WSU Whatcom County Extension

Baker to Bay Symposium

WSU Whatcom County Extension        

Speaker Bios & Abstracts

 

(listed in order of appearance)

Keynote and Moderator Name: Jim Waldo, Gordon Thomas Honeywell
Contact: JWaldo@gt.law.com
Brief Bio: A Seattle native, Jim joined GTH as a Partner in 1980, after working for the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He focuses his practice on complex negotiations, project permitting and implementation, representation of public and private entities in multi-party negotiations, with an emphasis on environmental issues including natural resources, energy and tribal law. He particularly enjoys negotiating and implementing solutions to long-standing problems or helping to launch challenging new projects.

Speaker Name: Troy Luginbill, Director, Lynden Pioneer Museum
Contact: troy@lyndenpioneermuseum.com

Speaker Name: Steve Solomon, Lummi Nation
Contact: stevensolomon74@gmail.com

Speaker Name: Pete Granger, commercial fisherman
Contact: petegranger44@gmail.com
Brief Bio: Pete recently retired as program leader - marine advisory services for the Washington Sea Grant Program, a professional staff position at the University of Washington, Seattle. Granger has extensive background in the commercial seafood industry, having fished commercially in Puget Sound and Alaska and processed and marketing seafood products for several companies. He was sales director for Seafood Producers Cooperative in Bellingham 1989-1993.  Additionally, he served as executive director for several fisheries trade associations working on government relations and policies regarding the fishing industry. He also served on the board of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association from 1997-2001.  He currently serves on the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee. Granger has a BS in oceanography and an MBA in international business from the University of Washington. He continues to fish commercially on Puget Sound as a reef-net fisherman at Lummi Island near Bellingham.  Pete and his wife, Debbie, live in Bellingham.

Speaker Name: Tom Westergreen, Forester, Retiree, ATFS Award Winner
Contact: tomwestergreen@gmail.com
Brief Bio: Tom is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County.  Tom and his wife Bonnie live on their tree farm near Sumas, which is certified by the American Forest Foundation Tree Farm System.  His interest in forestry led to a BS degree in Forest Management from WSU and then a long professional career in the local private timber industry.  Tom has been a Society of American Foresters member since 1972, very active in the Washington Farm Forestry Association and the Washington Tree Farm Program.  Working on their family tree farm and assisting other small family forest owners, continues to be his passion. 

Speaker Name: Rich Appel, Appel Farms
Contact: appeldairy@gmail.com

Speaker Name: Kathryn Mitchell, Environmental Manager Alcoa Intalco Works
Contact: Kathryn.Mitchell@alcoa.com

Speaker Name: Kelli Linville, Mayor, City of Bellingham
Contact: klinville@cob.org
Brief Bio: Kelli Linville, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident, small business owner, educator and former state legislator, became the first woman Mayor of Bellingham in 2012 and is serving her second term.  She brings to her position a passion for community service, excellence in government and decades of experience as a public servant. Kelli was born and raised in Bellingham. She is a graduate of Bellingham High School and holds bachelor’s (1974) and master’s (1981) degrees in speech-language pathology from WWU. She worked for 16 years as a speech pathologist in the Bellingham Public Schools and was active in the Bellingham Education Association. She was elected in 1992 to represent the 42nd District in the Washington State House of Representatives, serving 1993-1994, and filled a vacant seat in 1995. She won seven successive re-election bids, serving through December 2010, for a total of 17 years, ending with chairing the State’s budget committee. As Mayor of Bellingham, she has prioritized ensuring public health and safety, balancing the City budget, supporting local business, protecting environmental resources, and preserving neighborhood character. Mayor Kelli aims to enrich our community through maintaining roads, infrastructure, parks and trails; proposing housing affordability options and partnering in job creation.

Speaker Name: Todd Elsworth, Recreation NW
Contact: todd@recreationnorthwest.org
Brief Bio: Todd Elsworth returned to Bellingham after 10 years of travel and career development in the recreation industry, teaching history and marketing and promotions. Upon his return in 2002, he founded the Bellingham Traverse to celebrate the life of wild salmon as an extension of his community values and personal interests.  In 2013, Todd co-founded Recreation Northwest with April Claxton to support the expanding Northwest Traverse Series and create valuable programming and events to activate our population. Recreation Northwest’s mission is to promote outdoor recreation and bring people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play.  He has been a speaker for WA State Parks and Recreation, local Rotary and Lions Clubs and other local and regional conferences.  As a local blogger, he regularly writes outdoor recreation stories for Bellingham/Whatcom Tourism. You may have read some of his popular stories encouraging you to Get “Out There” and enjoy the bounty of options in Whatcom County at Bellingham.org and BasecampBellingham.com.  Todd is also a freelance writer, with articles published in  Mt. Baker Experience, NW Travel Magazine and Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber’s welcome guide. Todd has served on the City of Bellingham Tourism Commission since 2009 and is a member of the Fairhaven Lions Club. He is primarily a proud single dad of 9-year old Violet- his adventure buddy.

Speaker Name: Ned Currence, Nooksack Tribe Natural Resources
Contact: ncurrence@nooksack-nsn.gov
Brief Bio: Ned Currence is the Fisheries and Resource Protection Program Manager for the Nooksack Indian Tribe, and has been a biologist with the Tribe since 1998.   He represents the Tribe in technical forums, and oversees monitoring of the local salmon and steelhead population abundances and supports fisheries harvest management.  Ned has a BS degree in Freshwater Studies from Huxley College of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University, with minors in geology and chemistry.  He has over 25 years of experience in salmon biology, ecology, and salmon recovery, as well as river ecology and watershed processes.  He is a local expert on Nooksack salmon and steelhead life histories, periodicities, distributions and abundances.  He was a member of the Puget Sound USFWS Bull Trout Recovery Team, and is a member of the Puget Sound NMFS Steelhead Recovery Team. 

Speaker Name: Erika Douglas, Senior Planner, Whatcom County Public Works
Contact: edouglas@co.whatcom.wa.us
Brief Bio: Erika Douglas is a Senior Water Quality Planner with Whatcom Public Works- Natural Resources.  She has a BS degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington University and a MS degree in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University.  Currently, Erika coordinates the Whatcom County Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program working with partner agencies and community groups to implement projects to improve water quality.  She has worked for the County since 1998 in water quality, watershed management, shellfish protection districts, and marine resource programs.  Erika is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County and is raising her family here.

Speaker Name: Jon Hutchings, Director, Whatcom County Public Works
Contact: JHutchin@co.whatcom.wa.us
Brief Bio: A hydrologist and soil scientist by training, Jon has spent 20 years serving communities around the west in their efforts to resolve difficult land and water resource challenges. His career has traversed Idaho onion farms, Nevada high desert ranches, and the bluegrass fields of Washington’s own Rathdrum Prairie. The themes are familiar: urbanization, agricultural water use, settling iniquities of the past, and people struggling with difficult decisions about water allocation. Jon’s experiences paved the way for founding of the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority followed by ten years at Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham. Jon is currently the Whatcom County Public Works Director.

Speaker Name: Renee LaCroix, Assistant Public Works Director, City of Bellingham
Contact: rlacroix@cob.org
Brief Bio: Renee LaCroix is the Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Bellingham. In her current role Renee leads the Natural Resources Division which focuses on stormwater, habitat restoration, climate change, as well as water quality and quantity issues. Renee has of Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Policy and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Aquatic Ecology from Western Washington University. She has over 22 years of experience in the natural resources management arena and is particularly interested in the intersection of science, policy and practice. Renee and her family are building a passive solar house in Bellingham. 

Speaker Name: Mark Personius, AICP, Assistant Director, Whatcom County Planning & Development Service
Contact: MPersoni@co.whatcom.wa.us
Brief Bio: Mark is the Assistant Director of the Whatcom County Planning & Development Services Department where he oversees both current and long range planning activities.  He has more than 25 years’ experience providing public policy, regulatory, and growth management consulting to local governments. He is responsible for managing Whatcom County’s GMA compliance process, 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update, the 2016 Critical Areas Ordinance Update and is involved in many related land use and water resource planning efforts for Whatcom County. 

Speaker Name: Steve Seymour, Drayton Harbor Shellfish
Contact: draytoncsa@comcast.net
Brief Bio: MS Fisheries University  of California  at Humboldt;Manager, Lummi Aquaculture Program, 1977-1991; Fish Biologist,  WDFW Regional Fish Enhancement Program,1991-2013; Shellfish Grower/ Business Owner, Samish Bay and Drayton Harbor, 1985-Present.

Speaker Name: Chuck Lindsay, Associated Earth Sciences
Contact: clindsay@aesgeo.com
Brief Bio: Chuck Lindsay has provided geologic/hydrogeologic services in western United States since 1983.  He received a MS degree in Hydrogeology from Western Washington University in 1989 and is a registered professional hydrogeologist in Washington State and with the American Institute of Hydrogeology.  Chuck is a former Whatcom County Water District Commissioner which has given him a unique perspective on surface and ground water management/control issues in Whatcom County.  He specializes in water rights analyses and in the identification and development of water resources for water supply purposes.

Speaker Name: Bill Finkbonner, Lummi Natural Resources
Contact: SkookumFH@yahoo.com

Speaker Name: Treva Coe, Nooksack Natural Resources
Contact: tcoe@nooksack-nsn.gov
Brief Bio: Treva Coe is the Habitat Restoration Program Manager for the Nooksack Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department.  In her 18 years with the Tribe, her work has focused on salmon recovery planning and the design, implementation and monitoring of salmon habitat restoration projects.  She is or has been a member of numerous local technical committees, including the WRIA 1 Salmon Staff Team and the WRIA 1 Instream Flow/Fish Habitat Technical Team.  She has a B.S. in Biology (Marine Concentration) from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Washington. Prior to her work with the Tribe, she studied kelp forest ecology in the California Channel Islands, biological oceanography in Antarctica, and juvenile salmon habitat use in the Queets River. 

Speaker Name: Carl Weimer, Whatcom County Council
Contact: carlweimer@comcast.net
Brief Bio: Carl Weimer has served as a member of the Whatcom County Council since 2006, and spent four of those years as chairman, and all twelve years on the Natural Resources Committee. He is also the Executive Director of the national Pipeline Safety Trust. He currently serves on the Governor appointed Washington State Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety, as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, on a technical committee for the Canadian Standards Associations, and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s External Advisory Panel. Carl has been called upon to testify to the U.S. House and Senate multiple times, and as a witness by the National Transportation Safety Board, and was honored by the White House in 2015 as a Champion of Change for his work on pipeline safety issues.  Before he was elected to the County Council Carl served as the environmental community’s representative to the WRIA 1 watershed planning efforts, and as the executive director of RE Sources for twelve years. He has a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Education from the University of Michigan, as well an A.A.S. in Industrial Electronics Technology from Peninsula College.

Speaker Name: Brad Rader, Whatcom Family Farmers
Contact: bradrader2@gmail.com

Speaker Name: Tony Larson, Whatcom Business Alliance
Contact: tony@whatcombusinessalliance.com

Speaker Name: GI James, ESA Policy Coordinator, Lummi Nation
Contact: geraldj@lummi-nsn.gov

Speaker Name: Bradley F. Smith, PhD, Chair, Fish and Wildlife Commission
Contact: bradley.smith@wwu.edu
Brief Bio: Brad Smith has spent over 40 years working to engage science and policy in finding solutions to complex environmental issues.  His career includes three years as the first Director of the Office of Environmental Education for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, service as a Special Assistant to the administrator of the EPA and as Acting Associate Administrator for the EPA under the Bush and Clinton administrations. He has authored multiple publications including a text on environmental science which is in its 14th edition and has been translated into 3 languages.  He has served on numerous boards, councils, and commissions at the local, state, national, and international levels.  From 1994 - 2012, Brad served as Dean of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University and is currently serving as Dean Emeritus. He also currently serves as Chairman of the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission and is on the Board of Directors for the North Pacific Research Board. He is a senior partner in Worldviews LLC which provides strategic analysis for communities in the area of environment, conservation, sustainable development, corporate responsibility, education, and emerging technologies.  He lives with his Bellingham with his wife Dana. 
 
Speaker Name: Robert Mitchell, PhD, WWU Department of Geology
Contact: robert.mitchell@wwu.edu
Brief Bio: Robert (Bob) Mitchell currently serves as the Digges Distinguished Professor of Engineering Geology in the Geology Department at Western Washington University where he has been a faculty member since 1996. He has degrees in geology (BS), geophysics (MS), physics (MS), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. Bob teaches courses in engineering geology, surface-water hydrology, hydrogeology, ground-water contamination, and GIS. His research interests include modeling the effects of climate change on mountain hydrology and hillslope processes including snowpack, streamflow, stream temperatures, and stream sediment; quantifying the effects of agricultural practices on ground-water quality; and aquifer characterization. His research efforts have supported numerous MS graduate students and have informed management and policy decisions regarding regional water quantity and quality.
Title:  Modeling the Effects of Forecasted Climate Change on Hydrology in the Nooksack River Basin
Abstract: The Nooksack River in Whatcom County, Washington is a valuable freshwater resource for regional municipalities, industry, and agriculture, and provides critical habitat for endangered salmon species. Historically, streamflow in the high relief basin is largely influenced by precipitation and snowmelt in the spring, and glacial melt throughout the warmer summer months. Due to a maritime climate, the basin is classified as a transient rain-snow basin, thus assessing its response to forecasted warming climates is important for water resources planning purposes. Regional climate projections through the end of the 21st century indicate an increase in average annual air temperature, a decrease in summer precipitation, and an increase in winter precipitation. We employ publically available statistically derived gridded surface data and numerical modeling techniques to simulate the effects of forecasted climate change on snowpack, glacier melt, and streamflow throughout the 21st Century. Simulation results project a reduction in snowpack with a general shift in peak snowmelt toward earlier in the spring; an increase in winter streamflows due to more rainfall rather than snow; and a decrease in summer flows. Glacier melt derived streamflow is projected to increase throughout the first half of the 21st century and decrease in the latter half after glacier ice volume decreases substantially.
Website/Links: https://cse.wwu.edu/geology/rjmitch

 

Speaker Name: Tim Abbe, PhD, PEG, PHG Natural Systems Design
Contact: tim@naturaldes.com
Brief Bio: Tim is a geomorphologist with 30 years of applied science and research experience in geomorphology, environmental assessment, and water resources.  Tim completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington on the patterns, mechanics and geomorphic effects of wood in fluvial networks. He has published numerous scientific papers on coastal and fluvial geomorphology and pioneered the development of engineered logjam technology.  He also has been a leader in restorative flood protection and the importance of creating river corridors where flooding and channel migration can occur unimpeded and without impacting human development.  He is currently leading work on the role of stream restoration as a fundamental part of human infrastructure for water supply, flood protection, and improving resilience to the warming climate.  Tim is a licensed professional geologist in Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.  He currently is the Chief Operating Officer at Natural Systems Design, Inc. and works out of the Port Angeles, WA office. You can find several of his publications on the NSD website. 
Title: Restoring fluvial corridors as a fundamental strategy to buffer hydrologic impacts of climate change
Abstract: d Projected climate change impacts on the timing and magnitude of streamflow for the Nooksack River include substantial increases in winter flood flows, decreases in summer baseflows, and a shift in the timing of the spring freshet to earlier in the year. These hydrologic changes will have deleterious effects aquatic habitat by increasing channel scour during the wet season, reducing in-stream flow and increasing stream temperature during the dry season. Hydrologic changes are also linked to geomorphic channel responses such as incision and widening which will further degrade aquatic habitat. The restoration of natural channel anabranching and alluvial storage can reverse historic impacts and reduce the negative consequences of climate change. Increased energetics associated with higher peak flows can be counteracted by shear stress partitioning of in-stream wood and riparian vegetation. Increased flow volumes and sediment loads can be accommodated by complex channel forms and floodplain connectivity. These restoration actions, in turn, initiate natural processes that provide additional benefits during the dry season by increasing alluvial water storage, raising shallow ground water elevations, promoting riparian forest growth, and establishing more resilient physical and ecologic systems. We review the principles of this approach, describe stable systems that have experienced major increases in flow, and present a successful project on the SF Nooksack that demonstrates how restoration can be an effective tool in buffering the impacts of climate change to ecosystems and human communities.
Website/Links: http://naturaldes.com/team/tim-abbe/

Speaker Name: James Helfield, PhD, WWU Department of Environmental Sciences
Contact: james.helfield@wwu.edu
Brief Bio: Jim Helfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.  His work focuses on river and riparian ecosystems, with emphasis Pacific salmon and their habitat.
Title:  Salmon Habitat Restoration in Hot Water: Engineered Log Jams, Hyporheic Exchange and Cool-Water Refuge
Abstract: Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in Whatcom County are imperiled by increasing water temperatures in rivers and streams. This warming is caused by a variety of land use practices and will become increasingly severe and widespread in the coming years due to global climate change. This project, a collaboration between Western Washington University and the Nooksack Indian Tribe, is a test of a potentially innovative approach to restoring salmon habitat in heat-stressed rivers. Specifically, this project seeks to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of using engineered log jams to promote localized upwelling of shallow subsurface (i.e., hyporheic) flow so as to create areas of cool-water refuge for chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the lower South Fork Nooksack River. The results of this work will help guide future habitat restoration efforts for endangered salmon populations in Whatcom County and elsewhere.
Website/Links: http://myweb.wwu.edu/~helfiej/

 

Speaker Name: Michael Maudlin, Forest Resource Protection Specialist, Nooksack Tribe
Contact: mmaudlin@nooksack-nsn.gov
Brief Bio: Michael has been working on salmon recovery and resource protection in the Nooksack Watershed for the past 15 years. As a geologist with the Nooksack Tribe, Michael is responsible for helping to set restoration project objectives, design review and effectiveness monitoring of habitat restoration projects.
Title:  Effectiveness monitoring of freshwater habitat restoration projects in the Nooksack Watershed
Abstract: Freshwater habitat restoration in the Nooksack Watershed is a key component of Puget Sound salmon recovery. Since 2001, over 25 large-scale restoration projects, designed to address a wide variety of chinook salmon limiting factors, have been completed in the watershed. Effectiveness monitoring has shown that many of the projects have quickly met their site-specific habitat objectives, such as pool formation, although continued monitoring is required to address longer-term reach-scale objectives, such as increased channel stability. This presentation will summarize key findings of our effectiveness monitoring program and discuss future directions for salmon habitat restoration.

Speaker Name: David Hooper, PhD, WWU Department of Biology
Contact: David.Hooper@wwu.edu
Brief Bio: David Hooper is a Professor of Biology at Western Washington University. He specializes in understanding controls on nutrient cycling in plants and soils, and how these processes influence human well-being.
Title:  Nooksack-Abbotsford-Sumas Transboundary Nitrogen Study
Abstract: As the most common nutrient limiting plant growth, nitrogen is essential for modern agricultural production and landscaping. But excess nitrogen in human and animal waste, and from fertilizer runoff, can degrade air and water quality, with adverse effects on human health, ecosystems, and natural resources. As a demonstration project of the International Nitrogen Management System, the Nooksack-Abbotsford-Sumas (NAS) Transboundary Nitrogen Project aims to develop a regional assessment, using available information, of nitrogen use and management in the southern Fraser Valley, BC, and Whatcom County, WA. We will consider different economic and regulatory constraints in the U.S. and Canada to understand challenges, and work with local communities to identify preferred potential solutions. We see three key ingredients to this effort:
1. Create a nitrogen inventory and identify knowledge gaps as a basis for understanding N sources, flows, and management options; 
2. Share information collected in Step 1, above, among citizens within the study region and collect their input, knowledge and concerns; 
3. Collaboratively identify and evaluate solutions for regional nitrogen issues and develop a menu of strategies, while also identifying the pros and cons for local food production and harvest, residential communities, the economy, and natural resources. 

Speaker Name: Anand D Jayakaran, PhD, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
Contact: anand.jayakaran@wsu.edu
Brief Bio: Ani Jayakaran is an Associate Professor in the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences - Washington State University Extension. His role is to meet education and research needs in a region experiencing the impacts of high urbanization, drought, and a changing climate. The scope of his work involves disseminating strategies to manage water resources using Low Impact Development, and improving current engineering designs with ecosystems-centric solutions for handling stormwater through applied research. Ani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from India, and graduate degrees in Civil Engineering (MS) and Agricultural & Biological Engineering (PhD) from Ohio State University. Ani’s areas of academic interest are green stormwater infrastructure, watershed hydrology, and fluvial geomorphology, specifically with respect to improving stormwater infrastructure in watersheds impacted by urbanization.
Title:  Performance of Porous Pavements Under Controlled Conditions in Western Washington
Abstract: Recent advances in several broadly allied scientific disciplines have shown that green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) can to some extent restore the natural pathways that stormwater takes from landscape to stream. Rain gardens and permeable pavements are one of several GSI techniques that are commonly used across the country. In the State of Washington, the use of GSI is mandated for any new or retrofit construction project that meets certain criteria. The talk will focus on performance studies of a 9-cell replicated asphalt pavement test facility that is installed at the Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center Campus, Puyallup, WA. The asphalt test facility has 9 lined cells - 3 cells are constructed with conventional asphalt and 6 with porous asphalt. Runoff from the impervious cells acts as control and were compared to runoff from the pervious cells. All water applied to the surface and that which infiltrated through the sub-base aggregate was monitored and collected at the outflow. Artificial and natural storm events were used to test both hydrologic and biogeochemical properties of the two systems. Pollutants evaluated were suspended sediments, metals, nutrients, and hydrocarbons. Preliminary stormwater flux and pollutant remediation information from this study will be presented at the conference.
Website/Links:
Academic: https://labs.wsu.edu/jayakaran/
Washington Stormwater Center http://www.wastormwatercenter.org/

Lunch Keynote Speaker Name: Michael Schmidt, Salish Sea Marine Survival Project
Contact: mschmidt@lltk.org
Brief Bio: Michael develops and implements large-scale, collaborative projects: primarily in the areas of research and applying science to management. He currently manages the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (7 years, 2 countries, 60 entities, over 150 participants), the Hood Canal Bridge Ecosystem Impact Assessment, and LLTK’s 5 field projects focused on stabilizing salmon and steelhead populations at risk of extinction and providing for sustainable fisheries. Past work includes coordinating the Hood Canal Steelhead Project (16 years, 8 entities, ~40 participants) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region Federal Hatchery Review (5 years, 15 member science team, 75 hatchery programs reviewed). Michael joined Long Live the Kings (LLTK) in 2001. He has a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.
Title:  Salish Sea Marine Survival Project

Speaker Name: Brandi Lubliner, P.E., Department of Ecology
Contact: brandi.lubliner@ecy.wa.gov
Title:  Overview of Stormwater Action Monitoring Program

Speaker Name: Jay Chennault, L.G., L.Hg., P.E., Associated Earth Sciences Inc.
Contact: jchennault@aesgeo.com
Brief Bio: Jay Chennault is a hydrogeologist and surface water engineer with 17 years of experience in watershed hydrology, surface water-groundwater interactions, stream gaging, and field data collection. Jay has been consulting in the Puget Sound area for the last 13 years where he has applied his skills to regional watershed projects and water right and water availability evaluations. Jay has also designed stream flow monitoring networks and developed MODFLOW numerical ground water flow models to evaluate surface water and ground water interactions and the availability of water for new water rights. Prior to his consulting career, Jay was with the Water Resources Division of the USGS working on stream gaging sites in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
Title:  The Nooksack River Instream Flow Rule
Abstract: The Instream Resources Protection Program - Nooksack Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1 was enacted on June 9, 1988 by Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-501. WAC 173-501 established instream flow rules or administrative closures for many streams in WRIA 1. The recent Washington State Supreme Court decision on Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. (Hirst Decision) has brought a renewed focus on instream flow rules. How and why are instream flow rules determined? How do instream flows in WRIA 1 compare to historic, current and future stream flow in the Nooksack watershed? What does that mean for the future of water rights from the Bay to Baker?
Website/Links: aesgeo.com

Speaker Name: Jessica Shaw, WSU Extension Whatcom County
Contact: jessica.shaw@wsu.edu
Brief Bio: Jessica is an M.S. student in the Environmental Sciences department at Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. She has worked in support of the agricultural research program at the WSU Whatcom County Extension Service since 2012.
Title:  Planted riparian buffers in the agricultural landscape: Are they making a difference in water
Abstract: In the lowlands of the Nooksack River flood plain, planted riparian buffers in agricultural landscapes must perform multiple functions to improve water quality and fish habitat while still allowing access to agricultural land use. Buffers must provide shade to moderate water temperature, act as an important source of food and cover for aquatic organisms, filter excess nutrients and sediments in runoff, and block pesticide drift without compromising field equipment or irrigation access. Relatively narrow, 15 foot wide buffers, are a more palatable option for landowners than 35 feet which is required to be considered for cost incentive programs such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). We wanted to discover whether these two relatively narrow buffer widths would result in detectable differences in the effectiveness of water temperature maintenance (reduction from upstream to downstream warming as a result of the amount of shade provided) and changes in fish community abundance. Results from research conducted in 2014-2015 indicate that narrow 15 ft buffers provide similar amounts of shade as wider 35 ft buffers, but that width is not the most significant factor detecting differences in fish community relative abundance and habitat conditions. In this presentation I will also explore the factors which may have influenced why no differences in fish communities were found, including change in water

Speaker Name: Analiese Burns, Habitat and Restoration Manager, City of Bellingham
Contact: acburns@cob.org
Brief Bio: Analiese Burns is the Habitat and Restoration Manager with the Natural Resources Division of the Bellingham Public Works Department. Analiese obtained a Bachelors in Science in Biology from the University of Washington and a Masters with an emphasis in Environmental Policy from Western Washington University. She is also a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS, #1618) and a LEED® Accredited Professional. Analiese entered the public sector from her roots in the private sector where she assisted clients with development and planning-level projects throughout Western Washington for over 15 years.  Analiese is passionate about finding common sense, effective ways to balance the built and natural environments. Her current interests include exploring watershed-level solutions, incentive programs, and strategic planning. In her spare time, enjoys spending time with her family, exploring new trails, and boating up and down the Salish Sea.
Title:  Squalicum Creek Reroute: restoration efforts result in temperature improvements
Abstract: d The City of Bellingham completed the first two phases of the Squalicum Creek reroute in the summer of 2015 to help improve water quality in this important lowland salmon stream. Squalicum Creek historically provided approximately 32 miles of accessible salmon habitat and currently supports a variety of species including pink, chum, and coho salmon as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead. Squalicum Creek has the greatest potential for high water quality and productive fish habitat within the Bellingham city limits. However, Squalicum Creek water quality has exceeded Washington State standards for temperature, dissolved oxygen, and fecal coliform bacteria. The 2015 award-winning restoration project routed the creek out of Sunset Pond and into a vegetated riparian corridor to improve fish passage and reduce thermal loading. Although thermal reductions were not anticipated for at least five years following construction, initial temperature monitoring results suggest temperature benefits are already being achieved and should only increase in future years as the riparian vegetation matures.
Website/Links:
https://www.cob.org/services/environment/restoration/Pages/squalicum-creek-reroute.aspx
https://www.cob.org/services/environment/restoration/pages/squalicum-creek.aspx

Speaker Name: David Shull, PhD, WWU Department of Environmental Sciences
Contact: david.shull@wwu.edu
Brief Bio: David Shull received degrees in oceanography from the University of Washington (B.S.) and the University of Connecticut (M.S.), and a degree in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts Boston (Ph.D., 2000).  Afterward, he was a research associate at the University of Maine's Darling Marine Center and an assistant professor of biology at Gordon College before coming to Western in 2004.  Dr. Shull studies invertebrate communities in estuaries and continental shelf sediments.  He is particularly interested in the roles that benthic organisms play in the function of coastal ecosystems.  He has studied the effects of benthic organisms on the fate of contaminants in coastal waters, the role of deposit feeders in the initiation of harmful algal blooms (red tide), and the effects of tube-building organisms on concentrations of methyl mercury in sediments.  Currently he is studying benthic organisms and nutrient cycling in the sediments of the Bering Sea and the effects of sediment pore-water hydrogen sulfide on the growth and survival of eelgrass, Zostera japonica.
Title:  Corrosive water in Bellingham Bay
Abstract: Results of the first survey of acidification in Bellingham Bay demonstrate corrosive water in the center of the bay. Low levels of pH (7.5) and aragonite saturation state (0.5) were observed near the region of seasonal hypoxia. Measurements of the input of dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity from the Nooksack River, sediment flux, the Post Point WWTP, and deep water, along with measurements of respiration indicate that high rates of respiration in the bay are largely responsible for the low pH water. Sediments are an important contribution to alkalinity.
Website/Links: https://huxley.wwu.edu/people/shulld

Speaker Name: Eric Grossman, PhD, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science and Research, Faculty, WWU Department of Geology
Contact: egrossman@usgs.gov
Brief Bio: Dr. Eric Grossman is a coastal and marine geologist who conducts research on hydrodynamics, sediment transport and coastal change to inform how land use and climate change influence ecosystems, infrastructure and communities. He has published extensively on sea level rise, coastal geologic framework, coastal dynamics, and more recently on assessments of coastal vulnerability and resilience relative to ecosystem restoration and community health.
Title:  Sea-level rise impact pathways to Bellingham Bay communities and ecosystems
Abstract: Extensive and valued coastal lands and ecosystems that support the unique economy and rich culture of Bellingham Bay and Whatcom County in northwest Washington are becoming increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise and associated coastal change. Sea level rise is projected to adversely affect property, transportation, industry (e.g. agriculture), ecosystems, habitat restoration and water quality through several impact pathways including more tidal flooding, intensifying storm surge, wave and stream flood impacts, sedimentation, retarding groundwater drainage, and shifting the estuarine mixing zone. The magnitude and recurrence frequency of nuisance and extreme tide, coastal-storm flooding and wave impacts are anticipated to increase with higher sea level. It is estimated that today’s 100-yr coastal flood event will become a 10-yr event with 1 ft of sea level rise and a 1-yr event with 2 ft of sea level rise. Higher coastal waters are likely to occur more frequently with Nooksack River floods relative to today and compound the risk of higher stream floods resulting from more intense atmospheric rivers and more precipitation as rain associated with climate change. Less certain but equally important, is the fate of sediment sourced in the Nooksack watershed. The Nooksack River already has the highest sediment yield of all Puget Sound basins and like other rivers draining the Cascade Volcanoes its sediment load is projected to markedly increase with higher peak flows. Sea level rise retards stream velocities, which increases and shifts channel sedimentation higher into the watershed and recent studies reveal trends in Nooksack River channel filling between the City of Everson and the delta that influence flood risk. A new numerical model that couples sea-level rise, vertical land motion, storm surge, waves and stream flooding for the entire range of downscaled CMIP5 Pacific Northwest climate projections out to the year 2100 provides information to evaluate coastal hazards risk and likely change at scales appropriate for local planning. Model outputs intend to help identify and prioritize coordinated investments to enhance ecosystem services that people depend upon including hazards risk mitigation, salmon and shellfish recovery, and resilient food production.
Website/Links: https://www.usgs.gov/news/water-life-swinomish-indian-tribal-community http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/climate-change/lowNRG.html
http://puget.usgs.gov/
https://toolkit.climate.gov/case-studies/swinomish-indian-tribal-community-prepares-climate-change-impacts

Speaker Name: Steve Jeffries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: steven.jeffries@dfw.wa.gov
Brief Bio: Steven Jeffries is a Research Scientist and marine mammal specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  He has worked on a variety of Northwest marine mammals for over 37 years with a focus on harbor seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions and sea otters.  His research efforts on these species have included studies to address their general biology, distribution, abundance, status, trends, diet, foraging ecology, and contaminant pathways.  He is a member of NOAA’s Pacific Scientific Review Group and represents WDFW in efforts to mitigate regional marine mammal fishery interaction issues.
Title: Who Gets the Salmon:  Seals, Sea Lions, Orcas or People?
Abstract: Salmon management presents numerous challenges in the potential tradeoffs between people, orcas, seals and sea lions that all depend on salmon to some degree.  These marine mammal predators have different foraging strategies, diet preferences, seasonal occurrence and reliance on salmon.  Orcas depend on adult chinook; harbor seals select pinks in odd years when they are abundant; and seals, sea lions and porpoise feed on juvenile salmon migrating out the Salish Sea.  This talk will discuss findings from recent seal and sea lion foraging studies in the Salish Sea and what options may be available under the MMPA for managing marine mammals.

Speaker Name: Eric Beamer, Skagit River Cooperative
Contact: ebeamer@skagitcoop.org
Brief Bio: A lifelong resident of Whatcom County, Eric Beamer is Research Director for Skagit River System Cooperative, where he has worked examining salmon freshwater, estuarine, and nearshore ecology since 1984.  Mr. Beamer is the principal investigator in the following fields of research: landscape processes influencing habitat conditions, identification of juvenile Chinook salmon life history patterns, and factors influencing wild Chinook salmon production, use of non-natal estuaries & small streams by juvenile Chinook salmon, and monitoring effectiveness of estuary restoration projects for Chinook salmon recovery.
Title:  Juvenile Chinook Salmon in Bellingham Bay
Abstract:  The 2005 Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1 Salmonid Recovery Plan included recovery actions for the Nooksack River’s estuary and nearshore. However, a lack of specific analysis of Nooksack juvenile Chinook salmon population dynamics led to uncertainties in determining the importance and priority of habitat actions within the estuary or nearshore compared to recovery actions within other parts of the Nooksack River basin. The City of Bellingham, recognizing the importance of filling this information gap, commissioned a juvenile chinook study in partnership with Bellingham Bay Action Team and Lummi Nation to investigate the role of estuarine and nearshore marine habitats on Nooksack early Chinook productivity and abundance. Analysis of data collected from 2003 through 2015 show that Nooksack tidal delta and Bellingham Bay nearshore refuge habitats (pocket estuaries, small independent streams) are utilized by natural origin juvenile Chinook even at the current (underseeded) outmigration levels. The juvenile life history types exist in the overall system to capitalize on tidal delta and nearshore habitat opportunities. Restoration and protection of these habitats would benefit the comparatively few fish currently expressing these life history types and support resilience in the Nooksack natural origin Chinook populations as they move toward recovery. In addition, currently, use of Nooksack tidal delta habitats by natural origin juvenile Chinook is concentrated in only one area. Ultimately, restoration goals for Nooksack tidal delta and Bellingham Bay nearshore habitats should be determined by considering the habitat extent, connectivity, and quality needed for the desired future Nooksack Chinook populations.
Website/Links:
http://skagitcoop.org/wp-content/uploads/Nooksack-BhamBay_Final_092916.pdf
http://skagitcoop.org/programs/research/research-documents-map/
http://skagitcoop.org/programs/research/

 

 

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu