Estuarium holds first story contest
The Estuarium in Olympia is holding its first short-story contest for writers of all ages. The winners will have the opportunity to have their story read alongside artist and writer Nikki McClure, at the Estuarium’s Turn of the Tides festival Dec. 17.
Entries must be 2,500 words or shorter and be themed around the Puget Sound. The content must be inspired by one of the following prompts: “Adventure at Midnight,” “Message in a Bottle” or “A Ferocious Beast.”
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Estuarium staff will select three winners from four age categories; 6 and younger, 7-10, 11-15 and 16 and older. Each winner will receive a family membership to the Estuarium, as well as tickets to an event.
Preference will be given to stories that reflect the Estuarium’s motto: “Explore, Connect, Inspire.”
All works must be original, and no co-written works will be accepted. The deadline for entries is Nov. 30. They can be sent by email to center@SSEAcenter.org, mailed to P.O. Box 2182, Olympia, WA 98507, or delivered in person to the Estuarium, 309 State Ave. NE, Olympia.
Go to sseacenter.org for details.
Sound monitoring study released
The National Park Service has released sound studies that were done at Olympic National Park and Ebey’s Land National Historic Reserve. The work was done by the service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division.
From January-March 2010, five acoustical monitoring systems were set up in the park at Hurricane Ridge, Hoh River Trail, Third Beach Trail, Lake Ozette and Lake Crescent-Pyramid Mountain Trail. The goal was to characterize existing sound levels and estimate natural ambient sound levels in these areas, as well as identify audible sound sources, according to the Park Service.
The reports summarize data collected on natural and man-made sounds in the parks. They identify sound sources that impact the natural environment. The Park Service will use this baseline information to monitor noise pollution and its effects on visitors and wildlife, according to the Park Service.
Concerns about military overflights at Ebey’s Landing was the reason for monitoring there. Sound data was collected over 31 days in summer 2015. The reserve preserves in part the historical rural traditions of the central Whidbey Island area. It is adjacent to the U.S. Navy’s outlying landing field in Coupeville.
Park Service sets 2017 fee-free days
The National Park Service has released its list of 10 fee-free days in 2017.
Parks will not charge admission on:
Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Feb. 20: Presidents Day.
April 15-16 and April 22-23: National Park Week weekends.
Aug. 25: National Park Service birthday.
Sept. 30: National Public Lands Day.
Nov. 11-12: Veterans Day weekend.
On fee-free days, all National Park Service sites will waive their entrance fees for all visitors. Typically, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3-$30. That includes Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fees, including North Cascades National Park.
The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor,