Monday, March 19, 2012

3/19 Oil spills, pot good, Laura James, Varvara, Elwha Love, B'ham events, Gasworks Superfund, sports chinook, Snow geese, Powell River mill, Harper pier, Oly forest plan, phthalates

Invader and drydock (US Coast Guard)
The Invader, a 140-foot tug containing 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel capsized and sank at the Vigor Marine Shipyard in Everett on Saturday along with a 200-foot section of dry dock. Tug sinks in Everett, creating threat of fuel leak

No oil was visible in the water or the nearby beach Friday, one day after a spill was discovered at the foot of the Lummi Rock quarry. The oil had come from the hull of one of two barges submerged just off a dock at the quarry, operated by Aggregates West. Booms and absorbent pads are in place to remove the oil that has already leaked into the small cove and onto the beach; the main thrust of the cleanup will be removal of the polluted barge. Sunken barge will be dismantled to clean up Lummi Island oil spill

Proposed oil pipelines proved more contentious than pot for Victoria councillors this week as they went on record opposing the former and supporting the latter. A motion supporting the taxation and regulation of cannabis passed without debate. Victoria will write to other municipalities across the country and to federal and provincial justice ministers informing them of council’s position. Victoria council deems pot good, pipelines bad

Laura James loves Puget Sound. She's an avid diver but was disgusted by what she saw beneath the surface. James took it upon herself to become a one woman clean-up crew.  "I've been able to remove about 1,100 pounds of lead from the Sound," she says proudly. Half a ton of junk removed from Elliott Bay by West Seattle diver  Check out Laura’s project at Beneath the Looking Glass Project  

Varvara, a rare western gray whale, is speeding up the west coast, probably on her way home to Russia's Sakhalin Island. The nine-year-old female was near the Washington-B.C. border Friday, travelling north at a speed of about 160 kilometres a day, which should get her to Tofino in time for the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which runs until March 25. Rare whale passing near Island festival  

Elwha Love: At 7:30 Friday morning, contractors started shifting the Elwha River back into its natural channel. Within four to five days, the river will be fully back in its native channel -- for the first time in a century. Within four to five weeks, the final draw down of Lake Aldwell, the reservoir behind Elwha Dam, will also be complete -- and the dam, and its reservoir, will be history. Elwha River back in its natural channel; first time in a century

Coming Thursday in The City of Subdued Excitement: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association hosts its annual celebration, recognizing the past year's accomplishments and the community's help, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Salmon group to hold annual celebration in Bellingham   "Sound and Vision," a documentary about cleanup efforts in Puget Sound, will show at 6:30 p.m. at Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St. Documentary on Puget Sound to show in Bellingham

The Bremerton Gasworks site in West Bremerton, heavily contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, is likely to become a federal Superfund site by the end of April, officials say. If listed as proposed, the Bremerton Gasworks site will be the first in Washington state to be added to the Superfund list since 2007. That's when the 27-acre Lockheed-West Seattle site was designated for federal oversight by the EPA. Bremerton Gasworks remains under review

Fishermen in Greater Victoria are reeling after being told the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is looking at "draconian" restrictions on the summer chinook salmon fishery in Juan de Fuca Strait. Members of the Victoria-South Island Sport Fishing Advisory Board and industry representatives say plans to further restrict or even close the chinook fishery in the peak season of June, July and August could cause the collapse of the southern Vancouver Island sports fishing industry. 'Draconian' chinook cuts loom for anglers

Vasiliy Baranyuk has been researching Snow geese on Siberia’s remote Wrangel Island for 30 years. Working with Fir Island farmer and bird enthusiast Maynard Axelson, Baranyuk has caught birds here that he banded in Russia over a decade ago, giving valuable information to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Where the snow geese go  

B.C. Jobs Minister Pat Bell says he is trying to get a project back on the rails that would see the city of Powell River fix its deficient sewage-treatment system while helping to keep its major industrial taxpayer, financially troubled Catalyst Paper, afloat. The city and the mill’s owners reached a deal billed as “win-win” last year. The city, which is failing to comply with provincial environmental standards for its sewage outfall, would hook up to the paper mill’s treatment system. It would provide a low-cost solution for the city, and a steady income to the mill’s owners. B.C. tries to revive ‘win win’ project with Powell River and mill

Port of Bremerton commissioners told nearly 60 Harper fishing pier supporters they want to keep the South Kitsap landmark as badly as anybody. The port has put $250,000 into repairs since 2000, but more fixes won't extend its life for long, said Steve Slaton, the port's director of marine facilities. It must be replaced entirely for about $1.5 million, progressively rebuilt as needed, or torn down. Leaders back saving Harper pier

A set-aside plan to take 21 percent of Olympic National Forest out of potential timber production and designate it as wilderness would simply feed into a trend away from logging and into a growing service economy that focuses more on recreation and tourism, according to a study by Headwaters Economics Associate Director Ben Alexander. The study was commissioned and paid for by the Quilcene-based Wild Olympics Campaign, which has put forward a similar, though less sweeping, proposal. “The proposal could provide significant economic benefits by building on the Peninsula’s current competitive strengths centered around its spectacular public lands,” said Quilcene resident Connie Gallant, chairwoman of the Wild Olympics Campaign. Impact of wilderness plan on timber industry reignites jobs vs. trees debate   

Many environmental and public health officials are concerned about the potential health effects of phthalates, which are common chemicals used to make plastics softer and more pliable. In the first study to examine what effect in utero doses of phthalates have on the reproductive system of mice, Brown University toxicologists found that extremely high doses were associated with significant changes, such as a shortened reproductive lifespan and abnormal cell growth in mammary glands. Highly Exposed to Phthalates as Fetuses, Female Mice Have Altered Reproductive Lives

Now, your tug weather--

WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 237 AM PDT MON MAR 19 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING S 25 TO 35 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 8 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 10 TO 13 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN.

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