Thursday, September 5, 2013

9/5 Toadlets, Enbridge pipe, Urban Waters Partners, Seattle fishing, Blackfish, Columbia coal, snakeheads, marine debris, Anacortes trail

Bufo boreas (Joe Barrentine/News Tribune)
The water is alive with tens of thousands of tiny toadlets. As breeding season for Western toads winds down, a little-noticed migration is taking place at four ponds and lakes in Pierce County as the fingernail-sized amphibians hop toward surrounding forests.... The state Department of Fish and Wildlife considers them a “species of concern” because their numbers are dropping in South Puget Sound and the lower Columbia Gorge. Stacia Glenn reports. Breeding done, loads of Western toads trek to forests

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says the Harper government is spending taxpayer dollars to subsidize environmental and meteorological studies for Enbridge’s proposed $6-billion Northern Gateway project. But the federal government shot back Wednesday saying its plan to spend $120 million on oil tanker safety studies on Canada’s coastlines was announced in March in Vancouver.... May and Oak Bay-Gordon Head Green MLA Andrew Weaver released documents that they say show the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is running a so-called “Northern Gateway Project” to research what happens to diluted bitumen in an oil spill — essentially subsidizing research Enbridge failed to do to satisfy the province, the Greens said. Cindy Harnett reports. Greens say federal government spending money to help Enbridge’s pipeline plans  

A local watershed is the first in the Northwest to participate in a federal program that aims to connect people with their waterways.  As of today, the Green River-Duwamish watershed is a part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which focuses on helping people in distressed areas. Formed in 2011, the federal group aims to unify and direct the efforts of 13 federal agencies working to improve water quality.... The designation as part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership doesn’t come with any special funding, but the hope is that it will give an extra boost to work already underway like helping expand people’s access to the shoreline. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Federal Partnership Aims to Improve Green-Duwamish River Watershed  

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Seattle’s economy was based on natural resources and the processing of them. Timber from the region’s vast forests was turned into lumber.  Wheat and produce were milled and canned for consumption elsewhere. Coal from places with names like Black Diamond fueled industry and was exported to other areas. Fish from Alaska was processed in the canneries that lined the waterfront....Today most of that resource-based industry is gone, eclipsed by coffee, software, biotech, computer games, sophisticated retail operations, global trade and, of course, aerospace. But one of those original industries still flourishes: fishing. Despite all the changes the Seattle economy has been through in the past century, this one industry has endured. Stephan H. Dunphy reports. Fishy business

Sea World contractor Don Goldsberry made a huge tactical error on a Sunday afternoon in March 1976. He herded a family of transient killer whales into Budd Inlet with airplanes, power boats and underwater explosives dropped in the shadow of the state Capitol and not far from The Evergreen State College, which was hosting whale scientists and biologists at the first-ever International Orca Symposium. His high-powered pursuit also occurred right in front of former Secretary of State Ralph Munro, who was sailing in lower Budd Inlet with his wife and two other couples. John Dodge reports. 'Blackfish' documentary brings back memories of Budd Inlet orca capture

With coal use in decline in the U.S., mining companies have found a steady revenue stream in overseas markets. But to get it there requires a long journey by train and barge to export terminals along the Columbia River and in Puget Sound. That’s a problem, according to environmentalists and tribes who are calling for more impact studies. “There are unknown effects of large amounts of coal going into the Columbia River. But even with just two loads a day going through, you can already see coal dust along the track," said Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Another concern, says Lumley, is that the anticipated increase in rail traffic would result in a need for expansion, which would encroach on access to treaty fishing areas. Will Robbins reports. Columbia River Tribes Oppose Plan for Coal Trains

If you like to watch: When the Northern Snakehead Fish first appeared in US waters around a decade ago it caused panic. The invasive species has sharp teeth, a thick protective slime and a breathing system that allows it to survive out of water for days. Fishermen were told to kill any of the fish they caught. But now authorities in the US states of Virginia and Maryland have reversed course. They are instead counting the number of Snakehead fish in the Chesapeake Bay in a bid to study the predator's impact on the ecosystem.  Snakehead fish: Can invasive species be eaten out of existence?  

A federal agency is providing nearly $1 million in grants to support marine debris cleanup projects in U.S. coastal regions. NOAA says in a release that the funding will be used to remove derelict vessels, trash, tires and other debris from coastal waters and shorelines. NOAA says the projects were chosen from among 46 applications requesting a total of nearly $5 million in funding. Cleanup projects sharing in the $967,000 in approved funding are in Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Washington state and Puerto Rico...The Northwest Straits Foundation will continue its longstanding efforts to remove derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound and surrounding marine waters. NOAA awards nearly $1M for marine debris cleanup

At a discovery point along the Tommy Thompson Parkway, a crowd of about 50 people gathered around Betty Carteret and five new interpretive signs in the Trail Tales educational outreach and shoreline interpretation program. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 28 was hosted by Friends of Skagit Beaches, Anacortes Park & Recreation Department and the Samish Indian Nation Cultural Committee. Carteret is coordinator of the Trail Tales program that operates under the Friends, which she also heads as president.... Ecology is overseeing the second phase of a massive cleanup project at the old Custom Plywood Mill site on Fidalgo Bay. Trail Tales ties in with the cleanup through its interpretive signs at the first discovery point overlooking the site at 34th Street and interpretive walks explaining the history of the mill, the cleanup project and the return of wetlands to the area. Joan Pringle reports. Trail Tales dedicates five new interpretive signs

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 214 AM PDT THU SEP 5 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER
 MIDNIGHT.

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