Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20 McGinn's coal, BC salmon video, sea level rise, toxic algae, CATS, PSP, Gulf Spill sampling

Swallowtail (PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: “My days have been busy lately, now that the harvest is fully upon us. Summer is racing by, and already we’re starting to see the signs of approaching fall. But before this glorious season ends, I want to make sure I take time to appreciate some of the little things of summer, such as these butterflies..." The Little Things

New blog:  Remember Gary Locke? He gave a fine speech in 1998 as governor after our Puget Sound Chinook salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. He talked about the challenge facing us in recovering the species. He ended with the dramatic, “We cannot fail. Extinction is not an option.” Revisiting “Extinction Is Not An Option”

Mayor Mike McGinn called a news conference beneath Seattle’s Great Wheel in December to announce he would request a study into the economic impact of sending more coal trains through Seattle. But after the report was completed, the mayor waited for more than a month — and a public-records request — to quietly release the results on his blog Friday. McGinn, who opposes the proposal to expand coal exports, wrote in a blog post that the study by local research firm Community Attributes showed the plan would have “a number of significant and concerning impacts” on Seattle. But the plan’s supporters described the report as a win and accused the mayor of sitting on it because it did not say what he had hoped. Brian Rosenthal reports. McGinn didn’t release coal study’s findings for 5 weeks  

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it has launched a formal investigation after a video showing allegedly harmful salmon release practices was posted online last week. North Coast area director Mel Kotyk says the department found the video's images disturbing, and investigators will be speaking with companies and vessels to determine if fines or court action is necessary. Under federal regulations, fishermen are required to quickly sort through their catch and release any fish they weren't targeting with the least possible harm. Wild salmon fishery discard video sparks probe  

An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace. The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound. Justin Gillis reports. Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming  

Anderson Lake and its blue-green algae is getting widespread attention. A report from researchers at the University of Oregon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta — which is expected this fall at the earliest — could set the stage for a solution to the lake’s historically high level of anatoxin-a, a potent nerve toxin created by some types of blue-green algae.... Also, a paper about animal deaths and poisoning in proximity to lakes around the nation, which is now under review by the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, is expected to include data from Anderson Lake, where routine testing for toxins began after two dogs drank the water and died on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. Charlie Bermant reports. Something in the DNA? Anderson Lake’s continuing toxic algae problems gain national attention  

People can help clean up Whatcom County shorelines and Puget Sound through a new 12-week program launched by Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. Called the Citizen Action Training School, the program will focus on watershed and Puget Sound ecology, as well as civic engagement in legal and regulatory processes that affect the management of resources. That includes efforts in Whatcom County watersheds. Kie Relyea reports. NSEA launches new program to teach watershed ecology

Discovery Bay has been closed to all recreational harvest of shellfish after marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or PSP, were detected at high concentrations in samples, the Jefferson County Public Health Department said. The state Department of Health closed the beaches, said Michael Dawson, lead environmental health specialist for the county. Commercially harvested shellfish are tested for toxin prior to distribution and should be safe to eat. Discovery Bay beaches closed to recreational shellfishing because of PSP


An analysis of water, sediment and seafood samples taken in 2010 during and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found higher contamination levels in some cases than previous studies by federal agencies did, casting doubt on some of the earlier sampling methods. The lead author, Paul W. Sammarco of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said that dispersants used to break up the oil might have affected some of the samples. He said that the greater contamination called into question the timing of decisions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reopen gulf fisheries after the spill and that “it might be time to review the techniques that are used to determine” such reopenings. Henry Fountain reports. Gulf Spill Sampling Questioned  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 250 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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