Association of Bainbridge Communities (ABC) Environmental Conference

Please join us for the Association of Bainbridge Communities (ABC) annual Environmental Conference. This year's topic is Wells to Whales: Protecting our Waters.

Do you know your "ecological address?" Our "ecological address" is more than just our street, city or town. No matter where we live, each of us inhabits a specific watershed, topography, climate, and other factors such as air and soil chemistry profiles and the biodiversity of flora and fauna. Do you know where your water is sourced and where it goes? What's an aquifer anyway? When it rains, where does the stormwater go in your neighborhood? And why does all this matter?  

We will explore issues of sustainability of water quality and quantity and examine the science, impact and infrastructure in local and global systems. Resident experts will lead breakout groups so you can choose to deep dive on topics that interest you most. You'll come away with a deeper understanding of your ecological address and with more tools and resources on how to manage, strengthen and steward your own unique part of the Puget Sound puzzle.  

Conference Goals for 2019

1. Understand how our water resources support everything, including, but not limited to, people that live in our Island and Puget Sound ecosystems;

2. Learn how the many ways we use water—as a resource for consumption, as a medium to carry our stormwater and waste, and for transportation and recreation—can impact its quality and quantity; and

3. Explore ways to steward our water resources so that they continue to support us all

12:30 pm - Check-in/Exhibits at IslandWood Welcome Center

 1:00 pm - Introduction to Conference

 1:10 pm - Keynote Address

 2:00 pm - First Workshop Sessions

 2:50 pm - Break to visit exhibits and refreshments 

 3:30 pm - Second Workshop Sessions

 4:30 pm - Reports from Workshops to entire group

 4:45 pm - Going forward:  next steps 

 5:00 pm - Adjournment

Because space is limited, registration is required. Thank you for reserving your tickets pronto!

We are proud to welcome the following breakout leads and presenters to the 16th Annual Environmental Conference:

Make it rain! 

Stella Collier, City of Bainbridge Island

As the Stormwater (NPDES) Permit Manager for the City of Bainbridge Island, Stella oversees permit compliance by inspecting stormwater facilities such as catch basins and detention ponds, educating the public on ways to reduce pollution in stormwater and investigating pollution sources such as oil spills and sewage discharges. Stella will lead this fun and interesting hands-on interactive workshop. Using an EnviroScape model of a landscape similar to Bainbridge Island, we will demonstrate how wetlands and floodplains play a vital role in surface and ground water quality. We will also see how stormwater and pollutants travel downstream causing water quality and flooding problems. Come to play, learn, and discuss solutions to the problems.

From Our Homes to Their Waters: Chemicals in Products Impact Orcas and Kids

Nancy Uding, Toxic-Free Futures

Toxic chemical contamination of Puget Sound is a major threat to our Southern Resident Killer Whales and the aquatic ecosystem that supports them. A big source of these chemicals is products like clothes, TVs, couches, and personal care products that we all use every day. But these same chemicals expose kids too, affecting their health and learning. Bold action is needed now to turn off the spigot of chemicals from consumer products to Puget Sound and to our kids.

In this session, you will learn about:

  • Major groups of chemicals and how they affect Puget Sound and kids. 
  • How these chemicals move from the home to the Sound.
  • How policy and advocacy campaigns are working to get toxics out of Puget Sound.
  • How to get involved and help Washington take bold action for orcas and kids.

How Natural Landscapes Support Water Resources

Dr. Lara Hansen (EcoAdapt), Gina King (Bainbridge Island Land Trust) and Brenda Padgham (Bainbridge Island Land Trust)

What opportunities exist on Bainbridge Island to maximize natural landscapes' capability to support water quality, water quantity, and storm water control? Join this workshop to learn where our water resources are, and have an opportunity to explore ways natural landscapes can achieve community water resource goals. Participants will learn what is currently protected, discuss ways to expand protections and connectivity, and how these efforts could also contribute to functions such as critical habitat, and a more resilient landscape in the face of a changing climate, island population growth, and more.

Our Waters in the Media

John Williams, SEA-Media and Salish Magazine

John will moderate a discussion around a series of short films that address regional stormwater  and water quality issues and the ecosystem and social contexts in which these issues play. In addition to discussing some of the concepts and responsibilities raised by these movies (both in terms of lifestyle and education), the audience will be invited to also discuss what is absent.

Bivalves Tell Stories of Pollutants in our Waters

Jennifer Lanksbury, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), and Maradel Gale, Bainbridge Beach Naturalists

Join this workshop to learn what has been found in the mussels placed around our island and Puget Sound. Jennifer Lanksbury, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will share the latest from this mussel monitoring program. Maradel Gale will provide an update on the activities related to the shellfish industry’s pollution of our public waters with pesticides and plastics.

Regenerative Design + Water

Jason Wilkinson, Project Architect and member of the COBI Design Review Board and Juan Rovalo, Senior Ecologist & Integrated Design Specialist

Conventional development has led to massive impacts to the health of our natural water systems. New models of development based on principles of Regenerative Design seek to integrate ecology with the planning and operation of our built environment. This workshop will explore opportunities for harnessing regenerative buildings and sites using presented case studies and collaborative brainstorming. Our goal is to assess what future scenarios might be preventable and how can Bainbridge Island become take a leadership role in restoring a healthy hydrological cycle.

What Individuals and Communities Can Do to Protect Our Waters

Chris Wilkie, Puget Soundkeeper and Executive Director; Eloise Harris, Community Engagement Director for Puget Soundkeeper

How Clean Is YOUR Water? Puget Sound waters are in trouble, and our individual and collective actions can make a difference. From the tiniest trickle, to large point sources of pollution, our actions impact the health of our waterways. Chris Wilke and Eloise Harris of Puget Soundkeeper will present information on the state of our watersheds and how our actions can help protect local streams and marine waters, as well as our cherished salmon and orca whales.

Groundwater 101: Observations, Simulations, and Plans 

Peter Bannister (Aspect Consulting) & Charlie Kratzer

As part of their work on the COBI Environmental Technical Advisory Committee, Peter and Charlie will share their current understanding of groundwater facts and ideas on moving forward with a groundwater management plan for the Island.

An Ethical Framework for Water Resource Decisions

John Hainze, Seattle University

How should we think about our personal and societal responsibilities for local and global water resources at a time of climate change and increasing water demand? That water is necessary for all life is a first principle for ethical reasoning. But where does that lead us in how we use and allocate water? We will discuss various ethical approaches to the use of water resources.

The 16th Annual Environmental Conference is made possible by the collaborative super powers of these organizations. Thanks folks!

logo compilation of the collaborative organizations

  • Our campus policy is 'no dogs unless they are a service animal.'
  • Refreshments will be served during the break at 2:50PM. No other food will be available, so please make sure you've had a hearty lunch before arriving.
  • Tickets to this year's conference are $5/person. We are committed to inclusive attendance without economic barriers, so if you need financial scholarship to attend, please contact the conference organizers.  
  • Optional field-trips are being offered at various locations on Saturday, March 9th. Please see ticketing for options. Field trip tickets are free.