State Senator Kevin Ranker Keynote Speech to the NW Straits Annual Meeting

How not to waste a crisis. Always great to hear State Senator Ranker. Don’t miss this!


Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force Puts out Final Recommendations

There will be more to say about this, but for now, I would agree with Director Sahandy’s statement. There is a lot of work to be done, and now there are a series of tasks that can be funded, implemented, monitored and tuned. Follow the links below for more on them. And to all of you who cared enough to contribute time and comments, here’s from the Introduction of the report.

…Finally, we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation for the many members of the public who care so deeply about the Southern Residents and who fervently asked that we get this right and commit to the actions necessary to protect the orcas. We received over 18,000 written public comments and were personally moved by the presence and words of the hundreds of individuals who attended and spoke at our meetings. Their passion and concern inspired all of us to redouble our efforts to find consensus on actions that can truly make a difference for our Southern Resident orcas.

Statement from the Puget Sound Partnership’s Director Sheida Sahandy on the final recommendations of the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force

November 16, 2018

The release today of the final report by the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force marks a significant achievement for our beloved Southern Resident orcas, the official marine mammal of the State of Washington. The report showcases 36 recommendations that, if enacted, will significantly enhance the orcas’ ability to fight extinction.

Listed as endangered since 2005, the Southern Residents swim at the top of the life web in Puget Sound, and their well-being depends on everything else in the ecosystem functioning in a healthy and sustainable way. Nothing has demonstrated these connections more poignantly, or galvanized us to action more effectively, than the tragic death this past summer of the newborn calf of Tahlequah (J35) and her subsequent 17-day journey of mourning with her baby.

The Puget Sound ecosystem is huge and complex, with an interplay of ecological, cultural, social, and economic factors that affect the ability of communities to be thriving and resilient over the long term. It took more than 100 years of pollution and damage to get Puget Sound to its current troubled state, and it will take time and tenacity to return it to health and resiliency. The Partnership focuses on driving the smartest investments to make that happen, on getting the hundreds of organizations involved in recovery talking to each other, and working with funders to decide where and how to invest in Puget Sound recovery. Most of the task force recommendations are based in and supported by the foundational, ongoing work of the Partnership and our many partners. Together, we’ve made progress toward some recovery goals, but these efforts have not been able to keep pace with the Sound’s rate of decline, nor to sustain the Southern Residents.

We have hope that the 36 recommendations before the Governor convey the importance of recovering and sustaining the Puget Sound ecosystem and with it the people, orcas, salmon, and other creatures that live here. These recommendations were derived by the Task Force with a focus on immediate actions that will make a real difference. It is critical to keep in mind that work to address long-term systemic threats, such as climate change, ocean acidification, and unmanaged growth, are key to long-term success.

Congratulations to the Task Force on a job well done. Now we urge the public and the legislature to support the Governor in turning recommendations into action.

About the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force

In March 2018 Governor Jay Inslee signed Executive Order 18-02 designating state agencies to take several immediate actions to benefit southern residents, and establishing a Task Force to develop a longer-term action recommendations for orca recovery and future sustainability. To learn about the Task Force and its work, visit the Governor’s website

About the Puget Sound Partnership

The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency formed to lead the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. Working with hundreds of government agencies, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery.

For more information, go to



Zangle Cove Lawsuit Issues Bombshell Findings Against Aquaculture

The case moving through the courts at the present time to challenge the lack of Hydraulic Code Permits for the destruction of shorelines by aquaculture got a surprise boost yesterday.

Findings that contradict the testimony of the Army Corp of Engineers and Taylor Shellfish show that in 2017 the Army Corps had to create a Cumulative Impact Analysis that showed conclusively that there would be significant impacts from adoption of a Nation Wide Aquaculture Permit. The 117 page draft concluded that their would be significant impacts if adopted. The Corps has categorically denied such impacts.

The Corps admits that the aquaculture is likely to “adversely affect designated critical habitat for several species listed under the ESA including Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Hood Canal summer chum salmon and Puget Sound Steelhead…Given the magnitude of the the impacts in acreage the importance of eelgrass to the marine ecosystem and the scale of the aquaculture impacts relative to other stressors, the impacts are considered significant.”

The letter goes on: The proposed action is inconsistent with State requirements under the SMA to protect forage fish spawning habitat.”

The debate has been that the Army Corps of Engineers nor the State have ever considered the cumulative impact of aquaculture permitting on the overall shoreline and ecosystem of Puget Sound, focusing only on individual parcels. Now we know that they did consider the impact, and found it lacking.

The next steps on this lawsuit should be very interesting, judges don’t usually go against findings of fact such as this, and the Governor’s Orca Recovery Task force is currently about to publish it’s findings for saving habitat for the Orca and it’s food sources.

The full text of the findings are here:

More good news on the Elwha

And more reasons to consider breaching Snake river dams.

West’s rivers are hot enough to cook salmon to death. Will this court ruling keep them cool? – Bellingham Herald

With global warming comes the heating of our rivers. That has devastating impacts on salmon, which need a river to remain under 56 degrees or young salmon will die. This might bring a change of heart to the issue of Snake River dam removal or breaching.

A federal judge in Seattle has directed the Environmental Protection Agency, in a ruling with implications for California and the Pacific Northwest, to find a way to keep river waters cool.

Read more here:


VOTE – Here are some great choices for you

With the ballots going out soon, the choices are often very clear. I urge you to vote, even if you think it won’t matter. In some races a few votes one way or the other could make the difference in a radical swing in styles in governing, as we saw from the last Presidential election.

I have looked at the candidates and talked to some of them, gathering their backgrounds and statements about environmental issues. I’ve read through the initiatives and public votes that are on the ballot. If I missed something, let me know.

But on the front page of this blog is a tab at the top with a series of names. One is Elections 2018.  Clicking on it will take you to a web page with a list of candidates and issues that I believe will help promote environmental protection, moving us forward and not back. Some, like Maria Cantwell and Derek Kilmer, will do all they can to stem the destructive agenda of the current administration in Washington, D.C.

The initiatives can be confusing because some of them are actually not what they claim to be, using deceptive language on purpose to get uniformed voters to say yes to what appears to be a good idea. Others are being outspent by vast sums by corporations who profit from polluting the air and water.

Government is no perfect solution. From reading the translations of Greek debate, over 3000 years ago, you learn that the much vaunted Democracy of Athens was a very messy affair,especially since all of the eligible voters had to come to a consensus to move forward! Can you imagine trying that today? The take away is that there is no ‘perfect union’ only striving to make “a more perfect” one. There will be losers and winners, our goal here is to make sure that the environment is not one of them.

I have serious issues with some of these candidates, to be sure. But the ones that I do have issues with, will be vastly better than their competition in some cases. In others, you may barely see a difference. It may come down to one vote sometime to protect a place that is dear to all of us.

So click the 2018 tab on the top and then do your own research if you wish. This is a very real way for you to protect the environment, by voting for leaders that support it.


Trump claims he is an environmentalist, and that “we are going to have the cleanest air.”

The man who has done more to destroy environmental law in this country in decades is now claiming he is an environmentalist. Sorry, I can’t stop laughing. He is such a pathetic liar. Again, with no proof whatsoever to back up his claim. Here, you can read the story at Grist, they did a good job covering it.

You know when I was a child I used to claim I was all sorts of things: a fireman, an engineer, a truck driver, a President. I guess Donald has never grown out of that stage.

Hope to see him funding the removal of the Snake River dams soon!

%d bloggers like this: