Environmental Films at the Port Townsend Film Festival

Check the listings but there are a wide range of interesting environmental films showing this weekend.

  • Call of the Ice
  • Learning to See: The World of Insects
  • Seed: The Untold Story
  • Voyagers without A Trace
  • The Cherokee Word for Water -*highly recommended*
  • Kickass Katie Lee
  • The Important Places
  • Pronghorn Revival
  • Selah: Water from Stone
  • The Super Salmon
  • Elk River
  • Property
  • 26 Years and Counting

Phil Johnson won’t run, Kate Dean steps up

News in the Port Townsend Leader that long time County Councilman Phil Johnson has decided not to run for office. Phil has held the post for three terms. In his wake, District 1 sees the first candidate to emerge for his position, Kate Dean. Kate has lived in the District for 17 years, she is a well respected business person as well as an active parent in the community . She also currently runs the North Olympic Peninsula Conservation and Development Council. For a more in-depth overview of her background and credentials, see the story in the Port Townsend Leader at


I have known Kate and her work for a couple of years, and have the highest respect for her. I believe she would be an excellent County Commissioner, both balancing the needs of businesspeople with those of the rural parts of the county. Additionally, her work on Climate Change recently was exceptional, and her environmental credentials are first rate. I have not heard who else is going to run, but Kate would be an outstanding replacement for Phil.

Phil will be sorely missed. He has been a long time champion of environmental concerns and I’ve worked with him on the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee (MRC). He has been key in fighting net pens in Jefferson County and his background as a fisherman brought great credence to his point of view. Best of luck to Phil and to Kate!

Olympic Forest Coalition Files Suit Against Coast Seafoods

It will be interesting to see what comes of this new lawsuit. There have been a number of concerns raised by citizens in the area surrounding Coast, as to changes in the Bay waters. We’ll see if we can get more information on the specifics.

Olympic Forest Coalition, based in Quilcene, Washington, has filed a lawsuitagainst Coast Seafoods Company under Section 505 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1365, for alleged Clean Water Act violations. Located on the shorelines of Quilcene Bay, Coast Seafoods claims to have increased its production of spat (baby oysters) from a capacity of approximately 8 billion annually to 40 billion annually over the past 5 years, which is apparently creating much higher levels of effluent, including “oyster poop,” discharged into the bay. The effluent includes excessive amounts of ammonia nitrogen and other solids that appear to OFCO to create problems for fish, shellfish, and pursuit-diving birds such as marbled murrelets, loons, cormorants, and grebes. OFCO believes that Coast Seafoods filters the incoming water from the bay, but does not filter effluent being flushed back into the bay.

The lawsuit claims that Coast Seafoods uses numerous pipes, ditches, channels and other discernible, confined and discrete conveyances to discharge effluent from its indoor, land-based oyster facilities to the adjacent beach, Quilcene Bay and Puget Sound.

Because the facility uses pipes and ditches to discharge to the bay, conveyances the Clean Water Act clearly and unambiguously defines as “point sources,” the lawsuit alleges that discharges of pollutants from the facility are illegal and in violation of Section 30l(a) of the Clean Water Act because they are not authorized by an NPDES permit. The primary goal of the lawsuit is to reduce water pollution to Quilcene Bay.

Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC in Seattle, Washington, represents OFCO in the lawsuit.

Event:JC Master Gardener Meeting, Potluck, and Lecture / “Growing Groceries for Jefferson County!” 

The next monthly Jefferson County Master Gardener Foundation meeting is Thursday, January 14, at 3:00 pm, at the Tri-Area Community Center.


“Growing Groceries for Jefferson County!” is the subject for this month’s educational lecture series. Master Gardeners Lys Burden and Nita Wester are the presenters.


Lys and Nita will give an overview of the Growing Groceries program, and also focus on some of the specific topics we are teaching here in Jefferson County, and why. We’re going into our third session of classes next month. The first two sessions (spring 2015 and fall 2015) had a sold out attendance and excellent feedback.


Please come hear what they are doing and how important this program is for our county and learn how to sign up for the next class.


The Jefferson County Master Gardener Foundation lectures take place the second Thursday of each month (except December, July, August) and are open to the public. A Foundation business meeting accompanies each lecture.




Jill Bacchieri

Master Gardener Coordinator

WSU Jefferson County Extension

380 Jefferson St.

Port Townsend, WA 98368

360 379-5610 ext 210



Survey finds continuing presence of E. coli at Irondale Beach County Park, but Quimper Peninsula water largely high quality – PDN

More on the Irondale E.Coli issues. The Jefferson County Health Dept. is going to continue to follow up on this over the next year to find the source of the problem.

Septic waste is the leading cause of stream pollution by Escherichia coli, or E. coli, in the northern part of the Quimper Peninsula, and the worst area is Irondale Beach County Park, according to a two-year survey. Nevertheless, the study found that much of the area’s water is of high quality, Michael Dawson, lead environmental health specialist for the Jefferson County Water Quality Program, told about 20 people at the Nordland Garden Club last Thursday evening. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


Photo of the Day: Stalked Tunicate

Another beauty by photographer Bruce Kerwin from under Point Hudson Jetty.DSC_7202 Stalked Tunicate and Hard Gnarled Clump Sponge? - Point HudsonWhite glove leather colonial tunicate overgrowing a bladder clam with the incurrent and excurrent siphons showing (identification by Andy Lamb) – Point Hudson at Port Townsend, Washington

Results of Jefferson County water quality study to be detailed at meetings starting Thursday on Marrowstone Island -PDN

This should be interesting. I’ll look through the results and post on this next week. The Irondale results are going to likely create a project to better identify where the raw human sewage is coming from.

The results of a three-year water quality study are to be presented at two public meetings this month, with the first set for Thursday. “We hope people will come away with an understanding of the overall water quality in the northwest portion of the Quimper Peninsula,” said Michael Dawson, Jefferson County water quality manager…. The test area included Cape George, Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Marrowstone Island and Oak Bay, with samples taken along 40 miles of shoreline and tested for E. coli bacteria. The project included sampling Port Townsend stormwater, comparing the water quality of Marrowstone Island and Indian Island, and discovering a major source of pollution in Irondale. Dawson said Irondale Creek was the most polluted area tested, attributable to a number of failed or failing septic systems in its proximity. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


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