Washington Water Watch 
May 2016

In This Issue
Celebrate Water
Governor Inslee: Spokane River Needs You!
Love Letter to a River
Welcome New Board Member Jill F. Johnson
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
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Upcoming Events
June 8
5:30-7:30 pm
Join CELP staff, board and supporters to celebrate CELP's accomplishments and honor Professor William H. Rodgers with the Ralph Johnson Water Hero Award.

Pre-reception CLE:
4-5 pm
Dams and Salmon in the Columbia Basin: Background and What's Next After Court Rejects Failed Federal Salmon Plan.
Speaker is Steve Mashuda from Earthjustice.
Summer is Coming!

Dear Members of CELP,

Summer is just around the corner, and it's a great time to get out and enjoy our rivers and streams. Whether its rafting, kayaking or fly-fishing for that prized rainbow, recreating on our rivers plays a large role in why we call this state our home. But last year's drought reminds us that we cannot take our rivers for granted. April's record breaking heat rapidly melted our snowpack, leaving forecasters to wonder if we will have enough water in the late summer or early fall for fish or recreation.
The Twin Sisters with snowpack that feeds the Nooksack and Skagit Rivers in Whatcom County
Climate change could make matters even worse, and Washington's water resource management systems are designed around precipitation models that are no longer accurate. Maintaining healthy river system as our climate warms calls for new and innovative approaches.

That's why CELP continues to work for the sustainable management of Washington's water resources. But we can't do it alone; we need the support of Washington residents like you who understand that protecting our rivers and streams will help everyone in our state.

In this issue we have information on next week's Celebrate Water event and award recipients, an article on Ecology's denial of our Spokane Instream Flow Petition, an introduction to our new board member Jill Johnson, a love letter to the Green/Duwamish River by one of our members, and more.

On May 3rd, CELP once again participated in the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG campaign. Even with the technology glitch, CELP raised over $3,000. Thank you to all the donors who participated. If you tried to donate to CELP while the Seattle Foundation's website was down, please consider giving to CELP through our own secure website at www.celp.org.

Best water wishes, 
Wenatchee River - photo by Nikki Morrison

Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

P.S. Join us for our annual Celebrate Water event at Ivar's Salmon House on June 8th!

June 8th, 2016
5:30-7:30 pm

Celebrate Water is next week! Join us on Wednesday, June 8th for our annual fundraising event to celebrate CELP's successes in the past year and honor two individuals for their contributions to water law and policy in Washington State. Meet CELP staff, board, and supporters as we come together in support of Washington's waterways over food, drinks, and a beautiful view of Lake Union.

Pre-reception CLE: Dams and Salmon in the Columbia Basin
4:00-5:00 pm
The Columbia River

This year's pre-reception CLE workshop will be focused on the background of dams and salmon in the Columbia Basin, and what's next after the court rejected the failed federal salmon plan in early May. Our speaker will be Steve Mashuda from Earthjustice.

Honoring Professor William H. Rodgers Jr.
Professor Rodgers
This year's recipient of the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award is Professor William H. Rodgers Jr. Professor Rodgers is recognized as a founder and one of the leading figures in Environmental Law. His five decade long career has had immense impacts on water resource issues in Washington State, including involvement in numerous court cases in support of Indian tribes and traditional fishing rights and sustainable fishers in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Professor Rodgers coming soon!

Rep. Derek Stanford -photo from housedemocrats.wa.gov
Honoring Representative Derek Stanford
This year, we will be honoring Representative Derek Stanford as the first recipient of the Washington Water Policy Award for his work in the state legislature to protect the waters of this state for all Washingtonians. This award goes to an elected official or policy maker who shows outstanding contributions to sustainable water policy in Washington. Representative Stanford's work over the last two years in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Joint Committee, Water Supply During Drought, has helped direct Washington water policy to a more sustainable path.
Kayakers on the Lower Spokane  River - photo by Julie Titone

Gov. Inslee has 45 days to decide whether to protect Spokane River flows

by John Osborn

Spokane - Advocates for the Spokane River, including CELP, are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to grant their petition for protecting all instream values of the Spokane River, including recreational boating opportunities. This is the next step in the citizens' quest to protect Spokane River flows. A petition was filed in February with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), and rejected by the agency in April.

We are asking Gov. Inslee to protect jobs, preserve the Spokane River, uphold the law, and avoid embroiling the state in more litigation regarding the Spokane River. Citizens' letter to the Governor reads, in part:
We would like to make it clear that our goal in bringing this appeal to you is to reach an amicable agreement with Ecology to amend the Spokane River Instream Flow rule in a manner that takes into account and protects aesthetic and recreational values, while also protecting fish habitat. While we are simultaneously appealing Ecology's decision to Thurston County Superior Court, we are required to do so to preserve our appeal rights pursuant to the Washington Administrative Procedure Act. Our hope is that you will be willing to resolve the issues raised in our appeal without the need for protracted litigation. We are asking that you direct the Department of Ecology to re-open the Spokane River Instream Flow Rule and reassess the minimum summer flows that are needed to protect and preserve recreational and aesthetic uses of the river. Because the Petitioners and Ecology agree that higher flows than those protected in the existing rule will not harm the fish, we believe that a mutually agreeable resolution is possible that is best for the Spokane River.
The Spokane River is a beloved urban river that flows through the second-largest city in Washington State, including spectacular waterfalls and a deep gorge. Conservationists seek a minimum summertime flow of 1,800 - 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) to support fisheries and recreation, and protect higher flows for recreation when available. Ecology set river flows at 850 cfs, far below typical summer low flows. This rule could effectively make every year a drought year for the Spokane River.
Read more here.

My Love Letter to the Green (Duwamish) River

by CELP member Pat Sumption

I didn't mean to fall in love with the Green River. It just happened. It just grew like Topsy.

My first (and greatest) love of the Natural World was the Pacific Ocean, and its beaches. Then I realized I was in love with any water body I could swim in. I always had a swimsuit with me if there was any chance I might go near some kind of a swimming hole.

Green River
I really didn't discover rivers until I went to Girl Scout camp when I was 12. We did a multi-day hike on the Dosewallips. We swam in the river and nearly froze our toes, and it was beautiful and I was in love with the Dosewallips and rivers everywhere. So it was inevitable when someone aimed me at a river canoe, that I would get in it and try paddling. And, I guess it was inevitable when I was told to choose my favorite Washington river at a State Rivers Conference in the 1980's I would choose the Green. It is the color of my eyes, after all, and I had to choose something.

All those at the Conference who chose the Green (even if their eyes weren't), were sent to one corner and told that our task was to form a Green River group which would then work on protecting our chosen River. There must have been other fanatics in our Group, because we did just that: we formed Friends of the Green River and started raising money and incorporating a non-profit. And the more I did for the Green, the more I fell in love with it. The others in that group all knew each other and they taught me a lot. They were river boaters and had already formed a group called the Silly Willys Rafting Club. And we all loved the Green.

The Green River has a secret that gets many people hooked on it. Part of it is hidden in a deep, quiet gorge that's almost inaccessible except by boat. Boaters come from all over the world to boat the Green River Gorge. It's untrammeled, pristine, gorgeously draped in damp green mosses and ferns - a fantasy, watery, world of Green.

But, the Green River has 2 dams on it. The Corps of Engineers built a dam for flood control in the middle of the 20th Century. Tacoma had built a smaller dam downstream of the Corps dam on the Green in the early years of the 20th Century to form a pool to hold the water and decrease turbidity before piping the Green's water to municipal customers in Pierce County.

Welcome Jill F. Johnson - New CELP Board Member

CELP is thrilled to have Jill F. Johnson, daughter of our founder Ralph W. Johnson, on board as our newest board member! 

Jill Johnson is  an Investment Strategic Advisor for Seattle City Employees' RetirementSystem (SCERS). She is in charge of SCERS's public equity investments, including matters relating to environmental, social and governance. Jill has worked in the financial markets in various capacities in the US and in France for 30 plus years.

In addition to her investment experience, Jill helped found The DoVE Project on Vashon Island, a non-profit providing community education and services to survivors of domestic abuse. She was one of DoVE's first domestic violence advocates and provided direct services to clients. Since early in her life, Jill has volunteered for various non-profit organizations, including a vaccination program in Latin America, an organization providing residential treatment to children in the foster care system with addiction and mental health issues, cat and dog rescue and domestic violence. Currently, in addition to her work with the City of Seattle, she operates an unofficial rescue farm at her home. She cares for approximately 150 sheep, goats, geese, ducks, turkeys and chickens.

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Follow us at @CELPwater to stay updated on our work and events, and enjoy photos of Washington's beautiful rivers and streams.

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to: 

85 S Washington St #301, Seattle, WA 98104 

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington's waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!
You can reach us at: 206-829-8299 or email us.