Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22 Orcas, oil vote, mill cleanup, beaches closed, Brian Abbott, Clam Digger, barotrauma, canoe journey

Tribal Canoe Journey (Laura Price)
If you like to watch: Whales feeding at Liberty Bay

More boats from Washington state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will patrol the U.S. side of the Juan de Fuca Strait to look for boaters who disturb southern resident killer whales. The increased patrols are an effort to protect the endangered whales, whose numbers have dipped to their lowest in more than a decade. On the B.C. side, however, there will be fewer eyes on the water. Straitwatch, the group tasked with watching and educating boaters, was told last month it would not receive Environment Canada funding this year, meaning its Salish Sea and Alert Bay boats will remain beached. Judith Lavoie reports. Whale patrol cut in B.C., boosted in U.S.  

The Port of Vancouver Commission is scheduled to hold a workshop and a vote on a controversial oil terminal lease (this) week. The workshop is scheduled for Monday night, and the vote is on the commission’s agenda for Tuesday morning. The Port of Vancouver staff has recommended a “yes” vote on a lease for Tesoro Corporation and Savage Companies. Together, the two companies plan to move up to 380,000 barrels of crude oil a day from trains to ships. The oil would come from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, and it would be shipped to refineries in Washington, California and Alaska. Cassandra Profita reports. SW Washington Port Set For Crude Oil Vote  

The industrial tangle that once was Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Everett mill is no longer a figurative blank slate, but a literal one as well. A contractor wrapped up a year's worth of demolition work earlier this month, leaving most the waterfront property as flat as a parade ground. Noah Haglund reports. Demolition work over at former mill site

The search continues for what could be causing fecal bacteria levels to exceed federal standards for clean water at Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park and Little Squalicum Beach. Meanwhile, posted beach advisories warn people against swimming or wading into the salt water to avoid being sickened. Children, the elderly and those in poor health have a greater risk of becoming ill, public health officials said. Kie Relyea reports. Beach water contaminated at two parks in Whatcom County

People are being asked to stay out of the water at Howarth Park and Pigeon Creek beaches after a power outage Saturday morning caused a sewage spill into Port Gardner. City spokeswoman Marla Carter said power has been restored and the city's sewer lift station is back in operation. About 40,000 gallons of sewage was released into the bay. Water quality samples have been taken. Power outage causes sewage leak on Everett beaches  

A Littlerock man has been selected to lead Gov. Jay Inslee’s Salmon Recovery Office, which coordinates regional efforts to return salmon from the brink of extinction. Brian Abbott, the governor’s appointee, joined the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office in 2000 and now leads the salmon recovery grant section. Before that, he was the district manager for the Pierce Conservation District, where he created and coordinated the district’s salmon recovery programs. He also served as vice president and president of the nonprofit South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group. Inslee picks salmon recovery coordinator

Weather and current conditions finally improved enough Wednesday to allow crews to remove the sunken Clam Digger vessel from the water where it sank near Guemes Island a week earlier. It was transported Wednesday afternoon to Lovric’s Sea-Craft dry dock. The responsible party, Icicle Seafoods, contracted Global Diving & Salvage to recover the boat and Emerald Services Inc. to remove the remaining oil from the fuel tanks to assess how much was lost during the incident, Department of Ecology spokeswoman Brooke Beeler said. Oil was confirmed to have spilled from both the boat’s external diesel fuel tank and the hydraulic oil tank. Beeler confirmed that around 300 gallons had spilled from the external tank. Estimates were not yet available for spills from the hydraulic oil and fuel tanks... The amount of fuel on the boat was revised from an estimate last week of 3,000 gallons to 1,600 gallons. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Clam Digger recovered, oil lost

Recreational fishermen have been practicing catch-and-release fishing for years. Anglers who fish Washington’s Puget Sound waters are no exception. The assumption has always been that the release part of the equation will result in a free-swimming fish that will survive. Barbless hooks, minimum handling, and quick return to the water have all been developed to insure high survival rates. But fish caught at substantial depths – 30 feet or more – present their own challenge and it's a tough one. Fish don't typically get the bends – that sometimes fatal nitrogen-gas syndrome that befalls human scuba divers who rise too rapidly from depth – but some fish can get something equally dangerous: barotrauma.... To increase the survival of released fish, marine anglers are using devices, like release weights and baskets, to manually lower fish to the appropriate depth before releasing them. Known as recompression, lowering fish to their natural depths in a controlled manner allows the gas to be reabsorbed into their bodies. This increases their chances of survival. This spring, Puget Sound Anglers, the largest fishing club in the state of Washington, dedicated time and resources to combat barotrauma. In April, the organization purchased 330 recompression devices, essentially a mechanism that allows anglers to lower and release fish to natural depths. The manufacturer donated an additional 100 apparatuses. Catch and Release for Puget Sound’s Rockfish: the Catch is in the Release  

When pulling in a Northwest tribal canoe, the key is balance: each puller’s stroke must be made in unison, the pullers must support and trust each other. So what happens when the ocean literally turns you sideways, taking control of your movements? You paddle on anyway. This year’s Canoe Journey ends in Taholah on the Quinault Nation reservation, on the Pacific Coast of the Olympic Peninsula. For many, this will be the first time pulling in the challenging open ocean, unlike the relative calm of the protected inland waters of Puget Sound. Megan Stephanson reports. The challenge of the Canoe Journey | Paddle to Quinault   Also see: Paddle journey canoes greeted at Fort Worden — next stop Jamestown Beach near Sequim today

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON JUL 22 2013
TODAY
W WIND 10 KT...BECOMING NW 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG AND DRIZZLE THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7
 SECONDS.

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