Good news from the coast

Seattle Times reports that.”West Coast fishery rebounds in rare conservation ‘home run’”

After years of fear and uncertainty, bottom trawler fishermen — those who use nets to scoop up rockfish, bocaccio, sole, Pacific Ocean perch and other deep-dwelling fish — are making a comeback here, reinventing themselves as a sustainable industry less than two decades after authorities closed huge stretches of the Pacific Ocean because of the species’ depletion.

Celebrate by buying some locally caught bottom fish tonight! It’s really important to reward these fishermen for their hard won successes. Many others went bankrupt waiting for this rebound to happen.


Time out for the holidays


Enjoy your friends and families while you have them. They aren’t there forever. See you after New Years. Thanks to all for following this blog for so long and to those who have donated. All of your support makes it all worthwhile. I leave you with all the best wishes. Go and recharge. The battles next year will be even more difficult.

Al the editor

Air Pollution May damage the brain. NY Times

This should give pause to anyone who is trying to raise children near a major road like a freeway or busy commercial highway. It would certainly make me turn down any type of house for sale near one in the future.An all electric vehicle fleet can’t come too soon.

DNR proposes new tax for protecting Washington from looming wildfire crisis

While some politicians at the national level continue to say that climate change is a hoax, and that there is no cost to doing business as usual, our west coast natural resources managers are well aware of the rising costs to protect us from the increase in wildfires around our states. DNR head Hilary Franz has just proposed a new tax to help properly fund her department, which has been suffering from a lack of appropriate funds coming from the Trump Administration.  This is the new normal under the Trump Administration, starve the States with a lack of Federal funding, and force you and I to fund saving our neighbors. To be clear, that is a losing battle. Spreading the costs across all our States, is a cheaper way to do this.

New insurance surcharge to fight wildfires to be proposed by Washington’s lands commissioner

Determined to create reliable funding to prevent and fight Washington wildfires, the state commissioner of public lands and some Democratic lawmakers are about to make a new push for revenue.


Puget Sound Partnership releases “State of the Sound” 2019

Let’s just let the Press Release speak for itself. Really, not good news after being chartered to solve this problem last decade. My comments are the highlighted bits.

December 2, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Bridgman, 206.276.5309,

2019 State of the Sound Report issues a Call to Action for Puget Sound Recovery

The latest biennial State of the Sound Report, released this week, stresses that “…we can still recover Puget Sound, but only if we act boldly now.” This is the scientifically informed assessment of the Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound.

The Report is clear that Puget Sound remains in grave trouble. The damaging effects of pollution, habitat degradation and disturbance persist. Southern Resident orcas, Chinook salmon, steelhead, and many other species are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Human well being is also affected, for example, by reducing fishing opportunities and threatening human health. Climate change impacts and continued population growth stand to increase pressures on an ecosystem already in peril.

The Report highlights the gravity of our current situation, but also emphasizes the outstanding work of our partners in recovery that has resulted in improvements in the condition of Puget Sound. As the Partnership’s Executive Director, Laura Blackmore states, “while this situation at times seems impossibly bleak, the thousands of passionate people who are devoted to seeing the return of a healthy and resilient Puget Sound give us hope.” This hope is exemplified with three inspiring stories of local communities coming together to advance recovery. The stories address 1) a project to pull up unnecessary pavement by hand at a Tacoma school, 2) a volunteer led effort to locate salmon blocking culverts in Clallam County, and 3) successful collaboration between fish, farm and flood interests in Snohomish County. Together they make a strong statement about how human well being and Puget Sound health are inextricably connected, and mutually reinforcing.

Sufficient funding for the priorities described in the Action Agenda for Puget Sound remains the biggest barrier to recovery. However, the Report’s Call to Action outlines many activities that governments and a range of other partners can do now, without additional funding. The recommendations in the Call to Action highlight how each of us must play our part, to bring the day closer when our rivers once again run clean and teem with salmon, and our shellfish are safe to harvest throughout Puget Sound.

The Report provides the latest information on the condition of the ecosystem—the Puget Sound Vital Sign indicators, made possible by the work of dozens of monitoring programs around the region—as well as statements from the Partnership’s Leadership Council and Science Panel. The Vital Sign indicators show that progress has been reported for 10 of the 52 indicators; however, only 4 indicators are currently meeting their 2020 targets.

This year’s Report also offers an enhanced website with a greater depth of content and data tools. A downloadable version includes both content from the website and further information on funding, legislative and policy developments, and other Puget Sound recovery management updates.

About the State of the Sound

The biennial State of the Sound report is intended to help our partners and decision makers better understand: (1) how well the recovery effort is going, (2) ecosystem health and progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals, and (3) the role each partner can play in achieving Puget Sound recovery. It also responds specifically to state statute (RCW 90.71.370(3)). This report reflects the work accomplished by hundreds of groups throughout the Puget Sound region, including governments, tribes, nonprofits, communities, scientists, and businesses. See

About the Puget Sound Partnership

The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Partnership brings together hundreds of partners to mobilize partner action around a common agenda (Action Agenda for Puget Sound), advance sound investments, and advance priority actions by supporting partners. For more information see

Crosscut Documentaries presents: The Rising

A new film about the Quinault and their struggle with climate change and ocean level rise.

Facing climate upheaval on Washington’s coast, members of the Quinault tribe take to the sea in the canoes of their ancestors.

Greta and Ella. The future is here.

I was doing a lot of thinking on the ride home from Seattle after a Thanksgiving dinner with my younger son and his partner. About the future of this planet and our civilization, as we reach the tipping point, something beginning to happen now. We are entering what Jackson Browne called, back in the 1970s, “The Deluge”. I think it fits. But  I was also thinking about two remarkable young women, one from our community and one from Europe, one is  Greta Thunberg and the other is Ella Ashford. They both show us a way to a new future.

Greta sees the world as her community. She has launched a one girl crusade that has outpaced anything that Joan of Arc could have accomplished. Or perhaps it’s what Joan could have achieved with Twitter and Facebook, along with no interference from a corrupt Catholic Church and French King.

Ella has seen her community as her world. She has accomplished much through her high school years on a local level, here in Jefferson County, leading a children’s crusade to teach her siblings and friends the wonders of being able to program technology for useful robotic tasks. This technology knowledge is key to our future. As we continue to refine our  3D augmentation of robotic devices, we will find  we don’t need to (and probably can’t) send humans to live on various worlds for extended periods. These worlds may hold the possibility of offering us resources we need to survive, (whether those worlds are under our oceans here on earth or somewhere else in the universe). We will need robotics to go into places like melted down nuclear power plants, polluted lakes and rivers, and much  more.  They will be remotely driving robots into fighting fires like at Paradise, or into oceans to destroy out of balance ecosystems. Those ecoystems might be those of the California coast, where the death of starfish has led to a disastrous overpopulation in sea urchins, devastating the kelp beds, which are the forests of the sea. These next generation leaders will also need to invent new ways of creating energy, making food, creating the jobs  and moving us towards the Green Economy that is already being created right now under our feet to allow us to possibly survive “The Deluge”. Our species is nothing if not creative. It may be our defining uniqueness.

Ella has shown outstanding ability to understand how to build and program these devices. And she has taught others how to do this. With the incredible support of her parents and community, her team of teens and pre-teens have placed in the upper echelons of global competition for robotic prototypes in competition against the best of college and high school. Let that sink in. They have been among the best in the world at doing this.

Ella and Greta have both left the nest, and are (at this moment) both in Europe. Greta is rallying her troops, young and old, to overturn the complacency of the population as it relates to climate change. There is little time left to do this. It may already be too late. We are already in the opening phases and its’ only going to get worse. We need brain power, and specifically young brain power, to solve this. Think about the next Bill Gates at 25 inventing a new way of computing that changed everything. Except this time, it’s just as likely to be a woman.

Ella is touring Europe, embarking on her year off between high school and college. Gaining the perspective of seeing the world of Europe, where the best and the brightest are now flocking, given the U.S. shutting it’s doors to them. This is an immense problem that the Trump Administration and many of our peers who support him apparently cannot see. Ella is meeting her peers that will help create the future. She plans on sailing to the South Pacific after that to see first hand what the people there are experiencing. She will likely see global warming beginning the destruction of those places and the fisheries they depend on. She will hopefully be able to use her skills to come up with new ways of approaching these problems. Or teaching people there something that may help them in their hour of need. Or perhaps, she’ll be the one learning from them.

At the very moment when we need young skilled students and workers from around the world, we are shutting them out. This is economic suicide. These young people will go to Europe and Canada, where they are welcome and do their research projects there. They will advance their skills, create the next Silicon Valleys for their new countries. They will perhaps find partners and put down roots.  The U.S. will be the loser for this, and, in fact, already is.

I have no idea what the future holds for Greta and Ella. But I hope that both of them take their skills where they are most needed and continue the work to lead their peers into the rest of the century. They are the future, and we wish them all the luck in the world.

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