Why Conserve Marine Shorelines?

Capitol Land Trust (CLT) and our many partners play a key role in protecting natural marine shorelines of Puget Sound by identifying productive and sensitive habitats, and by working with willing landowners to protect these areas using methods such as purchase, conservation easements, and restoration. We strive to maintain our shoreline heritage so that future generations will also be able to enjoy a meal of fresh salmon and shellfish, a day of clam digging and beachcombing, and see a great blue heron stalking fish along the water line, or glimpse an otter scampering down the beach.

Our extensive marine shorelines are a special feature of the southern end of Puget Sound. They formed when, during past ice ages, huge glaciers from the north plowed through lowlands between the Cascade and Olympic mountains, carving out a series of narrow fiords (inlets) separated by higher peninsulas. When the glaciers retreated, the low areas were connected with the Pacific Ocean, creating the complex of inlets and marine shorelines we see today.

Our shorelines provide inspiring views of glistening mountains across sparkling water. We enjoy and share many recreational and educational pursuits such as clam digging, fishing, crabbing, boating, bird watching, beach combing, and nature study made possible by access to shorelines and beaches.

Twin Rivers Ranch Preserve on Oakland Bay in Mason County. Photo by Bonnie Liberty.

Twin Rivers Ranch Preserve on Oakland Bay in Mason County. Photo by Bonnie Liberty.

Natural shorelines consist of beaches of sand and gravel, which are replenished by erosion of adjacent banks and bluffs. These beaches provide spawning habitat for small fish such as surf smelt, sand lance, and herring. They also provide productive habitat for shellfish such as littleneck clams and Olympia oysters, as well as other intertidal organisms like sand dollars and moon snails. Steep banks and high bluffs adjacent to the water provide habitat for kingfishers and pigeon guillemots that nest in burrows in the bluffs. Trees leaning out from the shoreline provide cover for fish and perching sites for kingfishers, bald eagles, and crows. Near-shore waters adjacent to the shoreline are used by salmon, sea-run cutthroat trout, and seals, as well as diving ducks such as goldeneyes and buffleheads while they over-winter in Puget Sound.

In estuaries, fresh water from rivers and streams mix with salt water, producing a rich environment for fish and wildlife. Estuaries range in size from small coves or “pocket estuaries” like Allison Springs, where CLT has done extensive restoration, to those associated with large rivers and streams, like the Nisqually River. Regardless of size, estuaries and their associated salt marsh and mudflat habitats are important rearing areas for young salmon leaving our rivers and streams. Here they acclimate to salt water and put on rapid growth, feeding in the rich salt marsh sloughs and shallow waters. Estuaries are also important stopovers for shorebirds on their migrations, where they rest and feed on invertebrates to replenish the fat that will fuel their long flights to northern breeding areas in the spring, and back south in the fall.

The abundant fish and shellfish available in our inlets were key to supporting Native American communities along the shores of Puget Sound, and the linkage between salmon, shellfish, and Native American culture remains strong today. The shellfish and salmon were also a foundation for the economy of the pioneers and settlers. Totten and Little Skookum Inlets, and Oakland Bay are still some of the most productive shellfish-producing areas in the country.

Our shorelines provide many important ecological, economic, social and aesthetic values.

Triple Creek Farm Conservation Easement on Eld Inlet. Photo by Capitol Land Trust.

Triple Creek Farm Conservation Easement on Eld Inlet. Photo by Capitol Land Trust.

Ecologically, shorelines provide diverse habitats, including estuaries, mudflats, and beaches. These are dynamic places, where the land meets and interacts with the sea. Our attraction to the many wonders of shorelines can also be a threat – we are in danger of loving them too much. Shoreline home sites are highly valued because of the beautiful views, natural setting, and ready access to the water. Consequently, many of our shorelines have been overtaken by residential development. The combined impacts of bulkheads, tree and native vegetation removal, and runoff from driveways and yards, can reduce and alter beach habitat.

That is why Capitol Land Trust, with your help, has been protecting these vital places. While proper planning and stewardship can reduce the impact of development, it is critical to maintain natural areas with highly functioning habitat if we are to ensure shoreline health and productivity. We have protected over 14 miles of Puget Sound shoreline and continue to work with private landowners, public agencies and others to ensure we have shorelines abounding with life into the future.

By Dave and Joanne Schuett-Hames

Text reprinted with permission from Capitol Land Trust News, issue 61, Spring/Summer 2016.

In 2009, the Capitol Land Trust and Griffin Neighborhood Association formed the Steamboat Conservation Partnership. Since this collaboration took effect, we have been able to protect more than 300 acres in the Steamboat Peninsula region. Click here to learn more about this first-in-the-nation partnership between a neighborhood group and land trust.

Bike Ride on Steamboat Peninsula – July 16

Beach at Schmidt Conservation Easement.

Beach at Schmidt Conservation Easement.

Join us on Saturday, July 16, for a bike ride around the Steamboat Peninsula.

“Don your bike shorts,” reads a web page for the Capitol Land Trust, “grab your bike and head out to the Steamboat Peninsula for a short (15.5 miles) or long ride (21 miles) with Capitol Land Trust and the Steamboat Conservation Partnership.”

Saturday, July 16, 2016
10 AM
Steamboat Peninsula, Olympia

The ride will start at the Wynne Tree Farm, a 530-acre working tree farm at the base of the Steamboat Peninsula. If you haven’t seen this property, you’re in for a real treat. It’s located up Whittaker Road NW, which is what Steamboat Island Road turns in to, south of the US-101 overpass. Schneider Creek flows through the parcel, then alongside US-101, and on to Oyster Bay.

Riders will travel along Whittaker Road, and will be able to see the beautiful, and vast, forest and fresh water areas that comprise the Wynne Tree Farm, and that are permanently conserved by Capitol Land Trust and the Wynne family.

The short ride travels up the Peninsula and will stop at Frye Cove Park. Riders can take a short (approximately 1/3 mile) walk to the beach, and will enjoy the scenery while having a snack at the picnic tables. Riders will learn about conservation on the Steamboat Peninsula, especially about a hopeful addition to CLT’s conserved areas which is next to Frye Cove and is home to a half mile of Frye Cove Creek, the stream that drains to Frye Cove and that contains important salmon spawning habitat. After this stop, riders will ride back to the Wynne Tree Farm.

The long ride travels up the Peninsula, and will take a short stop at the entrance to Frye Cove, but will then continue to ride to the Schmidt Conservation Easement towards the tip of the Peninsula. Riders can then stop and will learn about this beautiful 35-acre property along with a walk (approximately 1/3 mile) to the beach. Also enjoy a snack and learn about conservation on the Steamboat Peninsula. As an optional addition, riders can choose to continue their ride out to Steamboat Island, approximately 5 miles more to the overall ride. Or riders will ride back to the Wynne Tree Farm.

This is a free event. However, registration is required, so event organizers can prepare to host the event. When you register, you’ll be asked for your email address. You will receive event directions and other event details to this email address.

To register, click here to visit the Capitol Land Trust’s web page. Scroll down to the bottom and fill out their form.

Click here to read a reprint of an article about Tom and Charlene Wynne’s rescue of Schneider Creek. This article was published in the January 1998 issue of the Griffin Neighborhood Association’s “Neighbors” newsletter.

 

Community Picnic, Business & Farm Fair, and Benefit Car Wash is July 24

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Come join your local neighbors and friends at our annual Community Picnic, Business & Farm Fair, and Benefit Car Wash on Sunday, July 24th. There will be food and fun, including activities for youth. You won’t want to miss this great Griffin neighborhood event!

Community Picnic, Business & Farm Fair, and Benefit Car Wash
Sunday, July 24
12 noon to 4:00 PM
Tin Cup Golf Range and Griffin Fire Department

Local businesses and farms will be arranged on the lawn in front of Tin Cup Golf. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit with the people who operate businesses and farms right here on the Steamboat Peninsula.

In addition to the picnic and business and farm fair, the Griffin Fire Department will hold its annual benefit car wash. Donations support the Griffin Firefighter’s Association.

The Griffin Neighborhood Association couldn’t do this without the sponsorship of these fine businesses and organizations:

Thanks for supporting these local businesses and organizations.

For more businesses, see our online business directory and shop local!

We hope to see you at this year’s community picnic. We’ll save a place for you!

 

The Xybrid Vehicle – Expanding on the Hybrid

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Click for more information or to purchase a copy, from Amazon.

When many people think Hybrid, they think Prius. But there are many more Hybrids on the market than just the Prius. Most car brands offer at least one Hybrid.

When I think Hybrid, I think Additional Electric Engine. But, what other advances are there to reduce our cars’ reliance on Petroleum?

In my new book – The Xybrid Vehicle – I cover All-Electric Cars, Solar, Wind, Self-Driving Cars, Hyperloop, Modular Cars, Hyperdriving, Solar Roadways, Car-Free Communities, and more.

I’ve been following green cars since 1968 and finally decided to put all my knowledge on that topic into a book.

The book is not very technical and is in large print.

Of course, just as soon as I published my book I found more information to include. So, I keep track of that new information on my website – http://yellowbearjourneys.com/resources_xybrid.html – where you can also buy the book.

Griffin Neighborhood Author – Dale Stubbart

Local Winery Sovereign Cellars to Uncork Its Spring Release June 11 and 12

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Once again, local winemaker Dennis Gross has returned from the Seattle Wine Awards with gold and double-gold awards for several of his wines. “Our vintage wines have turned out exceptional,” writes Denny in an invitation he’s sent to his mailing list. “Our big spring release is happening on Saturday and Sunday, June 11th & 12th, from 1 to 5 pm. Come enjoy friends, food and these great wines.”

We’ve written about Sovereign Cellars before. If you haven’t tried his award-winning reds, you really should make plans to visit when Dennis hosts his Spring Release.

Sovereign Cellars Spring Release Wine Tasting
Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12
1 PM to 5 PM
7408 Manzanita Dr. NW, Olympia WA 98502
(Take Steamboat Island Road to 79th, then turn on Manzanita)

Featured this year are

Sovereign Merlot
Finnigan’s Daughter Claret
Sovereign Cabernet
Sovereign Cuvée
Sovereign Syrah

Click here to see the Sovereign Cellars’ web site. For more information, contact Dennis Gross at dwgrosswine@yahoo.com or (360) 866-7991.

 

“Ti’swaq Blanket Project” to Support this Year’s Paddle to Nisqually

Paddle_to_Nisqually_Blanket_ArtworkThis year’s annual Canoe Journey is hosted by the Nisqually tribe. For thousands of years Coastal Tribes traveled the great Salish Sea and fished its abundant waters and celebrated with the Potlatch. The Canoe Journey today awakens pride, purpose, responsibility and traditions in the youth that participate. Canoe Journey also inspires teamwork and what it means to work and pull together.

Giveaways have always been a part of the Salish people’s culture; “potlatches” called together large numbers of people, frequently from different tribes, to share giveaways.

Local residents are invited to assist the Nisqually Tribe by purchasing blankets for them to give to visiting tribes. This is an important part of the experience for everyone involved. Jody Bergsma, designer of this beautiful blanket, is offering the artwork and production capability ‘at cost’ for this project.

The Art and the Story:

  • A vision of the great canoe warriors emerge from the past.
  • Their cedar canoes and paddles are empowered with symbols of totems for the tribe. The feathers of eagle and raven are on the bow.
  • Paddles are up and signal a request to come ashore.
  • The canoes travel to the mouth of the Nisqually river whose head waters are formed from the snowy peak of Mt. Tahoma (Rainier).
  • A circle of salmon surround and protect the canoes and pullers. The Great Eagle Spirit watches over them all.
  • Behind the mountain is the milky way and the trail of stars that leads to the Ancestors.

Your contribution of $85 will purchase 10 blankets for the giveaway. Plus, you will receive one blanket for yourself. Supporters able to donate $85, $170, $255 (and so on, in multiples of $85) can receive one blanket for each ten they help to fund.

Can you help with a contribution? Interfaith Works, a not-for-profit organization, will receive funds to support the Nisqually Canoe Family with their production of this year’s Paddle to Nisqually. Kindly make checks payable to Interfaith Works, with “Nisqually Blanket Giveaway” on the memo line. You may mail your check to Interfaith Works, PO Box 1221, Olympia, 98507. Please make your contribution by May 26th. Every $85 puts them closer.  Let Right Relations Steh-chass/Olympia know you want to donate and they’ll front your donation until your funds can arrive.

The Blanket Project is offered by Right Relations Steh-chass/Olympia. Right Relations Steh-chass/Olympia is a group seeking to live in solidarity with the first peoples of the Salish Sea through education, acknowledgement, and supportive actions. Co-coordinators Pat Rasmussen or Douglas Mackey, can be reached at rightrelationsstehchass@gmail.comSteh-chass is the name of the original people who lived in the lower Deschutes River basin.

The Nisqually Tribe welcomes and celebrates all nations and visitors to Canoe Journey 2016! The Tribal Canoe Journeys – Paddle to Nisqually – will take place July 30th through August 6th, 2016.

Disaster Preparedness Workshop – May 21st

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What’s the difference between an emergency and a disaster?

An emergency is a catastrophic event that can be addressed within the household or by requested assistance from outside the area (first responders – fire, Sheriff’s Department, medical or utility personnel).

A disaster is a catastrophic event that is significant enough to prohibit or delay immediate response by first responders from outside the area. A disaster is beyond the abilities of the household and it requires assistance from neighbors.

— from the Disaster Preparedness page here on the GriffinNeighbors web site

Sheriff’s Department Asks for Help to Find This Man

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Do you know this man?

Local residents have suffered through a wave of mail thefts for the last several months. One recommendation from law enforcement and the postal service has been to send outgoing mail from the postal station at the Island Market. There is a mail drop inside the market. There is also a mailbox outside the market, to the left of the front door.

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If you know this man’s whereabouts, call Detective George Oplinger at (360) 786-5746

The night of March 26th someone broke into the mailbox outside the Island Market. Now photographs of the suspect, taken from a security camera outside the Island Market, have been released by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department wants to find and speak to this man. Do you know the man in these photographs?

If you know the man in these photographs please call Detective George Oplinger at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department at (360) 786-5746. If you see this person at a location and you are not sure if he will be around long then call 911 to report the location. You will have to tell whomever answers that this is the suspect from the Island Market mail box theft. A deputy will be dispatched and they will also contact Detective Oplinger.

Another option is if you don’t want to get involved or be identified you can remain anonymous and call the Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and even receive a reward.

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Click these photos for a larger image.

Update: The Thurston County Sheriff’s Department is reporting the suspect has now been identified. The US Postal Inspector is handling the case and will be forwarding criminal charges against him.

Thanks for helping us to find this man.mail_thief_suspect4 - Edited

 

What’s the Story Behind the Steamboat Neighborhood Stickers?

steamboat_logo_1950x1050You have probably seen them around. The Steamboat Neighborhood stickers have found their way on to a lot of cars. And trucks, boats, and laptop computers. More than a thousand have been distributed at community events and from the countertops of several of the local businesses in our area.

Click here to learn more about how the Steamboat Neighborhood logo art and the sticker were created.

The story of the Steamboat Neighborhood stickers is just another of more than twenty-five years of stories from the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Join the GNA today. Your support will help us to pay for more Steamboat Neighborhood stickers, among other things.

Mail Safety: A Town Hall Meeting, March 16, Griffin School Gym

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Mail theft. Either there’s been a real increase in the incidence of theft or we’re much more aware of it than in the past. We’ve been reading on Nextdoor about the many mailboxes broken into or mail scattered along the roads, particularly from this last Fall and through the Winter. On Wednesday, March 16th the Griffin Neighborhood Association is hosting a special Town Hall meeting on the topic of Mail Safety.

Invited guests are a representative from the USPS Postal Inspector, Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, local USPS Mail Delivery personnel, and County Commissioner Bud Blake.

Mail Safety Town Hall
March 16
6:30 PM
Griffin School Gym
6530 33rd Ave NW

Hosted by the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Are you a member? If not, click here to join us.