Detailed planning and design, followed by thoughtful
construction projects, have begun to tame the stormwater menace in
Clear Creek, an important salmon stream that runs through
Silverdale in Central Kitsap.
Stormwater has been identified as the greatest pollution threat
to Puget Sound. In Kitsap County, many folks believed that the
dense development pattern in and around Silverdale has doomed Clear
Creek to functioning as a large drainage ditch for runoff into Dyes
But reducing stormwater pollution is not beyond the reach of
human innovation, as I learned this week on a tour of new and
planned stormwater facilities in the Clear Creek drainage area. The
trick is to filter the stormwater by any means practical, according
to Chris May, director of Kitsap County’s Stormwater Division and a
key player in the multi-agency Clean Water Kitsap program.
Projects in and around Silverdale range from large regional
ponds of several acres to small filtration devices fitted into
confined spaces around homes and along roadways.
Washington Department of Ecology is poised to award $229 million
in grants and loans for projects that will help clean up waters
throughout the state.
Grants to Kitsap County include $4.2 million for planned
stormwater projects, plus another $4.6 million to lay sewer lines
designed to protect shellfish beds in South Kitsap’s Yukon
This level of funding for a single round of water-quality grants
demonstrates that elected officials are serious about cleaning up
Puget Sound and other water bodies throughout the state. The
Legislature must still approve the funding for the proposed grants
The Yukon Harbor project is interesting, because Kitsap County
officials were able to show that residents of the South Kitsap area
would face a severe hardship if forced to pay for a new sewer line
and all the connections themselves.
Yukon Harbor has been the subject of pollution identification
and correction projects by the Kitsap Public Health District.
Fixing septic systems and cleaning up pollution from animals
allowed 935 acres of shellfish beds to be reopened in 2008. See
Kitsap Sun, Sept. 25, 2008. But recent studies show that the
pollution is growing worse again as some systems continue to have
problems. Officials say the best answer is to run a sewer line to
properties on or near the beach.
The grant will pay for the sewer line and pump station to carry
sewage to the Manchester sewage treatment plant. Some money will be
used to help residents pay for the costs of connections to their
Without the state grant, officials estimate that each of the 121
property owners would need to pay about $70,000 to complete the
project, according to David Tucker of Kitsap County Public Works.
Without the “severe hardship” grant, the project probably would not
One nice thing about this project is that residents will not be
required to hook up to the sewer, Dave told me. Those who have
upgraded or replaced their septic systems or have systems still
working well may continue to use their own on-site systems.
“The common infrastructure will be covered by the grant,” Tucker
said, “and people can make a choice about whether they want to
connect. Everybody’s septic system is in a different state of
In addition to the $4.6 million grant, the county will receive a
low-interest loan of $432,000 for the remainder of the $5 million
needed for the project. Design is scheduled to begin this year,
followed by construction in 2017 if things go well.
Meanwhile, stormwater projects continue to gain attention,
because they can address both pollution and streamflow problems. In
Kitsap Countyu, grants were proposed for the following stormwater
projects, which require a 25-percent local match:
Clear Creek project, known as Duwe’iq Stormwater Treatment
Wetland, which will use a $937,000 grant to create a stormwater
wetland off Silverdale Way near Ross Plaza to collect water from 18
acres of commercially developed property.
Ridgetop Boulevard Green Streets project, which will use $1
million in a second phase of construction to create biofiltration
systems in the median of Ridgetop Boulevard in Silverdale.
Silverdale Way Regional Stormwater Facility project will use
$1.5 million for new stormwater ponds north of Waaga Way to collect
stormwater running off steep hills in the area.
Chico and Dickerson creeks project will receive $500,000 to
complete the second phase of a project to replace two culverts on
David and Taylor roads and establish floodplains to take excess
water during heavy rainstorms.
Bay Shore Drive and Washington Avenue Filterra project will use
$277,000 to install 15 Filterra planter-box stormwater filters to
reduce pollution coming off streets in Old Town Silverdale.
Kitsap County also was successful in obtaining a low-interest
loan of $3.8 million to replace three aging pump stations and
upgrade a sewer line on the beach near Manchester. Since the line
is part of the Manchester system, the loan will be repaid through
In all, Ecology received 227 applications requesting more than
$352 million in grants and loans. Some $143 million went into
loans, and $21 million went into grants allocated to 165 projects
statewide. About 110 of the projects involve stormwater
A public meeting on all the projects will be held at 1 p.m.
March 4 at Pierce County Library, 3005 112th St. E., Tacoma.
Comments will be taken until March 15. For information and a list
UPDATE: March 18, 2015
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names on Thursday approved the map
correction outlined in this blog post. The change was made on a
vote of 15-0 with one abstention after the board heard the
explanation about why the correction was needed.
If you check for the name “Heins” on the Geographic
Names Information System, the official names database, you will
find updated coordinates for Heins and Alexander lakes. If you plot
the coordinates, you’ll probably find that the map still bears the
incorrect name. I’m not aware of any map that has been updated, but
this should take place over time, according to officials with the
U.S. Geological Survey.
A pair of lakes long hidden within Bremerton’s vast watershed —
Heins Lake and Alexander Lake — should have their names reversed on
future maps, according to officials with the U.S. Board on
The switch-around is designed to correct a map error that
apparently occurred in 1953.
The map correction, scheduled to be endorsed March 12 by the
federal naming board, will fulfill efforts by Sue Hein Plummer to
get the maps corrected. Sue is a descendant of the homesteader for
whom Heins Lake is named.
I met Sue in 2012 when I accompanied members of her family to
the old homestead in the watershed (Kitsap
Sun, Sept. 30, 2012). It was then that Sue told me that the
names had been reversed on an old Metsker’s map sometime after
1928, and she had been unable to convince the mapmakers to change
Sue is a history buff and the genealogist in the family. The old
homestead was closest to Heins Lake, which has been called
Alexander Lake on all modern maps.
It frustrated her that mapmakers wanted to leave the names
alone, wrong as they were. She knew that if she did not get the
names corrected soon, they could stay wrong for all eternity. Odd
as it seems, we might be stuck with Heins Creek running out of
Alexander Lake. when it should be associated with Heins Lake, she
I told her about the Washington State Committee on Geographic
Names, which has the power to change any name in the state. With
her extensive research, I thought she would eventually convince
both the state and federal naming boards to make an official
It never went that far, because staff of both boards came to
recognize the error, so a name change was not needed. All that is
needed is to change the location of Heins and Alexander
lakes in the Geographic
Names Information System — a database that records the official
names and locations of geographic features.
During an investigation, Jennifer Runyon, a staff researcher for
the U.S. board, found some field notes from 1953, in which two
people working at the Gorst Creek pumping station said the name of
the northern lake should be Heins — opposite of what the maps said
in 1937 and before.
Here’s what a typed portion of the notes say:
“The name Alexander Lake would apply to the southernmost lake,
according to those who work for the Bremerton watershed and are
familiar with the area. According to the city engineer, the
northernmost lake has long been known as Alexander. This view would
seem most widespread locally…”
In handwriting, these notes follow:
“according to the city engineer. Though the city engineer’s view
seemed possible, it was not in accordance with the personnel who
work with the name daily at the Gorst Creek pump plant.”
The notes named the two plant workers who must have gotten the
names turned around: “Mr. Jarstad, foreman of the Gorst Creek Pump
Plant,” and “O.R. Moritz, pump operator.”
“Mr. Jarstad” is presumably Otto Jarstad, for whom the city park
at the abandoned pump plant is named.
Sue Hein Plummer thinks the mistake may have been made on some
maps before 1953 and that Jarstad and Moritz just wanted to leave
the names alone.
Kitsap County Auditor’s Office has already made the change on
county maps. Runyon told me the change is likely to be made in the
federal database within two days of the March 12 meeting of the
U.S. Board of Geographic Names, — assuming no further issues
By the way, Heins Lake — which probably should have been “Hein’s
Lake” based on the name Hein — now belongs to Ueland Tree Farm as a
result of a land trade with the city of Bremerton. At least that’s what the maps
indicate. Check out Josh Farley’s story,
Kitsap Sun, April 14, 2014.Once the maps get corrected, Ueland
will actually own Alexander Lake — the northernmost lake — and
Heins Lake will remain in the Bremerton watershed.
A two-day survey of Kitsap County’s shoreline identified 90
boats moored on buoys, at anchor or aground — and 18 of them were
found to have some kind of problem, according to Richard Bazzell of
the Kitsap Public Health District.
The survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday, is considered a key
step in Kitsap County’s new Derelict Vessel Prevention Program,
which I described in a
Kitsap Sun story (subscription) last May. The idea is to
identify neglected vessels that could pose a risk of sinking if not
given some attention.
Of the 18 vessels with problems, three were declared “derelict”
boats with a high risk of sinking or polluting the water, based on
criteria developed by the state’s
Derelict Vessel Removal Program. Owners of those boats will get
an official warning, and the state could take control of the boats
if the owners fail to make them seaworthy.
Richard told me that he has the greatest concern for a 30-foot
power boat moored in Port Gamble Bay. The other two boats are
sailboats. Because of their condition, they could be considered
illegal dumping and managed under the county’s solid-waste
regulations, as well as under the state’s derelict vessels laws, he
For the other boats needing attention, the approach will be a
friendly reminder, Richard told me. Ten of the 18 boats were
unregistered, which is an early sign of neglect for boats in the
water. Other problems range from deteriorating hulls to weak lines
to excessive algae growth. The greatest concerns are that the boats
will spill toxic chemicals, such as fuel, or create a navigational
hazard for other boats.
It was encouraging to find a relatively small number of boats
with problems, Richard said.
“We were expecting to run into a lot more problems,” he noted.
“Surprisingly, we didn’t, and that is a good thing.”
The county will offer technical assistance to help boat owners
figure out what to do, and educational workshops could provide
general maintenance information.
Boats with the most significant problems were found in these
Kitsap County embayments: Yukon Harbor in South Kitsap; Dyes and
Sinclair inlets in Central Kitsap; and Liberty Bay, Appletree Cove
and Port Gamble Bay in North Kitsap.
This week’s survey covered about 250 miles of county shoreline,
where the health district’s efforts are funded with a state grant.
Excluded are military bases, where private mooring is not allowed,
and Bainbridge Island, where the city’s harbormaster is conducting
similar work under the state grant.
The overall $250,000 grant for the prevention program is being
coordinated by Marc Forlenza, who developed a procedure proven to
be successful in San Juan County. Marc credits Joanruth Bauman, who
operated the derelict vessel program in San Juan County, as being
the brainchild of the prevention program.
Money for the
prevention program came from the Environmental Protection Agency’s
Puget Sound Restoration Fund. The grant is managed by the Puget
Seven counties, including San Juan and Kitsap, are involved in
the regional effort. The other counties are King, Pierce,
Snohomish, Mason and Jefferson. Thurston County is covered by the
Pierce County grant.
Some counties have been up and running for months. Others,
including Kitsap, are a little slow because of contract
complications. San Juan County contracted with Kitsap County, which
then contracted with the health district and Bainbridge Island.
Those last contracts were approved earlier this month.
The whole idea, Marc said, is to work with boat owners to keep
the vessels from becoming derelict in the first place. If boat
owners can take care of the problems, it costs the county and state
almost nothing. Once declared derelict, government officials are
forced to spend money in an effort to keep boats from sinking.
When a boat sinks, Marc said, the cost of dealing with the
problem rises 10-fold, and the resulting pollution can destroy
In San Juan County, early action on problem boats has reduced
the cost of dealing with derelict vessels from $76,000 in 2012 to
$23,000 in 2013 to zero in 2014, he said. That doesn’t include
vessels taken by the Washington Department of Natural Resources
under the new Voluntary Turn-In Program, which I’ll discuss in a
Marc has a good way of dealing with people. He seems to
understand the needs and challenges of boat ownership, and he tries
to nudge people in the right direction.
“You have to take time to talk to boat owners,” he explained. “I
call it ‘boat psychology.’ Some of these people have held onto
their boats for 20, 30 or 40 years. They have loved their boat.
When I talk to them, some will say, ‘I guess it’s time to let ol’
Betsy go,’ while others will say, ‘Over my dead body.’”
For the latter group, Marc drives home the fact that a boat
owner may be held criminally liable for maintaining a derelict boat
— and the Attorney General’s Office is now prosecuting such cases.
Beyond that, an owner may be held financially responsible if a boat
sinks — including the cost of raising the boat along with any
natural resource damages caused by pollution.
“That can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of
thousands of dollars in some cases,” he said. “You try to appeal to
people’s better sense.”
In Kitsap County, people who see a boat listing or potentially
sinking should call 911. For nonemergency conditions, one can call
Kitsap One, 360-337-5777, except for Bainbridge Island where people
should call Harbormaster Tami Allen at 206-786-7627. Additional information and phone
numbers for other counties can be found on a Puget Sound Partnership
The DNR’s Vessel Turn-In Program gives some people a way to take
action with little cost. To qualify, boats must be less than 45
feet long and have practically no value. The owner must lack the
means to repair or dispose of the boat. If approved by DNR, the
owner must drive or tow the vessel to a disposal location and turn
over ownership to the state. For details, check out the DNR’s
website on the
Vessel Turn-In Program.
Since the turn-in program started last May, DNR has disposed 19
boats, with another five lined up for disposal, according to Joe
Smillie of the agency. The Legislature provided $400,000 for the
new turn-in program, which is separate from the larger Derelict
Vessel Removal Program.
The removal program targets vessels at risk of sinking. In
emergencies, DNR or local agencies can take immediate action, but
normally the owner is given at least 30 days to move or repair the
Since 2002, DNR has removed about 550 abandoned vessels
throughout the state. About 150 others have been tagged as “vessels
In 2014 alone, 40 vessels were removed, including the sunken
Helena Star. The Helena Star was raised from Tacoma’s Hylebos
Waterway and salvaged at a cost of $1.16 million, requiring special
funding from the Legislature. The owner of the vessel was later
charged with a crime.
Bremerton continues to lead cities its size in the National
Mayor’s Challenge, a program sponsored by the Wyland Foundation
to encourage people to conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and
do other conservation-minded things.
The challenge runs through April, so there is still time to join
with other Bremerton residents or else boost the results for any
city you wish to support. The pledge is basically a list of 17
conservation questions, and you just check a box for commitments
you are willing to make — either with new practices or with ongoing
good habits. To start,
you name your city.
Bremerton was the winner last year among cities with populations
from 30,000 to 100,000. As they did last year, Bremerton Mayor
Patty Lent and her staff have done a good job in spreading the word
about the contest, which includes prizes. I’ve seen posters in
local stores and restaurants.
“Water is Bremerton’s remarkable resource. I encourage all
Bremerton residents to pledge to learn more about their water and
energy use at home. This challenge, which runs through April, is an
exciting opportunity to learn about water wise habits as we engage
in a friendly competition with other cities across the nation to
create a more sustainable environment.”
Following Bremerton in its population category are Folsom,
Calif., and then Greeley, Colo.
Since I wrote a story about this for the
Kitsap Sun (subscription) on April 11, Seattle has moved up
from seventh to fourth place among the largest cities (600,000 and
over). No other Washington cities have made it into the top 10 for
any population group.
In Kitsap County, Port Orchard is ranked 44; Poulsbo is ranked
162; and Bainbridge Island is out of the running at this point.
When it comes to ecosystem restoration, I love it when we can
see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s rare when we have a
chance to say that restoration is nearing completion, since we know
that habitat work continues on and on, seemingly without end, in
many areas of Puget Sound.
So let us anticipate a celebration when Kitsap County’s regional
stormwater projects are completed, when all the deadly ghost nets
have been removed from the shallow waters of Puget Sound, and when
there are no more creosote pilings left on state tidelands.
Of course, the light at the end of the tunnel may be a mirage,
but let’s not go there quite yet.
Kitsap regional ponds
Kitsap County has been collecting a Surface and Stormwater
Management Fee from residents in unincorporated areas and using
some of that money to leverage state and federal stormwater grants.
The fee is currently $73.50, but it will rise to $78 in 2014, $82
in 2015, $86.50 in 2016, $91 in 2017 and $96 in 2018. See
Kitsap Sun, Nov. 27, 2012.
The good news is that the effort to retrofit old, outmoded
stormwater systems is nearing completion, with remaining projects
either in design or nearing the design phase. Check out the Kitsap
County Public Works Capital
Facilities Program for a list of completed projects with maps
as well as proposed projects with maps. As the documents show, the
regional retrofits are on their way to completion.
So what are the sources of future stormwater problems? The
answer is roads, and the problem is enormous. Still, the county has
begun to address the issue with a pilot project that could become a
model for other counties throughout Puget Sound. Please read my
“New strategies will address road runoff” (subscription) to see
how the county intends to move forward.
Ghost nets and crab pots
Earlier this year, the Legislature provided $3.5 million to
complete the removal of derelict fishing gear that keeps on killing
in waters less than 105 feet deep. The work is to be done before
the end of 2015.
Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife, was excited about the prospect. Here’s what he said in a
“Working in conjunction with our partners at Northwest Straits
and in the State Legislature, we have made enormous strides toward
eliminating the risks posed to fish and wildlife by derelict
fishing gear. This is difficult work, and it requires a real
commitment from everyone to get it done. We look forward to
celebrating the next milestone in 2015.”
The most amazing statistic I found on this topic involved the
number of animals trapped by ghost nets. According to one
predictive model, if all the nets had been left alone to keep
fishing, they could be killing 3.2 million animals each year.
Washington Department of Natural Resources hasn’t slowed down in
its effort to remove old creosote pilings and docks. The structures
can be toxic to marine life, obstruct navigation and snag fishing
gear. By 2015, the total bill for removing such debris is expected
to reach $13 million.
Nobody is sure how much it will cost to remove the last of the
creosote materials from state lands, but DNR officials have
inventoried the various sites and expect to come up with a final
priority list over the next six months. Some pilings on privately
owned land may be a higher priority for the ecosystem, and
officials are trying to decide how to address those sites. Of
course, nobody can tackle pilings on private lands without working
through the property owners.
Download a spreadsheet of the
work completed so far (PDF 53 kb), which involves a focus on 40
sites throughout Puget Sound. Altogether, the projects removed
about 11,000 pilings plus about 250,000 square feet of “overwater
structures,” such as docks.
The Navy is continuing its efforts to control commercial
over-water structures in Hood Canal. The idea is to buy subtidal
conservation easements from the Washington Department of Natural
Resources, which owns these deep-water areas.
The first easement was proposed for the Jefferson County side of
Hood Canal (map at right). The easement application is now working
its way through a formal review process. The proposal received a
lot of attention when it was announced in May, in part because of
the potential to derail the controversial pit-to-pier project. A
story I wrote for the
Kitsap Sun on May 15 describes the overall goals of the Navy’s
program and its potential effects.
After that initial announcement, I was surprised that the Navy
and DNR seemed reluctant to talk about the next phase, which turned
out to be a second easement along the Kitsap County shoreline from
the Hood Canal bridge to the county line near Holly. I described
that proposal in a story I wrote for the
Kitsap Sun yesterday (subscription).
Both proposed easements fall under the Department of Defense
Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI).
Liane Nakahara, spokeswoman for Navy Region Northwest, said the
need for the Kitsap easement, like the one in Jefferson County,
relates to protections of Navy operations, including testing and
training in legally defined ranges:
“The proposed restrictive easement over the bedlands would
protect these ranges from incompatible development that may limit
the Navy’s ability to use the approved ranges and continue
operations in the future. In addition to the protection of the
Navy’s military operating areas, the proposed easement will provide
new protections for sensitive marine ecosystems.”
I’m not sure where the Navy will go with its next easement
proposal. Work continues on upland properties in some areas. See
reporter Ed Friedrich’s story about a related agreement two years
ago, when the Navy began buying easements in the Dabob Bay area of
(Kitsap Sun, Oct. 8, 2011). Officials are saying almost nothing
about the next steps. But I have seen a map that purportedly shows
the “area of interest” regarding the Navy’s REPI efforts. The area
outlined includes all of Hood Canal and the regions around Indian
Island, Keyport and Bremerton.
For the Jefferson County easement, the DNR issued a
“determination of nonsignificance” during the environmental review.
An appraiser has been hired to estimate the value of the easement
and determine what the Navy should pay the state for lost
Thorndyke Resource, which proposed the pit-to-pier project, has
been pushing for increased environmental review, rather than the
limited review undertaken so far by the DNR. It appears that if the
proposal moves forward, the Navy and DNR are likely to face a
lawsuit from the company.
Here are three recent documents related to the proposed
Jefferson County easement:
I already miss Ron Ross, who was the inspiration for numerous
stories I wrote through the years. Ron died two weeks ago, on May
Every few months, Ron would call me with a questioning tone to
his voice. He would talk about some city, county or state policy or
regulation and tell me how it was working, or not working, and how
it was affecting him or someone else.
“How does this make any sense?” he would ask.
Many times, Ron would have the nut of an issue, which would pan
out into a story. Sometimes these stories involved property rights,
but Ron was never the kind of property-rights advocate who believed
a person should be able to do anything he wants with his property.
He just wanted government rules to make sense and work for the
majority of people.
It drove him crazy when a well-intentioned regulation caused
more problems than it solved. Ron was, if anything, a common-sense
kind of guy.
If the salmon couldn’t get upstream, he didn’t wait for all the
permits he was supposed to get, not while the salmon were waiting.
He just got out with some volunteers and moved the fish upstream —
not to a place of his choosing, but to exactly the place where they
were supposed to go. How could anyone argue with that?
Sharing water resources over a wide region is an idea that goes
hand-in-hand with the Growth Management Act’s strategy of
concentrating population in urban areas while protecting rural
Of course, the first level of action is water conservation. But
the ability to take water from one aquifer with an adequate water
supply while protecting an overtaxed aquifer somewhere else makes a
lot of sense.
That’s the idea behind building new pipelines to connect
numerous water systems across a good portion of Kitsap County,
including Silverdale. I described the latest steps in this plan in
a story published in
Monday’s Kitsap Sun.
Thirty years ago — before the Growth Management Act was passed —
I recall talking to folks at the Kitsap Public Utility District,
who declared that they were not in the land-use business and had no
intention of getting involved in land-use battles. It was the job
of the Kitsap County commissioners to decide where to put the
growth, they said. The PUD staff and commissioners believed their
role was to provide water for the growing population, wherever it
goes. Check out this
Kitsap Sun story from Feb. 25, 2001.
The state’s Municipal
Water Law of 2003 clarified that the KPUD could deliver water
from one place to another throughout its service area — which is
all of Kitsap County. That allows water to be brought to developed
areas in North Kitsap, where annual rainfall is half of what we see
in the forested areas of Southwest Kitsap, where the Seabeck
aquifer is located. (See annual precipitation map on this
Many environmentalists have objected to certain portions of the
Municipal Water Law, especially sections that included developers
as municipal water suppliers — a move they say opens the door for
abuse by financial interests.
One of the big concerns in water management is that pumping too
much from an aquifer — especially a shallow aquifer — could disrupt
the subsurface flows and springs that maintain stream levels in the
summer and early fall. Adequate streamflows are needed for many
species, not the least of which are salmon.
With adequate monitoring, as needed for planning, experts can
track groundwater levels and streamflows to avoid such problems.
Pipelines allow aquifers to be “rested” when needed. And elected
PUD commissioners can be held accountable for their decisions
regarding the regional management of water.
Future water supplies and the right to use the water constitute
one of the most complicated issues in environmental law. A 2003
paper by the Washington Department of Ecology, called
“Mitigation Measures Used in Water Rights Permitting” outlines
some of the methods being used to protect natural systems and
competing water rights. Mitigation for use of the Seabeck aquifer,
which is an important water supply in Kitsap County, is described
briefly on pages 19 and 20.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has taken a major step in
the protection of unregulated forage fish with a resolution calling
for increased studies and possible fishing restrictions. The
“It is the Council’s intent to recognize the importance of
forage fish to the marine ecosystem off our coast, and to provide
adequate protection for forage fish. We declare that our objective
is to prohibit the development of new directed fisheries on forage
species that are not currently managed by our Council, or the
States, until we have an adequate opportunity to assess the science
relating to the fishery and any potential impacts to our existing
fisheries and communities.”
“While killer whales and salmon dominate the public spotlight,
researchers are focusing increasing attention near the bottom of
the food web and on the physical processes that support all life in
The story focuses on studies related to forage fish and
hydrogeological processes along the shorelines of the Kitsap
Peninsula, but it ties into everything we know about Puget
One project, led by U.S. Geological Survey researcher Theresa
“Marty” Liedtke, is studying the extent to which sand lance and
surf smelt depend on eelgrass beds. The project is part of the
agency’s investigation called “Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound
(CHIPS). Check out the CHIPS website for further
The other study, by geologist Wendy Gerstel of Qwg Applied
Geology, is part of a larger grant project dealing with shoreline
processes funded by the federal Environmental Protection
Wendy has been studying sources of sediment that feed the
beaches in Kitsap County. She is preparing to use what she has
found to make recommendations about potential shoreline-restoration
Her project and related issues will be discussed tomorrow at a
workshop called “Kitsap’s Shorelines and Restoration Opportunities:
A Landowner Workshop.”
Participants will learn about beach processes and shoreline
ecology and hear from researchers studying shoreline erosion and
sediment sources along Kitsap County shorelines. The workshop is
scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at President’s Hall at the Kitsap
County Fairgrounds, and everyone is invited.
Another development involving sand lance, surf smelt and other
“unmanaged” forage fish is a proposal for the Pacific Fishery
Management Council to initiate a process that could eventually lead
to fisheries regulations.
Protecting all forage fish seems to be a goal of many
environmental organizations, as one can see in the public comments
PFMC’s agenda (Item G.1) for Saturday’s meeting in San Mateo,
Steve Marx of the Pew Environment Group wrote a
12-page letter in support of managing for protection:
“To date the Council has received over 19,000 individual pieces
of correspondence from engaged members of the public, urging it to
take action to protect forage species for the sake of a healthy
ecosystem, sustainable fisheries and vibrant coastal
“Over 110 licensed commercial fishermen and women on the West
Coast have written to the Council, urging it to prevent new
fisheries from developing on forage species until adequate science
is available. Additionally, a diverse list of both commercial and
recreational fishing organizations have advocated for the
Council to implement needed forage protections, including a
reversal on the burden of proof for new forage fisheries.
“The regional fishery management council process encourages
public participation, and we hope that this strong show of public
support for protecting unmanaged
forage species is helpful as the Council continues its deliberation
on how best to proceed.”