Salmon Coalition celebrates decade-long project – PDN

While I miss the old 3 Crabs Restaurant, the recovery of the estuary of the Dungeness is far more important. In addition to NOSC, we should be aware that the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe along with the Dungeness River Managment Team has been extremely important to project management and stakeholder buy in.

For a good overview of the restoration issues with the Dungeness River, you can also view the 15 minute film I made with the Jamestown S’Klallam, the DRMT and others back in 2013. It will give you a good overview of the entirety of the project, along with a number of the people responsible for it’s restoration.

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition honored 10 years of work and partnerships made along the way in its 3 Crabs nearshore and estuarine restoration project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the estuary off 3 Crabs Road earlier this month…. This restoration project is one of many NOSC has implemented in areas throughout the Olympic Peninsula. It was made possible by 29 stakeholders and supporters involved in the project. Erin Hawkins reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Salmon Coalition celebrates decade-long project

Houses recently threatened by roaring Dungeness River headed for purchase, demolition – PDN

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe continues it’s work to protect both the Dungeness floodplain and the people that live there. This buyout and moving of the houses, is going to give the river back another part of it’s “lungs”, as the floodplains have been described to me.  The river breathes by expanding into the floodplain in the winter and spring and receding in the summer. This natural cycle feeds the habitat of many species that have evolved over ten thousand of years. When we cut off the floodplains, in a very naive approach to both water use and home development, we were trying to change the ecosystem, but nature has a way of saying that it won’t work. Here’s one story of bringing it back. Thanks to the Jamestown S’Klallam for their continued leadership.

Several homes threatened by the rain swollen Dungeness River last week are slated for purchase and demolition by the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, which hopes to restore the floodplain for salmon habitat as part of its ongoing Dungeness Floodplain Restoration Project. The Jamestown S’Klallam tribe is in final negotiations to purchase several lots of riverfront property from the Robinson family of Seattle, which owns the land. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20151215/NEWS/312159990/houses-recently-threatened-by-roaring-dungeness-river-headed-for

Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution – PDN

This actually seems to be a reasonable alternative. The recommendation is to enforce current laws, raise the local money to pay for regular inspection, which as I have heard, is not happening currently, and monitor to see whether the problems improve. Rushing to judgement on putting in a huge infrastructure project, even if it’s eventually found to be the right solution, seems premature. Let’s make sure the existing laws work, before abandoning them.

Clallam County should strengthen an existing program to operate and maintain individual on-site septic systems in the Dungeness/3 Crabs area, a new study concludes. Staying the course was one of four alternatives being considered in a feasibility study for wastewater management in an unincorporated area where failing septic systems were said to be polluting Dungeness Bay with fecal coliform and nitrogen. Damon McAlister, a senior engineer with Parametrix, and county Environmental Health Director Andy Brastad presented the final study to the Clallam County commissioners Tuesday. Rob Ollikainen reports.

Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130731/NEWS/307319994/feasibility-study-addresses-dungeness-3-crabs-area-pollution

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Dungeness and Three Crabs Septic issues plan put forward

Progress is being made on coming up with alternatives for fixing the ongoing coliform bacteria problems at Dungeness Bay. Given that this spectacular shellfish area is generally prohibited from being harvested due to the pollution, fixing this problem would not only bring scenic but economic benefits.

The latest on it at the PDN:

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130211/news/302119993/officials-outline-dungeness-septic-options-costs

Ecology director signs agreement with Dungeness irrigators to benefit agricultural economy, protect future water supplies | September 2012 News | Washington State Department of Ecology

OLYMPIA – An agreement signed today by Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) Director Ted Sturdevant with Dungeness irrigators will help ensure adequate water supplies for the agricultural economy in the Sequim area and provide water for new uses in the Dungeness River Basin.

The agreement with the seven irrigation companies in the Dungeness River Agricultural Water Users Association (DAWUA) documents efforts by irrigators to conserve water and improve habitat andidentifies how much of that conserved water, set aside in the state’s trust water program, they may sell or lease to the community for new uses. It also secures water supplies for agriculture in the Dungeness for generations to come.

Ecology is proposing to adopt a water management rule this fall that will require new groundwater uses in the Dungeness watershed to be offset or mitigated. Property owners typically achieve mitigation by purchasing an existing water right or portion of a water right, or obtaining mitigation coverage through a water bank. Today’s agreement clears the way for the Dungeness irrigators to make some of their water rights available for purchase as “mitigation credits.”

“Between in-stream needs and out-of-stream uses, the water in the Dungeness Basin is spoken for,” Sturdevant said. “That means we have to find ways to offset new uses, so future development doesn’t come at the expense of current needs. This agreement today is a key part of our plan to mitigate for those new uses, and ensure healthy streams and a healthy economy.”

Said irrigation company director Gary Smith: “The Dungeness water users association and its members have been working toward better water management in the Dungeness Valley for many years and have received a great deal of help from Ecology, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Clallam Conservation District. Over time, irrigation water withdrawals from the Dungeness River have been cut in half, creating an amount of trust water that will be permanently dedicated to river flow and an amount in the irrigators’ name that can be used as a cushion for changing irrigation needs.”

Ecology is currently responding to more than 900 comments received during the public comment period on the proposed water management rule for the Dungeness. The rule was drafted to fulfill the goals of an agreement-in-principle reached more than a year ago with the Local Leaders Water Management Work Group to protect stream flows in the Dungeness River and some small streams where four fish species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The group, comprised of the DAWUA, Clallam County, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the city of Sequim, supports adoption of the water management rule provided that water supply solutions are pursued in the watershed. These include state-funded projects to provide mitigation water such as shallow aquifer recharge to replenish groundwater and small storage reservoirs for irrigation water.

Public comment period begins today on proposed water management rule for the Dungeness

OLYMPIA – The public can submit comments beginning today on a proposed water management rule for the Dungeness watershed.

If adopted, the new rule drafted by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will protect existing water supplies for current uses and fish habitat and make it easier for local governments to affirm that water is legally available for future water uses. The new rule will bring certainty to the process of obtaining water for new uses in a basin where a growing population and limited water availability have prevented Ecology from permitting new water rights since the 1990s.

A new water management rule for the Dungeness has been recommended by the Local Leaders Water Management Group, which has been working with Ecology since February 2011 to identify water supply issues in the watershed and recommend solutions. Members of the LLWG (their acronym) include Clallam County, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, city of Sequim, the Sequim-Dungeness Water Users Association, and Ecology.

“The draft water management rule for the Dungeness basin is an excellent example of what collaboration and cooperation between state government and the local community can achieve in protecting our water resources,” said Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant. “This rule if adopted will ensure that the water needs of local residents as well as growth and economic development and fish habitat are met into the future.”

The proposed rule would:

  • Establish instream flow levels (a water right for the stream) in the Dungeness to protect fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Establish reserves of water for future indoor domestic use.
  • Allow water storage projects.
  • Require mitigation for all new use of water, including permit-exempt wells.
  • Require measuring of new water use.
  • Close surface water to new withdrawals with the exception of seasonal water from the Dungeness.

The new rule will not affect:

  • Existing water rights at the time the rule becomes effective (tentatively in the fall of 2012), including continued use of permit-exempt wells where regular beneficial use began previously.
  • Tribal or federal reserved rights to water.

An economic Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) has been completed for the proposed rule which has been filed with the state code reviser. Over 20 years, the analysis shows the projected benefits of adopting the new rule exceeding the costs.

The proposed water management rule for the Dungeness is available online. Visitors to the Website can get directions on submitting comments electronically on the rule, submitting comments by e-mail or by mailing comments to Ecology. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. July 9, 2012. Ecology expects adoption of the rule no earlier than August 31, 2012.

An open house and public hearing on the proposed rule is scheduled Thursday, June 28, 2012, at the Guy Cole Center in Carrie Blake Park, 202 North Blake Ave. in Sequim, WA.

  • Open house beginning at 5 p.m.
  • Presentation with a question and answer session at 6 p.m. followed by a public hearing.

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Media Contacts:

  • Dan Partridge, 360-407-7139 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360-407-7139 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; dpar461@ecy.wa.gov
  • Linda Kent, 360-407-6239 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360-407-6239 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

Ecology’s Dungeness Water Management website (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/instream-flows/dungeness.html)

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