Tag Archives: Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Amusing Monday: Comedians share their thoughts about water

Actors and comedians are talking about water in a new video campaign to raise awareness about the value of clean water and the importance of keeping pollution out of waterways.

Waterkeeper Alliance brought together celebrities to share their feelings and memories about water uses. They include Neil Patrick Harris, Susan Sarandon, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Ray Romano and Brad Garrett.

Locally, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance is affiliated with the national Waterkeeper Alliance. Puget Soundkeeper Chris Wilke, based in Seattle, is featured in an earlier video that explains the goals of Waterkeeper Alliance and the actions of the various affiliates across the United States and throughout the world.

The new campaign, called “Keep it Clean” is directed by Rachael Harris and produced by Kids at Play.

“We want to get people thinking about what water pollution means to them — to their drinking water, their surf break, their favorite fishing spot,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “But it’s a dirty and heavy topic! So we brought together some of the most brilliant and passionate voices in entertainment to put their own spin on it, to get a little silly, to make people think about why this issue is important, and what they can do to help.”

The videos presented here were announced as the “first round” of the campaign, which I presume means that more will be coming later. The three videos shown in players are compilations of comments on three themes:

  • What’s your favorite use of water? (top video)
  • Heartfelt memories (middle)
  • What does Waterkeeper Alliance do? (bottom)

The other videos show either celebrities speaking alone or with a partner:

Aveda’s Earth Month efforts benefit Soundkeeper

I don’t normally mention corporate names in my blog, but I’m fairly impressed by the Earth Month campaign by Aveda, which has raised more than $26 million for environmental causes since 1999.

Aveda salons, spas and institutes in the Puget Sound area have supported Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the environmental group, for the past six years, raising $120,000 last year alone. See the news release from June of 2012.

Last year, more than 20 fund-raising events were planned in the Puget Sound area to raise money during Earth Month. The enthusiasm of the employees and students is remarkable. Last year, Seattle stylist Stephen Pace alone raised $21,000 simply by asking his clients for donations. My daughter Meghan, a student learning to style hair in Seattle, seems fully engaged and excited to see how much money she can raise. All the donations go straight to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

Isella Day Spa in downtown Bremerton will kick off its Earth Month efforts during the First Friday Art Walk tomorrow. The salon will serve hors devours and refreshments, with proceeds from the sale of products going to the alliance. For information, check out Isella’s Facebook page.

Seaport Salon and Spa in Silverdale is raising money by selling flowers and holding a comedy night fundraiser on April 20. See Seaport’s Facebook page.

Environmental groups will boycott Navy meetings

A dozen environmental groups say they will boycott the nine “scoping meetings” the Navy is holding to kick off a new round of studies regarding testing and training activities in the Northwest.

In a letter dated March 13 (PDF 16 kb), the groups said the format of the meetings is not designed to encourage public discussion or even allow public comment. In addition, the Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have ignored ongoing calls for the Navy to better protect marine wildlife and the environment along the Washington Coast and other biologically important areas, they say.

Navy's Northwest testing and training ranges. Click to enlarge.
Map by U.S. Navy

The Navy will seek a new permit from NOAA for the incidental harassment of marine mammals during testing and training activities. Most of the activities are identical to what is taking place now, but some new activities are added — including the testing of sonar from ships docked at piers.

Between now and 2015, Navy officials will describe and study the effects of various activities on marine life and update existing mitigation with new research findings. See my initial story in the Kitsap Sun, Feb. 27, and a related post in Water Ways, March 6. Also, you may review the official notice in the Federal Register.

Back to the letter, which states in part:

“As you know, the scoping process is the best time to identify issues and provide recommendations to agencies on what should be analyzed in the EIS. However, a process developed for activities with controversial impacts, like those at issue here, that does not provide opportunity for the public to testify or speak to a broader audience, or to hear answers to questions raised by others, and that fails to engage major population centers is not designed to help citizens and organizations effectively participate in agencies’ environmental reviews.”

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Agreement addresses highway stormwater issues

For older state highways, the method of managing stormwater typically is to dump it directly into ditches and streams. This is the historical approach: get rid of the water as quickly as possible. But, as the result of a legal settlement announced this week, we are likely to see more retrofits in the future.

Washington Department of Transportation has been improving its stormwater systems for new highways and a few older systems, but the latest federal stormwater permit issued by the Washington Department of Ecology did not go far enough, according to the group Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

Represented by Earthjustice, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance appealed the permit to the Pollution Control Hearings Board. The settlement was not everything the environmentalists wanted, but it is a solid step in dealing with aging highways.

Bob Beckman, executive director of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, explained the group’s position in a news release:

“Government agencies, businesses, and citizens are all working together to protect and restore Puget Sound, but the state’s department of transportation wasn’t carrying its share of the weight. There is a lot more work to be done, but we feel that this is a step in the right direction. The state highway system should not be held to a weaker standard than industries, local governments and the public.”

So what was included in the deal?
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