Thursday, February 9, 2012

2/9 Whale stress, orca rights, Protect Whatcom, Belfair merger, Dungeness water, Whatcom land use, Nature Conservancy, Port Angeles esplanade, Enbridge, Philippine reef

Neither human nor humane
Regarding yesterday’s story about dredging silt that’s filling the Swinomish Slough: “Silt from the North Fork of the Skagit River enters the Swinomish Channel from the south end, but there’s also a buildup of silt from Padilla Bay at the north end. In addition, earth occasionally sloughs off of the banks at various points  along the length of the channel.” Thank you, Port of Skagit.

Craig Welch of the Seattle Times reports on how, after wrangling for years with the U.S. Navy over the use of mid-frequency sonar, environmentalists and whale advocates this week stumbled upon another noise source they fear could trouble endangered killer whales: the Canadian navy. New source detected for sonar that's troubling whales: Canada's navy  And check out Helen Fields’ story about gathering evidence of how underwater noises can stress out whales— thanks to ship traffic stopping immediately after 9/11 and a poop-sniffing dog able to detect stress hormones in whale feces. Amazing.  Shhh ... Ocean Noises Stress Out Whales

A federal judge in San Diego dismissed the lawsuit seeking to grant constitutional protection against slavery to a group of orcas that perform at SeaWorld parks, saying the 13th amendment applies only to humans. Judge tosses case seeking rights for orcas

Organizer Terry Wechsler has launched a new group called Protect Whatcom with a website as part of a countywide effort to encourage people to get involved in the environmental review and permitting process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project that SSA Marine has proposed for its property at Cherry Point, just south of the BP refinery. New group urges involvement in Cherry Point coal terminal permit process

Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and Pacific Northwest Salmon Center, both based in Belfair, have merged as the Pacific Northwest Salmon Center, with a continuing goal of building a world-class science and educational center on Lynch Cove in Belfair.  The group will continue to work on salmon enhancement, which includes science projects, habitat restoration and related work. Two Belfair salmon groups merge

Clallam County commissioners Tuesday listened to 28 citizens for two-and-a-half hours in order to formulate an official response from the county on the state Department of Ecology’s preliminary water management rule for the area from the Bagley Creek basin — about halfway between Port Angeles and Sequim — to the entrance of Sequim Bay northwest of Blyn. The proposed in-stream flow rule is at www.tinyurl.com/yj95yj6. Dungeness water rule hearing draws crowd, resistance

Washington Growth Hearings Board’s 179-page decision found 24 problems with the county's rural zoning and growth policies. Whatcom County will appeal to Superior Court only a single issue involving its special designation of two areas: "Fort Bellingham/Marietta," which includes 467 acres along Marine Drive near the mouth of the Nooksack River, and "North Bellingham," which includes 885 acres along Northwest Drive east of Ferndale. Whatcom council agrees to fight only part of state growth board ruling

Greg Hanscom in Grist reports on how The Nature Conservancy may be shifting its focus to the urban environment where, in New York City, parks and sidewalks could become urban forests and marshlands and rooftops could become “sky island” wildlife preserves. The Nature Conservancy goes to the city

After a year-and-a-half of planning, the Port Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved the final design for the esplanade, a waterfront walkway intended to make the shoreline a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly place. The esplanade, to be located on the west side of the ferry terminal, is expected to be built this summer. Waterfront walkway in Port Angeles slated to be built this summer

According to Enbridge CEO Pat Daniels, the company is prepared to look at alternate routes for the Northern Gateway pipeline but he feels the current route planned is best. Also, Enbridge will stand pat on financial terms to aboriginal bands standing in the way of the pipeline.  Enbridge CEO says company won’t offer natives better terms on pipeline

According to the environmental group Sangkalikasan (Nature), thousands of small "pyramids" are being planted off the Philippines' famous Boracay resort island in an effort to bring its nearly destroyed coral reefs back to life. The Philippines' fixes its coral reef

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST THU FEB 9 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 13 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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