Archive for September 2010

Ocean Shores Developers Ordered to Restore Wetlands

“Landowners who plan to work in wetlands must obtain the proper permits before they begin,” said EPA’s Szerlog. “Coastal wetlands are fragile ecosystems and unpermitted construction can be very damaging to them.”

Wetlands help maintain water quality characteristics like water temperature, which directly affect fish spawning and rearing. Waters from these dune wetlands drain into the Pacific Ocean.

EPA has ordered Burgess and Kilcup to remove all unauthorized fill material from the dune wetlands by April 2011. The Clean Water Act authorizes civil penalties of up to $37,500 per day of violation and administrative penalties of up to $16,000 per day for each violation up to a maximum administrative penalty of $177,500.

For more information about the Clean Water Act Section 404 wetland regulatory authority, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/pdf/reg_authority_pr.pdf

For more information about Wetlands protection work, visit:
http://epa.gov/owow/wetlands
http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/functions.html
http://www.usace.army.mil/

Grays Harbor Needs Survey Needs Help

Please take a few minutes to participate in the

GRAYS HARBOR COMMUNITY NEEDS SURVEY

By Housing Grays Harbor

 

www.surveymonkey.com/s/graysharborneeds

One survey per household.

 

EVERYBODY COUNTS!

Your experiences and opinions matter.


Housing Grays Harbor is a group of local Harborites working together to address community needs. This survey is a way to find out from you about our community’s biggest needs and concerns.

 

IT’S ANONYMOUS!!!  Some questions may seem personal, but we cannot tell who you are from the survey.  If you are not comfortable answering a question, you may skip it, but the more complete your answers are, the better.  

 

Lady Washington to Offer Activities During Watershed Festival

Crews from the Historical Seaport will also take festival-goers on rides in the longboats Capt. Matt Peasley and Hewitt R. Jackson. Board the boats at Aberdeen Landing near Lady Washington. The rides are free. A donation is appreciated.

 

Lady Washington will also open for tours on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and she will offer an Adventure Sail on the Chehalis River at 2 p.m.

Public Comment Sought for State’s Draft Coastal Zone Management Act

Each state must then develop strategies to address priorities identified in the assessment. Once approved, NOAA provides funding to implement Section 309 strategies that result in the development and implementation of program changes in one or more priority enhancement areas.

For more information on the public comment period, the Section 309 program, and a link to the draft document, please visit our public comment web page at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/czm/309_public_comment.html

Two Birds in Grant County Test Positive For First West Nile Virus in State

West Nile virus is unpredictable and there’s no way to know how much activity will be seen in a given year. Last year was the state’s most active with 38 human infection cases including the first death from the virus. It was also detected in numerous dead birds, horses, and mosquito samples.

“We haven’t seen West Nile activity as strong this year as we have in previous years, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods,” said Gregg Grunenfelder, environmental health division assistant secretary for the Department of Health. “Mosquitoes are still out there so it’s important people continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”

While it’s getting late in the mosquito season, people should continue to protect themselves against West Nile (www.doh.wa.gov/wnv) by avoiding mosquito bites, at least until the first cold snap that reduces the mosquito populations. Start preparing for the off-season by removing standing water around your home. Clean out gutters, keep water fresh in birdbaths and pet dishes, and fix leaky outdoor sprinklers and faucets.

As hunting seasons get under way, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends hunters follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (www.cdc.gov/Features/HuntingSafety) to avoid diseases transmitted from animals to people. That includes wearing gloves while handling game, safely field-dressing game, and using proper cooking and storage procedures. This time of year, hunters should also take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The state Department of Health encourages people to report dead birds through October using the online dead bird reporting system (www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/Zoo/WNV/reportdeadbird.html).

DNR Lifts Statewide Burn Ban

The conditions allow DNR to remove the statewide burn ban before September 30, 2010. The burn ban was ordered on July 15, 2010 to reduce the number of wildfires caused by escaped debris burns and recreational fires on forest land. These fires can cause extensive damage to natural resources and property, and can cost the state millions of dollars in fire suppression costs.

This year was the first that Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark issued a Commissioners Order calling for a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands.

Burn barrels illegal

The use of burn barrels in Washington state is illegal. Backyard fires that get out of control are a leading cause of wildfires caused by people. Those who burn fires illegally are held responsible for the cost of putting out the wildfire caused by their outdoor burning.

 

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Book Signing Event, as Local Author Reveals Ocean Shores History

Author Gene Woodwick has collected the history of Ocean Shores for 50 years as a local journalist and a long-time property owner.

 

Join us for a book signing!

 

Saturday, Sept 25th from 11am-1pm

Aberdeen Museum of History

111 East Third Street, Aberdeen, Washington 98520 

(360) 533-1976

 

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com

 

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.  Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places.  Have we done a book on your town?  Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Developer Pleads Guilty to Illegally Filling Wetlands in Southwest Washington

            “Mr. Smith deliberately chose to ignore environmental laws that other developers and contractors in the state abide by,” said Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant.  “Today’s plea agreement is a consequence of his decision to bulldoze dozens of acres of wetlands and a creek.”

 

            SMITH admits in his plea agreement to knowingly engaging in land clearing activities that included excavating wetlands and stream channels and redepositing or discharging the excavated materials into waters of the United States.  The activities occurred on property he owned near Winlock, Washington.  SMITH’s land clearing operations spanned a period of over two years, beginning in August 2005 and concluding in October 2007 when inspectors discovered the illegal activity.  In early 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an order to SMITH requiring him to restore the wetlands.  He did not comply with the order and a separate civil case was filed requiring restoration of the damaged wetlands.  The civil case is being handled separately from the criminal case.

 

 


            According to records in the case, 65 percent of the 190 acres SMITH owned near Winlock were covered in wetlands and small streams that drain into Lacamas Creek.  The creek flows into the Cowlitz River and ultimately empties into the Columbia River.  The wetlands at issue cannot be filled without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Neither SMITH nor anyone associated with the property ever applied for the required permit.  In all, 98 acres of wetlands were cleared and disturbed between 2005 and 2007.  While SMITH had a permit to log part of the property, he had no state or federal permits to disturb the wetlands.

 

            In 2007, SMITH had sought to strike a deal with the Southwest Washington Regional Equestrian Center to build a $70 million facility on the site.  After being fined by the Washington State Department of Ecology for filling the wetlands, the deal fell through.   

 

            The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

 

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Oesterle who heads the U.S. Attorney’s Office working group on environmental crimes.

 

            For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or [email protected].

First Razor Clam Dig of the Season Tentatively Scheduled

The National Park Serve scheduled the dig at Kalaloch Beach, which is located within the Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at Mocrocks and Copalis beaches. 

 

No digging will be allowed before noon on any of the five razor-clam beaches.

 

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2010-11 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov  and from license vendors around the state.

 

Ayres said clam digging should be good this season, although diggers should expect to encounter higher numbers of smaller clams than last year. To prevent wastage, state law requires diggers to keep the first 15 razor clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

 

“The good news is that the smaller clams will continue to grow through the season,” he said. “In the meantime, diggers will likely be taking home some three-inch clams along with larger clams as part of their daily limit.”

 

Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin urged diggers to take safety precautions during night digs, especially at Kalaloch.

 

“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” she said. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”

 

Ayres also advised diggers heading to Copalis and Mocrocks of a traffic revision on eastbound U.S. Highway 101 in Hoquiam due to emergency work on the Simpson Avenue Bridge.

 

“This is the only route to those beaches, so people should allow extra travel time to make sure they don’t arrive late,” Ayres said. He advises diggers to check the Washington Department of Transportation website for updated information at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us101/simpsonbridgepierrepair/.

 

Below is the schedule of proposed razor-clam digs, along with evening low tides, announced by WDFW and Olympic National Park:

 

  • Oct. 7, Thurs. – 6:55 p.m. (-1.0 ft.), Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 8, Fri. – 7:42 p.m. (-1.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Oct. 9, Sat. – 8:28 p.m. (-1.5 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Oct. 10, Sun. – 9:15 p.m. (1.3 ft.), Twin Harbors

 

  • Nov. 5, Fri. – 6:41 p.m., (-1.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Nov. 6, Sat. – 7:26 p.m., (-1.6 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Nov. 7, Sun. – 7:11 p.m., (-1.5 ft.), Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 8, Mon. – 7:55 p.m., (-1.2 ft.), Twin Harbors

 

  • Nov. 20, Sat. – 5:39 p.m., (-0.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 21, Sun. – 6:17 p.m., (-0.7 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors

 

  • Dec. 3, Fri. – 4:43 p.m., (-0.8 ft.), Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 4, Sat. – 5:59 p.m., (-1.2 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Dec. 5, Sun. – 6:14 p.m., (-1.3 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Dec. 6, Mon. – 6:56 p.m., (-1.2 ft.), Twin Harbors

 

  • Dec. 31, Fri. – 3:40 p.m., (0 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 1, Sat. – 4:31 p.m., (-0.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 2, Sun. – 5:18 p.m., (-0.7 ft.), Twin Harbors

Conservative Comments with Mike Yarmakovich

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