State presents proposed cleanup plan for abandoned Rayonier site – PDN

The ongoing story of the cleanup of the environmental superfund site in PA. This site sits just east of the downtown, you can reach it as you take the walkway east from the port area. The hope and goal is to reclaim this for future generations.

Creation of open space for potential — though only occasional — use is included in a proposed cleanup strategy for the abandoned, still-polluted Rayonier pulp mill site and adjacent Port Angeles Harbor. The voluminous three-part study, and options it includes for the 75-acre industrial parcel east of downtown Port Angeles, were presented Wednesday at an Olympic Medical Center meeting room where some participants wanted more than that…To address soil pollution, 10 acres would be excavated to 1 foot deep and 0.5 acres to more than 1 foot. An additional 10 acres would be capped. To address groundwater pollution, air sparging — or the injection of air to disperse pollutants — would be employed to oxidize ammonia and metals in phases starting near the shoreline. To address sediment pollution in Rayonier’s portion of the harbor cleanup area — several other parties including the Port of Port Angeles are cleaning the western harbor — a log pond near a soon-to-be-removed 4-acre dock would be dredged. Sand, silt and gravel would be used as fill for dredged areas and berth and approach areas. It and the remainder of a sediment remediation area would be topped by a sand layer “to address sediment contamination and to provide suitable habitat,” according to the Volume 3 report. Cleanup costs of $24 million under the proposed plan will be borne by the land owner, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Rayonier Advanced Materials.  Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

State presents proposed cleanup plan for abandoned Rayonier site

EVENT: Movie – What Lies Upstream

Event Date:

Friday, December 7, 2018 – 7:00pm
Event Location:

Maier Performance Hall

Please join Peninsula College’s Magic of Cinema and the Sierra Club North Olympic Group on Friday, December 7th, at 7 p.m. in the Maier Performance Hall for a screening of What Lies Upstream.

In this documentary exposé, investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to study the unprecedented loss of clean water for over 300,000 Americans.

In January 2014 West Virginia citizens notice that their tap water has a peculiar smell. It is discovered that a mysterious chemical, MCHM, has leaked into the Elk River, poisoning the drinking-water supply for nearly half of West Virginia. Hoback arrives at the state’s capital during the heart of the crisis, his interest piqued by his family ties to the state and a desire to understand why this contamination happened. But getting to the bottom of this seemingly simple question is about to lead him down a rabbit hole of an unimaginable scale.

Initially all the blame seems to be directed at Freedom Industries, the company that spilled MCHM, the chemical that traveled downstream before entering the water intake. But locals reveal that Freedom Industries is only one small facility in the area they call “The Chemical Valley.” While it’s obvious that Freedom Industries plays a key role in this contamination, it is equally obvious that their chemical tanks were allowed to completely erode over time without proper government oversight or inspection.

As Hoback continues his investigation, he meets West Virginia Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman, who serves as the head of the state’s Department of Environment Protection, which regulates all the industry in the state and handles all inspections. Huffman admits that Freedom Industries’ tanks hadn’t been inspected since 1993, but initially dismisses fears that MCHM is harmful. At the same time, Dr. Rahul Gupta, who runs the local health department, is the only official who seems concerned that the chemical might have negative long-term health effects. Yet, despite little scientific evidence, the CDC determines what amount of MCHM is safe for residents to drink.

Hoback continues to expand his study of drinking water in West Virginia to include outlying areas, where it quickly becomes clear that coal and chemical production have gone unchecked for decades. Virtually all the rivers and streams aren’t suitable drinking water sources.

Upon examination, he discovers a shocking failure of regulatory framework from both state and federal agencies and a wrecked political system. While he’s deep into his work in West Virginia, a similar water crisis strikes Flint, Michigan supporting the case that the entire system to protect drinking water in America is fundamentally broken.

The film also focuses on the 80,000 plus chemicals used in the US that enter our sewer streams, contaminate our water systems, and create runoff threatening our food and waters

The public knows very little about what chemicals are in the water supply and even less about the weak regulations and enforcement practices meant to protect it. Just because you don’t live in West Virginia or Flint doesn’t mean your water is safe.

This screening is free and open to the public. Following the film, there will be a speaker on WA State water pollution.

For more information contact Dr. Helen Lovejoy@ hlovejoy@pencol.edu.

 

Clallam County withdraws Finding of Non Significance for Dungeness Spit aquaculture project

As some of you may know, there has been a proposal to put a oyster farm with approx. 150,000 bags of oysters in an approx. 34 acre section of the nearshore inside Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is closed to virtually all human activity other than walking on the Spit. It is illegal to fly a kite there or throw a Frisbee.  The application for the farm to go in, drew widespread condemnation from a wide range of citizens, including a very detailed letter of concerns from the project leader of the Wildlife Refuge, which was detailed in an earlier article on this news site. https://olyopen.com/2018/04/10/concerns-raised-over-dungeness-spit-oyster-farm-application/

The project has raised questions from many about the appropriateness of allowing commercial aquaculture inside a national wildlife reserve. Similar issues are being raised across the country as Scott Pruitt, the head of the Department of Interior continues  “opening new mineral and oil and gas leasing opportunities in protected lands, easing drilling regulations, and rolling back habitat protections for endangered species” (National Geographic 2/2/2018) including Bears Ears National Monument, which includes sacred locations of a number of tribes.

The Clallam County Department of Community Development has announced the withdrawal of  the Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) issued on February 23, 2018 for the preparation of a site specific Environmental Assessment to address the impacts to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and other issues raised.

The Army Corps of Engineers also weighed in, stating that the project would be evaluated as a “Standard Individual Permit” so not eligible for a nationwide permit, which would have allowed the county to proceed on a DNS. The Corp stated that the impacts would be “more than minimal”.

A six month continuance was approved for the preparation of this document.

DCD will reopen the comment period when it is completed.

The full announcement is here:

20180511103337 Dungeness Spit

 

EVENT:The Battle Against Light Pollution – Thursday, May 17 at 6 PM

The Battle Against Light Pollution will be held on  Thursday, May 17 at 6 PM in the Port Angeles Library Carver Meeting Room, 2210 South Peabody Street.  It is being hosted by the Sierra Club North Olympic Group as part of its free series of public programs.

Come peer through the lens of the International Dark-Sky Association — its efforts to combat light pollution and recognize Dark Sky Preserves.

Explore light pollution causes, effects on wildlife and human health, and its carbon footprint.

Learn some astronomy and about our connection to the night sky.

Hear how to effectively fight and eliminate light pollution.

It’s a fight we can win, if we have the will, say David W. Ingram, Chapter Leader of Dark Skies Northwest (DSNW and John L. Goar, Astronomy Outreach Volunteer for Olympic National Park and member of the International Dark-Sky Association. (IDA)

The IDA is a non-profit organization based in Tucson, AZ.  It is dedicated to preserving the natural nighttime environment by educating policymakers and the public about night sky conservation and promoting environmentally friendly methods to provide minimally intrusive outdoor lighting.

Ingram’s leadership covers Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.  His work as an IDA chapter leader includes education and public outreach presentations and support and empowerment to private citizens, conservation and environmental organizations, schools, local, state and national organizations.

Ingram retired from the Boeing Company after a 34-year career in aviation and space technology.  His personal focus on science, the night sky and amateur astronomy began in Indiana during his high school years in the mid-1960s.  Over the past decades, he has joined numerous astronomy societies and related organizations and now serves as the Boeing Employees’ Astronomical Society President, the Seattle Astronomical Society Vice President of Education, and the IDA/Dark Skies Northwest (DKNW) representative to a number of astronomy societies in the Puget Sound area.  In addition to his IDA chapter leader duties with

DKNW, Ingram provides volunteer time to the summer astronomy program at Glacier National Park in Montana.  Learn more at  <www.darksky.org>

John L. Goar teaches high school science at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo WA. In addition to being the Astronomy Outreach Volunteer for Olympic National Park, and winning the 2016 George and Helen Hartzog Volunteer National Park Service Award, Goar is an officer of the Olympic Astronomical Society and the Astronomical League (Binocular Messier Program Coordinator and Asteroid Observing Program Coordinator), as well as Secretary of the Olympic Astronomical Society, Bremerton, WA.

Goar is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley.  As a student project, he built a 12.5 inch Dobsonian telescope, and later built a 20 inch diameter mirror scope.  Goar has been an amateur astronomer since 2000, and is passionate about preserving dark night skies.  He has led free public telescope programs at Hurricane Ridge for eight summers, while also leading full moon hikes to Hurricane Hill.

Goar is a certified master observer with the Astronomical League, a confederation of astronomy clubs in the US. Hwas also awarded the Presidential Lifetime Service Award in 2017 by President Barack Obama.

Information and a schedule for summer astronomy programs in 2018 can be found at his website: <www.olympictelescope.com>

David W. Ingram                            John L. Goar

https://sierraclub.org/washington/north-olympic

MEDIA RELEASE

Contact:  Darlene Schanfald

Sierra Club North Olympic Group

360-681-7565

 

 

EVENT: Day of Science in Port Angeles – APRIL 22nd.

Science Celebration Flyer final

Port Angeles, Combined Sewer Overflow system builder in $1 million dispute – PDN

It seems that Port Angeles can’t do any kind of city project without cost overruns or scandals. It makes one wonder is overseeing their project management and bid process. It’s worth noting that a leading environmental activist over there, Darlene Schanfeld,argued against spending the money on this project in the first place, as it’s being built on a piece of property that is very likely to be inundated in any kind of major earthquake. The taxpayers of PA can only hope that comes later than sooner.

A $1 million dispute centered on building delays and construction costs has bubbled up between city officials and the builder of key components of the city’s new $47 million Combined Sewer Overflow system, the priciest public works project in the city’s history. An auditing firm will review Bellingham-based TEK Construction Inc. records today for the city, Public Works and Utilities Director Craig Fulton told City Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/port-angeles-combined-sewer-overflow-system-builder-in-1-million-dispute/

Photo of the Day – Tiger Rockfish

Another beauty by Bruce Kerwin. Used by permission. Taken off the Rock Pile in Port Angeles Harbor. This is the area that is slated for demolition by the Navy.

DSC_2509 Tiger Rockfish - The Rockpile - Port Angeles 10-4-2014

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BruceKerwinKU/posts/LN7YrrG1Rhk?pid=6067645203539598098&oid=111304016964445915403

Oil platform headed for Port Angeles near mouth of Strait – PDN

It apparently is already in.

The Polar Pioneer oil rig, which is headed for Port Angeles Harbor, was near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday afternoon. The 355-foot-tall oil drilling platform was headed east at over 6 knots. The floating platform’s tugs, Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave, were expected to arrive with the platform sometime after 2 a.m. today, according to a vessel tracking website, www.marinetraffic.com. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20151028/NEWS/310289989/oil-platform-headed-for-port-angeles-near-mouth-of-strait

Polar Pioneer oil rig set to make return to Port Angeles Harbor, though arrival date is uncertain – PDN

The visible symbol of our collective destruction of the arctic ecosystem will be on display in PA harbor soon. Don’t blame the oil rig folks, it’s like saying that the needle is the cause of the addiction. Getting rid of the drill doesn’t change our need for the oil, only your personal choices will do that. And government policies to help you make that choice. Don’t look for those policies in Port Angeles. The County Commissioners would need a significant change of stripe to help them see that they are part of the problem, not the solution.

The Polar Pioneer oil rig will once again loom over the waters of Port Angeles Harbor. The 355-foot-tall rig was in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Monday for a brief stopover with the Noble Discoverer rig after exiting the Alaskan Arctic and before heading farther south, Shell Oil Co. spokeswoman Megan Baldino said Monday. The Noble Discoverer will make its way to the Port of Everett. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20151012/NEWS/310129968/polar-pioneer-oil-rig-set-to-make-return-to-port-angeles-harbor

Olympic Climate Action Meeting – May 3 – 3 to 5 in PA

Our next OCA meeting will be this Sunday, May 3, from 3-5 pm at the Clallam County Courthouse “After-Hours” entrance on 4th St. to the west of the flagpoles.  Current and planned actions will be discussed.

“NICKNAME THE RIG” CONTEST:  And the winner is…No-Solar Profiteer!  Submitted by OCA member Adrian Hoban, who also submitted the first runner-up:  Drill Maybe Spill…congratulations, Adrian!  Second runner-up was OCA member Shelley Lesh for her entry “Earth Bleed”.  Adrian wins a $10 gift certificate to the Port Angeles Farmers Market, where he can buy a variety of locally-produced low-carbon products.

Speaking of the Profiteer, we’ve been invited by the Clallam County Democrats to speak about the rig and the dangers it poses to the Arctic and the world, May 13 at 6 pm.  More detailed press release to follow from the CCD’s.

Ed Chadd

Olympic Climate Action

Citizens addressing the threat of climate change on the Olympic Peninsula

Clallam County, Washington State, U.S.A.

Working to save the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center Natural Resources Program

Ed Chadd has sent this out and I thought I would share it with our readers. Please help save this great program that is educating kids in our natural resources.

—————————————

Dear supporters of the NOPSC Natural Resources program,

It appears that there will be one final and very reasonable chance to save the Skills Center Natural Resources program at the upcoming NOPSC Administrative Council meeting:

Tuesday, April 28 at 9 am at the Skills Center (905 W. 9th St., Port Angeles)

You can do any or all of the following:

1. Attend the meeting and invite as many other people as you can.

  1. Be prepared to speak if the opportunity presents itself.
    3. Write statements in support of the NR Program and email them to Tara Morrow (tmorrow1008@gmail.com– cc’d here). Please include your name and physical address.
    4. Send those same statements directly to the NOPSC Administrative Council and PASD School Board (email addresses below).

    If you have any questions or time to contribute in ways beyond the items listed above, please respond.

Some interesting recent developments include these:

* The State AG’s office has informed PASD and NOSPC that the Administrative Council meetings should but have not been following the Open Public Meetings Act. One penalty is that all actions taken at out-of-compliance meetings are null and void.
* This upcoming week, PASD’s Business and Finance Director plans to produce the official Natural Resources program financial report and have it available at the 4/23 PASD School Board meeting in case any School Board members ask to see it (she has never been asked to create a financial report for the NR program).
* A very reasonable solution that could be pursued, if decision makers are willing, is to run the NR program as “CTE Instructional Worksite Learning” instead of “Alternative Learning Experience (ALE).” The current program structure fits both of these sets of state rules, but in 2010, NOPSC decided to run the NR Options and NR 2 classes through the ALE rules.  Changing to CTE would address a concern about ALE, namely that CTE is funded at a higher rate than ALE, and it would allow all parties to compromise while still offering this valuable program.

Thanks, Ed Chadd

Avian bird flu found in chickens near Port Angeles – PDN

The Peninsula Daily News is reporting that a small farm outside of PA has had it’s chickens destroyed after finding avian flu in the birds. A quarantine is being setup near PA for farm animals. If you happen to see a dead bird in your yard, use gloves to bag it and bring it into the county health department, noting where you found it. If you don’t do that, then throw it in the garbage.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150120/news/301209998/avian-flu-found-on-north-olympic-peninsula-domestic-birds-destroyed

Return of the River – A homerun of a movie for Gussman and Plumb

Just got out of the world premiere of  ‘Return of the River”, the film that likely will be considered the definitive work on the Elwha Dam removal.  This film, years in the making, was a labor of love for the two Peninsula based filmmakers, John Gussman and Jessica Plumb. And it was great to see it premiered here at the Port Townsend Film Festival.

The film tracks in detail the history of the dam, but more importantly the place that is the Elwha River, the feel for the Olympic Peninsula then and now, and a great depth of interviews with people that were instrumental, on both sides of the controversial project.  It is impossible not to come away impressed with the idea that hard things to do take a long time, and a lot of consensus building. From the interviews with leading politicians, mill managers, environmentalists, writers, biologists, and most importantly, the tribal members of the Lower Elwha Tribe, who never gave up hope to bring back the historic runs. There were so many people who played significant small roles in this drama. Gussman and Plumb treated all with the respect they deserve. There are no demeaning ‘heroes and villains’ caricatures.

It is almost trite to say that certain stories are ‘epic’ and ‘pivotal’ but the removal of the Elwha Dam has been just that. It has galvanized world attention more than almost any other single environmental event of the last ten years, because it is a message of hope. Hope that we can restore what we have destroyed. Gussman and Plumb have captured that story, distilled it to 70 minutes, and given fair treatment to all sides, and points of view. More than ever, we need stories of hope in the face of ever mounting environmental problems to solve.

In the last week, I’ve posted the story that bull trout have been seen in the upper Elwha for the first time in a century. Also that the shores of the Elwha estuary are turning back into a clam bed capable  sand spit. The power of restoration is an amazing thing to watch.  The restoration of this river, with it’s unique short run from sea to protected park, is possible, and is happening, right now, in front of our eyes for just taking the time to go look.

Gussman and Plumb, along with the rest of their crew, have given us the story, in all it’s facets. A well crafted storyline, beautiful filmmaking, solid editing, a wonderful original soundtrack, animation when needed of the hard concepts.

Congratulations for a remarkable piece of work. A 5 star must see film.

Port Angeles Begins Work on Landfill Nearshore Restoration

Received from Anne Schaeffer of the Coastal Watershed Institute:

On Tuesday, 12 August 2014, Jamie Michel, CWI nearshore biologist and Kathryn Neal, City of Port Angeles, updated NOAA, DFW, and DNR management on key priorities for the Elwha nearshore and the City of Port Angeles. The city, after literally a decade of urging by the local citizens, local and regional scientists and managers, has taken the first step to solve the problem of the City of Port Angeles landfill.

If done well part of this solution will optimize upcoming sediment delivery from Elwha dam removals, reverse 100 years of sediment starvation, and protect/restore critical nearshore of the feeder bluffs of the Elwha nearshore.

CWI continues to lead this dialog and is dedicated to collaboratively realizing solutions that benefit the community and the Elwha nearshore-and the national resources it supports. It’s been a surprisingly challenging effort to get these world class nearshore management issues and restoration opportunities onto the action radar of a few of our state and federal management agencies. Thankfully WDFW, DNR, DoE, the CoE, and EPA are helping. And with leadership from Sissi Bruch, Dan McKeen, and Craig Fulton we are now making headway.

 

Pictures and details on our blog:http://www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org/blog/.

 

Anne Shaffer

Coastal Watershed Institute

P.O.Box 2263

Port Angeles, Washington 98362

anne.shaffer@coastalwatershedinstitute.org

360.461.0799

www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org

 

Peninsula marine life centers losing sea stars to mysterious disease – PDN

Visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula’s two major marine science centers are likely to see few sea stars. Sea star wasting disease, which has decimated wild populations, also is tearing through captive collections. The disease has accelerated this summer, said staff members at both the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Marine Life Center. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the rest of the story at the Peninsula Daily News. Subscribe and support local journalism.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140728/NEWS/307289990/peninsula-marine-life-centers-losing-sea-stars-to-mysterious-disease

‘Tides of Change’ explores the health of ocean waters off North Olympic Peninsula – PDN

“Tides of Change” is a new Science Minute Movie by the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of Olympic National Park with coastal ecologist Steve Fradkin as he traverses “one of the most wild, scenic coastlines in North America” to monitor the health of the park’s rocky intertidal community. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the whole story:

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140317/NEWS/140319981/video-8212-tides-of-change-explores-the-health-of-ocean-waters

Oak Street property eyed for marine science, conference center in Port Angeles – PDN

Looks like the Feiro might be expanding and moving. Good news!

… The 1.96-acre waterfront site — a former log yard — could be the new home for the Feiro Marine Life Center and a 5,800-square-foot shared conference center, said Deborah Moriarty, director of the center now housed in a city-owned building on City Pier. Paul Gottlieb and Arwyn Rice report.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140109/NEWS/301099983/oak-street-property-eyed-for-marine-science-conference-center-in

Enrollment now open for environmental project work for high school to 21 year olds

imageThe Skills Center Natural Resources program gets you outside doing real work in the environment.  We offer project-based classes to high school-aged students (up to 21 years old without a diploma) across the North Olympic Peninsula.  All classes include hands-on field work, offer high school and college credit, and help students transition to the next step of internship, college or career.

Enrollment is open now for second semester, which starts at the end of January.

Classes in Port Angeles include the new ‘Cultural and Natural Resources 1’ class, which meets after lunch daily, and 5 different ‘Natural Resources Options’ that meet after school one day per week.  Sequim and Forks each have three different ‘Natural Resources Options’ that meet after school one day per week.

For more information or to enroll, please contact teacher Dan Lieberman at 360-565-1892, dlieberman@portangelesschools.org, or www.nopsc.org/naturalresources.

 

image

Job Opening – Feiro Marine Life Center in PA

Here’s a great way to start the year.  A new job!

Position Open – Education and Volunteer Director 

Feiro Marine Life Center is a public, non-profit marine education facility located on the Port Angeles City Pier. The facility houses a hands-on marine exhibit with local near shore species, a classroom and an equipped laboratory. Feiro Marine Life Center has over 20,000 visitors annually and provides programs for over 3,000 school students. Feiro is growing both in programs and in size and is planning to build a new facility over the next few years.

Visit http://www.feiromarinelifecenter.org to learn more about the organization.

Position Available: Education and Volunteer Director

Description: Feiro Marine Life Center is looking for a full-time Education and Volunteer Director to lead marine science education programs and coordinate the volunteer program at a small, but growing, marine life center. The individual would work with numerous community partners in program development and implementation. The applicant would also work with interns and/or volunteers to assist with teaching and to provide training to enhance programs. Programs are generally focused on marine and ocean life, but may include additional components including underwater remotely operated vehicles, solar and wind or stormwater education.

Required background or experience: Extensive professional experience planning, implementing and delivering educational programs, preferably some of which is in non-traditional settings (i.e. outside of the classroom). A degree in marine biology or demonstrated equivalent experience or expertise and experience building and maintaining partnerships is essential.

Preferred background: Familiarity in state learning standards and relevant national standards. Experience managing volunteers and/or volunteer docents. Experience with web work, social media, and grant writing. Must be outgoing, organized and able to work independently, and as a part of a team.

Salary: $35,000-$40,000 DOE

To Apply: 

Please send resume and cover letter (including two references) to:

Deborah Moriarty

Feiro Marine Life Center

PO Box 625

Port Angeles, WA

98362

Deadline for applications: January 15, 2014

Or electronically to deborahm@feiromarinelifecenter.org

Earth Economics – A new way of valuing ecosystems

David Batker of Earth Economics

David Batker of Earth Economics presents their analysis of Clallam County ecosystems.

The Quarterly meeting of the Strait Environmental Recovery Network (ERN) met on Friday in Port Angeles. The ERN is chartered by the Puget Sound Partnership to get organizations together to prioritize work on recovery projects along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This month, we had David Batker, chief economist and Executive Director, of Earth Economics report on their work done for Clallam County. EE created a report called “Policy Implications of the Economic Benefits of Feeder Bluffs and 12 other Ecosystems” as part of the SMP. Sound boring? Think again…

EE has formed some new models to help understand the economic benefits of these ecosystems and their recovery. This is really revolutionary analysis. Constantly, opposition to environmental programs  rail about how fixing the environment is “too expensive” and “costs jobs”. This analysis turns that on it’s head. It makes it very hard to argue that it isn’t the *right thing* to fix the environment, from a purely economic perspective.

EE has done work around the world, and this is really ground breaking stuff. You can find more about them at http://www.eartheconomics.org.

The entire talk can be downloaded or listened to at:

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