Speak up for greater health of collective environment | Letter

Mar 31, 2016

My name is Rondi Nordal. I am a senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School and president of the Students Saving Salmon club.

I am writing as a way to continue the discussion on the Critical Areas Ordinance, which is undergoing revision by the Edmonds City Council.

As a member of Students Saving Salmon, I highly value the protection and restoration of environmental health.

Effective and conscientious protection and restoration requires the use of best available science in order to ensure that restoration has net positive benefits for wildlife habitats.

This is critical, because if best available science is not applied, restoration projects might fail because they didn’t focus on the appropriate species or environmental factors.

Continued monitoring of restoration projects overseen by qualified officials can act as a quality or progress check ensuring that the project succeeds or progresses according to plan.

One specific factor to consider in habitat restoration projects is maintaining intact areas of native vegetation due to how they represent ecosystems that support a diversity of wildlife.

When considering “normal maintenance of vegetation,”please consider the impact of taking down all vegetation up to four inches diameter at breast height in a critical area.

This is because ecosystems are complex systems which developed over many human generations and in ways that are highly specific to their locations and species.

Due to their complexity, qualified professionals should assess locations and determine the amount of vegetation that could safely be removed without harming the environment. Organizations, such as Earthcorps, plant native species in critical areas to restore wildlife habitats and could be consulted.

Due to its direct influence on the environment, the Critical Areas Ordinance itself must be based on the best available science.

It allows for effective and realistic regulations that reflect the needs of our critical areas. Considering the current best available science, should we encourage trade-offs which allow development to encroach upon critical areas, remove critical vegetation, or to add impervious surfaces within crucial buffer zones?

Should we be able to decrease the width of a set buffer established to protect critical habitat? Will we let human interests come before the greater health of our collective environment?

I urge anyone who believes in protecting our local environmental health to speak up, as every voice counts. This is especially so when something so integral to our own health and future is concerned.


Rondi Nordal,



Comments (1)
Posted by: steven d keeler | Apr 01, 2016 15:48


To Rondi Nordal ( Students saving Salmon ) :


IF, as you portray, your group has such concern for the " collective health " of the local environment - I challenge you to respond in detail to the following :


1.  The recent reporting of city waste water plants pumping prescription drugs and additional human consumed pharmaceuticals, as well as illegal drug residue, into the Sound,


2.  The decades long continuance of the dumping of raw sewage into the Strait by the city of Victoria, BC.

I have listed just TWO of the hundreds of point source pollution issues that have been either recently reported or long known.  Are you so naive as to ignore the tens of thousands of failed septic systems that also ring the Sound ?


What do you accomplish by critical area " band aids " while pollution in the Sound may well be resulting in Salmon never reaching your habitats, in the longer run ?

Steven Keeler - Not so Green

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