Monday, November 24, 2014

11/24 Dairy waste, Roberts Bank, Kinder Morgan, orca recovery, breeding ban, ocean chem, 'astroturf' groups, ocean temp, oil train action, smelt survey, web birds, Skagit flow, 1872 quake

Nitrates, fecal coliform from dairies linked to tainted shellfish, tap water
Shellfish, swimming beaches, and the tap water for thousands of people in certain areas of Washington state are being contaminated by pollutants running off farms, and critics say dairy cows are the chief culprit, according to a KOMO 4 Problem Solvers investigation. Government regulators are failing to halt that pollution largely because of insufficient laws, pressure from the agriculture industry and too little enforcement, the Problem Solvers review found. Voluntary compliance and good intentions from many dairy farmers have not been enough to prevent dangerous contaminates generated by manure from getting into waters of Washington state. Only one percent of Washington's roughly 700 dairy farms - some with thousands of cows at one facility - have a permit to pollute, say state agencies. Jeff Burnside reports. (KOMO)

Federal agency urged to expand assessment of Roberts Bank container project
Aboriginal, conservation and community groups are demanding that a federal environmental review of the $2-billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 container expansion project in South Delta include a range of marine issues that extend well beyond the project’s immediate footprint. The concern is that Port Metro Vancouver is investigating only marine-related impacts — spills, ship collisions and effects such as noise pollution on endangered resident killer whales — within its navigational jurisdiction, a distance of only a few kilometres from the project site. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Kinder Morgan protesters rally on Burnaby Mountain
About 100 Anti-pipeline protesters are marching up Burnaby Mountain again to keep up the pressure on Kinder Morgan and register their opposition to the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline. A similar number went up the mountain Saturday and police say 15 to 16 of them were arrested for crossing into the Kinder Morgan work site as the company continued with test drilling that started Friday night. Organizers decided in advance of the march who among them would offer themselves up for arrest and that appears to be the case again today (Sunday) as a number have indicated their willingness to be arrested. (CBC) See also:  First Nations join pipeline protest in B.C. amid more arrests   (Canadian Press)

Protesters target plan to ship more Canadian oil through Strait
About 70 people gathered outside the Seattle offices of energy giant Kinder Morgan on Sunday to protest shipments of Alberta tar-sands oil on the Salish Sea. Lynn Thompson reports. (Seattle Times)

Southern Resident orcas defy recovery efforts
A decade after gaining federal protection, the Southern Resident orcas of Puget Sound aren’t making progress. With 78 whales, the population has 20 fewer than when the group was first listed under the Endangered Species Act. A calf born in September offered a glimmer of hope, which was quickly snuffed out when the baby disappeared before the end of the month. Much like the presumed death of calf L120, what exactly is hindering the species’ recovery remains a mystery. A lack of food coupled with an abundance of toxins and boat traffic are thought to be contributors. But what could reverse the orca’s downward trend has yet to be pinpointed. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Board members make final push to ban breeding in Vancouver Aquarium
Two outgoing members of Vancouver’s park board will use Monday’s final meeting to push for a vote on the wording of a bylaw that would force the aquarium in Stanley Park to halt the breeding of beluga whales, dolphins and harbour porpoises. Sarah Blyth and Constance Barnes, two of five current Vision commissioners on the seven-member board, have advocated for an end to the aquarium’s cetacean captivity. Ms. Blyth, in an interview, said she wants the compromise measure – a breeding ban agreed to by the board last summer – in place before a new board takes over next month. Sunny Dhillonandrea Woo reports. (Globe and Mail)

Tool to help track changes in Pacific Ocean chemistry
A new research tool launched this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is allowing scientists to better track changes in ocean chemistry along the U.S. West Coast. The tool provides real-time ocean acidification data along the coast and in some protected bays. It captures data from a couple of dozen sensors installed at shellfish farms and hatcheries and other monitoring sites in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska and Hawaii. University of Washington oceanographer Jan Newton, who led the collaborative effort, said the information can help shellfish growers make crucial decisions about when and how to grow shellfish. (Associated Press)

Oil Interests Fund ‘Astroturf’ Groups In Washington, Oregon
Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature. A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon and California. At the center of the effort is the Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento. An internal PowerPoint slide shows WSPA has “activated” — its word — several “campaigns and coalitions” to respond to “aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the west.”... The groups have names like Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy and Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy. Environmentalists have their own groups. Clean Fuels Jobs in Washington and Clean Fuels Now in Oregon. Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network)

Record North Pacific temperatures threatening B.C. marine species
The North Pacific Ocean is setting record high temperatures this year and raising concerns about the potential impact on cold water marine species along the B.C. coast, including salmon. Ocean surface temperatures around the world this year reached the highest temperature ever recorded, due in large part to the normally chilly North Pacific, which was three to four degrees above average — far beyond any recorded value. ​Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the warmth along the North Pacific coast is very unusual. (CBC)

Inslee says state will act on oil trains
The number of oil trains running across Washington is unacceptable, and the Legislature will consider bills in the upcoming session that mandate advance notification of oil shipments by rail as well as more funding for railroad crossings and emergency response training, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday. King County Executive Dow Constantine added that oil companies are raking in profits while “the rest of us are picking up the costs.” They were speaking to the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance that met Friday at Olympia City Hall to address the surge of oil and coal trains passing through Washington. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Volunteers document Fidalgo Bay surf smelt
Each week a group of volunteers collects beach samples from the Fidalgo Bay shoreline. The goal is to help the state identify when and where surf smelt spawning is successful along the rim of the bay. “Our purpose is to document — for as many years as we can manage it — the status here, the baseline,” volunteer Pete Haase said. Haase was one of three Anacortes residents who spent Tuesday morning walking the beach and gathering sediment. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New birding website focuses on Northwest
Birdwatchers in the Northwest can enter their observations with a new online tool. Users can use eBird Northwest for identifying birds, reporting their sightings and contributing to conservation efforts throughout the region. The new website went live Monday. (Olympian)

Groups file petition asking for repeal of Skagit instream flow rule
A handful of real estate, building and farm organizations are petitioning the state Department of Ecology to repeal or change a rule that has limited rural wells and left 5,700 parcels in the Skagit Basin with no legal access to water. Eight groups signed onto a petition filed with Ecology on Thursday, asking the department to repeal the 2001 instream flow rule that has been the center of lawsuits and controversy between Skagit County, Ecology, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Upper Skagit Tribe and rural residents since even before its inception. Daniel DeMay reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Scientists may be cracking mystery of big 1872 earthquake
Geologists may be close to solving one of the biggest seismological mysteries in the Pacific Northwest: the origin of a powerful quake that rattled seven states and provinces when Ulysses S. Grant was president and the transcontinental railroad hadn’t yet reached Washington. Preliminary evidence points to a newly discovered fault near the town of Entiat in Chelan County. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 219 AM PST MON NOV 24 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S 20 TO 30 KT LATE IN THE MORNING. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT MIDDAY. W
 SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 9 FT
 AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.

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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, November 21, 2014

11/21 Burnaby protest, 'Green the Green,' rail gridlock, BC LNG, hatchery plan, Navy e-warfare

“Extinction is not an option” Puget Sound Chinook listed 1999 (NOAA/ Jeff Kozlowski)
Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters resisting police efforts to move them
The situation atop Burnaby Mountain heated up again after Kinder Morgan crews began arriving Thursday afternoon to start work, leading to the arrest of 24 people by the end of the day. The arrests began on Thursday morning shortly after 8 a.m. PT, when more than a dozen police officers arrived  and once again read out the injunction issued earlier this week. Police then began arresting protesters who remained in the camp in violation of the injunction. Many of the remaining protesters appeared to move across the road to an area designated by the police, but some protesters remained in the camp. (CBC)

If you like to watch: Video 'Green the Green' raises awareness about important watershed
The Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed Forum has released a video, “Green the Green,” to raise awareness about protecting this vital watershed. The Green/Duwamish watershed stretches from the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascades to Elliott Bay in Puget Sound, and comprises Water Resource Inventory Area 9 – with 16 cities and 700,000 residents. The watershed provides drinking water to the City of Tacoma, fish and wildlife habitat, miles of recreational areas, and is home to billions of dollars of commerce….The release of the video coincides with the 15th anniversary of the listing of chinook salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (Tukwila Reporter)

New blog: Got Barotrauma? Watch This.
"Barotrauma is what happens to deep water Puget Sound rockfish when are caught and brought to the surface: gases in their swim bladder expand causing their stomachs and eyes to bulge. So what? They’re endangered-- you’re not supposed to catch them. And throwing them back with barotrauma means they most likely will die. We don’t want them to die; we want them to recover from the brink of depletion…."

BNSF to spend $6 billion in 2015 to ease rail gridlock
BNSF Railway Co., the railroad owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to spend a record $6 billion next year to help speed trains and improve service crimped by surging grain and oil shipments. Almost $1.5 billion will go for expansion projects, BNSF said Thursday, with a third of that for the northern U.S. region where the carrier collects oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation and grain. BNSF said this year’s capital budget will be $5.5 billion, up from $5 billion announced in February. Thomas Black and Jennifer Kaplan report. (Bloomberg News)

Nisga'a sign LNG pipeline benefits deal with B.C.
The Nisga'a Nation has signed an agreement with the B.C. government to receive benefits from proposed liquefied natural gas projects. The band from the northwest coast would get at least $6 million from the province for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would pass through parts of its treaty lands. The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline would service the proposed multibillion-dollar Petronas Pacific Northwest LNG project at Lelu Island.(Canadian Press)

More time to comment on feds' plan for Puget Sound salmon hatcheries
The public will now have until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, to comment on the draft environmental impact statement for Puget Sound hatcheries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the public comment period extension Thursday. The agency decided to grant the extension in response to a formal request....
The draft report is available online.  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Navy defends electronic warfare training project in Pacific Beach public meeting
The town with the most direct impact from the Navy's proposal to expand electronic warfare training in Olympic National Forest had its first public meeting on the plan this week. More than 175 residents of Pacific Beach in Grays Harbor County attended the Wednesday night meeting, with many voicing opposition. A five-person team from the Navy — the U.S. Forest Service declined an invitation to attend — defended the military agency's finding in August that the project would have no significant environmental impact. Angelo Bruscas reports. (North Coast News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI NOV 21 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13
 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 20 TO 30 KT BECOMING W 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 9 SECONDS BUILDING
 TO 10 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT BECOMING SW 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT
 AT 14 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS BUILDING TO 14 FT AT 13 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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Thursday, November 20, 2014

11/20 Coal export, Duwamish cleanup, Burnaby protest, BC LNG, Laura James, WA budget, rain garden, home toxins

Coal forecast: No need for new NW terminals
U.S. coal exports have plummeted from their 2012 peaks, making it more difficult to make the case for building new export terminals in Washington and Oregon, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “There is simply too much port capacity in the United States, and not enough demand,” said Tom Sanzillo, the author of the report. Sanzillo forecasts that total U.S. coal exports this year may not exceed 80 million tons, down from a peak of 125.6 million tons in 2012. At that level, U.S. coal-export terminals this year would be operating at only 34 percent of capacity. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Report questions need for coal export terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks  Wendy Stueck reports. (Globe and Mail) And also: Coal ports' critics question the economics  Floyd McKay reports. (Crosscut)

How government and Boeing fought to curtail Duwamish River cleanup
…. The Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, as the foursome of Boeing and the local governments is called, says it already has spent more than $40 million for studies and early cleanups of “hot spots” on the mega-polluted river. The Duwamish is loaded with carcinogenic PCBs and lots of other pollutants—some dumped directly by industry and some arriving via rainwater runoff from the 32-square-mile portion of the Duwamish Valley between Beacon Hill and West Seattle. Those cleanups have hauled away about half of the river bottom’s most-polluted material. Now Boeing and the three local governments want to limit how much more expensive dredging the EPA will require. Robert McClure and Kim Drury report. (Investigate West)

Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters on Burnaby Mountain now 'arrestable', say police
Police have told pipeline protesters camped out on Burnaby Mountain they are now "arrestable" for continuing to defy a court order to remove their camp. On Wednesday morning, two Burnaby RCMP officers arrived at the camp to speak to the protesters around 8 a.m. PT, but they did not arrest anyone or say when any arrests might take place. (CBC)

ExxonMobil is newest member of British Columbia LNG Alliance
An international energy giant has joined an alliance of companies that is promoting the development of a liquefied natural gas industry in northern British Columbia. ExxonMobil Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of U.S.-based energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp., says it has joined the British Columbia LNG Alliance. Current members include key international players like Chevron Canada, Shell Canada Energy, PETRONAS, and PetroleumBRUNEI. (Canadian Press)

Puget Sound diver shares clean-water mission with Skagit committee
For nearly a quarter-century, underwater videographer Laura James has plunged into the depths of Puget Sound every chance she gets to explore the water world. She says the marine life is vibrant and mesmerizing. But it is pummeled too often with litter, pollutants and mysterious disease like sea star wasting. The focal point of James’ freelance film career is to share Puget Sound’s mystique and mayhem with the people who live, work and play in the watershed. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Washington state budget outlook predicts shortfall
Washington state lawmakers are facing a projected budget gap of more than $2 billion for the next two-year budget ending in mid-2017, in large part due to a new voter-approved initiative to shrink class sizes, according to a state budget outlook released Wednesday. That projected shortfall does not include half of the expected financial obligation needed to increase funding for education as directed by the state Supreme Court, nor does it count the additional amount needed if collective bargaining agreements with state workers are approved. Rachel La Corte reports. (Associated Press)

$1.12 million rain garden project in Port Angeles nears completion
A $1.12 million stormwater project in west Port Angeles to relieve flooding and improve stormwater runoff water quality is nearly complete. The city has installed rain gardens at eight intersections on South H, K, L and M streets, as well as a new, larger drain pipe system to relieve flood problems on South H Street. Rain gardens are designed to transfer surface stormwater to groundwater by providing planted “wells” for water to pool and soak into the ground, rather than entering the stormwater system, and to provide a natural filter for surface stormwater. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

New video by SFU prof illustrates the danger of household toxins
A professor at Simon Fraser University has been trying to warn the public about the dangers of even mild exposure to common toxins on children’s brain development, but has largely had his concerns downplayed. So he has created a video he hopes will capture greater attention. Called Little Things Matter, the video makes clear that even a small amount of toxins such as lead or PBDEs (flame retardants) in the blood — at, say, the same level as an effective dose of Ritalin — can affect brain development and negatively impact children’s IQ. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU NOV 20 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
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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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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11/19 Burnaby Mtn protest, Keystone, Jeff Foster orcas, hydraulics advice, fish plant, seastar virus

Burnaby Mountain protest (Vancouver Sun)
Kinder Morgan plans to resume work on Burnaby Mountain as soon as it’s ‘safe’  
Police were on hand to ensure the pipeline protest was peaceful. Hundreds gathered on Burnaby Mountain to stop Kinder Morgan. Despite the injunction many protesters have vowed to protect the lands for the people and are willing to be arrested. Some protesters have camped on the site since September 3…. Kinder Morgan is in discussions with Burnaby RCMP about bringing survey crews back to Burnaby Mountain “once it has been determined safe for our workers,” the company said in a statement Tuesday….Sgt. Major John Buis of the Burnaby RCMP said Tuesday he could not reveal details of when police would move to enforce the court order.

Senate rejects Keystone pipeline, but GOP vows replay
In a combustible blend of oil and politics, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected legislation Tuesday night aimed at forcing completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Republicans vowed to resurrect the controversial issue swiftly after taking two-house control of Congress in January. The 59-41 Senate vote was one shy short of the 60 needed to clear the House-passed measure. The outcome marked a severe blow to embattled Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who had seized control of the chamber's agenda in hopes of securing approval of the project and boosting her chances in an uphill Dec. 6 runoff election in her energy-rich state. David Espo and Dina Cappiello report. (Associated Press)

If you like to watch: Former Orca Hunter Releases Rare Footage Of Whale Captures
Never-before-seen footage of orca whale captures has just been released by a former orca hunter. On Anderson Cooper’s “AC360,” Jeff Foster, who now works on projects to rescue whales, shared footage of himself and others capturing young orcas off the coast of Iceland. Melissa Cronin reports. (The Dodo)

WDFW seeks nominations to advisory group on implementation of state’s Hydraulic Code
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations to a citizen group responsible for advising the department on implementation of the state’s Hydraulic Code, which is designed to protect fish life in Washington waters…. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m., Dec. 12. Nominations may be submitted to Randi Thurston, WDFW habitat protection division manager, by mail: 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501-1091; or by email.

Not quite fish in a barrel, but close - 340,000 fish planted
State Fish & Wildlife crews gave anglers at Cranberry Lake winning tickets in the lakeside lottery on Tuesday. A total of 27,000 fish are being pumped into the lake at Deception Pass State Park this fall. Fishermen could only sit wide-eyed and smiling as they greeted the unexpected arrival with open coolers…. The fish were holdovers from a lawsuit against the state seeking to keep hatchery fish out of Puget Sound waters. The suit has been settled and all of these fish will be released in self-contained lakes, not rivers. The release means countless people will now be able to fish straight through until spring. Eric Wilkinson reports. (KING)

North Olympic Peninsula marine centers look for more information on sea star wasting syndrome after virus research
Staff at the two North Olympic Peninsula marine life centers hope a study pinpointing a variety of densovirus as the likely cause of sea star wasting syndrome is only the beginning. The Cornell University study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a great scientific breakthrough, but doesn't help the remaining sea star population in the short term, said Shannon Phillips, an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED NOV 19 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
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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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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11/18 Seastar virus, Burnaby protest, Murray CSO, Inslee climate, BC boozed birds

Elwha, Nov. 14, 2014 (Tom Roorda/Coastal Watershed Institute)
Virus may be cause of epidemic killing millions of sea stars
Grisly sea star deaths are continuing to litter the tidelands with decaying, ghostly goo, but scientists now believe they, at least, may have identified the culprit. New evidence suggests a mysterious wasting disease killing sea stars by the millions may be the result of a virus that has been found in starfish since at least the 1940s, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But it remains unclear if the pathogen’s current deadly spread is part of a complex natural cycle — or whether blame for this massive die-off is linked in some way to climate change, souring seas or other harm humans have inflicted on the ocean. Craig Welch reports. (Seattle Times)

Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy court order on Burnaby Mountain
It remains unclear when police might move in to arrest protesters on Burnaby Mountain who have defied a court order to take down their camp by yesterday afternoon…. Around 2:30 p.m. representatives of the company arrived with police and read out the court order. But police also announced they would not be moving in to make arrests immediately. Instead they planned to give the protesters time to remove their camp. But instead of removing the camp, hundreds of protesters staged a rally at the site, with some vowing to risk arrest rather than comply with the court order. (CBC)

King County just about ready to pour the 17 foot thick base for the Murray Basin CSO: Expect traffic disruptions near Lowman Beach
King County contractors finished digging out the tank area at the Murray CSO Control Project site on Thursday, November 13. The resulting hole is 60 feet deep – big enough to house the facility’s one million gallon underground storage tank. The tank will help keep sewage and stormwater out of Puget Sound. Before the tank can be built, crews must install a 17-foot thick concrete base below the tank. The base will keep the tank from being pushed out of the ground by groundwater. Rebar will be installed in the next 10 days. Then nearly 5,000 cubic yards of concrete will be poured into the hole over three days to build the base. (West Seattle Herald)

Inslee climate agenda to go beyond carbon pricing
Gov. Jay Inslee wants to put a price on Washington carbon emissions to combat climate change, but other efforts also will be needed to comply with a state law that requires emission reductions of more than 25 percent over the next 20 years. In the weeks ahead, Inslee is expected to propose legislation to price carbon, as well as propose other steps to boost public transportation, energy efficiency, solar power and the use of electric cars. Inslee also is considering an executive order to create a standard for low-carbon transportation fuels, such as some forms of biodiesel. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. birds getting boozed up from frost-fermented berries
As the long winter freeze begins in northern British Columbia, some species of birds are getting boozed up from berries fermented by frost. During almost 40 years of running a wildlife refuge outside Dawson Creek, Leona Green has seen many cases where small berry-eating birds like the Bohemian waxwing slip off their perches like drunks on a bar stool at closing time. Mike Hager reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE NOV 18 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 9 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, November 17, 2014

11/17 Burnaby pipe, stormwater kills, Skagit salmon, Chester, breeding ban, piling removal, Adventuress, coal study, Trout Unlimited, black scoter, waterfront park

Transient Killer Whales (Capt. Mark Malleson/KOMO)
If you like to watch: Sightings of 'exotic' transient orcas on the rise in Puget Sound
Northwest whale watchers say they are witnessing a historic boom in sightings of seal-eating transient orcas in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia, including a mysterious group of rarely seen whales that usually spend their time in the ocean off the California coast. (KOMO)

Kinder Morgan Burnaby Mountain protest injunction granted
Kinder Morgan has been granted an injunction against protesters who have been blocking crews from doing work in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.​ The company said the protesters have been interfering with survey and drilling work it needs to complete for its submission to the National Energy Board on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. On Friday, just before 10:30 a.m. PT, a B.C. Supreme Court judge's ruling was released, giving protesters until 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, to dismantle their campsites and barricades, and to clear out of Kinder Morgan's survey work areas. (CBC) See also: Mayor Derek Corrigan says Burnaby will stop Kinder Morgan pipeline in the courts  Tara Carman reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Death by dirty water: Storm runoff a risk for fish  
Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle's busiest highways. One by one, the fish were removed from a tank filled with coffee-colored water and inspected: They were rigid. Their typically red gills were gray….. This was the fate of coho salmon exposed to the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains and directly into Puget Sound. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Making strides for salmon
Since the Skagit River Chinook Recovery and Monitoring Plan was adopted in 2005, how has the population changed? What have researchers learned? Skagit Watershed Council board members and area fish experts met this week to reflect on progress over the last decade and what remains to be done. What they determined is that so far, population observations show short-term rises and falls with a continuing decline over the long term. They also concluded that chinook productivity is not so much limited by spawning habitat, but by the amount of rearing habitat available to juvenile fish that stay in freshwater to “beef up” before heading out into Puget Sound. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

If you like to listen: Chester, the false killer whale, thrives at aquarium's rescue centre (with video)
When Chester, the false killer whale, was rescued on Chesterman Beach near Tofino in July he was 86 kilograms and 199 cms. Still a baby at four to six weeks of age, he was near death, so weak he had to be supported in a sling and monitored around the clock once he was transferred to the Vancouver Aquarium’s marine mammal rescue centre. Importantly, he was also silent. More than four months later, Chester is 125 kilograms and 220 cms, swimming effortlessly in a pool at the rescue centre, playing with floating toys, interacting with staff, and producing a surprising repertoire of vocalizations that extend well beyond the human ability to hear. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Vancouver Aquarium breeding ban to be lifted say NPA commissioners
Vancouver NPA park commissioners John Coupar and Sarah Kirby-Yung say they were elected Saturday in part on their party's promise to reverse the aquarium breeding ban imposed by the Vision Vancouver dominated park board. With the NPA now holding a four-to-three majority, Coupar says the party intends to fulfill that commitment. (CBC)

Two-week creosote piling cleanup starts Monday on Vashon, Maury islands
Approximately 170 creosote-saturated piling will be removed from Vashon and Maury islands starting Monday, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced in a statement Friday morning. The two-week cleanup project will cost an estimated $161,555. The DNR contracted the Quigg Brothers, an Aberdeen company, for the project. Craig Hill reports. (Olympian)

Refurbished tall ship to serve as a public school 'classroom'
Renovations complete, the Adventuress will spend this winter serving as a floating classroom. For the past five winters, the 101-year-old schooner has been pulled out of the water for major renovations in a $1.2 million project completed this spring. Now that it has been spruced up, the tall ship will augment a special Port Townsend School District curriculum program. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

UW professor seeks money to study pollution from coal trains in Whatcom County
A scientist who uses the Internet to solicit donations for his research on coal trains may bring his work to Whatcom County. Dan Jaffe, professor of atmospheric and environmental chemistry at the University of Washington-Bothell, said his research is too politically charged to attract funding through the normal government channels. He’s also been the target of criticism from a union that supports the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Centralia Council votes no on oil train resolution
The Centralia City Council has rejected a resolution that would have encouraged rail companies, the governor and state agencies to ensure oil shipped by rail be moved safely and asked shippers to take responsibility after a spill. “This comes at no political cost to any of us,” said Councilor Pat Gallagher, who proposed the resolution. “But it addresses concerns for safety of shipping a dangerous product through our town … It should be an open-and-shut thing, a no brainer.” But it wasn’t. The resolution was voted down 5-2. The neighboring Chehalis City Council passed a similar resolution in July. Dameon Pesanti reports. (Chronicle)

Trout Unlimited creating new steelhead conservation group
Trout Unlimited, one of the nation’s largest fishing conservation organizations, will turn its focus to wild steelhead. The organization will launch Thursday the Wild Steelhead Initiative, a project to protect and restore wild steelhead and the fishing opportunities they provide throughout their native range in Washington, Alaska, California, Idaho and Oregon. At the forefront of this effort will be the creation of a new conservation organization, Wild Steelheaders United. The goal of this new group will be to bring together steelhead anglers, regardless of their preferred fishing method, to work on protecting and recovering wild steelhead populations. Jeffrey Mayor reports. (Olympian)

Bird Lore: Black Scoter  
Simple elegance in evening dress. The Black Scoter male (drake) always sports his black suit, accented by the yellow nob on his bill. Scoters (Surf, White-winged, and Black) are dark sea ducks that spend most of the year on the ocean in large flocks. On our inland marine waters, Surf Scoters are most abundant and seen most regularly, followed by White-winged Scoters. Black Scoters, seen much less frequently, winter in Edmonds waters. Carol Riddell reports. (My Edmonds News)

Bellingham approves plan for new waterfront park
When fully developed, the city’s newest waterfront park would have three beaches for water access; a large, open lawn; children’s play area; a viewing hill; a coffee shop or cafe and 250 parking spaces. Now unofficially called Cornwall Beach Park, it also could have a business that rents bicycles or stand-up paddle boards, trails and improvements to shoreline habitat. Those were among the details in the master plan that will guide development of the 17-acre waterfront park. The Bellingham City Council approved the plan Monday, Nov. 10. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 255 AM PST MON NOV 17 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 2 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.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

11/14 Eagles, B'ham port, Oly Pipeline, biz climate action, Sound rockfish, Navy Growlers, 'British' Columbia

(PHOTO: Jim Lawrence/CBC)
If you like to watch: Bald eagles descend on southwestern B.C. for salmon, overwintering
Thousands of bald eagles are expected to return to the Fraser Valley this year to feast on salmon along the banks of the Harrison River. Eagles that had been living in northern B.C., Alaska, and Yukon have started arriving in Harrison Mills, B.C. for the winter. (CBC)

New blog: Bring Out Your Dead
“I thought about Ebola early last month flying at 35,000 feet with a plane full of people I didn’t know. Liberian Thomas Duncan had entered this country by air, took ill with what was diagnosed as Ebola in Dallas, was eventually quarantined and treated, and died. Makes one look around and want to see what all the coughing is about in the seat three rows back….”

Bellingham port close to waterfront deal with Irish developer Harcourt
By the end of the year, the Port of Bellingham could reach a deal with an Irish development group that hopes to help rebuild some of the city’s waterfront. Port Executive Director Rob Fix has been working with Dublin-based Harcourt Developments since February to pen a development agreement that meets the port and city’s expectations for style and speed of improvements on the waterfront while suiting the firm’s needs. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

BP's Olympic Pipeline repaired at Burlington
The pipeline that connects four north Puget Sound oil refineries with Seattle and Portland is operating again after a small leak at Burlington was repaired. The 400-mile Olympic Pipeline is operated by BP and runs from Blaine to Portland, carrying diesel and gasoline for fuel customers as well as jet fuel for Sea-Tac Airport and Portland International Airport. BP spokesman Scott Dean says the line was shut down Nov. 5 and resumed full operations Monday. He says the fuel had leaked from a half-inch valve fitting. About 60 gallons of mixed fuel spilled. (Associated Press)

What’s in a name? Time to move beyond “British”?
While former colonies like British Guiana (Guyana since 1966), British Honduras (Belize since 1973), and the Thirteen Colonies (United States of America since 1776), all opted to throw off the colonial lexical yoke and exorcised “British” from their names, the shameful epithet of colonial enterprise still follows us like a shadow in BC. Small, encouraging steps were made in 2010, with the official renaming of the Queen Charlotte Islands as Haida Gwai, and an unofficial renaming of the Georgia Straight and Puget Sound as the “Salish Sea.” The next logical step in recognising BC history of BC as distinct from an Anglo-Teutonic monarchy is to rename the province to reflect its past and present history and demography…. So, with this mind, what about choosing a new name? Hamish Stewart writes. (Vancouver Observer)

Washington businesses unite on climate action
With a snow-capped Mount Rainier as their poster child, Washington businesses have joined forces to take a stand on climate change. More than 100 businesses — from REI and Virginia Mason to Taylor Shellfish and Microsoft — launched a declaration calling for “climate action.” While they didn't know what the outcome of the November election would be when they came together, their message remains the same. “Tackling climate change,” a declaration from the group says, “is one of Washington's greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century. And it's simply the right thing to do.” Martha Baskin reports. (Crosscut)

Agency lists critical habitat for endangered Puget Sound rockfish
National Marine Fisheries Service has designated more than 1,000 square miles of Puget Sound as “critical habitat” for rockfish — a colorful, long-lived fish decimated by over-fishing and environmental problems. In Hood Canal, we know that thousands of rockfish have been killed by low-oxygen conditions, and their populations have been slow to recover because of low reproductive rates. Elsewhere, rockfish are coming back with mixed success, helped in some locations by marine protected areas. Chris Dunagan reports. (Saving Our Water Ways)

Public meeting set in Port Townsend to discuss proposal to add 36 Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
The Navy plans a public meeting in Port Townsend in December on a proposal to increase the number of jets originating from its base on Whidbey Island. Navy officials will take public input on a proposed increase of up to 36 EA-18G Growler aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. An earlier proposal called for an additional 14 jets. The Port Townsend meeting will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at Fort Worden Commons. It will be the first held on the proposal on the North Olympic Peninsula. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 257 AM PST FRI NOV 14 2014
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SAT
E WIND 20 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
E WIND 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 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