Friday, September 13, 2013

9/13 Violating clean water and wetlands, Fraser pinks, BC pipes, ocean acid, BC coal, dead starfish, Everett sewage, Swinomish land, WA birding, Adventuress

BC pinks (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The same troubled contractor in charge of building the new 520 Bridge is also facing a federal lawsuit that alleges dozens of violations of the Clean Water Act. Tugboats in Kenmore's narrow channel haul barges with parts for the 520 Bridge, and some of those tugs stirred up sediment that then settled over North Lake Washington.  The sediment could have potentially settled in areas with protected salmon habitats, in swimming areas and in a marina where boat owners say the accumulated sediment makes it hard for some to get out. A federal lawsuit claims it's an illegal discharge of dredged material and that citizens are "seriously concerned about the effects on water quality, wildlife and recreation." Jeff Burnside reports. Troubled contractor violated Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency has sued the owner of a Lynden blueberry farm, seeking penalties for clearing wetlands in violation of the federal Clean Water Act, according to court documents. This is not the first time Rader Farms' Suellyn Rader, her late husband Lyle Rader, and their company Uptrail Group LLC have faced litigation for clearing and grading this wetland on their property. In late 2005 and early 2006, the Raders cleared a 10-acre parcel for use growing blueberries. The parcel was a Category 1 wetland, the most protected of four categories under state law... The couple faced legal action from Whatcom County in 2006 and were found to have illegally cleared the land, which they were subsequently asked to restore... The wetland still hasn't been restored. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. Lynden blueberry farm faces another lawsuit for clearing wetland

New blog: In December 1985, the oil tanker Arco Anchorage went aground near Port Angeles spilling 239,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil. That and the industry’s record of oil spills in marine waters have made oil spill prevention a top Salish Sea priority. Alas, this past Monday, Matson Navigation spilled an estimated 233,000 gallons of molasses from a broken pipe into Honolulu Harbor, sinking to the bottom and suffocating sea life... A Stupid, Ugly Way to Die  

Last month, there were so few sockeye salmon in the Fraser River that all fishing was banned. But this week, with wave after wave of pink salmon arriving, the fishery was opened and processing plants were quickly overwhelmed by the huge numbers of salmon coming in. The massive return of one species – pinks – coming on the heels of a disastrous run of another – sockeye – may be linked to a dramatic shift in ocean conditions last year. And it has raised questions about the possible role of a controversial experiment that took place when the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. dumped iron material in the ocean last summer, stimulating plankton growth just as the pink salmon were moving through the area. Mark Hume reports.  Pink salmon reaching Fraser River in massive numbers

A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta's oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative Asian markets beyond. The new initiative is in large part a response to a report from the prime minister's special pipelines representative in British Columbia. Douglas Eyford told Harper last month that negotiations with First Nations — especially on Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway — are a mess. Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push   Meanwhile: B.C. launches new oil division amid bureaucratic shuffle  

Wow! Coming on Sunday in print and today online from reporter Craig Welch, photographer Steve Ringman and the Seattle Times, a special report on ocean acidification: Part 1--Carbon dioxide, Part 2—Crabs, Part 3--Oysters. Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn

Port Metro Vancouver has ordered the Fraser Surrey Docks to assess the effects of a coal project on the health of humans and the ecology before it gives approval to the proposed Lower Mainland export facility. Fraser Surrey Docks along the Fraser River wants to build a direct-transfer facility that will handle two million metric tonnes of coal annually, increasing to four million metric tonnes within five years, But Darrell Desjardin, director of environment and sustainability for Port Metro Vancouver, says the port has initiated an environmental review process. Health study ordered for Surrey coal terminal proposal

A B.C. marine scientist, who has found dozens of dead starfish in Vancouver waters, is hoping international experts can help figure out what's killing the invertebrates. Jonathan Martin usually studies fish, but on a diving trip earlier this month near Whytecliffe Park, he noticed dozens of dead starfish in the water. The starfish, also known as sea stars, looked deflated, and many had lost limbs. Martin says he isn't sure what's causing the die-off, but speculates a population boom could be a factor because an increased population leads to increased competition for food and also heightens the impact of disease. Dead starfish in Vancouver waters puzzle scientists

The ground-floor apartment in Chad Slayton's Grand Avenue house has been stripped to its studs after being inundated with knee-high water. Michelle Murphy and her family continue to clean up two weeks after a fetid torrent spewed into their Rucker Hill basement, ruining their furnace, appliances and more...Those are some of the gross-out horror stories Everett homeowners have recounted since city sewer systems failed during downpours on Aug. 29 and Sept. 6. City leaders are vowing to cut checks for the repairs, as they look toward short- and long-term fixes. As of Thursday, Everett had received 45 damage claims, and was expecting more...The recent damage owes to combined sewer and stormwater systems overflowing in older Everett neighborhoods. Noah Haglund reports. Everett will pay to repair sewage-flooded houses  

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community announced Thursday a deal to buy more than 250 acres of land that was cut from their original reservation by executive order in 1873. The land, between Similk Bay and Fidalgo Bay, was purchased from the Morgan-Turner family, which owned it since the early 20th century. The property includes the 218-acre Similk Beach Golf Course as well as tidal and beach land that was once used for shellfish farming... (The) tribe intends to continue operating the golf course as well as restart shellfish farming in the tidal lands. Daniel DeMay reports. Swinomish tribe buys golf course, tidal lands

Here you go: Along the Great Washington State Birding Trail, you'll find the best places for the best bird watching in the Evergreen State. Six routes are completed, described in full-color maps with original artwork by Ed Newbold of birds along the routes, plus descriptions of habitat, access, and when to go. Great Washington State Birding Trail  

Save the date: As part of the year-long celebration for Puget Sound’s historic schooner Adventuress’ 100th birthday, the story of the ship’s 1913 maiden voyage to the Arctic will be told by the very institution that sent her there.  Adventuress’ Virgin Voyage will be presented on Thursday, September 19 from 6-8PM at the Seattle Central Library by Thomas Baione, the American Museum of Natural History’s Harold Boeschenstein Director of the Department of Library Services. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Seattle Central Library at (206) 386-4636.

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT FRI SEP 13 2013
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
NW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
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