Memorial sculpture will be dedicated at Port Townsend maritime center Aug. 14
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Seattle artist Tony Angell with “Courting Guillemots,” a sculpture he created in honor of Eleanor Stopps that is slated to go on public display in downtown Port Townsend.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A bronze sculpture commissioned to honor Eleanor Stopps' work to save Protection Island for nesting seabirds will be dedicated in front of the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14.

“Courting Pigeon Guillemots” by Seattle artist Tony Angell, a sculpture of two birds that is about 3 feet in circumference, was created in honor of Stopps, a Port Townsend housewife, mother and conservationist who lobbied for a decade to have Protection Island at the mouth of Discovery Bay designated a wildlife refuge.

Angell cut his $20,000 asking price by half, and the fee was raised through private donations, so it was provided free of charge to the city.

On Aug. 14, sculptor, writer and environmental educator Tony Angell will speak about the piece, which was commissioned by Robin Ornelas and Jan Halliday of Port Townsend.

National wildlife refuge

The efforts of Stopps, who died of cancer in April 2012 at the age of 92, are considered responsible for the 1982 establishment of the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, the only one created during the Reagan administration.

Boats must remain 200 feet offshore, and no one is allowed to step foot on the island except for a caretaker.

Ornelas had interviewed Stopps for the Jefferson County Historical Society and is a member of the annual Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award Committee.

Halliday first met and interviewed Stopps for a series of newspaper articles in the late 1970s when Protection Island nesting sites were threatened by development.

The two women spent more than two years raising money to commission and purchase the sculpture of Stopps favorite seabirds.

This public event will be hosted by the Port Townsend Arts Commission, which accepted the donated piece on behalf of the city.

More than 70 percent of Puget Sound's seabirds nest on 364-acre Protection Island.

The statue was installed on city property mid-June in front of the maritime center on a plinth of columnar basalt quarried from the Columbia River.

Administrative and installation costs were $3,000. Friends of the Arts donated money for the installation. The rest was paid by the Port Townsend Arts Commission's Fund for Public Art.

The plaque, affixed to the stone, was cast by the Port Townsend Foundry.

Last modified: August 05. 2014 5:35PM
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