Abstract Title

Session S-08D: Salmon Recovery: Implementation and Progress I

Presenter/Author Information

Mark OverlandFollow

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Imagine you are standing beside Captain Vancouver and his crew on The Discovery as it rounds Point Evans in The Tacoma Narrows in May of 1792. Everyone sucks in their breath. Is this the Inside Passage you have all risked your lives to Discover? The air is filled with clouds of screeching birds. The sea around you is boiling over with fish beyond number. Bailing seals, with otters, orcas and many other marine mammals beyond count gorge themselves as they follow the salmon home. Thick forests of fir, cedar and madrona stand as giant sentinels forming a gauntlet of steep cliffs and ravines. They reach down to the shore lined with floating forests of kelp. Salmon are racing to propel themselves up the numerous outflowing streams. 200 years later, Captain Vancouver’s Tacoma Narrows is facing biological extinction. How could this living treasure be lost to us like this? Consider Doc Weathers Creek (DWC) that originates at The Tacoma Narrows Airport “safety zone.” The creek becomes an upland marshland swamp below the airport, with nesting bald eagles above it; right turns into Narrows Park and finally runs onto the sandy, gravelly beach of The Narrows. The ASARCO contaminated, riparian forest that maintains DWC is a Critical Contributing Area. This creek is a 303(d) “water of the state.” As this former salmon bearing stream reaches The Tacoma Narrows shoreline, the 4d rule of The Endangered Species Act applies to the Chinook (king) salmon and the now iconic Southern Resident Killer Whales. DWC appears to be the last chance for salmon restoration on the Tacoma Narrows. The creek was diverted and culverted in the late 1930’s for the western pier engineers of “Galloping Gertie.” An alliance of developers, engineers, the Pierce County Planning and Land Use Department, along with The Narrows Airport and the Peninsula Metropolitan Parks have been willfully blind to the devastation of what has survived. Bold approaches are required to save what has been left for Captain Vancouver’s descendants, and our children. The Lummi Nation and the Orca Network support this presentation. A restored DWC could be a model for a brighter future, but it could also be the remotest symbol of a dying inland sea that leads to our mutual extinction. Our presentation includes engineers’ plans, charts and inspiring photographs.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Doc Weathers Creek, The Narrows and Puget Sound’s Survival (a Salmon Recovery presentation)

Room 6C

Imagine you are standing beside Captain Vancouver and his crew on The Discovery as it rounds Point Evans in The Tacoma Narrows in May of 1792. Everyone sucks in their breath. Is this the Inside Passage you have all risked your lives to Discover? The air is filled with clouds of screeching birds. The sea around you is boiling over with fish beyond number. Bailing seals, with otters, orcas and many other marine mammals beyond count gorge themselves as they follow the salmon home. Thick forests of fir, cedar and madrona stand as giant sentinels forming a gauntlet of steep cliffs and ravines. They reach down to the shore lined with floating forests of kelp. Salmon are racing to propel themselves up the numerous outflowing streams. 200 years later, Captain Vancouver’s Tacoma Narrows is facing biological extinction. How could this living treasure be lost to us like this? Consider Doc Weathers Creek (DWC) that originates at The Tacoma Narrows Airport “safety zone.” The creek becomes an upland marshland swamp below the airport, with nesting bald eagles above it; right turns into Narrows Park and finally runs onto the sandy, gravelly beach of The Narrows. The ASARCO contaminated, riparian forest that maintains DWC is a Critical Contributing Area. This creek is a 303(d) “water of the state.” As this former salmon bearing stream reaches The Tacoma Narrows shoreline, the 4d rule of The Endangered Species Act applies to the Chinook (king) salmon and the now iconic Southern Resident Killer Whales. DWC appears to be the last chance for salmon restoration on the Tacoma Narrows. The creek was diverted and culverted in the late 1930’s for the western pier engineers of “Galloping Gertie.” An alliance of developers, engineers, the Pierce County Planning and Land Use Department, along with The Narrows Airport and the Peninsula Metropolitan Parks have been willfully blind to the devastation of what has survived. Bold approaches are required to save what has been left for Captain Vancouver’s descendants, and our children. The Lummi Nation and the Orca Network support this presentation. A restored DWC could be a model for a brighter future, but it could also be the remotest symbol of a dying inland sea that leads to our mutual extinction. Our presentation includes engineers’ plans, charts and inspiring photographs.