For many years, Canadian Tire Corporation, Canada’s largest
retailer, has been providing amusing television commercials around
Christmas, as well as at other times of year. This Christmas season
is no exception, as the company has taken to the airwaves to
promote a variety of products on a Christmas theme.
Who wouldn’t like a pasta-maker? How you serve the finished
pasta is up to you, as you’ll see in the first video on this
Another Christmas series by Canadian Tire features the Eh Bee
family. Check out “Eh Bee Falcon Flight School” in the second video
player on this page. Other commercials can be launched from the
“The Eh Bee Family tackles Giftmas.”
Last Christmas, a commercial told the story of a young boy who
was worrying that Santa would not be able to find him after his
family moved to a new home. See the video in the third player on
Canadian Tire, a 90-year-old company, has been featuring
Christmas commercials since at least 1985, as you can see in the
final video featuring Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge talking
together and pondering the price of a Commodore 128 or Commodore 64
Five years ago, I could not have predicted that Washington state
would end up in a serious conflict with the federal government over
water-quality standards to protect people’s health. But it has
happened, and there’s no clear resolution in sight.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency will hold a “virtual
hearing” on this issue in December. Read on for details, but let me
first provide some recent history.
In November 2010, I wrote about the Department of Ecology’s
newest undertaking, as the agency embarked on an effort to define
“how clean is clean” in protecting public health in state waters.
Water Ways Nov. 4, 2010, and also
Kitsap Sun Nov. 2, 2010.
It was obvious at the time that the state would need to increase
its existing fish-consumption rate of 6.5 grams per day — a key
factor in the formula used to calculate the allowable concentration
of toxic chemicals in the water. After much discussion and delay,
the state eventually proposed a rate of 175 grams per day — 27
times higher than the existing rate.
The controversy arrived when the state proposed a cancer risk
rate of one in 100,000 — a risk 10 times higher than the existing
rate of one in a million. The higher cancer risk rate would
somewhat offset the effect of the much higher fish-consumption
rate. Other factors were changed as well, as I described in the
second of a two-part series in the
Kitsap Sun, March 11, 2015.
When Gov. Jay Inslee announced the state’s newly proposed
standards, he also proposed new legislation to study and reduce the
sources of toxic chemicals of greatest concern. The Legislation
failed to gain enough support for passage during the past
The governor has since pulled back from the original proposal
and agreed to return to a cancer risk rate of one in a million. A
new proposal is expected to be announced after the first of the
year, Meanwhile, the EPA is moving forward with its own proposal,
probably more stringent than what we’ll see from the state. I
outlined the likely differences in
Water Ways on Oct. 8.
On Dec. 15 and 16, the EPA will hold what it’s calling a
“virtual hearing” on the proposed water-quality criteria that the
agency developed for Washington state. The web-based call-in format
is designed to save considerable money, according to Erica Slicy,
contact for the event. Given interest across the state, multiple
in-person hearings in numerous locations would be needed to
accomplish what two phone-in hearings can do, she said.
People will be able to watch the virtual hearing and/or testify
registering on EPA’s website. The event will be recorded and
transcribed so that people will be able to review the comments
later. Written comments will be taken until Dec. 28.
If the state comes up with proposed water-quality standards, as
expected, the EPA could put the federal proposal on hold while the
state’s proposal undergoes considerable scrutiny. Meanwhile, I’m
sure supporters of the more stringent standards — such as Indian
tribes and environmental groups — will continue to be frustrated by
I’ve been going through the new report about climate change in
the Puget Sound region, and I can tell you that the most optimistic
chapter is the one on farming. Check out the story I wrote for the
Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.
To be sure, farmers will have plenty of problems to contend
with. Rising sea levels and more intense rainstorms will probably
causing flooding and seawater intrusion where it has never been
seen before. Some of today’s farmland could become unsuitable for
agriculture, and drier summers will force much better management of
limited water supplies.
But as the climate undergoes change, farmers can change with the
climate, growing crops suitable for the conditions they face, said
Kelly McLain, senior natural resources scientist with the
Washington Department of Agriculture.
“Farmers are extremely adaptable,” Kelly told me. “I think water
is going to be the limiting factor for almost all decisions.”
My third and final story in the series, which will be published
next week, talks about coming changes in habitats — and thus
species — expected in Puget Sound as air temperatures increase, sea
levels rise, rainstorms grow more intense and oceans undergo
I took on this writing project as part of my work for the Puget
Sound Institute, which publishes the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.
PSI commissioned the climate report with funding from federal and
state governments. The Climate Impacts Group at the University of
Washington compiled the best scientific knowledge into a very
readable report, which can be found on the encyclopedia’s
website or on the website of the Climate
One interesting chapter of the report, called
“How is Puget Sound’s Climate Changing?” (3 mb) supports the
understanding that climate change is not something we need to wait
for. It’s something that scientists can measure now, although
climatologists expect the changes to come faster as atmospheric
carbon dioxide levels increase.
Here are a few of the changes that can be measured, along with a
bit of explanation about the uncertainty:
Average air temperatures have been increasing in the Puget
Sound lowlands and are currently about 1.3 degrees higher than in
1895. Higher temperatures have been found to be statistically
significant for all seasons except spring, with the overall
increase shown in a range between 0.7 to 1.9 degrees F.
Nighttime air temperatures have been rising faster than daytime
temperatures. Nighttime lows have been increasing by about 1.8
degrees since 1895, while daytime highs have been increasing by
about 0.8 degrees.
The frost-free season has lengthened by about 30 days (range
18-41 days) since 1920.
As in other areas, short-term trends can differ substantially
from long-term trends. Cooling observed from 2000-2011, for
example, has not altered the long-term temperature increase.
An ongoing debate questions how much, if any, of the long-term
warming trend is a result of natural climate variability. One study
says up to 80 percent may be natural, caused by atmospheric
circulation, not by greenhouse gas buildup. Other researchers have
been unable to replicate the findings for other data sets.
Total annual precipitation does not appear to be increasing or
decreasing over a long time scale. Spring precipitation has
increased at a statistically valid 27 percent for the months March
Most studies are finding modest increases in the frequency and
intensity of heavy precipitation compared to historical levels, but
results depend on the time period and methods of analysis.
Ongoing variability in weather patterns related to El Nino and
the Pacific decadal oscillation will continue to strongly influence
temperature and precipitation for relatively short periods. It is
not clear how long-term climate change will interact with these
more variable climate patterns.
Lawn Dude, a cartoon character invented to convey a
water-conservation message, has appeared on billboards in Southern
California, where he has become known for his frank but witty
When first introduced in the summer of 2014, Lawn Dude had this
to say: “I’d be the first to admit that I love using lots of water,
but I’m cutting back on my drinking because, take it from me,
nobody likes a drunk lawn.” Read the
press release issued on July 31, 2014.
Lawn Dude was launched as a cooperative effort between the
Southern California Water Committee, a nonprofit educational
partnership, and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, one of the world’s
largest outdoor advertising companies.
Appearing as a personified lawn, this unique cartoon character
can offer a unique perspective that might incite human action. He
can encourage people by saying things in ways that governments,
utilities and even conservation groups cannot.
“I’m fresh off a water cleanse and have never looked better,
thanks to that H2O diet Governor Brown put me on,” Lawn Dude said
upon his return in 2015. “I know people thought I might be all
dried up, but I’m back and ready to kick some grass.”
In addition to appearing on billboards the past two summers,
Lawn Dude continues to provide comments on his Twitter feed, and I would not
be surprised if he came back next year.
California remains in a serious drought. Gov. Jerry Brown and
the California Water Resources Control Board have imposed a series
of water conservation measures to protect the remaining water
supplies. For specifics, check out this
fact sheet (PDF 507 kb).
Charles Wilson, chairman of the nonregulatory Southern
California Water Committee, said the donation of billboards by
Clear Channel has made it possible to reach many people with a
reminder about water conservation.
“The Lawn Dude campaign has been a valuable way for the Southern
California Water Committee to grab the public’s attention when it
comes to outdoor water conservation, going beyond the limitations
typically placed on what public agencies and water districts can
say,” Wilson noted in a
One aspect of the campaign has been to encourage Californians to
remove their lawns. That’s when Lawn Dude got a new hairdo
featuring succulent plants, and he discussed it on Twitter:
“It’s time to take it all off, California!”
“Lawn Dude stripped nude. Now won’t you take it off?”
“Keeping me thirsty isn’t enough. I need a new look and I’m
loving the succulent style.”
“My trainer has been kicking my grass. It’s a good thing I lost
that water weight.”
The following video from KCAL-TV in Los Angeles is a news story
posted last year when the Lawn Dude campaign was launched.
Jellyfish suck, but that’s not what most people believe about
their method of locomotion.
It seems more likely that jellyfish thrust themselves through
the water by pushing the water behind them. But complex experiments
in fluid dynamics suggest that jellyfish, as well as eel-like
lampreys, actually pull themselves forward by creating a
low-pressure region ahead.
“It confounds all our assumptions,” John Dabiri, a Stanford
University engineering professor, said in a
news release. “But our experiments show that jellyfish and
lampreys actually suck water toward themselves to move forward
instead of pushing against the water behind them, as had been
Forces of thrust are commonly used to propel human vehicles
through the water. Boat propellers and water jets create high
pressure to move craft forward. Now, biometric engineers are
beginning to study new methods of propulsion.
“For nearly 100 years, it has been assumed that mimicking
natural swimming meant finding ways to generate high pressures to
push water backward for thrust,” Dabiri said. “Now we realize we’ve
had it backward, and so the search is on for ways to generate
low-pressure suction to achieve more efficient underwater
About three years ago, Dabiri began to realize lampreys
slithering along created low-pressure pockets of water where they
bent back and forth. Water rushing into the low-pressure areas move
the lamprey along.
In a jellyfish, the motion of the umbrella-shaped plume creates
a similar low-pressure region.
Stanford news release explains how mathematician Leonard Euler
in 1755 came up with an equation to describe fluid motion. To
provide the variables to solve Euler’s equation, the researchers
used a tank of water and millions of hollow glass beads to simulate
the movement of water molecules around lamprey and jellyfish. A
system involving lasers tracked and recorded the movement.
Solving thousands of simultaneous equations revealed
low-pressure pockets of water caused by the undulating motion.
Those pockets seemed to be the dominant factor in propulsion.
To support the findings, the researchers tested a group of
lampreys that had been altered so that only their tails flicked —
something like the feet of human swimmers. The altered lampreys
were far less efficient than the normal ones.
“The body undulations of the normal lampreys set them apart as
much better swimmers than you and me,” Dabiri said. “Human swimmers
generate high pressure instead of suction. That’s good enough to
get you across the pool, but requires much more energy than the
suction action of lampreys and jellyfish.”
The research suggests that some kind of flexible structure could
be used to create a future low-pressure propulsion system for
moving a boat or submarine through the water.
Co-authors of the new study include Dabiri, Brad Gemmell of the
University of South Florida, Sean Colin of Roger Williams
University and John Costello of Providence College. Dabiri is an
engineer. The others are biologists affiliated with the Marine
Biology Institute at Woods Hole, Mass.
The top video shows how the undulations of an eel-like
lamprey create low-pressure suction forces (blue) and high-pressure
pushing forces (red). Playback speed is about 1/60 of real time.
Pressure units in color bar are in Pascals. Credit: John
The second video shows how the movements of a moon jellyfish
create spinning vortices going clockwise (blue) and
counterclockwise (red). Playback speed is about 1/5 of real time.
Credit: Brad Gemmell
As the new report describes, increased flooding, more frequent
landslides and decreased salmon runs are likely, along with
declines in some native species and increases in others. We are
likely to see more successful invasions by nonnative species, while
summer drought could cause more insect damage to forests and more
“When you look at the projected changes, it’s dramatic,” said
lead author Guillaume Mauger in a
news release. “This report provides a single resource for
people to look at what’s coming and think about how to adapt.”
The report includes examples of communities taking actions to
prepare for climate change, such as merging flood-management
districts to prepare for increased flooding in King County and
designing infrastructure to contend with rising sea levels in other
“In the same way that the science is very different from the
last report in 2005, I think the capacity and willingness to work
on climate change is in a completely different place,” Mauger
Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound
Partnership, said the people of Puget Sound must be prepared for
changes that have already begun.
“To protect Puget Sound, we need to plan for the ever-increasing
impacts of climate change,” she said in a
news release. “This report helps us better understand the very
real pressures we will face over the coming decades. The effects of
climate change impact every part of what we consider necessary for
a healthy Puget Sound: clean water, abundant water quantity, human
wellbeing, and a Puget Sound habitat that can support our native
Work to compile the report was funded by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency via the Puget Sound Institute at UW Tacoma, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state of
The report will become part of the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound,
where my climate-change stories will reside after publication over
the next three weeks. I’m currently working part-time for the Puget
Sound Institute, which publishes the encyclopedia and is affiliated
with the University of Washington — Tacoma.
For other news stories about the report, check out:
Ashanti, the singer, songwriter and record producer, has come up
with an interesting way to release her latest single while urging
people to drink water instead of sweet drinks.
The single, called “Let’s Go,” was released in a “dehydrated”
form, stripped of lively elements, clear images, colorful lighting
and dynamic sound. Ashanti has asked her fans to “hydrate” the
music and video by using the hashtag “#DrinkUpAshanti” on social
media, such as Twitter and Instgram.
As of this morning, I believe the “Let’s Go” video has reached
the third of four levels and should soon reach its full
entertainment potential. At that point, the song will be for sale
on iTunes and other music outlets. The first video on this page
describes the making of the video and demonstrates the four phases
I’ve never heard of a promotion like this, but Ashanti is using
this approach to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign
called Partnership for a
Healthier America and its Drink Up effort, which
encourages people to drink more water to support their health.
The video player at DrinkUpAshanti.com is clever, because one
can pause it when graphic elements, such as flowers and stars, come
into view. Click on the white circles that appear, and you’ll see
the Twitter handles that helped to “hydrate” it. Add your own
Twitter handle, and you will be assigned a flower and can see who
is sharing that graphic element with you.
The Genius.com website
shows the four levels of hydration and provides lyrics to the new
song for anyone who wants them.
“I love that my song is being used to encourage people to make a
really easy choice: drinking more water every day,” Ashanti said in
news release. “It’s even more rewarding when it’s being done in
a creative, positive way.
“Drinking water is in … it’s just cool and sexy. You are what
you drink, so drink up. It’s also a pleasure to work with the First
Lady again to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Ashanti explains her involvement in the campaign in an interview
shown on the Valder Beebe Show, an Internet video blog. See the
second video above.
Atmospheric scientists with NASA and the University of
Washington chose a doozy of a week on the Olympic Peninsula to
launch their four-month effort to measure precipitation and
calibrate the super-sophisticated Global Precipitation Measurement
The heart of the GPM system is an advanced satellite called the
GPM Core Observatory, designed to measure rainfall and snowfall
from space. If the system can be perfected, meteorologists and
climatologists will have a fantastic tool for measuring
precipitation where no ground-based instruments are located.
To improve the satellite system, ground-based radar and other
equipment were moved to remote areas of the Olympic Peninsula to
take measurements (see video below). Meanwhile, aircraft flying
above, below and inside the clouds were taking their own
The program, called Olympex for Olympic Mountains Experiment, is
impressive. Researchers chose the west side of the Olympics because
that’s where storms arrive from the Pacific Ocean, laying down
between 100 and 180 inches of rainfall each year. Sure, these folks
were looking for rain, but did they really know what they were
On Friday, a Doppler-on-wheels radar system was nearly flooded
when between 4 and 14 inches of rain fell in various portions of
the Quinault Valley, raising Lake Quinault by about six inches per
hour over a period of several hours. For details, check out
science summary for the day, which describes some of the
measurements that were taken.
“We’re not just checking the satellite’s observations, the way
you might double-check a simple distance measurement,” said project
manager Lynn McMurdie in a
news release from the University of Washington.
“We’re checking the connection between what the satellite sees
from space, what’s happening in the middle of the storm system and
what reaches the ground, which is what most people ultimately want
to know,” McMurdle said. “So we’re not just improving the
satellite’s performance — we’re learning how storm systems
Education” website explains how weather systems from the
Pacific Ocean are experienced on land and how Olympex will sort
“Large weather systems arrive in the Pacific Northwest from the
ocean, and not all parts of the system are equal. The leading edge,
called the pre-frontal sector, tends to be warmer and have steady
rainfall. Next, the frontal sector marks the transition from the
warmer air to the colder air and processes that produce rainfall
are often most intense in this region. Finally the post-frontal
sector, characterized by colder temperatures, will often bring
showery rain and snow, and can produce large snowfall accumulations
at higher elevations.
“The (Olympex) field campaign will be looking inside these storm
clouds with ground radar and aircraft instruments to determine the
accuracy of the GPM satellite constellation in detecting the unique
precipitation characteristics in these different storm sectors.
“One of the aircraft will be flying through the clouds to make
detailed measurements of raindrops, ice particles, and snowflakes
as they are falling to Earth’s surface. Combined with data from the
ground radars and the total amounts caught by the rain gauges and
other instruments on the ground, scientists will be able to improve
the computer models of precipitating clouds – the same types of
computer models used to forecast the weather and project future
If you’d like to learn more about Olympex, check out these
In the early days of “Amusing Monday,” I featured a lot of
water-related animals. Somehow I never got around to tossing
together a potpourri of duck-related videos and activities.
Geoducks, yes, but not the kind of duck that swims on water and
waddles on land.
I need to begin this blog post with a compilation video of Mihai
Francu’s pet duck, captured over time as the little duckling grows
up. Mihai, a Cyprus-based photographer, has compiled a nice
collection of short videos, which can be viewed on his
YouTube Channel. First, take a look at the top video on this
Duck jokes, anyone, as old and musty as these seem to be?
Q: What do you call two ducks and a cow? A: Quackers and milk
Q: What do you call it when it rains chickens
and ducks? A: Fowl weather
Q: What did the duck carry his schoolbooks
in? A: His quackpack.
Q: Why did the duck fly south for the
winter? A: Because it was too far to walk.
Q: What happens when a duck flies upside
down? A: He quacks up.
Q: Which bird refused to keep his eyes
closed? A: The Peking duck.
Customer: How much is that duck? Shopkeeper: Ten dollars. Customer: Okay, could you please send me the
bill? Shopkeeper: I’m sorry, but you’ll have to take the
Q: What do you call a cat that swallows a
duck? A: A duck-filled-fatty-puss
Q: How do you get down off a horse? A: You don’t get down off a horse. You get down
off a duck.
Duck talk: Two ducks were sitting on a pond.
One went “Quack quack!” The other replied, “That’s funny. I was
just about to say that!”
Remember the 1984 Ninendo video game called “Duck Hunt”?
Teenagers today were not even born when this game came out, so it
was fun to see their reaction in a video by REACT, the first video
in the three below. The next two videos are parodies of the
Two years ago in
“Water Ways,” I revealed that Daffy Duck was my favorite
cartoon character, and I featured a video showing the evolution of
Daffy over time. It was by WatchMojo.com. In August, WatchMojo came
out with a new video pitting the personal and comedy styles of
Daffy Duck against those of Donald Duck. You’ll find this video in
the second player on this page.
On a more artistic front, students from across the country have
been producing beautiful duck portraits for the past 22 years. In
“Water Ways” featured the best entries from the annual Federal
Junior Duck Stamp Contest.;
Finally, for children as well as the rest of us, you one can
find numerous videos to illustrate the numbers-learning song “Five
Little Ducks.” One of the best on the web is the video below by
Measuring the progress of Puget Sound restoration is a very
difficult thing to do.
Millions of dollars have been spent to restore streams,
wetlands, estuaries and shorelines. Millions more have been spent
to improve stormwater systems and to clean up contaminated
At the same time, billions of dollars have been spent by
commercial and residential developers in the Puget Sound region.
The results are ongoing changes to the landscape and unknown
alterations to ecosystems.
In the overall scheme of things, are we taking two steps forward
and one step back, or is it two steps back and one step
Puget Sound Partnership’s biennial “State of the Sound Report,”
released this week, attempts to tell us how things are going in the
effort to restore Puget Sound to a healthy condition. Progress is
being made in restoring habitat, according to a
news release about the report, but “measures for chinook
salmon, Southern Resident Killer Whales, herring and other native
species show a decline, and local improvements in water quality
still don’t add up to improvements at the regional scale.”
“These mixed results are the reality of working in a complex
ecosystem that is under tremendous pressures right now,” said
Sheida Sahandy, the partnership’s executive director. “It’s why we
need to make smart, timely investments in our partners’ hard work
to restore and protect habitat, prevent stormwater pollution and
reopen shellfish beds,”
Puget Sound Partnership has developed 37 ecosystem indicators
for tracking progress. They are organized under 21 categories
called the Puget Sound “vital signs.” If you want understand the
latest information, you must look to the new “Report on the
Puget Sound Vital Signs (PDF 9.9 mb).
Four indicators are meeting — or nearly meeting — regionally
identified targets, including those related to inventorying septic
systems, slowing forest loss, and two measurements showing
improvements in the quality of marine sediment.
All indicators for habitat restoration are making incremental
None of the indicators for species or food-web health are
While there has been local-level progress in some indicators,
the results do not add up to regional progress. For example, while
marine water quality is relatively good in some bays (making them
safe for harvesting shellfish and for swimming), other bays have
very poor water quality and are not meeting standards.
I believe these vital signs can help us understand the functions
of the Puget Sound ecosystem and give us an idea about the progress
in restoration. I even used them as a broad outline for my two-year
investigation into the health of Puget Sound and the species found
in the region. If you haven’t done so, I urge you to take a look at
the series, “Taking
the Pulse of Puget Sound.”
At the same time, these 37 indicators often fail to capture many
of the nuances of Puget Sound health, such as species distribution,
population dynamics and primary productivity — all aspects of
Southern Resident killer whales, for example, are now fewer than
when the ecosystem indicators were approved. That could be related
to the number of chinook salmon — the orca’s primary prey — which
also are in decline. But what are the problems facing the chinook?
Lack of spawning habitat? Increased predation by seals and other
marine mammals? Not enough forage fish, such as herring, surf smelt
and sand lance? In turn, what is limiting the growth of the forage
fish populations? The amount or right type of plankton to eat,
spawning habitat, predation, or something else?
It is often said that the ongoing development of Puget Sound is
damaging the ecosystem faster than it is being restored. But I have
not seen convincing evidence to show which way things are going.
The vital signs indicators are not adequate to answer this
question. Lagging indicators — especially population counts — don’t
tell the whole story. But one thing is certain: Without the
investment we have all made in Puget Sound restoration, conditions
would be far worse than they are today.
Over the past few years, the Puget Sound Partnership is getting
better at establishing priorities that will make the most
difference. But it is still mind-boggling to think of the number of
places that have been degraded over 150 years of development, all
needing work to bring things back to a functioning part of the
Puget Sound ecosystem.
Getting the priorities right and getting everyone working
together is an enormous challenge. Coordination must involve
federal, state, tribal and local governments, private businesses
and conservation groups. That was why the Legislature created the
Puget Sound Partnership and issued a special mandate. It seems to
me that the people leading the restoration effort understand their
It was nice to see a recognition of this coordination problem by
U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck, who introduced the Save Our
Sound Act, designed to coordinate federal actions with those of the
Puget Sound Partnership, which tries to involve all segments of
society. This SOS bill is now supported by all of Washington
state’s congressional delegation. Check out a
summary of the bill on Heck’s congressional website; read the
story by Tristan Baurick in the
Kitsap Sun; or review the op-ed
piece by Heck and Kilmer in The News Tribune.
The role of local governments in the restoration effort cannot
be over-stated. As restoration continues, damage from ongoing
development must be limited. Concepts of “no net loss” and
“best-management practices” are important — but the key is to
locate development where it will do the least ecosystem damage,
then use construction techniques that will cause the least
disruption of ecological functions.
Breakthroughs in scientific understanding and new solutions to
old problems can make a big difference. Jen McIntyre of Washington
State University finally published her findings about the effects
of stormwater on coho salmon. More importantly, she and her
colleagues revealed how to solve the problem by filtering the
stormwater through compost — or essentially the natural material
found on the forest floor. The study was published in the Journal
of Applied Ecology (PDF 338 kb).
Development regulations by local government have always been a
weak link in the effort to restore Puget Sound. I have been
discouraged by the lack of progress in some cities and counties. In
the face of uncertain science, it has been too easy for local
officials to do the minimum required by state government then turn
around and blame the state when local residents complain about the
higher costs of development.
On the other hand, I am encouraged that more and more local
officials are taking scientific studies to heart, learning how to
judge scientific uncertainty and taking actions to help save the
ecosystem. Stormwater regulations have been a bitter pill to
swallow for many local officials, but creative approaches, such as
I described in the
“Pulse” series could be one of the best things that local
government can do. Another major role of local government is to
protect and restore shorelines, about which I will have more to say
in the near future. (“Water
Ways, Aug. 15, 20115.)
Overall, when I see the beauty of Puget Sound and consider the
combined energy of thousands of people who really care about this
waterway, I can’t help but remain optimistic that the effort to
save Puget Sound is on the right track.