>Aquifer&Preserve Info 3-27-11

>Signs In Illahee.  We heard there were 14 signs put up on Saturday reminding residents of the Aquifer Briefing being held at the Norm Dicks Center on Tuesday evening from 6:30-8 pm.  It looks like there are two different versions, which we found near the Illahee Preserve parking lot on Almira.

What is the Status of Our Aquifers?  There seem to be some differing opinions out there, with the four most common responses being:  

1.  Not a problem.  “We get too much rain for there to be a problem.”
2.  There is a problem.  “Illahee Creek’s flow is getting lower every summer.”
3.  Don’t know and would like to know more. (paraphase of most common response)
4.  Don’t need to know.  “North Perry (Water) takes care of these issues.”

Most Don’t Know.  Most residents do not know what the aquifer situation is in Illahee or how important it is to understand it, and what residents can do to help.

Hydrologist Expert Opinion Requested.  That “not knowing” is the reason for bring back Dr. Massmann to help us better understand the aquifer situation in Illahee and the surrounding area.  Dr. Massmann has studied the Illahee situation several times before, first at the request of the Illahee Community following a study by Aspect Consulting that said development along Illahee Creek could lower the base flow in Illahee Creek by 15-20%.  The community paid for the study to verify those findings.  The second study entitled “Illahee Watershed Aquifer Protection Plan” was prepared by Dr. Massmann as part of the Department of Ecology and Port of Illahee grant.  Dr. Massmann presented those findings in 2009 at a presentation.

Important Subject.  Aquifers are an extremely important subject, since Illahee’s drinking water comes solely from our underlying aquifers.  Our aquifers also supply the spring water that keeps Illahee Creek flowing during non-precipitation periods.

Latest Findings?  When the Bainbridge Island Aquifer study was done by the USGS, they included some of the surrounding areas, including Illahee.  Dr. Massmann has been asked to see if he can extrapolate any information from that study that might be applicable to Illahee and the Manette Aquifer.  

Suggestions for Residents.  Dr. Massmann has also been asked to provide residents with suggestions of what they can do to help protect and preserve our aquifers.

Stolen Car in Preserve?  We heard today that about 2 weeks ago a stolen car was driven into the Preserve from Thompson Lane and had to be hauled out by a tow truck.  We were asked why they hadn’t seen the event or any pictures in an Update.  Well, the reason is that was the first we heard about it.  We would have been out taking pictures and getting more information had we known.  Please let us know about these events.  We don’t mind getting multiple reports.

Rotary Trail Crew Work.  Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary’s chain saw crew who cleaned up another downed tree this morning that was crossing a trail.  The Preserve is almost entirely a volunteer maintained and supported park and we thank the Rotary and all the other volunteers who help day in and day out.

2010 Hours?  Just how many hours were logged in officially at the Illahee Preserve in 2010?  This does not include many hours of work that did not get recorded.  We heard that the number was just a little under 3000 hours!  Thank you to all those volunteers who help make the Preserve a great park and a success in volunteers planning, supporting, and maintaining a major county park.

2010 Dollar Support?  In addition to volunteer hours, there were some major financial support, that we heard amounted to over $12,000 in 2010.  The Rotary has been a major contributer, especially with the beautiful entrance signs which were installed in previous years.  The Illahee Forest Preserve is the non-profit organization (501.c.3) that supports the Preserve.  They paid for the dedication plaque, rock moving, etc.  Additionally, the Port of Illahee and the Department of Ecology paid for the rain garden plants.  Thanks to all these groups and organizations for stepping up to help.

Ducks in the Preserve Pond?  It appears we again have a pair of mallard ducks who think the Illahee Preserve detention pond next to the Almira parking lot should be their home.  We took the attached photo this afternoon.