Sound Status Update — August 2018


Hey folks,

While summer may soon be wrapping up, Citizens for a Healthy Bay is still pushing full steam ahead (through smoke and all) with really great projects and events we’re excited to tell you about, like our Environmental Justice Girls Camp, the advocacy training we held with WA Physicians for Social Responsibility, and our first ever Stand for Our Sound fall fundraiser at the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium at the Point Defiance Zoo on November 15!

We also discuss the rare sightings of certain mammals in Puget Sound and Commencement Bay, and why these sightings are becoming more and more common in recent years.

Environmental Justice Girls Camp

In early August, we partnered with the Tacoma Urban League to lead a two-day environmental justice girls camp. We had a blast doing activities with the girls focused around science and our community’s environment, and aimed to empower each one to define what environmental justice means to them. Some of our favorite camp highlights include tide pooling at the Thea Foss Park, a microplastics experiment, a boat tour of contaminated sites in the Hylebos waterway, and a beach cleanup at Jack Hyde Park. We also encouraged the girls to work through some tough questions, like: Is it healthy for us to eat the shellfish and fish from our local waterways? Do people need a healthy environment for them to be happy and healthy? How does plastic get into our oceans in the first place?

The last day of camp ended with a letter-to-the-editor writing workshop, where the girls wrote about their experience at camp, what they have concerns about in their communities, and what they want to see changed. We will be submitting those letters to the Tacoma News Tribune and Tacoma Weekly in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out!

Celebrate and support Puget Sound like you never have before!

Citizens for a Healthy Bay is thrilled to announce our first ever fall fundraiser, Stand for Our Sound, will take place at the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Thursday, November 15!

Stand for Our Sound
November 15, 2018
Doors open at 6:00 | Program at 7:00
5400 N Pearl St | Tacoma, WA

The fundraiser will be a a great night of local food, music, cocktails, great company, and an inspiring program while experiencing the incredible new aquarium (trust us, we’ve seen it. You won’t want to miss it.)

Individual tickets begin at $75

Purchase Tickets

Rare sightings in Commencement Bay

Back on August 13th, we witnessed a rare mammal sighting in Commencement Bay, although sightings like ours are becoming increasingly more common. What did we see? Stump, a female bottlenose dolphin, which is a species rarely seen in the cold waters of Puget Sound because they are considered to be a warm-water species that frequents temperate or tropical waters. But Stump, who has been tracked all the way from San Diego since the 1980s, is not the first to make prolonged visits to Puget Sound. Earlier sightings of bottlenose dolphins date as far back as 1998. Regardless, visits from bottlenose dolphins outside of their usual home range – mostly the coasts of California or in Mexican waters – while rare, are becoming increasingly more common.

Species like Stump are seen more frequently than before, with scientists speculating that Washington state might be their new residence due to their adaptability or to the strong El Niño that started in 2015; their earlier wanderings in 1982 were associated with the strong El Niño event at the time, which brought in warmer ocean waters to the coasts. Other uncommon mammal sightings include common dolphins, ribbon seals, and a fin whale (the last time a fin whale was seen in Puget Sound was 1930.)

Next Tacoma Roots Summit

Tacoma Roots Banner-Logo

Our friends at Tacoma Roots are hosting another summit at Evergreen Tacoma on Tuesday, October 23! We’ve loved their last two summits, which prioritize environmental justice and tackling environmental issues that disproportionately impact communities of color in Pierce County. Their next event will discuss affordable housing as an environmental issue. We’re proud to support the work of Tacoma Roots and encourage everyone to attend their next event. Find it on Facebook here.

Advocacy training recap

On Saturday, August 25, CHB joined its partners in the Protect Tacoma’s Tideflats Coalition to help with an advocacy training led by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. The training focused on empowering health professionals to be advocates for the environment, especially as we prepare for the release of the Tideflats Subarea Plan. As the City of Tacoma’s website states, “subarea planning allows for the establishment of a shared, long-term vision, and a more coordinated approach to development, environmental review, and strategic capital investments in a focused area.” The upcoming subarea plan for the Tideflats is a great opportunity for us to fight for getting Tacoma away from fossil fuel infrastructure and toward health and sustainability. If you’d like to learn more about Protect Tacoma’s Tideflats or the Tideflats Subarea Plan, please email Kenny Coble at

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