King County Combined Sewer Overflow Hearings

King County Wastewater Division is hosting two information sessions which focus on projects to control combined sewer overflows.  The meetings are designed to answer questions to date, explain the project science and engineering.

Community members interested in learning more about King County’s proposals to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) near recreational beaches on Puget Sound are invited to attend these upcoming technical information sessions.

The information sessions will focus on the science and engineering behind the county’s proposed alternatives to build CSO control facilities in West Seattle and North Beach neighborhoods.

Project managers and technical staff will answer questions the county has received to date from community members, including how flows were calculated, why parks are among the sites being considered for location of the new facilities, the feasibility of “green” infrastructure, how much storage capacity is needed to effectively control CSOs, and how a project might impact a neighborhood during and after construction.

People are welcome to come for the entire day, or attend individual sessions based on interest level. A detailed schedule will be posted on the project website at http://www.kingcounty.govCSOBeachProjects.

While the sessions will present a high level of technical detail, the presentations will be geared toward anyone with an interest in science and engineering. Online feedback forms will continue to be available on the project website for people unable to attend the sessions.

People are also invited to provide feedback by calling Monica Van der Vieren at 206-263-7301 or by e-mailing

A portal to information about the Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks is at

Local Whale Expert To Speak at Duwamish Longhouse

The Whale Trail is hosting an exciting event featuring John Calambokidis, with an introduction by Kathy Fletcher at the Duwamish Longhouse on June 17, beginning at 7:00 pm.

The Whale Trail presents John Calambokidis speaking on gray whales and other large whales of the Pacific Northwest. Kathy Fletcher, People for Puget Sound, will give remarks on Saving the Sound: What We Can Do.

Advance tickets are available at BrownPaper Tickets with a $5 suggested donation

John Calambokidis is a renowned marine mammal biologist and founder of Cascadia Research. John recently conducted the necropsy on the gray whale that stranded on Arroyo Beach in West Seattle.

John’s talk will focus on the recovery and recent studies of the larger whales in the region, including the recent gray whale strandings in Puget Sound. He’ll also talk about the resurgence of humpbacks along the coast, and recent sightings and studies of blue and fin whales.

Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director of People for Puget Sound, will update us on the health of Puget Sound and efforts towards its recovery.

Come learn more about the great whales that pass through our waters, and what we can do to help them.

The event is presented by The Whale Trail, whose mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment by establishing a network of viewing sites along the whales’ trails through Puget Sound and the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. The Whale Trail is a project of Coast Watch Society, a 501(c)3 organization.

John Calambokidis is a Research Biologist and one of the founders of Cascadia Research, a non-profit research organization formed in 1979 based in Olympia, Washington. He periodically (1991-2010) serves as an Adjunct Faculty at the Evergreen State College teaching a course on marine mammals. His primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans. As a Senior Research Biologist at Cascadia Research he has served as Project Director of over 100 projects. He has authored two books on marine mammals ( the award-winning Guide to Marine Mammals of Greater Puget Sound from Island Publishers, with R. Osborne and E.M. Dorsey and Blue Whales from Voyageur Press, with G.H. Steiger) as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports. He has conducted studies on a variety of marine mammals in the North Pacific from Central America to Alaska. He has directed long-term research on the status, movements, and underwater behavior of blue, humpback, and gray whales. His work has been covered on shows by Discovery Channel and others and is featured in a National Geographic TV special and magazine article released in March 2009.

Kathy Fletcher is founder and executive director of People For Puget Sound, a citizens’ organization formed in 1991 to protect and restore Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits. She also sits on the Northwest Straits Commission and the Puget Sound Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board.

For more information or questions contact Donna Sandstrom at