Apr 232012
 
At the last Wednesday meeting of the BBWARM advisory board, sitting as a Shellfish Protection District, George Boggs, executive director of the Whatcom Conservation District, and Rachael Vasak presented their plan to improve water quality in Terrell Creek and Birch Bay.
Ms. Vasak, who is popular in the community as Executive Director of NSEA, the Nooksak Salmon Enhancement Association, has been interviewing landowners in the Terrell Lake basin and other areas of possible pollution of Terrell Creek and found that most don’t have concern for clams in the bay and don’t think leaking septic systems or their animal waste is important. So she and Boggs are forming an advisory committee to identify 30 owners for persuasion with modest monetary incentive. They cite Nancy Lee, as their guide. She is the principal of Social Marketing Services, Inc., based on Mercer Island, has been “Influencing Behaviors for Good” since 1993.
Meanwhile ReSources for Sustainable Communities is petitioning the state Department of Ecology to include Birch Bay (and Blaine) in national stormwater regulations that would put enforceable restraints on polluters. BBWARM relies on voluntary compliance. Doggie bags are available at key points but if a dog poops on the beach the owner might get yielled at by clam diggers, but no sheriff’s citation.
Ms. Lee’s website (www.socialmarketing service.com) has a long list of persuasion accomplishments including Storm water Runoff, EPA and Seattle Public Utilities; Natural Yard Care, King County Department of Natural Resources and Seattle Public Utilities; Leaking Toilets, Seattle Public Utilities; Proper Disposal of Grease and Cooking Oils, City of Victoria, B.C. But she’s not fervent, noting that a law was necessary to stop texting while driving when persuasion failed. 
Boggs and Vasak have grants totalling a million dollars. Don Monfort, BBWARM’s math whiz and chief cynic, noted that is $33,000 per persuasion tartet. Ms. Lee counters that if a significant number of those 30 change their ways, others will be persuaded. How do you compute that?

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