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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Air Time: Winds providing some relief in E WA

Air Quality Program, Air monitoring update

Here is the air monitor and weather update for Sunday (Sept. 30, 2012). For more information, check http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.

A passing cold front brought smoke clearing as anticipated on Saturday. After showing “good” air for about 10 hours, fine particle pollution levels in Wenatchee increased to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” within two hours Sunday morning. Trout Lake is experiencing “unhealthy” air Sunday morning, mainly due to smoke impacts. Cashmere and Entiat (currently “good”) also show increasing fine particle levels. Deer Park and Maple Falls are showing “moderate” levels of fine particles.

All other fine particle monitors in Washington are reporting “good” air. Ritzville, Moses Lake, Wellpinit and Colville saw some short-term spikes in fine particle pollution Saturday evening, most probably as smoke was exiting through the Columbia Basin.

On Sunday, communities near wildfires should experienc moderate winds with smoke impacts. Smoke is likely to drift into the Columbia Basin, but not fill it. Expect some afternoon clearing. Areas to the east of the Basin are likely to see little or no smoke through Monday evening.

A strong cold front is expected Tuesday, but winds will start increasing by Monday evening and help with smoke dispersion. While precipitation appears to be confined to the North Cascades and the far northeastern part of the state, winds will likely kick up windblown dust in the Columbia Basin on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of eastern Washington: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

The Governor has extended a burn ban on all outdoor burning in eastern Washington through midnight Sunday. The ban does not apply on tribal lands where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Air Time: Saturday's smoke monitors and weather update

Air Quality Program, Air monitoring update

Here is the air monitor and weather update for Saturday (Sept. 29, 2012). For more information, check http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.

Other than Wenatchee (“very unhealthy”) and Chelan (“unhealthy”), other monitors at the Cascade foothills and Columbia Basin are reporting a mix of “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “moderate” and “good.” Several of the U.S. Forest Service temporary monitors have incomplete data this morning, so the WAQA categories are not current. At midnight, air in Cashmere was “very unhealthy,” while Entiat and the USFS fire camp at Wenatchee Confluence Park were reporting “hazardous” air. Other nearby monitors have shown an improvement in air quality in more recent hours, so it is possible these areas are no longer experiencing “hazardous” air. Pateros, Quincy and Trout Lake saw “unhealthy” air at midnight, while Cle Elum reported “good” air.

Most of Western Washington except the Olympic Peninsula saw a little smoke and haze Friday, but the front that moved in last evening has returned air quality to “good” at all but two monitors. Most monitors at the Cascade foothills have shown declining levels of fine particle pollution over the last few hours in response to this front.

Expect clearing to continue through Saturday evening and bring some relief to the smoke-impacted communities of the Cascade foothills today. However, the smoke will blow through the Columbia Basin while dispersing. Winds will die down tonight and become more terrain-driven on Sunday and Monday, meaning nighttime and morning smoke in several areas with daytime clearing.

No easterly winds are expected, so there is no threat of Idaho wildfire smoke over the next few days, nor is smoke likely to move into Western Washington. A strong cold front is expected to move through Eastern Washington around Tuesday, but it doesn’t appear to contain a huge amount of precipitation.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of eastern Washington: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

The Governor’s ban on all outdoor burning in Eastern Washington continues through midnight Sunday. The ban does not apply on tribal lands where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Air Time: Air quality erodes in some places, but may improve this weekend

Air Quality Program, Air monitoring update

Friday's news release on smoke conditions and weather ...

Continuing wildfire smoke has driven air quality into the “hazardous” and “very unhealthy” ranges in several Central Washington communities.
This morning (Friday, Sept. 28, 2012), a newly relocated air monitor showed air quality was “hazardous” in Liberty. Air also was “hazardous” in Cashmere, and “very unhealthy” in Wenatchee and Trout Lake. Entiat experienced “unhealthy” air; Pateros and Quincy were in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range.

Air quality in most locations across Eastern Washington registered as “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Only Colville, Wellpinit and Dayton are experiencing “good” air quality.

Many communities are experiencing a pattern – smoke clears in the mid- to late afternoon so air quality improves, then smoke builds up again overnight and air quality deteriorates.

Today’s forecast calls for winds to increase this evening as a weakening cold front moves into Eastern Washington. Weekend winds are expected to move smoke out of the region.

However, said Ecology forecaster Clint Bowman, “there is no precipitation in the forecast sufficient to affect the wildfires, and smoke will continue to be an air quality problem into next week as the surface winds subside.”

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of Eastern Washington: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

Gov. Chris Gregoire has banned all outdoor burning in Eastern Washington through midnight Sunday. The ban does not apply to tribal lands where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

More information:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tacoma Smelter Plume: What park cleanup looks like

By John Zinza, Field Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program

We're on week two of our schedule for cleaning up contaminated soil at seven parks and making good progress.

This work is part of the Soil Safety Program, which cleans up park, school, childcare, and camp play areas contaminated by air emissions from the old Asarco smelter in Tacoma.

To give you an idea of what our program looks like, here is a series of photos from Dottie Harper Park in Burien...

Under the play structures did not need any cleanup, but children also play in the surrounding grassy area. We dug up the contaminated soils and this picture shows the new soil we put in, all ready to be seeded with grass.


Digging up contaminated soil around a popular sculpture.


We don't normally clean up wooded areas of parks because digging can damage trees. In this case, kids often use the slide (on the right edge of the photo). There is a lot of exposed dirt, so we covered it with bark to reduce possible exposure.


The bark is all finished. The slide in the background has a black fabric liner underneath and will soon be getting play chips. The play chips look different and are better for fall protection than the landscaping bark you see here.


Air Time: Air quality 'hazardous' again in Wenatchee, Cashmere

Air Quality Program, Air monitoring update

Here's the air quality conditions and weather forecast for Thursday, Sept. 27 ...
Wildfire smoke has poured back into the Wenatchee and Cashmere areas, plunging air quality there back into the “hazardous” category.

Both communities have been hammered by smoke carried by winds from area wildfires. Some afternoon clearing occurs when the inversion breaks and upvalley winds kick in. On Wednesday (Sept. 26), Entiat and Pateros showed air quality as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” while air was “unhealthy” in Leavenworth. Twisp, Winthrop and Cle Elum (all “moderate”) showed the opposite trend, with increasing fine particle pollution levels recorded when winds during the day pushed smoke toward air quality monitors.

Monitors showed air quality was “unhealthy” in Trout Lake and Ellensburg, “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in Yakima and Toppenish, and “moderate” in White Swan and Goldendale. All of those communities saw an increase in fine particle pollution when the inversion broke. But they experienced some partial clearing later on Wednesday.

Omak and Quincy air monitors are reading “good,” but fine particle monitors elsewhere east of the Cascades are reporting compromised air quality today (Thursday, Sept. 27). Columbia Basin monitoring sites show little change since Wednesday, with a mixture of “moderate” air to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Light east winds have started in Eastern Washington and could still bring some smoke from Idaho wildfires to the Palouse before Friday night. With strong nighttime inversions, above normal daytime temperatures and light winds, the largest smoke impacts are expected near the fires while the Columbia Basin will continue to experience a steady state in which as much smoke enters as leaves.

In general, expect some smoke impacts in the morning and nighttime, with some afternoon clearing in most places. The light east winds could push some smoke farther up the Cascade foothills during the day.

Winds are expected to pick up on Friday evening; models suggest that gradual clearing in most areas is expected to continue through Saturday evening before calm conditions return.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of Eastern Washington: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

Gov. Chris Gregoire has banned all outdoor burning in Eastern Washington through midnight Sunday. The ban does not apply to tribal lands where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Air Time: Smoke returning after day of respite

Air Quality Program, air monitoring updates

Here is today’s (Sept. 26, 2012) conditions update and weather forecast for Eastern Washington …

Wenatchee and Cashmere enjoyed relatively clean air for about half a day before smoke from the area wildfires returned Tuesday evening, according to the Washington Department of Ecology. Smoke is also lingering elsewhere in Eastern Washington.

This morning, Cashmere is recording hazardous air quality levels, while Wenatchee crept into the unhealthy range. Air quality in Entiat, Pateros and Trout Lake, near Mount Adams, is unhealthy for sensitive groups. It is of moderate concern in Chelan and Ellensburg.

Other monitors along the east slopes of the Cascades are recording good air. The Columbia Basin has a mixture of air quality conditions. In some areas, the air is troublesome for children and those with respiratory ailments or the elderly. In other areas, air quality is good to moderate, with many sites showing little fluctuation since Tuesday.

The forecast predicting strong nighttime inversions remains on track, with above normal daytime temperatures and light winds. The greatest smoke accumulations will be near the fires while other areas in Eastern Washington will experience lingering smoke.

Light east winds will return Thursday and it may bring some smoke from Idaho wildfires to the Palouse, Clarkston and Spokane. In general, expect some smoke impacts in the morning and nighttime, with some afternoon clearing in most of Eastern Washington.

On Friday night, a weakening front will bring some clouds and winds, helping to disperse smoke somewhat. Stagnant conditions could return over the weekend due to a strong ridge of high pressure. There is the possibility that east winds will bring smoke from Idaho fires to the far eastern parts of the state, and some Washington wildfire smoke to the western part of the state.


Gov. Chris Gregoire has extended a burn ban on all outdoor burning in eastern Washington through midnight Sunday. You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on a new blog, http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.

Also, the National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for all of Eastern Washington.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Air Time: Air quality in Eastern WA shows short-term improvement

Air Quality Program, air monitoring updates

Here's the conditions update and weather forecast for today (Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012).

YAKIMA — For the first time in nearly two weeks, none of the air quality monitors in the state are recording hazardous conditions. Pateros comes precariously close, though, with air quality there degraded today while other nearby sites showed improvement in response to a passing front.

Meteorological data in the area show winds picking up, but the sheltered location of Pateros probably resulted in smoke pooling in the area.

Trout Lake, Winthrop, Omak, Chelan and Entiat remain unhealthy, while Wenatchee, Cashmere, Twisp, White Swan and Toppenish, registering unhealthy for sensitive groups, are clearing out quite well.

Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Quincy, Leavenworth and Yakima all have good air. Sites around the Columbia Basin vary from good to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

A front passing through Eastern Washington right now should help keep smoke levels in check through this evening, according to Ecology meteorologist Ranil Dhammapala.

"Sadly this improvement is short lived: a building ridge will cause a return to stagnant conditions through Friday," Dhammapala said. "Strong nighttime inversions and light winds will ensure smoke sloshes around and causes the kind of impacts we have been living with over the last two weeks."

Mild east winds return on Thursday and it is possible that these may bring some smoke from Idaho wildfires to the Palouse/ Clarkston areas. In general, expect some smoke impacts in the morning and nighttime, with some afternoon clearing in most places.

There is no significant precipitation in the five-day forecast. Slight increases in wind speeds on Friday should help with dispersion in Eastern Washington.

A few areas in the south Puget Sound, Southwest Washington and the Olympic Peninsula might have smelled a whiff of smoke Monday morning as the inversion broke, but not enough to degrade air quality much. Wildfire smoke is not expected to push west of the Cascades, but with light winds over the next few days, expect a slight buildup of locally and regionally generated pollutants.


The Governor has extended a burn ban on all outdoor burning in eastern Washington through midnight Sunday, Sept. 30.

You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on a new blog, http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of eastern Washington: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

Monday, September 24, 2012

Air Time: Governor extends Eastern WA burn ban

Air Quality Program, air monitoring updates

The Governor's Office issued the following news release late Monday (Sept. 24, 2012). For more information on the current wildfires in Washington, see http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.

Gov. Gregoire extends Eastern Washington burn ban

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire tonight extended a burn ban for all counties east of the Cascade crest, prohibiting all outdoor burning through midnight Sunday, Sept. 30. An emergency proclamation declaring a State of Emergency remains in effect, and allows continued air support from Washington’s National Guard to help fight ongoing wildfires.

“One reason firefighters have been able to start gaining ground is because they’re not being diverted to additional, human-caused fires,” Gregoire said. “With the warm, dry conditions expected to continue through at least next weekend, fire danger remains very high. I appreciate the cooperation of Washingtonians who have refrained from burning, and recognize that fire crews need our support and help to keep people safe and protect property.”

The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to:
  • Campfires
  • Bonfires
  • Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity
  • Ignition of fireworks.
Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided the use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.

The proclamation issued by the governor:
  • Directs state agencies and departments to continue to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the fires;
  • Notes the order into active state service of the organized militia of Washington state, to include the National Guard and the State Guard remains in effect; and
  • Instructs the Washington State Emergency Operations Center to continue to coordinate all event-related assistance to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Gregoire continues to urge Washingtonians to protect themselves from smoke-filled air. The state’s Department of Ecology is monitoring air quality across Washington state. Today, air quality in Central Washington is “unhealthy” for everyone. And in both Wenatchee and Ellensburg air quality is worse and registers as “hazardous” and “very unhealthy” respectively. Pateros and Entiat also are reporting “very unhealthy” air.

Farther south of Toppenish, and in much of Eastern Washington, residents are experiencing air quality that is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as the elderly, very young children and people with breathing difficulties, heart disease or lung disease. Today Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities are enjoying a reprieve from unhealthy air.

Light winds over the Cascades today are not expected to help much with smoke in the hard-hit communities. Computer models predict some moderate winds later today, which could lead to good dispersion in Ellensburg, Leavenworth and the Methow Valley.

To check for air quality monitoring information, visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx

Air Time: Air quality still poor throughout Central WA

by Seth Preston, Air Quality Program, communication manager

Here’s today’s news release on wildfire smoke, air quality conditions and weather forecasts...


Photo from KIMA TV
From Winthrop and Okanogan to Toppenish, air quality in Central Washington is “unhealthy” for everyone today. And in both Wenatchee and Ellensburg air quality is worse and registers as “hazardous” and “very unhealthy” respectively. Pateros and Entiat also are reporting “very unhealthy” air.

Farther south of Toppenish, and in much of Eastern Washington, residents are experiencing air quality that is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as the elderly, very young children and people with breathing difficulties, heart disease or lung disease. Today Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities are enjoying a reprieve from unhealthy air.

Light winds over the Cascades today are not expected to help much with smoke in the hard-hit communities. Computer models predict some moderate winds later today, which could lead to good dispersion in Ellensburg, Leavenworth and the Methow Valley.

All residents in the Wenatchee and Ellensburg areas should stay indoors and curtail their physical activities both indoors and outside. Doors and windows should remain closed. In the remainder of Central and Eastern Washington, common sense precautions should be taken by everyone, but sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and heart patients, are particularly vulnerable.

The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and even lead to death.

The Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke.

Weather systems over the weekend in Eastern Washington did cause some dispersion and didn’t set off new wildfires, but they also transported some smoke from central Idaho wildfires further west into Washington.

For more information

You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on this Washington Smoke Information blog .

Central Washington University is providing information for students and their families online.

The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for eastern Washington.

Gov. Gregoire has issued a burn ban in Eastern Washington, which is in effect until midnight today (Monday, Sept. 24, 2012)

Check here for air quality monitoring information.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Air Time: Air still poor in Wenatchee, but improvements elsewhere

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

The Wenatchee, Pateros and Cashmere areas have seen slight clearing in wildfire smoke, but air quality there still remains in the “hazardous” category.

Other areas of Eastern Washington – such as Entiat, Quincy, Leavenworth, Chelan, Yakima, White Swan, and Toppenish – experienced some clearing, but still not enough to return to healthy air. Pullman and Clarkston also saw some much needed clearing Saturday evening, after an initial rise in pollution levels earlier in the day as the inversion broke and mixed some overhanging Idaho wildfire smoke to the surface. The threat of Idaho wildfire smoke has passed thanks to a wind shift. Ellensburg and Cle Elum experienced “good” air on Saturday, and should again today.

Omak and Twisp saw some increase in pollution levels as a weather system pushed a little smoke up those valleys. But conditions in those communities should improve somewhat today.

There are no reports of new fire starts from lightning strikes this morning, but a small chance of lightning remains until late today. Isolated light rainfall is forecast for several parts of the eastern Columbia Basin today as a low pressure system passes through the far eastern parts of the state, but not near the wildfires. While areas nearest to the wildfires will continue to see poor air quality, an increase in winds will help with smoke dispersion. Eastern Washington will continue to see some gradual improvement in air quality, though periodic impacts from drifting smoke are expected.

Some cooler temperatures along with a little bit of rain (mostly in the northern counties of Eastern Washington) are expected this week. This will further improve air quality.

All residents in the Wenatchee area should stay indoors and curtail their physical activities both indoors and outside. Doors and windows should remain closed. In the remainder of the Yakima and Columbia Basin common sense precautions should be taken by everyone, but sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and heart patients, are particularly vulnerable.

The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and even lead to death.

You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on a new blog.

Central Washington University is providing information for students and their families online.

The Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke.

The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington.

Gov. Gregoire has issued a burn ban in Eastern Washington, which is in effect until midnight Monday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Air Time: Wenatchee air quality still hazardous

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

Saturday morning (Sept. 22, 2012) Air quality remains in the “hazardous” category in the Wenatchee area and nearby communities such as Cashmere and Pateros, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

However, some areas along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains did see some improvement in air quality overnight. Leavenworth, Yakima (both “unhealthy”), Ellensburg (“moderate”) and Cle Elum (“good”) saw some clearing overnight. But winds did push some smoke into the Methow Valley overnight, leading to “unhealthy” conditions.

A red flag warning remains in effect because of the threat of thunderstorms and lightning today. “The weather system should also help stir things up a bit and lead to a small improvement in air quality in these areas, but we certainly hope it won’t spark more wildfires,” said Ecology forecaster Ranil Dhammapala.

Air quality in the Columbia Basin and Spokane has shown some marginal improvement over the last day to the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category. Air in these areas should improve slightly over the weekend. Pullman and Clarkston were impacted Friday by smoke from Idaho wildfires; air quality this morning was in the “unhealthy” and “very unhealthy” categories, respectively, in those communities. However, some clearing is possible today because smoke from Idaho is expected to be less of a problem.

Some cooler temperatures are on tap for Eastern Washington next week, which could help reduce fire activity.

All residents in the Wenatchee area should stay indoors and curtail their physical activities both indoors and outside. Doors and windows should remain closed. In the remainder of the Yakima and Columbia Basin common sense precautions should be taken by everyone, but sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and heart patients, are particularly vulnerable.

The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and even lead to death.

You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on a new Washington Smoke Information blog.

Central Washington University is providing information for students and their families online.

The Washington State Department of Health has provided more than 20,000 respirators to the health districts in Kittitas, Chelan and Douglas counties. A document with answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke also is available.

The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington.

Gov. Gregoire has issued a burn ban in Eastern Washington, which is in effect until midnight Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Doing well by doing right – Pollution Prevention Planning

By K Seiler, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction manager

This is Pollution Prevention Week (Sept. 17-23), designated at both the national and Washington State level. For more than two decades, government and business have worked together to build the concepts of pollution prevention into our daily lives and consciousness. So we are frequently asked, “Is the job done? Has 20 years been enough?”

I answered earlier this week, “No, we aren’t done.” I have the same answer today, but for a different reason. Any facility – government, commercial, or institutional – that creates more than 2,640 pounds of dangerous waste annually has to develop and put into practice pollution prevention plans.

In 20 years, more than 2,250 facilities in Washington have met this requirement. That’s a lot of waste to manage, track, and make sure it is properly disposed. But during that time, approximately 600 facilities have followed their plans to reduce their waste so well they no longer have to complete a plan! And the total amount of dangerous waste from another 600 planning facilities is half of what it was ten years ago.

On the one hand, reducing their creation of dangerous waste means they have less paperwork and reporting to do. It also means they are lowering their costs. Reducing the amount, toxicity, or both, of their wastes and reducing their use of resources saves money.

That often means they also reduce the amount of regulation they must follow – such as air permits, spill or solid waste regulations, or water discharge permits or modifications. This saves money too. Reducing the amount of toxics used and the wastes generated and released to the environment is also the smartest way to reduce risk and liability for individuals and businesses. All of which is especially critical in these tougher economic times.

Again, pollution prevention is the smartest, cheapest, and safest way to tackle toxic chemical issues. For more information, contact your regional Ecology office at:
  • Bellevue 425-649-7000
  • Lacey 360-407-6300
  • Spokane 509-329-3400
  • Yakima 509-575-2490
Or see:

Business Pollution Prevention resources

Pollution Prevention for Small Businesses

Pollution Prevention Successes

Pollution Prevention resources by Topic (NW Pollution Prevention Resource Center)

Air Time: Wildfire smoke not letting up

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

The weekend weather forecast offers little relief for many smoke-blanketed communities in Eastern Washington, especially those along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

“Air quality in the Wenatchee area has remained in the ‘hazardous’ category for over a week now, with each day being a little worse than the previous. Cashmere and Entiat are in a similar situation. Leavenworth, Ellensburg, the upper and lower Yakima Valley and Chelan have been recording ‘very unhealthy’ conditions. This scenario is not expected to change much over the next few days,” said Ecology forecaster Ranil Dhammapala.

A low-pressure system tonight through Saturday evening carries the threat of dry lightning in the Washington Cascades mostly south of Lake Chelan, which could spark new fires, said Dhammapala.

Air quality in the Columbia Basin and the Palouse/Spokane region has been deteriorating very gradually over the last few days and is mostly in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category this morning. Air in these areas may improve slightly, but not much, Saturday evening through Sunday evening.

Some cooler temperatures are on tap for Eastern Washington next week, which could help reduce fire activity. But the forecast does not call for the kind of soaking rain needed to make a significant impact.

Check here for air quality monitoring information.

The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington.

Gov. Gregoire has issued a burn ban in Eastern Washington, which is in effect until midnight Monday.

All residents in the Wenatchee area should stay indoors and curtail their physical activities both indoors and outside. Doors and windows should remain closed. In the remainder of the Yakima and Columbia Basin common sense precautions should be taken by everyone, but sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and heart patients, are particularly vulnerable.

The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and even lead to death.

You can find news and information about smoke and wildfires from a variety of state, local and federal agencies on the Washington Smoke Information blog.

Fecal Matters: Join us to Discover the Mountains and the Sea at Larrabee State Park!

BEACH Program Update

The BEACH Program is excited to announce our attendance at a new festival at Larrabee State Park! Join us on Saturday, September 22nd to "Discover the Mountains and the Sea at Larrabee State Park".

This festival features live music, games, nature walks, geocaching, crafts, hand-on demonstrations, Raingutter Regatta races and more! The BEACH Program will be there to educate kids and adults about sources of bacteria in our waterways. Our watershed demonstration model helps people of all ages, languages and cultures, better understand the sources and prevention of water pollution through visual, hands-on interaction.

Join us on Saturday! The festival starts at 10AM and ends at 4PM Saturday, September 22nd. Larrabee State Park is located in Bellingham at 245 Chuckanut Drive.

Looking for more information about the BEACH Program? www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach

Stay updated about water quality at your beaches by keeping up with us on our blog

Fecal Matters
, on Facebook, or join our listserv.

Julie Lowe is the BEACH Program Manager and can be reached at julie.lowe@ecy.wa.gov


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Air Time: Some communities still plagued by wildfire smoke

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

Some communities in Eastern Washington — particularly those in and near the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains — are still experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke.

Here is the morning forecast for Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, along with some helpful hyperlinks:

Air Quality forecast, 8AM Tuesday 18 September 2012
Issued by Ranil Dhammapala , Washington State Department of Ecology

With the exception of communities in the eastern foothills of the Cascades, air quality remained mostly in the “good” category, though a few areas recorded “moderate” air quality. As expected, some daytime clearing helped alleviate smoke levels a little in most areas. There were hardly any clouds over Washington all of Monday, so if you didn't see a sparkling blue sky, it was because sunshine was being filtered through smoke aloft.

A mild, periodic west wind in parts of eastern Washington, including the Cascade foothills, might push a little smoke further east into and north of the Columbia Basin today. So while some areas downwind of the fires might see smoke, this should also mitigate the smoke buildup in areas like Leavenworth, the Methow Valley and possibly Cashmere today and/or tonight.

Weak winds and poor vertical mixing over the next few days will result in little dispersion at night followed by partial daytime clearing for most areas. In addition to wildfire smoke, stagnant conditions also cause a gradual build up of locally and/or regionally generated pollutants. Areas at the eastern foothills of the Cascades will continue to experience impaired air quality over the next several days. Exceptions are northern Okanogan County and Klickitat County. The Clarkston area could see some nighttime smoke from Idaho wildfires.

The National Weather Service has an Air Stagnation Advisory in effect for the eastern foothills of the Cascades and the Lewis-Clark Valley on the Washington-Idaho border: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20stagnation%20advisory

A burn ban issued by the Governor's office for all of eastern WA is still in effect: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1966&newsType=1

Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network Map: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.ltr.aspx
(Note: Click on the dots and you can then click on “view more information” to find out the latest hourly values, even if the dot is gray.

Explanation of Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) categories: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/App_AQI/AQI.en-US.pdf

If the Ecology site is not responding, try http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/.

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Park cleanups underway this week

By Hannah Aoyagi, Tacoma Smelter Plume Project, Toxics Cleanup Program

The Soil Safety Program will be busy this fall season, cleaning up play areas at seven parks in a six week span.  We are removing soils contaminated with arsenic and lead from the former Asarco smelter in north Tacoma.

The parks are:
  • Dottie Harper (Burien)
  • Sunset Playfields (SeaTac)
  • McMicken Heights (SeaTac)
  • Lake Grove (Federal Way)
  • Dockton (Vashon Island) - pictured here
  • American Lake (Lakewood)
  • Kiwanis (Lakewood)
While the arsenic and lead levels we have found at parks do not pose an immediate threat, there is a long-term risk, especially for children. For more information about contaminated soils and risk, see our blog post on Dottie Harper Park from earlier this year.

Why clean up only the play areas at parks?

Play areas are generally where children spend the most time.  We talk to parks staff about where they see kids playing and coming into contact with dirt.  So, a "play area" could be the dirt under picnic tables or a grassy field next to the playground.

Also, for many parks, the space outside of the designated play areas is wooded.  Because soil removal damages tree roots, we can't do much cleanup in the woods.  It's okay to play there.  We just recommend healthy actions like washing hands after playing in the dirt, and taking off shoes before entering the house. 

More about the soil contamination...

Read our news release about the park cleanups.  Visit the Tacoma Smelter Plume website for more information about the 1,000 square mile area impacted by air emissions from the former Asarco smelter.

We will post more blogs on our cleanup progress and other Tacoma Smelter Plume work!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preventing pollution pays big dividends; lets keep at it!

By K Seiler, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction manager

I’m excited to announce this week is National Pollution Prevention Week and an opportunity to recognize Washington State success stories achieved by industry! I’m energized by these results, and the savings of more than $45 million reported by a subset of Washington businesses through our state Pollution Prevention Program since 2005.

Since we havebeen working on pollution prevention for more than 20 years, this week is also an opportunity to answer the question, are we done yet? The answer is no, we aren’t done.

As we look to the future, one of the biggest remaining challenges is reducing toxic threats to our environment and public health. I’m excited about our state’s forward-looking work such as developing alternative chemical assessment guidance and a green chemistry roadmap. This work is aimed at getting to safer chemical substitutes for use in product design, manufacturing, sale and disposal. It’s a win-win for the economy and the environment.

Ecology assists business to reduce toxic wastes

Furthermore, Washington’s Waste Reduction Act tasked Ecology to work with businesses and help them reduce the wastes they generate. We do this two ways. We provide technical assistance to all businesses. And we specifically help larger businesses create and carry out Pollution Prevention Plans. These plans focus on opportunities to reduce toxic chemical use.These businesses have reduced the amount of dangerous waste they produce yearly by 100 million pounds since 2000.

But businesses in our state still generate more than one hundred million pounds of dangerous waste yearly. That’s a lot of waste. But it doesn’t represent all the toxic waste generated in Washington. It doesn’t represent the amount of toxics that are discharged legally to our waterways from businesses.

And it doesn’t represent the amount of toxics that we as individuals purchase in products that make their way into the environment. We are all affected by toxic wastes. Reducing the amount of toxics used and wastes generated or released to the environment is the smartest, cheapest way to reduce risk to people and businesses.

Opportunities for toxics reduction ongoing

Businesses that have worked on reducing their wastes continue to benefit from opportunities. Over time, business operations change, personnel changes and technology changes. New eyes see new opportunities for reductions. Even those facilities that have worked for many years to reduce their wastes find ways to reduce waste even more.

Ecology can cite many examples of businesses that have reduced the toxics, wastes and resources they use. For example, Accra-Fab, Inc., in Liberty Lake, Washington, had been working on reducing their wastes for at least 17 years. However, as a result of taking part in a Lean and Green Project, the company reduced their bottom line more by saving wastewater treatment costs and reducing their use of chemicals. A video highlighting Accra-Fab’s success will earn a national award in Washington D.C. during Pollution Prevention Week.

Every day businesses use toxic chemicals when there are safer alternatives available. Every day we choose to buy products that contain toxic chemicals. Ecology has been working on developing tools to help businesses and the public make better choices. If you are interested in information on how to reduce toxics, the following resources are available:
  • Assessing chemical alternatives
  • Pollution prevention successes
  • Business pollution prevention resources
  • Information for households and communities


  • Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Here's the latest on E WA air quality

    By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

    Passing on some notes from today (Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012) …

    Currently, there is an air stagnation advisory issued by the National Weather Service for these counties through 5 p.m. Tuesday: Grant, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Whitman, and populated areas of Garfield and Asotin counties (not the elevated portion in the Blue Mountains).

    According to the National Weather Service: “An air stagnation advisory indicates that due to limited movement of an air mass across the advisory area … pollution has the potential to increase to dangerous levels. Persons with respiratory illness should follow their physician’s advice for dealing with high levels of air pollution.”

    According to Randall Ruddick in our Spokane office: “Asotin and portions of Spokane counties are in the Unhealthy category. I expect Spokane to improve to at least Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.”

    As of 7 a.m. today, air quality in the Wenatchee area was measured in the Hazardous category.

    Here’s the morning forecast from Ecology forecaster Ranil Dhammapala:

    Air Quality forecast, 8AM Sunday 16 September 2012
    Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

    Air quality in most areas saw considerable improvement on Saturday. Clearing will continue through Sunday evening, but there could be areas in and around the Columbia Basin that experience smoke for a short time today.

    A period of prolonged stagnation sets up through most of WA starting Monday, with winds being mainly terrain driven. Temperature inversions are expected to be strong but are forecast to break up during the day in most places. Yet with light and variable winds, pollutants will not disperse as well. While it is hard to pin down exact details for each community, in general most areas are likely to see air quality degraded to some extent. Communities close to smoldering fires are likely to be impacted throughout the day to varying degrees. Partial daytime clearing in most areas with the least clearing in sheltered valleys, seems to be a good bet.

    Models are suggesting mildly offshore pressure gradients, which could push a little smoke over the Cascades into western WA over the next few days.

    Please note that the Governor's Office has issued a burn ban in eastern Washington:
    http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1966&newsType=1

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Forecast offers some relief for E WA air quality, but ...

    By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

    The weekend weather outlook for Eastern Washington, from Ecology forecaster Ranil Dhammapala, offers some temporary relief for smoke-impaired air quality in embattled communities. The photo at right from a Forest Service camera reflects that.

    But stagnant air conditions are expected during the coming week, which likely means a renewed build-up of smoke. Here's the forecast:

    Air Quality forecast, 7AM Saturday 15 September
    Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

    Air quality still remains a concern through much of eastern Washington in spite of some limited clearing over the last 12 hours. Some gradual improvement is expected over the weekend.

    The SW winds yesterday were weaker than expected but did help ventilate out the Palouse a little last afternoon. Some NW winds in Leavenworth, Ellensburg and the Methow last night, and in Wenatchee early today also helped lower the smoke levels. In general, expect the clearing trend to continue through Sunday evening, as winds pick up a little across most of the state.

    However, during the process of clearing out, smoke from Washington wildfires is likely to periodically impact communities around the Columbia Basin as it is flushed out of the area through Sunday evening. Periodic smoke may also impact some communities in the northern counties and possibly the Spokane area.

    After a dry cold front passes through on Saturday, smoke from Idaho wildfires is not expected to impact the Palouse or Clarkston over the next few days.

    Alas, the clearing appears to be short lived. It is likely that air will stagnate throughout much of eastern Washington during the work week as strong high pressure builds over the area. Though pressure gradients do not go strongly offshore, it might be sufficient to push some smoke into western Washington. This bears watching and will be addressed in the next forecast issued on Sunday.

    Please note that the Governor's Office has issued a burn ban in eastern Washington: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1966&newsType=1


    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Eyes Over Puget Sound for Sept. 11, 2012

    By Sandy Howard, Communication Manager, Environmental Assessment Program

    We’ve got new aerial photos of Puget Sound surface conditions from Ecology’s Sept. 11 flight.

    Strong sunshine, warm days, and cool nights have characterized the past week.

    Extensive red-brown blooms continue in Inlets of South and Central Sound. Jellyfish are increasing in number and aggregate sizes.

    We found low-to-moderate fluorescence and turbidity in Central Sound and Admiralty Inlet.

    Wind has been off the land except in the north by Bellingham. River flows are below normal.

    Eyes Over Puget Sound” combines high-resolution photo observations with satellite images, en route ferry data between Seattle and Victoria BC, and measurements from our moored instruments.

    Sign up to receive email notifications about the latest “Eyes Over Puget Sound” by subscribing to Ecology’s email listserv.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Update: Air quality worsening in some smoke-impacted areas

    By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

    The latest monitor readings show air quality is in the “unhealthy” category in the Ellensburg, Yakima, Twisp, Winthrop, and North Bend areas.

    The air quality in Leavenworth has worsened from “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy.”

    Monitoring data currently is not available for the Wenatchee and Chelan areas via the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA).

    Air Time: Smoke at unhealthy levels in some E. WA counties

    By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

    Wildfire smoke continues to pour into some areas of Eastern Washington. This morning (Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012), air quality in the Wenatchee area was in the “hazardous” category in the Wenatchee area and “unhealthy” in the Leavenworth area. Those ratings are determined by the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA).

    (Note: This air monitoring network is experiencing some difficulties, so if you can’t access at first, wait a little while before checking again. Our staff is working on the problem.)

    The photo at right from a U.S. Forest Service camera shows how bad things are in the Wenatchee area.

    This Ecology news release details the dangers posed by smoke and how you can protect yourself.

    You can check with local health departments and your physicians for more information about health impacts.

    Also, here are some media websites to watch for news:

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    New report tells what happened in Puget Sound waters in 2011

    By Sandy Howard, Environmental Assessment Program

    The Puget Sound Marine Waters workgroup of the Puget Sound Environmental Monitoring Program (PSEMP), part of the collaborative effort of the Puget Sound Partnership, has released its first annual report on marine water conditions in Puget Sound.

    The report combines a wealth of data from comprehensive monitoring programs and provides a concise summary of what was happening in Puget Sound’s marine waters during 2011. It covers areas such as climate and weather, river inputs, seawater temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, phytoplankton, biotoxins, bacteria and pathogens, shellfish resources, and more.

    The report represents an unprecedented collaborative effort among various agencies and groups and provides a collective view of marine water conditions in Puget Sound for 2011, enhancing our understanding of this complex ecosystem that is an economic lifeline for Western Washington.

    This collaborative and fruitful effort will improve transparency, data sharing, and communication of relevant monitoring programs in Puget Sound’s marine waters and help to determine how well these programs are meeting priority needs. It will also help the Puget Sound Partnership update and expand the dashboard indicators that are used to determine whether progress is being made towards restoring the Sound.

    The report is available for download at: www.psp.wa.gov/downloads/psemp/PSmarinewaters_2011_overview.pdf
    The workgroup looks forward to delivering a 2012 review of marine water conditions next year.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Boots on the Ground: WCC crews supporting ongoing firefighting efforts

    By Bridget Mason, WCC Coordinator, Washington Conservation Corps

    WCC crew moving fuel cans for equipment
    Credit: Ernie Farmer
    Ecology’s Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) members have been busy this wildfire season. We currently have two 10-person AmeriCorps crews responding to wildfires in Washington – with a third 10-person crew joining the response this evening.

    Here’s a summary of the five Washington wildfires to which WCC has responded:

    Navarre Fire near Entiat

    A six-person WCC crew was deployed to the Navarre Coulee fire near Entiat on July 7. The crew spent five days acting as a camp crew, serving meals, coordinating camp logistics, and supplying equipment to the fire line.

    Taylor Bridge near Cle Elum

    The recent Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum was a lengthy response effort due to high winds and dry weather conditions – fueled by diseased timber. The fire was sparked by a welding project on the Taylor Bridge that destroyed over 60 homes and burned nearly 24,000 acres. There were also a significant number of farms and farm animals lost in the fire.

    On Aug. 13, WCC deployed eight AmeriCorps members and two crew supervisors to assist with efforts to contain the fire. AmeriCorps members from Bellevue, Ellensburg, Seattle, Wenatchee and Yakima established a base camp by setting up yurts, telephone lines and supply trailers. The team also coordinated donations, served meals and supplied equipment to the fire line.

    When additional resources were requested midway through the response effort, we expanded to include 13 AmeriCorps members directed by two WCC crew supervisors. The team stood down 12 days later on Aug. 25 when the Taylor Bridge fire was downgraded.

    The team spent their final day helping nearly 800 responders demobilize and inventorying supplies – including re-coiling and packaging more than 17 miles of fire hose for future responses.

    Highway 141 near White Salmon

    An AmeriCorps crew of two WCC supervisors and eight WCC members from the Ellensburg/Yakima area are on their sixth day of responding to the Highway 141 fire near White Salmon in the Columbia Gorge.

    The crew is coordinating logistics at the fire camp, delivering hose and equipment to the fire line and providing assistance as an engine crew. The fire is burning in very steep country but containment efforts have gone well. We expect our crew to demobilize Thursday or Friday.

    Manila/Columbia Complex

    On Sept. 10, a 10-person crew made up of WCC members and supervisors from Ellensburg, Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma arrived at the Manila/Columbia Complex Fire near Grand Coulee on the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

    Six crew members are part of our inaugural Washington Conservation Corps Veterans crew. The supervisor and all five WCC members all served as members of the military prior to joining AmeriCorps. They are two weeks from completing their one-year service in AmeriCorps. It has been quite a year for these Veterans – from removing tsunami-related marine debris along Washington’s coast to assisting with firefighting efforts in Eastern Washington.

    The Manila/Columbia Complex fire is 60 percent contained but there are numerous fires burning in area shrub and grasslands. The crew is helping manage the camp, delivering equipment and supplies, as well as undertaking engine crew work and line construction.

    Okanogan Complex near Twisp

    We are in the process of deploying a 10-person crew to the Okanogan Complex of fires near Twisp. Projects will consist of camp crew activities – including camp management and equipment/supply delivery.

    More about WCC response work

    The WCC has 70 members and staff certified to fight wildfires that are available for wildfire response, if needed. This certification is just one of several offered in the WCC program. We provide crews at a moment’s notice. We have provided first-hand assistance to citizens in Washington and across the nation during floods, fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    Let’s Talk Science! Field scientist studies biocontrols in lake systems

    by Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications manager, Central Regional Office

    Aquatic plant specialist Jenifer Parsons has a unique position in Ecology. Jenifer’s interest in science sent her on a path to receive a bachelor’s degree is in biology from Boise State and a master’s in environmental science with an emphasis in aquatic ecology from Western Washington University. Aquatic plants and aquatic bugs were the focus of her studies, so with good timing and good luck her field of study landed her the perfect job at Ecology.

    Her summers are spent monitoring aquatic plant populations in the state's lakes and large rivers, conducting research on the effectiveness of various aquatic weed control methods. During the fall and winter she compiles, digests, and summarizes her findings. Her position is funded through license tab fees for boats and recreational watercraft.

    Weeds are the bane of our state's lakes. Not only does the prolific growth of non-native plants choke out other useful native species, their growth is a nuisance interfering with recreational activities such as swimming, fishing and boating across the state.

    Jenifer has been pursuing one such pesky plant, Eurasian watermilfoil, for the better part of a decade. She’s been working to employ Mother Nature to battle the invading species that can quickly dominate a water body and put it out of balance.

    Biocontrols can beat back invaders

    Introducing biological controls is an attempt to use natural defenses to beat back an invader and provide an opportunity for native plants to regain a foothold and restore the natural balance.


    A weevilholdon snacking on milfoil
    Biological controls haven’t always been the best solution for an invasive problem. There were some notable disasters in the early days of this practice – think of the 1930s release of Central American cane toads in Australia. Instead of eating the beetles destroying the local cane crop, the toads proliferated with no known predators and devastated local biodiversity.

    “Since then biocontrol has come under much tighter restrictions. In the U.S., insects or diseases must undergo stringent testing overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure they only survive and reproduce on the one weed that is being targeted. This ensures what is introduced will not then become a pest itself," Jenifer said.

    Watermilfoil is a problem in Washington, much of the U.S. and southern Canada. But it isn't a problem everywhere. This phenomenon was first noticed in the Northwest in the 1980s in the Okanagan Lakes of British Columbia. Studies showed several plant eating insects were causing milfoil declines.

    In Washington, Jenifer has been studying native "bugs" as prospective deterrents to the spread of milfoil – the milfoil midge being one found in the Okanagan Lakes. They have proven difficult to rear for introduction elsewhere. Among others were the larvae of the caddisfly, moth larvae, and beetles.

    In combination these predators can keep milfoil at bay. But only if there is an abundant population of bugs, she found. Unfortunately, in Washington the panfish, such as pumkinseed and bluegill, prey on the weevils and larvae, reducing their chances to be successful as a biocontrol where these predators thrive.


    Caddisfly larva feast on milfoil plants.

    Many factors affect controls

    Native insects are controlling Eurasian milfoil in some lakes in the central part of the state where they are prolific and predators are few. However, there are times when the herbivores don't thrive and milfoil resurges. Predators play a role, but so does severe weather, water quality conditions and plant quality.

    Jenifer also notes that aquatic plants are at the bottom of the food web – insects eating those plants are food for the small fish that may be eaten by the bigger fish or fish-eating bird. Plant-eating swans and geese also are a part of the chain influencing aquatic plant growth.

    Ultimately, lake managers like Jenifer see this information as a valuable step toward reducing invasive plant growth. Plant-eating insects and other invertebrates may someday be enlisted along with nutrient reduction and support of the natural food chain to sustain healthy lakes.

    You can read her full report online

    More information on the lake efforts nationally

    What you can do

    Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species while boating:
    • Rinse anchors and anchor chains during retrieval to remove organisms and sediments at their place of origin.
    • Remove fouling organisms from hull, piping, and tanks on a regular basis and dispose of any removed substances in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.
    • Do not dump bait and live well water. Those both pose significant threats.
    • Clean all watercraft and fishing equipment. Even the kayaker or jet skier should clean their watercraft to stop the spread of invasive species.
    If you think you have spotted an invasive species you can report sightings:

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Fecal Matters: Join us at the 36th Annual Wooden Boat Festival!

    BEACH Program Update


    The BEACH Program is excited to announce our attendance at the 36th annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, WA. This festival features more than 300 wooden boats, plenty of delicious food vendors, and artists galore. The BEACH Program will be there to educate kids and adults about sources of bacteria in our waterways. Our watershed demonstration model helps people of all ages, languages and cultures, better understand the sources and prevention of water pollution through visual, hands-on interaction.

    Join us this weekend! The festival runs from Friday, September 7 – Sunday September 9.

    More Information:

    Wooden Boat Foundation Website: http://www.woodenboat.org/festival/

    Wooden Boat Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WoodenBoatFoundation

    Looking for more information about the BEACH Program? www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach

    Stay updated about water quality at your beaches by keeping up with us on our blog

    Fecal Matters
    , on Facebook, or join our listserv.

    Julie Lowe is the BEACH Program Manager and can be reached at julie.lowe@ecy.wa.gov