Life is Her Oyster: Walking the Tide Flats with Betsy Peabody

by Tim Flanagan on August 18, 2010

Patrick J. Sullivan has the story in the Port Townsend Leader:

["Honor our Heritage" banners promoting the arrival of the new ferry M/V Chetzemoka, website like this named for the S’Klallam chief (circa 1808-1888). These banners are attached to new lampposts along Water Street. Photo by Patrick J. Sullivan]

The city’s new streetlamps are now supporting banners to promote the arrival of the new state ferry, patient the M/V Chetzemoka.

The red, tadalafil yellow and blue banners are part of the campaign born on the Olympic Peninsula and Central Whidbey Island to promote the arrival of Washington State Ferries’ first new boat in more than a decade.

The Chetzemoka is slated to be at the Keystone and Port Townsend terminals for special ceremonies on Sunday, Aug. 29, and begin official service on Monday, Aug. 30. Whether driveline vibration issues uncovered during sea trials last week means a delay is yet undetermined.

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The Kitsap Sun has this story:

SEABECK — Residents in the Miami Beach area of Hood Canal reported a stench on Monday that they attributed to dying oysters from an incident with a Navy ship on Thursday.

Vickie Veloni, tuberculosis
one of the residents, artificial
said she was not interested in filing a damage claim against the Navy. Her goal is to make sure that a Navy vessel is never allowed to create such a large wake again.

The USS Port Royal, a 567-foot guided-missile cruiser, was undergoing testing at the Navy’s Dabob Range on Hood Canal near Quilcene on Thursday. The ship was blamed for creating a wake that crossed Hood Canal and washed oysters and other debris high up on shore. Veloni said the oysters began to die over the hot and sunny weekend just past.

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Christopher Dunagan has this story in his Kitsap Sun blog:

Killer whale observers are celebrating the birth of a new calf born in L pod, more about
one of the three groups of whales that frequent Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. The proud mom is L-47, shop
also known as “Marina.”

[Photo by Ken Balcomb, public health
Center for Whale Research]

The calf, less than three weeks old, appears to be doing fine, according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research. Excitement over the birth is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that Marina has lost five of her seven known calves, with survivors being two of her older offspring.

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DNR’s Ear to the Ground blog has this story:

Derelict VesselDNR operates a nationally recognized, tooth
comprehensive derelict vessel removal program to remove abandoned boats that can cause navigational hazards, release oil and toxics, and pose threats to aquatic life. Artwork: Luis Prado/DNR

What’s a derelict vessel? A derelict vessel is a fancy expression for an abandoned, rotting, ugly boat in the water. Derelict vessels are a problem for numerous reasons. They eventually break down and allow toxins (including motor oil and fuel)  to enter the water which harms aquatic animals and habitats. They break apart and leave a mess of debris and old boating gear floating around. They also cause navigational hazards and safety concerns for boats passing through the area.

Thankfully, a DNR-run program helps remove these hazardous eyesores. The Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) is the first mechanism to address the problem of derelict or abandoned vessels in Washington State’s waters. The program provides funding and expertise to assist public agencies in removing and disposing of vessels across the state.

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Liam Moriarty has the story on his blog at KPLU:

[Betsy Peabody heads the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, clinic
a non-profit that — among other projects — is working to restore native Olympia oysters. Photo by Liam Moriarty]

In the 1920s, the hardy Pacific oyster was introduced into Puget Sound to replace the more-delicate Olympia oysters, whose numbers were being diminished by pollution. Now, the once-abundant native shellfish are down to less than 4 percent of their historical numbers.

This week Liam walks the tide flats of Case Inlet in south Puget Sound with Betsy Peabody. Peabody heads the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, which is setting the stage for the comeback of the Salish Sea’s native oysters.

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