Meet and Greet Sierra Club’s Endorsed Candidate for County Commissioner, Lorna Smith, July 14, 5PM

Sierra Club holds virtual meet and greet for Lorna Smith.

 

Lorna Smith has been an environmental activist since the late 1970s, and worked with prominent conservationists to establish a National Wildlife Refuge on Protection Island. She has made climate change one of her top priorities. She is a strong supporter of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and adopting a stronger Shoreline Management Program. She opposes plans to transport Canadian tar sands oil through our waters that will increase tanker traffic ten-fold and greatly increase the risk of oil spills. In her role as a planning commissioner, she has always put environmental considerations first and has opposed ill-conceived projects that negatively impacted communities and the environment. She has extensive experience building coalitions and seeking collaboration based on a lifetime of experience in government, NGO’s, and community groups, and through her extensive research on particular projects she has been able to convince decision makers to support her positions.  We believe this background and experience lends itself particularly well to this uniquely challenging period as we face the twin tasks of addressing disruptions caused by both the pandemic and climate change.

Meet Lorna on Zoom, Tuesday July 14 at 5PM

 

Join Zoom Meeting Link:

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81131568159

 

Meeting ID: 811 3156 8159

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The Sierra Club has endorsed Lorna Smith for Jefferson County Commissioner

Lorna Smith has been an environmental activist since the late 1970s, and worked with prominent conservationists to establish a National Wildlife Refuge on Protection Island. She has made climate change one of her top priorities. She is a strong supporter of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and adopting a stronger Shoreline Management Program. She opposes plans to transport Canadian tar sands oil through our waters that will increase tanker traffic ten-fold and greatly increase the risk of oil spills. In her role as a planning commissioner, she has always put environmental considerations first and has opposed ill-conceived projects that negatively impacted communities and the environment. She has extensive experience building coalitions and seeking collaboration based on a lifetime of experience in government, NGO’s, and community groups. We believe this background and experience lends itself particularly well to this uniquely challenging period as we face the twin tasks of addressing disruptions caused by both the pandemic and climate change. For more information about Lorna Smith, visit her website:

Lorna Smith for Commissioner – Jefferson County, WA

 

New investments save dynamic coastal wetland habitat – Washington DOE

And more good news. State and local partners secure $5 million in federal conservation grants.

The Department of Ecology is delighted to announce we have secured seven National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants worth more than $5 million. The 2020 federal grants will help our local partners restore and enhance nearly 500 acres of coastal wetlands and 17,500 feet of marine shoreline in Jefferson, Kitsap, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties.

Discovery Bay Acquisitions ($713,268)  —working in partnership with Jefferson Land Trust to acquire and conserve 9 acres of critical wetlands and nearshore habitat in Discovery Bay in Jefferson County, including nearly 2,173 feet of Puget Sound shoreline. The project will conserve degraded and filled estuary and nearshore habitat and preserve a rare intact pocket estuary that provides high-functioning salt marsh habitat in the Discovery Bay area.

Tarboo Creek Wetlands Acquisition and Restoration ($508,000) — in close coordination with the Northwest Watershed Institute we will help permanently protect and restore 14.5 acres of wetlands on three adjoining parcels along Tarboo Creek in Jefferson County that drain directly to Tarboo-Dabob Bay and Puget Sound.

Misery Point Habitat Acquisition ($1 million) — this collaborative project with the Great Peninsula Conservancy will preserve 20.7 acres and approximately 3,500 feet of Hood Canal and barrier lagoon shoreline in Kitsap County. The property contains a 1,600-foot sand spit that shelters a 3-acre tidal lagoon, important refuge habitat for juvenile salmon and waterfowl.

https://ecology.wa.gov/Blog/Posts/April-2020/New-investments-save-dynamic-coastal-wetland-habit

New Jefferson County Shooting Range Ordinances Passed

From the Tarboo Ridge Coalition today

The Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed two new shooting range ordinances at the conclusion of 5 hours of deliberations during their meeting on Monday, February 24. The new ordinances are vastly different than the 2018 versions which the Growth Management Hearings Board invalidated in early 2019.

The BoCC followed their Planning Commission’s recommendations that all new commercial shooting ranges be located indoors in commercial and industrial zones and not be allowed in Jefferson County forests. The commissioners carefully scrutinized the proposed ordinances to clarify language and eliminate previous loopholes that had been exploited by Fort Discovery Corporation in 2018 when the company began building an outdoor paramilitary training center at Tarboo Lake without environmental review or obtaining permits.

The Tarboo Ridge Coalition, which appealed the 2018 ordinances, will meet with the County and the Growth Management Hearings Board in late March to discuss whether the current effort complies with the Washington State’s Growth Management Act.

NOSC is hiring!

From Rebecca Benjamin the Executive Director of NOSC.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,The North Olympic Salmon Coalition is excited to announce… we’re hiring!

The Salmon Coalition is seeking a highly skilled, friendly, and dedicated person to join the team as Membership & Office Administrator.

This position plays a core role in the day to day function of the Salmon Coalition and maintains efficient administration of the membership program as well as a variety of program and organizational support.

Please pass this posting along to anyone you know that might be interested. The job announcement can be found here.

Position: Membership and Office Administrator

FLSA Status: Part Time, Non-exempt

Hours: Monday – Friday, 25 hours per week

Pay: $18-$21/hour

Location: Port Hadlock, WA    Reports to: Executive Director

Summary:

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) is excited to add a part-time Membership and Office Administrator to their team.  NOSC works to promote robust wild salmon stocks for families, fishers, and local economies by furthering habitat restoration and education on the North Olympic Peninsula. We are one of fourteen Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups in Washington State, working directly with State agencies, tribal governments and local communities across the Olympic Peninsula. This busy non-profit has 7 employees, an office in Port Hadlock and in Port Angeles, and is governed by a board of directors.

The Membership and Office Administrator plays a core role in the day to day function of the NOSC and maintains efficient administration of the membership program as well as a variety of program and organizational support. A friendly, skilled and dedicated Administrator is needed to keep office systems running smoothly and to ensure compliance with state and federal policies and internal administrative processes.  Administration of the membership program is a core function of a successful fundraising program.  Accurate record keeping, meaningful reporting and timely acknowledgement of donations perpetuates a successful fundraising effort.  The membership portion of this position is core to the fundraising committee’s success and will play a support role through promotion of fundraising drives and events, effective administration of gifts, and through friendly and heart-felt acknowledgement of gifts.

Areas of Responsibility

  1. Office Management and Administration
  2. Membership and Donations
  3. Bookkeeping and Billing
  4. Program and organizational support to the office and executive director in a variety of areas

Qualifications

  • Associates Degree in business administration, communications or related field
  • Three (3) years in previous administrative/office management position
  • One (1) year database management experience

Wage DOE. Benefits include vacation and sick leave, holidays and a 401K option.

To Apply email a resume and cover letter to Lindsay Anderson at

Lindsay@full-circlehr.com  with the subject line title “Application for Membership and Office Administrator.” A full job description is available upon request.

 

*North Olympic Salmon Coalition is an equal opportunity employer.

www.nosc.org

Tom Jay Walks On.

This came to me from Katherine Baril last week. It was written by a friend of Tom’s.


Tom Jay passed away in Jefferson hospital at 5:50 tonight in hospice care. High praises for the hospital, the staff, the care and the spirited compassion. Friends, who are tantamount to family were present.

Tom Jay was as close as our community could get to having our own “Watershed Shaman”  for the last 30 years.

Some knew Tom  from his nationally recognized art work, others from his poetry, more from the inspiration he gave us  with his words and the gift of reminding us we are all Salmon People. As our community grows and changes, and our ecosystems are destroyed and restored,  Tom was the holder of our flame, the hot, burning center reminding us that life was magic but short, that the job before us was big and heavy  and that the  metal of our spines needed constant strengthening and civic courage  before we would get too cold and brittle.

Some of us know Tom as the voice of Puget Sound clean up and restoration in the l980s.  It was Tom, in his  humble way that would speak to us quietly at first, paint images, and then cheer us on to invite us to  the magic and wonder of salmon.

We were each reminded of our own experience with  Tom. Some of us knew him in wet suits swimming upstream with salmon. Some worked with Tom to restore a  raise eggs in a small hatchery in  Discovery Bay under a unique agreement with State Fisheries to increase the run in one stream and then move eggs to Chimacum after a landslide that had destroyed that stream’s native runs. Tom would share  almost in a whisper. “you know that the eyes of salmon smolts would lock eyes with us and if you listen you hear them say,” give us a chance and we’ll come home,  our ancestors and elders will come home, lay eggs, and restore your streams”. Today, volunteers and students work with North Olympic Salmon to count those reds. Tom and the salmon taught us restoration is possible.

Tom also taught us, that we are all salmon people, bound together by the silver thread of returning salmon. Tom and Sara started the award winning Wild Olympic Salmon-  school children plant trees each fall, volunteers raise eggs and count redds. In November, each year, Tom and hte Wild Olympic Salmon volunteers would provided a  the clarion call with lights in dark tents to come home-  to celebrate, educate and restore. His gentle bringing together  of heavy  burnt metal and fire with little tiny fragile salmon eggs taught us that the crux of our challenge- the  privilege of being salmon people was to live in place long enough to understand our ecosystems and care enough to make a difference as if our life depended on it- Tom’s salmon are here as our teachers

Some of us will remember Tom always focusing on the salmon, telling us that as loggers, fisherman, environmentalists, young families  could work together, Many of the wonderful young leaders who are coming home after graduating from local high schools, planting trees when they were young, being raises on the annual Festival where salmon wore tails, candles lit trails to magic and music, and fall chum came home.

We, and our rivers and streams,  are all better because of Tom and Sara,  Tom’s voice is in the habitat trees that generations of students planted each winter. His voice is in the tree planting poetry of a generation of hippies that followed logging with new trees.   HIs spirit is in  the soil, the mychorizal network, the landscape, the knowledge that we share an extraordinary place and each of us as salmon people have the opportunity and the challenge to restore and preserve it. That community is about restoring ourselves as salmon people- diverse, generous, and needing a place to call home.

Tom will be  remembered in  his art, his poetry, his vision, his leadership, his belief in us. Tom called upon us to build and restore a community.  We who were lucky enough to know Tom had  a true friend.

Tonight I will go through the books, the poetry, the photos, the t-shirts from Tom and Wild Olympic Salmon.  I will remember Tom talking about the silver thread that salmon use to come home to us all. November will be the month chum return and Tom “walked into the forest”We can take long quiet fall walks and hear the returning chum.  We can reach out to gently touch Tom’s sacred bells in our watersheds.  I will remember Tom’s hands, his poetry, his quiet wisdom, his knowledge of the roots of words, his immense physical and moral  strength. Who else could pull together the vision, imagination, genius and funding to build a thirty foot bronze sculpture of a Native woman greeting Raven returning home to her in his canoe with a circle of  strong and fragile salmon swimming around them

I hate loosing you, my dearest friend, it came too soon- Its like you gave us everything you had, like the salmon, so we could swim again.

Thank you for teaching us so much, we will continue to walk the path.

A “WAKE / CELEBRATION” will take place at Finnriver in Chimacum in the afternoon on TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12

2 PM viewing of Tom in a special open casket
4 PM Wake and Celebration
PIE POTLUCK (sweet or savory)

Poems, sayings, expressions, stories, music welcome.

Bring tokens of love and blossoms to leave with Tom.

Poems, sayings, expressions, stories, music welcome.

Bring tokens of love and blossoms to leave with Tom.

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th *New*

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? The next WSU Master Gardener Training class starts soon!  This eleven-week course includes professional education from WSU educators via online training, lectures from local experts and field trips to outstanding local and regional gardens.  Upon completion, participants give back to the community by volunteering in one of our many programs, including our Growing Groceries class, WSU Seed Library, food bank gardens, native plant outreach, and Plant Clinics.  Lectures and field trips take place on Thursdays; September 12th through November 21st from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The class is held at the Jefferson County Library and the WSU Classroom in Port Hadlock. .  Cost is $265.  For more details click here,  or contact Bridget Gregg.

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

Monthly Rain Report from Center Valley

Al Latham always has a good take on the weather. He’s our local weatherman down in Center Valley.
Greetings Earthlings – here’s the  July rainfall report from www.cocorahs.org station WA-JF-1, located 5.1 miles south of beautiful downtown Chimacum.
Rainfall/precipitation/whatever for July was 1.42″ with 0.09″ the average here.  Though the rain came in small amounts it was comforting to get some moisture this time of year.
Not good for those trying to make hay – some unexpected rain with hay down created some losses for the hay makers.  Unusual for July.
The water year (Oct1 – Sept30) so far has accumulated 25.9″ with the average being 32.5″ so we’re still well below the average and with little chance of making up the difference before end of Sept.
   You may wonder what is meant by “average” rainfall.  It takes 30 years of records to come up with an average.   “The reason behind choosing the 30 years is to represent the climatic condition of that place. Here, to note, climate is the average condition of weather over a considerable length of time, that doesn’t have much variation. In climatic studies we generally take this length of time as 30 years (or sometime 35 years).”   Here at Station WA-JF-1 we have records dating back to 1981 so we have enough data to determine an average for this location.
   NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s guesstimate for what we have in store for us weather wise for Aug – Oct is warmer than “normal” with an equal chance of wetter, drier or average rainfall.  Not sure what how they define “normal” when it comes to weather…..
    That’s it for this report.    Al

Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -May 31, 2019

Contact: Peter Bahls, Executive Director -Northwest Watershed Institute

Office: 360-385-6786 Cell: 360-821-9566

peter@nwwatershed.org

 

Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon

 

With climate change raising increasing alarm worldwide, Northwest Watershed Institute is offering people a local, on-the ground way to offset their carbon emissions and protect valuable wildlife habitat at the same time. The non-profit conservation and restoration organization has started a fundraising campaign to conserve a 21-acre forest in the Tarboo Creek watershed as an addition to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve near Quilcene.

 

According to Peter Bahls, the Institute’s executive director, the forest is a beautiful example of native older forest with excellent wildlife habitat that is also storing tons of carbon in the trees and soil.  “Every acre of this mature forest is storing the rough equivalent of 7 years of carbon emissions by an average American. In general, forests of the Pacific Northwest can store more carbon per acre than most other types of forests in the world and can play a key role in fighting climate change”.

 

NWI purchased the forest parcel in November of 2018 with loans to prevent it from being clear-cut and developed. “We were able  to buy the property thanks to loans from conservation investors”, said Bahls. “Generous individuals stepped forward in the nick of time with low interest loans for the $225,000 purchase. These people wanted to invest in a healthier planet.”

NWI is now seeking the last portion of funding needed to to pay back the loans and allow for permanent protection of the property as part of the organization’s 400 acre Tarboo Wildllife Preserve in the Tarboo Creek valley. “With grant funding in the works from several sources, we still need to raise $40,000 in donations” said Bahls. “The purchase has bought us some time, but if we can’t raise the remaining funding by August, we will be forced to put the property back on the market to pay off the loans”.

 

According to Bahls, a $2,000 donation will protect about one acre of forest. “At whatever level people can contribute, we know that along with making every effort to reducing our carbon pollution as individuals and as a community, conserving this forest will store carbon and offset emissions as we attempt to wean ourselves from fossil fuels”.

tarboo-big-trees.jpg

Once the funding is secured, Northwest Watershed Institute plans to permanently conserve the parcel under a conservation easement with the Jefferson Land Trust to protect wildlife habitat, store carbon, and sustain selective harvest of forest products. “The easement will protect the timber volume that is on the property now and will allow selective harvest of some of the additional growth that will occurs in the decades ahead” said Bahls.

 

The forest acquisition is part of a nearly 20 year effort by Northwest Watershed Institute and partnering organizations and landowners to preserve and restore the Tarboo-Dabob Bay watershed, from the headwaters of Tarboo Creek to Dabob Bay. To date, more than 600 acres along Tarboo Creek, and over 4,000 acres within the Dabob Bay Natural Area land have been protected.

 

Northwest Watershed Institute is hosting short walking tours of the property for potential donors in June and July from 10 am to noon, including June 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, and July 9. Those interested in joining a field tour or donating to the project are invited to contact Bahls at Northwest Watershed Institute at www.nwwatershed.org

 

 

Limited Shellfish Opening at Fort Flagler, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay

Port Townsend  Marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) have declined enough to allow recreational shellfish harvesting for oysters, manila clams and mussels at Fort Flagler, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay. The area is still posted closed for harvesting of butter and varnish clams due to the fact that they remain toxic for longer than other shellfish species. In August, PSP concentrations quickly rose to over 1,700 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish, and remained high into Fall. PSP levels above 80 micrograms are considered unsafe, and levels in the thousands can be lethal to humans. Crab meat is not known to contain the biotoxin but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).

To make sure you are harvesting the correct shellfish species, consult the species identifier chart at: www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/332-087.pdf. In most cases the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen, and must be detected using laboratory testing. Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters should check the Shellfish Safety map at www.doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State. Recreational harvesters should also check Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish or the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.

 

Acceleration of mountain glacier melt could impact Pacific NW water supplies – AGU 100 Earth and Space Science

This study should be a wake up call for our local politicians. We need to be contemplating how we are going to get water for this city when the mountains are unable to sustain us. It’s not too soon to have a plan and begin looking for funding sources as they become available.

The model showed that summer melt from some lower elevation glaciers is already declining, and summer melt from some higher elevation glaciers is expected to begin declining by 2050, according to the study.

https://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2018/08/16/acceleration-of-mountain-glacier-melt-could-impact-pacific-northwest-water-supplies/

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay? – PT Leader

Good work being done by the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee, now expanding their efforts to restore the Olympia Oyster from Dungeness Bay to Quilcene.

Many hands sought to make relatively light work out of an ambitious undertaking May 16 in Quilcene, as roughly a dozen volunteers assembled at the end of Linger Longer Road to take stock of the area’s remaining Olympia oyster population. Before over-harvesting and pulp mill pollution forced Pacific Northwest oyster farmers to turn to the Pacific oysters of Japan as a substitute, Olympia oysters were the dominant native species, and various environmental and oyster farming-affiliated groups are keen to see the molluscs make a comeback. Brian Allen, a marine ecologist with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), instructed the volunteers who arrived at the Quilcene Boat Ramp to record not only where they found any Olympia oysters as the tide went out, but also where the oysters tend to aggregate. Kirk Boxleitner reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay?

Navy wants to use more Washington state parks for stealth SEAL training – Seattle Times

Just say no to this insanity! Please let your state and federal representatives know how you feel.

The Navy wants to use 29 state maritime parks for stealth SEAL training, but state parks officials have yet to begin a review of the plan and say approval is no sure thing.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/navy-wants-more-washington-state-parks-for-stealth-seal-training/?utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning+Brief+3-12-18_3_12_2018

Navy taking comment on draft plan for land, cold-water maritime training -PDN

More Navy needs for our lands and parks.

PORT TOWNSEND — The U.S. Navy is hosting an open house in Port Townsend tonight to provide information on its proposed special operations training in Western Washington.

The Naval Special Warfare Command proposes to conduct small-unit land and cold-water maritime training activities for naval special operations personnel.

…The open house is set for 5 to 8 tonight at Blue Heron School Commons, 3939 San Juan Ave., Port Townsend. It is the only open house planned on the North Olympic Peninsula.

I highly recommend you come out and let them know what you think of their proposals.

The whole story is here: https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/navy-taking-comment-on-draft-plan-for-land-cold-water-maritime-training/

Support local newspapers and subscribe to the PDN and PT Leader.

 

NOSC Accepting applications for Americorps/WA Conservation Corps

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition is currently accepting application for their Americorps/Washington Conservation Corps Individual Placement Position. The job is a 6-month position with the opportunity to be extended into the 2018-2019, 11-month Americorps term.
Here is a link to the job description/application details
Thanks,
Katie McLean
Education and Outreach Associate
North Olympic Salmon Coalition
127 E. First Street, Mezzanine
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 504-5611
 

Large crowd hears lawmakers discuss Atlantic Salmon ban plans

A packed house greeted State Senator Kevin Van de Wege and State House representative Mike Chapman in Sequim last night as they updated the community on the current bills to ban non-native Atlantic salmon and possibly put strict limits on net pens in our waters.

Senator Van de Wege along with Senator Ranker and others are supporting Senate Bill 6086, which would essentially immediately move to ban Atlantic salmon and implement retraining of displaced workers, thought to number approx 80 statewide. The bill would also look at waste discharges into our waters, with an eye on possibly severely curtailing use of in-water net pens, which are used only currently for Atlantic salmon but are being eyed by NW Tribes, such as the Jamestown S’Klallam for possible black cod and steelhead rearing. Jamestown tribal council member and policy manager for the tribes natural resources department Kurt Grinnell was present but did not speak, however a recent editorial he penned expressed support for the ban on non-native fish. Senator Van de Wege shared an email, signed by essentially every tribal leader in Puget Sound, supporting the ban. The bill has moved out of committee and appears to be the most likely to reach a Senate vote.

Representative Chapman has co-authored a bill (HB2418 http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2418.pdf) with widespread support in the House, which calls for more study before an outright ban. This was clearly unpopular with many of the attendees. Representative Chapman stressed that he thought the Senate bill would be the most likely bill to be passed. Both legislators also told the crowd that more negotiation was forthcoming, and neither could say at this point what the final wording might include.

A Republican written house bill, HB 2260, http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2260.pdf, is also in play, but has no real support by Democrats. It simply calls for a ban on Atlantic Salmon.

Members of the polite audience that spoke included many supporting the ban, and a few calling for more study. The manager of the Cooke net pen facility in Port Angeles spoke, saying that they had done a great job there, but giving data on salmon farming that to a number of attendees seemed hard to believe. Representative Chapman said that while Cooke’s previous company Icicle Seafoods had seemed trustworthy, since the purchase of Icicle by Cooke he had seen little interest in engagement or communication by their international headquarters.

There was concern expressed by some of the speakers over a lack of more rigorously limiting or outright banning of open water net pens, missing in all the bills. New technology from companies such as Atlantic Sapphire out of Miami, Florida makes it economically feasible to raise farmed fish upland, with little waste water outflow and much less reliance on antibiotics. Current state and federal laws exempt net pens from clean water laws, and there are appear to be no studies done on the ongoing release of antibiotics into our waters by these farms.

Other speakers raised concerns of handing over rewriting rules and studies to the very agencies that have stonewalled critics of net pen aquaculture over the last decade. Jefferson County, which wrote in a ban on net pens to their Shoreline Master Program (SMP) was stopped from implementing the ban by the Department of Ecology, who threatened to rewrite the SMP themselves if the county did not remove the ban. Oddly, DOE did allow one other county to implement a ban, then they publicly apologized for doing so. While County Commissioners and environmental activists brought a plethora of more recent studies, showing negative impacts to the environment, Ecology ignored the science and continued to support old science by NOAA that only looked at the issue of degradation to the bottom within a 200ft circle around the pens. NOAA never apparently has looked into the issue of antibiotic escape into the wider environment.

In 2007, Kurt Beardslee of the Wild Fish Conservancy testified before Ecology that Dr. Whitely of the University of Washington (Professor Emeritus, Zoology), had looked at the issue of total suspended solids as early as 1997, and had determined that four of the twelve salmon netpens in Washington State discharged 93 percent of the “total suspended solids” into Puget Sound as the treatment sewage plant serving the city of Seattle. Ecology ignored the science then. Mr. Beardslee went on to testify that other scientific studies (Goldberg 2001 and Hardy (2001)) equated the waste from a net pen salmon farm of 200,000 fish to the sewage output of 20,000, 25,000, or 65000 humans, depending on the parameter nitrogen, phosphorus or fecal matter, respectively.

Representative Chapman praised the rapid response of newly elected Department of Natural Resources chief Hilary Franz in placing a moratorium on net pens immediately following the failure of the pens in Northern Puget Sound last year. We also support Ms. Franz efforts.

While there is a need to carve out exemptions for some limited net pens by tribes in the area, there are great concerns that the technology of net pens is at odds with the goals of clean water and wild fish. A ban while a deep review of the science that’s been ignored over the last decade is welcome and probably needed to get passage of the current bills. However, we urge the tribes to work as swiftly as possible over the next few years to evaluate and explore upland tank technology, to achieve goals of restoration of native fish populations and marketing of fish to the public.

It seems that nothing ever gets done until a crisis occurs, and now we have had our net pen crisis. Many voices have been warning our government about the risks of putting these non-native fish into the Sound. While the industry tends to downplay the likelihood of Atlantic salmon ever threatening our native stocks, given the lack of real scientific study on the issue of antibiotic use and other chemical releases into the wider Sound, extreme caution is now warranted. Evolution teaches us that genetic changes due to environmental pressures need only a few members of a population to experience rapid adaptation to survive. We cannot be sure that escaped Atlantic salmon may not create just a change. But we don’t need to wait for that to happen. The crisis has happened, the momentum to end this mistake in judgement is large, now let’s get it done. Ban non-native fish immediately and seriously contemplate supporting a move to upland facilities by offering some kind of experimental support funding and fast tracking, as Senator Van de Wege did in the last decade with the building of experimental hog fuel facilities in Port Angeles and elsewhere.

S’Klallam tribes apply for oyster aquaculture permit for Dabob Bay – Port Townsend Leader

It’s being reported in the Port Townsend Leader this morning that the Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes are proposing a new aquaculture farm on 10 acres in Dabob Bay. It’s worth noting that clamming and oyster harvesting are treaty resources of these tribes.

Pick up the leader or go online to read it. You will need to subscribe if you go online or purchase a copy at the newstand.

The public has until June 23 to comment on a proposed shoreline substantial development permit for 10 acres of suspended tumble oyster aquaculture, submitted by the Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes for Dabob Bay.

The tribes are proposing to produce shellfish – oysters and Manila clams – for human consumption

EVENT: Digging for Dinner! Saturday!

This is always a fun day. Never dug for clams? A chance to learn with a pro. Bring the kids! My son always loved digging clams. Still does.

Diggin' for Dinner 2017v_6POSTER

Pros cons argued on Pleasant Harbor resort -PDN

The proposed Pleasant Harbor Resort would either be an economic boom for Brinnon or destroy its bucolic way of life, according to speakers at a Jefferson County Planning Commission meeting…. More than 150 people were crammed into Brinnon School’s auditorium for the meeting on an application from Statesman Groupe of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for a zoning change for 252 acres from rural residential to master planned resort. Planners heard public comment on the project and the final supplemental environmental impact statement, which was released Dec. 9. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

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