Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12/4 Tethys water, Chinook ESA, Forterra, Port Gamble sewage, EPA water rules, WA ocean acid

Pretty in Pink (Laurie MacBride)
In case you hadn't noticed: Another round of wind, rain on the way and Wind warning issued for Metro Vancouver and Wind warning for Greater Victoria; gusts to 90 km/h overnight

If you like to watch: Take a look at The Sea Doc Society’s clip, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins in Eastsound

Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I’m rapidly approaching a 'significant' birthday, which – no surprise – has me thinking a lot lately about the whole issue of aging. The 16th century pamphleteer and dramatist, Thomas Nashe, said that 'Beauty is but a flower / which wrinkles will devour'. But I doubt this dog would agree. She seems to sport her wrinkles with grace, assurance and even pride. She knows that she matters and that she’s beautiful! I love her attitude. Perhaps I’ll drink a toast to her on my birthday, and do my best to follow her noble lead!" Can Wrinkles Make the Gal?

More than two years after striking their contract with the City of Anacortes, Tethys Enterprises Inc. delivered on acquiring rights to more than 30 acres of land within city limits that would be accessible by railroad. Having done this within the Dec. 1 deadline, Anacortes can now supply Tethys’ proposed 1 million-square-foot beverage bottling plant with up to 5 million gallons of water per day. The land is located within city limits on the east side of Reservation Road and stretches from Highway 20 south to where Stevenson Road ends. Mark Stayton reports. Tethys meets property requirement to move forward on plant project

The final report (“The Effects of Salmon Fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whales” (PDF 1.8MB) ) on how salmon fisheries may affect Puget Sound’s endangered killer whale population has been released by a seven-member independent panel of U.S. and Canadian experts. The management plan for Puget Sound chinook fisheries will remain in effect through next year, after which time it will need to be updated in consultation between state and federal agencies. Chinook are a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. Chris Dunagan reports. Final report issued on chinook-orca connection

A conservation group is seeking to buy the old Abitibi paper mill site in Steilacoom. Seattle-based Forterra last week submitted a nearly $200,000 state funding request to study the feasibility of acquiring the mill site, which was shuttered in 2000, and pay for early design work. One plan calls for removing the remaining mill structures, planting new vegetation, “daylighting” two creeks that now flow through culverts on the property, removing the dam upstream, and moving Chambers Creek Road inland to restore the shoreline to its natural state. Christian Hill reports. Group eyes old Steilacoom mill site for natural restoration

A malfunctioning sewage pump on Port Gamble S'Klallam land caused a spill of about 30,000 gallons of sewage into Port Gamble Bay over the weekend, according to the Kitsap Public Health District. The pump was repaired by Monday morning, but the state Department of Health has closed beaches south of Point Julia to commercial shellfish harvesting. Recreational shellfish gatherers should consider the beaches closed to them, as well. Sewage spill reported in Port Gamble Bay

Last week the  Environmental Protection Agency issued a new set of water quality guidelines for monitoring bacterial outbreaks in inland and coastal waters used frequently by recreational swimmers. The standard was last updated in 1986. The move was prompted by a federal court order and a requirement of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000. But the E.P.A. can’t enforce the new standard. It’s up to individual states to decide whether to use the guidelines. EPA updates a decades-old water quality standard

The New York Times editorializes: Since the beginning of the industrial era, humans have pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This has led not only to a warmer climate but also to significant changes in the chemistry of the oceans, which have long acted as a sink for carbon emissions but are being asked to absorb more than they can handle. The result is ocean acidification: increasingly corrosive seawater that has already ruined many coral reefs and over time could threaten the entire marine food chain. The State of Washington is now trying to tackle the problem in new and inventive ways. It has good reason to worry. Its economically important aquaculture industry specializes in shellfish, especially oysters. Shellfish are highly vulnerable to increased acidity, which kills them by preventing them from creating or maintaining their shells. Washington’s coastal waters are also polluted by urban and farm runoff, as well as an unusual regional threat: wind patterns that cause the upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich ocean currents loaded with carbon dioxide. Marine Life on a Warming Planet

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 835 AM PST TUE DEC 4 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
REST OF TODAY
S WIND 30 TO 40 KT...BECOMING SW 20 TO 30 KT. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS. RAIN
 IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT
 AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

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