Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31 Idle No More, Shell drill, Hood Canal Council, Everett Riverfront, floodplains, Bainbridge Trust, BC birds, Lisa Jackson

This is the last issue of Salish Sea News and Weather— for 2012. This year is a wrap and here’s to looking forward to what the year to come will bring to the shared waters of the Salish Sea. But before we jump, take a look back at some top news items of the past year: 2012 Salish Sea News Highlights

Drums, chanting and roars of applause echoed through Westfield Capital mall Saturday in Olympia during a flash mob to show support for the indigenous tribes of Canada. Hundreds joined in a circle near the food court in solidarity with the Idle No More movement, which began among Canada’s First Nations people in reaction to recent land-use legislation. “What this legislation represents is further stripping of natural resources of indigenous lands in Canada … basically without the consent of the tribes there,” said Erin Genia of Olympia, one of the organizers of Saturday’s demonstration. Chelsea Krotzer reports. Idle No More supporters fill Westfield Capital mall in flash mob

A Shell drill ship stranded by a fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska was drifting again Sunday after it broke from lines attaching it to two towing vessels. The lines attaching the drill ship Kulluk to the vessels Aiviq and Nanuq broke Sunday afternoon, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said. The vessels are following the drifting rig, which has no propulsion system of its own, while responders look at ways to reconnect the lines to the Kulluk. Rachel D'Oro reports. Shell drill ship's tow lines snap in fierce Alaska storm

Hood Canal Coordinating Council's functions and management will undergo scrutiny in January, during a special meeting called to head off withdrawal by Mason County — one of the prime members. The coordinating council, which oversees salmon recovery and ecosystem restoration in Hood Canal, was formed more than 30 years ago by Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties. Later, the Skokomish and Port Gamble tribes were added. In October, the Mason County commissioners voted to pull out of the coordinating council by the end of January. They cited a variety of concerns, ranging from the autonomy of county government to actions by council staff. Christopher Dunagan reports. Hood Canal council faces scrutiny from Mason County commissioners

The city of Everett's private partner on the stalled Riverfront project might be looking to unload its property to another developer. The news about San Diego-based OliverMcMillan caught council members off guard earlier this month. Council President Ron Gipson, already frustrated by lack of progress, vowed to hold up votes on any related projects until Mayor Ray Stephanson's office provides an update. That included sidelining the approval of a $1 million recreational trail. Noah Haglund reports. Everett riverfront project developer may want out

The National Wildlife Federation and other environmental groups want to see stronger development controls for more Western floodplains. It's increasingly clear that construction in floodplains is not only dangerous for people, it also harms habitat for salmon and other animals protected by the Endangered Species Act, including orca, Mexican spotted owls, jaguar and two species of springsnails. And the anxiety over floodplain construction is likely to rise as climate change raises flood risks. So in courtrooms from Washington state to New Mexico, environmentalists have filed lawsuits challenging the flood insurance offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and related FEMA programs. Lisa Stiffler of Investigate West reports. Fighting development in floodplains  

Bainbridge Island Land Trust announced the acquisition this week of 12 undeveloped acres of Agate Passage property. The $1 million purchase will preserve habitat for marine life and could provide a stop for hikers and kayakers, said Land Trust Stewardship Director Brenda Padgham. Tad Sooter reports. Bainbridge Island Land Trust buys property on Agate Passage near bridge  

Pierce County and several local groups have been awarded nearly $1.1 million in state grants to improve and protect salmon habitat. The money is part of more than $19 million in grants approved by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for projects throughout the state to restore salmon population. Steve Maynard reports. Pierce County, groups to get salmon habitat aid

A record 485 raptors, including emaciated snowy owls from the Arctic, have been brought to the two-hectare OWL rehabilitation centre in south Delta so far this year. “We’ve never broken 400 before,” OWL founder Bev Day said in an interview Thursday. “It tells you how bad the birds are doing.” Record number of owls and other raptors needing help in Lower Mainland

Organizers of the annual Brackendale eagle count are worried the bald-headed birds are in trouble. While the official count takes place next weekend, hundreds of eagles have already started to descend on the community near Squamish. But Thor Froslev of the Brackendale Art Gallery says the numbers are down. “We always thought about the eagles being our barometer on what was happening in the river,” he said. “Then all of a sudden the salmon start to dwindle, and it's been under 1,000 for the last five years. And we wonder what's happening.” Organizers of Brackendale eagle count worry for birds' fate See also: Campbell River couple rescues entangled eagles from freezing river (video and photos...)

Environmental Protection Agency Administration Lisa Jackson says she’s stepping down after nearly four years on the job. Jackson announced her departure in a statement Thursday. She gave no particular reason for leaving but said she was ready for new challenges, time with her family and new opportunities to make a difference. Jackson’s tenure was marked by high-profile brawls with industry and congressional Republicans over such issues a global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and new controls on coal-fired plants. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Resigns

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-
900 AM PST MON DEC 31 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 17 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 10 FT AT 16 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING. PATCHY FOG.

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