We are now accepting applications for a Summer 2021 Legal Intern. This position is located in CELP’s Seattle Office. Due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, we anticipate that the intern will be working remotely for at least the first part and likely all of the summer.
We seek a legal intern with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues to work on projects aimed at establishing protected instream flows. Qualified candidates will have completed their 2L year by Spring 2020 and taken an environmental law course. Coursework or clinical experience in administrative law is preferred. Exact internship dates are flexible depending on academic schedules, but generally run from June – August and last 10 weeks. Please email a CV, a writing sample, and references to Dan Von Seggern, Staff Attorney at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the year approaches its end, we have all had to rethink how we do many things including work, school, birthdays and holidays. But that hasn’t stopped us from doing our work to protect and restore our river flows through outreach, policy work and litigation. Much of the year we have been working through the watershed planning process to come up with plans to mitigate impairment of instream flows from permit exempt wells. This process has taken 2 years, but hopefully it will have a positive impact on our rivers.
But there is so much we need to do. Many rivers and streams around the state still lack basic protections, and endangered salmon and steelhead still face an uphill battle for recovery in part because of high river temperatures as a result of low flows. And climate change will continue to challenge how we manage our water resources.
In this issue you’ll find an update on dam removals and proposals in the Northwest, information on our CLE Winter Workshop now being hosted as three virtual workshops, Water Stories, Giving Tuesday, and the 7th annual One River, Ethics Matter conference.
CELP has a great team to do this work, but we can’t do it alone. We rely on donations from our members and supporters, and this year a generous supporter has offered a match to all year end donations up to $5,000. You can help us reach our goal and end the year strong by donating on our secure website, www.celp.org.
Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity, is Dec. 1st. People all around the world are coming together to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities to change our world.
This Giving Tuesday, give back to our waters. Water connects us all and supports life.
“I lean on water for therapy and healing, for recreation, to put groceries on my table, and to connect with other people — a particularly difficult challenge for me. Water indicates the health of our planet, or lack thereof. So if water does so much for us, what do we do for water?“ -Bridget Moran
With your support, CELP continues our work as Washington’s water watchdog protecting, preserving, and restoring waters across our state. We imagine a future with sustainable water supplies to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife, and robust communities. You can give to create that future now.
This year a generous supporter will match donations up to a $5,000 total. Help protect Washington’s waters.
We are incredibly grateful for our community, partners, supporters, volunteers, board and staff. This year, our work would not have been possible without everyone’s support and dedication to protecting our waters. In the spirit of the giving season, we want to highlight some organizations who inspire us. We encourage you to support these places on Giving Tuesday to protect our environment and create a better future for Washington!
Dear friends of CELP, We hope you are all staying safe and healthy. As CELP staff continues into its fourth month of working from home, we continue to stay focused on our mission, but our work continues to change as this crisis continues. Our outreach has changed considerably as we say goodbye to our Outreach Coordinator of three years, Nick Manning, who just graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington and has moved on to fight climate change with another organization. Congratulation Nick, and good luck in your new job. We have also had to change our outreach plans as all the events and programs that we had on our calendar for the summer were canceled because of COVID-19. Going forward we will be transitioning to virtual outreach events and reaching out by phone and email to continue to do this important work, please feel free to reach out to us if you want to join us in protecting Washington’s water resources. Our legal and policy work continue with virtual hearings and meetings.
CELP continues this important work to protect, preserve, and restore Washington’s waters now for future generations because our water resources face tremendous challenges. The impacts from Climate Change and increased development have impaired our rivers and streams, and the fish and wildlife that depend on them. But we can’t do it alone. We rely heavily on support from individuals like you, so if you are able please support CELP’s important work by donating on our website, www.celp.org.
In this issue you will find an update on the Spokane River Instream Flow Rule case, a BIG thank you, our Chehalis River dam proposal comments, an introduction to our 2020 interns, our 2019 annual report, and information on our upcoming Celebrate Water event.
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY, AMERICAN WHITEWATER, and SIERRA CLUB, Respondents,
v. STATE OF WASHINGTON, DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY, Petitioner.
Dan Von Seggern Ted Howard Andrew Hawley
Hon. Bob Ferguson Stephen H. North Clifford Hiroshi Kato
When: The case will be heard on May 14th 2020 at 9:00am How to View: Anyone can watch the case on TVW.org here
Background: The Spokane River’s Instream Flow Rule (WAC Chapter 173-557) was adopted in 2015.
Instream flow rules are intended to protect a wide variety of instream values and uses, including fish & wildlife, recreation, navigation, and aesthetic values. In adopting the Spokane River Rule, Ecology considered only the needs of fish and adopted a summer flow of 850 cubic feet per second. This is a near-drought level for the river and would be devastating to whitewater rafting, kayaking and other recreational uses of the Spokane.
In 2016, along with American Whitewater and the Sierra Club, we filed a challenge to the Rule’s summer instream flow. We argued the state was required to consider all uses of the river, not just habitat needs of fish, in adopting instream flow rules. The challenge was initially denied in the Thurston County Superior Court.
In 2017, we appealed the Superior Court’s decision to the Court of Appeals, Division II. In 2019, the court ruled in favor of CELP and the Spokane River advocates, finding that Ecology failed to protect summertime flows needed by the river and other instream flow values.
Ecology requested review of the Court of Appeal’s decision by the Washington State Supreme Court, which accepted the case. CELP Staff Attorney Dan Von Seggern will argue our case before the Court on May 14th, 2020. We will continue to fight for an instream flow rule that protects the Spokane River and its users.
We wanted to check in with you. We hope you are staying safe and healthy. All of us at CELP are happy to connect with you during this time. We are fortunate to be working from home and would love to find ways to talk with our supporters, share ideas, and interact with our community.
We are facing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. We have all been impacted and we understand that it is a difficult time for everyone. Our priority is the safety of our staff, their families, and our community. We are navigating the situation to the best of our ability and continue to work to protect, preserve, and restore Washington’s waters now and for future generations.
CELP continues to do this work because our water resources also face tremendous challenges.The impacts from Climate Change and increased development have impaired our rivers and streams, and the fish and wildlife that depend on them.
We understand it is a stressful time for everyone. If you have the capacity to renew your membership or make a donation we greatly appreciate your contribution. Above all we want to stay connected to you, our community, and our common goal of protecting our waters. Our hard work would not be possible without you. You can use our secure website, www.celp.org, to support CELP’s work.
We also want to encourage you to support your local businesses and restaurants, front line workers, other nonprofits, and each other during this difficult time. Together we are stronger.
In this issue you will find a wrap up of the legislative session, a recap of Winter Waters, and information on GiveBIG Washington, our 25th anniversary, Celebrate Water’s new date, and water stories.
We are accepting applications for a Summer 2020 Legal Intern at our Seattle office.
We seek a legal intern with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues to work on projects aimed at establishing protected instream flows. Qualified candidates will have completed their 2L year and taken an environmental law course. Coursework or clinical experience in administrative law is preferred. Exact internship dates are flexible depending on academic schedules, but generally run from June – August and last 90 days. Please email a CV, a writing sample, and references to Dan Von Seggern, Staff Attorney at email@example.com
Happy New Year everyone! CELP is entering 2020 focused on our mission to protect, preserve, and restore Washington’s waters.
This year we will continue our outreach to connect people to the impacts of climate change and water scarcity issues. We will continue to act in the community, participate in streamflow restoration workgroups, work with Native American Tribes to honor and support their treaty rights and tribal fisheries, and advocate for sustainable instream flows. When our water is threatened we will use litigation to protect and defend Washington’s rivers and drinking water aquifers.
We are starting the year strong and working hard in Olympia to protect Washington’s waters during the legislative session. Our hard work would not be possible without you. We rely on generous donations from our members and supporters to hold our lawmakers and agencies accountable for protecting Washington’s rivers and streams. Please consider helping us continue this important work by making a donation today!
In this issue you will find information about Snowpack levels, the 2020 Legislative Session, Clean and Abundant Water Lobby Day, the latest Columbia River Treaty town hall, a big thank you to the Kalispel Tribe and to all of our supporters, and upcoming events.
As the year winds down, the state drought declaration for 27 watersheds remains in effect, expiring April 4th, 2020. As winter approaches, snowpack levels continue to be less than average. These levels are critical to water supplies and replenishing aquifers. Our rivers and streams are already struggling to meet minimum instream flows, and climate change is further impacting our water supplies.
That’s why CELP has been working to protect and restore stream flows in watersheds around the state – work that is now more critical than ever. But we can’t do it alone. We rely on generous donations from our members and supporters to hold our lawmakers and agencies accountable for protecting Washington’s rivers and streams. Please consider helping us continue this important work by making a donation today!
In this issue, you will find information about the South Puget Sound chum run, CELP in the community, #GivingTuesday, and our Winter Continuing Legal Education workshop.
First, let us thank Pat’s three sons – David, Cameron, and Chris – especially for helping their mother in the last part of her life’s journey.
Pat Sumption was a consummate environmental activist. She was dauntless, persistent, strategic, and unerring in her sense of the right thing to do, especially for Washington’s rivers. She worked for decades for the protection of the Green River, including standing up to Tacoma’s ever-thirsty water grab through the infamous Pipeline Five.
Rachael uncovered an essay Pat herself had written and published in the Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) newsletter in 2016. Here are Pat’s words from “Love Letter to the Green River”:
I didn’t mean to fall in love with the Green River. It just happened. It just grew like Topsy.
I discovered rivers when I went to Girl Scout camp at 12. We did a multi-day hike on the Dosewallips. We swam in the river and nearly froze our toes, and it was beautiful and I was in love with the Dosewallips and rivers everywhere. So it was inevitable when someone aimed me at a river canoe, that I would get in it and try paddling. And, I guess it was inevitable when I was told to choose my favorite Washington river at a State Rivers Conference in the 1980’s,that I would choose the Green. It is the color of my eyes, after all, and I had to choose something.
All those at the Conference who chose the Green (even if their eyes weren’t), were sent to one corner and told that our task was to form a Green River group which would then work on protecting our chosen River. There must have been other fanatics in our Group, because we did just that: we formed Friends of the Green River and started raising money and incorporating a non-profit. And the more I did for the Green, the more I fell in love with it.
The Green River has a secret that gets many people hooked on it. Part of it is hidden in a deep, quiet gorge that’s almost inaccessible except by boat. Boaters come from all over the world to boat the Green River Gorge. It’s untrammeled, pristine, gorgeously draped in damp green mosses and ferns – a fantasy, watery, world of Green.
But, the Green River has 2 dams on it. The Corps of Engineers built a dam for flood control in the middle of the 20th Century. Tacoma then built a smaller dam downstream . . . [to pipe] Green River water to municipal customers in Pierce County.
Those dams meant problems for the ecology of the Green, and for recreational boaters. They were threats to the salmon and steelhead runs of the Green River; there was no fish passage for either dam.
By the 1980s, Tacoma had plans to build a new water supply pipeline through south King County rather than directly to Pierce County and Tacoma, because they wanted to sell some of that water to the water districts and towns in south King County along the way.
Friends of the Green River (FOG) had been created to protect the Green and its watershed, including not allowing more water to be taken from the River. FOG appealed … the permits to build the new Pipeline through King County where it would cross a number of streams, wetlands, etc. …
We eventually … negotiated with Tacoma and a 1995 Agreement gave us a number of things that could help the Green River, its habitat, its salmon and perhaps even its white water boaters. …
Remember, it takes a community to care for a river and its watershed.
And this from Elaine Packard, friend and colleague in advocacy for Washington’s rivers:
“Pat was a longstanding member of the Sierra Club’s Water & Salmon Committee which she chaired for a time. For decades, she was one of its most dedicated members, serving as activist, as well as mentor and advisor. And Pat brought institutional memory along with her expertise about water. Anyone who worked to protect rivers in Washington: she knew them and she’d probably worked with them.
Pat’s training as a lawyer gave her a laser mind on issues. But it was her love of rivers that inspired her to serve in many leadership roles with Sierra Club, Friends of the Green River, CELP, Rivers Council, and other groups. She will be missed and remembered fondly for her commitment, her persistence, and her special charm. She was a respected elder in the Chapter whose memory will not be forgotten.”
In closing, rivers and future generations, depend on us to give them a voice. Pat gave voice to rivers.
On the day before Pat’s life celebration, Rachael and I sat and talked about Pat. How is it that someone with such a powerful presence can be among us on one day, and then be gone the next? Where are they? Where did they go?
Flowing through forests and human communities in western Washington is the Green River. Pat may be gone. Pat’s spirit? Pat remains with the river she so deeply loves. Let Pat’s love and work for rivers carry on through all of us.