Lummi Island Ferry Landing Project

ImageWATERSHED ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEE UPDATE – –Wanda Cucinotta, Chair 

WORK PARTY!

Volunteer helpers needed to mulch, weed and plant? We are planning work parties to maintain and enhance our plantings around the ferry landing and the Northern public shoreline. Saturdays, from 10 am to 12 pm, April 14th and April 21st. Please come and have fun with us while doing this needed work! We are back in action applying for grants and are ready with permits for Phase II of this project. We are also applying for shoreline debris clean up funding as well. Wish us luck!!

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No Clam digging: Biotoxin Levels in Shellfish are Extremely Dangerous in Whatcom County including Lummi Island

From Whatcom County Health Dept.:

Biotoxin Levels in Shellfish are Extremely Dangerous in Whatcom County

WHATCOM COUNTY – Marine biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) have been detected at potentially lethal levels in recent shellfish samples collected from Drayton Harbor and Point Roberts. Samples from Chuckanut Bay, Squalicum Harbor, and Birch Bay have risen to dangerous levels as well. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed all of Whatcom County to the recreational harvest of molluscan shellfish. The public is warned that consumption of molluscan shellfish with such high toxin levels can result in severe illness or death.

The Whatcom County Health Department will continue to test local beaches and will notify the public when shellfish are safe to harvest again. Molluscan shellfish that are sold in permitted retail markets are harvested from locations that are sampled and tested at the time of harvest and are proven safe to eat. The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, geoducks and other species of molluscan shellfish. Crab is not included in the closure, but “crab butter” and crab entrails should be discarded, and only the meat should be eaten. PSP biotoxins are naturally occurring and are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

PSP intoxication can be life-threatening. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing, and potentially death. If you experience these symptoms contact a health care provider. For extreme reactions call 911. People can become ill after eating Shellfish contaminated with the toxins produced by naturally occurring marine algae. In most cases the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen, and must be detected using laboratory testing.

Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters should check the DOH website at http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State.
Contact Person: Tom Kunesh
Environmental Health Supervisor
(360) 676-6724

2010 Clam Tent Pilot Project

The MRC/ Shellfish Subcommittee and WEC installed Little Neck Clam tents for a pilot project here on Lummi Island. One tent is located just north of the ferry terminal on public tidelands, and one on public tidelands near the end of Blizard Road. This pilot project aims to take advantage of naturally-produced clam larvae from any species that float in the water column prior to settlement into suitable habitat. If this pilot project proves successful, future clam tents will be considered for other locations. The tents were installed in April and will be removed in late summer. Beach Elementary School students assisted in pre-installation surveys to document what clams exist in the locations presently, and will also assist in future surveys to determine if clam recruitment was a success. Please notify us if you notice that one of the tents is damaged or needs attention. We will be checking the tents weekly. Please contact Melissa Roberts at 360-676-6876, or mroberts@co.whatcom.wa.us for more information or call Wanda to notify her of any attention needed to the tents.

2010 Clam Tents

Blizard Road End Clam Tent Location

Lummi Island Watershed Enhancement Committee has lots of fun things happening this April.

Waterstudy continues.

Stay tuned!

Lummi Island Stormwater runoff.

Here below is a letter from the Whatcom County Resources Shellfish subcommitte’s ProjectLummi Island resident letter-1

March 30, 2010

Dear Lummi Island Resident:

Re:  Marine Resources Committee Clam Enhancement Projects

The Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) was established in 1999 by the Whatcom County Council as a way for local citizens to participate and lead marine restoration and protection projects.  As part of the MRC’s clam enhancement work, we would like to engage you in an exciting pilot project that will be taking place in your neighborhood, and invite your participation.  The MRC plans to install two 3’x5’ clam tents along the eastern shoreline of Lummi Island.  One tent will be located just north of the ferry terminal on public tidelands, and one will be located on public tidelands near the end of Blizard Road.

Similar clam tents have been used successfully on the East Coast to enhance populations of softshell clams for both recreational and commercial harvest.  The goal of the MRC clam subcommittee is to enhance recreational opportunities for clam harvest along Whatcom County shorelines.  The design of these tents will consist of ¼” netting attached to the substrate with steel hooks in a 3’x5’ rectangle.  The netting will be slightly larger than the rectangle, and will have small floats underneath to allow it to be suspended at higher tides.  This non-rigid design is intended to reduce the likelihood of kayakers or other small boat users from running into the structure, and is intended to better absorb shock from floating debris or wood.  I have included an article describing various clam tent designs and information.  At low tide, these tents will be very low-profile and will only be noticeable by the small floats positioned beneath the netting.

This pilot project aims to take advantage of naturally-produced clam larvae of any species that float in the water column prior to settlement into suitable habitat.  This phase of the study will look at 1) the practicality of this clam tent design, and 2) the recruitment success of these tents.  If this pilot project proves successful, future clam tents will be considered for other locations.  These Lummi Island locations have been chosen for the pilot project as reasonably secluded locations with a lower chance of vandalism, and because there are known clam populations in the vicinity.  Assuming success, future tent locations will be determined at a later time.

The tents will be installed in early April and will be removed in late summer.  Beach Elementary School students will assist in pre-installation surveys to document what clams exist in the locations presently, and will also assist in future surveys to determine if clam recruitment was a success.

We are hoping you will be willing to notify us if you notice that one of the tents is damaged or needs attention.  Wanda Cucinotta, a Lummi Island resident and MRC clam subcommittee member, will check the tents weekly.  If you would be willing to notify us if you see anything amiss between her checks, it would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact me at 360-676-6876, or mroberts@co.whatcom.wa.us for more information about the MRC or clam tents in general, or call Wanda at 360-758-2272 or 360-220-3077 to notify her of any attention needed to the tents.

Sincerely,   Melissa Roberts

Whatcom County Public Works – Natural Resources

Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee

322 N. Commercial St., Ste. 110

Bellingham, WA  98225

Phone:   360-676-6876

Fax       360-738-2468

Website:            http://www.whatcom-mrc.whatcomcounty.org

Recent Slide On Lummi Island Shoreline Bluff

Lummi Island Watershed Enhancement Committee (WEC)
January 2010 UPDATE – – Wanda Cucinotta, Chair
Here’s our latest update:
  • Water Sample Volunteers Are Still Needed as we assist Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) with monthly water quality sampling. The MRC/ Shellfish Subcommittee and WEC are also collaborating on a Little Neck Clam enhancement pilot project here on Lummi Island this spring.
  • Many thanks to all the community volunteers who helped us plant native vegetation and improve the quality of storm water runoff from the ferry landing area last year. All Lummi Islanders are welcome to join our Committee’s monthly meetings beginning in March. We have permits in hand for future restoration work and hope to start again this spring.
  • WEC has a different project sponsor organization! The Lummi Island Heritage Trust (a 501c3 nonprofit) has generously agreed to sponsor our Ferry Landing Enhancement Project.  This enables us to receive donations and to seek grant funds for additional restoration work around the Lummi Island Ferry Landing as well as monitoring and maintenance of our 2009 work.
  • For information or to volunteer contact:  Wanda @ 360-220 -3077
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  • BEACHES ON LUMMI ISLAND REMAIN CLOSED FOR SHELLFISH HARVESTING DUE TO HIGH TOXIN LEVELS IN MOLLUSCAN SHELLFISH.  Before harvesting molluscan shellfish, contact the Biotoxin hotline for updates to biotoxin and pollution-related closures at 1-800-562-5632 or web site http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm
  • DID YOU KNOW THAT: Contaminated runoff from our roads and urban areas is the number one water pollution problem in the state, and most pressing threat? – Between 6 and 8 million gallons of oil and grease are washed into the Puget Sound every year (equivalent to one Exxon Valdez spill in two years)? – 45-65% of stormwater pollution is due to petroleum products?

June 2009 Update

Community Volunteers Needed!!!

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Ferry Landing Fish and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project

To restore and enhance marine habitats, reduce water pollution,

prevent erosion and supply community education

through hands on shoreline stewardship.

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Join our Volunteer work parties throughout June and July.

Saturday and Thursday mornings 10am to Noon

Meet at the Lummi Island Ferry Dock.

Volunteers will: Remove noxious weeds, plant native plants (water, weed & mulch them) as well as other various tasks to clean stormwater runoff along the ferry terminal and shoreline to the north.

Or Volunteer anytime that works for you.

You can call or email to signup to volunteer during the week and/or whenever you are available. We have lots of jobs to be done by our July 31st deadline. Jobs include manual labor as well as other easier tasks like measuring, irrigating, monitoring, documenting, office work, coordinating etc. you choose.

$$ Volunteer Hours count as a match for our grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $$

Call Project Lead Wanda at 360-220-3077 or email forestflor@aol.com if you would like to volunteer, or have any questions and/or concerns.

Volunteer Work Parties

Please come join our

Saturday and Thursday morning volunteer work parties

From 10 am to noon all through May.

Meet in the New Ferry Parking Lot.

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Want to do some fun work and help enhance Lummi Island’s marine waters and public tidelands? Come help us start work on our Nearshore Enhancement Project! We could use some new inspiration and some fresh volunteer enthusiasm for our National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant funded Project.

This Saturday, May 2nd we will be removing noxious weeds and preparing planting areas along the South face of the ferry landing. Hopefully we’ll be ready for planting by next Thursday.

The next few Saturday and Thursday mornings volunteer crews will remove noxious weeds, prepare planting areas including erosion control and install native plants along the Northern bluff areas around the ferry terminal and shoreline to the north.

This Spring our volunteer crews will:

• Remove noxious weeds, install approx. 2,000 native plants along the bluff areas around the ferry terminal and shoreline to the north.

• Install 1 mutt mitt station with signage at a location approved by Whatcom County. • Remove rough creosote logs from the northern shoreline.

• Install pretreatment bays and an oil/grease separator to the rain gardens in the new ferry terminal parking lot.

• Install bio-infiltration measures along the wetland path north of the new parking lot.

• Install and maintain a Bio-clean catch basin insert in the catch basin immediately north of the southern entrance to the new ferry terminal parking lot.

Also, Whatcom County Public Works Dept. will assist us in replacing the catch basin in the northeast corner of the ferry terminal with a new Contech filtration system. They will cost share, install the unit, and maintain it in perpetuity.

Our goal is to restore and enhance marine habitats, reduce water pollution and secure the eroding shoreline bank on the County owned property around the Lummi Island ferry landing. We appreciate your cooperation during the installation phase of our project and apologize for any inconvenience.. We will need to reserve 1 or 2 parking areas from time to time this spring. We may also need to divert traffic along Nugent Road for a few short periods.

If you have any questions and/or concerns contact project lead: Wanda Cucinotta at forestflor@aol.com or Phone: 360-220-3077

Watershed Enhancement Committee, LICLT