Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22 'Ghosts,' flood plain insurance, no ivy, nurse log, bacteria ID, Sooke, oil drilling, pipeline, blue trees

Laurie MacBride: Life Among the Ghosts
Laurie MacBride in Eye on the Environment writes about Ocean Falls: “Nestled against the mountains of Cousins Inlet on BC’s Central Coast, it’s a town that lives up to its name: with 172 inches/year of rain, it’s no wonder the 50 hardy year-round residents of Ocean Falls and adjacent Martin Valley call themselves The Rain People.”  Life Among the Ghosts

A Seattle district court judge will hear arguments Tuesday in a suit brought by the National Wildlife Federation against the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying the agency has not upheld a requirement to restrict development in flood plains as required by a mandate to protect endangered and threatened species like orca whales and the salmon they feed on. The federation’s request would prevent the federal government from issuing any new flood insurance policies for new construction in flood plains. But 16 Puget Sound cities join FEMA in saying such a restriction would halt development altogether. Seattle court to hear argument to ban issuance of flood insurance to new developments  

Leaders in a new campaign to address Vashon’s ivy problem will kick off the effort this weekend with a workshop show Islanders how to remove the noxious plant from their own property. Ivy-Free Vashon, a campaign headed by Islanders Sarah Driggs and Cindy Young, will host the Saturday workshop at Vashon Park District’s Wingehaven Park, a swath of land on the north end that is overrun by English ivy, a harmful and highly invasive plant. Workshop will kick off a campaign to give Vashon’s ivy the boot

If you walk through a forest in the Pacific Northwest, you may see a row of trees growing in a perfectly straight line. They mark the place where an old tree once fell. In the next part of our series, "More Than A Tree," KUOW's Sarah Waller explores the science and symbolism of the nurse log. Lessons From A Nurse Log

Scientists in B.C. are developing new tools that will cut the time needed for water testing from days to just hours and allow public safety officials to detect contamination in time to head off illness. Researchers at the British Columbia Public Health Laboratories are designing a completely new approach to water testing using metagenomics, a way to detect the genetic signature of dozens of organisms all at the same time within hours of sampling. B.C. scientists engineer water-testing tool kit that IDs bacteria by genetics

A neon-rainbow colored sheen seen by island residents in the Winslow Ravine and nearby waters is not coming from the former Unocal gas station property, according to Kitsap Transit, but is most likely from a marine source. Eagle Harbor, where the ravine empties, is home to a ferry dock as well as other marinas and daily boat traffic. Experts say pollution found near Winslow Ravine not coming from Unocal property

Speculation is growing over what caused the death of a young resident killer whale and conservation organizations want the Royal Canadian Navy to stop holding military training exercises in the whales' critical habitat. David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, Living Oceans, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club B.C., Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the World Wildlife Fund want an end to military exercises in the area and a release of all information about activities in the area that might have contributed to Sooke's death. Killer whale death leads to call for ban on navy exercises  

It's the political cure-all for high gas prices: Drill here, drill now. But more U.S. drilling has not changed how deeply the gas pump drills into your wallet, math and history show. A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump. FACT CHECK: More US drilling didn't drop gas price  So: Unhappy public not sure who to blame for high gas

Nevertheless: President Barack Obama is fending off criticism of his energy policies and directing federal agencies Thursday to expedite a 485-mile line from Oklahoma to refineries on Texas' Gulf Coast that would remove a critical bottleneck in the country's oil transportation system. The directive would also apply to other pipelines that alleviate choke points. Obama putting Oklahoma pipeline on fast track

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that property owners have a right to prompt review by a judge of an important tool used by the Environmental Protection Agency to address water pollution. The court sided with an Idaho couple who object to an EPA order that blocked construction of their new home near a scenic lake and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day. The agency said part of the property was a wetlands that could not disturbed without a permit. Court sides with property owners over EPA

Go figure: A King County arts organization says 56 trees in Seattle and Kenmore will be painted blue starting April 2 in a temporary art project meant to make people aware of global deforestation. 4Culture says volunteers will paint 16 trees at Seattle's Westlake Park and 40 trees along the Burke-Gillman bike trail. The group calls "The Blue Trees" a "socially driven art action." Seattle trees to be painted blue in enviro campaign

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 245 AM PDT THU MAR 22 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 AM PDT THIS MORNING
TODAY
W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 7 TO 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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