Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30 Coal meeting, Tesoro oil, carbon tax, Shell spill gear, BC ports, Port Gamble, seal pups, Sandy's lessons

Tesoro rail offloading facility (Skagit Valley Herald)
Gateway Pacific Terminal supporters showed up early and they showed up in force Thursday, Nov. 29, at a public meeting scheduled to gather testimony about what issues are worthy of study as regulators decide whether to grant permits for the coal export pier at Cherry Point. By the time the meeting got under way at 3 p.m., coal terminal opponents may have been in the majority in the Ferndale Events Center crowd of more than 1,000, clad in red "Power Past Coal" shirts. But backers of the project showed up first to get a bigger share of the 100 available time slots for testifying at the microphone. John Stark reports. Coal terminal backers make strong showing at Ferndale meeting  See also: Coal Exports Fire Up A NW Washington Crowd

Tesoro’s Anacortes refinery is looking to the future of crude oil with a dedication Thursday afternoon of its recently finished Anacortes Rail Offloading Facility. The facility received the first of many 100-unit car trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation Sept. 4, following an estimated $60 million construction project that commenced in September. Mark Stayton reports. Focusing on the Future  

State Sen. Kevin Ranker is considering an industrial carbon tax to curb carbon dioxide emissions in Washington and to deal with the increasing acidity of the state's waters. John Stang reports. Orcas Island senator eyes a carbon tax to protect NW shellfish

Shell Oil has been building and testing equipment designed for the Arctic Ocean here in Puget Sound. In September, a key test of underwater oil-spill equipment was a spectacular failure. It forced the energy giant to postpone drilling into oil-bearing rocks beneath the Arctic Ocean until next summer. Shell and its federal regulators have been tight-lipped about the failed test. John Ryan reports. Sea Trial Leaves Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear "Crushed Like A Beer Can"  

Canada’s Port Metro Vancouver has launched an expansion project that will give it more capacity than the current container volumes of Seattle and Tacoma combined, and that’s making leaders of Puget Sound’s two largest ports wary. Plus, farther north in British Columbia, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is getting ready to embark on its own expansion, which could nearly double its ability to draw U.S.-bound cargo... Steve Wilhelm reports. B.C. ports’ plans could grab more U.S. cargo  

References to the town of Port Gamble have been removed from the latest draft of the Kitsap County Shorelines Master Program, now under review by the Kitsap County commissioners. The county's planning commission had included special allowances for the redevelopment of Port Gamble, with the understanding that the project would undergo extensive review during approval of a master plan for the townsite. Development plans have not yet been submitted by the owner, Olympic Property Group. Chris Dunagan reports. Kitsap County debates how to approach Port Gamble shoreline rules  

The Vancouver Aquarium says satellite tracking data shows that five rehabilitated seal pups returned to the ocean in mid October are adapting well to the wild. It’s the first time the aquarium has tagged the animals with satellite transmitters, and the technology is giving researchers excellent data on the animals’ activities, said Lindsaye Akhurst is the manager of the Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Rescued seal pups tracked by satellite

Sandy’s lessons learned? Carl Safina blogs, Rebuilding After Sandy is Too Big a Risk  and Orrin Pilkey writes: “We need an approach to our shorelines that takes account of rising sea levels, intensifying storms and continuing erosion.” We Need to Retreat From the Beach

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI NOV 30 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 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.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

11/29 Pineapple Express, Victoria sewage, ocean acid, rising seas, fishers, Wyman's Marina, Marysville odor, BP banned

Pretty Boy (PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: “Meet Pretty Boy, one of our ‘resident’ family of black-tailed deer. He’s aptly named, isn’t he? He and his twin brother first appeared outside our kitchen window in 2009. Since then we’ve watched him grow from a tiny fawn, to a gangly adolescent, to the powerful buck he’s become today....” Pretty Boy, Well and Truly Launched

New blog: "Here are three more points to raise with the federal, state and local government agencies holding a public meeting today in Ferndale (and in Spokane on Dec. 5 and Seattle on Dec. 13) to gather comments about what should be considered in evaluating the coal export facility proposed for the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve..." Two Minute Drill: Ocean Acid, Coal Exports and Jobs

The western U.S. is bracing for another round of torrential rain Thursday. It is the second of three storms this week that could cause trouble over a widespread area. It's a so-called "Pineapple Express" weather system -- a jet stream that starts near the pineapple-growing territory of the Hawaiian islands. Some call it a rain train, with a final and potentially devastating destination in the western U.S.  "Pineapple Express" storm effects feared in western U.S.

Greater Victoria's contentious sewage-treatment project survived its latest challenge Tuesday when a motion that would have suspended work until 2040 was rejected. Politicians on the Capital Regional District's sewage committee voted 10 to four against demanding that the federal government reclassify the region as at a lower risk for sewage pollution. That means the $783-million treatment project will continue, with completion of a secondary-treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt by 2018. Rob Shaw reports. Greater Victoria sewage committee votes to keep project flowing  

Check out a top-notch reporting piece on the recent state initiative to fight ocean acidification: “Rescuing shellfish from the rising acidity in Puget Sound will require a wide-ranging response: Everything from curbing greenhouse gases and controlling water pollution to growing more seaweed and putting restaurant-discarded oyster shells into shallow bays.” Ashley Ahearn, Katie Campbell and David Steves report. Acidifying Water Takes Toll On Northwest Shellfish 

A new peer-reviewed study by climate scientists finds the rise in sea level during the past two decades has been 60 percent faster than predictions from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scientists also found that IPCC's estimates for warming temperatures was just right. Eyder Peralta reports. Sea Level Rising Much Faster Than U.N. Projections

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists will begin studying next year whether the fisher, a weasel-like mammal recently reintroduced to Olympic National Park, should be listed on the federal endangered species list. The fisher is now listed on the state endangered species list. It was reintroduced to the North Olympic Peninsula from Canada during 2008 to 2011. Before then, the most recent reported sighting of a fisher on the Peninsula was in 1969. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Fisher being studied for federal endangered list  


The City Council recently approved a shoreline substantial development permit for the Port of Anacortes to transform waterfront area near the former Wyman’s Marina into an aquatic habitat. The port, which owns the property, is doing the work as mitigation in exchange for redevelopment at Pier 1 for Dakota Creek Industries. Because waters of the state were taken away as part of that project, the Army Corps of Engineers is requiring the port to create new waters. The property will be converted to about one acre of aquatic habitat through the port’s project. Kimberly Jacobson reports. Council OKs permit for port mitigation site at Wyman’s  


After three years of crying foul, Marysville’s Mike Davis has decided that he’s had enough of the odor that’s lingered in his life for far too long. The co-founder of “Citizens for a Smell Free Snohomish County” has joined other area residents in hiring attorneys, on a contingency fee basis, to investigate filing a civil lawsuit for damages against Cedar Grove Composting. Area residents look to take Cedar Grove to court  

The Environmental Protection Agency has suspended BP from bidding on any new federal contracts, including drilling leases, as a result of the company’s conduct during the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010 that led to 11 deaths and the largest U.S. offshore spill. The temporary ban came early on the day the Interior Department held a sale of leases on 20 million acres of offshore oil and gas prospects in the western Gulf of Mexico that the department said attracted $133 million in bids. People familiar with the process said the company did not submit any bids. Steven Mufson reports on Wednesday. EPA suspends BP from new federal contracts in wake of oil spill  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PST THU NOV 29 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT
TODAY
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT EASING TO 15 KT. COMBINED SEAS 11 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 10 FT AT 12 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, November 28, 2012

11/28 Ocean acid, Trans Mountain pipe, Gateway coal, train tracks, stormwater, snowy owls

New blog: "First of all, the standoff between my granddaughter and the turkey was called a draw before Thanksgiving Day...." Some Things Settled: Thanksgiving Turkey, Black Friday  

To combat ocean acidification in Washington, the state needs to better track the changing chemistry of Puget Sound, reduce stormwater runoff and nutrient pollution that worsen the problem, and counteract souring waters by sprinkling shells in estuaries or growing more carbon-gobbling vegetation. But above all, the state must advocate for regional, national and international policies to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, according to authors of a first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday about the changing chemistry of Washington's marine waters. The group of policymakers and scientists appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire made dozens of recommendations for tackling the rising acidity in Northwest marine waters, which already has upended the West Coast's multimillion-dollar shellfish industry and threatens to wreak havoc on the region's marine food web if chemical changes continue unabated. Craig Welch reports. State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification See also: Governor calls for action to fight acidification, help shellfish industry  

A National Energy Board report reveals that Trans Mountain Pipeline operators ignored warning alarms for three-and-a-half hours before responding to a gasket failure that resulted in a crude oil spill last January at its Sumas tank farm near Abbotsford. It took six hours after the first warning sounded for Trans Mountain’s Sumas operator to arrive on the scene, where a spill was discovered. The crude oil did not escape from a containment area but noxious fumes were released into the atmosphere, affecting nearby residents. This latest oil spill report comes at a time when pipeline owner Kinder Morgan is applying to expand the pipeline’s capacity from 300,000 barrels a year to 750,000 barrels to feed Asian markets. It has given the company a black eye, said Ben West, of the Wilderness Committee. Trans Mountain Pipeline operators ignored alarms warning of Abbotsford oil spill: report  

Backers of the Gateway Pacific Terminal project brought a stack of about 10,000 petition signatures to the office of Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws Tuesday, Nov. 27, in an attempt to show broad public support for the coal export pier proposed at Cherry Point. Ken Oplinger, president of the Bellingham-Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Gateway Pacific's opponents have prejudged the project's environmental impact before all the facts are in. John Stark reports. Coal terminal backers bring petitions to County Courthouse

Some measures to prevent mudslides along railroad tracks between Everett and Seattle have been taken and more are in the works, but they won't be enough to fix the drainage problems on the corridor, according to state officials. The hillsides along the tracks between Everett and Seattle are the worst slide area for trains in Western Washington, said David Smelser, a high-speed rail program manager for the state Department of Transportation. The problem, he said, isn't just the slopes -- it's the runoff from developed areas above the slopes along the route. Bill Sheets reports. No lasting fix likely for slides along railroad

Last week's heavy rainfall reminded a Poulsbo couple of what they see as an inadequate sewage system. Phil and Andrea Holt's house on Ninth Avenue flooded Nov. 19 when rainwater overwhelmed an 18-inch sewer pipe, causing a nearby manhole to malfunction and dump sewage into the couple's basement. Damaged insulation, walls and carpet alongside broken antiques and ruined family photos were among the many items lost as roughly 10 inches of sewage gushed in through a broken window. Amy Phan reports. Bad memories come flooding back with sewage spill during heavy rains   And, in unincorporated Kitsap County: Stormwater fees will increase over five years  

The city of Port Angeles could have to shell out between $57.5 million and $65.2 million over the next 20 years to deal with five environmental projects involving the state Department of Ecology. The projects, all but one of which Ecology is requiring of the city, range in estimated cost to the city from about $500,000 to $42 million. Officials expect the city’s total liability for these projects over the next 20 years to be between $57.5 million and $65.2 million. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Port Angeles faces bill of up to $65 million for state environmental mandates

Half-starved snowy owls are flying 1,500 kilometres or more to Vancouver Island in search of food, says the founder of an avian rescue group in Courtenay. "They're all starving," said Maj Birch, who founded Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society in 1995. "By the time they get down here, they're usually very thin. Starving snowy owls face new threat, desperate search for food on Vancouver Island

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED NOV 28 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING
TODAY
E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...RISING TO 30 TO 40 KT. COMBINED SEAS 5 TO 8 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 7 FT AT 11 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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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

11/27 Orca ESA, WA SEPA rules, Foss park, Dungeness water, Pacific Flyway

Orcas in Washington state waters will be counted and studied over the next nine months to determine whether they need to continue to be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle announced Monday. The federal listing is being challenged by an activist California-based law firm and two of its clients. The Pacific Legal Foundation, based in Sacramento, Calif., with an office in Bellevue, and two large farms in California's San Joaquin Valley are asking that the orcas be removed from the federal endangered species list. "New genetic analyses done since 2010 show that the orca whales (in Western Washington waters) are not genetically distinct from orca whales anywhere else in the world," said Damien Schiff, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento. The fact the petition will be reviewed does not mean orcas will be taken off the list, said Brian Gorman, a NOAA spokesman for the Seattle office, which is handling the request. Bill Sheets reports. Calif. farms challenge state orcas’ endangered status

In the first of a two-part rulemaking, the Washington Department of Ecology is proposing changes to the State Environmental Policy Act which would, among a number of changes, give local governments the option to select the exempt threshold for single-family housing developments from between four to up to 30 units. For multi-family buildings, local governments could select from four to up to 60 units as the exempt level while the threshold for minor agricultural construction projects could be between 10,000 to 40,000 square feet. The department will hold two public hearings for the proposed rule on Tuesday Dec. 4, at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Ecology headquarters building, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey. The public comment period for the proposed rule is open until Dec. 11. Ecology seeks public comment on draft SEPA rule changes

A vacant lot on the Thea Foss Waterway, once the site of a steam plant that supplied heat to downtown Tacoma, could become downtown Tacoma’s newest park. The Foss Waterway Development Authority on Wednesday will consider purchasing the 0.7-acre parcel at 1147 E. Dock St. as the site of a future park. If the board approves the $400,000 purchase price, the authority will begin looking for grant funds to transform the site into the city’s newest waterfront attraction. John Gillie reports. Foss lot could become 3rd park along waterway

It’s hard to imagine a fight over water in Western Washington, a region that typically evokes images of rain gear and umbrellas. But in the rural Dungeness Valley on the Olympic Peninsula, known for its lavender fields and namesake crabs, the debate has been fierce over how much water landowners, irrigators, American Indian tribes and others can use while still leaving enough in streams for threatened fish. The tug-of-war over water that has unfolded in arid regions of the West is now playing out in this rural community. State regulators recently restricted new groundwater use in the area to ensure supplies for future use and sufficient flow in the Dungeness River and its tributaries for salmon and other natural resources.  Under the new rule, property owners will have to buy credits to offset new water use from individual wells starting Jan. 2.  Water won’t stay free in Dungeness

In this area, we have more than 150 bird species, about 50 of which leave us each fall for warmer southern climates. These sunshine lovers include songbirds like flycatchers, vireos, warblers and grosbeaks. Thousands of shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl migrate south each year. And about another 50 species, known as boreal migrants, come to our area for the winter. Loons, scaups, teals, grebes, and numerous other birds spend their summers in Canada but retreat to Puget Sound for the cooler winter months. The Pacific Flyway, a broad swath of sky extending from northern Alaska to Central America, is one of the most popular paths for birds heading south at this time of year. Elsa Watson writes. Winter migrants face a daunting commute to a habitat in decline

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE NOV 27 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM PST THIS MORNING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 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

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/26 More oil, natural gas pipe, coal comments, Partnership, Elwha salmon, Victoria sewage, pteropods, shellfish test, Stillaguamish restoration, fish virus test, Gangnam Style

(PHOTO: Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Herald)
The arrival in Tacoma last week of a 103-car train from North Dakota was a sign of just how swiftly the sudden abundance of oil in this country is shifting business even 1,200 miles away from the booming oil fields. That BNSF Railway train was the first of what will ultimately become weekly trains bringing oil to Tacoma from the new oil fields opened up by hydraulic-fracturing technology in the country's northern Great Plains. John Gillie reports. Oil boom resonates in South Sound    And: Premiers of Quebec, Alberta to discuss moving oil east  

TransCanada’s planned 650-kilometre natural gas pipeline to Kitimat would cross about 320 watercourses including the habitat of more than 100 species at risk, such as white sturgeon, woodland caribou and marbled murrelet, company documents show. But under Conservative government changes to environmental laws, there’s no guarantee the Coastal GasLink project will undergo a federal environmental assessment. Larry Pynn reports. Gas pipeline may sidestep review

Remember the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal project proposed to be built in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve? Your next chance to comment in person and show your support for a comprehensive environmental impact statement is at the Ferndale public meeting on Thurs., Nov 29, 3-7 PM, Ferndale Events Center, 5715 Barett Road, Ferndale. Wear red to show your colors. And on Dec. 4: Questions surround coal terminal’s impact on Spokane   And more: Public Comment Period Added For Columbia Coal Export Plan  

In 2006, Gov. Chris Gregoire threw down the gauntlet on behalf of a degraded Puget Sound. The governor declared that future generations need to have a Puget Sound that is "swimmable, diggable and fishable." Now, as Gregoire prepares to leave office, she confronts questions about progress by the Puget Sound Partnership — the agency she created in consultation with the Legislature to coordinate efforts to restore Puget Sound. "Things have not moved as quickly as I had hoped," Gregoire said in interview. "I thought we got off with a bang, including public engagement. Now, we are into the tough stuff." Chris Dunagan reports. Human values count in Puget Sound recovery

Wild Fish Conservancy, The Conservation Angler, the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee and the Wild Steelhead Coalition have ramped up their efforts to prevent the releases next spring of hatchery-bred steelhead and coho salmon smolts during the ongoing $325 million Elwha River salmon restoration project. The groups filed requests last week in federal District Court in Tacoma for a preliminary injunction and a partial summary judgment to prevent the releases, saying the plans should be reviewed for compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act, or ESA, and that they would harm species listed as threatened under the act.  Paul Gottlieb reports. Groups go to court to fight release of Elwha River hatchery fish

Until 1958, the City of Victoria, Oak Bay and Esquimalt dumped municipal garbage into the ocean. ....as late as March 1957, the City of Victoria’s Public Works Committee recommended “that Victoria’s garbage continue to be disposed of at sea.” A year later, the City of Victoria would abandon the practice and move toward the landfilling of garbage. Victoria City Councillor and Regional Director Ben Isitt blogs. Taking responsibility for our sewage  See: Critical vote Tuesday on next step for sewage treatment in Greater Victoria  And see: David Suzuki says the ocean is not a garbage can, he hasn't endorsed Green candidate Galloway  And, hooray: Sewage-dumping hurts region's image: tourism group

Arguing recent events like hurricane Sandy can't be ignored, Victoria, Saanich and the Capital Regional District will team up to assess, map and start to prepare to manage effects of rising sea levels brought on by climate change. Bill Cleverley reports. Sandy spurs Saanich, Victoria to talk sea change

Scientists years ago figured out that a group of tiny snail-like sea creatures crucial to marine food webs may one day be an early victim of changing ocean chemistry. Researchers predicted that pteropods, shelled animals known as sea butterflies, could begin dissolving by 2038 as human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions begin souring the seas in a process known as ocean acidification. But new research by Seattle scientists concludes that corrosive seas are damaging pteropods right now — decades earlier than expected. And that damage was recorded in the south Atlantic Ocean, where surface pH doesn't dip as low as it has off the Washington coast or in Puget Sound. Craig Welch reports. Sea changes harming ocean now could someday undermine marine food chain  

State shellfish inspectors have armed themselves with new equipment to reduce future outbreaks of an "emerging" illness caused by poisonous shellfish. Increasing attention is being focused on a toxin known as diarrhetic shellfish poison, or DSP. The toxin is produced by a type of plankton and becomes concentrated in filter-feeders, such as clams, oysters and mussels. Illnesses from DSP were never documented in Washington state until last year, but now officials are racing to catch up with this growing health concern. Chris Dunagan reports. New state equipment tests for 'emerging' shellfish toxin  

The Nature Conservancy recently completed a $4 million project to restore 150 acres of former tidelands north of the mouth of the Stillaguamish River. The work involved breaching an old dike to allow in salt water and reinforcing another dike to protect farmland. Snow geese are wintering in the newly flooded area. Bill Sheets reports. Nature reclaiming marshlands after dikes breached  

A lab that revealed the first evidence of an infectious virus in British Columbia salmon should be stripped of its international credentials, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In a letter to the World Organization for Animal Health, the CFIA urges the international agency to accept the findings of an independent audit that recommends “suspension of the reference laboratory status,” of the facility. Mark Hume reports. Ottawa moves against PEI lab that reported virus in B.C. salmon

Some marine-life experts want transient killer whales to be declared their own species, and they want them to have a new name: Bigg's killer whales, in honor of Michael Bigg, the researcher whose observations off British Columbia and Washington state led to the identification of transients. They're mammal-eaters, a way in which they differ from resident orcas. Dan Joling reports. Mammal-eating 'transient' orcas may be named after researcher  

Now, that’s viral: Gangnam Style, the dance track by South Korean pop phenomenon Psy, has become YouTube's most-watched video of all time. It has notched up more than 808m views since it was posted in July. Gangnam Style becomes YouTube's most-viewed video

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON NOV 26 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

11/21 Sewage spills, Cedar Grove, Enbridge, Hanjin Geneva

Stevens Pass (Mark Mulligan / The Herald)
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Maybe you do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Thanksgiving looks drier, but wet weather continues   Mudslides disrupt train service   Skiers and snowboarders thrilled on Stevens Pass opening day

More than 2 million gallons of sewage mixed with stormwater were discharged into Port Washington Narrows and Sinclair Inlet during Monday's deluge, according estimates reported to the Kitsap Public Health District. Most of that volume was stormwater, which exceeded the capacity of the sewer system, said Stuart Whitford of the health district. Four separate discharges spilled into Port Washington Narrows and one spilled into Sinclair Inlet, according to a report Tuesday from Bremerton city officials to the health district. In addition, a little more than 4 million gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged from the West Bremerton Wastewater Treatment Plant into Sinclair Inlet, Whitford said. That sewage received primary treatment and disinfection to kill most pathogens. Chris Dunagan reports. Sewage discharge volumes from storm reported  

The problem with compost? It smells like garbage, especially in Marysville. Nina Shapiro reports. Cedar Grove: Reduce, Reuse, Revolting

It’s been a political hot potato, a byelection talking point and water cooler fodder for months. On Tuesday, the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline was delivered as a lunchtime economic primer to the Canadian Club of Victoria. In a 40-minute pre-lunch presentation, Janet Holder, executive vice-president of Western access for pipeline proponent Enbridge, laid out the economic case for the 1,170-kilometre project. Andrew Duffy reports. Enbridge executive tells Victorians getting oil to new markets is key to maintain Canada’s standard of living  

A container ship ran aground in the Prince Rupert Harbour on Tuesday evening while trying to avoid a smaller boat. The Hanjin Geneva hit the shore about six nautical miles from Prince Rupert at about 10:30 p.m. PT Tuesday night. Three tug boats and a coast guard vessel are standing by to help get the container ship back in deeper waters and will try to refloat the vessel during high tide, between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. PT. Container ship runs aground in Prince Rupert  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 231 AM PST WED NOV 21 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
W WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SW 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
 SHOWERS...MOST NUMEROUS THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE
 EVENING.

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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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

11/20 Rainstorm, sewage, BC turbines, Wild Olympics, Dabob Bay, tsunami debris, Seahurst Park science

Diving Duck Drowns in Deluge
“My daughter is almost 21 month old.  Living in Western Washington all her life, Monday was wettest day she had ever experienced.  With 2.13 inches of rainfall recorded at Sea-Tac airport on Monday, it’s the wettest day since December 12, 2010.” Sam Argier reports. Wettest day in nearly two years

Heavy rainfall forced sewage to overflow into parts of Seattle and Everett today. Everett got the worst of it as raw sewage from 10 of 12 sewer outfalls overflowed into the Snohomish River and Port Gardner Bay today. Untreated sewage also spilled into Seattle’s Meadowbrook Park this afternoon, according to the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Alexa Vaughn reports. Sewage overflow spills in Seattle and Everett  

Local health officials issued a "no-contact" order for waters around Bremerton and Silverdale after heavy stormwater flows caused a discharge of raw sewage. Sewage mixed with stormwater spilled from four overflow pipes in Port Washington Narrows and one in Sinclair Inlet, said Stuart Whitford of the Kitsap Public Health District. Total volume estimates were not available Monday, but Whitford said it appeared that more than 100,000 gallons were released altogether. At least 90 percent of that was stormwater mixed with about 10 percent raw sewage, he said. Ed Friedrich reports. Inundated West Sound deals with flooded roads, downed power lines, sewer overflows

While you’re busy cramming in the third helping of turkey, you are most likely only thinking about that first part of the equation (the stuffing in), and maybe the second part (getting fat). You’re probably not considering the third part (exiting). It’s important to remember though, that what you gobble up this holiday season isn’t necessarily going to stay in your body. A lot of it ends up coming out of you, entering the sewage system and landing itself in the ocean. Yes, you are not just seasoning that cake you little chef, you are seasoning the ocean too…by way of your butt. Minda Berbeco blogs. The ocean is a fruit cake or why pollution is so delicious

The company that applied to investigate putting energy-generating turbines in a narrow passage that’s part of the threatened northern resident killer whales’ critical habitat has withdrawn the application. “There was obviously a lot of public concern about that particular site and especially the values that site represents,” said Scot Merriam, principal of SRM Projects, a Nanaimo renewable-energy engineering company. “In learning about critical habitat, it became pretty apparent that this was just not a good candidate for our first tidal-energy project.” Judith Lavoie reports. Fear of harming whale habitat sidelines turbine project

If you like to watch: Connie Gallant of the Wild Olympics Coalition shares a new video persuading us of a better future under the proposed Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.  Wild Olympics for Our Future

Few places in the Northwest boast the odd mix of ingredients — man, mollusk, mammal and military — found in the deep mixing bowl that is Dabob Bay. Ron Judd reports. On Dabob Bay, man and nature nurture preservation  

A Seattle oceanographer who has been tracking debris from the Japanese tsunami says a huge debris field, hundreds of miles across, is about 400 miles off the Washington coast. Retired University of Washington oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer told The Daily Herald it could hit the coast around mid-December, depending on weather and currents. A spokeswoman for the state Ecology Department is more cautious. Linda Kent says government officials don't know when the debris may wash ashore or how much. Tsunami debris reported closer to Washington coast  

This fall, the Environmental Science Center (ESC) at Seahurst Park is making a splash in south King County schools thanks to support from The Boeing Company. Through a new grant, ESC will engage more than 1,500 students in understanding the dynamics of their local watershed, deepening their connection to the environment and promoting positive stewardship behaviors that will aid in salmon recovery. The highlight of the program titled, “Water Heroes for Puget Sound,” is an intensive hands-on science investigation at the Normandy Park Cove where hundreds of chum and coho salmon are returning to spawn. Water heroes produced through Burien’s Environmental Science Center program

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 700 AM PST TUE NOV 20 2012...UPDATED
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS WITH SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN AND SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS.

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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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Monday, November 19, 2012

11/19 Toilets, sewage, salmon runs, Gateway pipe, coal study, Thurston assets, killing wolves & swans, Sarah Creachbaum, Neil Werner

Eye of the Arbutus (Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "For the past couple of weeks I’ve been mired in computer issues – focused on peeling back one layer after another of tiny details. Slowly, carefully, I’ve been working at restoring and rebuilding my system after my hard drive unexpectedly crashed earlier this month. It’s been rather like looking through a long, narrow tunnel, hoping there might be light at the end, and not too far away...” Seeing the Forest Again  

Today is World Toilet Day. A staggering 2.5 billion people – that’s one in every three people worldwide – do not have access to a clean toilet. In 2001, Singaporean businessman Jack Sim founded the World Toilet Organization and today, travelers around the globe seek to bring attention to the lack of sanitation in developing countries. Of course, civilized Victoria has toilets— but please don't flush -- they discharge directly into the Strait. A day to break toilet taboos

Advocates of Greater Victoria's sewage treatment plan - including the infamous Mr. Floatie - are scrambling to come up with a counter-offensive to the growing opposition that threatens to scuttle the megaproject. Environmental groups and activists who helped push the B.C. government to order treatment for the region in 2006 admit they have been caught off guard by increased opposition to the $783-million treatment project in recent months. Rob Shaw reports. Mr. Floatie and Co. taken aback by sewage-treatment opponents

In a milestone for clean water, the new Brightwater treatment plant has begun work after more than a decade in the making and nearly $2 billion invested in the project. The plant began treating sewage and discharged some of the first treated effluent into Puget Sound at the beginning of the month. The plant is so effective it is producing water 30 times cleaner than required under its state permit, and clean enough to use as reclaimed water. Lynda Mapes reports. Ambitious Brightwater sewage project now online after long effort  

Wild salmon runs have been in steep decline in the Pacific Northwest for decades. Restoring runs to historic levels involves substantial economic costs, competing societal priorities, and entrenched policy stances. The Stillaguamish Tribe and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission say there’s no time to wait. If we don’t act there won’t be any more salmon. Martha Baskin reports. Downstream or Upstream, It’s Uphill for Salmon: Tribes Work to Protect Habitat

After 20 years and more than $40 million spent, the new direction for Snake River sockeye focuses on rebuilding population rather than just preventing extinction. Lynda Mapes reports. The extraordinary effort to save sockeye salmon  

A commercial fish opening off Cowichan Bay has netted 150,000 chum salmon for the market, making it the most successful opening in years. Dozens of gill-net and seine fishboats took part in the fishery, which began Nov. 3 and wound up this week. Chum fishery best in years, says DFO

The environmental review panel examining the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has added another 10 weeks of hearings. The panel will now return to Prince Rupert in February of next year to hear participants questioned under oath. Panel spokeswoman Annie Roy says the additional hearings were needed after participants gave clearer estimates of how much time they would need for questioning. The hearings will resume in Prince Rupert on Dec. 10.  Northern Gateway review panel adds 10 weeks of hearings to B.C. schedule  

Rep. Jeff Morris and Kristine Lytton write a guest editorial: 40th District Legislators ask state for multi-agency coal study

Thurston County’s natural resources are worth billions of dollars, according to a broad study by a Tacoma-based nonprofit. Earth Economics’ “rapid ecosystem survey” looked at 14 categories, including the area’s forests, wetlands, prairies and shorelines. The eight-month survey, which was funded by a $20,000 contract with Thurston County, took a broad look at the county’s natural value. Chelsea Krotzer reports. County’s natural resources worth billions, study finds

A provincial draft wolf-management plan is little more than a veiled attack on the predator that all but ignores the species’ ecological role, social structure, and potential for tourism, a critic charged Friday. Pacific Wild’s Ian McAllister, an environmentalist who has followed wolf packs for 20 years on the B.C. coast and written two books on them, said the draft plan envisions the slaughter of individuals and entire packs through trapping, liberalized hunting and in some cases use of aircraft. Larry Pynn reports. B.C. wolf management plan criticized as veiled attack on the species

The only way to deal with Richmond’s snow geese problem is to kill thousands of birds in an organized mass cull, according to longtime Coun. Harold Steves. While Steves supports a new program to train volunteers and their dogs to chase the geese away from school playgrounds and parks, he thinks it won’t do much more than move the birds from one field to another. It won’t get at the real problem — too many geese.  The only way to deal with Richmond’s snow geese problem is to kill

Most every employee of the National Park Service has an ideal park at which he or she would like to work, and the expansive wilderness in Port Angeles' backyard is at the top of Sarah Creachbaum's list. “It's Olympic National Park — do you need to say more?” Creachbaum said with a laugh from her superintendent's office at park headquarters in Port Angeles. Creachbaum, 54, began work last week as Olympic National Park's newest superintendent. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Meet the new Olympic National Park superintendent: 'The mountain-sea intersection is something I've always loved'  

Working at the helm of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group for the past 17 years has not been unlike raising a family, says Neil Werner, executive director of the enhancement group. Werner plans to retire from his position Dec. 31 and is eager to see a new generation of salmon lovers take charge. Ted Smith of Gig Harbor, who served most recently as director of capital giving at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, has been named to replace Neil Werner as executive director of the Pacific Northwest Salmon Center. Arla Shephard reports. Long-time director of Belfair salmon center leaves legacy of education

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 401 AM PST MON NOV 19 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING S 20 TO 30 KT LATE. WIND
WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE
 EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY.

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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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Friday, November 16, 2012

11/16 Inslee & Puget Sound, Bellingham waterfront, Peninsula clean air, P-8A jets, sea lice

Governor-elect Jay Inslee
Small change: BP made a net profit of $5.5 billion in the third quarter of this year. BP agrees to pay $4.5B; 3 employees charged   And breaking news: Oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico

New blog: “It might be instructive to take a look at the successful Obama campaign playbook when pondering how to build a constituency around restoring Puget Sound to health....” Electing Obama, Saving Puget Sound  

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee says he has no plans to overhaul the Puget Sound Partnership, but he wants to make sure the agency chooses restoration projects based on sound science. Inslee said he has no plans to propose a permanent funding source for Puget Sound, as various state officials have mentioned from time to time. Inslee says restoring Puget Sound to health and addressing climate change at the state level will remain high priorities during his administration. Chris Dunagan reports. Inslee maintains commitment to working for a healthy Puget Sound

The latest plan for the city's waterfront confirms the shift toward long-term industrial usage for much of the old Georgia-Pacific Corp. pulp and tissue mill site now owned by the Port of Bellingham. The new draft of the waterfront plan released Thursday, Nov. 15, outlines development goals for the 137-acre G-P property as well as surrounding port and city-owned lands, for a total of 237 acres. Since at least 2010, port and city officials have made it clear that the southwestern portion of the mill site and the port's adjacent shipping terminal acreage probably would remain industrial for the foreseeable future, while development activity focuses on the waterfront areas closest to Old Town and downtown. John Stark reports. Port, Bellingham release long-awaited waterfront plan  

The Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency has approved a budget that funds an air-quality study in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Four temporary air-quality monitors will be used in a two-year saturation study that will gauge emissions from the biomass expansion projects in Port Angeles and Port Townsend. Rob Ollikainen reports. ORCAA funds air-quality monitors for Peninsula

The Navy is considering an increase in the number of P-8A Poseidon aircraft squadrons planned for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. The P-8As, which are modified 737s assembled in Renton, are scheduled to replace the older Orion P-3s, as the propeller planes are phased out of service. The Navy is studying three alternatives for the assignment of Poseidon squadrons, all of which would mean additional aircraft at Whidbey Island. The Navy plans to schedule public hearings during the 45-day public comment and agency review period that will follow the summer 2013 release of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement. Navy may add up to 49 737-based P-8As to Whidbey  

Treating B.C.'s farmed salmon for sea lice at a different time of year improves the fish's health, says a research team led by University of Alberta academics. But a pathologist at the B.C. agriculture ministry says the study is based on incomplete data. The paper published in the journal Ecological Applications argues that in the past decade, salmon farmers began treating their fish with a product known as SLICE, an anti-parasitic chemical, in the fall and winter months. As a result, researchers have found fewer sea lice in coastal waters around the Broughton Archipelago. The timing of the treatments is important because it means in the spring, when juvenile pink salmon travel to the sea through the archipelago, the sea lice numbers have dropped. The fish are most susceptible to the parasites at that time. Gary Marty, a fish pathologist for B.C.'s Ministry of Agriculture, said he doesn't dispute that the SLICE treatments and their timing are important. But he said the paper's researchers base their conclusions on the belief that sea lice numbers are harmful to wild salmon, and Marty questioned whether that's a given. Sea lice strategy could help save salmon

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST FRI NOV 16 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PST THIS EVENING GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM PST THIS EVENING THROUGH
 SATURDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 17 SECONDS. A CHANCE
 OF RAIN. PATCHY MORNING FOG.
TONIGHT
E WIND RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT...THEN BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10
 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
SAT
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING AND BECOMING S IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 9 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL BUILDING TO 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE. WIND WAVES 2 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 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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Thursday, November 15, 2012

11/15 Net pens, BP fined, gas prices, WA budget, orcas & turbines, Duwamish sensors, Vic sewage, Elwha Love, BC wolves, Chas Darwin

Deepwater Horizon (BP)
The B.C. government was urged Wednesday not to renew leases for open-net salmon farms on the coast. Aboriginals and environmentalists demonstrated outside Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office in Point Grey at noon and delivered a petition with more than 11,000 signatures opposing the renewal of salmon-farm leases in B.C. Larry Pynn reports. B.C. urged to not renew leases for open-net salmon farms

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history, totaling billions of dollars, for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a person familiar with the deal said Thursday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the deal, also said two BP employees face manslaughter charges over the death of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill. The person said BP will plead guilty to obstruction for lying to Congress about how much oil was pouring out of the ruptured well. The person declined to say exactly how much the fine in the billions of dollars would be. BP made a net profit of $5.5 billion in the third quarter, it reported last month. Michael Kunzelman reports. BP gets record fine in Gulf oil spill

West Coast gasoline price spikes in May and October were widely blamed on refinery outages, but new research to be released at a California hearing Thursday, Nov. 15, shows that refiners continued to produce gasoline in periods when the public was told the contrary.  The information, shared exclusively with McClatchy, comes from Oregon-based McCullough Research, which combed through thousands of pages of environmental documents to conclude that refineries were in fact operating during supposed outages and maintenance shutdowns. Kevin Hall reports. California refineries operated during periods blamed for gas price spikes, study says  

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee will take office in January facing a projected $900 million deficit for the next two-year budget ending in mid-2015, not counting money lawmakers will need to spend to improve funding for education as directed by the state Supreme Court earlier this year. A four-year outlook released Wednesday by the Washington state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council showed that the projected revenue shortfall for the following biennium ending in 2017 would be even larger, at $1.1 billion. Rachel La Corte reports. State revenue prediction remains grim  

Scientists and whale-protection groups are sending a resounding message to the province that it is unacceptable to consider energy-generating tidal turbines in critical habitat for threatened northern resident killer whales. The outcry may change plans by SRM Projects Ltd. of Nanaimo to investigate putting tidal turbines in Blackney Passage near the entrance to Johnstone Strait, proponent Scot Merriam said Tuesday. Judith Lavoie reports. Scientists say turbines would put whales at risk  

Parts of Seattle’s Duwamish River are so toxic, they add up to form of an EPA Superfund Site. That’s why EPA divers chose those places to install some new pollution testing devices Wednesday. During the pre-dive meeting, the divers discuss the hazards, including working in a current, poor visibility and exposure to hazardous levels of PCBs and other dangerous chemicals. When it’s time to splash, they prepare arrow-shaped sensors they will bury in the sediments on the river bottom. Gary Chittim reports. Watch EPA tracking Duwamish River contamination with river sensors  

Dozens of Greater Victoria citizens packed a regional district meeting Wednesday demanding a challenge to the federal government's order to build a secondary sewage treatment plant. They say the billion-dollar project is not based on any scientific evidence to prove discharging screened sewage is harming the environment. Saanich director Vic Derman and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins put forward a motion to suspend the project, but time ran out before regional district directors could vote.  Victoria citizens oppose secondary sewage treatment plan

Congratulations! Lynda V. Mapes, Steve Ringman and Genevieve Alvarez of The Seattle Times won in the online category for a richly detailed package of stories, videos, graphics and photographs on the removal of two old dams on the Elwha River in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State and efforts to restore the ecosystem. Winners Named in 2012 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Competition

The B.C. government has released its draft plan managing the province's grey wolf population, which calls for wolf hunting to continue and even culling the animals in some areas. The document says B.C.'s wolf numbers are relatively stable, rising from an estimated 8,100 20 years ago to about 8,500 now. But it also finds that in some parts of the southern Interior wolves are killing livestock and endangered mountain caribou. B.C. considering wolf culls in new management plan  

Not the last word: There's a certain discernment to the voters of Georgia. They don't want some old politician all over again. Indeed, almost 4,000 voted for Charles Darwin. Yes, that Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin gets thousands of votes in Georgia

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU NOV 15 2012
TODAY
E WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 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


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

11/14 Naming ferries, ranch pollution, Enbridge, building seawall, Ocean Wise cooking

Tokitae (aka Lolita)
The Washington Transportation Commission has decided to name two new state ferries the Samish and the Tokitae (toh-kee-tay). The commission says the names selected at Tuesday's meeting in Tacoma keep the tradition of giving ferries regional tribal names. 2 new WA ferries named Samish, Tokitae  

Lisa Stiffler blogs on what may help solve the problem of polluted runoff: Belly-Up Fish and Other Stormwater Mayhem

New blog: America waved a lot of flags and said many fine words earlier this week about those who serve our country. A day later and a week after our elections, people from Texas, Louisiana and Florida are petitioning the White House to secede from the United States. Inconvenient Patriotism

The Washington Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday that will decide how much control environmental regulators have over pollution that runs off people’s land and into streams. Cowboy hats and wrangler jeans could be seen among the business suits normally worn in the Washington Supreme Court building. Around 80 ranchers and environmentalists packed into the courtroom. They traveled from around the state: Spokane, Dayton, and Puget Sound. At issue: Can the Washington Department of Ecology make a rancher fence-in a stream that runs through his land? Courtney Flatt reports. Rancher Brings Pollution Battle to WA Supreme Court  

Enbridge Inc. is rejecting two key tenets of the B.C. government’s position on the Northern Gateway pipeline – that compensation should be tied to environmental risk and the project is effectively dead if the New Democratic Party wins next spring’s election. Gary Mason reports. Enbridge rebuffs B.C. demand for Gateway compensation


Plans for building Seattle's waterfront seawall — overwhelmingly approved by voters last week — call for seven years of construction, with a shutdown from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year to protect the peak summer tourist season for visitors and waterfront businesses. Alaskan Way's four lanes will narrow to two, pedestrian access could be blocked as the work progresses along the waterfront, and the area will be noisy and dusty as the city undertakes what leaders say is the most intensive and complex such project in its history. Lynn Thompson reports. Seattle waterfront merchants 'livid' over seawall construction plan  

Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation program is partnering with its first Chinese restaurant to feature sustainable seafood as part of its offerings. On Nov. 28, the aquarium will partner with Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant, at 1668 West Broadway, where Chef Robert Wong will give a demonstration on preparing authentic Szechuan dishes featuring Ocean Wise seafood. Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program partners with first Chinese restaurant

"Omnishambles" has been named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. The word - meaning a situation which is shambolic (completely disorganized; chaotic) from every possible angle - was coined in 2009 by the writers of BBC political satire The Thick of It. But it has crossed over into real life this year, said the judges. Omnishambles named word of the year by Oxford English Dictionary

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 248 AM PST WED NOV 14 2012
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG.

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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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

11/13 Toxics, BC Quake, Bob Hart, "Optimizer," polling

Check out Ecology's web site describing what's known about toxic chemical pollution sources, loadings, pathways and hazards in Puget Sound. Puget Sound Toxics Assessment

Following the Oct. 27 magnitude-7.7 earthquake that rocked Haida Gwaii and B.C.’s northern coast, the provincial government came under fire for taking too long to notify people about a possible tsunami. The B.C. Ministry of Justice announced Monday that under its new system it will forward alerts it receives from the U.S.-based West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre to all local authorities, first responders and the media. After the emails are sent, the Crown agency will post information on Twitter and other social media sites. Kevin Drews reports. B.C. changes how tsunami alerts issued following Haida Gwaii quake

Skagit County’s agricultural community has lost one of its most tireless leaders and dedicated advocates with the passing of Robert “Bob” Ranville Hart. Hart, who died Nov. 4, was a fourth-generation Skagitonian, born in Mount Vernon in 1947 to Ranville Ernest and Margaret Jennings Hart. Hart expanded his family’s nursery in La Conner — now Christianson’s Nursery — and turned his family’s homestead grounds into the La Conner Flats display garden. Elected in 1996, Hart served as a Skagit County commissioner for eight years. While in office, he was one of two commissioners who voted to pass the Conservation Futures Fund ordinance, which uses local taxes along with state, federal and private dollars to purchase and protect Skagit farmland for future generations.  Bob Hart remembered as a leading advocate for Skagit farmland



Two things to learn from the recent national campaign:

It was called “the Optimizer,” and, strategists for President Obama say it is how he beat a better-financed Republican opposition in the advertising war. Culling never-before-used data about viewing habits, and combining it with more personal information about the voters the campaign was trying to reach and persuade than was ever before available, the system allowed Mr. Obama’s team to direct advertising with a previously unheard-of level of efficiency, strategists from both sides agree. Jim Rutenberg reports. Secret of the Obama Victory? Rerun Watchers, for One Thing  

As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seems to be changing as well. In last Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called only landlines or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly and showed a more Republican-leaning electorate than the one that actually turned out. Nate Silver blogs. Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 255 AM PST TUE NOV 13 2012
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SW. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 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


Monday, November 12, 2012

11/12 BC chum, Elwha coho, Victoria sewage, Skagit water, Hood Canal mitigation, BC & US coal, BC oil, Peninsula shellfish, Children's Museum, Kalakala, owl attacks

(PHOTO: CBC News/George Clulow)
Record numbers of chum salmon are returning to urban creeks in Burnaby, B.C., to spawn. Crowds gathered on Saturday at Buckingham Creek — a tiny, shallow waterway that passes under a large parking lot and runs into Deer Lake — to watch the salmon spawn. Naturalists believe a handful of salmon might have reached the creek in previous years, but say this is the biggest run in 80 years.  Record numbers of salmon spawning in urban creeks  Meanwhile:  Bald eagles arriving in record numbers on Harrison River  

A number of salmon are getting a helping hand to two of the larger tributaries of the Elwha River from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Fish Hatchery, where fish are taking refuge from increased sediment loads coursing down the river in the wake of dam removal. Some 300 coho and a handful of chum already have made their way to the tribal hatchery and the state rearing channel — enough to preserve this year’s run. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Tribal hatchery transports first fish of fall to Elwha tributaries  

A strong resurgence of opposition to Greater Victoria's sewage treatment plan could derail the megaproject at a meeting of politicians next week. Two of the 14 directors on the Capital Regional District's sewage committee plan to force a vote that would delay the $783-million plan. Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman say their separate motions would lead the CRD to challenge the federal government's wastewater regulations, which currently deem Greater Victoria a high risk and mandate secondary treatment by 2020. They want Ottawa to lower the CRD's risk rating, potentially making treatment unnecessary until 2040. Rob Shaw reports.  Foes renew battle against sewage megaproject  

Skagit River water rights will again be the focus of a courtroom battle, this time in the state’s highest court. Depending on the court’s ruling, the owners of about 5,700 buildable lots in the Skagit River basin — of which at least 400 already have homes on them — might not be allowed to draw water for residential use. At issue is the 2008 lawsuit advanced by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community against the state Department of Ecology, which claims Ecology abused a provision meant to provide water in exceptional circumstances to more than two dozen major and minor creek basins that feed into the Skagit River. They took their argument to Thurston County Superior Court in 2008, but lost in 2010, and then appealed. The case is now in the state Supreme Court, and oral arguments will be held Tuesday in Olympia.  Kate Martin reports.  Court ruling could decide rural Skagit water use    See also: County commissioners call for mediation in Skagit Valley water fight

Does anybody have an old dock he would like to sell? Does the dock happen to be located anywhere near the Navy's submarine base at Bangor? Under a new mitigation program, the Hood Canal Coordinating Council will use $6.9 million from the Navy to compensate for habitat damage caused by the Navy's $715-million explosives handling wharf, now under construction at Bangor. Besides removing old docks, projects under consideration include the removal of shoreline fill, creosote pilings and bulkheads located in tidal areas. Chris Dunagan reports. Hood Canal restoration sought for $6.9 million in Navy funding

In recent weeks, the town of Tumbler Ridge has been in the spotlight as the destination for temporary foreign workers headed to jobs at a coal project nearby. On Thursday, the federal government announced a review of the program through which those Chinese workers were hired, throwing a wrench into plans to bring up to 200 people to the Murray River project. But while Ottawa may have at least temporarily put the brakes on foreign coal miners in B.C., that action is unlikely to derail a coal boom that involves several proposed new mines and millions of dollars worth of infrastructure to ship the product to market. As in the 1970s and 1980s, when Japanese investors were making big bets on B.C. coal, provincial coal fields are drawing international attention. This time, the biggest factor is China, which since 2009, has shifted from exporting to importing coal and is shopping for new supplies. Wendy Stueck reports. Labour dispute reveals China’s rush to tap B.C. coal boom  

It is being called “unprecedented” but it seems to be rolling out as its authors had intended, perhaps the biggest experiment in environmental democracy the Northwest has ever seen. That would be the “scoping” process to determine what effects the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal north of Bellingham would have on the region’s environment and economy. Floyd McKay reports. Epic Northwest battle: Defining how big a deal coal ports are  

Carl Safina writes: 'In three debates by the presidential candidates and one by the vice-presidential hopefuls, no one could bring themselves to utter the words “climate change....”' Hurricane Sandy Said What Both Presidential Candidates Were Afraid To Say  

Newspaper publisher David Black says he has found markets in China and Japan for processed fuel from a proposed $13-billion oil refinery he is promoting for Northern B.C. The interest expressed by companies during his just-concluded 10-day visit to Asia makes the case, he said, that the two countries would rather purchase processed Canadian fuel than refine raw Alberta bitumen themselves. Ian Bailey reports. Publisher David Black claims support in China, Japan for proposed B.C. refinery  

Port Townsend Bay, Oak Bay, Admiralty Inlet and North Hood Canal have reopened for recreational shellfishing. Levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or PSP, are now below the recreational closure level for these four areas, the Jefferson County Public Health announced Friday. Other beaches in Jefferson County — and all beaches in Clallam County — remain closed because of marine biotoxin levels or pollution. Kilisut Harbor, including Mystery Bay, remains closed to butter clams only.  Some beaches open for shellfish  

Olympia’s new Hands On Children’s Museum on East Bay is getting its missing ingredient this weekend: loads and loads of children. The $18.5 million museum opens to the public Sunday after opening to members Saturday. There are eight galleries, an art studio, more than 150 exhibits and a developing outdoor gallery space that will rival the interior of the museum in size when it fully opens next year. The new museum is expected to have 212,000 visitors in its first year. Matt Batcheldor reports. New downtown gem: Hands On Children's Museum finally opens  

Steve Rodrigues, the man so passionately determined to save the Kalakala ferryboat that he sacrificed all of his personal resources on it, including his home, no longer owns the historic vessel. At a quietly arranged lien foreclosure sale Thursday, Karl Anderson, the Tacoma businessman who owns the Hylebos Waterway uplands where the boat is moored, took possession of the vessel in exchange for the $4,000 he claimed Rodrigues owed him in back rent. Rob Carson reports.   New owner, uncertain future for Kalakala ferry  

And finally: Barred owls have been swooping down on people in Seattle-area parks...The state Fish and Wildlife Department said the owls are young ones that are territorial about new nesting spots. Owls attacking some visitors in Seattle-area parks

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 738 AM PST MON NOV 12 2012
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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