Earth Day on Saturday includes old events plus new March for Science – Chris Dunagan

Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: “With Earth Day falling on a Saturday this year, all sorts of environmental activities have been scheduled for this weekend. On top of your typical Earth Day activities, there will be a March for Science in Washington, D.C., as well as in Seattle and hundreds of other communities across the country. It just seems like a great time to get out and do something…. The National Weather Service predicts that warm weathertomorrow will give way to a low-pressure trough moving over Western Washington on Saturday. That weather system might be traveling slowly enough that the rains won’t appear until later in the day when most activities have been wrapped up in the Puget Sound region….”

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2017/04/20/earth-day-on-saturday-includes-old-events-plus-new-march-for-science/

See also: Organizers Of Seattle’s March For Science Expect It To Be 2nd Largest In U.S. http://knkx.org/post/organizers-seattles-march-science-expect-it-be-2nd-largest-us Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

EVENT: Day of Science in Port Angeles – APRIL 22nd.

Science Celebration Flyer final

EVENT: Farm Bureau to present on Hirst Decision 4/12 @7PM Chimicum Grange

Al Latham just alerted me that a fellow from the Farm Bureau will be doing a presentation on the Hirst Decision (on building permits and water rights) and current legislative activity around exempt wells at the Chimacum Grange, 7pm Wed April 12.

What is the Hirst Decision? It’s an extremely important new ruling that addresses an ongoing battle over development vs. water rights. Let me copy from the Dept of Ecology web site:

“A recent Washington State Supreme Court decision has changed how counties decide to approve or deny building permits that use wells for a water source.

In the Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. decision (often referred to as the Hirst decision), the court ruled that the county failed to comply with the Growth Management Act (GMA) requirements to protect water resources. The ruling requires the county to make an independent decision about legal water availability.

Background

We protect rivers and streams across the state by creating instream flow rules, which set the amount of water necessary for protecting fish, wildlife and recreation. In 1985, we adopted an instream flow rule for the Nooksack River (WAC 173-501) in Whatcom County. This rule closed most streams in the watershed to new water right permits but allowed landowners to use permit-exempt wells in most of the area. Whatcom County’s development regulations followed our instream flow rule.

A reliable, year-round supply of water is necessary for new homes or developments. Before the Oct. 6, 2016, court decision, many counties relied on what the Department of Ecology said about whether year-round water was available. This court decision changes that – counties now have to make their own decisions about whether there is enough water, physically and legally, to approve a building permit that would rely on a well.

Impacts

The case directly relates to Whatcom County but appears to set legal precedent that applies in other counties where there are instream flow rules that were not intended to regulate permit-exempt water uses. It is unclear how the decision affects areas of the state where there are no instream flow rules. Counties are working to review the decision and what it means for them. Contact your county’s building, planning or health departments if you have questions about how the Hirst decision may affect you.

Key points

  • Science has shown that rivers and streams are generally connected to groundwater. The Washington State Supreme Court said that water is not legally available if a new well would impact a protected river or stream, or an existing senior water right.
  • If your county determines that water is not legally available for your new use, the county would not be able to approve your building permit – even if you have already drilled a well.
  • We are providing technical assistance to counties as they determine their next steps. Our priority will be to provide information about the status of stream closures and instream flows.
  • Anyone with questions about how the decision affects them should contact their county government.

 

EVENT: Ludlow Creek Project -Open House, Wednesday, October 26

Ludlow Creek Open House, Wednesday, October 26

5:30-7:30pm – Bay Club,  120 Spinnaker Place, Port Ludlow

Jefferson County Public Health & the Jefferson County Conservation District are hosting a public meeting at the Bay Club to provide residents information about a new water quality project on Ludlow Creek. This projects starts in October 2016 and runs for 12 months. We’ll also be offering information on financial support for septic system repair and/or replacement as well as other public health information and free water quality conservation gifts to people who attend. People can contact Anna Bachmann if they need more information: (360)379-4482 or abachmann@co.jefferson.wa.us

 

Event: Oct 6 -Hoh River Trust – Preserving a last great American river and it’s corridor.

The JLT Natural History Society Presents: The Hoh River Trust—Preserving a last great American river and its corridor

img_20150204_134704104_hdrOn Thursday, October 6, the JLT Natural History Society will sponsor a presentation on the remarkable history and stewardship efforts of the Hoh River Trust. Executive Director Mike Hagen will explain how the trust was formed to obtain and manage lands along the Hoh between the Olympic National Park and the Pacific Ocean.

Of the roughly 250,000 rivers across the continental US, the Hoh is arguably one of the most unspoiled. It flows virtually intact for 56 miles from its source high in the Olympic Mountain range down to the Olympic

National Marine Sanctuary. The river corridor contains what many consider the world’s richest old-growth and temperate rainforests. These ecosystems provide critical habitat for endangered and threatened species including marbled murrelet, spotted owl, and bull trout, along with diverse other wildlife, such as elk, black bear, cougar. The river itself supports some of the healthiest native salmon and steelhead runs in the “Lower 48.”

Within the lower reaches of the river, 30 miles beyond the Olympic National Park boundary, some 10,000 acres encompassing a mile on either side of the river are designated “at risk.” Over the last century, much of this area was managed for commercial timber harvest, and it is now in various stages of regeneration.

Restoring the vitality and resilience of these lands for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and humans is the mission of the trust. In its short, twelve-year history, the trust has already acquired nearly 7,000 acres.

Join us for this exciting program at 7 pm in the Sanctuary Hall of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, at 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend. This event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of five dollars.

Contact: Noreen Parks Noreen.parks@gmail.com

https://jltnatural.org/

Event: Sonic Sea Presentation in PA 9/30 7PM

sonic-sea-flyer

‘Local Waters’ Course offered by WSU Extension – WSU

Want to know more about stream ecology, salmon, water quality and habitat restoration? WSU Extension is offering a Watershed Stewards class to be held Thursdays, September 22 to October 27 from 9 am to 4 pm in Port Townsend. This lively, engaging venue combines classroom lectures by regional experts with fabulous field trips to special protected areas all over East Jefferson County. It’s designed for anyone interested in freshwater streams, salmon and watershed resources.  

 Applications are being accepted through September 16th. Classes are held primarily in Port Townsend, with field trips destinations from Discovery Bay to Hood Canal. Class participants also commit to 40 hours of volunteering with local organizations such as WSU Extension, Jefferson Land Trust, Jefferson Conservation District, the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and others. Volunteer activities include stream and salmon monitoring, public outreach, and habitat restoration. Cost is $160.  Scholarships are available. See http://extension.wsu.edu/jefferson/nrs/wsu-watershed-stewards/ for more info or contact Bridget Gregg, Bridget.gregg@wsu.edu or Cheryl Lowe, Cheryl.lowe@wsu.edu.  

Contact:  Bridget Gregg, WSU Extension

bridget.gregg@wsu.edu, 360-379-5610 x 210, cell 360-531-0413

%d bloggers like this: