Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1/31 Sea lion reward, frognostication, oil spill rules, Nisqually trail, Snohomish wetlands

Snohomish Slew (The Herald)
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the shooting deaths of eight sea lions in Puget Sound. Report tips to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at 800-853-1964. Conservation organization offers $10,000 reward for information about Puget Sound sea lion shootings

Reader Carol Gallant photographed humpback whales in Dabob Bay last Friday - a rare event in our most recent history. Take a peek at Let There Be Whales  

Spring is coming, but there are still cold days ahead of us. That's what the bullfrog Snohomish Slew predicted at the annual GroundFrog Day in downtown Snohomish on Saturday. Frognostication   

An advisory committee has started a nine-month rule-making process  to strengthen oil spill response requirements for all vessels in Puget Sound and the Columbia River.  Tougher rules for oil spill prevention - hearings underway

The last 700 feet of the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail —including the Puget Sound Viewing Platform — is now reopened to public after being closed since October 22 for waterfowl hunting. Final portion of Nisqually refuge boardwalk reopens

Bill Fulton has sparked a discussion that's led to the Snohomish City Council forming an advisory committee that will work on a master plan to create a nature area in the wetlands by the wastewater treatment plant.  Snohomish wetland could become a major attraction for bird watchers  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 232 AM PST TUE JAN 31 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 19 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 11 FT AT 19 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN NUMEROUS SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30 Shot sea lions, no coal trains, enviro assault, leaded gas, golden sewage, schooled salmon, Groundswell, Pete Knutson

ABC News
Climate scientist Cliff Mass describes how the recent storm damaged two of his “sacred weather sites”-- Ivar's Mukilteo restaurant and the Langley Hill radar. Destruction Hits Two Sacred Weather Locations  

Our Lady of the Slough blogs on the claim headlined in the local paper: "Conservation group gives tour of successful cleanup projects in the Samish Watershed." Red Herrings in the Samish Watershed  

Damn, who does this s**t? Eight sea lions have been found shot dead in the US state of Washington in the past few weeks. Sea lions found shot on Puget Sound, US   

About 200 folks kicked off the "Coal-Free Bellingham" campaign for a citizen initiative to outlaw coal trains through a city ordinance. Hundreds turn out to launch Bellingham anti-coal train initiative  

Rolling back requirements for city storm water controls, writing loopholes into growth management rules and redefining “clean energy” are battleground issues in this let’s-make-a-deal session of the legislature. Environment again a source of friction in Olympia  

John Ryan at KUOW reports on how lead was banned from paint and gasoline, leading to a 90 percent reduction in the amount of lead found in human bloodstreams. But what about the hundreds of thousands of airplane engines that still run on leaded gas? Flying The Leaded Skies: Small Planes Still Pour Lead Into America's Air  

“Cities are huge sinks for nutrients. All the nutrients, all the food we generate are consumed in these cities and it is a great central location to recover those nutrients,” says Phillip Abrary, whose company Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. sifts out nutrients from waste sludge, producing high-value, slow-release phosphorus for fertilizer. Ostara and other companies are convening this week at Cities Summit, a City of Vancouver-sponsored forum looking into ways cities can cope with the growth anticipated over the next four decades.  Vancouver's Cities Summit targets a greener future

“It was really cool because when you first hatch they still look like the egg except their head and tail are out because they still have the sack and use the food inside of it for their first week or two and then it finally goes away and they start looking like fish.” That’s Mahala Mrozek, a student at Seattle’s Viewlands Elementary, one of about 500 schools in Washington involved with the Salmon in Schools program.  Salmon Go To School  

If you like to watch: Take a sneak peek at Groundswell: the wave of opposition to Northern Gateway, a documentary by Chris Darimont, science director for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, who got inspired while surfing and figured out how surfers could speak for the marine mammals of the Great Bear Rainforest and the threats they would face from oil tankers in northern B.C. waters if the Enbridge Gateway pipeline was approved.  Surfers' documentary speaks for sea life  

“My story begins on November 9, 2011 when, acting on a tip from an unnamed private citizen, a harbor manager for the Port of Seattle reported me as a polluter to the Department of Homeland Security. His report alerted a chain of agencies, including, among others, Customs and the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, the National Guard, FEMA, NOAA,  EPA, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Port of Seattle, and the Oregon Titan and Washington State Fusion Centers, federal intelligence clearinghouses created in the aftermath of 9/11.” Fisherman and clean water advocate Pete Knutson on A little oil and a ton of trouble  

Next week’s Feb. 8 Wooden Boat Wednesday talk at Port Townsend's Northwest Maritime Center & Wooden Boat Foundation features Chuck Fowler and Dan Withers, authors of Patrol and Rescue Boats on Puget Sound. Rich history of patrol, rescue boats chronicled  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST MON JAN 30 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT
TODAY
W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS...INCREASING IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS. S WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. RAIN.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27 Beaver Cr., sonar suit, wave damage, Charlie Moore, St. Helens coal export

Capt. Charles Moore (The Telegraph, UK)
The Navy at its Manchester Fuel Depot blocked Beaver Creek in the 1940s and, over the last nine years has been unblocking it. Now the salmon can return. Navy, partners celebrate Beaver Creek restoration

Meanwhile, several conservation groups and tribes are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service, contending the federal agency has unlawfully allowed harm to marine mammals by permitting the Navy to expand sonar use and carry out underwater practice drills. Environmentalists File Lawsuit Against Naval Testing Along Northwest Coast  

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway says waves crashing over the seawall at four spots between Everett and Mukilteo washed rocks away from one of two sets of mainline tracks in the area. The main rail line closest to Puget Sound has been closed for repair but both passenger and freight trains continue to run uninterrupted on a second main track.  Waves damage 1 Wash. rail line; 2nd line OK   Meanwhile, high surf and high tides earlier this week caused substantial erosion on Ediz Hook. Waves erode spots on Ediz Hook  

Listen up: Martha Baskin of Green Acre Radio interviews Charlie Moore, Plastic Debris Rivers to Sea: Interview with Captain Charlie Moore, The Man Who Uncovered the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”  

Port of St. Helens commissioners have approved agreements with two companies that want to export coal to Asia through Northwest ports. The commissioners voted in favor of coal export -- potentially up to 38 million tons a year -- after testimony from supporters touting the job potential and from opponents with concerns about environmental impacts and increased train and barge traffic.  Port of St. Helens approves coal export agreements with two companies  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-
849 AM PST FRI JAN 27 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT.
TONIGHT
W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO 9 FT THIS EVENING. S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING E 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING. RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING SW 25 TO 35 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 5 TO 8 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
W SWELL 10 FT BUILDING TO 12 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

1/26 Dupont gravel, Lisa Jackson, Audubon map, Victoria sewage, Kitsap shores, BC Ferries, eating mammals

PHOTO: Laurie MacBride
“On Valdes Island, Gabriola’s neighbour in BC’s Gulf Islands chain, fault lines have exposed the underlying sandstone to the elements. With the passing of time, the combined forces of salt, sun, rain and wind have carved an intricate design of hollows, crests and ledges in these west-facing cliffs.” Check out Laurie MacBride’s latest post, Life on the Edge: the Cliff Dwellers

You have to see this: "Blue Marble 2012" NASA unveils 'most amazing' high def image of Earth

Our North Sound Baykeeper blogs on meeting one of her heroes, a scientist/activist whose work studying plastic has prompted a global reassessment of plastics in the ocean. Meeting Captain Charles Moore  

The DuPont City Council has approved a settlement to restore the Sequalitchew Creek watershed in DuPont and open the door to expanded gravel mining in the area. CalPortland will provide up to $200,000 for development of a restoration plan in exchange for environmental groups not challenging its applications to mine 142 acres north of its existing mine and 200 acres southeast of its mine. DuPont will get up to $200,000 for watershed-restoration project

Ashley Ahearn at EarthFix reports on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Hosts Town Hall At UW

Woody Wheeler and Christi Norman talk about the new “Puget Loop” Audubon map guiding birders. Audubon map – new Puget Loop unveiled as enviro groups strategize

Victoria's Capital Regional District thinks that the decline in populations of shrimps, mollusks and sea worms near the Macaulay Point sewage outfall isn't due entirely to sewage discharge. Maybe climate change? Regions to ponder degradation of sea life  

The National Wildlife Federation lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency because it wasn't doing enough to prevent development in areas with vulnerable wildlife. Now the city of Everett and about a dozen cities are joining in opposition to the suit because they think the suit could make it impossible to develop along shorelines. Everett joining other cities to fight lawsuit seeking limits on shoreline development  

The Kitsap County shorelines task force wrapped up its regular work-- but property rights advocates continue to raise questions about the need for shoreline buffers. Disputes continue over Kitsap County shorelines plan

BC Ferries commissioner Gord Macatee has called for a major overhaul in a review of ferry operations released earlier this week. He urged the B.C. government to abandon its commitment to a user pay system and drop its opposition to major routes subsidizing the less-travelled ones. He recommended that fares be capped at the rate of inflation over the next three years. Crosscheck: The cost of BC Ferries  

The fate of the world's great whale species commands global attention as a result of heated debate between pro and anti-whaling advocates, but the fate of smaller marine mammals is less understood, specifically because the deliberate and accidental harvesting of dolphins, porpoises, manatees and other warm-blooded aquatic denizens is rarely studied or monitored. Marine Mammals On the Menu in Many Parts of World

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 315 AM PST THU JAN 26 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
NW WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 4 TO 7 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 16 FT AT 14 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO 14 FT.  SCATTERED SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W SWELL 13 FT AT 13 SECONDS. W WIND 10 TO 15 KT BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/25 Rhody, gray whale, Samish, Lime Kiln, Obama's fish, oil pipelines, wetlands, debris, green power

PHOTO: Seattle Aquarium
Everything you might want to know about sea otters. It's a girl! Baby otter doing great at Seattle Aquarium  

If you like to watch: Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds

Vashon Island resident historian Bruce Haulman tells the story of the ferry Rhododendron: An Islander remembers: The Rhody’s journey has been long  

The first gray whale made its appearance in the waters south of Priest Point near Tulalip and was spotted by Sharon Johnson Monday. First whale sighting of the season

Go harvest shellfish. Samish River water samples collected from the Samish River Monday morning showed the amount of fecal coliform bacteria had decreased to an acceptable rate. Samish Bay to reopen Wednesday

At the end of last year, the budget-strapped State Parks cut 16 full-time permanent construction and maintenance staff and 66 full-time rangers from the payroll. Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan is losing two full-time positions — Ranger William Hoppe and Ken Schilling, in charge of construction and maintenance — effective Jan. 31. Lime Kiln's newest endangered species: staff

Dan Chasen at Crosscut examines whether the President’s proposal moving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Marine Fisheries Service into the Interior Department would make any difference to recovering endangered wild salmon.  President Obama's poster fish for reform: the salmon

About 40 per cent of the First Nations along the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline route in Alberta and B.C. have quietly signed on to an equity offering that will give them long-term profits if the line is built, says Enbridge. Enbridge is still negotiating with many First Nations, and the deadline to sign up is not until May 31. First Nations signing on to Gateway equity offer, Enbridge says

An undisclosed amount of crude oil spilled at Kinder Morgan’s Abbotsford facility on Tuesday but posed no threat except that of “nuisance odours,” according to a company spokesperson. Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline runs from Edmonton to the Lower Mainland, where a portion of its flow is then shipped by tanker out of Vancouver. The company will seek permission to double the capacity of its pipeline. Oil spill at Abbotsford tank farm raises concerns over pipeline expansion

Canada's ForestEthics has been a strong voice opposing the Northern Gateway oil-sands pipeline project but they've fired their spokesman Andrew Frank who accused the Prime Minister’s Office of resorting to intimidation tactics against the project’s critics. Environmentalist’s departure sheds light on tension felt by green groups

Rachel Nuwer in the New York Times writes about the value of wetlands and how new research,"Structural and Functional Loss in Restored Wetland Ecosystems," calls into question whether manmade versions can ever compensate for wetlands buried beneath parking lots and subdivisions. Not All Wetlands Are Created Equal

According to the federal Marine Debris Program, next winter’s storms may begin to bring the bulk of tsunami debris to North Olympic Peninsula beaches. Best to be ready.  Peninsula agencies urged to prepare for influx of debris from Japanese quake-tsunami in a year

Power companies this month are facing mandates voters imposed in 2006 to either produce green energy or buy credits from those who do. Utilities complain that Initiative 937 requires them to buy power they don’t need – especially with the economic downturn depressing demand – and say they are passing costs to their customers. Environmentalists credit the law for Washington’s burgeoning green-power industry, which they say has invested $7.5 billion here. Can there, will there be compromise?  Compromise sought on green-power mandate

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST WED JAN 25 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 24 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO S 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 22 FT AT 14 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 19 FT AT 15 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/24 Samish closure, Kalakala, native foods, oil & herring, Sound Waters

(PHOTO: North Sound Baykeeper)
Water samples taken Saturday from Samish Bay showed high levels of fecal coliform from the waste of animals, septic systems and other various sources of pollution— so the bay is closed, again, to commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting. Samish Bay closed again to shellfish harvesting  

Last week’s storm caused the beleaguered historic ferry Kalakala to list at its moorings in the Hylebos Waterway. The Coast Guard might seize the vessel and dismantle it to prevent it from becoming a navigation hazard.  Historic ferry Kalakala listing at Port of Tacoma  

Lynda Mapes of the Seattle Times blogs on the Burke Museum’s exhibit of the region’s indigenous foods, its gathering and its uses. Salish Bounty: traditional foods exhibit at the Burke Museum

Read Carl Safina’s recap of the December report, “Unexpectedly high mortality in Pacific herring embryos exposed to the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay,” published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Oil and Herring Don’t Mix by Carl Safina  

The annual Sound Waters one-day university will be held in Langley on February 4 and features a keynote address by Joseph Gaydos, chairman of Puget Sound Partnership’s science panel on “Marine Science: Can it Help the Salish Sea?” Keynote address at Sound Waters examines impact of marine science

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 302 AM PST TUE JAN 24 2012
...GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...
TODAY...SE WIND RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT BY NOON...THEN EASING AND BECOMING S LATE. COMBINED SEAS 8 TO 11 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT...SW WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS BUILDING TO 15 TO 18 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Monday, January 23, 2012

1/23 Samish MRA, Everett sewage, tagging whales, Skokomish restoration, med disposal, Elwha Love, science free speech

Chinese New Year celebrations begin today and end 15 days later on the first full moon. Say “Happy New Year” in Mandarin, Xin Nian Kuai Le, or wish everyone prosperity in Cantonese, Gong Hei Fard Choy.

Today, the National Weather Service says 20-foot waves and high tides threaten some communities on the Washington coast. Big waves, high tides on Washington coast  At next Saturday’s seventh annual GroundFrog Day, the bullfrog Snohomish Slew predicts the coming of Spring by croaking. No croak, then winter will linger. Snohomish Slew's 'frognostication' could point to more winter weather

Today is the last day Washington State Ferries’ 64-year-old Rhododendron sails the Point Defiance-Tahlequah ferry route. Rhody's last days | Islanders plan to take a farewell sail on Sunday

Skagit County officials will hold a public meeting on Tuesday in Burlington on whether to designate the entire Samish River watershed as a Marine Recovery Area in order to deal with fecal pollution and require inspection of on-site septic systems. Officials looking to designate watershed as recovery area  

Power surges disabled sewage pumps in Everett last Friday. Ugh. 50,000 gallons of raw sewage spill into Port Gardner  

Brad Hanson at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has U.S. government approval to attach tiny satellite-tracking devices to the dorsal fins of six Southern resident orca whales per season. Ken Balcomb, a senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research, has seen other killer whales that were tagged off Alaska and is concerned. Plan to track endangered whales may harm them, expert says

The Skokomish River empties into Hood Canal and its restoration can heal the ailing south Hood Canal ecosystem. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on ecological conditions in the Skokomish River in southern Hood Canal will list about 40 potential projects designed to improve fish and wildlife habitat while reducing flooding. Skokomish report will focus on ecosystem restoration

Leftover medications are fueling an epidemic of prescription-drug abuse that is killing more Washingtonians than traffic accidents, say drug-addiction experts. Environmental authorities say prescription drugs are turning up in waterways and even drinking water – and it’s happening often enough that the old medications now are considered hazardous waste. Yet pharmaceutical companies have consistently torpedoed efforts here to fund a statewide disposal program for unused drugs. Why? Drug industry has so far stalled safety and pollution measure

Elwha Love: Katie Campbell and Ashley Ahearn update the progress being made in Elwha restoration. Empire of Dirt Gives Way to the Return of the Salmon

Mark Hume at The Globe and Mail reports on a letter written last year by Kathryn O’Hara, then president of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leaders of the other national parties requesting that the government allow its scientists to speak freely with the media.  Writers want Ottawa to let scientists ‘speak for themselves’

Last week’s Seattle Times Reel Tim Trivia winner was Oleg Shkinder who correctly named “This glacial lake dug about 50,000 years ago lies in the heart of a metropolitan city, and you can fish for a wide variety of fish species year-round with some getting large in size. Last year, more than 26,000 rainbow trout were planted into the lake, and it also holds carp, tiger muskie, brown trout, channel catfish, yellow perch, bluegill and largemouth bass. There are numerous places and docks to fish all around this lake.” You know the answer?  Reel Time trivia winner hails from Kent

Now, your thank-goodness-for-tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON JAN 23 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
W SWELL 18 FT AT 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 13 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SW WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. ISOLATED
 SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11
 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Friday, January 20, 2012

1/20 Melting, Clayoquot Sound logging, Stillaguamish R., way of whales, WetlandVille

PHOTO: Ric Hallock, Gig Harbor Life
“... weather is what’s happening outside the door right now. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.” Martha Baskin at Green Acre Radio reports on It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow. Is Global Warming Really Happening?  

During the 2008 snow storm, Seattle chose an environmentally benign mix of sand and snow plows-- and the city was immobilized. Last year, the city switched from de-icing brine that is essentially salt based, sodium chloride, to less toxic magnesium chloride brine. Magnesium chloride melts ice faster, so less needs to be used, they say. Does it hurt the environment? Not to worry says the State Department of Ecology. Fast melt could pose environmental challenges

The First Nations-led logging company Iisaak espouses forestry practised in concert with ecological and cultural values, and has applied for permission to log old-growth forest areas on Clayoquot Sound’s Flores Island. In opposition, B.C. scientists are among more than 133 experts from across North America joining the call for permanent protection of old-growth rainforests in Clayoquot Sound.  Scientists call for protection of Clayoquot Sound forests

The 26-member Stillaguamish Watershed Council will report on what it’s been doing for the health of the Stillaguamish River system at a public meeting next Wednesday at the Angel of the Winds Casino restaurant conference room.  Watershed council to explain its work in keeping Stillaguamish River healthy

If you love whales: The annual Way of Whales workshop is about the wonders of Pacific Northwest whales, the threats to their habitats and health, and the research being conducted to learn more about the diverse species of whales in our region and protect them for future generations. January 28, Camp Casey Conference Center, Coupeville. Register here.

Exxon Mobil says 1,509 barrels of oil spilled into the Yellowstone River during a pipeline break in Montana last summer, not 1,000 barrels as it earlier estimated.  More than 1,000 Exxon Mobil contractors were involved in the cleanup effort, which cost $135 million. Only about 10 barrels of crude were recovered - less than 1 percent of the total spilled. Yellowstone spill 1,500 barrels, not 1,000

Thanks to Josh for passing this on:  Students participating in the University of Washington Bothell’s Center for Serious Play have released a new Facebook game called UWB Wetlands Restoration that centers around the natural world outside their campus walls. Players maintain the biological diversity of the wetland by obtaining up to 30 species of plants such as broadleaf arrowleaf, sitka willow and tufted hairgrass and  planting them in areas to support biological diversity of the wetland, all while fending off invasive plants. Players determine where to establish the plants, as well as snags, rock piles, ponds and logs, strategically placing them on the virtual wetland in order to create a more vibrant ecosystem. A FarmVille for wetlands? Students create Facebook game with proceeds going to wetland restoration

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI JAN 20 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING
TODAY
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING SE 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 11 TO 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 14 TO 17 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 20 FT.
SUN
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 17 TO 20 FT.
SUN NIGHT
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 15 TO 18 FT.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19 Ice, ferry behavior, regulatory incentives, ferry budget, ribbon seal, squid, airport bacteria, pipelines, fish farm libel, bag ban, SOPA, Tulip Beds

Ribbon Seal (PHOTO: Vancouver Sun)
“This is a highly unusual situation here in western Washington: outside of the famous ice storms of the western Columbia Gorge (also known as the silver thaw), western Washington does not get freezing rain very often.  The last big event was over the southern Sound in December 1996, when Sea Tac airport closed,” writes Cliff Mass. Ice Storm: Freezing Rain and Sleet  Meanwhile, up north: Drivers warned to stay off slippery roads, despite calm-weather forecast

If you like to watch: Watch Eric Becker’s Environmental Lobby Day Video, then register for the Jan. 25 Lobby Day in Olympia

Senate Bill 6245 introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker would make inappropriate behavior on a ferry boat or at a ferry terminal illegal. Smoking, spitting, littering, playing radios, urinating or defecating in places other than approved plumbing fixtures, carrying firearms or flammable liquids, roller-skating, skateboarding, gambling, trying to pass oneself off as a ferry worker, and letting a pet off its leash would be misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Bill would make bad ferry behavior a misdemeanor

Meanwhile, Skagit County will meet compliance on state critical areas rules by enrolling in the state’s newly formed Voluntary Stewardship Program. The program was approved by the Legislature last year as a way for counties to maintain current regulations protecting critical areas on agricultural lands while providing incentives for landowners to do more to protect them. Skagit County nears compliance on critical areas

State Transportation says that, If no new funding for the state ferry system is found, only the top ridership routes would remain: Edmonds-Kingston, Mukilteo-Clinton and Seattle-Bainbridge. Service would also continue for the island access routes of Anacortes-San Juans and Fauntleroy-Vashon. State officials say without funding five ferry routes would be scuttled

Larry Pynn at the Vancouver Sun reports on the sighting (and photographing) of a ribbon seal in Seattle’s Duwamish River on January 11. Ribbon seals are native to the North Pacific and Arctic; marine marine experts say there are no prior recorded sightings in Washington state or B.C., although one did make its way to California in 1962. Rare Arctic visitor found lounging on Seattle dock

Before Southeast Asian residents immigrated to Puget Sound, few folks jigged for Pacific squid that migrated to the Sound and Strait every winter to spawn. Now everybody’s out jigging.  Puget Sound squid jiggers woo tasty tentacles

Portland International Airport will meet pollution standards by feeding toxic de-icing runoff to bacteria that it’s raising. Bonnie Stewart at EarthFix explains. Airport-Raised Bacteria Eats Toxic De-Icing Fluids  

President Obama yesterday rejected, for now, the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the $7 billion project could not be adequately reviewed within the 60-day deadline set by Congress.  Rejecting Pipeline Proposal, Obama Blames Congress  Undaunted, Canadian crude will move without Keystone XL, industry insiders say

Gitxsan hereditary chiefs voted 28-8 on Tuesday to reject the deal with Embridge, Inc. that would have given the First Nation $7 million in profits over 30 years from construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimas. B.C. First Nation rescinds earlier support for Northern Gateway deal

An environmental film series, “All Things Salmon” and “All Things Shellfish,” starts on Saturday, Jan. 21 and continues on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) in Port Townsend.  Salmon, shellfish recovery focus of film series at Northwest Maritime Center

A request by B.C. fish farm critic Don Staniford to broaden the libel suit against him to include a wider public inquiry into the practices of global aquaculture was rejected by the B.C. Supreme Court. The aquaculture company Mainstream Canada is accusing Staniford of damaging the company by comparing farmed salmon to tobacco. Judge tosses fish farm critic’s bid to cast alleged libel as industry-wide critique

Hawaii island joined Kauai and Maui in banning plastic bags. The ban goes into affect in a year, after which businesses can sell plastic bags for another year.  Hawaii island becomes third county to ban stores from giving out plastic bags  http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/137643788.html?id=137643788

Support for a pair of anti-piracy bills unraveled Wednesday amid an Internet blackout and huge public backlash. Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours and directed users to send messages to Congress;  Google put a big, black bar across its logo and directed users to a petition.  Internet's dark day: Anti-piracy bills take a beating    While it worked to move legislators, did we survive without Wikipedia for a day?  So, what did we learn after a day without Wikipedia?

Researchers working in the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale, nicknamed the Tulip Beds, situated in the Canadian Rockies, have discovered tulip-shaped creature, officially named Siphusauctum gregarium, that lived about 500 million years ago. The creature, about 20 centimetres with a unique filter feeding system, lived in large clusters as indicated by slabs containing over 65 individual specimens. Fossils of ancient sea creature discovered  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST THU JAN 19 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN...SNOW...AND SLEET.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN...AND A CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE EVENING.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1/18 Snow, whale rescue, bag ban vote, Navy fined, studded tires, NOAA, gubernatorial poll

Stay home, stay safe, stay warm. Got some time? Check out Snow and Other Weathers -- Seattle and King County

If you like to watch: Before today’s snowfall, Dale Ireland in Silverdale captured a time-lapse video from his weather cam.  “Watch the stark wind shear at the end with low level clouds moving north to south while clouds just above moved south to north!” KOMO’s Scott Sistek exclaims in Time lapse videos shows Convergence Zone chaos

If you like to watch: On New Year’s Eve, the crew of the Wendaway freed a mother humpback whale trapped with her baby calf in an illegal drift net off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Crew member Mary Campbell shares On the back of a whale: a rescue

Craig Keller, who organized a petition drive to place Seattle's recently adopted plastic bag ban before voters on the August ballot, said he collected between 2,000 and 3,000 signatures, far short of the needed 16,000. Effort to repeal plastic bag ban falls short

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined the Navy $161,000 for failing to properly monitor pipes and underground fuel storage tanks for leaks at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The Navy has 53 underground tanks on the base for storing diesel, used oil and gas, ranging from 170 gallons to 45,000 gallons. EPA fines Navy for problem in monitoring underground fuel tanks  

Studded snow tires cause an estimated $24.7 million in damage to the state’s roads every year. Senate Bill 6032, cosponsored by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island, would collect a $5 fee on each new studded snow tire sold in the state to help pay for the damage they do to Washington’s streets and highways. Proposal includes $5 fee on new studded tires sold  

The Obama Administration proposes to streamline the Commerce Department by consolidating trade and business agencies and moving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Department of the Interior. Ashley Ahearn of EarthFix talks with Chris Mann, director of the program for healthy oceans with the Pew Environment Group, about what that might mean for NOAA’s functions. NOAA The Red-Headed Step Child Among Gov. Agencies? Not Really

KING 5 News polled 617 registered voters statewide and 46% said they would vote for Rob McKenna for governor, while 43% said they would support Jay Inslee. The poll has a margin of +/- 4%.  Voters like McKenna for budget, Inslee on environment  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 730 AM PST WED JAN 18 2012...UPDATED
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 35 TO 45 KT. COMBINED SEAS 10 TO 12 FT. A CHANCE OF SNOW.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW.

--
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1/17 Snow, weather cams, Lummi Is. Quarry, Adventuress, Wikipedia, swans

Climate scientist Cliff Mass says this storm has been hard to forecast because “there are two airstreams battling it out...one from the north and one from the south.  Small displacements of the low (order of a few hundred miles) makes all the difference.” He says (as of Monday) that “it seems clear that we are going to have a major snowstorm, one that is NOT followed by major warming and heavy rain.  No Slushmageddon, just Snowmageddon.” However, what’s coming is “NOT going to be as bad as December 1996.  I remember that well.  We had two snowstorm the last week in December and I had 21.5 inches on the ground at my house.  Then it got very warm and windy and heavy rain rapidly melted the snow.  Just a disaster, with collapsed roofs and slope failures.” Wednesday Snow Storm  

If you like to watch: Two pages with links to cameras around the region where you can couch potato the weather out there: Washington Web Cams  and Pacific Northwest Live Webcams

If you like to watch:  The Lummi Island Conservancy produced a video to explain issues regarding the proposed expansion of the Lummi Island Quarry Video Introduces Problems With Proposed Quarry Expansion

Thirty-five volunteers worked over the three-day weekend on The Adventuress’s winter repair and renovation. “We have taken everything apart. Now we have to put it all back together,” said Captain Joshua Berger. Schooner goes to pieces for holiday repair; Adventuress volunteers do prep work

Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in the U.S. Congress. Wikipedia to go dark tonight protesting anti-piracy act

"Something stirs in each of us when see swans," said Martha Jordon, a biologist who specializes in the birds. "And it's unique for each person." Jordon talks on Jan. 26 at the Northwest Stream Center.  Learn about the majestic swans that have returned to the Northwest

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE JAN 17 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT LATE TONIGHT
 GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING
TODAY
NW WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. NW SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
N WIND 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING E 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 OR 3 FT...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE EVENING. A CHANCE OF SNOW.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

1/16 Snow, lege session, ship discharge, Ocean Policy, Tsawwassen Band, Olympic Park glaciers, new voting maps

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Seattle Times)
Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  There are still some holiday weekend events to take part in. Celebrations of MLK's legacy

New blog:Invoking God

New blog
from the Lady of the Slough: “Who’s Going to Clean Up This County?


While Western Washington drivers cope with their first snow of the winter, the National Weather Service says another 1-to-3 inches are possible by Tuesday and another 4-to-8 inches by Wednesday before turning to rain. More snow forecast by Wednesday across Washington

Snow has once again started falling on Metro Vancouver this morning, with the regional cold spell expected to continue through much of the week.  Snow flurries and bitter weather set to continue across Metro Vancouver  

And, if you’re still interested in the white stuff, Cliff Mass blogs on Interesting Differences in Local Snow

Listen up: Martha Baskin of Green Acre Radio reports on whether the environmental community’s top priorities for the 2012 legislative session can be sustained under the most intense attacks the community has seen in decades remains to be seen. Pollution Free Prosperity: Is It Possible in an Economy that looks like this?

If you want to see some of the action first hand, register for the January 25 annual Environmental Lobby Day
.


Fred Felleman with Friends of the Earth describes why the cruise ship industry should support new regulations banning discharge of treated sewage and graywater from cruise ships within 3 miles of the coast of Washington and Puget Sound.  New Regs Proposed For Cruise Ship Wastewater in Washington

The National Oceans Policy now has an action plan with a goal to base decisions on how the nation’s shorelines are used on solid science and on a philosophy of openness and responsiveness to all interests.  Whew.  Toward a National Coastline Policy

The Way of Whales annual workshop to be held January 28 at the Camp Casey Conference Center in Coupeville brings together whale experts and educators. Register here. 

Tsawwassen First Nation’s land settlement treaty expanded its land holdings in the fertile farmlands of the Fraser Delta. In a few weeks the band will pave over and begin transforming the land into subdivisions, an industrial park and the second-largest shopping mall complex in the province. “We are no longer a colony. We can make our own decisions,” says chief Kim Baird. “We can enjoy what other communities have had the ability to do for the past century or so, right? We are a player.” Tsawwassen band paves way for controversial mini-metropolis near Delta

Bill Baccus, Olympic National Park physical scientist reports that the glaciers in the North Olympic Peninsula's national park have shrunk by an average of 15 percent of their mass since the 1980s. “One glacier has completely disappeared.”  Olympic National Park glaciers continue to shrink, most recent study finds

The Seattle Times has online a nice map of Washington state’s newly reapportioned congressional districts— and demographic profiles of each district. Washington's new congressional districts  

And, from Ron Judd, two items in The Wrap--

“A Little Gas Turbo-Tax: Oil refiners reacted in abject horror to Gov. Chris Gregoire's call for a $1.50-a-barrel "fee" on state-produced petroleum products. Reason: They're unfairly targeted, tiny-profit-margin middlemen. Just like every other last soul involved in the oil-production chain, from drillers to station owners to CEOs and stockholders. Further evidence that all those hundreds of billions in oil-company profits are simply being dumped into a big hole somewhere.”

“Ding-dong drivers scrambling to avoid toll really take the cake: Just a small suggestion to all you local drivers who, feeling an urge to get from the Eastside to downtown or vice versa, make the reasoned, logical decision that it would be much better to drive around, going 10 miles out of your way, burning a quarter-tank of gas, pumping out enough pollutants to make Bothell smell like Gary, Ind., and turning Interstate 5 from Lake City Way south into a WallyPark annex — just to save a whopping two or three bucks:

Suck it up and pay the lousy 520 toll, already.”

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON JAN 16 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON PST TODAY THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...BUILDING TO 2 TO 5 FT IN THE
 AFTERNOON. W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. ISOLATED SHOWERS OR SNOW SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

--
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Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, January 13, 2012

1/13 Snow!, otters, voluntary stewards, Swinomish dredging, Kitsap steams, boat tax, toxic fish, Mima Mounds, pay for whales, smallest frog

Oak Tangle (Laurie MacBride)
I waited to write this blog until I could ‘see the whites of their eyes’ and this case white is the right color.” That’s Cliff Mass: The Upcoming Snow  

New blog by Our Lady of the North: A Forest of a Different Kind: Garry Oak

Eye candy, tummy tempting: Photos: Winning Chinese Restaurant Awards dishes

If you like to watch: A North American river otter has moved into the new habitat being created along the shores of the Duwamish River, at Slip 4, as part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund cleanup. Otters make themselves at home on Duwamish

Milo died Wednesday, and the aquarium says he was the first otter to be diagnosed with lymphoma and also the first to be treated with chemotherapy.  Much-loved sea otter dies at Vancouver Aquarium

Thurston County commissioners voted to try a new, voluntary approach to protect fish and wildlife habitat and water quality on agricultural lands. By joining the state’s Voluntary Stewardship Program, county emphasis will be on an incentive-based program that relies less on its critical-areas ordinance to achieve environmental protection on active agricultural lands. Thurston County commission OKs voluntary plan for critical areas

Port of Skagit, city of La Conner, Skagit County, the Port of Anacortes, the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe and Swinomish Indian Tribe have agreed to work together to help pay for the $1.2 million it costs to dredge the Swinomish Channel every three years.  Keeping the Swinomish Channel flowing

Kitsap County’s annual water quality report shows improving trends in 14 county streams and worsening trends in six other streams. Battle against pollution continues in Kitsap's streams

According to a study by Hebert Research, boating generates $3.9 billion a year in economic activity in Washington, and reducing some of Washington’s high boating-related taxes could generate millions more in revenue for state coffers by making it more attractive for people to keep and maintain a boat here. Deborah Bach reports, Millions at stake with new boat tax proposal
“Fish exposed to low levels of common flame retardants called PBDEs for most of their lives pass the chemicals – and more surprisingly, the associated toxic effects – along to their progeny. While parents' health effects were minimal, the exposures reduced hatch rates and altered the thyroid hormone system of the next generation.” Toxic legacy: Fish pass flame retardants, impaired health to offspring

Bellamy Pailthorp at KPLU ponders what professor Paul Butler calls “one of the most poorly understood phenomena in earth science.” That’s a large swath of native prairie southwest of Olympia that’s very strange looking. So strange, in fact, that some have even said it was created by aliens. This week we marvel at the mysterious Mima Mounds  

Putting a price on nature: Three academics propose the world should put a price on killing whales, and allow conservationists and whalers alike to bid on the right to take them. The idea of a market-based trading system for commercial whaling is not unprecedented; a Canadian natural-resources professor mentioned it in 1982, and a Virginia economist offered a more detailed scenario a decade ago.  Researchers propose price on whaling

And, for your end-of-the-week sense of wonder: A frog species, Paedophryne amauensis, that appears to be the world's smallest at 7mm (0.27 inches) long has been discovered in Papua New Guinea. World's smallest frog discovered

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI JAN 13 2012
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN LIKELY AND A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SNOW SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 11 FT.
SUN
W SWELL 10 FT. W WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/12 Snow, BP barrel charge, bag ban, toxic ban, greenhouse gas map, oil pipe risks, hatcheries

BP Cherry Point (Bellingham Herald)
“The new forecast models are increasingly threatening for colder temperatures and lowland snow from Sunday through Wednesday of next week, although none of the forecast are ideal for a truly major event.  THUS THIS EVENT SHOULD NOT BE OVERHYPED!,” says Cliff Mass.  Increasing Threat of Snow  

Surprise! BP Cherry Point doesn’t like the governor’s proposed $1.50-per-barrel charge on Washington refineries to help pay for transportation improvements and maintenance because it will cost the company more than $100 million a year and not all of it can be passed on to customers. Worldwide, London-based BP reported $5 billion in net income in the third quarter of 2011.  Oil refineries balk at Gregoire's plan for transportation fees  

Good! “We are not opposed to moving away from plastic bags," testified Holly Chisa of the Northwest Grocery Association, which represents Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway and other grocery stores in the region . "My grocery stores, which are the larger grocery stores, believe that a bag is a bag and it is time to make the move.”  Major grocery stores support statewide ban on plastic bags

The environmental community has just one priority bill this session – a ban on toxic flame retardants in baby and children’s products. Senate Bill 6120 and House Bill 2266 – identical measures – would ban the use of two cancer-causing Tris flame retardants (TCDPP and TCEP) in baby products such as car seats, nursing pillows and portable cribs, beginning in July 2014. Toxic flame retardant ban environmental goal for session

The US Environmental Protection Agency yesterday unveiled a new website that identifies most of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. EPA creates Website to ID biggest emitters of greenhouse gases  See also: EPA: Power Plants, Refineries Are Top NW  and EPA maps the worst greenhouse gas offenders

The first of two days of government hearings on the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline and shipment terminus at Kitimat drew testimony about why the forbidding geography of northern British Columbia stands to pose enough risks that the pipeline and tanker plan should be reconsidered. B.C. coast is hostile country for oil, pipeline panel told

A Victoria-based environmental group is under attack from a national group supporting Alberta oilsands development.  Dogwood spokeswoman Emma Gilchrist said the attack has backfired and galvanized support. "We have been absolutely inundated. The phone has been ringing off the hook," she said. "We've got 4,794 new unique signatures on our No Tankers petition in the last 72 hours and a surge in donations." Victoria-based anti-pipeline group defends its funding  

Rob Manning at EarthFix reports on this week’s discussion by a science panel, tribal representatives, and state officials about what hatcheries should be used for and what they should avoid. One thing that various officials and experts agree on: hatchery fish are not perfect replacements for wild fish. Thinking Outside The Pond: What’s The Best Role For Hatchery Fish?

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU JAN 12 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR WINDS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/11 Snow?, Rena sinks, state transportation, bag ban, farm program, MV Coho Lake Whatcom, pipeline pushback, Discover Pass, Deepwater Horizon

Making A Splash (Laurie MacBride)
Ready? The new forecast models are increasingly threatening for colder temperatures and lowland snow from Sunday through Wednesday of next week, although none of the forecast are ideal for a truly major event,” says Cliff Mass. Increasing Threat of Snow

New blog: “Putting A Price On Nature  The blog subject is oil spills, and the Lady of the North offers her portrait from a few months back about Dall porpoises and the impact of the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan oil projects, “Making A Splash

John F points out that House Bill 1508 will exempt all gun ranges from noise ordinances. Why is that in the public interest?

Awful to watch: Rena Sinks: Up to 100 tonnes of oil could still be on the sinking Rena, threatening to spill in to the ocean.

"Our oil companies are getting all the profit and leaving us with the bill. We can do better," Governor Gregoire said yesterday when proposing a $1.50 fee per barrel of oil produced in the state to pay for $3.6 billion in highway, bridges, city streets and ferries improvements and maintenance. Governor pushes transportation investment

"I want plastic out of the water," said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, the prime sponsor of a Senate bill that would be the nation's first statewide ban of plastic grocery and retail bags. Legislators seek statewide ban on flimsy plastic shopping bags
Whatcom County Council members voted 5-2 to stay out of the state’s Voluntary Stewardship Program because they want to rely on the county’s own environmental laws and don't want to see local control given to the state. Whatcom County won't join state farm program    On Skagit County’s earlier adoption of the program, reader Rabbits’ Guy comments.

Black Ball Ferry Line, which operates the MV Coho ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria, is being purchased by its managers from the Oregon State University Foundation.  Meet the new owners of the MV Coho ferry

The origin of the totem pole that washed up at Ogden Point remains a mystery, but some answers may come today when the battered pole is inspected by Grant Keddie, archaeology curator at the Royal B.C. Museum. Museum curator may have answer to Vancouver Island totem-pole mystery  

Strong words from the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board on the inadequacy of Whatcom County's land-use regulations in Lake Whatcom: “The county's unsupported assertion that its regulations are adequate to provide the needed protection rings hollow," the board's ruling states. "The current report on Lake Whatcom water quality demonstrates that the existing regulations have not protected Lake Whatcom and that the problems are actual and proven, not speculative."  State board: County doesn't do enough to protect Lake Whatcom, orders county to toughen regulations

Conservative government PM Stephen Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver have lashed out at environmental groups taking “foreign money” from U.S. donors to build opposition to the $6.6-billion Northern Gateway pipeline that would carry oil-sands bitumen to the British Columbia coast. Foes of Northern Gateway pipeline fear revocation of charitable status  

Washington State Parks received $6.5 million from the new Discover Pass purchases in 6 months, way short of its hoped-for $15.6 million. As a fix to remove one big barrier, the Washington State Senate Energy, Natural Resources & Marine Waters Committee on Jan. 9 voted unanimously to refer a bill to the Ways & Means Committee that would make the Discover Pass transferable between two vehicles. Discover Pass expansion (one pass good for two vehicles) gets senate committee nod

Shoot ‘em, Dano. Brant goose numbers in Skagit County are high enough to allow an eight-day hunt, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Brant numbers big enough for hunt  

A new study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides a composite picture of the environmental distribution of oil and gas from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It amasses a vast collection of available atmospheric, surface and subsurface chemical data to assemble a "mass balance" of how much oil and gas was released, where it went and the chemical makeup of the compounds that remained in the air, on the surface, and in the deep water. Comprehensive Picture of the Fate of Oil from Deepwater Horizon Spill   See also Justin Gillis’ New York Times blog on Revisiting the Deepwater Horizon Plumes

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST WED JAN 11 2012
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SE 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 13 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told