2010 Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Award Winners

2010 Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Award Winners will be honored at the Hood Canal Coordinating Council’s Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Awards and Conference on November 5th at Fort Worden Conference Center.  To register contact Robin Lawlis at 360-39-0046 or rlawlis@hccc.wa.gov

These are the people and community groups that really are getting things done. Come honor their work for our shores, Hood Canal and the habitat we are working to protect.

Colony Surf Community
The Colony Surf Board of Trustees led by resident, Tudi Whitright, transformed their community boat launch and public space along Hood Canal for people and wildlife. This project started with a native plant workshop given by the Mason Conservation District. With the guidance of MCD and 91 hours of hard work by many community members, rows of woody scotch broom and tangles of Himalayan blackberry have been removed to make way for native plants such as tall Oregon grape and Coastal strawberry. This has been a highly successful restoration based on the enthusiasm and hard work of Tudi and Colony Surf residents. This site will not only improve habitat along Hood Canal, but also will serve as a community place for recreation for the entire Colony Surf community.

Gold Coast Oyster Company
Scott Grout, owner of the Gold Coast Oyster Company, has been instrumental in documenting and lobbing the true cases of contamination and shellfish closure in Hood Canal for the last three years. He has also fought to establish a strategic plan to provide sanitation facilities at ALL public access areas on the Canal from Union to Brinnon. This program is still ongoing. He, along with citizen Bill Allen, worked to establish compliance with agronomic biosolid application at the Webb Hill biosolids facility in 2008 and 2009. He has not been afraid to do what it takes to establish a sense of purpose and urgency that focuses on preventative strategies rather than simply recording the damage.

Mike Sharar (posthumous award)
Mike served as Director of ESA Adolfson’s Olympia office and he was revered by anyone who really knew him and had the pleasure of working with him. His hard work, dedication, intelligence and positive spirit lives on as we get the four advanced wastewater facilities in Lower Hood Canal up and running. No one has done so much for us and for the environment to set an example of what one person can get done when motivated by passion. His ability to bring people together, to set a clear goal, to articulate facts in every-day terms and funny anecdotes, and do it with humility and a sense of humor is nothing short of amazing. Anyone who knew Mike will be emotionally affected as we honor him today, either with a tear or a smile. He truly was one of a kind and we’ll miss him.

Rick Endicott
Rick Endicott lives and breathes salmon. As a lifelong resident of Hood Canal and an employee of Long Live the Kings (LLTK), Rick demonstrates his love for the fish, the landscape it inhabits, and his commitment to the restoration of both, every day. Rick manages the Lilliwaup Hatchery located near the mouth of Lilliwaup Creek. In 1993, he was a key person in bringing about the purchase of the property and the building of the conservation hatchery. Since 1998 Rick has staffed the influential Hamma Hamma Winter Steelhead Project, which resulted in the return of a Steelhead run that was imperiled just 10 years ago and led to basin-wide expansion of that project in 2007. Before working for LLTK, Rick was employed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for 15 years where he worked at Bingham Creek Hatchery, George Adams Hatchery, and Hoodsport Hatchery. Rick’s family always had fish ponds so he learned how to rear fish at a very young age. He attributes his philosophy and passion for salmon and the wilderness to his grandfather, Pop Gray, who lived for more than 100 years by staying active and living simply off the land.

Ron and Bernadette Olson
In April 2010 Ron and Bernadette Olson donated a conservation easement over seven acres of their Tekiu Point shoreline property on Hood Canal’s eastern shore. The conservation easement, monitored by the Great Peninsula Conservancy, provides permanent protection to the land. The easement also protects 400 feet of natural shoreline and almost three acres of productive tidelands where the Olsons harvest a variety of oysters, mussels and clams. Ron said that when they acquired this property seven years ago, it had been seriously stressed by a would-be developer with plans to construct several homes and an access road to the Hood Canal. Without the personal commitment of shoreline property owners like the Olson’s, long-term protection of Hood Canal and all its wonders would not be possible. The Olsons are model shoreline stewards who do not take the health and well-being of Hood Canal for granted. They remind us that we all have a role to play in conserving this incredible place, both today and well into the future.

Tom Ammeter
Tom Ammeter has served on the board of the North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) for 19 years and has been president of the board for 15 years. He is now retiring from said posts, but his contributions have been so important throughout the 20-year history of the NOSC organization. He’s been a part of the organization’s growth and continuation as it has evolved from an all-volunteer organization taking care of Summer Chum in Chimacum Creek to one that has five staff members (plus an intern) and manages million dollar projects across the entire North Olympic Peninsula region. Tom is a local to Chimacum, WA, having a long family history in the area. Aside from his local knowledge, manual labor and mechanical abilities on projects, and leadership on the Board, Tom hosted the Chimacum Creek hatchery on his property, a vital tool for the Summer Chum recovery to that watershed. His personal attention and care for the salmon in the hatchery, and his work with the other volunteers, enabled the extirpated Chimacum population return with the brood stock from Salmon Creek in Discovery Bay.

Judith Rubin
Jude Rubin is Stewardship Director of the Northwest Watershed Institute and has taken a leadership role in founding and coordinating a remarkable community tradition. For 12 years she’s worked behind the scenes at NWI designing planting plans for hundreds of acres of riparian reforestation projects for conservation of Tarboo Watershed and Dabob Bay. In 2004 she developed a school fund raiser “Plant-A-Thon,” which is an event that involves 250 people each year and is a vehicle for raising $30,000 annually for five schools. The project teaches children and their parents about local ecology and offers families a positive action they can do together to help our local environment. Post cards are sold that represent thousands of trees planted and both high school students and their parents provide crew leadership. In classrooms and out in the field, Jude works tirelessly to help hundreds of children and adults make clear connections between native forests and healthy streams.

Nora Moloney
Nora along with other members of the Hood Canal Watershed Education Network ECO Net worked tirelessly in a short amount of time to create the “Do Some Good for the Hood” campaign. Not only did this campaign raise awareness, but also it resulted in a month of coordinated volunteer events on the Hood Canal, creating lasting useful products such as the DSGFH logo, bags, stickers, posters and more. The activities of DSGFH engaged citizens and informed them about the health and beauty of Hood Canal, encouraging them to be part of the solution. As coordinator of the project, Nora worked with HCWEN ECO Net members to manage budgets, coordinate and organize events, and lead the promotional efforts. A total of 32 events were held in May and June 2010, with 987 participants. This exceeded the goal of 200 participants. The name, “Do Some Good for the Hood” was the idea of the 2010 Belfair Hawkins Middle School science class and Nora was involved in honoring those students as well. New audiences were reached successfully in a short timeframe at the rate of four events a week due to Nora’s exceptional coordination and leadership skills.

Rich Geiger
As district engineer for the Mason Conservation District, Rich Geiger has played a key role in many projects that are helping to restore the health of the Skokomish River and Hood Canal. He has worked closely with the Skokomish Tribe to design and implement both phases of the Skokomish Estuary Project, which is being successfully completed this year. Phase II of the Estuary Project is removing 2.5 miles of dikes around Nalley Island and restoring more than 200 acres of highly productive estuary habitat, which will add to the 108 acres restored west of Nalley Slough through Phase I in 2007. The Skokomish Estuary Project will significantly benefit the health of Hood Canal by allowing proper tidal surge, reconnecting the flood plain, recolonizing salt-water vegetation, creating salmon habitat in the form of channel networks, supporting migratory wildfowl, and improving the surrounding beaches for shellfish.