Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Not Being Protected as PromisedPermalink +
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 3:33 pm // Wendy Harris
Action Alert: I am requesting that people come to the city council meeting tonight, at 7p.m. to speak at open session regarding habitat connectivity and wildlife protection at the waterfront. The administration agreed to provide this after the waterfront plan was approved, but it is not fully honoring its promise.
Now that the waterfront plan is approved, the city administration is trying to implement a fish restoration project that does not address biodiversity, or upland habitat connectivity. The administration provided information to the City Council that indicates they are working on a $50,000 habitat connectivity project, but a review of the RFP reveals a different story… it reflects a project that is focused on protecting and restoring nearshore fish habitat. It will not protect marine mammals. It will not protect our important bird populations. It will not protect our terrestrial species. It will not prevent fragmentation of habitat.
A fish restoration project is great, but it is not a substitute for what we asked for, what we need or what we were promised. We need an updated or supplemental Environmental Impact Analysis (EIS) for plants and animals. When the city and port administration issued a revised plan earlier this year, the port updated the EIS, but failed to address the impacts of waterfront development on plants and animals.
Please turn out tonight to ask that the City Council provide us with what we were promised: an updated waterfront analysis that protects biodiversity and habitat connectivity. The analysis must do the following things:
° It must incorporate the entire waterfront district (near shore and upland).
° It must incorporate all local species (and the important Caspian tern colony that was dissuaded by the port)
° It must identify specific impacts from waterfront development on wildlife and habitat. Impacts are likely as the result of:
o increased marine traffic
o increased intensity of human use (more people and pets and recreational waterfront, more noise, more lights, more vibrations, more activities more times of the day and night)
o conflicting land uses (habitat vs. public access, light industrial, commercial, loss of high value estuarine habitat)
o An inadequate 50 foot habitat buffer that contains pedestrian and bike trails
o Tall buildings and glass along a bird migration route
o Roads and utilities that fragment habitat and create a barrier to wildlife movement
o Construction impacts and MTCA site cleanup impacts
° It must discuss whether or not mitigation can off-set these impacts, including compensatory mitigation (creating replacement habitat elsewhere)
· A current, quantifiable baseline standard must be established in order to determine whether or not waterfront development results in a loss of ecological function and requires mitigation. The baseline standard is critical and the city has significant data gaps in its information regarding waterfront wildlife and habitat connectivity.
° The waterfront development plans must be reviewed and revised based on the information developed from the supplemental EIS. We need to ensure we are protecting the areas of highest conservation value and not creating barriers in areas of habitat connectivity. We need to identify areas where habitat and connectivity needs to be restored, and this information must inform the placement of building, roads and infrastructure.
Why won’t the city administration give us a supplemental EIS? If we do not develop this information, then developers have no obligation to provide expensive mitigation. Protecting wildlife and habitat reduces the waterfront land available for development and reduces profit. But this does not further the public’s interest in keeping our water and our land healthy for ourselves and our future.
Please turn out tonight at open session and ask the City Council to enforce the mayor’s promises, in full, as understood by the general public.
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 3:33 pm // Wendy HarrisWe were led to believe the city would review waterfront wildlife and habitat connectivity. It turns out that the city intends to focus only on nearshore fish.
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 12:16 am // Wendy HarrisAccepting the Paul deArmond award of citizen journalism on Feb 7, Wendh Harris gave this speech. We think it deserves its own post.
Paper Dreams in Fairhaven
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:35 pm // Wendy HarrisThe mayor wants to amend a city law to increase flexibility for a GMA provision that should be used rarely, if ever at all.
3 comments; last on Feb 11, 2014
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 2:36 pm // Wendy HarrisCostco imposes indirect costs on our community that are as real and tangible as road construction expenses.
1 comments; last on Feb 13, 2014
Sat, Feb 01, 2014, 12:35 am // Wendy HarrisFiling a public record request could land a citizen in jail under a proposal reflected in a Herald opinion article.
2 comments; last on Feb 03, 2014
Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 pm // Wendy HarrisA Port of Bellingham internal memo tries, but fails, to justify changes in cost estimates for alternative marina sites.
5 comments; last on Dec 22, 2013
Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 12:21 am // Wendy HarrisArmy Corps advised DOE that it will not issue a waterfront permit without Lummi approval
2 comments; last on Jan 13, 2014
Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:33 pm // Wendy HarrisLocal activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process
2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013
Fri, Dec 06, 2013, 11:03 pm // Wendy HarrisThe county will be required to consider water quality and water quantity when planning rural growth.
3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2013
Sat, Nov 30, 2013, 8:11 pm // Wendy HarrisThe waterfront plan allows a development bonus for payments made to the Lake Whatcom land acquisition fund
1 comments; last on Dec 01, 2013
Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 9:43 pm // Wendy HarrisA number of important issues need to be resolved before waterfront planning is complete, but the city council and port commission are ready to act.
2 comments; last on Nov 30, 2013
Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 9:01 pm // Wendy HarrisIf the port can not construct the airport safely, should it be entrusted with dangerous waterfront cleanup work?
Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 3:16 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city adminstration has been providing misleading/ incorrect information to the city council to avoid waterfront plan revisions.
1 comments; last on Nov 18, 2013
Sat, Nov 09, 2013, 9:47 pm // Wendy HarrisThe COB administration continues in its refusal to analyze waterfront wildlife issues, even though this is a prerequisite step in protecting wildlife from the impacts of development
3 comments; last on Nov 10, 2013
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 2:46 pm // Wendy HarrisRequesting waterfront handouts for the Overwater Walkway while proclaiming autonomy from further public review is unjustifiable.
2 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013
Tue, Oct 08, 2013, 2:22 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city staff considers the overwater walkway a done deal before official approval or resolution of treaty right conflicts
4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013
Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 10:19 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city administration asserts that there is no gap in waterplant plant and animal analysis
Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 10:01 pm // Wendy HarrisBellingham is holding an open house to introduce the public to its habitat restoration master plan, despite being at a preliminary draft stage
3 comments; last on Oct 04, 2013
Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 5:05 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city and port have not addressed wildlife impacts from waterfront development and this should be done before a waterfront plan is enacted.
Mon, Sep 09, 2013, 12:07 am // Wendy HarrisThe staff will be explaining the public's concerns, but the public is not allowed to testify.
Fri, Sep 06, 2013, 2:52 pm // Wendy HarrisElected officials continue to rely on inaccurate and misleading reports by the city and port staff regarding waterfront development.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 11:11 am // Wendy HarrisWhen the Bay stinks so bad that the public is calling 911, it is time to revisit waterfront redevelopment priorities
12 comments; last on Aug 19, 2013
Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 11:31 pm // Wendy HarrisThe City of Bellingham memorandum of agreement with Lynden does not make sense. What is going on?
4 comments; last on Sep 11, 2013
Fri, Aug 09, 2013, 8:42 pm // Wendy HarrisA conceptual agreement between COB and Lynden exchanges water for a new, but unneeded, water withdrawal site on the Middle Nooksack.
3 comments; last on Aug 10, 2013
Sun, Jul 28, 2013, 2:44 pm // Wendy HarrisRedevelopment of 14 acres along Lake Whatcom is contrary to the efforts to restore water quality.
1 comments; last on Jul 29, 2013
Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 3:53 pm // Wendy HarrisProposed rezone of farm land to allow meat packinghouses will undermine the long term viability of our farm economy.
1 comments; last on Jul 23, 2013
Mon, Jul 08, 2013, 4:11 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city would like to amend our city shoreline regulations to allow greater waterfront shoreline development.
1 comments; last on Jul 11, 2013
Fri, Jul 05, 2013, 9:51 pm // Wendy HarrisDoes Waterfront District planning, or public process, mean anything when it occurs subsequent to project development?
1 comments; last on Jul 06, 2013
Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 7:02 pm // Wendy HarrisBellingham needs to do a better job of protecting quality of life and health impacts that flow from infill
1 comments; last on Jul 18, 2013
Tue, Jun 25, 2013, 10:10 pm // Wendy HarrisThe County wants to exempt the Birch Bay UGA from the requirement to follow current version of stormwater standards in the DOE stormwater manual.
Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 9:59 pm // Wendy HarrisThe County Council fails to enact updated stormwater standards that are 2 1/2 years overdue.
Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 5:00 am // Wendy HarrisIn what is becoming a hallmark of the Linville administration, the mayor is seeking funding for an off-site wetland mitigation program that has not yet been approved.
4 comments; last on Jun 22, 2013
Fri, May 31, 2013, 6:20 pm // Wendy HarrisIdeologically Stubborn Council Majority Ignores Existing Industrial Zoning for Slaughter and Meat Processing Operations
2 comments; last on Jun 01, 2013
Thu, May 16, 2013, 11:55 am // Wendy HarrisThe public process on the revised waterfront plans is an empty charade
1 comments; last on May 17, 2013
Wed, May 15, 2013, 10:23 pm // Wendy HarrisThe political censor police are listening to you
5 comments; last on May 16, 2013
Fri, May 10, 2013, 9:22 am // Wendy HarrisThe City Planning Commission Advocates "Free Market Capitalism" Approach to Waterfront Planning.
1 comments; last on May 12, 2013
Thu, May 09, 2013, 11:07 pm // Wendy HarrisA recent letter by the Parks Department fails to contain reassurance that the geese will be safe from extermination this year.
Fri, May 03, 2013, 10:16 pm // Wendy HarrisThe Humane Society is bringing herding dogs to control Silver Lake geese, but it is not an optimal situation for success.
Wed, May 01, 2013, 10:31 pm // Wendy HarrisThe County Parks Department has allocated funding for playground equipment, but has not allocated funding for wildlife management planning.
1 comments; last on May 03, 2013
Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 6:05 pm // Wendy HarrisThe only urgency underscored by the Silver Lake geese is the urgency of enacting a comprehensive wildlife strategy.
4 comments; last on Apr 29, 2013
Sat, Apr 20, 2013, 10:52 am // Wendy HarrisThere will be no due process for the Canada geese, or the public, before the County Parks Department lethally removes the geese from Silver Lake
4 comments; last on Apr 24, 2013
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 10:24 pm // Wendy HarrisThe Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan needs policies that favor adaptive reuse and preservation of historic waterfront structures
Sat, Apr 06, 2013, 1:06 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city's proposed new Economic Development Chapter is based on an outdated economic theory
1 comments; last on Apr 06, 2013
Fri, Apr 05, 2013, 3:59 pm // Wendy HarrisNew slaughterhouse proposal "wishes away" current agricultural zoning restrictions.
10 comments; last on Apr 21, 2013
Mon, Apr 01, 2013, 3:00 pm // Wendy HarrisGovernment agencies responsible for the GPT project have completed review of the scoping comments.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 9:36 pm // Wendy HarrisA beneficial reuse provision in the Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan would allow construction materials that are contaminated with bioaccumulative toxins.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 8:59 pm // Wendy HarrisThe City Planning Department has included a technical document in the waterfront proposal without disclosing important impacts.
1 comments; last on Mar 30, 2013
Fri, Mar 01, 2013, 4:19 pm // Wendy HarrisA variance request pending before the City could create a loophole for developers seeking to avoid compliance with development standards.
5 comments; last on Mar 07, 2013
Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 9:40 pm // Wendy HarrisAn "Updated Preferred Alternative" reduces the number of waterfront jobs and expands the boundary of the waterfront district.
Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 2:59 pm // Wendy HarrisParticipate in the public process by commenting on the new Economic Development chapter to the city comprehensive plan
1 comments; last on Feb 15, 2013
Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 12:09 am // Wendy HarrisThe planning commission no longer serves its purpose due to Council's poor appointment choices
2 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 1:52 am // Wendy HarrisImproving ecosystem functions holistically is the best form of protection for the Lake Whatcom.
1 comments; last on Jan 29, 2013
Tue, Jan 22, 2013, 6:19 pm // Wendy HarrisLinks to a few noteworthy GPT scoping comments .
1 comments; last on Jan 23, 2013
Fri, Jan 11, 2013, 1:35 pm // Wendy HarrisA proposed amendment to the Lake Whatcom watershed moratorium will increase water quality degradation
1 comments; last on Jan 12, 2013
Sun, Jan 06, 2013, 11:49 pm // Wendy HarrisWatch the Whatcom County Council wiggle its way out of the latest round of GMA compliance requirements for Lake Whatcom
1 comments; last on Jul 27, 2013
Fri, Jan 04, 2013, 11:37 pm // Wendy HarrisCouncil majority willing to spend, and spend, and spend public funds defending development rights
2 comments; last on Jan 05, 2013
Sun, Dec 09, 2012, 2:21 pm // Wendy HarrisPer capita, Washington is one of the top states nationwide for providing private business incentives.
Sun, Dec 02, 2012, 6:24 pm // Wendy HarrisAn Ineffective Starling Control Contract That Provides A Subsidy To Farmers Should Be Removed From the County Council Budget
1 comments; last on Dec 03, 2012
Sat, Dec 01, 2012, 3:42 pm // Wendy HarrisThe proposal to allow slaughterhouses and rendering plants in the agriculture zone ignores nearby, and more appropriate, rural industrial zoning.
3 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012
Fri, Nov 16, 2012, 10:02 pm // Wendy HarrisProposed Stormwater Standards For Lake Whatcom Watershed Protect Developers Rather Than Lake
5 comments; last on Nov 20, 2012
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