Friday, January 23, 2015

1/23 J50, BC rain, culvert cost, dead whale, sewage to beer, Cowichan herring

J50 and J16 (Dave Ellifrit, Center For Whale Research)
Who yo mama? New orca baby doing well, closely linked to 43-year-old female
The young killer whale born into J pod three weeks ago still appears to be doing well, according to Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research, who observed the calf when her pod came through the San Juan Islands on Monday. The new calf, J-50, has been sticking close to J-16, a 43-year-old female and her likely mom. In his written notes, Dave said the calf, designated J-50, was staying close to J-16, a 43-year-old female named “Slick.” Meanwhile, Slick’s daughter, 16-year-old J-36 or Alki, remained some distance away. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Environment Canada issues heavy rainfall warning as Pineapple Express hits B.C.
Environment Canada has posted a rainfall warning as the Pineapple Express arrives in Metro Vancouver this morning, bringing with it up to 100 millimetres of rain in some areas. The federal weather agency says rainfall amounts of up to five millimetres an hour will result in 50 to 70 millimetres of rain by Saturday morning, and up to 100 millimetres over parts of Howe Sound and near the North Shore mountains. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun)

New blog: A Braille Lego Printer, United Nations Food, and “A Few Stupid Extremists”
Yes, let’s change the world: Last week it was Bill Gates drinking water purified from sewage, this week it’s a 13-year old’s prototype of a simple Braille printer built from Legos….

Culvert replacement costs loom as a budget problem for lawmakers
While funding for Washington’s “basic education” remains a potential budget-buster, some legislators are beginning to worry about a $2.4-billion financial pitfall involving culverts and salmon streams. In 2013, a federal judge ordered Washington state to replace nearly 1,000 culverts that block or impede fish passage along Western Washington streams. The $2.4-billion cost, as estimated by the Washington State Department of Transportation, amounts to about $310 million per biennium until the deadline of 2030. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Dead whale found under Seattle’s Colman ferry dock
The dead gray whale found under the Colman ferry dock Thursday morning has been moved to a temporary site at Pier 48, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service. The whale, a 32-foot-long female, is partially decomposed and had likely been dead for several days, NOAA said. Divers moved the whale from underneath the dock. Jennifer Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Oregon Water Treatment Company Wants To Turn Sewer Water Into Beer
Clean Water Services of Hillsboro has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its “high-purity” system by turning recycled wastewater into beer. But under current rules, the state of Oregon wouldn’t allow anyone to drink it. Clean Water Services has asked the state to amend those rules so the company can give its recycled water to a group of home brewers. Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)

CERCA project aims to bring herring back to Cowichan Bay
It was a cold and rainy evening when 10 Cowichan Estuary Restoration and Conservation Association volunteers met at the Fisherman's Wharf in Cowichan Bay on Jan. 3 to initiate CERCA's herring recovery project in this part of the Salish Sea. The work was timed to take advantage of a very low tide of 0.4 metres at 9:30 p.m., chosen to wrap a whopping total of 28 pilings under the sheltered wharf. Historically, herring had spawned in abundance in numerous places along the shorelines and estuaries of the Salish Sea including the Cowichan Estuary. Dr. Goetz Schuerholz writes. (Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI JAN 23 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 18 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 16 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE
 AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 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, January 22, 2015

1/22 King tide, fish farm, bird flu, rain gardens, Lululemon dock, LOTT science, Way of Whales

Alki Beach, Dec. 2012 (King County)
King Tide Shows What Climate Change Has In Store
This weekend the tide will rise three feet above normal, soaking the shore, spoiling freshwater aquifers, and giving us all a glimpse of the future. Dan Person reports. (Seattle Weekly) See also: King tides expected this week on Budd Inlet  Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Ban on new aquaculture projects was imposed to give time for possible settlement over SMP dispute
The city's six-month ban on new commercial aquaculture activities will give Bainbridge Island time to make a "limited amendment" to the new aquaculture rules in its updated Shoreline Master Program, officials said this week. The Bainbridge Island City Council unanimously adopted an emergency six-month moratorium at its meeting Tuesday on new aquaculture projects. The ban is aimed at projects that would require a substantial shoreline development permit and conditional use permits. The move was needed, according to the city, to preserve the "status quo" and stop new applications for commercial aquaculture projects while the city has a chance to amend its new aquaculture regulations. Brian Kelly reports. (Bainbridge Review)

Avian flu quarantine set in Agnew area as inspectors go door to door
State officials have imposed an avian-flu-related quarantine in a radius of about 6 miles around a residence in the Agnew area east of Port Angeles. Two teams with the U.S. Department of Agriculture began traveling door to door Monday to talk with residents and ask their permission to test their flocks, said Dr. Alan Huddleston. Leah Leach and Paul Gottlieb report. (Peninsula Daily News)

New Study Suggests Rain Gardens Can Save Salmon
The lethal effects of urban runoff that kills some salmon and their prey can be reversed by filtering the water through a common soil mix, according to new research by state and federal scientists. When it rains or people wash their cars, the water that runs over pavement picks up toxic chemicals such as oils, heavy metals and residue from car emissions. This can go straight into our waterways. So-called Green infrastructure - things like rain gardens and green roofs - uses soils and other natural materials to slow down and filter this urban runoff. But does it work? Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU) See also: Simple soil mixture reverses toxic stormwater effects  (WSU)

Friday Harbor storm water pollution calls for ideas
As a project to raise awareness, the rain garden at the intersection of First and Spring streets has been a success. As a pollution filtration system to be applied on a larger scale? Not so much. “It was a test case. No one knew how effective it would be,” Friday Harbor Administrator Duncan Wilson said. “We’ve never seen any results that indicated a significant benefit,” So, the town has other ideas to help curb pollution from storm water runoff. Emily Greenberg reports. (San Juan Journal)

Lululemon founder’s dock proposal has Sunshine Coast neighbours up in arms
Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has raised the ire of his neighbours on the Sunshine Coast over his plans to build a massive private dock to moor his pleasure boats and seaplane in the pristine waters of Middlepoint Bight. Wilson, a Vancouver billionaire, has asked the provincial government for permission to build a 2,498-sq-ft dock and two 3,106-sq-ft breakwaters on the south side of the seasonal mansion he has built on the bight, which is located between Pender Harbour and Sechelt. The dock is proposed to replace a modest moorage that has been approved on the north side of Wilson’s 20-acre property at 11329 Sunshine Coast Hwy. Kelly Sinoski reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Hear how marine life reacts to human sounds
Visitors to the LOTT WET Science Center on Saturday will have the chance to hear how human sounds affect marine life in Puget Sound…. The program will take place at LOTT’s WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia. The center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, except holidays. Admission is free. Jeffrey P. Mayor reports. (Olympian)

Ways of whales set for Saturday in Coupeville
It's that time of year again when Whidbey Islanders will gather to talk about whales, whales and more whales. Orca Network's annual Ways of Whales Workshop is 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, in the Coupeville Middle School Performing Arts Center, 501 S. Main St., Coupeville. A special screening of the new documentary "Fragile Waters" will follow at the Nordic Lodge. (South Whidbey Record)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU JAN 22 2015
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN AT TIMES.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
--
"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

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1/21 Seabirds, SSA fined, seastars, oil spills, pipeline safety, invasives, bird flu, ELF, FH port, orca close-up

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola
Puget Sound seabird numbers better than expected
More than a dozen species of Puget Sound seabirds thought to be in decline appear to be doing better than expected, according to an ongoing survey by citizen scientists organized by the Seattle Audubon Society. Of the 18 species monitored for seven years at 62 sites near Puget Sound from the north end of Whidbey Island to Olympia, 14 show increased numbers, including cormorants, loons, rhinoceros auklets, bufflehead and harlequin ducks, the new survey analysis shows. The species selected for detailed study are considered good barometers of environmental health because of their relative abundance and their dependence on Puget Sound food and habitat, researchers said. John Dodge reports. (Olympian)

SSA Terminals To Pay $215,000 For Clean Water Act Violations
SSA Terminals will pay $215,000 dollars for violations of the Clean Water Act at its Harbor Island facility in Seattle. After several years of litigation, brought by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the company has agreed to reduce their pollution discharges into Elliott Bay. The settlement was announced in a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

If you like to watch: Our Fight 2015
NextGen Climate draws the battle line.

Sea stars may be on path to recovery; summer could provide answers
…. Barb Erickson, Linda Martin and Peg Tillery… have been serving as amateur researchers, monitoring the Lofall beach, like hundreds of other volunteers at various locations along the West Coast. When they started monitoring the beach in February 2014, they observed dozens of healthy sea stars — but conditions changed dramatically by June…. I was not sure what to expect when I accompanied the three women to the Lofall pier on Saturday…. What we saw Saturday was a great many more young sea stars than last year, along with adults that seemed to be healthy. None of the starfish showed signs of disease. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Northwest Ships: Near Misses and Almost-Spills
The Northwest is evaluating more than a dozen major projects that would add oil tankers and other major cargo ships to the region’s waters. Nearly all of these plans would affect Washington’s waters: either on the Columbia River, Grays Harbor, or in the labyrinthine channels of the Salish Sea. In the simplest terms, increasing ship traffic means increasing risk. And as the region is contemplating an astonishing jump in vessel traffic, it’s worth pausing to examine the record. Eric de Place reports. (Sightline)

Kinder Morgan needs to disclose more on safety plans, says B.C. Premier Christy Clark
B.C. Premier Christy Clark is demanding Kinder Morgan disclose more details about its safety plans before the province approves the company's $5.4-billion pipeline expansion project.  The National Energy Board rejected the government's call for more information after the pipeline company submitted an incomplete version of its existing spill-response plans. The energy regulator says it is satisfied with the amount of information Kinder Morgan supplied, though it raised concerns over how clearly the company communicated the reasons for the information it left out. But Clark says Kinder Morgan hasn't met the five conditions set out by the province, and until that happens, it won't be going ahead with the project. (Canadian Press)

B.C. government mulling an Invasive Species Act to fight costly introduction of non-native species
The B.C. government is considering new legislation to coordinate the attack against a costly and ever-growing threat posed by the introduction of non-native plants, animals and diseases. Tim Sheldan, deputy minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, said Tuesday that the existing Weed Control Act and regulations have been under internal study and that an “extensive scientific review” of invasive plant species for regulation is nearing completion. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Government Ag Teams Encircle New Washington Bird Flu Case
Three new hot spots of bird flu have been found in wild ducks and domestic birds in Idaho. A second Oregon case was confirmed last week in a wild duck near Eugene. And a flock of 118 birds was euthanized over the weekend in Port Angeles, Washington. Anna King reports. (KPLU)

Rolling Out the Hot New Wheels
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Here on Gabriola Island these days, my father-in-law, Ted, is turning heads, attracting crowds and prompting smiles every time he goes out. It’s not just because he’s well-liked on the island – though he definitely is. The buzz is because of his hot new wheels: an electric-assist ELF tricycle, which arrived on a foggy morning in early January. This is not your ordinary pedal trike. Aside from its smooth, continuously variable transmission and its comfortable ride, it has the added bonus of an electric motor to help get up slopes, powered by a battery that’s recharged by the the ELF’s solar panel or by plugging in to household power…."

$4 million port project complete, ribbon cutting ceremony to follow
The Port of Friday Harbor's multi-million dollar marina reconstruction project is complete. In October 2014 Manson Construction mobilized into the marina with their huge crane and got to work removing old creosote pilings and wooden floats throughout the marina. The Harbormaster relocated vessels to accommodate the major renovations and no vessels were turned away for guest moorage during the holidays. Manson Construction replaced the inner marina with new concrete floats, steel pilings and upgraded utilities. (San Juan Journal)

If you like to watch: Paddle boarders close encounter with Orcas
Rich German on January 14 posted:  "My dream of seeing Orcas (aka killer whales) recently came true. Watch as a friendly pod of 5 orcas interacts with me on my paddle board. This was filmed with my GoPro off the coast of Laguna Beach California last week. You'll see the whales come directly under my board twice. This was an amazing."

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED JAN 21 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5
 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1/20 Pipeline secrets, bird flu, Gorge spill, farm bill $, flame retardants, Taseko Mines, Jennifer Rumley

Shaka the Crab (PHOTO: Alan Berner/Seattle Times)
"Honu by the Sea" at the Seattle Aquarium
Bryce Irvine is Shaka the Crab in the environmental musical at the Seattle Aquarium this weekend. "Honu by the Sea" is about discovering the need to protect and guard reefs and oceans threatened by negligent human activity. For more information see: honubythesea.com Colin Diltz reports. (Seattle Times)

Kinder Morgan can keep plans secret: National Energy Board
Kinder Morgan has won the next round in the battle over the push to expand its oil pipeline through Burnaby. The province has lost a bid to force the company to detail its emergency response plan in case of an accident. Kinder Morgan says it needs to keep the plans secret in the interest of security. The National Energy Board (NEB) ruling came down Friday saying the oil company had justified their argument to keep much of the plan secret which perplexes John Foy with the Wilderness Committee. Simon Druker reports. (News1130)

Avian flu found on North Olympic Peninsula; domestic birds destroyed at Agnew farm
Avian flu has been found in a backyard flock of ducks, chickens and geese east of Port Angeles, and all the birds were destroyed. The H5N2 bird flu strain is not harmful to humans.  But the disease is very contagious and deadly among birds, and the fear is that it could spread into commercially raised chickens and turkeys. A ban on the movement of eggs, domestic poultry and poultry products within and outside of a 10 kilometer radius — 6.2 miles — likely will be placed today around the home at 92 Cosmos Lane in the Agnew area, state Department of Agriculture spokesman Hector Castro said. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Rain clears storm drains of fuel-oil spill near Gorge
The rain that pelted Victoria over the weekend helped clean out the storm-drain system feeding a heating-oil spill on the Gorge Waterway, virtually eliminating any pollution threat. B.C. Hazmat’s David Rogers said that absorptive booms replaced on Sunday night were “lily-white and clean” on Monday, meaning no oil had reached them. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Farm Bill money will support continued Clean Samish efforts
Farms, shellfish, salmon and water quality in the Puget Sound Region will get a $9 million boost from a new federal conservation program included in the 2014 Farm Bill. Some of that money will go to Skagit County’s Samish watershed, which has been plagued with fecal coliform pollution for years. The grants come from the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are part of a $370 million package Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that will support 115 projects across the U.S. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

House looking to pass a bill banning some flame retardants
A bill to ban two flame retardants from children's products and upholstered furniture is taking its third trip through the Washington Legislature. Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, introduced the bipartisan bill, which went to a House Environment Committee public hearing Monday. John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

Mining giant takes on B.C. environmental group in defamation court battle
Criticism of a proposed mine by an environmental group and allegations of defamation by the project's owner have landed both parties in B.C. Supreme Court. Taseko Mines Ltd. launched the lawsuit after the Wilderness Committee claimed during a 2012 public comment period that the New Prosperity mine could destroy Fish Lake. The proposed gold and copper mine, 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, was undergoing a federal environmental assessment when the statements were made. Tasmyn Burgmann reports. (Canadian Press)

Green Beat - Intern nets endangered species
When Langley resident Jennifer Rumley graduated with a Trinity Western University Environmental Studies degree in 2014, she was hoping to get a paying job. Instead, this past fall she paid to get some experience with A Rocha Canada. “The internship with A Rocha was the next best thing to a paid position,” said Jennifer. “I got to do some meaningful work in my field, and have some exciting adventures working with endangered species and their habitat.” Rumley sought the elusive Salish sucker along the length of the Little Campbell River which begins in Aldergrove and runs to the ocean in White Rock. David Clements reports.  (Langley Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE JAN 20 2015
TODAY
SE WIND 10 KT...BECOMING E 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, January 19, 2015

1/19 Elwha, Alki, MLK, Lummi, BC pipes, Gorge spill, Ioco land, BC megathrust, Lynnwood wetland

Eulachon samples (Coastal Watershed Institute)
If you like to watch: Coastal Watershed Institute Elwha Sampling
Anne Shaffer of CWI writes: "At our January long term sampling of the Elwha estuary and lower river we documented-for the first time after looking for over a decade-hundreds of gravid and spent eulachon, Thaleichthys pacificus, and a gravid female long fin smelt, Spirinchus thaleichthys. These   forage fish, which are federally listed along areas of the west coast due to their  precipitous decline, are-literally-the backbone of coastal cultures and nearshore ecosystems…. Within five months of the dam removal ending, these fish are literally flooding the system, feeding dozens of harbor seals and thousands of birds."

If you like to watch: Alki Junkyard - 1/17/2015
Laura James shares some cool underwater views-- and maybe some good news about seastar recovery.

New blog: The 12th Man On MLK Day
"Hard to sit down and compose a Martin Luther King Day blog after watching the end of Sunday’s Seattle Seahawk game. The 12th Man/Woman in houses up and down the neighborhood street yelled himself/herself hoarse. I hope they yell as hard for justice on Monday but race, civil rights, equal opportunity, domestic abuse, gender equality aren’t as simple as a football game, regardless of how much some people might think of sports as a metaphor for life…."

Lummis reject ‘standing offer’ to negotiate approval of Whatcom County coal terminal
The chairman of Lummi Nation said Thursday, Jan. 15, the tribe is not negotiating with the shipping-terminal company that would build a coal-export facility at Cherry Point. Lummi Chairman Tim Ballew sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dated Jan. 5, asking the agency to immediately deny a federal permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The terminal applicant, SSA Marine, responded by asserting its “standing offer” to meet with Lummi officials and work out a deal that would allow the terminal to be built. “Plain and simple, the response is just as the letter to the Corps said,” Ballew said on Thursday, Jan 15. “There is no way to mitigate the damages the proposed project would bring.” Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Kinder Morgan pipeline: Vancouver submits almost 600 more questions
The City of Vancouver has sent Kinder Morgan almost 600 more questions about its proposed pipeline plan in an effort to plug "significant gaps" in the information already provided by the energy giant. Using its status as intervenor, the city says its questions, submitted to the National Energy Board (NEB), have arisen from either a lack of clarity in Kinder Morgan's 15,000 page proposal, or from responses to previous questions. "It is imperative that all of our questions are fully answered by the company this time," the city said in a statement. "In the first round of requests, Kinder Morgan failed to answer nearly 150 of the 394 questions submitted by us." (CBC)

Falling oil prices pose another delay for B.C. pipelines
Energy economists say that a prolonged slump in oil prices will further slow two proposed pipelines already hamstrung by court challenges and community opposition in British Columbia. Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver has maintained that “the strategic need is still there” for both the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines to go through the province. But the slumping price of oil has caused enough “market instability,” as Mr. Oliver put it, to prompt Ottawa to postpone its budget to at least April. Mike Hager reports. (Globe and Mail)

BP oil spill smaller than feared, judge rules
BP faces a fine of up to $13.7bn (£9bn) after a US judge ruled that the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was smaller than initially feared. His ruling put the spill at 3.2 million barrels - the US government had estimated it at 4.09 million barrels. It shields the oil giant from what could have been a $17.6bn fine. A final figure is expected later this month. (BBC)

Olympia runs short on money for much-needed repairs at Percival Landing
Percival Landing on Olympia’s downtown waterfront would cost millions of dollars to repair, but the city is trying to scrape up enough money for basic maintenance. City parks staff updated the Olympia City Council about the aging park’s condition — and expected costs for repairs — at a study session Jan. 13. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Haz-mat crews at work on fuel spill in Gorge Waterway
Animals chewing on copper line coming from a home fuel-oil tank could be the culprits in a 1,000-litre spill into the Gorge Waterway. The spill — at least the third to enter the Gorge in the past year — was discovered about 10 a.m. Friday. It was traced to a broken fuel line at a modular home just off Admirals Road, about 500 metres from where the oil entered the water, said David Rogers of B.C. Hazmat. Jeff Bell report. (Times Colonist)

Metro Vancouver land package including Ioco townsite sold
A new player in Metro Vancouver real estate development — Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd — has bought 230 acres of Imperial Oil land in Port Moody and Anmore to develop a master-planned new village. The deal, which closed last week, includes about half of the Ioco townsite as well as the surrounding area, which is forested land in both Port Moody and Anmore. The purchase price was not disclosed. The property includes some heritage buildings and is close to an environmentally sensitive salmon hatchery. Jenny Lee and Brian Morton report. (Vancouver Sun)

Lynnwood rents land for $5, but wetland strings are attached
A small stretch of Highway 99 in Lynnwood is the scene of a quiet, cordial conflict between wetland preservation and business promotion. The disagreement involves two billboards, a 28-year-old document and a 99.8 percent discount on a city contract. Rikki King reports. (Everett Herald)

As waters acidify, Maine looks to Pacific Northwest peers for help
In the icy waters of midcoast Maine, Bill Mook has his eyes on his oysters – and how the waters they need to survive are gradually, but clearly, changing. Down the coast near Portland, the issue is clams and the mud flats that have become inhospitable to their survival. Farther south still, near Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the worry is so-called “sea butterflies,” tiny marine snails that live low on the food chain and are – like the oysters and clams – threatened by a process known as “ocean acidification.” Chris Adams reports. (McClatchy)

B.C. megathrust earthquake will rip earth open like a zipper says expert
Last megathrust earthquake off B.C. coast in 1700 generated a four storey tsunami in Japan nine hours later. A Natural Resources Canada seismologist says the odds of 'big one' occurring in next 50 years are one in 10. Dirk Meissner reports. (The Canadian Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 216 AM PST MON JAN 19 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON.
 SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Friday, January 16, 2015

1/16 Warming, Snake dams, free Lolita, Grace Islet, safe trains, BC wolf hunt, Blyn sewer line, bird flu, Icicle farms

Overall, last year was very warm in Washington state 
Last year, Washington state experienced its fifth-hottest year in 120 years of records maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways) See also: Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’  At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world. Joel Achenbach reports. (Washington Post)

Send a message to the "other" Washington: Remove The Four Lower Snake River Dams To Save The Southern Resident Killer Whale From Being Dammed To Extinction
Patagonia, Save Our Wild Salmon and the folks who made the film "DamNation" are in Washington DC the last week of January lobbying Administration officials, agencies like the Army Corps, and our NW delegation. It would be great to show the “other” Washington that the petition to save our endangered orcas by removing the damn dams had at least 10,000 supporters. Sign the petition and keep in touch on Facebook.

New blog: Having A Drink With Bill Gates
“Starting out a new year writing with a blank sheet of paper requires examining the kinds of things I’d enjoy writing about. Oh, there’s the obligatory flogging of elected officials and regulators, black-hatted oil and coal and railroad guys, obscene profit-taking developers and bankers. But we’ll save that for another time because today, at the end of the first week of our national Congressional session and our state legislative session, here are three stories I’d rather tell you about:...”

March for Orcas: Free a Whale From Solitary Confinement
Brenda Peterson writes: "This Saturday there are worldwide marches for the wild-born Lolita, the orca who has spent 44 years in captivity in a Miami Seaquarium, performing three shows a day for us -- as if we have not grown up…. Join the Miracle March to Free Lolita, including one on Alki Beach, in Seattle. [March for about a mile along Alki, starting at 1:15 pm at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, 61st/Alki] (Huffington Post)

Grace Islet controversy ends as B.C. steps in to buy land
A controversial development on Grace Islet, the site of a a First Nations burial ground, has been stopped after the province stepped in with a plan to purchase the land. The islet, which is located just off Saltspring Island, B.C., drew attention last year as the private owner began building a house on land that contains at least 16 ancient burial cairns. According to a government statement, the province has partnered with local First Nations and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to create a "framework agreement" to purchase the land from the current owner. (CBC)

Oil train safety draws quick attention in Olympia
Two competing oil-train safety bills have come into quick play in the Washington Senate. A Republican measure, proposed by Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, received a hearing on Thursday before the Senate Environment, Energy & Telecommunications Committee, which he chairs. Also on Thursday, Democratic Sens. Christine Rolfes of Bainbridge Island and Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island introduced a bill to cover what Gov. Jay Inslee wants to do. John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

People warned to avoid water at Titlow Beach after sewage spill
Health officials suggested Thursday that people stay out of the water at Tacoma’s Titlow Beach after a sewage spill there. It wasn’t immediately clear where the sewage came from, or when the spill happened. Alex Krell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

B.C. to hunt wolves by helicopter in order to save endangered mountain caribou herds
Government-contracted hunters were in helicopters over two regions of British Columbia on Thursday as the province launched a controversial culling program that will sacrifice as many as 184 wolves this year alone in an attempt to save endangered caribou. The province announced a plan to immediately start killing wolves during the next four years in the South Peace region, located in northern B.C., and in the South Selkirk region along the border with Washington state and Idaho. (Vancouver Sun)

New wastewater line may fuel resort plans near Blyn casino
A humble wastewater main line could pour revenue into the coffers of both the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe and the city of Sequim. Building the 6.5-mile-long pipe may pump new life into the tribe’s dream of a resort near 7 Cedars Casino and drain off some of the city’s excess sewage-treatment capacity. The project will cost the tribe $8.3 million, according to the city. The resort was estimated to cost $7.5 million in 2010, when the tribe temporarily shelved the idea. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Avian Flu Detected In Oregon Wild Duck
Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.   The strain of influenza (H5N2) is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness.  The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus.  But it could kill falcons and hawks.   The real concern, though, is an outbreak in domesticated birds. Jes Burns reports. (EarthFix) See also: Backyard poultry owners in Whatcom County urged to get their flocks tested for bird flu

Cooke likely to look at Icicle salmon farms
The acquisitive Canadian salmon, seabass and seabream farmer and processor Cooke Aquaculture is likely to be interested in up-for-grabs Icicle Seafoods’ salmon farms, located on the West Coast of the US, where the Canadian firm is not present, sources said. With private equity group Paine & Partners looking to sell US harvester and processor Icicle, which it acquired in 2007, the seafood sector is rife with speculation as to whether Icicle will be sold as a whole or broken up into its various pieces…. The business produces over 6,000 metric tons of salmon a year in Puget Sound, with farms at Bainbridge Island, Cypress Island, Port Angeles and Hope Island, Washington. Tom Seaman reports. (Undercurrent News)

Lynden-based fishing boat owner fined $11,000 for spill
The Lynden-based owner of a fishing vessel has been fined $11,000 because one of its boats spilled diesel into Elliott Bay in Seattle, the Washington state Department of Ecology announced Thursday, Jan. 15. The Sept. 13, 2013, spill occurred while the Bristol Leader was refueling from a tank truck at Terminal 91. The spill totaled 181 gallons. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 244 AM PST FRI JAN 16 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
W 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 12 FT AT 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. W
 SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SAT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON.
 W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 20 TO 25 KT...BECOMING 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO
 11 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON.
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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, January 15, 2015

1/15 Oil safety, Shell drill, geoduck farm, dumping, BC resource reviews, state ESA, energy prize

Forecast: Rain in Puget Sound, snow in the Cascades
Forecasters say a storm blowing into Washington Thursday night and Friday will bring rain to western Washington and snow to the mountains. It also will bring snow or freezing rain to parts of eastern Washington that will persist through the weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts about an inch of rain by Friday in western Washington. Six to 11 inches of snow are forecast above 4,500 feet in the Cascades, which will affect the higher ski resorts and roads to Mount Baker and Paradise ranger station on Mount Rainier. Lisa Cowan reports. (Associated Press) See also: Let it snow, let it snow  Statewide, snowpack is at about 50 percent of historical average levels for this time of year thanks to a warm and rainy start to winter.Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Ericksen, Ranker introduce dueling oil transportation safety bills
Two legislators who represent parts of Whatcom County have introduced dueling oil transportation safety bills in the Senate. Wasting no time, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, introduced his bill the first day of the session. As chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, he will host a public hearing on the bill tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, along with Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Kitsap County, introduced oil legislation requested by Gov. Jay Inslee. That bill has also been referred to Ericksen’s committee. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Shell Arctic Drilling Fleet OK'd To Use 'Green' West Seattle Port
The Seattle Port Commission decided on Tuesday to let Shell Oil's Arctic drilling fleet use West Seattle as its home port. Shell's drill rigs and barges would overwinter at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 in West Seattle while the terminal is being renovated. At a commission meeting on Tuesday, environmentalists asked the five-member port commission to block the proposal. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Possible shellfish farm in Dungeness Bay interest intensifies
The second floor of the Dungeness Schoolhouse was standing room only Saturday where community members gathered to learn about a possible 30-acre geoduck farm in Dungeness Bay. The well-attended meeting was coordinated by citizen representative for the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound, Laura Hendricks, and reviewed the potential adverse implications associated with shellfish aquaculture and specifically Taylor Shellfish Farms’ proposed geoduck farm in Dungeness Bay…. At their project location offshore from the mouth of the Dungeness River and neighboring the eastern border of U.S.` Fish and Wildlife Service Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Taylor Shellfish officials plan to stagger planting geoducks within 0.5- to 5-acre parcels in any given year. Alana Linderoth reports. (Sequim Gazette)

Illegal-dumping charges filed against owner of tank-removal company
The state Attorney General’s Office has filed charges against the owner of a Seattle tank removal and repair company for allegedly dumping at least 20,000 gallons of wastewater into the public sewer system. Thomas Wise, the owner of Tank Wise, a company located in South Seattle, was charged in King County Superior Court with first-degree defrauding a public utility, unlawful dumping of solid waste without a permit and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Wise is accused of using a pipe to discharge oil and oil sludge into a sanitary sewer near the Duwamish River for up to eight years. Paige Cornwell reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. government reviews environmental oversight of resource development
The B.C. Liberal government has launched an internal review of how its laws and oversight of resource development affects wildlife habitat. The review, headed by Prince George North MLA Mike Morris, is a response, in part, to concerns raised by a trio of wildlife user groups late last year. The 43,000-member B.C. Wildlife Federation, B.C. Trappers Association and the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. called on the provincial government to retake control of resource extraction practices, planning and oversight. The groups said the government’s move in the past decade to rely on professionals hired by industry to make decisions on the land base, with little government oversight, has failed. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Comments being accepted through Jan. 23 on status of tufted puffins, Steller sea lions
State wildlife managers are seeking public comment on the protective status for tufted puffins and Steller sea lions. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended listing tufted puffins on the state's endangered species list and removing Steller sea lions from the state's threatened species list. The public can submit written comments through Jan. 23. (Peninsula Daily News)

County reaches semifinals of $5M energy prize competition
San Juan County on Wednesday advanced to the semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a Jan. 14 press event in Washington, D.C. today, San Juan County was recognized as one of the 50 communities leading the way in energy efficiency. (San Juan Journal) [Also in contention, locally: Anacortes, Bellingham, Bellevue, and Walla Walla.]

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 252 AM PST THU JAN 15 2015
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS...
 BUILDING TO 8 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING W 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 7 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS...
 BUILDING TO 10 TO 12 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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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