Canada and the United States release new action plan for Salish Sea Ecosystem – Yahoo Finance

More good news as the Biden Administration opens up communications and cooperation with neighbors.

…Today, the governments of Canada and the United States announced that they have signed a new four-year “Action Plan” under their Joint Statement of Cooperation—first signed in 2000—that commits both countries to work together on transboundary issues and challenges facing the Salish Sea ecosystem. Under the action plan, the two nations will continue to engage with partners across the region to advance shared priorities for ecosystem health, including information sharing, improving transboundary coordination, and reporting on ecosystem health. Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also updated their joint “Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report” analyzing ten indicators of the health of the Salish Sea. Overall trends described in this report reveal some improvement, but also areas of no change or decline that can be identified as ecosystem priorities for future action. (Yahoo Finance)

Canada and the United States release new action plan for Salish Sea Ecosystem (yahoo.com)

New short video by Pacific Wild

Pacific wild opposes wolf culling. The have been doing some beautiful short 30 second spots. No message, just the beauty of the wolf.

https://vimeo.com/572671100

Solar rooftops fight solar farms in Infrastructure bill.Seattle Times

Interesting take on a battle for the future of energy transmission. Note that solar rooftops provided a small but significant amount of California’s electricity when needed during the wildfire electrical outages.

More power lines, or rooftop solar panels? The fight over energy’s future.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/more-power-lines-or-rooftop-solar-panels-the-fight-over-energys-future/

Virus spreads from B.C. fish farms to wild Chinook salmon, study finds – Seattle Times

For years, Alexandra Morton, the leading scientist in documenting the effects of farmed salmon on wild salmon stocks, has been talking about the presence of piscine orthoreovirus in farmed salmon and it’s apparent devastating spread to wild stocks in British Columbia. It’s been a bit unclear whether fish from the United States have been impacted by it, but  “our” fish travel far and wide before returning home. If they got the disease they very likely would die before reaching their spawning grounds. Horrific footage done for her documentary film “Salmon Confidential” from 2013, documented what Alexandra claimed was Picene Orthorevirus.  She asked for help from researchers to validate what she was seeing. Now, researchers from the University of British Columbia and other organizations, using genomic techniques,  have documented the disease and warned against it’s spread.

Why does this matter to us on the Peninsula?  Locally,  a few years ago, in order to educate and warn on this issue, I brought this to the attention of the local Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, who has a member who is the local manager and spokesman for Taylor Shellfish. He denounced Alexandra in angry tones, and has used his bully pulpit to belittle her research to the committee, calling her a “fake scientist” and urging support for farmed fish in our waters. He never offered a shred of evidence to support his claims, and showed up at a public meeting with other members of his company to shout down a leading scientist and professor from British Columbia who spoke at a forum in Port Angeles a few years ago on the topic. The Committee, who’s charter it is to protect our local waters, has done little to challenge the claims of the member, who provides them with Olympia oyster brood stock for local recovery efforts.

While the shellfish and the fish farming industry, comprised of local tribes and international companies from Canada and Norway have continued to mount a propaganda and lobbying campaign at both the local and national level  to support fish farming, the evidence continues to mount of the cost to wild stocks. We have been told for decades of the wonders of farmed fish and of hatcheries, only to see native stocks continue to plummet. Have one doubt and they call it treason, as Les McCann once said. We as taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars funding salmon restoration while this newest science shows that one of the answers to the decline in our stocks may be found right in front of our doorsteps, in the shape of net pens. It is obviously not just this one thing but death by a “thousand cuts”. Climate change, destruction of habitat through logging and farming, a history of overfishing sanctioned by the state up until the Boldt Decision,  and yes, disease.  The danger of these concentrated feed lots to our wild stocks is easy to see, and now we are getting more proof of them spreading disease. The fact that the managers of these feed lots need to put various chemicals into the waters to keep fish healthy is just one indicator. The vast amount of feed they pump Into the waters attract wild fish, who can then be exposed to any illness carried in the farmed fish. The ecosystems under the pens is destroyed for decades, if not permanently.

The science has shown over the decades that wild fish are more resistant to changes in their climate and surroundings than farmed fish. They have learned to evolve as the ice ages came and went, destroying their home streams. They are survivors. But can they survive our efforts to ‘improve’ engineered fish?

The people who profit from this industry continue to put forward the notion that “nothing is wrong”. This article is yet another clear warning that the dues will come due sooner than later. Our wild stocks continue to struggle to survive, as do the mammals like Orcas that rely on them. It is worth noting that since time immemorial we have been gifted with an enormous source of free protein in the shape of these wild animals. They have supported civilizations on this coast for centuries, who harvested sustainably, even though they never used that word. Many of the poorest of us have been fed in the past by simply putting a cheap boat in the water or a line in a river.  Now with stocks dwindling and costs skyrocketing far beyond the reach of most people who need the protein the most, we continue to buy into the notion that “all is well” as propagated by those who make a profit off the resource and will simply pack up and go somewhere else when they have exhausted it.

It is a sad commentary that the very people charged with protecting our waters, continue to stand by and do nothing, take no stand,  while the paid mouthpieces of the industry shout down our scientists. Like the poem by Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, where the two cry tears over the sad fate of the oysters as they proceed to eat every single one.

The study traces the origins of piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV, to Atlantic salmon farms in Norway, and found that the virus is now almost ubiquitous in salmon farms in B.C. The virus has been shown to sicken farmed fish.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/virus-spreads-from-bc-fish-farms-to-wild-chinook-salmon-new-study-finds/

New survey offers a glimmer of hope for declining native bee populations – WaPost

I know I’ve seen questions about a lack of bees lately. Thought you might appreciate this.

The tribulations of the honeybee are well-known, even if the origins of the mysterious colony collapse disorder that wiped out hives a few years ago are not easily explained. Then came our awareness of the afflictions of the bumblebee. Of more than 40 species of this beloved creature in North America, half are said to be in decline. One of the most vexing developments is the near disappearance of the once ubiquitous rusty-patched bumblebee over the past 25 years. Adrian Higgins reports. (Washington Post)

New survey offers a glimmer of hope for declining native bee populations

Kurt Grinnell, ” A tower of strength for the Jamestown S’klallam tribe” dies in car crash

In perhaps the most shocking death in a year of death and illness, Jamestown S’Klallam tribal council member Kurt Grinnell, died in a single car crash on Mount Pleasant road outside of Port Angeles. He was heading home at the time.

Kurt was the CEO of Jamestown Seafoods, and chaired the tribe’s natural resources committee, as well as represented the Jamestown S’Klallam on the Point No Point Treaty Council and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

I worked with Kurt on a number of tribal video projects in the last decade. I also talked to him during the battle to shut down Atlantic net pen salmon operations in the state after the disaster of a net pen failure. While he and the Tribe supported the end of Atlantic Salmon net pens, they had their own plans to run native fish in net pens. It raised the hackles of some in the environmental movement that wanted an end to all net pens. But Kurt’s perspective helped end the practice of using Atlantic salmon in pens here. I supported his position. It was a workable compromise to achieve a needed goal. And I knew that if he and the Tribe backed that position, it would prevail in Olympia.

Kurt Grinnell – Photo by Al Bergstein – © 2010 & 2021 by Al Bergstein and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. All Rights Reserved.

Kurt was a man who would always say hello when we we ran into each other in some event. I was clearly aware of how he was a mentor to many and a gentle and thoughtful voice on the tribal council and in the meetings where I presented projects and asked for feedback. He was at the center of many of the Tribes work in aquaculture, and fishing issues. He and other members of the council, Rochelle Blankenship, his daughter Loni Greninger, and Theresa Lehman seemed to be a great next generation of leadership for the tribe, in addition to the long standing leadership of Ron Allen, the elected Tribal Council Chairman.

As stated on the Tribal Council web site: Kurt was elected to the Tribal Council in October, 2004. He served on the Hunting and Fishing Committee for 33 years. He was the Tribe’s Aquaculture Manager. He served as Tribal Policy Liaison for the Tribe’s Natural Resource Department and Chair of the Natural Resource Committee. In 1981 he became a gill-net fisher, and then began attending fin-fish negotiation meetings with the Makah and Point Elliot Treaty Tribes. In the early 90’s he served as the Indian Child Welfare Case Worker, Chemical Dependency Counselor and Social Worker, and since that time he has also served the Tribe in the areas of education, housing and culture. In 1995, he became a commercial geoduck diver.

I cannot begin to understand the depth of sorrow that the tribe must feel over this loss. I felt a hole in my heart hearing this news because people like Kurt are few and far between. I can honestly say he was one of the finest men I have ever met and I do not say that lightly. He was a leader that led by example. He had the skill, too rare in this time, of actually making you feel that he was listening to you. He looked you in the eye as he talked and listened. The words, trustworthy, soft spoken, dedicated and integrity, are words I would use to describe him. During one of our video sessions, he related to me how he would lay in bed late into the night with a laptop in front of him, negotiating with China over the price of geoduck. He was incredibly devoted to his family, his people and their needs. I send my heartfelt sympathy to his wife Terri, his children Loni Greninger and Jaiden Bosick, his mother, the legendary storyteller, Elaine Grinnell, his father Fred, along with his entire tribe in this time of their grief.

Comments and ratings have been disabled for this post in honor of Kurt’s family.

Clean fuel legislation could be blocked again by one WA Democrat – Investigate West

The power of the oil industry continues to contaminate our state legislators, even with Dems in control. Can they push this through, around the objections of a Democrat who apparently doesn’t get the issue of climate change yet? 

“The annual push in Olympia to promote electric vehicles and biofuels at the expense of gasoline and “dinosaur” diesel has again failed to woo a key senator who killed the bill twice before. But whether that will matter this time is an open question…This year’s bill, House Bill 1091, cleared the state House of Representatives, 52-46, and passed a Senate committee hearing Tuesday morning. While boosters celebrate the bill’s progress, it may yet land before the Senate Transportation Committee — the place where the idea stalled in 2019 and 2020. The Transportation Committee chairman, Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, declined to put the legislation up for a vote both years, and still isn’t smitten with it. “Levi Pulkkinen reports. (InvestigateWest)

The future is arriving, and it’s not cheap

This New York Times article documents the increasingly difficult position coastal communities are being put in as man-made climate change heats the planet and raises the oceans. One can continue to pretend that it’s not happening, that it’s all a hoax, but it’s very real to these people in North Carolina.

www.nytimes.com/2021/03/14/climate/outer-banks-tax-climate-change.html

Great web site for tracking state legislative bills

Recently I stumbled on this web site for tracking bills and the legislators that are backing them. Check it out.

Legiscan https://legiscan.com/WA/

New Challenge to Navy EIS by COER

The Whidbey Island group “citizens of the ebey’s reserve” (COER)   is continuing it’s challenge to the Navy Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). These rubber stamp items never seem to be anything more than a bureaucratic formality rather than a serious opportunity for the public to challenge Navy demands to our waters and air.


The 60-Day Letter 

Threats to Northwest Washington
The United States military is waging a war on Americans and the living environments that are located next to their military installations. Civilians, communities, and the natural environment including the entire Puget Sound estuary have become casualties of that war. In Northwest Washington, the communities and waters—known as the Salish Sea—surrounding the Olympic Peninsula, San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, and Puget Sound are under assault by the Navy…including iconic and endangered species such as the Marbled Murrelet and the Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcas) and decreasing numbers of salmon. 

Northwest Washington communities have partnered with the military to do their part for national security. In 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced its decision to vastly expand the Navy’s Growler jet program and electronic warfare training over Whidbey Island, the San Juan Islands, and the Olympic Peninsula. The impacts of more jets flying more often include deafening noise, poisoned air, land and water, livelihoods in jeopardy, and harm to threatened species in Northwest Washington. In making its decision, military leadership ignored the objections of citizens, organizations, elected officials, and public agencies. 

Because few public processes exist to ensure citizen input on military issues, SDA and its member groups (together representing 25,000 Washingtonians) have joined forces to seek a balance between the needs of the military and the needs of impacted communities. SDA encourages economic diversification and defends policies and institutions designed to preserve our land, air, water, and wildlife. 

COER, a founding group member of the Sound Defense Alliance has initiated legal action against the Navy’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, as well as other legal challenges over the past 8 years, including the attached 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue under the Endangered Species Act. 

The attached 60-day notice alerts government agencies of their violation of Section 7 of the ESA for failing to reinitiate formal consultations with regard to the NWTT SEIS and the Growler EIS.  These agencies have a duty to reinitiate consultation when “new information reveals effects of [their] action that may affect listed species or critical habitat in a manner or to an extent not previously considered.” 50 C.F.R. § 402.16(a)(2).  The duty to reinitiate Section 7 consultation in this case is triggered by Kuehne’s new scientific findings on Growler noise under water.  

These projects cannot legally go forward without new biological opinions that consider the effects of Growler noise radiating great distances in all directions from the air-water interface.  Moreover, the new biological opinions must analyze the effects of Growler noise deep underwater in conjunction with the effects of vast and increasing man-made noise affecting the underwater environment and the marine fauna that live and breed there. 

Listed government agencies have 60 days in which to consider COER’s notice and to reinitiate consultation in these projects before COER can file suit under the ESA.  

COER has offered to meet and confer with the agencies as to the violations noticed.

Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve (COER) is represented by Bricklin & Newman, LLP, attorneys at law, 1424 Fourth Avenue, Ste. 500, Seattle, WA 98101, telephone 206.264.8600.  

For more information on COER: search “citizens of the ebey’s reserve” on Facebook; or visit citizensofebeysreserve.com/

Mission Blue and SR³ brings Hope Spot to Salish Sea

Interesting new marine hospital comes to the Pacific NW with the help of a number of non-profits from here. The head of this project appears to be Dr. Sylvia Earle one of the legends of Marine Science and environmental education. All good news.


For Immediate Release
SALISH SEA DECLARED A HOPE SPOT IN CELEBRATION OF NEW MARINE ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse Casey Mclean examines an elephant seal’s vital signs. NOAA Permit 18786

SEATTLE – February 17 – The Salish Sea has been declared a Hope Spot by international nonprofit Mission Blue in recognition of SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research (SR³) and their partners’ conservation goals to protect the local marine biodiversity. SR³ is kicking off their celebration as the Hope Spot Champions with the opening of a new marine animal hospital in Des Moines, Wash., coming soon.

Connecting the waters between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada, the Salish Sea is bursting with iconic and beloved creatures like the endangered Southern Resident killer whales and humpback whales. As the original inhabitants of the sea, these mammals called the region home thousands of years before human beings walked to draw borders between countries, build ports, and develop commercial fishing to feed the rest of the two-legged world. Today, man’s impact on the ocean has created increasing threats for marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.



Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue, says, “The Salish Sea holds immensely important biodiversity. This body of water has provided the residents of Seattle up to Vancouver with vital natural resources for millennia. We must act now if we want to protect the ocean and its inhabitants from the destructive effects of human interference. I want to thank SR³ and their partners for their important work in marine animal research and rehabilitation – it’s so important that people are aware of the creatures that they share the ocean with. If the whales, seals and dolphins aren’t healthy, humans won’t be healthy, either.”

Casey Mclean, Hope Spot Champion and Executive Director of SR³, explains how marine animals serve as important indicators of ocean health and of environmental changes that can impact humans. She elaborates, “From warming ocean waters to entanglements, marine animals are increasingly suffering.” She continues, “Without a specialized marine wildlife hospital in the region, many sick and injured animals are left without hope for survival. It also limits our ability to gain insights that would drive protections for many more animals.”

From injured seals to entangled whales, SR³ works to ensure that struggling marine animals receive the expert help they need. Their SeaLife Rescue Center – the first marine wildlife specialty hospital in the Pacific Northwest – is opening soon. As a community-supported nonprofit, SR³ relies on donations from individuals who wish to invest in the health of their blue backyard.

The Salish Sea is home to some of the largest and longest-lived marine species on Earth, including the North Pacific giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), the giant Pacific chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri), the largest barnacle (Balanus nubilus), plumose anemone (Metridium senile), the largest sea anemone, cabezon, lion’s mane jellyfish, and 25 species of rockfish that have life spans of 50-200 years.

Protecting the animals of the Salish Sea will benefit the entire ecosystem – regardless of human boundaries. New conservation policies and activities can draw attention to the many rivers and streams that feed into the sea that are in desperate need of habitat restoration and protection.

Cristina Mittermeier, internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, Managing Director and Co-founder at SeaLegacy, describes SeaLegacy’s work as a Hope Spot partner. “If we want to live in a healthy and abundant Salish Sea, we must first imagine what that looks like. With images and stories, SeaLegacy is inviting us to imagine a different balance between business and nature. If we can ignite an imagined future in which orcas are thriving, fish populations are revered, coastal communities re-engineer their economies to sustain tourism instead of squandering our finite resources, and the knowledge and rights of the First Nations of this land are honored, then I am sure we can turn the hope encapsulated in the idea of this Hope Spot, into a reality we can gift the next generation.”


Mclean elaborates, “By teaching people how their everyday actions are connected to local marine health – and ultimately their own health – we can make the Pacific Northwest a safer and healthier home for marine animals – and for all of us!”
        
“We live, work and play near and in these waters and recognize that the region is on the brink of something incredible. We can achieve a resilient, sustainable, and healthy Salish Sea by bringing together diverse voices, building a movement around a shared ocean ethic, and by igniting hope,” said Dr. Erin Meyer, Director of Conservation Programs and Partnerships at the Seattle Aquarium. “Designating the Salish Sea as a Mission Blue Hope Spot connects us to communities around the world who are working together to catalyze positive change.” 
        
As SR3 delivers emergency response for sick, injured or entangled marine animals, they collect critical data in the process that helps drive broader protections. For instance, as they work to free entangled whales, responders also learn how they became entangled and work closely with fishermen and government agencies to develop ways to prevent entanglements in the future. Using drones to conduct scientific research, SR³ collects important health data that informs protections for dwindling populations such as the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

SR³ and their partners believe that improving the health of the Salish Sea will require a hands-on approach from all angles. Their goals for the Hope Spot also include to deepen working relationships with local tribal entities, create a place of union between the many non-government organizations (NGOs) working to protect the life within the Salish Sea, and increasing public action for the support of legislation that impacts the Salish Sea and its inhabitants. In order to ignite the public’s response, they’re working to educate residents within the Salish Sea watershed about how its protection is critical for human health.

The Salish Sea Hope Spot partner organizations include Pacific Mammal ResearchWhale and Dolphin ConservationSeaLegacySeattle AquariumMarine Conservation InstituteOcean WiseEarth Law CenterSea SmartCoextinction FoundationPNW ProtectorsUnited and Free.

Despite the decimation of its species, the inundation of pollution from poorly planned development, and elimination of some critical habitats, the Salish Sea has survived. 

“All is not lost,” stresses Mclean. “This ecosystem is still alive. It is resilient, and we have the opportunity to restore it. Our lives and livelihoods depend on it.”


About SR³ – SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research (SR³) rescues and protects marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. With a marine wildlife ambulance, response vessel, and specialized veterinary staff, SR³ fills a unique role in the West Coast’s marine mammal stranding network. The organization’s expert first responders stand ready to deploy every day to ensure suffering marine animals receive the expert care they so urgently need. SR³ also works to address the root cause of marine animal health issues through scientific research projects. A major focus of this program is the endangered Southern Resident killer whales, using drones to collect health data that inform conservation actions important to their survival. The organization will open the region’s first marine wildlife specialty hospital early this year. www.sr3.org

About Mission Blue – Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the Mission Blue team implements communications campaigns that elevate Hope Spots to the world stage through documentaries, social media, traditional media and innovative tools like Esri ArcGIS. www.mission-blue.org

Please contact Casey Mclean, SR³ Executive Director at casey@sr3.org or (425) 346-9798 for high resolution images, interviews or more information.

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— 

 EMILY CRAWFORD Founder / LUMINOSITY PR
 Pronouns: she/her/hers 206.880.3977 / Emily@LuminosityPR.com
 www.LuminosityPR.com

EVENT! Great Rivers of the West

This is a great idea for winter fun inside! Never had a chance to float one of the great rivers of the west? Now you have no excuse! You don’t even have to get wet, and you can decide which one you want to do for real! Oh, by the way, it helps a great organization too. Since the image below doesn’t have live links, go to westernrivers.org to sign up.

2021 State Legislative Update on Environment Issues

Rather than try to do this myself, the Puget Sound Partnership is tracking all the bills. Here’s there public PowerPoint on them.

https://pspwa.app.box.com/s/wagot10sy95a4fixrhioberup485mqza

Biden to place environmental justice at center of sweeping climate plan -WA POST

President Biden has implemented a breathtaking array of executive orders to address climate change this week. It is the most radical overhaul of environmental laws in decades. While there is much more to be done, the importance of these immediate steps cannot be underestimated. We applaud the serious nature that these represent. Obviously, the devil is in the details, but it signals a sea change. Don’t dismiss this!

The president plans far-reaching actions to cut carbon emissions, aid polluted communities and shift the nation away from fossil fuels. The administration will treat climate change ‘as the emergency that it is,’ one top adviser says.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/01/26/biden-environmental-justice-climate/

EVENT: Climate Assembly Online Open House & Launch Party

From John Cambalik.

Please consider registering for our Climate Assembly Open House and Launch Party!


Please forward this email to others who might be interested.


In the interim, check out the wealth of information being presented during the Washington (State) Climate Assembly!

On January 12, 2021, 80 assembly members, who represent Washington State in miniature, convened for the Inaugural Assembly Meeting of the first ever, in the United States, Climate Assembly.
Learning Sessions are livestreamed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvsfOyeeCAzECRs-s7sNGCw.
Assembly details and recordings can be found here: https://www.waclimateassembly.org/assembly-details.
YICC,
John Cambalik, Volunteer

People’s Voice On Climate

Phone: 360-797-3161
Email: john@peoplesvoiceonclimate.org
Six Simple Things You Can Do Today:
• Read an article or watch a video about climate assemblies.
• Sign up for our newsletter. • Tell your friends about our climate assembly—this press release is a good start.
• Ask your state legislators to learn about, support, and endorse the Assembly.
• Go to the Assembly and PVOC websites to follow/share on social media.
Donate.

State Senator Van de Wege introduces bill to ban seabed mining.

This idea is a good start to protect the seabed from mining efforts and I’m glad to see Senator Van de Wege getting ahead of this issue before it becomes a problem.Too often in the past we have allowed bad environmental practices to go on until science shows us the error of our ways. This bill is working off the science done elsewhere so we don’t have to repeat the same mistakes.

It’s unclear at this point as to who will be opposing this bill. But it will be worth following to see who shows up to testify against it. It’s slated to go to a public committee meeting on 26 January.

Press Release from State Senator Van de Wege.


Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s great when we enact laws to correct or eliminate activities that are causing harm. What’s even better is when we can address a problem before it even becomes a problem.

That’s the goal of my legislation to ban seabed mining, a growing industry that ravages natural habitat to extract minerals and deposits from the ocean floor. Simply put, seabed mining sucks up the ocean floor to capture metals, minerals and gemstones. This gouges the seabed, creating plumes of sediment that resettle in surrounding areas and can smother deep sea vents. The threat to marine life is obvious — locally we could see serious disruption to crabbing, fishing and shellfish. But the risks extend as well to scientific progress — some of these species are uniquely adapted to the lack of sunlight and intense pressure of deep water, and might prove critical to the research and development of medicines, protective gear and other applications.

So far, seabed mining has not been practiced in our state — and Senate Bill 5145 will ensure that it never is. The legislation would prohibit our state Department of Natural Resources from issuing permits or leases for mining on state-owned aquatic lands along our coast from Cape Flattery south to our state’s southern border, as well as in Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and the Columbia River downstream from the Longview bridge. The bill will be heard Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks.

President Biden’s first day. Environmental recovery begins.

On his first day in office, President Biden immediately sought to place a firm stake in the ground that the environment would be a lead issue. He issued an executive order stating his goal to rejoin the Paris Climate agreement. The process will take 30 days. He also issued orders for his agencies to review and as appropriate reverse the 100+ Trump actions that were hampering environmental quality around the country. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which will be a significant blow to the struggling economy of Alberta, while protecting water resources for native tribes and hopefully lowering the emissions that this terribly polluting fuel source would have on air quality and climate change. Alberta needs to wake up to the reality that banking it’s future on tar sands is a losing proposition.

There are over 100 environmental regulations that Trump’s cronies implemented while he was in office. I say that they implemented them, because there was no indication that Trump himself knew anything about any of these issues, and they were simply brought to him by the hand picked hatchet men from industry that were put in offices by a variety of right wing industrial donors. Whatever they brought him, he signed. He was clear that whatever they wanted, he would do for them. But really help the voters that put him in office? That was a joke.

Biden brings an intelligence to the office that Trump never showed. Trump could have offset his anti-environmental moves with a massive infusion of government money into American industries and infrastructure rebuilding, creating millions of jobs across the country fixing roads and bridges. He failed to take advantage of his position. He squandered his time in office on petty issues and infighting.

Biden’s first steps are not just window dressing, but real substance that will have financial consequences for places like Alberta and many companies profiting from the XL pipeline in North and South Dakota. But fixing the environment will undoubtably bring financial consequences both good and bad. Some people will win, some will lose. There is no way to handhold everyone as we move towards a new era that may slow climate change, or keep us from not being swept away by it. To those people who are unhappy about possibly losing their jobs in the oil fields of Alberta and North Dakota, my answer to you is that tens of thousands of your fellow Canadians and those in California, Oregon and Washington State, among millions more around the world, in the Amazon, in Australia that have been displaced and made homeless by the massive climate induced fires that have spread everywhere as the consequences of burning fossil fuel come home to roost. Your few jobs are vastly offset by those casualties, and the industries that replace those jobs will be much larger and more dispersed to local communities. Installation of solar panels is one such industry as is the nascent production of electric vehicles.

We’ll continue to explore the ramifications to us here on the peninsula on Biden’s first 100 days.

We have survived Trump. Now to fix the environmental damage done.

The direct destruction brought about by ex-President Donald Trump has gratefully ended. We sit huddled in our homes and businesses, waiting out vaccines he promised but barely delivered, as a pandemic he brashly claimed would “just vanish” continues to wreak havoc with out economy and lives. Now, at least, we can begin the work of creating a better set of environmental protections than before. Rebuilding allows one to redesign and improve from the original, if needed. We clearly now see we need improvement in the laws that Trump and his band of thieves created or demolished in their four long years of infamy. It’s not just the Capital that lays smashed, but our sense that government might protect us from the worse parts of Capitalism. A terrorist from a foreign country could not have done a better job of kicking out so many of the pillars of this democracy. But we endured and now there is work to be done.

He left us granting pardons to some of his notorious henchmen (i.e. Steve Bannon, charged with pillaging a non-profit that raised funds for Trump’s border wall) and a raft of Executive Orders to finally overturn the people’s will and allow the drilling of oil in the Alaska wildlife refuge, among many others. This action, unneeded in a world awash in oil due to depressed economic activity was only done out of spite and to enrich the very companies who claim in their green-washing advertising to be working towards a new business model of “alternative fuels”.

With vast landscapes having been burned to the ground in fires that stunned even the most grizzled fire fighting veterans; thousands of our fellow countrymen and women left homeless from them, and global heat rising year after year to unprecedented levels, the challenges that we face seem overwhelming. We need to work together now more than ever, or face a total collapse into something far worse than destroyed ancient Rome. Democracies and Republics are fragile, there wasn’t one between ancient Greece & Rome and the 1700s. That’s a long time to go under the thumb of corrupt rulers. Trump took our democracy to the brink. Given what he unleashed in his last days, another four years of his Presidency would have altered us forever for the worse.

So I wish all of us to lay aside the anger and threats. There is a ton of work to be done building a new green economy, which is already underway right in front of our eyes. Electric cars, reusable packaging, solar electricity, recycling of existing trash, and lots more has been done and is being refined with every turn of the creative wheel of our industries here and around the world. We need immigrants from everywhere to help us build it. My great grandparents arrived here with nothing. Zero. My father, grandfather, grandmother and grand uncles pulled themselves out of poverty to go on to great careers that helped their communities. Immigrants are who we are, along with the descendants of slaves and native peoples we pushed to the brink in our creation of this country.

So there are things you can do, small and large things, depending on your ability and your financial position. But there are things you can do.

I wish President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris all the best. I leave you with the words of a superb artist out of the British Isles, Charlie MacKesy. His book “The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse” is a new best seller and an instant classic.

“This is getting harder”, said the boy.

“Then every step you take is a bigger victory” said the horse.

NW Salmon “Teetering on the brink of extinction” – KNKX

More evidence that we are not doing enough, and perhaps we are doing the wrong things. More science is needed, and more enforcement of rules protecting habitat and species. Time is about up. We have gone in one generation from vast schools of the finest protein source imaginable to zero.


Washington’s salmon are “teetering on the brink of extinction,” according to a new report. It says the state must change how it’s responding to climate change and the growing number of people in Washington. Washington’s State of Salmon in Watersheds report says time is running out for the Northwest’s iconic fish. The report, which is issued every two years, shows a trend of warming waters and habitat degradation is causing trouble for its salmon runs. Ten of the 14 threatened or endangered salmon and steelhead runs in the state are not getting any better. Of those, five are “in crisis.” Courtney Flatt and Bellamy Pailthorp report. (KNKX)

Report lays out bleak picture of Northwest salmon ‘teetering on the brink of extinction’

REPAIRS OF BULKHEADS, DOCKS AND OTHER STRUCTURES NOW INVOLVE HABITAT ASSESSMENT – PSI

This is a huge change to the proposal, hopefully for the good. However, in reading this article I find that it may cause more problems than it solves. While I applaud the idea, the implementation seems problematic. I urge those of you interested in seeing this implemented or those seeing issues with the implementation to attend this meeting. Now is the time to tweak the process so that it helps people do the right thing.

NOAA Fisheries will hold online public workshops on Jan. 26 and Jan. 28 to explain the conservation calculator that the agency developed to assess the value of nearshore habitat. Both workshops will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Details will be posted on the webpage Puget Sound Nearshore Habitat Conservation Calculator.

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