Friends of Fort Worden launches ‘Nix the Nox!’ campaign

Friends of Fort Worden State Park is launching a “Nix the Nox!” fundraising campaign to raise $25,000 for restoring natural habitat and increasing safety for park visitors.

“Our focus for the funds will be controlling noxious invasive plant species,” said Janine Anderson, a member of the Friends board who prefers to promote native Northwest plants. “We’re giving special emphasis to poison hemlock.”

Poison hemlock is highly toxic to the touch and can be fatal if ingested, Anderson said. It has spread widely in the past five to 10 years, and its presence in the most-visited parts of the park is a significant health hazard.

“You can see it along many trails and in hillside campsites and beach areas,” she said.

Donations to the Friends Challenge Grant will be combined with $5,000 from an anonymous donor. The funds will support efforts of volunteers, two AmeriCorps positions already funded by the Friends, and professional services for noxious weed control.

To make a tax-deductible donation, people can visit the Friends website at fwfriends.org. If you have questions, send an email to contact@fwfriends.org.

“Our Nix the Nox campaign is our largest multiyear commitment to restoring the natural habitat of the park,” Anderson said. “Donations will help keep Fort Worden one of Washington’s magical treasures.

The project is contingent on our success in raising the needed funds and final board approval of the funding, she said.

Friends of Fort Worden is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that strives to preserve and enhance the state park as a recreational, historical, educational, and natural resource. It works closely with park management and 14 other partner organizations in the park to provide help where and when we can.

“The Friends bring so much support to Fort Worden,” said Park Manager Brian Hageman. “They contribute to great park improvements that enhance the experience of our park patrons.”

EVENT: Beyond Waste Action Group 9/10

Beyond Waste Action Group – Local 20/20 – Tues  September 10th
The Beyond Waste Action Groupmeets the second Tuesday of each month at either 10:30 a.m.-12:00 or 7pm-8:30pm, depending on the month.  The group looks at a number of issues including food-waste composting, plastics reduction and recycling, reduction of garbage on an individual and community level, and various other waste-related topics that spontaneously come up during the meeting.  Newcomers are always welcome. Email Lisafor info on monthly agenda and meeting time and venue. Location: Uptown PT.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Location:  contact Lisa.

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

Check out Kai Tai Prairie Preserve!

From Jerry Gorsline:

20190331_112124The Spring bloom sequence has begun at the Port Townsend Kah Tai Prairie Preserve with the appearance of Spring Gold and Blue Eyed Grass (photo). Here’ the story of how this little botanical gem came to be preserved:

In the mid-1980s amateur botanists with the Olympic Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society noticed some unusual plants located in a couple of acres within the Spring Valley Golf Course, known today as the Port Townsend Municipal Golf Course.

Experts subsequently identified the area as a relic of the native prairie that once filled the Kah Tai Valley, also known as SPRING VALLEY. Located between the STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA and Port Townsend Bay, the valley once consisted of open prairies and estuaries. In the view of James McCurdy, native son of Port Townsend pioneers, the valley was a botanical delight: “Myriads of wild flowers transformed the valley floor into a many-hued carpet.”

Early development had quickly transformed most of this landscape; however, due to benign neglect this one small area within the golf course, “disguised,” as the Port Townsend Leader wrote, “as a ‘rough’ and thought of as little more than a bad place to lose your golf ball.” The site became the focus of conservation efforts and, when expanded facilities were proposed for the golf course, the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society intervened, proposing in November 1986 that their organization be given a management role “with regard to the rare native plants that exist at the Spring Valley Golf Course.”

At first, claims made by Native Plant Society members that the site should be protected were perceived as a threat by golfers, and its claimants dismissed by the presiding Port Townsend mayor as mere “posy lovers.” However, when the City Park Board passed a motion to recommend the City Council accept the proposal submitted by the Native Plant Society, the Kah Tai Preserve was formally designated by the City in 1987.

Since that time, this remnant 1.4 acre prairie has been the focus of preservation and restoration by members of the Native Plant Society. Over 90 different species have since been identified, 27 of which represent “prairie indicator species” (indicating environmental conditions suitable for a community of related species), and the importance of this prairie remnant has been recognized by the Washington Natural Heritage Program. In addition, conservation efforts have not degraded the golf experience and, with the Preserve available for public viewing, has enhanced the site for the community as a whole.

With years of work from dedicated volunteers, the prairie is a stunning sight in the spring, starting with the early blooming grass widows (Olsynium douglasii) and progressing seasonally to the fields of brilliant blue camas (Camassia quamash).  The blue palette of the camas is mixed with white, yellow, and pink from the buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), Pomo celery (Lomatium utriculatum), old man’s whiskers (Geum triflorum), and death camas (Zygadenus venenosus).  The heat of summer brings out the yellow and purple of dwarf goldenrod (Solidago spathulata) and showy fleabane (Erigeron speciosus).

Regular work parties have focused on stabilizing prairie plant communities and diligently battling ever-present weeds. Although the native rose and snowberry shrubs are thriving at the prairie, the goal is to promote herbaceous prairie species.  To this end the prairie has been mowed regularly in the fall and selectively burned in 2000 and in 2008 with help from the Nature Conservancy, the City of Port Townsend, and the Port Townsend Fire Department. The following growing season after burning yielded the immediate reward of a spectacular bloom. Other prairie preservation projects include seed collecting from the site and growing plants in the nursery for re-introduction to disturbed areas of the prairie. 

Research projects at the Kah Tai Prairie Preserve include the planting of golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) in 2004. Seeds from this plant, which is on the federally endangered plant species list, were collected from the last 11 known sites. Kah Tai Prairie is the nearest location with a similar habitat to these remaining wild populations. The surviving golden paintbrush are monitored annually to determine the success rate, with findings recorded in the database of Natural Heritage Program. In addition, the Preserve was one of the sites selected for a research project to determine the genetic distribution of camas by indigenous people, for whom camas was an important food source.

Many college and school groups have visited the Preserve as part of ongoing restoration and educational programs.

http://www.wnps.org/olympic/projects/kahTaiPrairie/

Kailin, Doyle honored with Eleanor Stopps environmental award – PDN

A 99 year old doctor from Sequim who was pivotal in stopping both a nuclear plant that was planned for the Miller Peninsula (just west of Cape George) as well as the planned Northern Tier pipeline that was planned to run through the waters off Protection Island, was honored with the Eleanor Stopps annual environmental award. Along with Dr. Eloise Kailin, young Sara Doyle was also a co-recipient, the first time the award was given to two people, and the youngest person to receive it. Doyle has been the Stewardship coordinator for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. Eleanor Stopps was the woman who worked tirelessly for over a decade to turn Protection Island into a National Wildlife Refuge in 1982.

Read more on the story at the Peninsula Daily News

Kailin, Doyle honored with Eleanor Stopps environmental award

 

Port Townsend Marine Science Center offers admission by donation to Natural History Exhibit

Pilot program will run through March 25

 

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – The Port Townsend Marine Science Center announced today it is offering “admission by donation” to the Natural History Exhibit through March 25. The exhibit, which features “Learning From Orcas: The Story of Hope,” is open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m., with last admission at 4 p.m.
“We would all like to see more visitors in the Natural History Exhibit, especially this time of year,” said PTMSC Executive Director Janine Boire. “Because we want to serve people from all walks of life, our admission pricing is already low, but even this can be a barrier for some visitors to Fort Worden State Park and from our community.
“We are hoping that this test period between now and the end of March will provide information about how we can best serve our community and visitors alike,” Boire said.
The “pay-as-you-wish” policy has, in recent years, been tested by museums across the county. A 2010 study reported in Science magazine measured the success of selling some souvenir photographs at a fixed price and others for whatever buyers were willing to pay. Researchers found that the greatest revenue came when consumers were informed that a percentage of what they paid went to a charitable cause.
“When visiting the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, we hope our
guests will support our many programs and contribute to our cause —
inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea — by offering a donation
instead of paying admission,” Boire said.
The PTMSC provides place-based, people powered, hands-on learning for all ages, including youth camps, exhibits of marine flora and fauna, educational and historical displays, citizen science programs and community-based lecture series.
The Natural History Exhibit will implement the admission-by-donation policy immediately.
The Marine Exhibit, located on the pier, is closed during the winter and is not affected by the admission-by-donation policy at this time.
“Once we have a couple of months of data to review and compare to past years, we will decide how best to proceed with our admissions policy for our public exhibits starting in the spring,” Boire said.
To view year-round exhibit hours, visit https://ptmsc.org/left-menu/visit-us.
About the Port Townsend Marine Science Center 
Founded in 1982, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center is a non-profit 501c3 educational organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea. The PTMSC provides place-based, people powered, hands-on learning for all ages including youth camps, exhibits of marine flora and fauna, educational and historical displays, citizen science programs and community-based lecture series. Located at Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Wash., the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit. For more information, including public hours, visit www.ptmsc.org.

Job Opening in PT

From Amy Leitman:
I am looking to hire someone to help fill some of my shoes here at Marine Surveys & Assessments. The position that I need to fill here in PT needs to have some experience working with agencies and/or clients and have worked through project conflicts. Biology background  required.  I am mostly looking for someone to pick up some of my responsibilities…
1. project management
2. RFP/RFQ Grant applications
3. Client/Agency interactions
4. Misc critical area site visits
5. Misc ESA and Critical Area report writing
I need someone who will not shirk from conflict and is happy to work in a dynamic and fluid work environment with lots of perks, team work, and interesting ecological puzzles.
Obviously, I would need someone to live near PT and/or at least come in 3 days a week.
Lots more information available. I would ideally like to see:
1. A cover letter
2. A resume
3. A short sample of writing
Call or email for more information as I look for my cinderell/a.
Thanks so much for passing the word around to qualified folks.
Amy Leitman
marine.surveys.inc@gmail.com

P/T JOB OPENING: Program Assistant Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee

A part time position available for someone with program coordination.

mrc-program-assistant-descript_1-26-2017_page_1mrc-program-assistant-descript_1-26-2017_page_2

Port Townsend drinking water free of toxins despite algae growth, officials say – PDN

Another possible effect of global warming? The end of our water source for Port Townsend. This is a canary in the coal mine kind of event. It isn’t necessarily about to end, but if this becomes a normal event, which is likely as the planet warms, then we need to start working on finding an alternative source of water, or a way to make the water purified.

Although recent tests on Port Townsend’s reservoirs have discovered they contain blue-green algae, which can create toxins, the water is safe for drinking, city officials said. City Manager David Timmons said Wednesday that results of tests for toxins, which arrived Sept. 20, showed levels lower than the minimum detection level. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/port-townsend-drinking-water-free-of-toxins-despite-algae-growth-officials-say/

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

Navy, Noise and Sealife – News & Event

From the people at The West Coast Action Alliance and the Olympic Forest Coalition
http://westcoastactionalliance.org and http://olympicforest.org

Noise in the sea is killing and injuring wildlife. The numbers are shocking. The online news organization Truthout published their top story this morning, on the excessively high numbers of marine mammals the US Navy is allowed to “take” as a result of exploding mines and bombs and using sonar in sensitive habitats during testing and training exercises. Truthout senior investigative reporter Dahr Jamail researched and wrote it after noticing this post from the West Coast Action Alliance:

Coincidentally, the New York Times wrote last week that Navy sonar “cannot be ruled out as cause of death” for dolphins in Southern California.

Which brings us to this: 23 organizations are sponsoring a showing of the movie “Sonic Sea” on Monday, May 23 from 7-9 PM at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF) in Port Townsend, Washington, 2333 San Juan Avenue. The eye-opening film reveals how noise from Navy sonar, drilling operations and everyday vessel traffic adversely impacts whales and other sea life. (Watch trailer here.)  A donation of $10 is suggested at the door.

Two world renowned experts and cast members will be at the screening – Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research and Michael Jasny of the National Resources Defense Council. They will speak and, after the film, lead a Q&A session. (Press release here.)  If you are not in the area, check this site for more screenings, or to host one in your area. To learn more, download theOcean Noise Report.

Spawning Gumboot Chiton

Photographer Bruce Kerwin captured a Gumboot Chiton releasing eggs into the water column at Point Hudson – Port Townsend, WA

DSC_5116 Spawning Gumboot Chiton - Port Townsend

Photo of the Day: Stalked Tunicate

Another beauty by photographer Bruce Kerwin from under Point Hudson Jetty.DSC_7202 Stalked Tunicate and Hard Gnarled Clump Sponge? - Point HudsonWhite glove leather colonial tunicate overgrowing a bladder clam with the incurrent and excurrent siphons showing (identification by Andy Lamb) – Point Hudson at Port Townsend, Washington

Photo of the Day -Juvenile Puget Sound King Crab at Point Hudson

Another gem from Bruce Kerwin of Bainbridge Island. DSC_4425 Juvenile Puget Sound King CrabJuvenile Puget Sound King Crab at Point Hudson (eventually the white cap will disappear and he will grow to more than 4 times its current size) – Port Townsend, WA;

Photo of the Day – Gumboot Chiton by Bruce Kerwin

DSC_5133 Gumboot Chiton - Port Townsend

Gumboot Chiton releasing eggs into the water column at Point Hudson – Port Townsend, WA; March, 2015

CANCELED -Event: JLT Natural History Society presents: Bees and Biodiversity

Jerry FreilichWith high wind warnings for this evening, we have consulted with our
“Bees & Biodiversity” speaker, Jerry Freilich, and decided it’s best
to postpone our event.

We’re now planning for this event to take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday
January 7, in the same location, QUUF. We appreciate your
understanding, and hope to see you then!
On Thursday, December 3, the JLT Natural History Society will sponsor a presentation on Bees and Biodiversity by Jerry Freilich, former director of the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network. An entomologist by training, Freilich coordinated scientific research in Olympic National Park. He has researched insect biodiversity since 1996, and recently carried out a project to find and identify as many bee species as possible in Olympic National Park.

Most people can name perhaps three or four kinds of bees. They are surprised to learn that close to 4,000 species of native bees inhabit North America, (this doesn’t including honey bees, which were introduced by European settlers). Freilich will explain why bees are so difficult to study. Most are tiny, fast-flying, and inconspicuous. They go about their jobs, don’t interact with people, and generally fly below human ‘radar’.

Across North America, native bees can be found any place where flowers bloom. They have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, these champion pollinators continue to service the majority of native plants, as well as important human-cultivated varieties such as tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries.

The program begins at 7 pm in the QUUF’s sanctuary hall on San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend. This event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of five dollars.

http://jltnatural.org/2015/11/02/bees-and-biodiversity/

 

CONTACT: Noreen Parks, 379-4007

Photo of the day – Decorated Warbonnet

Here’s another from Bruce Kirwin’s great collection of sea-life at Point Hudson, in Port Townsend. This jetty is slated for demolition and rebuilding in 2016, due to age and condition. The dive community is hoping to work with the Port to mitigate the consequences to underwater creatures such as this.

DSC_7283 - Barge Point Hudson - Decorated Warbonnet

Decorated Warbonnet in the barge at Point Hudson

Port Townsend City Council puts water restrictions into effect – PDN

So we are now in Phase 1 drought condition.The city is looking for everyone to effect a 10% reduction in water use. Please water only on every other day, which frankly, if you are doing it correctly, you should already be doing! Your ornamentals, if they are not native and drought tolerant, should be only watered deeply once a week. I’ve noticed that my drought tolerant natives and grasses are not seeming to need any water this summer. Soak the roots of the most vulnerable ones. The mill is being addressed separately.Odd that the Co-op is using more water than Safeway!? Charlie Bermant reports.

The Port Townsend City Council on Monday night unanimously approved Stage 1 water restrictions that include requiring outdoor watering on alternate days.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150804/NEWS/308049981/port-townsend-city-council-puts-water-restrictions-into-effect

Lack of water could temporarily shut down Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill – PDN

Charlie Berman reports on the ongoing discussions between the city of Port Townsend and the PT Paper Mill Corp. As stated in the article, it appears that the City is using approx. 2 Million gallons a day (previous estimates I’ve read placed it at 1 M gallons but perhaps this is based on older information). The mill uses approx 8 Million gallons a day currently,and even in temporary shutdown could still use a significant amount. Read the whole story and support local journalism by subscribing to the Peninsula Daily News.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150720/NEWS/307209975/lack-of-water-could-temporarily-shut-down-port-townsend-paper-corp

Citizen science proves a draw for new program manager at Port Townsend Marine Science Center – PDN

We wish Susan all the best. Looks like she is a great new hire for the role.

Programs in which volunteers participate in science research attracted the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s new program manager to the nonprofit organization. “One of the things that drew me to the marine science center is its reputation for citizen science, and I think that’s been kept secret,” said Susan Bullerdick, who started her new position last Sunday….  She worked for the Seattle Aquarium for 10 years. For seven of those years, she served as the operations manager for Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE), a collaboration among the Seattle Aquarium, the Ocean Inquiry Project and the University of Washington Oceanography department and College of Education. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150304/news/303049997/citizen-science-proves-a-draw-for-new-program-manager-at-port

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