[Tweeters] From the Fill

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 02:22:28 PST 2015

Hey tweets, this time I am not reporting on the wonderful birds who have shown up at my favorite place on Earth (though I do have to let you know that I saw a most gorgeous Townsend's Warbler in the conifers at the marina yesterday!).

Instead, I am asking for your help. For the past two years, I have been trying to persuade WSDOT and the UW to spend some of the 520 mitigation money ($2 million) to restore shorebird habitat at the Fill. Dennis Paulson (who did the EIS here in 1971 and has been involved ever since) and I both believe that if the woody vegetation around the ponds (especially Main Pond) would be removed, we could restore shorebird migration here and help the shorebirds that migrate through the Puget Trough. FYI, in the 1990s, the Fill's migration numbered more than 1400 individuals; last year only 42 birds showed up, a catastrophic drop.

The reason for this catastrophic loss is the gradual takeover of all the ponds by woody vegetation. Shorebirds require open habitat so they can watch out for predators. That habitat has shrunk at the Fill to less than 20 feet of usable shoreline around Main Pond.

Unfortunately, WSDOT's mitigation plan calls for *more* woody plants - trees and bushes - to be planted around all the ponds. They call these plants "buffers". It means that not only will *all* shorebird habitat be effectively eliminated, but all human access to the ponds will be removed.

If you care about helping the Fill, restoring a shorebird migration here, or keeping the ponds open for birders, then now is the time to act.

Seattle Audubon, which has been deeply involved in this issue for several months now, has come up with a scientifically accurate, low-cost plan to restore shorebird migration to the Fill. They are not getting through to the deciders. Maybe if we all raise our voices, we will be heard. So Seattle Audubon has put a petition on its web site that you can sign. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/1BQ3rco <http://bit.ly/1BQ3rco>

Seattle Audubon is also urging all of us to send our views and pleas to the powers that be. If you have a few minutes to compose an email to WSDOT, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and/or the UW, please do it today. The Seattle Audubon link tells you how. Numbers count, so don't worry about writing a tome or even a poem. Just express your support for shorebird habitat restoration. We have a chance, folks - it depends on us. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com <mailto:constancesidles at gmail.com>
www.constancypress.com <http://www.constancypress.com/>

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