TULALIP (Jan. 16, 2007) – The latest information about tidal energy projects in Puget Sound can be found online at a Web site created by Tulalip Tribes environmental liaison Daryl Williams.

Tidal energy is a renewable resource gaining attention because it is predictable in time, duration and productivity, with a high level of accuracy. It could displace the need for other non-renewable energy sources that contribute to global warming.

But no studies have been done on the possible negative effects of tidal power, including the way it will interfere with tribal fisheries, Williams said.

“Wherever these projects go, we’re not going to be able to fish there anymore,” he said.

With the fisheries in mind – and millions of dollars being spent by the state on the recovery of Puget Sound and its endangered species – Williams said he is interested in keeping up with the latest research about the effects of tidal energy projects on marine resources.

Four companies in the region have proposed projects that create renewable energy using underwater turbines.

These are:
• Tacoma Power, at the Tacoma Narrows;
• Washington Tidal Energy Company, at Deception Pass;
• Snohomish County Public Utility District Number 1 a competing project at Deception Pass, as well as projects at Admiralty Inlet, Agate Pass, Guemes Channel, Rich Pass, San Juan Channel and Spieden Channel;
• The City of Port Townsend, a competing project at Admiralty Inlet.

Some of the concerns about tidal energy include:
• How will it affect the recovery efforts of threatened Puget Sound chinook salmon, Hood Canal chum salmon or the southern resident orcas?
• How will it affect bottom fish recovery plans?
• How will it affect harvest management and fishing patterns?
• Do the proposed projects affect the natural movement of sand and other sediments by slowing the currents through the project areas?

Williams plans to provide up-to-date information on his Web site at http://www.pstidalenergy.org.

For more information, contact: Daryl Williams, Environmental Liaison, Tulalip Tribes, 360.651.4476; Kari Neumeyer, Information Officer, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, 360.424.8226, kneumeyer@nwifc.org.