Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/11 State budget, gray whale, oysterman, L112, bag bans, buoys, coal, lead shot, ozone, Nookachamps Cr

Mike Benbow's Gray Whale (The Herald)
For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting the news briefs from aboard and from the other side of the country and sharing some observations from afar on the Salish Sea Communications blog.   Stay tuned. Mike

The Washington state Legislature has approved a supplemental budget, setting them up for a final adjournment of an overtime legislative session.  The Senate passed the measure on a 44-2 bipartisan vote and it now goes to the governor for her signature. The House earlier passed the negotiated agreement on a 64-34 vote. Lawmakers worked through the early morning hours passing several bills before taking up the budget.  Wash. Legislature passes budget proposal  

Mike Benbow spotted this gray whale in Port Gardner near Mission Beach on Tuesday. Gray whales migrate between Mexico and Alaska every year. From March through May, they're headed north. About a dozen whales venture into Possession Sound, Port Gardner and Port Susan every year to stop and feed.  A glimpse of wandering gray whales  

In Pictures: Hidden away on Cortes Island in British Columbia's Desolation Sound, lives an oysterman totally dedicated to the cultivation of the perfect oyster  The perfect oyster  

Marine officials hope an analysis of tissue samples in coming days by labs in the U.S. and Canada will solve the mystery of why a bloodied and battered young female killer whale washed up on a beach in Washington State in February. For weeks there has been speculation that naval military exercises in either Canadian or U.S. waters may have been responsible for the endangered whale's death, but officials are urging the public not to jump to conclusions.  Did offshore war games kill endangered West Coast orca?

A request this week for a public vote on the proposed plastic bag ban is getting a tepid response at Bainbridge Island City Hall. Email activist Gary Tripp sent an email to the Bainbridge city council Monday calling for a public vote.  Council members are not embracing the idea, however.  Bainbridge council members wary of public vote on plastic bag ban  A bag ban in Issaquah is also on hold after testimony at an April 2 meeting. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting in May.  City Council delays decision on plastic bag ban  

Friends of the San Juans would like to help you in helping to restore eelgrass by sharing the cost of replacing or relocating mooring buoys. In 2011, Friends helped finance removal of buoys and floats from eelgrass and herring spawning areas, working with two buoy contractors and six private mooring buoy owners on Orcas and Lopez Islands to remove unwanted buoys and replace them nearby with “screw anchor moorage systems”.  These new systems, according to Friends, will reduce destruction of the eelgrass beds, areas that are crucial to crab, fish and other marine wildlife that live or feed in the eelgrass. 'Friends' to share cost of installing eco-friendly buoys  

U.S. coal exports reached their highest level in two decades last year as strong demand from Asia and Europe offered an outlet for a fuel that is falling from favor at home. U.S. Department of Energy data analyzed by The Associated Press reveal that coal exports topped 107 million tons of fuel worth almost $16 billion in 2011. That's the highest level since 1991, and more than double the export volume from 2006. Much of the increase went to slake the thirst of power-hungry markets in Asia, where rapid development has sparked what mining company Peabody Energy calls a "global coal super cycle" that heralds renewed interest in the fuel.  U.S. coal exports surge to highest level since 1991    See also Spokane Has Concerns Over Proposed Coal Terminals  

The port of Coos Bay, Ore. admits it's in talks with a company interested in developing the site into a coal terminal, but it won't say who. Critics of the shadowy project say the port is trying to avoid facing the potential health and environmental impacts. Dan Chasan at Crosscut reports. Coos Bay's dirty little (coal) secret   

The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from environmental groups asking it to regulate the lead used in some ammunition. The agency told the groups Monday that it has no authority to ban or regulate lead in ammunition.  The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 100 other groups submitted the petition last month, asking that the lead be regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act. They contend the lead is responsible for poisoning millions of birds and other animals every year.  EPA Says It Can’t Regulate Lead In Hunting Bullets

Metro Vancouver officials are investigating why ground ozone levels are creeping up steadily in the Lower Mainland while most air contaminants have been decreasing.  Ground-level ozone — gas that hovers just above the Earth’s surface — can impact health, damage crops and impact tourism by contributing to poor visibility. Ground-level ozone on rise in Metro Vancouver while other pollutants drop  

Students gathered around their young charges — 100 small Western Red Cedar trees, ready to be put in the ground along a small part of the 30-acre restoration site on the floodplain of Nookachamps creek. For some Mount Vernon High School students, Tuesday’s restoration project with the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group was the first time they had ever planted a tree. The project aims to improve salmon habitat on the area — a former dairy farm.  Students get hands-on lesson at Nookachamps restoration site  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT WED APR 11 2012
TODAY
SW WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 14 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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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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