The next few weeks will bring two major deadlines to our community. One deals with what I believe is the 4,200 percent increase in oil trains in the last five years. There is an effort under way to try to control this increase in transporting crude oil by rail in Washington. If you are concerned, let our elected officials know. Dec. 1 is the deadline for comments to “The Department of Ecology on Oil Transportation Study” at re-sources.org/sfi.
Our second challenge has a Dec. 4 deadline. This is the date for comments on the Department of Natural Resources draft for the Aquatic Habitat Conservation Plan. It is important to let this organization know that you care about our Puget Sound and the health of our aquatic environment and its restoration. Without your voice, the powers that be will think you don’t care. After a 10-year study, this agency is about to draw up a draft plan to address protection of species, their habitats and the various uses of public and private aquatic lands. We need to be heard, because the voices of the fish are disappearing. I believe that Cherry Point herring spawning numbers have declined from 14,000 tons in 1975 to less than 1000 tons in 2013. Without a vibrant local herring population, our orcas and salmon will decline. The food chain will be broken. If you care, please post your concerns to re-sources.org/hcp.