Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/31 San Juan Monument, Vashon septics, Goldstream coho, Samish closure, port pollution, Port Gamble, Al Swift at Elwha, Homer the otter, Port Angeles waterfront, Nanaimo fossil

Keep your powder dry, trick-or-treaters: The Northwest "Drought" Erased  and Rainstorm expected to swell North Shore and Howe Sound rivers and streams

New blog: “Last Saturday I got to say in two minutes what one of my concerns was about the Gateway Pacific coal export facility proposed in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and what I’d like decision-makers to investigate when making a decision on the permit application...” No Coal: Two-Minute Drill

If you like to watch: Shrouded in fog, stretching out from the northern edge of the Strait of Juan De Fuca lies a treasure of the Northwest: The San Juan Islands. Four islands make up the main draw in the San Juans, but there are 172 named islands and reefs -- some of them little more than rocks jutting out of the ocean. One thousand acres of these pieces of land are at the heart of a passionate movement that puts the tranquil San Juan's in the line of sight of Washington D.C. -- being named a national monument. Molly Shen reports. Support swells to make San Juan Islands a national monument  

Hooray! King County has sent letters to seven property owners on Vashon informing them that they’re now accruing $25-a-day fines — civil penalties for their alleged failure to respond to the county’s order to have their septic systems inspected or repaired. The letters came with a bill of $750 for the first month worth of penalties, according to Dr. Ngozi Oleru, environmental health division director for Public Health — Seattle & King County. The fines will continue to accrue until the property owners respond to the county, she said. Leslie Brown reports. County begins fining property owners in effort to clean up failing septic systems  

The highest number of coho salmon in a decade have returned to the Goldstream River, even though they left in 2011, the same year thousands of litres of fuel spilled into the river. However, few of the returns have tags that were attached to fish released shortly before the spill, adding fuel to fears that any fish in the river at the time of the spill would have perished. About 900 have been counted so far. Judith Lavoie reports. Goldstream coho return best in a decade despite devastation caused by fuel spill  

Yawn, again: The state Department of Health has closed Samish Bay to shellfish harvesting as a precaution after recent heavy rains have caused a rise in the river level and threat of pollution, according to a release today from Skagit County. The bay will remain closed until water samples confirm low levels of fecal coliform contamination, the release says. Samish Bay closed to shellfish harvesting  

Air pollution from the shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released today. The report comes as ports throughout the Northwest are trying to increase the volume of cargo they handle while reducing the particulate and greenhouse gases that results from all those ships, trucks, planes and trains. The “Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory” may sound like a pretty boring read but for people concerned about the environment, the news is good. The 300-page report compared emissions of diesel particulates, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in five Puget Sound ports from 2005 to 2011. Ashley Ahearn reports. How Northwest Ports Are Curbing Their Emissions

Protecting Port Gamble Bay from the effects of development became a repeated theme Monday night during a hearing on Kitsap County's Shoreline Management Master Program. About half the 36 people who testified said they were worried that plans for the redevelopment of Port Gamble could harm fish, shellfish and water quality in Port Gamble Bay. It was the second and final hearing by the county commissioners, who are scheduled to begin deliberations Nov. 19. About 100 people attended Monday's hearing. Chris Dunagan reports. Residents speak out about Port Gamble shorelines

Twenty years after he introduced the law that brought down the Elwha River dams, former U.S. Rep. Al Swift said he was “very impressed” with the project on a recent visit. Swift sponsored the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act of 1992, which led to the removal of the century-old Elwha Dam and 85-year-old Glines Canyon Dam in a nationally noted river and salmon restoration project. The former Democratic congressman, an ex-broadcaster from Bellingham, represented the North Olympic Peninsula from 1979 to 1993, when redistricting moved the region from Swift's 2nd District to Norm Dicks' 6th District. Rob Ollikainen reports. Ex-congressman who authored bill to raze Elwha River dams impressed by project

Homer the northern sea otter at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is named for the town on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska near where she was rescued after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. She is the last known otter on the planet to experience the oil spill, according to John Houck, deputy director of the zoo. The spill of almost 11 million gallons spread over hundreds of miles of Alaska coastline. Homer was one of 11,000 otters placed in danger by the oil. Houck, who was an otter wrangler searching for distressed animals, brought her back to the Tacoma zoo. Alan Berner tells the story. Northwest Wanderings: 1989 oil-spill otter outlives them all

Plans for a new marine research and public outreach center on the Port Angeles waterfront are hinging on the results of a predesign study that will be available in draft form in December, city business leaders learned earlier this week. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Carol Bernthal and Feiro Marine Life Center Director Deborah Moriarty told Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce members Monday that they're running out of space, and one solution would be a multi-agency marine campus tied into the city's waterfront redevelopment plan. Rob Ollikainen reports. Marine research campus envisioned as part of Port Angeles waterfront project

An ammonite fossil believed to be the largest ever found on Vancouver Island has been unearthed near Nanaimo. Two residents were hiking near Mount Benson when they stumbled upon the fossilized impression of the ancient sea creature. The spiral-shaped, shelled marine animal is about one metre wide at its widest point. Hikers find giant fossil near Nanaimo

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED OCT 31 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 10
 SECONDS. RAIN.
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