Friday, June 29, 2012

6/29 Lk Whatcom, Fraser flood, Springer, coal lawsuit, Strait closure, DFO, debris dumpsters, Goldstream R.

Lk Whatcom (City of B'ham)
Last Friday in June, here’s to waiting for a stretch of warmer, drier weather to come, soon. We hope. Yes?

The state agency tasked with coordinating the cleanup of Puget Sound has secured new funding to protect Lake Whatcom. Michael Grayum with the Puget Sound Partnership says the $164,000 grant will help support local programs to stop invasive species, and reduce pollutants threatening water quality in the watershed. He says the partnership identified Lake Whatcom as a problem because of invasive species like Asian clams and their effect on water quality.  State Agency Finds Funding To Protect Lake Whatcom

When Stephen Déry looks out at the Fraser River sweeping past Prince George and threatening to overflow its banks, he knows he is looking at something British Columbians could see a lot more of in the future. After analyzing 100 years of hydrological data collected at 139 Environment Canada river gauges scattered throughout the watershed, Prof. Déry and his colleagues have concluded the Fraser is increasingly experiencing extreme flows, largely because of climate change and a catastrophic pine beetle epidemic that has killed off much of the forest in the central province.  More high Fraser River levels forecast for future  

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the rescue of Springer, an orphaned orca whale found alone in Puget Sound far from her family in Canada. The burning question today: can the commitment that brought adversaries together be mobilized to save the Sound’s remaining orcas? Orcas have survived for millions of years but they may go extinct within a hundred years. Martha Baskin has our story.  Can a Ten Year Anniversary Celebration of One Orca’s Rescue Trigger Resolve to Save the Rest?  

The Bellingham City Attorney's office has filed a lawsuit aimed at keeping an anti-coal train initiative off the ballot this November, after the Whatcom County Auditor's Office determined that the measure's backers had gathered enough valid signatures.  The City Council authorized the lawsuit's filing June 18. The city's legal staff had advised them that if the initiative were passed into law by city voters, the city would then be obliged to defend it in court, even though city attorneys believe it won't survive judicial scrutiny. Bellingham files lawsuit to block coal train initiative  

A mussel sample taken from Ediz Hook earlier this week has led to the closure for shellfish harvesting of additional beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca because of elevated levels of the potentially deadly paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP. Strait beaches from Dungeness Spit west to Cape Flattery now are closed to recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish. More Strait beaches closed to harvesting  

Heavy workloads and high turnover at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans could jeopardize the federal government's ability to protect Canadians from the dangerous impacts of industrial projects, say internal government records obtained by Postmedia News. High turnover at DFO threatens environmental reviews: records

Oregon is putting out dumpsters at coastal parks for beachgoers to throw away tsunami debris. Governor John Kitzhaber announced Thursday he’s appointed an interagency team to coordinate efforts to dispose of materials washed up from last year’s Japanese tsunami. Oregon sets out dumpsters for tsunami debris clean-up  

A Columbia Fuels truck driver whose vehicle crashed on the Malahat in  April 2011, spilling 42,000 litres of gasoline into Goldstream River, has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and violating the Fisheries Act. The slightly-built man, with sandy brown hair and eyeglasses, is also charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over 80 milligrams in connection with the April 16 crash. Trucker who spilled gasoline into Goldstream River pleads guilty   

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI JUN 29 2012
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT THIS MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY THIS MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
NW WIND 10 KT EARLY...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN EARLY...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN EARLY...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT.
SUN
W WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT.

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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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Thursday, June 28, 2012

6/28 Lege score, BC flood, Arctic drilling, Cherry Pt reserve, state beaches, POST, cruise ship air, Tsilhqot'in land, Samish Bay

Shell Oil drilling platform (AP/Elaine Thompson)
Do you know the score? Check out how your state legislator rates in Washington Conservation Voters' 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard

As flood conditions improve in the province’s Interior, high water and a collection of derelict vessels on the swollen Fraser River continue to threaten communities in the Lower Mainland. As of late Wednesday, Transport Canada, the coast guard, the District of Mission and the provincial government had developed a plan to deal with the seven vessels, which include the 102-metre former B.C. ferry, the Queen of Sidney. Derelict vessels still a threat on Fraser

Listen up: As oil giant Royal Dutch Shell prepares to start drilling in the Arctic, environmentalists are stepping up their campaign to protect this natural resource. Greenpeace, the Yes Men, and Occupy activists recently carried out an elaborate hoax at Seattle's Space Needle which generated a buzz and drew attention to deepwater drilling safety. Now a Greenpeace ship is headed toward the Arctic to keep the pressure on Shell. Martha Baskin reports.  Greenpeace Heads to the Arctic While Shell Finalizes Preparations to Drill  

Our Man of the South Sound commented on yesterday’s NY Times story about Interior Secretary Salazar’s confidence in Shell Oil’s ability to clean up an Alaska drilling spill: “Huh?  Anybody else who believes any oil company can collect 90% of the oil spilled in a marine environment like Alaska please raise your hand!  Apparently Salazar wasn't paying attention to the Gulf spill.  And I am so glad they tested a spill containment device in Puget Sound, makes me feel so much better that it worked once in PS in a test, not on a spill or blow out.”

Seattle-based People for Puget Sound (PPS), through a grant from the Washington departments of natural resources (DNR) and fish and wildlife (WDFW), is spearheading an effort to create stewardship committees for five of the state’s seven aquatic reserves, including the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve just south of Birch Bay. PPS is partnering with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham to get the stewardship committee up and running. Group to organize committee for Cherry Point reserve

My favorite candidate in this year’s 42nd legislative district election took a look at the video of the orcas chasing dolphins in Hyacinthe Bay and had a much more benign commentary: “I like to think they were playing tag.”

Water quality at public marine beaches in Washington ranked 10th in 2011 among the 30 states with saltwater beach access, according to a national beach-pollution report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The state reported having 1,371 coastal beaches in 2011 but only had funding to regularly monitor 76 of the 200 more widely used beaches through a program administered by the state departments of Health and Ecology.  Water quality at state's beaches ranked 10th out of 30 in 2011  

The Vancouver Aquarium is shutting down a program used to monitor marine life on the west coast, citing lack of funding, including from the federal fisheries department. The Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (POST) program has six ocean-based acoustic receiver lines and one in the Fraser River. Over the past 12 years, scientists have used the lines to track the movements of marine life fitted with transmitters along the west coast from central California to Prince William Sound, Alaska.  Vancouver Aquarium forced by lack of funds to disband marine life tracking program  

The cruise industry opposes international air-quality regulations that will come into effect in North America in August, write local environmental advocates Fred Felleman and Marcie Keever. They urge the industry and Congress to resist efforts to weaken the new rules.  Cruise industry should comply with new air-quality regulations

A fight over aboriginal title and rights that began when natives blockaded a logging road in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia 20 years ago appears headed for the Supreme Court of Canada.  The Tsilhqot’in First Nation, which represents six bands in central B.C., won partial victories when both the Supreme Court of B.C. and the Court of Appeal confirmed their traditional rights to use the land. But the decisions failed to give the Tsilhqot’in what they really want – a clear declaration that they hold aboriginal title over more than 4,000 square kilometres of land west of Williams Lake.  Aboriginal land rights upheld by B.C. Court of Appeal

Samish Bay was reopened to shellfish harvest Wednesday by the state Department of Health.  The shellfish beds had been closed as a precaution June 17 because of high river levels and the associated risk of pollution. Health officials closed the bay when unsatisfactory levels of fecal coliform, a type of bacteria present in human and animal waste, were detected in water samples.  Samish Bay reopened to shellfish harvest  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 239 AM PDT THU JUN 28 2012
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6/27 Orcas, EPA, coal stories, prairie stewardship, Arctic drilling, Alaska kings, bad gas, BC CG, Vancouver Is quake, Makah timber

Ronnie Mitchell, real person (Paul K. Anderson)
If you like to watch: Our Man on the Peninsula writes, “Thanks to Jules for sharing this with us. An amazing film of orcas hunting dolphins at Hyacinthe Bay BC (north of Nanaimo). And thanks to Grind TV for getting it up online!”  Spectacular film of Orcas chasing Dolphins  

If you like to watch: “Documerica,” the first in-depth pictorial examination of the environment in the United States, can be viewed this week at Seattle’s Discovery Park Learning Center. The nationwide environmental documentary photo project was meant to give a sense for what life was like in the 1970s at the start of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ‘Documerica’ Illustrates the EPA’s Progress  

If you like to listen: Real People, Real Stories at Coal Train Facts

The National Parks Service is seeking public input in developing a long-range stewardship plan for the prairies of American and English camps of San Juan Island National Historical Park. National Parks is hosting a series of meetings this week in Anacortes, Friday Harbor and in Seattle to gather public comment on the Prairie Stewardship Plan, which will direct the manner in which the natural and cultural landscape of American Camp and English Camp's Young Hill are managed.  National Parks seeks input on long-range prairie stewardship plan  

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday that it was “highly likely” that the agency would grant Shell permits to begin drilling exploratory wells off the North Slope of Alaska as early as next month. Mr. Salazar, while acknowledging that the Arctic presented unique environmental and safety challenges for oil and gas operations, said he was confident that Shell would meet the Interior Department’s new standards for offshore drilling. He noted that Shell had successfully tested a new oil spill containment device in Washington State’s Puget Sound in recent days and said he believed the company’s claims that it could collect at least 90 percent of any oil spilled in the event of a well blowout.  Shell Is Likely to Receive Permits for Oil Drilling Off Alaska  

Something in the ocean has been death to Alaska's king salmon. The state's iconic fish, treasured for food, sport and cash, should now be swimming in droves up rivers from the Southeast rain forests to the populated Railbelt and the Western Alaska tundra. But they're not. Decline in king salmon is rooted in the sea, Alaska state biologists say

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming, handing down perhaps the most significant decision on the issue since a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gases could be controlled as air pollutants. The rules, which had been challenged by industry groups and several states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from automobile tailpipes.  Federal court upholds EPA's global warming rules  And see Cliff Mass on Cascade Melt Out

Federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield is defending his government's funding cuts to the Canadian Coast Guard and says anyone who claims the changes endanger lives in Vancouver is propagating false information.  Minister says it's myth that Vancouver coast guard cuts would put lives at risk

A 4.9 earthquake shook Vancouver Island, British Columbia, at 9:22 p.m. Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey. The epicenter was located more than 50 miles off the western shore and more than 100 miles from most cities on the island. The closest major city, Port Hardy, is 115 miles away from it. 4.9 earthquake rumbles Vancouver Island  

The Makah tribe has made its first purchase using funds from a $25 million settlement with the federal government by buying land for harvesting timber, Tribal Chairman Micah McCarty said Tuesday. The tribe spent $12.5 million of the funds for about 3,000 acres near Lake Ozette in the Umbrella Creek watershed within the Olympic Range Tree Farm, which is owned by a Boston corporation, Tribal General Manager Meri Parker said.  Makah buy timberland with half of $25 million U.S. settlement  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 254 AM PDT WED JUN 27 2012
TODAY
SE WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 KT EARLY...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6/26 BC flood, levee pact, sea rise, Coquitlam salmon, owl birth, hummers & butterflies

Fraser flooding (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
By the end of the week it will be known whether the flood threat has passed. But for the next few days everyone will be watching to see if water levels drop after peaking just below the lip of the dikes that are holding back the churning waters.  With heavy rainstorms and sudden snow melt causing a flurry of flooding around the province over the weekend, officials were worried the Fraser could rise to levels it has reached only four times before in the Lower Mainland, when the mighty river swept across the flood plain in the valley, where most of British Columbia’s population is concentrated.  All eyes on the mighty Fraser River as breaching point nears  

The Puget Sound Partnership says it has reached a memorandum of understanding with the Army Corps of Engineers and others that will help it resolve the issue of vegetation on levees. The state agency says the corps, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have agreed to work together to make sure levees in the region to protect the public while also protecting salmon. Corps, partnership agree to collaborate on levees

A new report from the National Research Council in Washington DC looks specifically at the West Coast, as compared to global sea level rise over the next century.  It says the problem here won’t be as bad as in California, which is expected to see sea levels slightly higher than projected globally. The report found sea levels in Washington and Oregon are predicted to rise about 2 feet over the next century. Most of California could see a three and a half foot rise.  Study: Rising seas will hit Calif. hardest, but Washington still sees damage

Juvenile salmon are benefiting from a $4-million habitat enhancement project in Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam. It has been confirmed that juvenile chinook, chum, coho, and pink salmon are using the Wilson Farm area of the park as a rearing area for the first time since dikes were built for agricultural purposes about a century ago. Juvenile salmon to utilize Coquitlam's Colony Farm for first time in a century  

A captive pair of northern spotted owls has successfully given birth to a male owlet — for the first time with help from an artificial incubator.  The human-assisted birth offers a flicker of hope for the endangered owls, which have suffered over the years from habitat loss and fragmentation due to logging of old-growth forests. Endangered northern spotted owl born in captivity in Langley

For many passionate gardeners, there is no greater source of joy and inspiration than the sight of hummingbirds and butterflies in the summer garden. After all the digging, composting, planting and garden maintenance, the opportunity to relax, reflect and enjoy these magnificent creatures presents a welcome respite. Jeff and Eileen Bidwell report. Dishing the Dirt: Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 254 AM PDT TUE JUN 26 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 14 SECONDS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

6/25 Springer, BC flood, crabs, Elwha hatchery, Skagit water, swales, no-go zone, Joshua Berger, tribal settlement, Squamish bowl, Mukilteo shores, tribal journey, Rio+20, drones

Le-La-La dancer at Celebrate Springer!
On Saturday, several of the people responsible for Springer’s rescue and reconnection with her family gathered at the Alki Bathhouse to share their story, encourage community involvement in saving the whales and protecting the waters they frequent, and dedicate four new Whale Trail signs in West Seattle.  Orphan orca Springer’s saviors honored at Alki; Four Whale Trail signs going up in West Seattle   See also: Whale of a (true-life) tale, 10 years later: Celebrating Springer  

Martha Kongsgaard, chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council, gave some powerful opening remarks at last Saturday’s festivities in Seattle celebrating the 10th anniversary of the orphan orca Springer’s rescue in Seattle and reuniting with her Northern Resident family. Here’s an excerpt:  Saving the Sound, Saving the Whales

Rushing rivers, swollen by heavy rains, have wreaked havoc around British Columbia, forcing emergency officials to evacuate hundreds of residents in one community and search for man who’d been swept away in another.  It’s happened because of thunder and rain storms, which hammered the Interior Saturday and dumped in one day as much rain as some communities see in an entire month. Hundreds evacuated, one missing after flooding in BC   Meanwhile, in Puget Sound: Summer Squall

After a banner Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery last summer, many are gearing up for another good season beginning July 1.  State fisheries managers are basing their outlook on some preseason evaluations that included a tribal fishery on east side of Whidbey Island and Saratoga Pass, and the state's test fisheries in other parts of Puget Sound.  Crabbers gearing up for season, and early sockeye numbers promising  

The public can comment through July 16 on an updated draft management plan that will be used to operate the hatchery program for chinook salmon in the Elwha River watershed. The draft plan, written by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, describes the operation of the artificial production program for chinook salmon in the Elwha River and the potential effects of the program on wild fish species, such as salmon and steelhead, that are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.  Comments open for updated Elwha chinook hatchery plan  

Thomas Crane presents something of a conundrum with Skagit County and the state and could add another dimension to the ongoing conflict over water in two Skagit River creek basins. Earlier this year, a county worker discovered Crane’s two-story home, nestled in a spreading meadow not far from Fisher Creek, was using an illegal well. Crane’s home is in the Fisher-Carpenter creek basin, an area closed last year by the state Department of Ecology to residential development that requires wells.  Now, both the state and the county say they don’t know what to do about it. In letters to each other, officials from both agencies appear to be walking on eggshells. Their unspoken fear — should either approve Crane’s use of his well — is that the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community might file a lawsuit.  Rural water war has a new twist

The West Seattle neighborhoods of Sunrise Heights and Westwood are in for major changes in the coming years as King County plans to install a series of “bioretention swales,” similar to rain gardens, along many streets. The neighborhoods were chosen because they contribute 45 percent of the water and sewage processed by the Barton station. Some at peace, others still frustrated with King County’s sewage overflow plans in West Seattle  

The Coast Guard has declared a 500-yard safety zone to keep people away from two drilling ships when they leave Seattle for the Alaska Arctic this summer. Shell Oil has been preparing two drill ships in Seattle to explore for oil and natural gas this year in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska's north coast. Environmental groups oppose the drilling because they fear an oil spill in ice-choked ocean waters. Coast Guard declares drill ship safety zone in Puget Sound

The captain of the schooner Adventuress has received a $10,000 fellowship that he intends to use to develop a program to develop “green” standards for building boats.  Joshua Berger is one of 40 recipients nationwide of awards given by Toyota and the National Audubon Society.  'Adventuress' captain gets grant to develop 'green' boats  

Some Native American tribes have started receiving their shares of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. government over mismanagement of their money and trust lands, while others are waiting and remain undecided on what to do with their funds. The Makah tribe in Neah Bay — one of 44 tribes across the nation who are receiving money from the settlement — is receiving $25 million.  Tribes start receiving settlement money; Makah are beneficiaries of $25 million

The discovery of an ancient stone bowl in Squamish may shed some light on the lives and ceremonies of the Coast Salish peoples who once lived on the banks of the Squamish River. The bowl, carved out of organic rock and revealed to be about 1,600 years old, is similar to those used by early aboriginal cultures in California and the American southwest.  Ancient stone Squamish artifact bowls over SFU researchers  

Mukilteo wants and deserves to reclaim our 4.8 miles of beautiful waterfront. Joe Marine opines. Mukilteo's waterfront has a shining future  

The arrival on July 29 of about 13,000 American Indians, representing some 130 West Coast tribal communities, dressed in regalia and landing in beautifully carved cedar canoes, sounds a lot like another spectacular Olympia party. It is not. Charlene Krise, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribal Council and executive director of the tribe’s Museum Library and Research Center, says the revival of the canoe journey has rejuvenated tribal nations to reclaim their traditions.  Support Squaxin tribe’s journey to keep heritage alive  

The Rio+20 summit ends with an agreement from world leaders that charities say represents a "missed chance" to tackle environmental problems. Rio ends with corporates warning  But: Government progress on the environment is slow, but the world’s people can assert their power to fix problems. Op-Ed: We Have Met the Solution and It Is Us  

In Hawaii over the weekend: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting a demonstration off Oahu's North Shore this week of a small unmanned aircraft the agency hopes will improve ocean monitoring and aid environmental research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Puma AE, which has a 10-foot wingspan and weighs 13 pounds, can stay aloft for two hours and capture high-definition still photos and video. It is remotely operated. Unmanned aircraft have been used to help NOAA researchers and military personnel around the world with oil spills, hurricane tracking, surveillance, combat and other tasks.  Federal officials test drone as monitor of ocean wildlife  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PDT MON JUN 25 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told



Friday, June 22, 2012

6/22 Springer!, Olympic wilderness, WA shellfish, humpback death, West Bay cleanup, Fisheries Act, Skagit flooding, Surfrider, Thurston CAO

First summer weekend. Making the most of it: Celebrate Springer! 10th Anniversary on Saturday, 11 AM- 3PM, West Seattle’s Alki Bathhouse, Celebrate Springer!

Key leaders of Washington's congressional delegation have introduced legislation intended to protect Olympic Peninsula forests and rivers from logging, dams and other development. Three years in the negotiating, The Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic River Act of 2012 was introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton. The bill is a far cry from the original and more controversial version proposed in 2010 by conservationists, but still takes big steps to permanently protect some of the Olympics' most beloved landscapes. Lynda Mapes reports. 126K acres of Olympic Peninsula would be protected by new bill

Shellfish-growing areas in Puget Sound have experienced an ongoing reduction in bacterial pollution problems since 2003, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Washington State Department of Health.Of 38 active shellfish-growing areas with some pollution problems, the fecal pollution index has declined from 1.29 in 2003 to 1.11 in 2011 — a 14 percent reduction. Chris Dunagan reports. Puget Sound shellfish areas show reduced pollution  

A Willapa Bay shellfish company is shifting some of its business to Hawaii because of ocean acidification that scientists believe is killing tiny oyster larvae in shellfish farms along Washington's coast. Craig Welch reports. Willapa Bay oyster grower sounds alarm, starts hatchery in Hawaii  

Preliminary results from a necropsy on a young humpback whale confirm the creature likely died a slow death from starvation after being entangled in fishing gear.  Veterinary pathologist Stephen Raverty with the ministry of agriculture's Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford says ropes had obviously been buried deep in the whale's mouth.  Necropsy shows entanglement, starvation, likely killed young humpback in White Rock

Cleanup of the former Hardel Mutual Plywood plant site on West Bay Drive has been ruled complete by the state Department of Ecology. Barring any surprises during a public comment period that runs through July 6, Ecology is prepared to take the waterfront property off the agency’s hazardous waste site list this summer. Ecology still has eight other hazardous waste sites in various stages of cleanup in lower Budd Inlet. John Dodge reports. West Bay site cleanup done  

Three scientists from B.C. have used an internationally prestigious journal to launch an attack against changes to the federal Fisheries Act currently before the Senate. In a letter published online Thursday in the journal “Science,” the scientists from Simon Fraser University criticize cutbacks at eco-toxicology labs and an aquatic research facility and changes to the act itself, saying the government’s rational for making the changes is not supported by fact.  Three B.C. scientists attack changes to Fisheries Act  

By the end of the century, fall flooding on the Skagit River will be more severe, catastrophic coastal flooding could happen every year and salmon could be further endangered by low summer runoff, a University of Washington climate scientist told a packed house Thursday morning. University of Washington’s Alan Hamlet with the Climate Impacts Group explained how climate change is expected to affect the Skagit River. His talk focused on how greenhouse gases, like those created with the burning of fossil fuels, will cause Earth’s temperature to rise. Hamlet had been invited to speak by Skagit County as part of Envision Skagit 2060, a grant-funded effort to take a look at how the county might plan for future growth. The audience included county officials and members of the public, including some who are skeptical about climate change. Kate Martin reports. Climate change, Agenda 21 skeptics flood county meeting

Tonight at Harbinger Winery, 2358 W. U.S. Highway 101, Port Angeles: You don't have to know the lingo; no need to worry about pronouncing “dude” right or about what makes a wave truly gnarly.  The only requirement for full International Surfing Day participation, according to local Surfrider Shawn Canepa, is that you care.  ISD, as it's known, is a global party in honor of the oceans. Surfriders raising awareness with fundraising party  

The public will have the opportunity to comment on Thurston County’s proposed Critical Areas Ordinance on Saturday. The ordinance, nearly a decade in the making, is at its final steps, with its adoption possible within the next four to six weeks.  Critical Areas: County to hold public meeting Saturday for input  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 231 AM PDT FRI JUN 22 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY THIS MORNING...THEN SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 16 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
SAT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT EARLY...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL
 3 FT.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told



Thursday, June 21, 2012

6/21 BC flood, Springer, Pat Pearson, tsunami debris, BC recycling, pipeline woes, park arsenic, shoreline plans, Kimberly-Clark site, Anacortes terminal, derelict vessels

Forecasters predict that a combination of warm and wet weather may spark another round of high water levels this weekend, leaving people along the Fraser River and elsewhere in B.C. bracing for more flooding.  Weekend floods feared along swollen rivers

She’s one of the most famous orcas to pass through West Seattle waters – and as we first told you a month ago, the 10th anniversary of Springer‘s family reunion will be celebrated on Alki 11 am-3 pm this Saturday, at an event hosted by West Seattle-based The Whale Trail.   3 days till you can ‘Celebrate Springer’ at Alki Bathhouse  

Congratulations! Pat Pearson of WSU Jefferson County Extension was recognized as a “Puget Sound champion” by the Puget Sound Partnership for a 20-year career in natural-resource education.  Hood Canal 'partners' honored for conservation efforts

The tsunami debris expected to wash up on Northwest beaches in the coming months undoubtedly will contain some nasty stuff. But experts agree that radioactive contamination isn't likely a threat. Sandi Doughton reports.  An ocean of concern over tsunami debris  

B.C.’s industry-managed recycling programs for consumer products will undergo a major expansion effective July 1, extending to electrical items such as power tools, sewing machines, lawn mowers, grass trimmers, flashlights, and table lamps. Consumers will be able to drop off these items at recycling depots at no extra charge since the cost of contracting out for collection, transportation, and recycling of components, such as metals and plastics, is already included in the sales price. Larry Pynn reports.  Major recycling expansion for ‘cord-and-battery’ products set to roll out July 1 across B.C.  

Endangered populations of woodland caribou, along with rare types of birds and frogs, are among a list of at least 15 species that face threats from the potential construction of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, reveals newly released government records. Mike De Souza reports.  Endangered caribou, birds and frogs imperilled by Enbridge pipeline through B.C.: documents  And, by David Suzuki, The catastrophic effects of oil pipeline spills  

The soil in two large north Everett parks has been found to contain arsenic from the former Asarco smelter that closed 100 years ago, but state officials say there is no immediate health risk. Recent testing has shown that Legion Park, at the northwestern tip of the city, and Wiggums Hollow Park, in the northeast, contain arsenic levels significantly higher than the 20 parts per million the state considers the threshold for requiring cleanup. Bill Sheets reports.  Arsenic found in soil of 2 Everett parks  

A draft plan to govern development and protection of the City of Olympia’s shoreline properties seemed like a hot potato Tuesday night at a joint meeting of the City Council and City Planning Commission. After more than two years of deliberation, the citizen planning panel handed over to the elected city officials a proposed Shoreline Master Program proposal that could create up to 100-foot setbacks and building height restrictions along certain shorelines, and increase public access and habitat restoration along the waterfront. As past and present planning commission members weighed in on the proposal, it was clear that they had a hard time reaching consensus on a land-use approach to recommend to the City Council. John Dodge reports.  Council, citizen plan on shoreline differ    Meanwhile, in Gig Harbor, City Council gets an earful about Shoreline Master Program impacts  

Dry bulk storage, fish processing, ship building and other marine industrial uses are some of the businesses likely to be successful at the Kimberly-Clark mill site, according to Greg Easton of Property Counselors, a Seattle land use consultant.  The Kimberly-Clark pulp and paper mill has been shut down since April, and the company plans to demolish buildings and sell the site. It's a rare piece of real estate: a 66-acre, industrial tract with access to a deep-water channel on Puget Sound, a wharf, a railroad, truck access and a huge, dedicated water supply pipeline. Debra Smith reports. Report details best uses for Everett mill site  

The environmental review process for a new terminal at the Washington State Ferries dock at Ship Harbor should be completed before the end of the year. But don’t expect a grand terminal on the scale of what has been proposed in the past, WSF director David Moseley said at an Anacortes Rotary meeting last week. And he reminded Rotarians and guests there for his community meeting June 13 that there is no construction funding at present.  Some progress on new ferry terminal  

San Juan County and the Department of Natural Resources are working together to identify and deal with problem vessels before they sink and pollute the water.  The county's Derelict Vessel Removal Program has been proactive, according to coordinator Joanruth Baumann, but she said the statutes that define the program make it difficult to address vessels that have a high- risk potential, but may not be clearly ready to sink.  New county effort to clean up harbors  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT THU JUN 21 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6/20 Samish closure, munitions suit, Coal-Free, bag bans, BP fire, buoy plan, Discover Pass, border laws

Bells of Summer (Laurie MacBride)
Summer Solstice! Enjoy it while it’s here.

Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: “One of the oddest looking plants in our garden, which is blooming right now, is Nectaroscordum (Nectaroscordum siculum var. bulgaricum, AKA Allium bulgaricum, Sicilian Honey Lily and Mediterranean Bells). For years I didn’t know any of its many names and simply called it ”ornamental onion” – imprecise for sure, but not incorrect. Nectaroscordum is indeed a member of the Allium (onion) family, a bulb native to southern France, Italy and Sicily.”  Umbrellas of Summer  

New blog: “Twenty years ago Washington and British Columbia activist organized themselves as the sans boundary coalition and faxed a declaration to the Rio summit, 1992....” Rio+20 and the Salish Sea  

The state Department of Health has again closed Samish Bay to shellfish harvesting after water testing showed high levels of pollution. The state had closed the bay to commercial and recreational shellfish harvest as a precaution June 17 because of high river flows and the associated risk of pollution. The state extended the closure when unsatisfactory levels of fecal coliform — caused by animal and human waste — were detected in water samples.  This week's closure is another of more than eight bay closures since March 1. Pollution closes Samish Bay — again  

A pair of anti-nuclear groups filed suit Tuesday to block impending construction of a second munitions wharf at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, a legal challenge they hope will help scrap the $715 million project altogether. The lawsuit contends the Navy failed to conduct proper environmental reviews and to consider viable alternatives to building a six-acre weapons-handling wharf over the sensitive waters of Hood Canal. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, of Poulsbo, Kitsap County, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, of Seattle. 2 groups sue to block Navy plans for second Bangor munitions wharf   

After Coal-Free Bellingham initiative backers turned in about 10,000 signatures for a ballot proposal that would outlaw coal trains in the city, the City Council voted to challenge the validity of the measure in court. On Monday, after getting a closed-door briefing from Assistant City Attorney James Erb, City Council voted 6-0 to authorize city attorneys to file a lawsuit challenging the initiative.  Bellingham council seeks court challenge on no-coal-train initiative See also: Spokane joins Seattle in questioning coal trains  

From small ethnic groceries to major chains, retail stores across Seattle are preparing for July 1, when a plastic-bag ban takes effect. With fewer than two weeks to go, many stores appear to be embracing the change, while some still are working out logistics.  Seattle retailers get handle on plastic-bag ban that starts July 1  See also: Bellingham prepares for Aug. 1 plastic bag ban   

BP says the Feb. 17 fire that shut down its Cherry Point oil refinery near Ferndale was caused by a pipe failure in the crude processing unit. The failure was a result of a corrosion problem, said Bill Kidd, spokesman at BP Cherry Point. BP: Pipe failure caused Feb. fire at Cherry Point refinery  

Next week the state Department of Natural Resources will present a revised map of where mooring buoys will be allowed in Vashon Island’s Quartermaster Harbor under the department’s proposed buoy plan. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, at McMurray Middle School. DNR calls meeting for more feedback on buoy plan  

The state parks system is looking to ask lawmakers to make up for a shortfall in revenue from the pay-to-park Discover Pass. They gave the parks system $17 million in bridge funding, but after mid-2013, parks are due to be entirely dependent on user fees and donations. But with sales of the year-old pass falling short of original expectations, the Parks and Recreation Commission doesn’t want to let go of the lifeline from the state general fund.  State parks to seek money to cover pass sale shortfall  

The Republican-controlled House has approved a bill that would allow the Border Patrol to circumvent more than a dozen environmental laws on all federally managed lands within 100 miles of the borders with Mexico and Canada. Supporters said the measure approved Tuesday is needed to give border agents unfettered access to rugged lands now controlled by the Interior Department and Forest Service. House approves waiver of border environmental laws  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 232 AM PDT WED JUN 20 2012
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19 Port Angeles, Enbridge, Laura James, PA garbage dump, OR reserves, Drayton Harbor, tsunami debris, Wild Olympics, Jolley property, BC Caspians, Rio+20

Conservation Hero Laura James (West Seattle Herald)
Happy birthday, Port Angeles. On June 19, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an executive order establishing a military and naval reservation at the former Spanish location of Puerto de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles.  Happy 150th birthday today, Port Angeles!

If you like to watch: This anti-Enbridge pipeline video from Communities Against Super Tankers features some pretty sweet puppeteering, animation, and rapping.   Straight outta Haida Gwaii

West Seattle resident Laura James has been nominated as a Cox Conservation Hero. Votes for the finalist are being accepted at http://www.kirotv.com/s/heroes/ June 18 through July 16, 2012. If she wins, a $10,000 award will be given to her nonprofit of choice, Sustainable West Seattle. This past year, Laura organized a diving team that removed over 1,000 lbs of discarded marine and automotive batteries from a West Seattle scuba diving site. Diver and environmentalist Laura James nominated as Cox Conservation Hero

An eroding bluff is inching toward the edge of Port Angeles’ closed landfill, retreating at one point to just 11 feet away from spilling the old dump's rotting garbage 125 feet down into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. City Council members will consider the problem — and short- and long-term solutions that a consultant said could total up to $12 million — at their City Council meeting at 6 p.m. today at City Hall.  Old Port Angeles dump threatens to spill into Strait  

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released rules for three new marine reserves on the Oregon Coast. The state Legislature approved the reserves at Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head, and Cape Falcon. The reserves will protect species like rockfish, shrimp, and sardines that live near the shore. A total fishing ban would apply in the core areas of the reserves. In other protected areas, the new rules would allow some salmon fishing and crabbing. Oregon Proposes Fishing Rules for Marine Reserves  

As students from Blaine Elementary School came face to face with fresh oysters on Drayton Harbor, the adults around them hoped they also were seeing the bigger picture.  The pollution that contaminates shellfish is invisible fecal coliform bacteria from thousands of small sources along creeks that feed into Drayton Harbor.  Fecal bacteria, found in the waste of humans, cows and dogs, comes from virtually everywhere in the 36,000-acre Drayton Harbor watershed, according to a new curriculum offered to the Blaine students by the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. Ralph Schwartz reports.  Blaine students learn about imperiled oyster farming in Drayton Harbor  

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire announced Monday a state plan to address tsunami debris that reaches the state’s coast from Japan but stressed that federal help is needed. Gregoire announced a “Clean Shoreline Initiative” to be led by state’s top emergency management leader, Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, and to include the state Departments of Health, Ecology and other agencies.  Cleanup plan readied for tsunami junk    See also: Tsunami Debris That Washes Ashore Tested For Radiation  

A new poll released by the Wild Olympics campaign of 500 likely voters in the 6th Congressional District showed a strong support for the proposal. Nearly two out of three voters expressed approval for the Wild Olympics plan proposed by Rep. Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray. 49% not only supported the proposal but also supported it “strongly.” 20% of the district voters polled said they were undecided. This shows that only 15% of those polled within the 6th District were in opposition to the plan.  New poll shows majority support of Wild Olympics  

The San Juan County Land Bank’s property acquisition of the Jolley property on the west side of Orcas, 20 waterfront acres on President's Channel near Turtlehead and Turtleback Mountain preserves, was officially and unanimously accepted by the county council. The county will receive a statutory warranty deed.  Land Bank acquires 20 acres on President's Channel

Caspian terns have established a breeding colony in B.C., and they’ve picked the roof of the Fraser Terminals warehouse near River Rock Casino in Richmond. Caspian terns create flutter in birding community as B.C.’s first breeding colony discovered in industrial Richmond

As Brazil welcomes nearly 120 heads of state and government for a summit on global development this week, the mood could not be more different than it was two decades ago, when global leaders gathered here for the landmark Earth Summit. Back then, once-arcane concerns about climate change and deforestation had finally grabbed the world's attention, leading to a global treaty on biodiversity and decisions that cleared the way for the Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gases.  Instead of clean energy, food, the oceans and other topics scheduled for debate at Rio+20, as the summit is known, political focus is attuned to a teetering Europe, turmoil in the Middle East and a presidential campaign in the United States.  Environment expectations low for Rio+20  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 234 AM PDT TUE JUN 19 2012
TODAY
S WIND 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. ISOLATED
 SHOWERS THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.  

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/18 Springer, levees, forage fish, quake research, Padden Cr., Oly shores, Whatcom shellfish, Anderson Lk., Cantwell oil spill, Enbridge oil plan, Skagit sockeye, green accounting, Canadian enviro assessments, BC Ferries, Inside Passage, Harbor WildWatch

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (Vancouver Sun)
A celebration of Springer’s dramatic rescue, which began 10 years ago this week, will be held a week from Saturday, June 23, at Seattle’s Alki Bathhouse. Springer, of course, is the female orca who was captured near the Seattle-Vashon ferry lanes, moved to Manchester for a time and then reunited with her extended family near the north end of Vancouver Island. Chris Dunagan reports. Groups celebrate anniversary of Springer’s rescue     See also Washington State Ferries: Celebrate Springer!

Trees, shrubs and other vegetation hugging miles of levees in Puget Sound provide shade and key habitat for many of the Northwest's struggling salmon. But hundreds of trees have been cut down in recent years to satisfy the Army Corps of Engineers, which says vegetation compromises levees that prevent flooding. Phuong Le reports.  Puget Sound officials conflicted over levee rules that could harm fish habitat  

While killer whales and salmon dominate the public spotlight, researchers are focusing increasing attention near the bottom of the food web and on the physical processes that support all life in Puget Sound. Herring, sand lance and surf smelt are called "forage fish" for a reason. They make up a critical food supply for a large variety of seabirds and fish — including salmon, which feed killer whales and many other species. Without the forage fish, the food web would collapse along with the abundance of life in Puget Sound. Chris Dunagan reports.  Looking for kinks in the food web  

An expensive science mission off the Washington and Oregon coasts has been scaled back, at least for now, out of concern for orca whales. A research ship is using sonar to make maps of a major earthquake fault, which is considered the greatest tsunami risk along the U.S. Pacific coast.  Keith Seinfeld reports. Endangered orcas cause delays for major earthquake research  

City leaders will consider accepting a $1.43 million loan and $500,000 grant from the state for a project to improve a stretch of Padden Creek along Old Fairhaven Parkway. The City Council on Monday, June 18, is expected to approve agreements with the state Department of Ecology to accept the money. The project involves re-routing less than half a mile of creek from a brick tunnel built more than a century ago into a natural stream channel.  Bellingham council to consider $1.4M loan, $500,000 grant for Padden Creek project  

The Port of Olympia has big plans for East Bay and the north point of the port peninsula. It plans eventually to expand Swantown Marina into a village with a restaurant and other amenities, along with more moorage. And commercial development that could include a hotel is being considered for the north end. But all those plans would be curtailed under a shoreline plan that the Olympia Planning Commission will recommend to the Olympia City Council on Tuesday.   Big changes in the air for Olympia shoreline?  

The state wants to save more than 10,000 acres of shellfish beds from the pollution that makes the greater Puget Sound's prized clams and oysters dangerous to eat. Officials from all levels of government are getting together to help Whatcom County contribute to the cause. Drayton Harbor and Portage Bay are the state's top priorities, after Skagit County's Samish Bay, in this effort to preserve commercial shellfish growing, recreational clam digging, tribal tradition and the overall health of the Puget Sound. But while the state Shellfish Initiative got started six months ago, little has happened so far in this county. Ralph Schwarz reports. Whatcom County among host of agencies grappling with shellfish pollution problem  

The level of a fast-acting nerve poison in Anderson Lake has leaped to more than 500 times the warning level, according to results of tests taken last week. The lake between Port Townsend and Chimacum, which was closed May 3 this year because of elevated levels of toxins produced by blue-green algae, remains closed to recreation. The level of anatoxin-a, which can quickly cause convulsions and stop breathing, was measured at 534 micrograms per liter of water. The safety threshold is 1 microgram per liter.    Anderson Lake toxins highest of the year  

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has introduced legislation to jumpstart research and development into new oil spill response technology. Her bill – the Oil Spill Research and Technology Act of 2012 (S. 3298) – would create grants to support the research and development of new technologies to better contain and clean up all types of oil spills. In addition, the bill requires the United States Coast Guard to establish a program to evaluate and implement ‘best available technology’ to effectively respond to and clean up oil spills.  Cantwell: bill would bring oil spill response into 21st century

Federal officials flagged safety concerns about Enbridge`s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project nearly two years ago, while warning that the Alberta-based proponent had an ``insufficient'' oil spill response plan along sensitive areas on its route from Alberta to the British Columbia coast, internal records reveal.  Feds flagged Enbridge for inadequate spill response plan: document  

On the heels of record-high salmon runs, the lower Skagit River opened for the first time this past weekend to sockeye salmon fishing, and local fishers can hardly contain their excitement.  Anglers get a new catch in the lower Skagit: sockeye  

What is a sip of clean water worth? Is there economic value in the shade of a tree? And how much would you pay for a breath of fresh air?  Proponents of so-called "green accounting" - who will gather in Rio de Janeiro this week for the Rio Earth Summit - hope that putting dollar values on resources will slam the brakes on unfettered development.  Accounting for natural wealth gains world traction  

Up to 5,000 federal environmental assessments of economic projects are conducted every year under existing laws, but the Harper government's proposal to repeal the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act could eliminate "most" of those reviews, said Environment Minister Peter Kent.  Peter Kent says budget bill to eliminate thousands of environmental assessments

B.C. Ferries is seeing its lowest passenger traffic in 21 years and has posted a loss for the last fiscal year. It’s not a lack of tourists but a lack of locals that’s putting B.C. Ferries in the tank, and one Victoria analyst suggests the corporation has a huge image problem. BC Ferries reports $16.5 million net loss as vehicle traffic hits 13-year low  

A magnificent section of the Inside Passage lies within the province of British Columbia but is largely inaccessible for many of its residents.  Photographers Pat and Rosemarie Keough of Saltspring Island set out to capture the magic of the Inside Passage in their art book Labyrinth Sublime, which takes the reader from Seattle, Washington, to Glacier Bay, Alaska. The $5,000 cover price will put the volume out of reach for all but serious collectors.  A passion for the Coast  

Harbor WildWatch will kick off its summer-long beach programs with events Monday at Kopachuck and Penrose Point state parks. At each program, participants can join a beach walk led by a trained marine naturalist, discover life forms they have never seen before and learn how their behaviors impact the fragile marine creatures that live in Puget Sound. Get feet wet with WildWatch

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 516 AM PDT MON JUN 18 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN ISOLATED SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/15 Seattle sea wall, 'Scotch' broom, snakehead, Walker Park, Fauntleroy fish, Australia reserve

Seattle sea wall (WSDOT)
The Seattle City Council is considering a $290 million bond measure for the November ballot to replace the sea wall and rebuild two city-owned piers that extend from it. City engineers say the sea wall, which runs from South Washington Street to Broad Street, has been seriously eroded by bore worms and tides. Built more than 70 years ago, it wasn't designed to withstand a major earthquake.  Seattle's eroding sea wall is an underlying problem  

It looks harmless enough; that bold yellow-when-in-bloom shrub often seen along roadways does have a somewhat aesthetically pleasing look to it. At least from a distance.  or two avid recreationists — Harold Mead and Maggie Sullivan — their battle against Scotch broom is personal and they have gone to extreme lengths to eradicate what Washington state lists as a Class B noxious weed. The battle to sweep away the ‘broom’  

Michael Beakes filleted an exotic fish Thursday, not to serve for supper, but to serve science. The snakehead, with its eel-like body and piranha teeth, would make an unappetizing dish for many. Beakes is one of two Simon Fraser University researchers tasked with dissecting the predator caught in Burnaby's Central Park pond last week. Burnaby snakehead sliced open for science  

The Anderson Cove waterfront could be named after one of the city's most notable civil rights heroines. The Bremerton City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to name a waterside parcel at 19th Street and Taft Avenue the Lillian A. Walker Park.  There is some work to do before the site actually looks like a park.  Walker's name could grace Anderson Cove's waterfront park

Following last week’s report about May salmon releases involving 560 students visiting Fauntleroy Creek, steward Judy Pickens has news that a record number of coho smolts (“teenagers”) have been counted as they headed for saltwater.  West Seattle salmon: Fauntleroy’s record outbound coho

Australia has created the world's largest network of marine reserves and will restrict fishing as well as oil and gas exploration in a major step to safeguard the environment and access to food. With the expansion announced Thursday, Australia will protect 3.1 million square kilometers (1.2 million square miles) of ocean. The reserves will encompass a third of the island continent's territorial waters, which sustain more than 4,000 species of fish.  Australia creates largest area of marine reserves  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 245 AM PDT FRI JUN 15 2012
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 KT...BECOMING NE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 17 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN EARLY... THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
E WIND 10 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 5 FT AT 17 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT.
SUN
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 7 FT.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/14 HPAs, orcas, Barker Cr., forage fish, algae blooms, Port Orchard, BC bag ban, LNG, Mojo

OrcaSing 2011 Poster  (Troy Coleman)
A permit for construction in and around state waters — free of charge since the program started in 1943 — will now cost $150 for processing. The permit, called a hydraulic project approval, or HPA, is used to ensure that construction projects adequately protect fish and shellfish. Christopher Dunagan reports. Permit fee added for construction near state waters

Howard Garrett from the Orca Network is the featured speaker at the Mukilteo Historical Society meeting tonight. The meeting will begin at 7:15 PM in the Fowler Room of the Rosehill Community Center. Refreshments, including the Orca favorite of salmon, will be served.  Noted orca expert to speak at historical society meeting  

Every summer the City Cantábile Choir, directed by Fred West, conducts a "musical celebration of the environment" at Limekiln State Park on San Juan Island. This annual summer solstice event at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 16 is dedicated to the recovery of the resident orca population.  Orca Sing Saturday June 16 at Limekiln State Park  

Barker Creek cuts through the semi-rural landscape of hobby farms and small towns on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. And like many small waterways in this region, Barker Creek has had problems with fecal coliform. Rain washes the bacteria from animal manure and leaky septic systems into nearby waterways. In some watersheds, the contamination can get so bad that officials have to close shellfish beds and post signs warning people to stay away from the water. But, for the first time since 1996, Barker Creek has its fecal coliform levels under control. Ashley Ahearn reports. Tackling Water Pollution One Creek At A Time


The Pacific Fisheries Management Council could dive into the protection of the smaller species that feed marine mammals, salmon, tuna, and other fish that people love to eat. Big fish, little fish: Fisheries Council looks at pre-emptive protection  


Scientists are amazed at the size and number of algae blooms staining the waters of Puget Sound. The Department of Ecology has conducted flyovers of Puget Sound the last two days and what they saw has them searching for answers. They are hoping other agencies will sample and test water from the blooms to determine what they are and maybe where they came from. Unexplained algae blooms have scientists searching for answers  

Capping a three-year public process, the Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday approved a revision of its Shoreline Master Program, which regulates development near fresh- and saltwater shorelines. Other local jurisdictions are at various stages of shoreline updates. Poulsbo approved its shorelines plan in May. Kitsap County's Planning Commission held a hearing on the county's revised plan June 6. Chris Henry reports.  Port Orchard approves shorelines plan  

Sixty per cent of British Columbians say prohibiting retailers from providing single-use plastic carryout bags is a good idea, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found. The online survey involved of a representative national sample of 1,019 Canadian adults. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Most British Columbians want plastic bags banned - poll  

Wearing red shirts and small white buttons with the acronym LNG crossed out, dozens of opponents of a proposed “bi-directional” liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton were greeted at an informational open house Tuesday evening by project staffers with their own decorative baubles: Large green buttons stating that LNG is good for business. ‘We would just like LNG to go away’  

With a clean bill of health and 230 more pounds on its chassis, Wolf Hollow's most voracious guest checked out and hit the beach at the end of May. Nicknamed Mojo, the young Stellar sea lion that spent nearly four months being nursed back to health at the San Juan Island-based wildlife rehabilitation center was escorted back to Washington's outer coast May 29 and released back into the wild, south of the Olympic Peninsula, in an area where many of its kind are known to congregate. Scott Rasmussen reports.  Homeward bound: fit, fat and back to sea    And: From stuck in the mud back to the skies

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT THU JUN 14 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND PATCHY DRIZZLE THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
NW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING W 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

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