Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting to know Citizens for a Healthy Bay, partners in protecting Commencement Bay

By Jocelyn Jones

Tuesday, I was lucky enough to join others from the Department of Ecology on a tour around Tacoma waterways. I saw firsthand the incredible work that has been done to restore the waters—and I met some of the folks instrumental to this success.

Marv Coleman from Ecology’s southwest regional office and Jeff Barney, from Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB), took time out of their busy schedules to show us around. All along the way, they pointed out the successes they have had in cleaning up the water—and the work still left to be done.

The pride at the successes and the determination to achieve even more left me feeling pretty inspired and certainly less pessimistic than when I started the day. With talented and knowledgeable people like this working to keep Washington waters clean and healthy, I know we can all do our part.

Ecology and CHB are partners in preventing pollution and correcting problems in Commencement Bay. The photo is of a vessel being cut up on the water, which is a violation of 90.48 water quality regulations. This is just the kind of violation that Jeff would spot during his Baywatch tours and let Ecology know about, so Ecology may follow up with potential regulatory actions.

Founded in 1990, Citizens for a Healthy Bay is also a partner in public outreach, functioning as one of Ecology’s information repositories when we issue documents that are subject to public notice and comment periods. They help us spread the word when we need input from citizens around the Sound.

They also organize great events that help get and keep citizens engaged in a clean and healthy Puget Sound.

In fact, this weekend is the 19th Annual Tacoma Maritime Fest. You should come check it out! CHB and Ecology will each have booths there!

Find out more about Citizens for a Healthy Bay at the Maritime Fest this weekend. Their booth will be located near the information booth, or “like” them on Facebook. If you stop by the Festival, be sure to thank Jeff for his work to protect Washington waters!

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