Dr. Pete Schroeder wins Eleanor Stopps Award

Dr. Pete Schroeder was awarded the Eleanor Stopps Award for Environmental Leadership this morning at the annual breakfast held by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.


Dr. Schroeder is a Marine Mammal Veterinarian with the National Marine Mammal Foundation. Throughout his 50 year career studying marine mammals, Dr. Schroeder has improved the lives of these animal through direct veterinarian care, advocacy and education.

He has served as vice president and board member of the North Olympic Land Trust, Friends of the Fields and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. Additionally, he is a member of the Clallam Conservation Commission, the Dungeness River Management Team, the Steering Committee to the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program and as a representative of the Lead Entity Advisory Group to the governor’s Monitoring Forum for salmon recovery and Habitat restoration.

In 2004, Dr. Schroeder was appointed to the Fish and Wildlife Commission by Governor Gary Locke. Dr. Schroeder is currently serving his second term as a member of the Farmland Protection Advisory Committee for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation’s Farmland Preservation Program. Dr. Schroeder led the response to the 2002 stranding of the orca “Hope”. He advised in the collection of the gray whale by the Marine Science Center in May 2016.

In 2013, I interviewed Dr. Schroeder for the video I produced for the Dungeness River Management Team and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, on restoration of the Dungeness River, called “Working for the River.” You can watch the film and listen to the work that Dr. Schroeder did on behalf of donating his own land into the land trust along the river, to protect habitat.


The 2016 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of our North Olympic Peninsula natural environment. The award pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of citizen leadership. From the 1960s through the 1990s Eleanor Stopps was an active member of the NW conservation community. Eleanor founded the Admiralty Audubon Chapter and took over the work of Zella Schultz to protect the nesting habitat for 72,000 pairs of seabirds nesting on Protection Island. She was also a tireless educator working with groups of students and Girl Scouts to raise environmental awareness. Eleanor Stopps recognized the need to protect the uniquely important marine environment of the Salish Sea. With no special political base or powerful financial backers she formed a coalition of grassroots supporters who worked to get legislation and public support for protection of Protection Island and the surrounding marine waters. She was a primary driver behind the establishment of the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the few established by an Act of Congress at that time. Today, it is a critical habitat link in the preservation of the whole Salish Sea region, providing breeding habitat for Pigeon Guillemots and Rhinoceros Auklets, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons, Harbor Seals and Elephant Seals, and a myriad of other species.

The Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to a citizen of the North Olympic Peninsula (Jefferson and Clallam counties) who has:

 Led a successful resource conservation effort that benefits the north Olympic Peninsula and its residents directly;

 Acted as a community catalyst for programs, initiatives or ventures that demonstrate a commitment to the future of the earth and its biodiversity;

 Become a model for future leaders in business and education; or has been an exemplary citizen or policy maker who has implemented decisions that, though they may entail risks, have helped our communities take the next step towards environmental sustainability.

Other nominees this year included Bob Campbell, Tim McNulty, Dr. Eloise Kailan, Ron Sikes and Dr. Schroeder. It was a very difficult decision for the nominating committee, as each of these individuals have been very successful in their careers here on the Peninsula. Nominations are allowed in subsequent years for any supporters of these nominees that wish to re-nominate.

Free Speaker Event: Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change


Free Speaker Event: Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change

PORT ANGELES – Changing chemistry in our marine waters is changing the food web and the industries that depend upon it. How those changes occur, and what each of us can do to help reduce those changes, will be explored at a speaker forum and panel discussion on September 28 at the Red Lion Inn conference room. The free event begins at 6:00 p.m., and is sponsored by Clallam County Marine Resources Committee and Olympic Climate Action.

Forum speakers will examine the ecological impacts of ocean acidification, the impacts of ocean acidification on local shellfish, water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula, and how individuals can be involved to help make a difference.

Ginny Broadhurst, Executive Director at the Northwest Straits Commission, will facilitate the event and the panel discussion. Ms. Broadhurst will also outline actions that individual citizens can take to help reduce the impacts of ocean acidification.

Anna McLaskey, PhD student at University of Washington, will discuss the ecological impacts of ocean acidification. A member of the West Coast Ocean Acidification 2016 Cruise, Ms. McLaskey will introduce the cause and chemistry of ocean acidification. Ms. McLaskey’s research focuses on the impacts of ocean acidification on crustacean zooplankton such as krill and copepods.

Bill Dewey, Director of Public Affairs for Taylor Shellfish, will explore the impacts of ocean acidification on oysters and other shellfish Mr. Dewey states, “Ocean acidification is a big deal. Sea water chemistry is going to change in dramatic ways in our lifetime. We are going to watch all the organisms shift in the ocean in ways we can’t fully understand.” He travels around the world speaking about ocean acidification, how ocean acidification impacts the shellfish industry, and how it will impact the ocean food web. Taylor Shellfish started as a family business in 1890 and today they are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the country.

Ann Soule, Resource Manager at City of Sequim, will describe future water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula. Based on future weather predictions with drier, warmer summers and wetter winters, Ms. Soule concludes that we should “harness all possible sources of water for our water-dependent region.” She has worked extensively on surface water and stormwater, and water quantity and quality issues in the Dungeness watershed and Clallam County—and will explore potential relationships between freshwater supplies and marine resources.

Following the presentations a panel will engage the audience in a discussion about ocean acidification and water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the US EPA under Assistance Agreement PC-OOJ90301.

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

Interesting industry overview of pipelines.

This web site has an interesting industry biased take on the pipeline status in North America. Often to get to the facts you have to monitor sites like this.  If you have been intrigued by the issues being raised both in Canada and the fight over the Keystone XL and now the Standing Rock uprising, you might want to view this gas analyst web site for the ‘big picture’.  Just be clear the author  sees no future banning gas and oil pipelines, but acknowledges the current problems that the industry is facing with protests, leaks and gas shortages. I also am doubtful that the American public, once they realize that our current Congress is not going to help create a ‘bridge to tomorrow’ by  supporting subsidies to get off fossil fuel, won’t rebel and demand even more pipelines. These pipelines carry the fuel to heat homes to much of the Middle West, Southwest, Southeast and East coast. If you think that we are going to stop building more pipelines in the near future, it’s time for you to get out in the field and think about how the US will actually get off natural gas without frightening the public. Currently we seem to live by crisis management, and in the last few years (see Zika funding) Congress can’t even do that.

The writer also  doesn’t mention the shortage British Columbia faced this summer due to the forest fires in Alberta.

Today I want to talk about the other reason you don’t want your pipeline in the news. Over the past week gasoline prices have spiked across the Southeast as a result of a leak in one of the nation’s most important pipelines. But before I get to that, I want to first provide a high-level overview of the U.S. oil and gas pipeline network.

The Energy Newsletter



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


Inslee requests ‘commercial fishery failure’ declaration – KING

A good idea and glad the Governor is being pro-active to ask for Federal help for our fishermen.

Gov. Jay Inslee is requesting the federal government declare a “commercial fishery failure” in Washington after two consecutive years of poor salmon runs. In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Inslee asked for a declaration for the 2015 Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay non-treaty commercial salmon fisheries. “Salmon fisheries throughout Washington were affected by the poor return of coho in 2015, with statewide commercial coho catch being less than 20-percent of the recent 5-year average, and ex-vessel value being less than 15-percent of the recent 5-year average,” Inslee wrote. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)


Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs -Associated Press

Dungeness Crab is important to our economy and diet, along with the importance to the Tribes as subsistent living guaranteed by the Treaty of 1858. The ramifications of global warming and ocean acidification on the crab,  has not been fully studied. Not it has begun. The findings continue to build evidence that if we don’t get off our reliance on fossil fuels soon, we will likely see destruction of this valuable natural resource.

Millions of pounds of Dungeness crab are pulled from Pacific Northwest waters each year in a more than century-old ritual for commercial and recreational fishermen. But as ocean waters absorb more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, U.S. scientists are worried that the ocean’s changing chemistry may threaten the sweet-flavoured crustaceans. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are exposing tiny crab larvae to acidic seawater in laboratory experiments to understand how ocean acidification might affect one of the West Coast’s most lucrative fisheries. Research published this year found that Dungeness crab eggs and larvae collected from Puget Sound and exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide — which increases ocean acidity — grew more slowly and larvae were more likely to die than those in less corrosive seawater. Now researchers at NOAA’s Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center are taking the experiments a step further to study how the crabs respond to multiple stressors during various growth stages. They also plan to analyze the sublethal effects: Even if the crabs don’t die, are they affected in physiological or other ways by ocean acidification? (Associated Press)

Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs

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