The Utter Stupidity of the Boat Inspection Program on Lake Whatcom / Facebook post, Whatcom Hawk, Wendy Harris

invasive species7 hrs July 23, 2015  Wendy Harris

I am reposting below my post from July 19 because the topic of my post, the stupidity of the boat inspection program for Aquatic Invasive Species, is on the COB city council agenda for discussion.

I say we place bets on who will be the first council member to gush on and on about how great this program is and what a wonderful staff we have and how grateful all of us little peons should be? I am putting my money of Roxanne Murphy.

Also up for discussion will be the Joint Policy Group meeting recommendations, when the staff tried to pull a fast one by suggesting the worst review standards ever.. concocted not so much to measure meaningful information as to make the administrations looks good and the keep us peons uninformed. If you are interested, you can review my prior post on this, also on or around the 19th.
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The Utter Stupidity of the Boat Inspection Program on Lake Whatcom

There are a multitude of reasons that this program is ineffective and could expose the city to potentially irreversible damage to its drinking water supply. And it is salt in the wound that the program is run as a public subsidy. Yes, we are helping to pay others to degrade our drinking water. We were told that the program would eventually become self-sustaining, but this is not happening.

There are reasons that others communities prohibit boats and recreational use of its drinking water supply. Among the reasons the boat inspection program can not protect the lake from Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS):
1. Human error. There are just gonna to be things that escape detection. It only takes one mistake to have devastating consequences.
2. Larvae from clams are microscopic and can not be seen with the naked eye, and I assume this is true of other Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). sometimes the source of infestation can not be seen by the naked eye.
3. Boats that use private launches can escape permitting and inspection, and even if eventually caught, have already been in the water. Even boats that only stay in the Lake can spread AIS from one spot in the lake to another, increasing AIS colonies.
4. Seaplanes. The self inspection program for seaplanes is such a joke, I took the test cold, (without reviewing the materials), and had my certificate, that I printed out, issued in the name of the Whatcom Excavator, which I took to a county council meeting. (And Whatcom Excavator contacted me and told me that thought this hilarious.)
5. Not all infestation is the result of boats. It can also occur as a result of water recreation, such as fishing, swimming, pets, etc. If you think I am being paranoid, see the USDA link posted below.
6. Development. Shoreline modification for development, armoring, docks, etc, are associated with AIS. Why? Because shoreline alteration reduces the lake ecosystem’s natural resiliency, and makes it less able to fight off AIS. Think about when you get tired and run-down and how you become more susceptible to a cold or virus. Ecosystems work in the same way.
7. This is the wrong approach to restore and protect the lake, established as a matter of best available science. We must stop thinking about the Lake as a series of unconnected issues.. AIS, phosphorus, algae blooms, water quality treatment,etc. It is all interconnected and we need to treat the lake as part of an interconnected, synergistic system that has co-evolved together to achieve equilibrium and resiliency.

Why are we not addressing the lake through an ecosystem approach? I believe it is because our city and county want to continue to grow and to attract business opportunities, so they are trying to engineer our way to clean water through expensive storm water engineering, and new water treatment plants. But you can no sooner pull out an ecosystem function, such as storm water management, or water quality filtering, than you could a part from a computer or a clock. In either situation, the system can no longer function effectively because it was specifically designed with all the pieces and parts intact, working together.

Nothing I am saying is rocket science. Nothing I am saying is controversial from a science perspective. Why are we allowing politics, personal agendas and private fortunes to trump the health of the land, the wildlife and the people? The problem is clear, and it is exemplified perfectly in the boat inspection program.

Want it to change? Be the change. Or continue to pay for other people to destroy your home and health.

You can read Wendy’s post on the Whatcom Hawk Facebook page here.

You can view a copy of the COB agenda here.

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