NSEA’s Terrell Creek Work Party

 Environment  Comments Off on NSEA’s Terrell Creek Work Party
Nov 182012
Nearly 100 volunteers of all ages turned out on Saturday, November 17, 2012, for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s fall Terrell Creek tree planting. The largest contingent hailed from Western Washington University.
Olivia Sittauer (left), a  junior Communictions major at Western from Seattle, and
Brandon Osterlund, a senior Environmental Science major at Western from Kalama,
put the finishing touches on the tree they planted.
Naio McCush, a Western junior from Silver City,
New Mexico in the
Vehicle Research Institute,
attaches stakes to a protective blue tube.
Justine Mims, who came from Portland,
Oregon and is a freshman in
Behavorial Sciences,
prepares a new home for her tree.

Alana DiMarco, from Mukilteo, a Western Environmental Education volunteer with NSEA, welcomed and registered volunteers as they reported in.

Alana DiMarco, who is a senior at Western, volunteers
nearly every day with NSEA.

Ken Johnson’s sixth grade class from Blaine Middle School made a significant contribution to reforestation of the Terrell Creek watershed. Although he offers extra credit for participation, he says most of the kids who turn out are already A students.

Ken Johnson’s sixth grade class get extra credit for their tree planting work.

Stu Currier, who says he is old enough to collect Medicare, has participated in tree plantings for 14 years, including several trips to Terrell Creek, Whatcom Creek and other sites.

Stu Currier, a Bellingham resident, has been
planting NSEA trees for 14 years.

The fall and spring work party schedules are posted on NSEA’s Web site www.n-sea.org

Saturday, November 17 Work Party

 Birch Bay Issues, Environment  Comments Off on Saturday, November 17 Work Party
Nov 152012

Volunteers eager to contribute to the work on Terrell Creek are invited to the work party this Saturday, November 17. Park at the former Birch Bay Community Church property and walk to the location, marked by the NSEA canopy. Come and help make the creek even more hospitable to hatching and spawning Chums.

Work party group photo from NSEA’s Web site

Work parties are from 9am – 12pm. Tools and gloves will be provided. Please wear sturdy shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Refreshments will be provided by the Bagelry, the Community Food Co-op, Starbucks, and Tony’s Coffee. These work parties are free and open to everyone. Bring your enthusiasm, your friends and family, and anyone else that can hold a shovel See you at the creek!

Terrell Dam and RSI

 Birch Bay Issues, Environment  Comments Off on Terrell Dam and RSI
Nov 152012

Three thousand tons of fill carried in by 80 dump trucks reconfigured Terrell Dam in a cooperative effort among the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, the Conservation District and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Rachel Vasak, executive director of N-SEA and Frank Corey of the Conservation District explained the project to the group signing up for a tour on October 20.

Tour group listening to Rachel Vasak (2nd from right) and Frank Corey (right)
explain the Terrell Dam Project

Water flow in the creek will be sufficient for the survival of  fry hatched from the remote site incubator (RSI) installed near the new bridge downstream from the dam.

New bridge and RSI almost visible below the left end.

Eggs from native Chum will be placed in the RSI soon and will hatch sometime in February or March. Volunteers monitor the site to report any interruption to the water flow that would threaten the well-being of those babies. The Chum species of salmon is best suited to this creek envirnoment because they spend the least time in fresh water on their journey to a salt water habitate.

Harvest Dinner

 Environment, Food  Comments Off on Harvest Dinner
Oct 062012

Take equal portions of fantastic food, great drinks, delightful company, glorious weather, hot blue-grass music and sensational location, stir slightly and serve. You’ll have a winning recipe for the 10th Annual Harvest Dinner.

The Fourth Corner Slow Food Chapter organized the event at Bellewood Acres with support from and proceeds going to four local organizations. The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, of which the Chums of Terrell Creek are a subset, received a share of those proceeds, along with the Exploration Academy, Sustainable Connections and the Common Threads Farm.  
Bellewood Acres has another connection with the Chums of Terrell Creek. The tree planting and give-away on Birch Bay Drive sprung from contact with Dorie Belisle, co-owner and marketing whiz of Bellewood, who was managing the Farmers Growing Trees for Salmon project when we called her about getting free trees for the Terrell Creek bank side of the lot we had just purchased. She regretfully reported that all the trees advertised were gone, but wondered if we would be interested in planting some more for future give-away. 
Not having a clue about tree-planting and wondering if this small lot could possibly accommodate sufficient trees to be worthwhile, we invited her to come out and assess the site. She came, she saw and she opined that we could plant 1000 plugs in this little space. We did that for two cycels (two years each), until the program ended.
The spread at the Bellewood Acres Harvest Dinner site was abundant and varied.  

As were the participants.
The Gallus Brothers backed the natural setting with blue-grass selections all evening.
And a great time was had by all.
Hope to see you at next year’s Harvest Dinner.

Can Persuasion Prevent Legal Action?

 Birch Bay Issues, Environment  Comments Off on Can Persuasion Prevent Legal Action?
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?