Friends Notes

Ecology seeks comments on Anacortes cleanup project

Ecology seeks comments on Anacortes cleanup project

Ecology wants public input on Port's cleanup of the Old Shell Tank Farm.

Posted by Betty Carteret; contact at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Original photo courtesy of Anacortes Museum.

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The Port of Anacortes and WA Dept. of Ecology have developed cleanup planning documents related to the Old Shell Tank Farm located between 13th and 14th Street on Q Avenue (behind McDonald's).  The Port of Anacortes is also inviting comments on their State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist and Determination of Non-Significance for this project.

Click links for the Port's SEPA Checklist and Determination of Non-significance

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Science and Monitoring of Fidalgo Bay

Science and Monitoring of Fidalgo Bay

By Trail Tales Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Olsen

“It takes a village” to restore and protect the Salish Sea and our Skagit shorelines.  The Trail Tales program is part of that village for sure, engaging citizens in enjoyable learning activities. But education and outreach must be based on solid science, and monitoring data integrated in the science is important to successful conservation and restoration efforts as well.  So, in order to continually update the Trail Tales volunteers with accurate information (and because I am a science-biology nut, anyway!) I shared in the October workshop with many of the teams involved in science and monitoring projects in Fidalgo Bay.  Organized by the Skagit Marine Resources Committee and Northwest Straits Foundation staff, the 4-hour workshop held at the Fidalgo Bay RV Park had three main objectives:

  1. Clarify who is actively monitoring Fidalgo Bay and what questions are being answered;
  2. Understand what questions remain to be answered about the health of the nearshore* in Fidalgo Bay; and
  3. Identify how those questions could be answered in order to assist the process of determining the focus for future monitoring work.

This sharing is really vital to the forward progress we make in individual programs and collectively!  I came away with new information, clarity and direction and I believe the scientists and committee leads did also. Here are a few of my “take-homes” from the meeting that will become integrated with Trail Tales trainings, programs and presentations:

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Port of Anacortes' Wyman's Marina Habitat Restoration Underway

Port of Anacortes' Wyman's Marina Habitat Restoration Underway

By Betty Carteret - Photos: Anacortes Museum and Port of Anacortes

On November 14, Trail Tales volunteers met with Port of Anacortes Director Bob Hyde, Project Manager Brady Rowe, and Facilities Services Manager Jenkins Dossen to tour the habitat mitigation project under construction at the site of the old Wyman's Marina on Guemes Channel. Wyman's Marina was originally known as Robinson's Marina, which is shown in the 1957 photo below. The marina was also a US Coast Guard mooring station at one time. Wyman's Marina operated until 1998 when two underground fuel storage tanks were removed.

The habitat restoration project is required to mitigate shoreline impacts resulting from the Pier 1 redevelopment work done for Dakota Creek Industries along Guemes Channel. The mitigation habitat compensates for loss of in-water habitat from bulkhead filling and dredging for the ship basin. The log pocket (aka log haulout) mitigation project was the next in line for the Port of Anacortes but is delayed due to permitting issues driven by contaminants found at that site. According to Bob Hyde, the Port felt that they needed to get moving on mitigating habitat loss, so they accelerated work on the Wyman project.

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Fidalgo Bay Day & Beyond

Fidalgo Bay Day & Beyond

By Trail Tales Docent Coordinator Nancy Olsen

Fidalgo Bay Day is Sept. 14 from 11am - 3pm at the Fidalgo Bay Resort

Trail Tales celebration of National Estuaries Day on Sept 14 at the Fidalgo Bay Day event is very much what the whole program is all about: enjoying our shoreline and recognizing its tremendous value and our role in the story.  It also marks the end of the season of walks along the Tommy Thompson trail, however Trail Tales will be sponsoring other events and activities in the fall and winter. In the next season, the stories continue: we will be leading walks between 34th Street and the RV Park, and also adding walks and topics to the north along the shoreline toward Guemes Channel, along with new interpretive signs along that portion of trail.

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Little Chicago from 1920 - 1957

Little Chicago from 1920 - 1957

By Trail Tales Docent Peyton Kane

Photo with permission of Anacortes Museum. Wally Funk collection #1310

After Anacortes was founded in 1890 it became a small town centered on Commercial Avenue between 1st Street to 10th Street.  Its urban poor lived in a single row of homes that lined the north shore of Cap Sante cove tidelands that became known as Little Chicago.  This slum, first evidenced from the federal census of 1920 was home to poor residents till1957.

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