Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22 Puget Sound health, climate action, geoduck poacher, train oil spill

Kiwi time (Laurie MacBride)
Race for the Kiwis
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "It’s kiwi time, and the race is on. Each September as our Hardy kiwis (Actinidia arguta) start to ripen, we begin a delicate balancing act, deciding exactly when to harvest. We want them soft, ripe and sweet, but if we wait too long, many will vanish in the night…."

Better measurements needed to track the health of Puget Sound  (paywall)
The ongoing restoration of Puget Sound has scored some successes and probably some failures, according to Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. But if people really want to know how well things are going, better measurements are needed. That is the message Sahandy says she will take to the Legislature next year, as she seeks funding for more complete monitoring of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Sahandy said she will ignore political advisers who tell her that requesting money for monitoring is the last thing she should do in a tight budget year like 2015. Basic scientific measurements are essential to understanding how fish and wildlife populations are changing and whether restoration projects are working, she told a group of scientists during a conference Thursday in Shelton. Chris Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Worldwide rallies call for action now on climate change
In Seattle, New York and around the world, people took to the streets Sunday, urging policymakers to address conditions they say threaten the survival of future generations. The grass-roots demonstrations came just before the start of the U.N. Climate Summit. (Seattle Times) See also: Protesters march against climate change in Vancouver (Vancouver Sun)

Geoduck poacher sentenced to jail time
A Port Orchard man received a four-month sentence after illegally harvesting 300 pounds of geoduck clams from the Olympia area and dumping them near Port Orchard. Matthew R. Petersen, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful shellfish trafficking and two counts of second-degree theft in Kitsap County Superior Court on Sept. 8. He was sentenced to 4 months with credit for time served by Judge Leila Mills. Deputy Chief Mike Cenci, of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Police, said Petersen’s case was long and complicated — as is common for many poaching cases. He called the case a “rare win” for the department. Amelia Dickson reports. (Olympian)

Train Spills 2,000 Gallons Of Diesel In Washington
A rock punctured a BNSF train engine Friday outside Pasco, Washington, causing about 2,000 gallons of diesel to spill along the tracks. The engine held about 3,000 gallons of diesel. None of the fuel has leaked into the Columbia River, a BNSF spokesman said. The boulder tumbled early Friday morning from nearby cliffs and onto the track, where the train ran atop it. The 108-car train was carrying freight to Seattle. Courtney Flatt reports. (EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON SEP 22 2014
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY
 AFTER MIDNIGHT.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

9/19 Mussel test, starfish wasting, Salish Sea pledge, oil protest, creosote removal, Gabriola Is. bridge

Year of Light Photo Contest
Your photo of light in your life could win you fame and fortune – really. The United Nations has declared 2015 the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies” to help raise awareness of how important applications of light-based science and engineering are in our lives. Think  of the internet, those buoys off Sequim using lasers to gather information about the wind, the aurora borealis. Think of your camera! And bring that all together in the form of your entry in the photo contest sponsored by the optics and photonics association SPIE. The society is offered a total of $4,500 in cash prizes and placement on its website and in its print magazine, SPIE Professional, to winners of the SPIE International Year of Light 2015 Photo Contest. Don’t delay – the contest closes at the end of September.

Shellfish Tell Puget Sound’s Polluted Tale
Scientists used shellfish to conduct the broadest study to date of pollution levels along the shore of Puget Sound. And in some places, it’s pretty contaminated. This past winter the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife put mussels at more than 100 sites up and down Puget Sound. After a few months, volunteers and WDFW employees gathered the shellfish and analyzed them for metals, fossil fuel pollution, flame-retardants and other chemicals. The WDFW just released the results. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome
Most people who've grown up in the Northwest can remember walking on the beach as a kid, enjoying tide pools full of brightly-colored starfish. But beachcombing has become less joyful over the past year. An epidemic known as sea star wasting syndrome has devastated huge populations of starfish, especially on the West Coast. U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, has introduced an emergency act in Congress to respond to the outbreak. The syndrome was first noticed in Washington waters last summer and has spread rapidly since. White lesions appear on the skin of affected starfish which then curl up, contort and disintegrate. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Sign the Pledge to Save the Salish Sea
Here's the pledge: "We are concerned about the export of fossil fuels through our shared waters. Tar sands pipelines, oil and LNG terminals and new coal ports proposed on both sides of the Canada/US border would have significant impacts on the air, ocean and wildlife, and would put community health and safety, our economy and our climate at risk. I  demand that new oil, coal and LNG export projects proposed for the Salish Sea be rejected, and I hereby pledge to take cross-border action to protect the Salish Sea and our climate from the threats of fossil fuel expansion." Sign the pledge. And: Rally for Salish Sea health Saturday at Peace Arch park  (Tacoma News Tribune)

Activists block tracks near oil terminal at Port Westward  (Longview Daily News) Comment period begins today for Grays Harbor terminal  (Dept. of Ecology) Councilman plans anti-crude-by-rail resolution   (Aberdeen Daily World)

Dilapidated docks, creosote piles to be removed from Chambers Creek, Steilacoom waterfronts
Work began Thursday to clean up the shoreline at Sunnyside Beach Park in Steilacoom and will start next month at Pierce County’s Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place. On the Steilacoom waterfront, the cleanup effort will remove 32 creosote piles. In University Place, it will take out two docks, including almost 800 creosote piles. The dilapidated docks and piles date to a time when gravel mining dominated the waterfront. Brynn Grimley reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Gabriola Island bridge could replace BC Ferries service
The B.C. government is going to study the idea of building a bridge to Gabriola Island to replace BC Ferries service to the Southern Gulf Island. The study, which is expected to be completed by an independent consultant this spring, will examine potential locations, provide a cost estimate, and make a cost comparison with the existing ferry service. The government says the study is a response to a petition by local residents, but the study is not intended to assess public support for the idea. (CBC) See also: Map: Where would a fixed link from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island go?

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI SEP 19 2014
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NE TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS...BECOMING W AT 9 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 7 FT AT
 12 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W
 SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

9/18 Burnaby, home toxics, DNR HCP, Seahurst Park, WA investment, BC humpback, Kitsap sewage, Shell refinery, canoe journey, GBR coral

George the goldfish (ScienceBlogs)
If you like to watch: 10-year old goldfish undergoes surgery to remove a tumor
No joke. George (the goldfish) had developed a rather large tumor over the past year and the owners loved the fish so much, they spent $200 to have the life-threatening tumor surgically removed… Dr. Dolittle reports. (ScienceBlogs)

Burnaby's Trans Mountain Pipeline injunction rejected by B.C. court  
The City of Burnaby's application for a temporary injunction to stop Kinder Morgan cutting trees for survey work on Burnaby Mountain has been rejected by a B.C. Supreme Court Judge. The judge in the case has not yet issued the reasons for the decision. Those could be issued next week. The city was seeking the temporary injunction while it prepares for an upcoming court case challenging the company's right to cut trees in the conservation area as part of its survey work for a new route for its existing Trans Mountain Pipeline. (CBC)

Mystery solved: How household toxics get into the environment
Scientists have well chronicled the vast reach of flame retardants in waterways and wildlife -- even in the most remote corners of the planet. But exactly how toxic flame retardants get from inside homes and then out into the environment has never been confirmed until now, says the author of a new study. The peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found household flame retardants, a portion of which degrades into dust, cling to our clothing and are then washed away in our washing machines. The wastewater then goes to municipal treatment plants, where it passes through into the environment. While some levels of certain kinds of flame retardants tend to cling to sludge and then disposed on land, much of it is water soluble and exits the treatment plants directly into waterways. Jeff Burnside reports. (KOMO)

DNR seeks comment on aquatic lands plan
Washington’s Department of Natural Resources invites the public to review the new draft Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan. In a press release, the agency said that over the next 50 years, the HCP is designed to guide DNR in better ways to protect at-risk native aquatic species on 2.6 million acres of state-owned lands under marine and fresh waters of the state. DNR manages these lands as a public trust…. The draft HCP is a culmination of nearly eight years of effort by DNR aquatics staff, working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. It will protect 29 sensitive, threatened and endangered aquatic species—several listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. It will help identify and restore important habitat on state-owned aquatic lands. The plan allows DNR to address protection of species and their habitats through management decisions, including authorizing public and private uses of state-owned aquatic lands. These lands include the marine bedlands under Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the coast, including 30 percent of their related tidelands; the freshwater bedlands and about 70 percent of the shorelands of the navigable lakes and rivers—or basically, all the lands under the navigable water bodies in the State of Washington. (Wahkiakum County Eagle)

Ribbon-cutting at Seahurst Park merges environmental and community interests
On Friday, September 12th, community members and leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting at newly restored Seahurst Park in Burien…. At the Seahurst Park beachfront, where once there was a concrete wall, there are now wetlands. Children climbed on logs, waded through surf grass and sedges, and tested pooled water with fingers. The pooled water on the beachfront is a vital part of the Puget Sound estuary. Some species of fish lay eggs on the gravel and during low tide, the gravel remains wet enough to keep the eggs alive. Since restoration, the Environmental Science Center has seen a healthy rise in the population of fish species and invertebrates. Maggie Nicholson reports. (Highline Times)

Report: Wash state investment accounts included big money in coal exports, oil shipping
How much of the Washington State Investment Board’s portfolio is sunk into controversial fossil fuel investments is a bit in dispute, but a Seattle-based think tank that focuses on environmental issues thinks the figure is in excess of $500 million and could be in the billions of dollars. The Sightline Institute published an online report Wednesday that cited two private-equity investments alone worth $250 million each, including funds in a private equity company linked to both a coal export proposal and oil-by-rail project. It also identified money the Oregon Investment Council put into those controversial energy projects. But the Washington SIB is disputing the report’s details. Spokeswoman Liz Mendizabal said a screen of total investments shows the share of WSIB’s $75 billion trust fund that is devoted to coal investments is closer to $108 million, or 0.14 percent of total assets under management. Brad Shannon reports. (Olympian)

Rescuers search for entangled humpback whale off Vancouver Island
A humpback whale tangled so tightly in thick rope that its fins are torn is somewhere along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island in need of help. “We need to put the word out that if anybody sees it, they call our hotline,” said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal co-ordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This entanglement is almost certainly going to be lethal if nothing is done.” Cottrell got a call Sunday morning that a distressed whale had been spotted off the coast of Tofino by researcher Jim Darling. Darling sent photos, showing rope digging several inches into the whale’s blubber. Sarah Petrescu reports. (Times Colonist)

Broken pipe at PSNS results in sewage spill, beach closure  (paywall)
Local health authorities have issued a no-contact advisory for the waters in Sinclair Inlet and Port Washington Narrows following a 45,000-gallon sewage spill at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Shipyard officials reported that a sewer line running along the beach inside the shipyard apparently broke Sunday, according to Stuart Whitford of Kitsap Public Health District. At high tide, large volumes of seawater flowed into the line. The high flows were noticed at a nearby pump station, which delivers sewage into Bremerton's sewer system. The spill was repaired Wednesday, Whitford said. Chris Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Northwest Clean Air Agency takes comments on Shell refinery offloading plan  
The Northwest Clean Air Agency is now accepting public comment on a draft construction permit for the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s crude-by-rail offloading facility proposal. The regional air agency announced the start of the comment period Tuesday, and will accept comments through Oct. 16. The agency has also set a public hearing for the permit for Oct. 16. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tribal Canoe Journeys on hiatus in 2015 after no host comes forward
The Tribal Canoe Journeys, traditionally an annual event, is expected to take a one-year hiatus in 2015 for the first time since 1993. “No one has stepped up to the plate to host [the Canoe Journey] in 2015,” said Frances Charles, tribal chairwoman of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. The first canoe journey was the 1989 “Paddle to Seattle,” which was conceived by Quinault tribal member Emmet Oliver and Frank Brown of Bella Bella. That led to the first Canoe Journey in 1993 in Bella Bella. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Effect of ocean acidification: Coral growth rate on Great Barrier Reef plummets in 30-year comparison
Researchers working in Australia's Great Barrier Reef have documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. (Science Daily)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU SEP 18 2014
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9/17 Quake, oil train response, Fraser sockeye, 'Salmon Safe,' coal dust risks, coastal politics

(Doug Davis/CBC)
If you like to watch: Humpback whales pause for YouTube close-up off B.C. coast (CBC)

4.0 magnitude quake wakes up the Puget Sound
No, that wasn’t a truck passing by the house, and your dog wasn’t just barking at the moon – that was an earthquake! The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.0 magnitude quake near Seabeck, Washington just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. There were no reports of any damage or injuries, according to Central Kitsap Communications Center. The USGS reported the quake was approximately 7 miles southwest of Seabeck and 14 miles west of Bremerton in Kitsap County. The quake was reported to be relatively “shallow”, about 10 miles deep. John White reports. (KCPQ)

Report Finds Weakness In Seattle’s Ability To Respond To Oil Train Mishap
A new report by public safety agencies highlights several weaknesses in Seattle’s ability to respond to an oil train accident. The report to the Seattle City Council was complied by the Seattle Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management. At the top of the report’s list of concerns: the 100 year old tunnel that runs through the middle of downtown Seattle. The report said that the lack of safety systems in the Great Northern tunnel will present significant challenges to first responders. Next on the list: landslides along Puget Sound. The stretch of track between Seattle and Everett has banks that are prone to slides. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Fraser River's sockeye salmon run size uncertain, but ‘great’
The Fraser River’s sockeye run is being hailed as exceptional by fisheries experts even though there is considerable doubt about how many millions of salmon remain at sea and how many of those fish should be caught. “I would call it a great run,” Jennifer Nener, area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), said Tuesday as seine boats were given a three-day opening to scoop up late-arriving sockeye off the mouth of the Fraser. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Some hope island will go 'Salmon Safe'
In the coming week, representatives from the environmental organization Stewardship Partners will visit the island twice with information about their Salmon Safe certification program, part of an effort to get more island farms and other organizations to consider their environmental impact, not just on the island’s salmon streams, but on  Puget Sound in general. With help from a grant from the King Conservation District, Stewardship Partners has already certified five island farms as Salmon Safe, meaning their practices protect water quality and fish habitat. Now, islander CC Stone is leading an effort to get more farms and other entities on Vashon certified. She has organized a community meeting for next Monday with Stewardship Partners, and Salmon Safe representatives will also be at this Saturday’s Farmers Market. Sarah Low reports. (Vashon Beachcomber)

Scientists On A Quest For Knowledge About Coal Dust Risks
Coal had been transported around the country by rail for decades before the recent push to bring it by train to ports in the Northwest. And yet, scientists don’t really know how much coal dust could escape from rail cars, how far it might travel, and what coal-borne mercury and other contaminants might do to aquatic life. With the permitting process moving forward for two large coal terminals in Washington, a team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey is trying to find out how the chemicals in coal might interact with the environment. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment 

From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share a common characteristic: their views about coastal environments divide along political lines. That's a primary finding of a new study by University of New Hampshire sociologists published this month in the journal Society & Natural Resources. "We found a lot of environment-related differences from place to place to place. Each environment is different so that's just what you'd expect. But underneath there's a common pattern: partisanship," says Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology at UNH and lead author of the paper. "On almost every issue in every place, Democrats express greater concern about environmental problems than Republicans." (phys.org)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT WED SEP 17 2014
TODAY LIGHT WIND. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT AND THU
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16 Tufted puffin, Chinook journey, climate protests, OR coal port, Bainbridge shore, Whale Scout

Tufted puffin (Skagit Valley Herald)
State considers listing tufted puffin as endangered species
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting public comment on a status report for the tufted puffin, and a proposal to add the Pacific Northwest bird to the state’s list of endangered species. Tufted puffins are native seabirds once common in the San Juan Islands, Strait of Juan de Fuca and along the state’s coast, Fish and Wildlife said in a news release. But over the last several decades, 38 of 43 known breeding sites have been abandoned or seen significant declines in use. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Adult Chinook In The Pacific Ocean Prepare For Long Journey Home
As soon as you arrive in Sekiu, Washington, you get a whiff of salty ocean air laced with the unmistakable smell of fresh fish. The scent fills your nostrils as the gulls mew nearby, fighting for the remains of the day’s catch in the protective cove. Located 20 miles east of Neah Bay by car, the fishing village has a long reputation for good salmon fishing. It’s also where we pick up the trail of the Lake Washington chinook. The subset of the Puget Sound salmon were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999 and traced here by scientists who tag them. The fish spend their adult lives in this open ocean before heading home to spawn in the Cedar River or in Bear Creek, or the state hatchery in Issaquah. Bellamy Pailthorp reports in Part 1 of a series. (KPLU) See also: Oak Bay fisherman looks to revive scarce chinook  (Times Colonist)

The Mother Nature of climate protests comes Sunday with offspring here  
….An estimated 1,000 organizations are working to mount the mother of all environmental demonstrations this Sunday in Manhattan.  Its aim, along with other events worldwide, is the biggest impact on public consciousness since the first Earth Day in 1970…. The Puget Sound area will see two offshoot demonstrations. The first will take place Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Peace Arch in Blaine, with a heavy emphasis on protecting the Salish Sea — inland waters of Washington and British Columbia through which millions of salmon pass en route to the Fraser river…. The second event will be a Peoples Climate March in Seattle, slated for Westlake Park at 1 p.m.  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Corps Halts Review Of Oregon Coal Export Terminal
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has brought its review of a proposed coal export terminal to an immediate halt, a blow to the Australian company trying to get coal from the Northern Rockies to an eager Asian market. Last month, Oregon state regulators rejected the proposed terminal on the Columbia River because it would potentially interfere with tribal fishing rights. On Monday, the Corps announced it had put its review on hold while a judge considers an appeal of the state’s decision. (Associated Press)

Tripp shuts down Common Sense Bainbridge; announces new group to fight city's SMP
Common Sense Bainbridge has closed up shop, and property rights advocate Gary Tripp announced Monday that a new nonprofit group will take over the fight against the city of Bainbridge Island's controversial Shoreline Master Program. Tripp, the leader of the Bainbridge-based nonprofit property rights group Bainbridge Defense Fund, has been a consistent opponent of the city's Shoreline Master Program, a state-mandated plan that restricts development along shorelines while protecting wildlife habitat and public access…. He said a new nonprofit called Preserve Rational Shoreline Management, made up of representatives from 17 waterfront communities on Bainbridge, has been formed to take on the fight over the SMP. Brian Kelly reports. (Bainbridge Review)

Whale Scout in Action!
Whitney Neugebaurer, director of Whale Scouts, asks folks to help Whale Scout volunteers who help people watch whales and inspire salmon restoration. She's launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise money to outfit volunteers with identifying vests, laminated materials and assorted gear. "Many amazing individuals and organizations contributed special gifts you can redeem for your donations like underwater photography, beautiful orca photos, handmade gifts, and much more!" Neugebauer says. Check it out.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT TUE SEP 16 2014
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15 Elwha chinook, Smith Is., Fraser sockeye, Kinder Morgan protest, Shell appeal, train spills, BC LNG

(PHOTO: Tom Grey/BirdNote)
Ravens and Crows - Who Is Who
Is that big black bird a crow or a raven? How can you tell? Ravens (seen right here) often travel in pairs, while crows (left) are seen in larger groups. Also, study the tail as the bird flies overhead. A crow's tail is shaped like a fan, while the raven's tail appears wedge-shaped. Another clue is to listen closely to the birds' calls. Crows give a cawing sound, but ravens produce a lower croaking sound. Frances Wood explains. (BirdNote)

Chinook salmon seen in upper Elwha River for first time in 102 years
The sight of a chinook resting quietly by the bank of the Upper Elwha River was one that Mel Elofson had awaited for 56 years and worked toward for 20. It was the first sighting of a salmon above the Glines Canyon Dam site in 102 years. “It was awesome,” he said. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Raft trip on Elwha River shows its newly untamed nature  Jeffrey P. Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Salmon habitat project on Smith Island to proceed
The Snohomish County Council last week signed off on an agreement that brings it closer to creating salmon habitat on Smith Island. The county plans to create a 350-acre wetland at the mouth of the Snohomish River. The $25 million project involves removing dikes and allowing the acreage to flood, turning it back into a saltwater estuary. The plan has drawn opposition from businesses that share the island. They are concerned about effects on their properties from construction or saltwater flooding. Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)

Fraser River sockeye run still avoiding U.S. waters, frustrating Whatcom County fishermen
With the sockeye salmon run into the Fraser River nearly complete, the fortunes of local U.S. commercial fishermen haven’t improved much. As of Thursday, Sept. 11, the number of sockeye caught in Canadian waters for the Fraser River run is estimated to be 7,783,800, compared to 438,200 in U.S. waters, according to data from the Pacific Salmon Commission. The run size to date is 20.7 million fish, right around the preseason forecast. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Trans Mountain pipeline: Kinder Morgan terminal locked down by activists
A handful of activists locked themselves to the main gate of Kinder Morgan's Westridge Terminal Saturday morning vowing to remain for 13 hours or one hour for every tree the company cut doing survey work for its proposed pipeline expansion. Burnaby RCMP arrested one man to get his identification, but quickly released him and made no move to stop the protesters. (CBC)

Groups appeal county on proposed rail terminal at Shell refinery
Several groups banded together to file an appeal with Skagit County Thursday over the proposal to build an oil-by-rail terminal at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes. The appeal is aimed at the second determination of nonsignificance the county issued last month for Shell’s application for a shoreline variance permit. The county first issued a similar determination in April, but reviewed the proposal after it was overwhelmed by public comments on the issue….Six groups — RE Sources for Sustainable Connections, FRIENDS of the San Juans, ForestEthics, Washington Environmental Council, Friends of the Earth and Evergreen Islands — joined with Earthjustice to file the appeal. Earthjustice is an environmental law group headquartered in San Francisco. Daniel DeMay reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Preparing for the worst: Is Whatcom County ready for an oil train derailment?
If a train hauling more than 100 cars of highly volatile crude oil were to derail in Bellingham, would the city be prepared? What if it instead left the tracks near Ferndale, or rural Custer, or along Chuckanut Drive, where an accident only feet from the water might be nearly impossible for first responders to reach from land? Samantha Wohfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Ecology launching study of spill response need at Nisqually River from passing oil trains
The state Department of Ecology says it is asking for the public’s help in crafting a response plan for potential oil spills into the Nisqually River from passing trains. Railways since 2012 have begun hauling larger amounts of volatile oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to refineries in Washington. A one-hour public meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Monday at the agency headquarters auditorium, 300 Desmond Drive in Lacey. The effort is one of nine inland response plans the agency is preparing using money provided this year by the Legislature, Ecology spokeswoman Lisa Copeland said Friday. Brad Shannon reports. (Olympian)

Controversial natural gas rule changes came after B.C., oil lobby met
In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers made a presentation to high-ranking officials in British Columbia's Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for natural gas projects. Those changes became law on April 14, but they didn't stay that way for long. An outcry from First Nations organizations forced an about-face from Environment Minister Mary Polak, who rescinded the revisions two days after they were passed by order-in-council.... The Environment Ministry says Polak met with "various industry and environmental organizations" to discuss the regulation change, but the documents don't make a single mention of any meetings other than with the petroleum producers' association. (Canadian Press) See also: B.C. LNG firms press Ottawa for tax break  Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT MON SEP 15 2014
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND BECOMING W 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

9/12 Northern lights, old rail cars, Vic sewer $s, coal $s, BC no-pipe alliance, BC CG, Ted Fick

(PHOTO: Notanee Bourassa/CBC)
Northern lights: Auroras expected after 2 huge solar flares erupt
Two powerful blasts from the sun are hurtling towards Earth, and may generate beautiful auroras as far south as Pennsylvania tonight and tomorrow night – along with possible power and communications disruptions. "A G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm Watch has been issued for September 13th due to the combined influence of these two events," reported the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. early Thursday morning. It recommended looking for possible auroras both Thursday and Friday night. (CBC)

If you like to watch (no flush): Victoria… It’s More than That  (TourismVictoriaBC)

Groups Sue Over Oil Shipments In Older Rail Cars
Environmental groups sued the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday over the shipment of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars. Accident investigators have complained for decades that the cars are too easily punctured or ruptured when derailed, leading to spills. The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics says the agency failed to respond to a legal petition the groups filed in July. That petition sought an emergency order to prohibit crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana and elsewhere from being carried in older tank cars, known as DOT-111s. (Associated Press)

Funding 'reset' if sewage plant's site changed, CRD warned
Eliminating McLoughlin Point as a site for a regional sewage treatment plant is like “pushing the reset button and starting over” on $253 million in federal funding, Capital Regional District directors were told Wednesday. The federal and provincial governments have agreed to provide a combined $500 million — about two-thirds the cost — of the $783-million project. But the agreements are predicated on the CRD’s approved Liquid Waste Management Plan, which identifies McLoughlin Point as the treatment plant’s site. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

B.C. coal mine suspends activity amid low prices
Anglo American PLC says low coal prices have forced it to make plans to temporarily halt production at its Trend mine in northeastern British Columbia. “This is a pause and not a withdraw from our long-term vision in British Columbia,” Anglo American spokesman Federico Velasquez said in an interview Thursday from Tumbler Ridge, B.C. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

First Nations & Allies Launch Alliance to Protect Coastal Waters from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline
Proposals to triple the volume of tar sands production in Canada have sparked a new alliance of First Nations and Northwest tribes to stop it. Lead by the Coast Salish Tseil-Waututh nation of British Columbia, the alliance urges environmental and faith allies to take “unprecedented, unified action” to protect and restore coastal waters and lands from fossil fuel expansion. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Acres Radio)

And: On September 20, Canadians and Americans, First Nations and Native American tribes, and all the diverse communities of the Salish Sea will gather at the Peace Arch to send a unified and clear message that it is time for unprecedented action to defend the Salish Sea and our global climate from fossil fuel development. Info here.

Coast Guard closure leaves Kits in rocky waters
When the federal government closed its Kitsilano Coast Guard base early last year despite the City of Vancouver’s objections, it did everything except literally pull up the pilings. It removed its docks, and most importantly, the breakwater that protected the entrance to False Creek from English Bay’s frequent wind-whipped waves. Now the city is having to spend $300,000 to replace that breakwater after it began to suffer damage to its adjacent Burrard Civic Marina. (Vancouver Sun)

Port of Seattle commissioners OK Ted Fick as new CEO
The Tacoma native will start work Sept. 29 at a salary of $350,000 a year. He succeeds Tay Yoshitani, who is retiring as CEO at the end of the month after seven years. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI SEP 12 2014
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told