Inslee proposes his latest climate-change budget. Seattle Times

Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday unveiled a new climate-change package that includes a renewed push for a clean fuels standard and capping some greenhouse-gas emissions. Other proposals would further electrify Washington’s ferry fleet and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, according to Inslee, and bring equity into environmental policy.Inslee’s plan comes as part of his new two-year budget proposal, and as lawmakers prepare to convene in January for the 2021 legislative session. Joseph O’Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslee-proposes-his-latest-climate-change-package-as-part-of-washington-budget-proposal/

Victoria and surrounding municipalities are no longer dumping untreated sewage into the ocean. Vancouver Sun

It’s about time…

Horgan replied that it took “an awful lot of people over an awful lot of decades, but we finally did the right thing.”

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/i-was-wondering-why-the-water-looked-so-clean-victorias-sewage-treatment-plant-up-and-running

Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council to discuss strategies for efficient restoration permitting

Puget Sound Canoe banner

MEDIA ADVISORY
December 14, 2020 MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Hyde, 360.819.3045, kevin.hyde@psp.wa.gov  

The Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council will meet on Thursday, December 17, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the December 17 Leadership Council meeting will be a virtual Zoom meeting for all participants and the public.  Join the meeting at https://zoom.us/j/93634358356?pwd=QmdOcDd4Snh3eUoxQVgrOTA2U2pqdz09 Meeting ID: 936 3435 8356, Password: 772966. Dial from any phone: 1-253-215-8782
Full Zoom instructions are included in the meeting agenda, which is available here: https://psp.wa.gov/board_meetings.php

Meeting highlights include: A presentation and decision about the Science Work Plan for 2020-2024. The presentation will include background and an overview of the plan. Presentation by Scott Redman, Science and Evaluation program director at the Puget Sound Partnership, and Katherine Wyatt, assistant science director at the Puget Sound Partnership.   A presentation for discussion about strategies for efficient restoration permitting. This session will include a discussion about opportunities to streamline federal permitting on habitat restoration projects and about connections to streamlining efforts at the state level. This session will be led by Jay Manning, chair of the Leadership Council, with Steve Manlow, executive director, Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, and Col. Xander Bullock, Seattle district commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  A presentation about the Puget Sound Partnership Nearshore Credits program. The program streamlines the permitting process for building residential or commercial in- and over-water structures and protects habitat for Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species within the nearshore ecosystem. Presentation by Larry Epstein, deputy director of the Puget Sound Partnership, and Ahren Stroming, special projects assistant at the Puget Sound Partnership.  A presentation on King County’s Clean Water, Healthy Habitat initiative. This session will include an introduction and overview of the Clean Water, Healthy Habitat initiative, and discussion about its connection to the Puget Sound Partnership’s accountability work and opportunities for collaboration. Presentation by Dow Constantine, King County executive, and Abby Hook, environmental affairs officer, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.  A presentation and discussion about conservation futures programs. This session will include a forum on a collaborative effort, led by the Salmon Recovery Council and its Funding Subcommittee, to identify potential enhancements to county-level Conservation Futures Tax (CFT) levy programs. Presentation by Larry Epstein, deputy director of the Puget Sound Partnership, and Jason Mulvihill-Kuntz, salmon recovery manager for Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish watershed.  A discussion about 2021 legislative priorities. The session will include context for the 2021 legislative session, an update about Project Olga, and discussion of proposed 2021 legislative priorities. The session will be led by Jay Manning, chair of the Leadership Council, Jeff Parsons, legislative policy director at the Puget Sound Partnership, and Ahren Stroming, special projects assistant at the Puget Sound Partnership. The full Leadership Council agenda and meeting materials are available at https://psp.wa.gov/board_meetings.php. These meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to provide comment and learn about the regional effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. If you need special accommodations to participate in this meeting, please notify Special Assistant to the Boards Anna Petersen at 360.338.2384.   About the Leadership Council The Leadership Council is the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Its seven members are leading citizens chosen from around the Sound and appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. Jay Manning currently chairs the Leadership Council.  About the Puget Sound Partnership The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency formed to lead the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. Working with hundreds of governments, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery. For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.

Washington State Dept of Fish and Wildlife proposes closing four trout hatcheries

As the State Legislature plans on meeting in January to come up with a budget for the biennium, all departments are being asked to reduce their budgets given the COVID-19 pandemic. The State WDFW has proposed some closures of trout hatcheries.

Per their document: If this reduction is taken, it would result in the closure of four trout hatcheries, including: Arlington Hatchery in Snohomish County, Chelan Hatchery in Chelan County, Naches Hatchery in Yakima County, and Mossyrock in Lewis County. Closure of these facilities would result in reduced production of West slope cutthroat, eastern brook, rainbow trout, brown trout, golden trout, tiger trout, and kokanee. This production represents 13.8% percent of the statewide trout production and contributes to recreational fishing opportunities which have an annual economic value of $75.3 million economies (based on Wegge, T. 2009 Technical Memo. Economic Analysis of WDFW Hatchery Programs with Seattle CPI inflator and WDFW angler survey data, 2019). This reduction would also result in limited ability to participate in inland enhancement cooperative programs and would eliminate critical hatchery maintenance and repairs by 32% across all facilities, increasing the chances of catastrophic failures and fish loss. The fishing opportunities supported by these facilities contribute to the agencies license sales, so the reduction also risks reducing revenue for the state wildlife account (24N). Washington’s trout hatcheries play an important role in recruiting new anglers into the sport and providing fishing access to users with diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

This blog will follow this issue as the months unfold.

Tires, Roads and Rain Gardens – Hakai Magazine

We have covered the issues of road runoff before, in articles done from the University of Washington research on Hwy 520. Now more science weighs in about runoff from car tires, recycled tires and the use of rain gardens to mitigate the issue. Also, Jefferson County has been actively trialing rain gardens, sometimes to the amusement of the public. This is another example of rain gardens possibly coming to the rescue.


A stealthy source of pollution leaves the highway in astonishing amounts and heads to sea, toxic chemicals and all. Laura Trethewey reports. (Hakai Magazine)

When Rubber Hits the Road—and Washes Away

“Three Seconds” #Film4Climate Winner

The grand prize winner of #Film4Climate. A powerful 4 minutes from Prince Ea and Spencer Sharp. Pass it on. Will there be a fourth second?

To see all the winning entries.

https://www.connect4climate.org/article/film4climate-competition-winners-announced

And more of the organization that brought this to you. Connect4Climate.org

The Challenge. Our network. Your Community.

Communicate change and accelerate real-world solutions through partnerships, competitions, events, and knowledge sharing.

  Take on climate change. Ending extreme poverty is impossible without tackling climate change. Now is the time to face the defining challenge of our generation.

  Collaborate for impact. Forge creative partnerships to advance solutions and bring new audiences into the climate change movement. Share experiences and knowledge.

  Communicate for action. Join an ever-growing community. Hear how others are taking on climate change and inspire by sharing your own stories. Contribute online and in person to grow the climate movement. Contribute by adding your voice to our community, and add your climate change content to our Connect4Climate Facebook Knowledge Group and our Facebook Student Group.

  Get involved. Play your part in the global climate change movement by sharing your experiences, resources, and knowledge. Have your say. Talk to us about developing innovative campaigns that will inspire, enthuse and reach new audiences.

  Go social. Contribute to our blogs and post on our Facebook page. Tweet your thoughts and ideas. Taken some good pictures or video? Upload on Instagram, Vimeo or YouTube, then tag us to let us know.

The long nightmare is over

For four years we have watched as an incompetent, angry man has wreaked havoc with politics in this country. Beyond bringing out the worse in many Americans, who continued to vote for him in record numbers, he has also caused the most environmental harm to them, his voters.

This blog reports on the environment, and Trump has decimated his voters over and over again by his lack of understanding, sympathy and ability to do things to help them as they struggle with an ever warming planet.

As I have reported here in the past, analysis of the 2016 election by the New York Times, and my comparison of where the California, Oregon and Washington wildfires were the worse, showed clearly that Trump dominated counties in the three states were the hardest hit by wildfires.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the south coast of the U.S. along with our
“protectorate” of Puerto Rico, has been devastated by a series of hurricanes. Trump’s incompetent administration has done almost nothing to help the people of those places after the fact, with minimal engagement and FEMA support. His angry diatribes against the leaders of Puerto Rico have done nothing but angered the voters there.

I and many others that care about the environment are gratified that we again have a leader that will lead by science and by example.

Closer to home, here in Jefferson County, a long time environmental leader was defeated in her bid to become a Jefferson County Commissioner. Lorna Smith conceded defeat to Heidi Eisenhower, a community activist with Non-profit or Non Governmental Organizational (NGO) roots. While we know that Ms. Eisenhower has stated a commitment to the environment, we will watch and see if she has the political will and ability to deliver. The lack of an ability of the Jefferson County Commissioners to reign in Joe D’Amico’s plans for an outdoor firing range and paramilitary training facility, passing the buck to the County Planning Commission (of which Lorna was a member), was one reason that this blog supported Ms. Smith’s campaign. To remind readers, the Planning Commission got the job done. We support politicians who can deliver on promises.

In additional good news, all our Democratic candidates on the Peninsula won re-election, along with the head of DNR and the Governor as well. This bodes well for positive steps being taken and Federal funding to help achieve our goals.

Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies – Washington Post

In a stunning set of announcements President Elect – Joe Biden’s team has announced that he will waste no time reversing the worse of President Trump’s dictates. The message on the environment is clear, “The U.S. is back and we care about the environment.” Now, we go on the offense rather than the defense. The interesting thing will be whether or not he has the ability, like LBJ, to get the Senate to come to the table to get things done.

Out of the announcement is the following, much hoped for statement.

Without congressional cooperation, however, Biden has said that he plans to immediately reverse Trump’s rollback of 100 public health and environmental rules that the Obama administration had in place.

Washington Post

Washington Post Story link here.

More on ‘murder hornets’ from local entomologist.

I’ve known Norm Baker for the last decade. He always has thoughtful information to share. While this is a comment in another post, I wanted to break it out to share more fully.


I am trained as an entomologist and am aware of the murder hornet and have been for many years. If this hornet becomes established and, that is quite likely, it will be a problem because of anaphylactic shock from the sting. When a hornet or yellowjacket or paper wasp sting, it isn’t a single injection. It is more like five or six injections in a very short row to get the maximum benefit or pain. Anaphylactic shock will be a matter of public safety and it may be necessary to broaden the purview of public safety a bit. I say this because being trained as an entomologist, I have seen two people go into anaphylactic shock after years, many years of working with insects and suddenly becoming susceptible to the sting or other insect protein. In one case, a 50-year-old woman researcher in the lab next to mine at U of M, had a cockroach run up her arm and she developed tiny red marks where the animal ran. A couple of months later, a cockroach escaped a culture cage, she grabbed it and put it back in. 20 minutes later she went into anaphylactic shock and if the lab technician and a couple of students had not been present, she would have died. In another case, a 55-year-old man who had worked with honeybees is entire professional life was so used to being stung, he simply ignored them. Unfortunately, he and a student were in the field and he got that one sting too many and started gasping for breath. If his graduate student had not been there, he would have died. Data on anaphylactic shock from insect stings, shows that 90% of the time, it looks like the person suffered a heart attack.

I read over the paper on where the Asian giant hornet can be expected to live and it is most of the Pacific Northwest. I can also tell from the eradication efforts by the Department of Agriculture, that all of their efforts still do not tell us if it is possible to control this animal. The problem is the fall dispersal of those queen hornets. They go into a kind of hibernation and in the spring, set up housekeeping very quickly and build a nest very quickly. My experience as an entomologist says this will eventually be a low level problem here in Clallam County. But, it will also take some training for EMTs and I can just about guarantee some of you police people are going to get involved indirectly because of the anaphylactic shock.

A lot of press time is devoted to the devastating effects of these hornets on bee colonies. What I have not seen is the use of a screen “excluder” that prevents the hornets from entering a beehive simply because they are much larger in size. It will simply be a matter of time before the nations beekeepers learn how to handle this hornet around their hives. The real concern here is anaphylactic shock that is passed off as a heart attack when no help is present and someone is stung.

But, there is more to the murder hornet then people really realize in this country.

For example take a look at this article; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/world/asia/murder-hornet-japan.html

Or even Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

Norm Baker, PhD

Orcas for Biden!

Local Jefferson county Democrat Jes Schumacher getting out the vote.

Jefferson County Dems Endorsements for 2020

For your voting choice. I support all of these endorsements. They are people we know will support environmental protection.

President/Vice President – Joe R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris

Governor – Jay Inslee
Lieutenant Governor – Denny Heck
Secretary of State – Gael Tarleton
State Treasurer – Mike Pellicciotti
State Auditor – Pat (Patrice) McCarthy
Attorney General – Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz
Superintendent of Public Instruction – Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler

Congressional District 6 – Derek Kilmer
State Representative Position 1 – Mike Chapman
State Representative Position 2 – Steve Tharinger
State Senator – Kevin Van de Wege

State Supreme Court Position 3 – Raquel Montoya-Lewis
State Supreme Court Position 4 – Charles Johnson
State Supreme Court Position 6 – G Helen Whitener
State Supreme Court Position 7 – Debra Stephens

Jefferson County Commissioner District 1 – Kate Dean
Jefferson County Commissioner District 2 – dual endorsement of Heidi Eisenhour and Lorna Smith. Both are long time Democratic supporters who support environmental protection. Differences will be covered in an upcoming post.

I am personally supporting Lorna Smith, who has many more years in government than Heidi does.

Referendum Measure 90 – APPROVE
Advisory Votes 32, 33, 34, and 35 – MAINTAIN
Senate Joint Resolution 8212 – APPROVE

What the pandemic has done to WA’s flagship shellfish industry – Crosscut

A very good article on the state of the shellfish industry in our state. Quotes from people here in the area working in the industry.

The pandemic tanked the shellfish industry, but growers are “tentatively optimistic” that things are looking up.

By Hannah Weinberger
Crosscut Article

Do we know enough to do anything about the sea lions of Puget Sound? -PSI


Chris Dunagan writes: “Scientists have known for years that Chinook salmon are important to southern resident orcas, but Chinook are not the only fish the whales eat. At the moment, chum salmon are returning to Puget Sound, and recent orca sightings suggest that the whales may now be feeding on chum. Harbor seals also eat Chinook salmon, but also chum, coho and other fish. They seem fond of smaller fish like herring and juvenile salmon. Oh, what a tangled food web we weave… Southern resident orcas are considered endangered. Puget Sound Chinook and steelhead are threatened. Harbor seals seem to be everywhere, hardly struggling to find food, at least as far as anyone can tell. So is it time to bring the powerful influence of humans into the equation by forcefully reducing the harbor seal population in Puget Sound? It’s a question that people have been pondering for years, but I’m not sure we’re much closer to an answer…” (Puget Sound Institute)

Do we know enough to do anything about all the seals and sea lions in Puget Sound?

Huge Smoke Cloud heading down the Strait

This in this morning. Port Angeles is already experiencing bad air.

To check on your specific air quality, go to the following link

https://enviwa.ecology.wa.gov/home/map

There is a super massive cloud of smoke outside of California and Oregon. The wind is changing direction and it’s coming this way today.

You should prepare. Let your family and friends know.
▶️Get supplies and create a box fan that filters the air around you. This video shows you how to make it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qr1Aj6D… Or, invest in a professional filtering device.
▶️Go shopping for any essentials today.
▶️If you don’t have to go out tomorrow, stay home.
▶️See air quality forecasts at http://wasmoke.blogspot.com
▶️More information to protect yourself from smoke at http://doh.wa.gov/smokefromfires

Comments sought on Cooke Aquaculture permit – Skagit Valley Herald

Yes, this is still an issue. Join in and put your input into Ecology if you care.


The state Department of Ecology is accepting comments on a draft permit that would allow Cooke Aquaculture to raise steelhead trout in four net pens in Puget Sound, including one near Hope Island in Skagit County. An online hearing Oct. 14 will allow the public an opportunity to learn about and comment on the draft water quality permit. Comment will be taken through Oct. 26. All documents and hearing information can be found [ecology.wa.gov/NetPenPermit]here, and comments can be submitted online. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Comments sought on Cooke Aquaculture permit

Wild Fish Conservancy submits lease proposal to take back public waters from the commercial open water net pen industry

Just when I thought that our environmental coalition was bankrupt of ideas and people willing to really fight for the environment, along comes this. The future of environmentalism. Let’s just buy out the economic exploiters destroying these sites. Get behind this. Tell Hilary Franz you want this done. She’s up for re-election and wants your donations. You have the power in you pocket. You will have plenty of wealthy businesses fighting this.


July 15, 2020: After the catastrophic collapse of Cooke Aquaculture’s Cypress Island open water net pen in 2017, the public came together to pass Washington’s landmark law banning nonnative Atlantic salmon net pen aquaculture in Puget Sound after the expiration of Cooke’s existing leases. Taking advantage of a loophole in the law, the company submitted a new proposal in fall 2019 to transition their facilities to native species in order to avoid the phase out of their Puget Sound net pens and to qualify for new leases for all sites.

The continued use of public waters for commercial net pen aquaculture directly undermines the will of the public who have fought tirelessly to protect Puget Sound from this industry and invested significantly in the recovery of wild salmon, steelhead, orcas, and the health of Puget Sound.” says Kurt Beardslee, executive director of the Wild Fish Conservancy. “The expiration of these leases comes less than once in a decade and offers the public a rare opportunity to work together to take back our sound and restore these waters after thirty years of rampant pollution and industrial use.”

In accordance with existing public-use regulations and in concert with obligations to fulfill tribal treaty rights, the campaign’s alternative, the Taking Back Our Sound Restoration Project, seeks to hold these lands in trust for the sole purposes of restoring these industrialized aquatic lands to their natural state for the restoration and conservation of threatened and endangered species, water quality, and the overall health and function of Puget Sound’s ecosystem; and restoring full access to 130 acres of aquatic lands to the public for their benefit, use and enjoyment.

Washington’s laws direct DNR to protect state-owned aquatic lands as a public trust and to strive for uses that ensure environmental protection, encourage direct use, and provide a balance of benefits for all citizens. As Cooke reapplies for each of its expiring or recently terminated leases, DNR will need to compare both applications and proposed uses against the state’s goals and philosophy for managing public lands, creating an unusual competition and leaving DNR with a precedent-setting choice to make—continue to lease these waters for the restoration of Puget Sound and use by all, or the degradation of public waters and profit of a few.

“To date, Commissioner Franz has shown exceptional leadership when it comes to holding Cooke Aquaculture accountable for our environmental laws and protecting Puget Sound from this industry” said Beardslee. “By choosing the Taking Back Our Sound proposal, Commissioner Franz will guarantee the public that these lands, currently degraded and restricted for private profit, will be restored and managed for the public’s benefit and use by all citizens.”

Throughout the coming months, the newly launched Taking Back Our Sound campaign will offer the public opportunities to make their voices heard on this important issue and to call on Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and DNR to make the Sound choice for Puget Sound and current and future generations.

Taking Back Our Sound is a new Our Sound, Our Salmon campaign to engage the public in a social movement to take back our waters from the commercial open water net pen industry to protect Puget Sound and restore the ecosystem for the use and benefit of all. Our Sound, Our Salmon is facilitated by Wild Fish Conservancy.

Wild Fish Conservancy is a nonprofit conservation ecology organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring the northwest’s wild fish and the ecosystems they depend on, through science, education, and advocacy.

###

For More Information visit: oursound-oursalmon.org/taking-back-our-sound

PDF of cover letter to Commissioner Franz.
PDF of this press release.

Contact:
Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director, Wild Fish Conservancy (206) 310-9301 kurt@wildfishconservancy.org
Emma Helverson, Director of Campaigns, WFC emma@wildfishconservancy.org

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

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,81131568159# US (Tacoma)

+16699006833,,81131568159# US (San Jose)

Getting dinner

Baila Dworsky caught this unusual duo last month.

Bailas Bird shot

The Elwha returns. Summer Steelhead survey on the river.

What Dam Removals Can Do for a River

Trout Unlimited produced a short video that shows the remarkable return of steelhead on the Elwha. Don’t miss this. Brought to you by Outside Magazine.

Rising from the Ashes, from Trout Unlimited, follows the scientists studying the summer steelhead resurgence in Washington’s Elwha River. Since the removal of the Elwha Dam in 2011 and the Glines Canyon Dam in 2014, these fish are now free to run from the Pacific Ocean up into the Olympic Peninsula.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2413366/steelhead-fish-return-elwha-river-washington-dam-removal?ct=t%28RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN%29#close

 

Jeff Co wins $1.2M for wetland restoration – PT Leader

A little belated good news for the county, Tarboo Creek and Discovery Bay.

The state Department of Ecology announced April 13 it secured seven National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants worth $5 million to help local partners restore coastal wetlands and 17,500 feet of marine shoreline in Jefferson, Kistap, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties.

https://www.ptleader.com/stories/community-partnerships-protect-forestland,69025

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