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm, in-person in Thurston County) – $150How to Conduct a Forage Fish Survey – 9/21 (9 am – 4:30 pm, in-person at the Lacey Community Center) – $105
OctoberCoastal Adaptation Planning Essentials – 10/4 (9:00 am – 11:30 am, virtual) and 10/6 (9:00 am – 11:30 am, virtual) – $50How to Explain Science, Share Data, and Build Trust: Presentation Skills for Scientists and Public Officials– 10/4 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, virtual) and 10/18 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, virtual) and 10/18 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, virtual) – $295How to Explain Science, Share Data, and Build Trust: Presentation Skills for Scientists and Public Officials – 10/4 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, virtual) and 10/19 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, virtual) – $295Using the Washington State Wetland Rating System (2014) in WesternWashington – 10/11 (9:00 am-12:30 pm, virtual), 10/12 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm, virtual), 10/13 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm, in-person in Thurston County) – $150
NovemberUsing the Washington State Wetland Rating System (2014) in EasternWashington – 11/1 (9:00 am-12:30 pm, virtual), 11/2 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm, virtual), 11/3 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm, in-person in Spokane County) – $150Using the Credit-Debit Method for Estimating Mitigation Needs in EasternWashington – 11/16 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm, virtual) and 11/17 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm, in-person in Spokane County) – $105
December Using the Credit-Debit Method for Estimating Mitigation Needs in WesternWashington – 12/1 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm, virtual) and 12/2 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm, in-person in Thurston County) – $105Using the Washington State Wetland Rating System (2014) in WesternWashington – 12/6 (9:00 am-12:30 pm, virtual), 12/7 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm, virtual), 12/8 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm, in-person in Thurston County) – $150
REGISTER NOW
Looking for additional trainings? We plan to post information about additional virtual trainings offered through NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management here

Offshore Wind’s Turbulent Future – Hakai Magazine

An issue that might cause a significant pause in the deployment of deep water wind turbines, which I assume from the article may be what is being proposed for the Washington coast.


The realization that turbulence created by deepwater wind turbines could upset the spring phytoplankton bloom has researchers warning the rapidly emerging industry to proceed with caution. Doug Johnson reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Offshore Wind’s Turbulent Future 

Hot enough? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Reading through New Scientist today, UK’s hottest day on record sees temperatures pass 40°C | New Scientist, I was struck by their comments that we are now at 1.5 degrees C experiencing this kind of interruption to society in the U.K. Canada and the U.S. but we are expecting 3.5 degrees by the end of this century.

Think that through. We are experiencing this kind of heat in the northern hemisphere at only 1/3rd of the way to where scientists predict we are going. At the same time, none of the 40 countries that met in Berlin last week for the annual climate change talks did anything of substance to help low-income countries. We are failing on all accounts. The vast majority of people simply refuse to believe it until they are washed away, living in an inferno or finding their forests burning. We are *in* climate change. There is no going back.

If you have anything you can do, it’s to take this issue to our elected or soon to be elected officials. They need to hear that it’s unacceptable to do nothing or blame others in the face of this slow moving disaster.

It’s up to you now. The politicians are refusing to save us. The Republicans just want to return to a past that included burning rivers of pollution, fogging children with DDT and more. The born again Christians seem to simply be interested in abortion or believe we are in end times and are simply waiting for salvation rather than helping come up with solutions. We are truly untethered as society and needing leadership that will only come from people not yet on the stage. The future is not going to be like the past, but with work it might be better than we think. Step up now.

Seattle Audubon Society dropping “Audubon” from its name – KNKX

In another move to cleanse this country of honoring people who owned and supported slavery, along with reaching out to communities of color to be more inclusive, the Seattle Audubon has taken the somewhat radical step of dropping the name of the foremost bird naturalist, John James Audubon. It is worth mentioning that while some may want to say that Audubon was just a “man of his times” there were many in this country at that time that opposed slavery. He made a choice.

Coming to grips with the real history of this country is clearly a painful task. With Republican news outlets and politicians making political hay from the idea that this is all a minority plot to dishonor our history, it is good to see organizations such as the Audubon Society take a controversial stand such as this. It clearly is in the tradition of Hazel Wolf, the woman who led the organization for years, and never backed down from a controversial position. Hazel was a fighter for women’s rights and indigenous rights along with being a most dynamic environmentalist. Not just a “restorationist” but an environmentalist. There are too few of those anymore in this country. It’s not a “politically correct” position in many forums where avoidance of conflict and funding for restoration projects trumps actual hard decisions for protection of the environment.

The Society will choose a new name this fall. This idea has also been spreading through other chapters in the rest of the states. An article in Audubon Magazine in fall of 2020 called into question the notion of honoring Audubon. Revealing the Past to Create the Future | Audubon

There was no immediate word from the National Audubon Society whether they will continue to support the Seattle Chapter. My guess is that other chapters will follow suit soon. It likely will cause a rethinking at the national level to keep all the chapters together. This groundswell can’t be contained.


The Seattle chapter of the Audubon Society announced that it is dropping “Audubon” from its name because of its association with white supremacy. There are hundreds of state and local chapters of the National Audubon Society, the nonprofit dedicated to protecting birds and their habitats, but Seattle Audubon is one of the largest in the country. Earlier this month, the board voted to change the chapter’s name because the man the organization is named after – illustrator, painter and bird lover John James Audubon, author of the seminal work “The Birds of America” – owned enslaved people and opposed abolition. Lilly Ana Fowler reports. (KNKX)

Seattle chapter of the Audubon Society dropping “Audubon” from its name to be more inclusive

Native American Environmental Legend Terry Williams Walks On

News out today that Tulalip Tribes Treaty Rights Commissioner and defacto leader of the Northwest environmental community has passed.

The bolo tie-wearing elder shaped state and national environmental policy. He was both soft-spoken and a powerful advocate.

Everett Herald

Terry Williams, Tulalip’s ‘champion of climate issues,’ dies at 74 | HeraldNet.com

Terry was always a presence at gatherings of environmental and restoration leadership for decades.

In the 1980s, Williams helped draw up the first Timber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement, a 57-page document outlining plans for a more ethical future for forestry. The accord, crafted through 60 meetings between tribes, timber companies and state agencies, provided the blueprint for negotiating regulations to protect old growth, fish-bearing streams and resolving disputes out of court.

Everett Herald

Always working with Billy Frank Jr. the two helped the tribes in Puget Sound to forge alliances after the Boldt Decision. I attended many meetings where he held the floor and gave focused discussions on what needed to be done to help return salmon to our waters. He dedicated his life to it. But it wasn’t just that dedication but the calm centered person he brought to the discussions. When he spoke, everyone listened.

“He really taught me to not get down and upset when you’re dealing with difficult issues,” Miller said. “I used to watch him having those conversations and I would be upset. I’d be so mad about it. And Terry would be so calm.”

There are people who are impossible to replace, given their history and dedication to a cause. Terry was one of those people. He always played the long game.

The Everett Herald has an excellent obituary on this giant of a man whose work will be felt eight generations from now, as the Tribes so eloquently state.

Terry Williams, Tulalip’s ‘champion of climate issues,’ dies at 74 | HeraldNet.com

WA Supreme Court landmark decision on forestlands

This is an incredibly important ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court. Why? Because it opens up the real possibility of better timber management to protect old growth along with looking at harvest and its effect on global warming by DNR.

The basis of the lawsuit was this: Article 16, Sec on 1 of the Washington State Constitution states “all the public lands granted to the state are held in trust for all the people.”

Read on. Joint press release from Conservation Northwest, Washington Environmental Council, and Olympic Forest Coalition. Below it is DNR head, Hilary Franz’s response.


Washington State Supreme Court Rules in Conservation Northwest v Commissioner of Public Lands
In an unanimous decision, Court recognizes State’s authority to manage forestlands for public benefit.

OLYMPIA, WA— Today, the Washington State Supreme Court confirms that the state has a constitutional mandate and broad authority to serve “all the people” of Washington and the public interest when managing state lands. This unanimous decision in the case of Conservation Northwest, et al. v. Commissioner of Public Lands, et al . , recognizes that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can integrate the many diverse public benefits of forests into the management of state forestlands, beyond maximizing revenue genera on from timber harvests.


DNR has historically managed forestlands in ways that maximize revenue from logging, even at the expense of other public interests and benefits. This decision recognizes that the agency, Commissioner of Public Lands, Board of Natural Resources, and State of Washington have the power to manage public lands in ways that truly reflect and support our state’s evolving environmental, economic, and social needs.


The court’s decision states that DNR’s need to serve identified beneficiaries and DNR’s requirement under the State constitution to serve the public interest “should be construed in harmony.” As the Court explained, “[t]here appear to be myriad ways DNR could choose to generate revenue from the state and forest board lands or otherwise put them to use for the benefit of the enumerated beneficiaries.”


The court also states that DNR is not required to generate revenue specifically from timber harvests on state lands, but may elect to do so because of their discretion as trust managers. The agency is also not required to prioritize revenue maximization on in their land management.


“The battle we’ve been fighting is to achieve a fair balance. We have argued that the management of these lands has historically been pushed to maximize revenue. We have never fought to end all timber harvest on state lands,” said Peter Goldman, Director, Washington Forest Law Center and co-counsel for plaintiffs, “This decision confirms instead that the agency, Commissioner of Public Lands, Board of Natural Resources, and State of Washington does not have to maximize timber harvest or revenue generation, and have broad discretion on to balance revenue genera on for identified beneficiaries with management for the broader public interest. DNR and the Legislature now can design 21st Century forest management that meets the challenges we face today.”


Environmental organizations Conservation Northwest, Washington Environmental Council, and Olympic
Forest Coalition, as well as eight community members, brought forth the lawsuit arguing that the state constitution requires that the federally-granted public forestlands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are “held in trust for all the people.” There are approximately 2 million acres of “state trust lands” that were granted to the state by the federal government upon statehood, including almost 1.5 million acres that are forested.


“The court issued a monumental conservation ruling. Over coming years and decades, this ruling will be cited in support of nature-protection policies made by the legislature and the DNR. In short, the nature of this trust is that the state has the discretion to protect the public’s resources,” said Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest.

“We are encouraged to see that the Washington State Supreme Court has recognized the power and broad discretion the State has to manage public lands for the benefit of all the people, and not just for maximum timber revenue. Our state’s forests provide immense benefits to all of us–people, trees, animals, and our futures. Washingtonians should not be forced to choose between harvesting timber for funding and having healthy forests to protect our air, water, habitat, and public health,” said Alyssa Macy, CEO of Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. “This decision opens the door for the Department of Natural Resources to manage our public lands toward a healthy, equitable future for generations to come.”


“We are now seeing unprecedented changes in our state forests, habitats, and watersheds from climate disruption”, said Connie Gallant, President of the Olympic Forest Coalition , “We can no longer afford to mine our forests only for short term revenues, assuming without scientific evidence that they will continue to grow back indefinitely. We simply cannot blindly sacrifice the environment any more. The Court recognized that DNR and the Legislature must balance the interests of all the people , not only maximize revenue from timber harvests. This case has clearly put the responsibility on the Commissioner of Public Lands and the Legislature to resolve the policy differences, balance our interests and find a clear path forward. DNR has the discretion – their hands are no longer ed. We can manage for carbon, for science, for revenues, for all our interests. We literally have some of the most important forests in the world to either mi gate climate disruption or add to it. We shall see if the Commissioner of Public Lands and our elected officials take up the baton the Washington Supreme Court has passed to them and protect these forests.”


Article 16, Sec on 1 of the Washington State Constitution states “all the public lands granted to the state are held in trust for all the people.” Conservation NW et al. v. Commissioner of Public Lands et al. asked the court to interpret this constitutional language to require that the agency must consider both generating revenue and the multitude of other ecological benefits of state forestlands.


Upon Washington’s statehood in 1889, the federal government granted Washington 3 million acres of land through the Enabling Act to be held for the public and to support public institutions, including K-12 school construction and state universities. The Board of Natural Resources (BNR) sets policies for management of state trust lands, and management is carried out by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


The environmental organizations and individuals in this case were represented by the Ziontz Chestnut law firm and the Washington Forest Law Center.


###


“Keeping the Northwest wild” since 1989, Conservation Northwest is a regional non-profit organization that protects, connects and restores wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies. Staff operate in local communities and rural areas around Washington and into southern B.C., using dialogue to find common ground and collaborative solutions for challenging issues including habitat corridors, wilderness conservation, forest restoration and endangered species recovery.
The Olympic Forest Coalition (OFCO) promotes the protection, conservation and restoration of natural forest ecosystems and their processes on the Olympic Peninsula. This mission includes monitoring and caring for the public forests, watersheds and bays of the Peninsula. OFCO’s approach integrates science-based solutions that protect and restore natural ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, and healthy rural communities. OFCO incorporates the climate crisis and mitigating its impacts on the Olympic Peninsula as foundational for all of its work.


Washington Environmental Council is a nonprofit, statewide advocacy organization on that has been driving positive change to solve Washington’s most critical environmental challenges since 1967. Our mission is to protect, restore, and sustain Washington’s environment for all.


Commissioner Franz Statement in Response to Washington Supreme Court Ruling

OLYMPIA – Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, head of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), released the following statement in response to the Washington Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Conservation Northwest, et al. v. Commissioner of Public Lands et al., regarding the interpretation of the state Constitution’s policy on management of state trust lands:

“I believe strongly in our mission to protect public lands, support healthy forests, and provide essential benefits to the people of Washington.

“Today’s ruling affirms DNR’s position that it has discretion under the constitutional and legislative mandate to manage public lands on behalf of the communities we serve and ensure our public lands are providing the greatest environmental, social, and economic good.

“I also recognize that in the face of a rapidly changing climate, we must do everything we can to safeguard public lands and protect our forests. This is why DNR has made climate resilience and long-term sustainable land use a core part of our work, including being a nationwide leader in efforts to restore forest health and conserve forestland and critical habitat across our state.

“I look forward to our continued work to ensure Washington state’s public lands are healthy, support our communities, and are protected for generations to come.”

A farewell to Bob Campbell

From our friends at the Feiro Marine Life Center in PA. I agree, Bob was a wonderful human being. Sad to see him gone, though I haven’t seen him in a few years.

Please note that Feiro will be closed on Sunday, July 24 so that staff and volunteers will be able to attend Bob Campbell’s Celebration of Life.

He will be celebrated at 2:00pm at Studio Bob, 118 1/2 East Front Street, Port Angeles, with refreshments and socializing to follow.

Bob was a wonderful human with a deep passion for our ocean and a commitment to mentoring young humans. He was Feiro’s Facilities Director from 2003-2016. We miss him every day.

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