Monday, February 27, 2012

2/27 Partnership, conservation districts, Colquitz spill, Samish Bay, 6406, PenPly, Spada Lake, BC Ferries, Manchester beach, Roger Ross, oilsands report, BP suit, Seal Sitters, Pond Watch

Photo: K. Kennell
Whither goest the Partnership? The House Democratic budget proposal reduces the agency’s budget by 31 percent, or $1.7 million, which would jeopardize federal funding of more than $5 million. The proposed House Republican budget does away with the Partnership. The Olympian editorializes: Cutting partnership gambles with future of Puget Sound

Whither goest Conservation Districts? The House Democratic budget proposes eliminating the Washington State Conservation Commission effective July 1. All state funding to conservation districts for FY 2013 will be amended and cancelled. San Juan Islands Conservation District faces elimination

Home-heating oil has again spilled into Colquitz Creek and there are fears that salmon smolts, herring and a resident beaver could be harmed. Three months ago, Colquitz was hit by a fish-killing spill of 1,000 litres of home-heating oil. The clean-up was not completed until this month. Fears for wildlife after another Colquitz spill  

The Lady of the Slough writes: "As a result of multiple bay closures during past spring months, the state Department of Health reclassified Samish Bay from "Approved" to "Conditionally Approved."  This means if the river rises by a certain level, the DOH automatically closes the bay... On March 1 a four-month clock starts running to measure the success of the Clean Samish Initiative's massive clean-up effort." Read what it will take to restore the "Approved" status for the Bay: Champagne on Ice

Dan Chasan at Crosscut writes about Senate Bill 6406, a bill "streamlining" some regulatory requirements-- and denying citizens — or citizens' groups — standing to challenge growth management decisions, and maybe even delaying or eliminating current requirements to deal with stormwater.  Environmentalists on alert over 'streamlining' measure in Legislature  

The state Department of Commerce last year made an unprecedented grant of $500,000 to the Port Angeles’ Peninsula Plywood mill to keep jobs on the Peninsula. The mill closed last November after 20-months of operations, leaving $1,042,102 in unpaid bills to several public agencies and about 130 people out of work. State agency’s unprecedented effort to save PenPly not likely again

Debra Smith at The (Everett) Herald reports on Cliff Mass’s description of "the Spada Lake anomaly" -- the place from which Everett provides drinking water to most of Snohomish County.  Weather guru Cliff Mass explains why Everett is water rich

BC Ferries suffered a $23.1 million net loss in its most recent third quarter. The deficit for the period ending Dec. 31, 2011 is nearly double the $12.5 reported during the same quarter last year. When spread over a nine month period, net earnings dropped from $42.8 million in 2010 to $28.7 million in the same period ending Dec. 31, 2011. BC Ferries suffers $23.1 million net loss in Q3

The Port of Manchester will seek a permit for ongoing "maintenance" on the waterfront, after state officials say the port failed to obtain a required permit before dragging a log through the sand below the high-tide mark at the port's Pomeroy Park. State habitat biologist Chris Waldbillig says it was a "minor thing," but the sandy beach is potential habitat for surf smelt, a protected species. Manchester beach work comes under scrutiny

David G. Sellars in the Peninsula Daily News writes about Peninsula resident Roger Ross, who has grown up to be captain of large oil tankers on the Alaska route that passes through Port Angeles. Career path of a Port Angeles tanker captain

Commentary by Alberta scientist Kevin Timoney critical of a 2010 Royal Society of Canada report about oilsands development in Alberta has prompted lead report author Steve Hrudey to agree to review the study. Timoney wrote that the report chapter on water-related impacts of oilsands development was plagued with errors and overlooked environmental and health impacts of the industry's operations.  Royal Society author agrees to review oilsands study

A judge has delayed the start of the trial to settle lawsuits arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blast in April 2010 which killed 11 workers and discharged 206 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The trial scheduled to begin today was moved to March 5 because oil giant BP PLC was making progress in settlement talks with a committee overseeing scores of lawsuits. BP, plaintiffs focus on Gulf oil spill settlement

Seal Sitters hold a public training session March 3 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM at West Seattle's Camp Long. Lead investigator Robin Lindsey and  zoologist Buzz Shaw talk and there's a field session.  Seal Sitters volunteer training next Saturday, and a sad reminder of why the mission matters  

Alan Berner of the Seattle Times photographed the field training led by Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for Pond Watch volunteers taking part in an amphibian monitoring program. Trained volunteers will this summer search wetlands and ponds throughout Western Washington to identify and document the presence of egg masses from eight different amphibian species. Pond watch training to monitor amphibians

Now, your tug weather---
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-230 AM PST MON FEB 27 2012
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING
TODAY
NE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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