Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28 Duwamish & B'ham cleanups, derelict ships, Tony Angell, BC deer, CA reserves, BPA, Shell, Hood Canal, BP

Spring crocuses (Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "They’re often overlooked in favour of taller, fancier flowers, but how can anyone not be charmed by spring crocuses? As the days lengthen, these lovely little harbingers of spring emerge from winter’s cold and gloom as if from our dreams – lifting tired spirits, renewing our hopes and fueling our anticipation of the warm seasons to come. Who could possibly ask for more, and from such a simple, undemanding plant?" Crocuses: Nature’s Anti-Depressant  

If you like to watch: February 23, 2013. Orcas in the lineup near Tofino, British Columbia. Orcas chase surfers out of the water!

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is seeking a charismatic and visionary executive director who embraces its vision and who is capable of leading PTMSC’s efforts to ensure sustainable growth and continued program excellence.  For a full job description and instructions on how to apply, click here.

New blog: People for Lake Padden’s director Betsy Gross addresses Lake Padden stewardship needed from many to preserve popular park.

The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released a $305 million draft cleanup plan for Seattle’s lower Duwamish River, a price tag on the lower end of what some local business owners had feared. Top-end estimates had been as high as $1.2 billion, and some property and business owners had said paying their portion of a too-expensive Superfund cleanup might drive them out of business. An organization including local governments and Boeing, calling itself the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, last year proposed a $260 million alternative. Steve Wilhelm reports. EPA proposes $305M cleanup for Duwamish

A $25 million cleanup project will begin on Whatcom Waterway this summer, aimed at curbing the environmental damage from decades of industrial uses. Besides removing contaminated sediment, the project also will remove creosote-treated timbers and concrete and asphalt rubble to create more natural shorelines in and around the channel at the mouth of Whatcom Creek, not far from the spot where the early white settlers built a sawmill. The area later became home to Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s pulp and paper mill and the Port of Bellingham's shipping terminal. Before cleanup work begins, Ecology is making a draft engineering design report available for public review and comment through March 27, 2013. John Stark reports. Ecology's plan to clean up Whatcom Waterway is ready for review   Meanwhile: Port Angeles Harbor cleanup plan inches toward public review

State ecology officials say derelict vessels, especially old fishing and work boats, are serious threats all over the Puget Sound, and it turns out these things get bought and sold all the time, but are rarely fixed up and put back in use. "We're seeing long term tenants that are defaulting on their moorage and ultimately leaving their vessels to rot at our facilities and other facilities,” said Mike DeSota, Environmental Compliance Program Manager, Port of Seattle. Such was the case of the Deep Sea, the rusty wreck that showed up one day on Penn Cove and several days later caught fire, sank and fouled beaches and shellfish farms with its toxic fuels and fluids. The Port of Seattle had tried but failed to sell it by auction. Gary Chittim reports. Port of Seattle sold derelict fishing vessel on Craigslist   And: State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark opines: Derelict vessels damage state's budget and environment  

Tony Angell is an award-winning author, illustrator and naturalist. He can't get enough of birds or the books written about them. Valerie Easton reports. Book City: A bird in the hand is the perfect book subject  

Farmers should try to work more closely with hunters this year to deal with problem deer, Greater Victoria officials say. Measures available under the Farm Practices Protection Act — which allows hunting to protect crops — should be given a chance before the province will consider other options, Capital Regional District planning members were told Wednesday. Bill Cleverley reports. Hunters touted as answer to farmers’ deer troubles  Meanwhile: Sequim elk on the move, may cross U.S. 101

Six years after California put in place the nation's most expansive network of marine reserves -- a controversial experiment aimed at bringing back crashing populations of fish and other ocean species by creating dozens of "no-fishing zones" along the coast -- the effort appears to be working. In the first major study of its kind, scientists have found that populations and sizes of several key species of fish, along with starfish, urchins, crabs and other sea life, have increased more in the protected areas established in 2007 between San Mateo and Santa Barbara counties than in unprotected ocean areas nearby. Researchers cautioned that years of additional study are needed, noting that in some areas there was little or no difference. But overall, they said, the trends are encouraging -- a key finding because California's marine protected areas are being closely watched by other states and countries as a possible solution to  improving the health of the world's oceans. Paul Rogers reports. California's new no-fishing zones appear to be working, scientists say

The state’s Department of Ecology on Wednesday announced it had approved Poulsbo’s shoreline master plan, which regulates what uses are allowed along the city’s shoreline and estuaries. City council members approved the update in May, ending a review process that took nearly three years. The city’s shoreline plan hadn’t been updated since 1976. Amy Phan reports. State approves Poulsbo's shoreline master plan  

While water bottles may tout BPA-free labels and personal care products declare phthalates not among their ingredients, these assurances may not be enough. According to a study published February 27 in the Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, we may be exposed to these chemicals in our diet, even if our diet is organic and we prepare, cook, and store foods in non-plastic containers. Children may be most vulnerable.  Contaminated Diet Contributes to Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Phthalates and BPA

Shell Oil Co. has put Arctic drilling on hold. The company announced Wednesday that it will not attempt to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. The announcement comes after a year of accidents and setbacks for Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts. In a press release, Shell Oil president Marvin Odum called the move a “pause” in the company’s program to explore for oil off the north coast of Alaska. Shell has already spent nearly $5 billion on the effort. John Ryan reports. Shell Cancels Arctic Drilling For 2013

Mason County commissioners have decided to continue as members of the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, an intergovernmental organization that coordinates environmental restoration in and around Hood Canal. The commissioners — two of whom have since left office — voted at the end of last year to pull out of the council, saying they had serious reservations about the way the organization has been run. The Hood Canal Coordinating Council consists of county commissioners in Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties along with tribal officials with the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Skokomish tribes. The council generally meets once a month. Chris Dunagan reports. Mason County will stay in Hood Canal council

Expert witness Alan Huffman told the third day of the New Orleans trial over the Gulf of Mexico spill that BP should have heeded a "kick" in the well. "It is truly egregious to drill that extra 100 feet, knowing you could lose the well in the process," he said. BP accepts partial responsibility for the oil spill, but claims other firms at the trial share the blame and costs.  BP 'egregious' for drilling Macondo oil spill well

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST THU FEB 28 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 14 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO 5 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 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, February 27, 2013

2/27 Swinomish, moving coho, building ferries, BC treaties, Shell drill, BP spill, BC LNG, mussel power, sea turtles, pirates, 'robosparrow,' big ling

"Pirates!"
New blog:  “When I lived in Portland, Oregon, in the ‘60s, I bought horse meat at what I am trying to recall was called “The Horse Meat Market” downtown near the “The Buttermilk Corner.” I hadn’t thought about that all these years— until last week’s breaking news that horsemeat was found in European countries in what was had been thought to be mixtures of beef and pork. And —is nothing sacred?-- found in Ikea meatballs...” They Eat Horses, Don’t They?

If you like to watch: The Swinomish tribe could lose up to 15 percent of their land on low-lying Fidalgo Island to climate-change related sea level rise. They’re working with planners to make sure they can survive—and thrive—in the region’s changing climate. Benjamin Drummond and Sara Steele report. Puget Sound Tribe Plans for Rising Seas

About 220,000 coho smolts traveled Tuesday from Gorst Creek to Puget Sound, with a little help from their human friends. The Suquamish Tribe, Washington State Fish and Wildlife and Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Keyport teamed to transport the salmon overland to their next life stage. The eggs were fertilized and incubated at the state’s Minter Creek hatchery near Purdy and transferred to the tribe’s and city of Bremerton’s Gorst hatchery. Once they reach 1 1/2 years old, they’re ready to move from freshwater to saltwater before heading out to sea. They’ll hang out in a Suquamish net pen for three months acclimating and imprinting before being turned loose.  Coho salmon hitch ride to new saltwater home

Under a proposal receiving a hearing in the Washington state Senate Transportation Committee, state-owned ferries plying the Puget Sound would no longer have to be built in Washington state, fewer apprentice workers would be involved in building them and the state would limit the money it pays for cost overruns. The measure, Senate Bill 5858, was introduced by Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, who is co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. There are no co-sponsors. Proposal to allow ferries to be built outside WA

Five Vancouver Island First Nations have signed pre-treaty agreements with the B.C. government that include land deals in advance of final treaties. The five First Nations are all based on mid- and southern Vancouver Island, and include land transfers to the urban Victoria Songhees First Nation, the Scia'new of Beecher Bay, the T'Sou-ke of Sooke, the Malahat First Nation and the Snaw-naw-as of Nanoose, which is north of Nanaimo. In a written statement, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong said the land agreements are part of the province's Incremental Treaty Agreements (ITA) program, which aims to assist in the treaty negotiation process with offers of partial settlements.  Land deals signed ahead of 5 Vancouver Island treaties  

A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling barge that ran aground New Year's Eve is on the move from near Kodiak Island in Alaska to Dutch Harbor. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in an email to The Associated Press that the Kulluk left the bay Tuesday afternoon. Three tugs are towing the barge in a journey expected to take about 10 days. Tugs towing Shell drill vessel to Dutch Harbor  

A ranking BP executive testified Tuesday that the London-based oil giant and its contractors share the responsibility for preventing blowouts like the one that killed 11 workers and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill in 2010. Lamar McKay, who was president of BP America at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, became the first BP executive to testify at a federal trial intended to identify the causes of BP's Macondo well blowout and assign percentages of blame to the companies involved. A plaintiffs' attorney pressed McKay to agree with him that BP bore ultimate responsibility for the blowout, but McKay insisted that managing the hazards of deepwater drilling are a "team effort." BP executive testifies at Gulf oil spill trial

The British Columbia government is promising its fledgling natural gas export industry that an estimated $30-billion in new taxes will not drive companies out of a business they have yet to build. But an analysis by a U.S. economic firm suggests that liquefied natural gas shipments from Canada will be among the most expensive in the world, leaving the industry “vulnerable” long before it has loaded it first ship. B.C. sees $30-billion LNG windfall – but hurdles are high

Waves slam the shore with the force of a jetliner screaming at 600 mph. Yet mussels — small but mighty denizens of the intertidal zone — still manage to cling tenaciously to their rocks. Just how they do it has fascinated researchers for decades. Now new science just emerging from the lab is pointing the way to a better understanding of mussels’ remarkable stick-to-it-ness, and what their abilities might mean for people. UW researchers offer clues to how mussels work

Downer. What to do? An international team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has documented a 78 percent decline in the number of nests of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at the turtle's last stronghold in the Pacific Ocean. The study, published online Feb. 26 in the Ecological Society of America's scientific online journal Ecosphere, reveals leatherback nests at Jamursba Medi Beach in Papua Barat, Indonesia -- which accounts for 75 percent of the total leatherback nesting in the western Pacific -- have fallen from a peak of 14,455 in 1984 to a low of 1,532 in 2011. Less than 500 leatherbacks now nest at this site annually. Leatherback Sea Turtle Could Be Extinct Within 20 Years at Last Stronghold in the Pacific Ocean

Their supporters call them heroes. The Japanese government calls them terrorists. Late Monday, the United States’ largest federal court labeled them pirates. In doing so, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals castigated Paul Watson and members of the Friday Harbor-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society he founded for the tactics used in their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the dangerous waters of Antarctica. Court: Sea Shepherd anti-whaling protesters are pirates

Not BirdNote: Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina worked with engineering students and a taxidermist to operate the wings of a deceased swamp sparrow. They programmed simple Picaxe computer chips, and built a tiny linear motor to fit inside the cavity of the bird they named Robosparrow. They were studying male aggressive behaviour among the species. The experiment, carried out over a period of two months, confirmed to the researchers that wing-flapping is a sign of male aggression, said Dr Rindy Anderson who led the study. 'Robosparrow' created from dead bird  

Fish story: A Shetland fisherman is celebrating after reeling in a giant fish weighing more than 67lbs (30kg). James Isbister caught the 6ft-long ling while fishing off Muckle Flugga on Saturday. Mr Isbister is awaiting confirmation from the relevant authorities of its possible record-breaking status. The fish is currently being kept in his mother's freezer. "It was a very big fight," he said. Giant fish weighing more than 67lbs reeled in off Shetland  

Now, your thank-goodness-for-tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST WED FEB 27 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 14 SECONDS BUILDING TO 13 FT AT 17 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS THIS
 MORNING.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 16 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF 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

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/26 White House coal, Tris, Lk Whatcom, BC LNG, Port Angeles cleanup, airport pipe, ferry woes, Sally Jewell

PHOTO: Peter Haley-The News Tribune
If you like to watch: Crushed cars fall from barge in Tacoma

New blog: "The Seattle Times tried putting itself in the same class as the New York Times when announcing Sunday that, like the New York Times and 400 other daily newspapers, it would begin charging for viewing its online content next month..." Erecting the Paywall to Save the Product

The White House Council on Environmental Quality has convened a series of meetings with federal regulators over the past nine months as the Obama administration shapes environmental impact analyses for the building of terminals to export coal to Asia.   While CEQ downplays its involvement in the deliberations, a former CEQ official and other analysts suggest the White House role highlights the sensitive policy issues at stake, as the administration is under pressure to assess the possible climate change impact of burning U.S. coal in Asia. At issue is how broadly the government should extend its analysis: whether to consider the impacts of each of the Pacific Northwest export terminals through narrowly tailored individual environmental impact statements or to assess their cumulative effects together, which would allow for a comprehensive analysis of possible climate change impacts.  White House CEQ Meetings on Coal Projects Seen Indicating Major Policy Issues at Stake  

Of the estimated 80,000 chemicals used in everything from sofas and mattresses to baby bottles and car seats, only 200 have been assessed for health risks. Individual states have succeeded in banning chemicals one at a time. In Washington, foes of the toxic flame retardant Tris have proposed legislation to not only ban its use, but make sure manufacturers find less toxic alternatives. Martha Basking reports. Legislation to Ban Tris Flame Retardants Hits Snag: Third Try by Toxic Free Legacy Coalition to Remove Its Use in Sofas and Children’s Products  

The Washington Department of Ecology is renewing its push for progress on the daunting task of making huge cuts in polluted runoff into Lake Whatcom from developed areas. On Monday, Feb. 25, the state agency issued a new report on the lake's phosphorus pollution woes that will mandate the city and Whatcom County to come up with a timeline for taking steps to achieve pollution control goals, and a plan to pay for it. Steve Hood, an engineer in Ecology's Bellingham office, said the state expects to give the city and county five years to develop that plan, which will be neither cheap nor simple: Getting the lake back to natural conditions will mean controlling rainfall runoff at an extremely high level, almost as if the developed area had not been developed at all. John Stark reports. State gives city, county new mandate for fixing Lake Whatcom woes

The federal government has approved a 25-year export licence for shipping liquefied natural gas from a West Coast terminal proposed by a consortium headed by Shell. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says the approval for LNG Canada Development Inc. is a milestone in British Columbia's plans for a trillion-dollar LNG sector. The licence awarded to LNG Canada — a consortium of Shell, Korea Gas Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., and PetroChina International — will allow the export of up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per year, the largest of three export licences awarded to date. Shell consortium gets nod for 25-year LNG export licence  

A multibillion-dollar natural-gas export project has agreed to pay more than $200-million to a group of British Columbia first nations in exchange for their support. A deal between the backers of the Kitimat LNG project and the First Nations Group Limited Partnership, a consortium of 15 northern aboriginal groups, promises to secure local peace for a major new energy project in British Columbia. Its official signing, at the outset of a government-organized LNG conference in Vancouver on Monday, was “a very important milestone,” said Janine McArdle, senior vice-president of gas monetization for Houston-based Apache Corp. Accord brings first nations on board with LNG project

Formation of a draft cleanup plan is the next step for industrial property off Marine Drive that is contaminated by an underground petrochemical plume. Port of Port Angeles commissioners Monday unanimously approved a cleanup-related amendment to an agreed order with the state Department of Ecology that focuses on the site west of downtown Port Angeles. The agreement removes the property bordered by Cedar and Tumwater streets known as the marine trades area from the adjacent mill site at 439 Marine Drive, which most recently housed the Peninsula Plywood mill. That site is undergoing demolition prior to its own cleanup and under its own agreed order. Paul Gottlieb reports. Port amends cleanup agreement with Ecology

A controversial proposal to pipe jet fuel to Vancouver International Airport via a Fraser River terminal has been delayed for several months. Environment Minister Terry Lake says an environmental assessment for the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery is suspended pending further study on land and marine fuel spills. Plan to pipe jet fuel to YVR delayed several months

The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) has secured $4.8 million in federal grants to help acquire and restore 550 acres of tidal wetlands and associated freshwater and upland habitat areas in Island, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason counties. The $4.8 million comes from the National Wetland Conservation Program and includes $1 million to acquire 225 acres along Port Gamble Bay in north Kitsap County. The county will manage the project which contains some of the most pristine coastal wetland habitat in the upper Hood Canal area. The acquisition is part of the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project seeking to protect 1.78 miles of shoreline and 6,700 acres surrounding Port Gamble Bay.  Ecology awarding $4.8 million in federal wetland conservation grants for Puget Sound  


A review of state Department of Transportation statistics by the Record shows that, in two years of service on the Coupeville-to-Port Townsend ferry route, Kwa-di Tabil class ferries are less used by the public and more susceptible to weather cancelations than their predecessors. Last year, total ridership on the route — including cars and walk-on passengers — was down 12 percent from 2006, the last full year the 80-year-old Steel Electrics were in service. That pencils out to nearly 83,000 fewer riders than the 766,843 who rode the ferries six years ago. During the same period, weather cancelations rose 128 percent, from just 64 runs scrubbed in 2006 to 146 last year. Justin Burnett reports. Sailing failings: New ferries see less use, more weather cancelations

Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is a 315,000-acre stretch of eelgrass and tundra pockmarked with lakes and lagoons, a site where the geese called Pacific black brants stop off to feed before they begin their journey to wintering grounds in Mexico. But the fate of this remote wilderness area has become a critical bargaining chip in an inside-the-Beltway battle, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) threatening to block Sally Jewell’s nomination as interior secretary unless the Obama administration agrees to put a road through it. Juliet Eilperin reports. Interior secretary nomination becomes embroiled in fight over Alaska refuge And: Senate schedules confirmation hearing on Sally Jewell’s nomination as Interior Secretary

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE FEB 26 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 16 SECONDS...
 SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 16 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 15 SECONDS...
 BUILDING TO 10 FT AT 14 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

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, February 25, 2013

2/25 Quake, B'ham Bay, Kitsilano CG, shoreline rules, Squalicum Cr, Padden Lk & Cr, rain gardens, BPA, Shell drill, NW clean air, Kiki Jenkins, Skykomish dam, Fraser Delta, wild sex

Dunlins (Mark Mulligan/The Herald)
A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haida Gwaii this morning, but no tsunami warning was issued. 4.5-magnitude earthquake strikes off Haida Gwaii

From a spot along Port Susan, they first appear as a wispy cloud over the salt marshes and mudflats at high tide. The dunlins shimmer as they swoop and twirl in a flock of thousands, their white bellies flashing in a thin beam of sunshine on a February morning. Dunlins are sandpiper-like shorebirds, some of the many species that depend on the food and safety of 90,000 acres of wetlands in the side-by-side Stillaguamish and Skagit river deltas. Gail Fiege reports. River deltas a busy stop for thousands of shorebirds

Eight years after the Port of Bellingham took over 137 acres of waterfront industrial land from Georgia-Pacific Corp., cleanup of mercury contamination in soil is ready to begin. The small-scale first phase of that cleanup will begin in March 2013 and be finished by May. It will focus on small mercury hot spots at the site of G-P's chlor-alkali plant and mercury recovery unit. John Stark reports.  Mercury cleanup set to begin on Bellingham waterfront

Leaked federal memos suggest Stephen Harper's government rushed the controversial closure of the Kitsilano coast guard base in order to expedite the sale of valuable waterfront lands to a First Nations group, a Vancouver city councillor says. An internal government memo titled "Update on Jericho disposal" was obtained Wednesday by Coun. Kerry Jang and Jim Sinclair of the B.C. Federation of Labour. In separate interviews Saturday, both Jang and Sinclair told the Sunday Province the memo appears to explain the puzzling politics behind the Kits base closure. Sam Cooper reports. Is federal land deal behind Kits coast guard closure?  Meanwhile: Ottawa insists mariners are still safe in Vancouver, despite the early closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station on Tuesday, the busiest Coast Guard station in Canada. Two days after forcing the early closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station on Tuesday, the federal government announced $6.6 million for a Coast Guard base in Newfoundland. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said it was the Coast Guard's decision to invest in the Newfoundland base over the Kitsilano station. Tories defend Kits Coast Guard closure  

The city of Poulsbo will be operating under new city shoreline rules after Wednesday, as a result of final approval by the Washington Department of Ecology. Poulsbo is the first local government in Kitsap County to complete the shoreline planning process, which will guide future development over nearly four miles of city shoreline. The effort, which included a series of public hearings, was begun in the summer of 2009. Chris Dunagan reports. State approves Poulsbo shorelines plan  Meanwhile: The state Department of Ecology has told Pierce County that its draft of proposed changes to shoreline policies — the first such changes in nearly 40 years — is unacceptable and must be revised. State tells Pierce County to redo shoreline draft

The Olympia City Council will deliberate Tuesday night on final changes to the draft Shoreline Management Program after several years of community conversation. Council members are expected to make comments and suggest changes to the document before making a final review on March 26, approval on April 16 and then transmitting the document to the state, which requires it. Department of Ecology officials have the final say. Matt Batcheldor reports. Council set to review latest shoreline plan

The state Department of Ecology has selected Bellingham to receive $2.6 million in loans and grants to reroute part of Squalicum Creek and improve its habitat. Squalicum Creek doesn't meet state standards for water quality, and is listed as impaired by Ecology. Problems include fecal coliform bacteria, too-warm temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels. Fish passage blockage in the stream also is an issue, as well as declining salmon stocks. (The project) was one of 72 clean water projects the agency selected to receive $162 million in loans and grants starting July 1, the state's next fiscal year. Kie Relyea reports. Ecology selects Bellingham for $2.6 million for Squalicum Creek project

Crews will build a bridge on Old Fairhaven Parkway this summer, in anticipation of work to improve salmon habitat at Padden Creek. Next year, Padden Creek will be restored to its original channel and routed away from a 120-year-old tunnel that is virtually impassable to migrating fish. The creek will flow under the new bridge, near 20th Street, where construction is scheduled to begin on May 1. Ralph Schwartz reports. Bridge construction this summer first step to restoring Padden Creek in Bellingham

Tests of water quality in Lake Padden show cause for concern but not for alarm, says Betsy Gross, director of People for Lake Padden. According to the testing conducted by the volunteer organization that Gross helped organize, Lake Padden has problems that seem similar to those afflicting much larger Lake Whatcom, although Padden's woes are less severe. Unlike Lake Whatcom, Padden has not been a drinking water source for decades. But it is the centerpiece of a popular city park with a bathing beach that is mobbed on warm summer days. Anglers line its banks during the first few days of sport fishing season every spring. The good news is that the quality of Padden's water appears to be stable, Gross said. John Stark reports. Study: Lake Padden water quality stable, but runoff is a concern

A median strip that separates traffic along Silverdale’s Ridgetop Boulevard will be turned into 13 “rain gardens,” thanks to a grant and a loan from the Washington Department of Ecology. The project will treat stormwater runoff that flows from 17 acres of pavement and adjoining land along Ridgetop between Waaga Way and Avante Drive. The rain gardens, also known as bioretention structures, will filter the stormwater with plants and natural soil. In all, the structures are designed to remove more than 91 percent of the fecal bacteria, nitrogen, zinc and suspended solids that wash into Dyes Inlet, according to an engineering report by Herrera and Associates. That’s a reduction of more than 170 pounds of total nitrogen, nearly 5 pounds of dissolved zinc and more than 3 tons of sediment. Chris Dunagan reports. Silverdale's Ridgetop to get 13 new 'rain gardens'  

A new study out of the Pacific Northwest has found people may be exposed to far less of the chemical BPA than previously thought. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, has been linked to genital defects, early onset of puberty and obesity. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., have found the amount of BPA in people’s blood is many times less than what earlier studies have found. Toxicologist Justin Teeguarden says there’s a reason other studies have found high concentrations of the chemical that’s used to harden plastic. Researchers can contaminate the samples they take. Courtney Flatt reports. NW Study Says BPA Exposures Are Lower Than Once Thought

The U.S. Coast Guard has found evidence of multiple safety and environmental violations in Shell Alaska's Noble Discoverer Arctic drilling rig and forwarded it to the U.S. Justice Department for a decision about possible civil or criminal penalties, authorities confirmed Friday. The news is the latest setback for Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program, launched last summer off the coast of Alaska to tap one of the world’s biggest remaining oil and gas deposits. It has been plagued with logistical and mechanical troubles that raise questions about the company’s ability to continue this year. Already, the company’s second Arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, is facing substantial repairs after coming loose from a tow through the Gulf of Alaska and grounding on rocks near Kodiak Island. Now it appears that the Noble Discoverer has problems of its own, detailed in a Coast Guard report made available this week to the House Natural Resources Committee. Kim Murphy reports. Coast Guard finds evidence of safety violations on Shell rig


The Northwest Clean Air Agency has awarded nearly $3.2 million to three projects that will reduce greenhouse gases - from improving energy efficiency in homes and dairy farms to constructing a small hydroelectric plant on the Bellingham waterfront. The money for the projects will come from BP Cherry Point Refinery to help offset the additional carbon dioxide that will be released from its new reactor, which will produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel beginning later this year. BP is required to produce the fuel, which will help reduce sulfur emissions that cause acid rain as well as harmful particulates and ozone precursors. Still, the new unit is expected to release about 440,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, a year. The refinery is voluntarily paying for the projects, which form the biggest chunk of the $4.3 million it committed to help offset the impact of its ultra-low-sulfur diesel production. Kie Reylea reports. $3.2 million awarded for Whatcom projects to reduce greenhouse gases  

For a young University of Washington researcher, engaging people is the key to saving animals. Everything seems to come together in Lekelia (Kiki) Jenkins’ life, even things that we aren’t used to seeing in tandem. For instance, she’s both a natural scientist and a social scientist. Jenkins is one of three University of Washington faculty members awarded Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships recognize young scientists and scholars who, based on their early work, are expected to be future leaders in their fields. Jerry Large reports. Natural science, social science mix in young researcher’s work

Building a mini-dam on a scenic stretch of the Skykomish River would not cause flooding or reduce water flow, according to preliminary studies by the Snohomish County Public Utility District. These findings are among the results of studies done recently by the PUD in determining whether to pursue the project. The utility is looking at building an inflatable mini-dam, or weir, on the river just above Sunset Falls near Index. The PUD believes the project could generate enough power for nearly 10,000 homes. Its cost is estimated at between $110 million and $170 million. Bill Sheets reports. PUD’s studies support proposed mini-dam on Skykomish

The Fraser Delta, on Vancouver’s southern doorstep, is a wetland of international importance, a gathering place for salmon, waterfowl, shorebirds, and whales, and for people. It has rich, productive farmland, some of the best in Canada, yet under the wide open skies, nature struggles for space. Snow geese feed in school yards and orcas swim among container ships. Pumpkin and blueberry fields compete for space with shopping malls, golf courses, and housing developments. The delta landscape, recently designated as a UN Ramsar site for its critical wetland values, is changing rapidly, powered by agencies and policies that destroy the environment and ignore community concerns. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the actions of Port Metro Vancouver, whose determination to push through operational expansions on a massive scale, has many Delta residents enraged. Anne Murray comments. A dark cloud hangs over South Delta

Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask: Romantic relationships are complicated, and so is sex. Relationships can be fraught with the potential for miscommunication or misunderstanding at the best of times, so imagine how troublesome it is to admit, out loud, to your partner, that you've got a sexual interest or fantasy that sits far outside the cultural norms. But here’s a secret. For just about any fantasy between consenting adults that might be thought of as beyond conventional sexual practices or decency as dictated by society, you can bet that there's a non-human species for whom that particular behaviour is commonplace. Jason Goldman at BBC Future reports. The wilder side of sex

Now, your thank-goodness-for-tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PST MON FEB 25 2013
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 12 TO 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS... BUILDING TO 15 TO 16 FT WITH A
 DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 4 TO 7 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT 10 SECONDS...
 SUBSIDING TO 11 FT AT 17 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.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

2/22 Aaron Reardon, BPA ban, real seafood, Bremerton pumps, BC LNG, Green Olympics, weather forum

This kind of weather brings us together...
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon announced Thursday he will resign effective May 31, a move that came as he and his staff faced mounting calls for an investigation to determine whether laws were broken in a campaign that appears designed to harass and conduct surveillance on Reardon's political rivals. Reardon's announcement came at the end of his 10th State of the County address before business leaders in Everett. Scott North and Noah Haglund report. Reardon will resign, effective at end of May

Washington state’s ban on BPA in sports bottles and children’s cups and bottles appears to be succeeding, with products containing the chemical nearly disappearing from shelves. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is used to make polycarbonate plastic and can be harmful to children’s health. According to a news release, tests by the state Department of Ecology revealed only one sample out of 74 with levels requiring regulatory action at 100 parts per million. Ecology enforces the same level the agency requires with the Children’s Safe Product Act, which is 20 parts per million. Erinn Unger reports. BPA ban takes chemicals out of most children's products  

Seattle and Portland are among the best cities to dine on seafood if you want the salmon, sole, or halibut you order to actually be salmon, sole, or halibut. The two Northwest cities emerged from a national report Thursday with some of the lowest rates of “fish fraud” in the country. According to the research project by the marine conservation group, Oceana, 33 percent of the 1,215 samples of fish it had analyzed were not actually the fish that they were labeled as by the sushi bars, restaurants, and retail outlets selling them. Ashley Ahearn reports. Conservation Group: Fish Fraud A National Problem, But Less Severe In The NW

Tired, aging pumps that power sewage through the city’s wastewater treatment plant will be replaced in one fell swoop this summer in a $3 million overhaul. City officials say the project, partially funded by grants, will pay for itself in seven years or less because the 28-year-old pumps gulp up electricity, costs tens of thousands a year in maintenance and use parts that are no longer manufactured. Josh Farley reports. New pumps at Bremerton treatment plant will keep things moving  

The B.C. government is preparing to auction land on its northern coast in hopes of establishing a third cluster of natural-gas export terminals. Grassy Point is located on a narrow peninsula 30 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, and across a small bay from Lax Kw’alaams First Nation. It has been a historical site of interest for liquefied natural gas exports, including from Dome Petroleum, which no longer exists, in the 1980s. B.C. flags third site for LNG terminals

Connie Gallant next Tuesday at 7 PM will present “Heroines of our Green Olympics,” a talk about Rosalie Edge, Polly Dyer and Bonnie Phillips-- women who have made great contributions to the conservation of the Olympic Peninsula-- and also give an update on current Olympic Peninsula environmental issues.  She will talk at the Port Townsend Community Center; admission is free.

Can't do much about it, so best to talk about it: Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop - March 1 & 2, NOAA Western Regional Center in Seattle. $30 adults, $15 students; register in advance.  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST FRI FEB 22 2013
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
S WIND 25 TO 35 KT BECOMING W. COMBINED SEAS 10 TO 13 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 13 TO 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 15 SECONDS BUILDING TO 16 TO 18 FT WITH A
 DOMINANT PERIOD OF 15 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY.
SAT
NW WIND 25 TO 30 KT BECOMING W 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 4 OR 5 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 19 FT AT 16 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO
 17 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 20 KT BECOMING SW 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 14 FT AT 15 SECONDS SUBSIDING TO 11 FT AT 14
 SECONDS.
SUN
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 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, February 21, 2013

2/21 Seals, BC landscapes, Gov to Prez, dolphin names, Freeland septics, Duwamish volunteers, animal poop, tribal hunts

PHOTO: Arthur Chapman (Flickr)
Zzzzz: Seals can sleep with just half of their brain at a time, and biologists have discovered some of the chemicals involved. The study identified the chemical cues that allow the seal brain to remain half awake and asleep. Findings from this study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, may explain the biological mechanisms that enable the brain to remain alert during waking hours and go off-line during sleep. In water, seals nap with half their brain

But wait, there’s more: Harbor seals in Puget Sound have had a challenging history—they were once hunted because they were considered competitors with fishermen. By the early 1970s, only about two to three thousand harbor seals remained in Washington. But in 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act made it illegal to kill any marine mammals. The Act, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, helped the harbor seal population recover—scientists counted 30,000 seals in their last full census. Join NOAA Fisheries wildlife biologist Harriet Huber in the short video, Harbor Seal Monitoring in Puget Sound

Read Governor Jay’s Valentine’s Day note to President Barack.

Environmental protection of B.C.’s landscapes is fragmented, inconsistent and falls woefully short of what scientists say is needed to conserve species biodiversity, according to a comprehensive land-use review released Thursday by environmentalists. The report by Vancouver-based ForestEthics Solutions with assistance from West Coast Environmental Law, says 15.55 per cent of the B.C.’s land base (including private property and water bodies) has been placed in the highest categories of protection. That includes 14.4 per cent as parks and protected areas, and 1.15 per cent as wildlife management areas and municipal watersheds. Larry Pynn reports. B.C. land protection insufficient to conserve species biodiversity: report

Norm Baker is mightily impressed; so am I: "Bottlenose dolphins call out the specific names of loved ones when they become separated, a study finds. Other than humans, the dolphins are the only animals known to do this, according to the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The big difference with bottlenose dolphins is that these communications consist of whistles, not words. Earlier research found that bottlenose dolphins name themselves, with dolphins having a “signature whistle” that encodes other information...." Jennifer Viegas reports. Dolphins Call Each Other By Name  

A $6.3 million low-income housing project planned for Freeland is facing derailment due to an unexpected permitting issue. Island County Housing Authority officials confirmed this week that septic system requirements may exceed initial expectations and the increase in costs may force the project to be scrapped. The organization is not a department of county government but a state special purpose district with the aim of providing affordable housing to low-income and elderly residents. It currently owns and manages 110 public housing units on properties in Oak Harbor, Coupeville and Langley. Its newest project, Sunny Side Village, is planned on a nearly nine-acre lot off Fish Road, between Highway 525 and Scenic Avenue. Designs call for the construction of 26 units in four separate two-level buildings. Justin Burnett reports. Septic problems may scuttle low income housing in Freeland  

It’s backbreaking work, grubbing out those blackberries, but it’s for a good cause – feeding the Duwamish salmon. Hundreds of volunteers have spent nearly 1,000 hours freeing a 1 1/2-mile stretch of the Duwamish River of blackberry canes that have grown up to 12 feet and other invasive non-native plants. The Restore the Duwamish Shoreline Challenge was initiated by employees of the Boeing Employees Credit Union in the Tukwila headquarters that’s separated from the river by a bank and the Green River Trail. Dean Radford reports. Volunteers restore Duwamish shoreline naturally

A river otter, sleek and graceful, scampered across a dock at the Oak Harbor Marina on a Thursday afternoon before gliding back into the water. A half-dozen of the intelligent, playful creatures make the marina home. Unfortunately, the otters’ bathroom habits put them on a list of four animals marina management wants to remove from the area. Chris Sublet, the Oak Harbor harbormaster, said he is hoping to contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services for help dealing with the otters, as well as seagulls, pigeons and turnstones. The problem, he said, is the poop. Jessie Stensland reports. Oak Harbor Marina targets messy otters, birds

A federal lawsuit involving the rights of Indian tribes to hunt game on “open and unclaimed lands” has been filed by the Skokomish Tribe against the state of Washington. The lawsuit claims that actions by state agencies and officials have denied tribal members access to their legitimate hunting areas. Furthermore, state officials have imposed civil and criminal sanctions on tribal members and promoted a “discriminatory scheme” of hunting regulations that favor non-Indians, the suit says. The Skokomish Tribe’s lawsuit could open the door to long-awaited litigation that could define the extent of treaty rights related to hunting animals and gathering roots and berries by Native Americans across Washington state. Chris Dunagan reports. Skokomish Tribe sues state over hunting rights

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 257 AM PST THU FEB 21 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM PST THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS EVENING
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING
TODAY
SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
 RAIN LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN 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

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2/20 BC CG, no coal exports, Nisqually boardwalk, oil and gas drill tax

Ms. Merganser (Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Last week a female Hooded merganser dropped by spend some time in our garden pond. She and her mate usually come by once a year, around this time, but they’ve never stayed more than a few hours. This time Ms. Merganser came alone, and to our delight, stayed for two full days and two nights...." A Visit from Ms. Merganser  

The federal government has officially closed a Vancouver coast guard base that's considered to be the busiest in Canada. Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Tuesday in a notice to mariners that the Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Station will no longer offer search-and-rescue services. The closure was announced last spring as part of budget cuts and drew widespread criticism, but local labour leaders were still caught off guard by the notice. Vancouver coast guard station officially closes

Two  Northwest political leaders,  speaking 180 miles apart, sharply criticized both the local impacts and global implications of the proposed creation of export terminals in Washington and Oregon that would move huge quantities of coal to China. Joel Connelly reports. Gov. Kitzhaber, Mayor McGinn: No to coal exports  

The $2.8 million boardwalk is waiting to lead you to the edge of Puget Sound at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The boardwalk opened in 2011 as mitigation for loss of recreation opportunities when a restoration project removed dikes to allow saltwater to re-establish a marsh at the wildlife refuge. Terry Richards reports. Nisqually boardwalk puts walkers atop Puget Sound mudflats with dry boots  

Should Washington tax the oil and natural gas coming out of its ground? The Washington state House Finance Committee held a public hearing on that concept Tuesday, specifically on a bill that would charge a 12 percent tax on the oil and gas pumped out of the Evergreen State's soil. So far, the state has produced little oil and natural gas, according to the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, said some exploratory drilling was conducted years ago in Eastern Washington, and exploratory drilling is underway for coal bed methane in Southwestern Washington. John Stang reports. Oil and gas: Tax now, drill later

Now, your tug weather--

WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED FEB 20 2013
TODAY
S WIND TO 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING LATE. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF 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

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19 Crow funeral, whale talk, tidal power, Esquimalt dock, cows & clams

Crow funeral (Tony Angell)
If you like to listen: Tony Angell, along with Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington, wrote the book, Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans. Tony says, "A crow 'funeral' is where the deceased bird is surrounded by members of the same species, in significant numbers." Crow Funeral - with Tony Angell

Whale hugging; The Whale Trail’s “Orca Talk” series at C&P Coffee, 5621 California Ave SW in West Seattle, features on February 21 Lynne Barre of NOAA Fisheries speaking on how our Southern resident killer whales are doing seven years after they were listed as endangered. Also giving updates are Robin Lindsay (Seal Sitters.org) and Laura James (tox-ick.org). Suggested donation: $5. Advanced tickets at Brown Paper Tickets. Info at The Whale Trail.

While a federal study recently gave an environmental OK to the Snohomish County Public Utility District's plan to try out two tidal power turbines, some don't agree with the conclusion. Three Indian tribes, a cable company and a cable trade group all sent letters last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing the Admiralty Inlet project as it's proposed. The tribes, including the Tulalips, say the turbines could interfere with fishing. The cable interests believe the project could damage trans-Pacific cables that run through the inlet. Bill Sheets reports. Tribes, cable groups protest plan for tidal-power project

The federal government has announced a $500-million project to replace two aging docks at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Monday the existing wooden jetties will be replaced with steel docks that can accommodate four frigates, two patrol ships, one supply ship and two submarines. The minister said the contract should sustain up to 1,400 jobs over the life of the project. $500M docks to be built in Esquimalt

A new pilot program with a catchy title, “Where Cows Meet Clams” is taking off with funding from the EPA’s National Estuary Program. The idea is to link big picture concepts – the health of Puget Sound water, soil and habitat - with the health of working farms and forests in river basins. Oxbow Farm in the fertile Snoqualmie Valley is giving the program a jump start. Martha Baskin reports. “Where Cows Meet Clams”: A Farm and Forest Sustainability Program Gets a Test Run at Oxbow Farm in the Snoqualmie Valley

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE FEB 19 2013
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NE. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 8 SECONDS...BECOMING NW AT 7 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

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/18 Octopus, coal march, B'ham cleanup, DFO censor, no net pen, pesticide survey, fish on drugs, Elwha suit, derelict ships, ferry list, shark fin soup, Kulshan Creek Kids

Shilshole Bay rally (Joshua Trujillo, SeattlePI)
If you like to watch: Photographer Alan Berner documents the action at Octopus Week.  Octopus Season of Love 


A big march at Shilshole Bay by Seattle-area greens, and a much bigger environmental protest in Washington, D.C., delivered a message to President Obama as he played a Sunday round of golf with Tiger Woods in Palm City, Florida:    Walk your talk on climate change. The D.C. protest was keyed to the Keystone Pipeline, which would transport oil from Alberta’s huge, dirty oil sands project to Gulf Coast and Texas refineries in the United States.  The marchers on a raw Seattle winter day, a cold mist falling in 40-degree weather,  had a more immediate target, the proposed Gateway Pacific coal port, at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham. Joel Connelly reports. Big no-coal-train protest on cold day  But: What More Coal Trains Mean To A Railway Engineer  

Whatcom County's two state senators are political opposites in some ways but are working together to pass two toxic-cleanup bills that could benefit Bellingham's waterfront. A bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, would speed up permitting for toxic cleanups funded through the Model Toxics Control Act. The other bill's main sponsor is Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, who wants to ensure that money set aside under the act doesn't get diverted from cleanup projects. Both bills passed out of the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Ericksen chairs the committee, and Ranker is the ranking minority member. Ralph Schwartz reports. Whatcom senators strange bedfellows on Bellingham waterfront cleanup

Angry scientists and academics are accusing the Stephen Harper government of muzzling and censoring its scientists to the point that research cannot be published, even when there is collaboration with international researchers, unless it matches government policy. Under revised Fisheries and Oceans Canada rules, scientists working in its central and Arctic region cannot be involved in publishing research until a DFO division administrator has reviewed it “for any concerns/impacts to DFO policy.”  Judith Lavoie reports. DFO censoring federal scientists with research rules, critics say

A bill that would allow coastal counties to ban marine aquaculture net pen facilities has an “uphill battle” ahead of it after a hearing in a state House of Representative committee in Olympia last week, said the North Olympic Legislator who is sponsoring it. State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, is sponsoring HB 1599, which would allow county governments to include outright bans of net pen fish-farming facilities proposed for shoreline areas in their state-required shoreline management plan updates. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Van De Wege's net pen bill gets hearing

More than 15,000 people who live in the Puget Sound region will be getting mailed surveys about how much they use pesticides on a day-to-day basis. The Washington State Department of Agriculture and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service are trying to gather data to learn how people in urban areas use pesticides. The three-page survey will be mailed within a week to people living in the 12 counties making up the Puget Sound region.  Survey to gauge pesticide use around Puget Sound

What happens to a fish on drugs? If it’s a wild European perch exposed to a popular anxiety medication, chances are it’s anti-social, wanders away from the safety of its group and devours food more quickly than its peers, all behaviors that could have profound ecological consequences, according to a forthcoming report in the journal Science. In a study aimed at understanding the environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals that often wind up in the world’s waterways through wastewater, researchers from UmeĆ„ University in Sweden examined how perch behaved when exposed to oxazepam, a drug commonly used to treat anxiety disorders in humans. Brady Dennis reports. What happens when fish get high on discarded drugs?  

A federal judge has thrown out a suit against the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s hatchery plan, and the tribe has backed away from stocking the Elwha River with nonnative steelhead. Lynda Mapes reports. Federal court dismisses suit against Elwha hatchery; tribe drops nonnative steelhead stocking plan  

State officials would be encouraged to deal with derelict boats sooner — preferably before they sink — under a proposed law moving through the Legislature. Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, (is) the prime sponsor of House Bill 1245, would become the first major revision to the state’s Derelict Vessel Act since the law was adopted in 2002. The legislation was approved unanimously last week by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and now moves to a vote by the full House. Chris Dunagan reports. Bill in Legislature seeks early action for derelict vessels  

Washington State Ferries will soon take the lean out of its three newest ferries.  Adjustments will be made so the Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick will no longer list when the boats are empty. The work involves adding tons of ballast on each vessel. The boats are designed to lean when there are no vehicles because not all the weight is evenly distributed. The state plans to pour steel shot – a granular material used for sandblasting – into existing metal box-like containers on top of each boat's two fuel tanks. It's going to take about 180,000 pounds of steel shot for the vessels. Jerry Cornfield reports. State aims to stop ferries from leaning when empty  But see: Is new ferry a pricey sea-going lemon? And why?

It is, perhaps, the most contentious dish on the planet. It has divided communities, enraged activists, prompted allegations of racism and stirred politicians to action. The distinctive flavour comes from pork bones and chicken, but its infamy comes from the flavourless strands of cartilage floating at the top of each bowl. How do you solve a problem like shark fin soup? Some believe the answer might be found in the Pacific waters of British Columbia. But, much to the chagrin of a fledgling local fishery – a sustainable alternative to shark fins – no one seems willing to invest the dollars needed to find out. Andy Hoffman and Daniel Bitonti report. B.C. fishery’s answer to shark fin soup dilemma appears to be floundering  

On a drizzly midwinter afternoon, children with the Kulshan Creek Kids program found signs of spring during their nature walk on the Kulshan Creek Trail: the harmony of a warbler’s song, light green leaf buds sprouting from trees. Saturday’s excursion through the neighborhood wetland area near Bakerview Park was one of the Kulshan Creek Kids program’s monthly events. Together with the North Cascades Institute, National Forest Service, Mount Vernon Police Department, Skagit Youth and Family Services and the National Park Service, each month’s activity aims to teach low-income kids about their local environment and engage in Skagit’s natural settings. Lynsi Burton reports. Program seeks to teach children about environment  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON FEB 18 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 17 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...
 THEN RAIN LIKELY.
TONIGHT
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 18 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
--
"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



Friday, February 15, 2013

2/15 Coal export, gravel mining, piers and docks, salp, GMO foods,tsunami designed buildings

Salp, Thalia rhomboides
Last day to pre-register for the 2013 Environmental Lobby Day in Olympia February 19.  Pre-register today: Environmental Priorities Coalition

A Wyoming mining company has signed an option agreement allowing it to ship up to 16 million tons of coal a year through Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point — if that project can get the regulatory approvals it needs. Cloud Peak Energy said Wednesday's deal involving Gateway Pacific Terminal, proposed by SSA Marine of Seattle, will allow it to expand overseas sales amid weak domestic demand. The company has mines in Wyoming and Montana. It shipped 4.4 million tons of coal to Asian customers in 2012. In 2011, coal industry giant Peabody Energy made a similar deal with SSA, declaring an intent to export as much as 24 million tons of coal per year via the Cherry Point facility. Wyoming coal company strikes export deal to use Cherry Point terminal

A new Sightline report paints Ambre Energy, a large owner in the proposed coal port at Longview, in a less-than-flattering financial light. Floyd McKay explains. Ambre Energy: The big bad coal wolf?  Read the report, Ambre Energy: Caveat Investor

In a Feb. 13 print edition article by Allison Arthur of the Port Townsend Leader, John Fabian of the Hood Canal Coalition describes several new permits submitted to Jefferson County by proponents of a project to barge gravel from Shine through the Hood Canal Bridge. In December proponents submitted a new noise study and a new traffic impact analysis. The project was originally proposed by Fred Hill Materials in 2002 and is now called T-ROC, an acronym for Thorndyke Resources Operation Complex, an offspring of Fred Hill Materials which is going through Chapter 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Within a week, there’ll be no trace of the dock that attracted Mosquito Fleet steamers, car ferries and fishermen for more than a century. Workers from Seattle’s Pacific Pile & Marine last week sawed Harper Pier’s deck and railing into large pieces, chained them to a crane and hoisted them onto a barge. On Thursday, they logged the old wooden pilings. Two men in an aluminum boat set chokers, and the supports were plucked one, two or three at a time from Puget Sound. Ed Friedrich reports. Splash down: Harper Pier disappearing quickly  But: Key Peninsula dock with ties to Mosquito Fleet gets a facelift

Meanwhile: A new dock approved by the Kitsap County hearing examiner could become the first overwater structure along an undeveloped stretch of Hood Canal shoreline near Stavis Bay. The dock, proposed by Tim and Brenda Berg, would be built at 18174 Stavis Bay Road. The 480-square-foot structure would include a grated deck to allow light to penetrate, and it would be built on eight centerline pilings to reduce the impacts. Chris Dunagan reports. First dock near Stavis Bay approved

It started with a few sightings here and there. Now a strange sea creature, a salp, is showing up on beaches and in crab pots up and down the Washington Coast, raising curiosity and concerns.  Marine expert Alan Rammer said he's received several calls from people asking what they are. He told us they are members of the tunicate family called 'salps' and are a harmless visitor from the South. Gary Chittim reports. Odd creature showing up on Washington's coast

Anyone wanting to get to the bottom of the debate about genetically modified foods will have a long wait. One side says there is no meaningful evidence that GMOs are harmful, and that forcing food companies to label them would be expensive and cumbersome, especially on a state-by-state basis. They say the debate should be at the national level. The other side says consumers have a right to know whether foods contain GMOs, particularly because the Food and Drug Administration allows companies to mostly self-regulate their safety. Melissa Allison reports. Initiative to require labels on GMO foods debated

Building codes cover fire prevention, energy efficiency, and seismic safety among other things. Now a group of civil engineers from around the West is developing additions to the code to cover the threat of a tsunami. Kent Yu of Degenkolb Engineers in Portland is one of the members of an American Society of Civil Engineers subcommittee drafting standards for "tsunami loads and effects." Tom Banse reports. Structural Engineers Developing Tsunami Design Code For Coastal Buildings

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PST FRI FEB 15 2013
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS. PATCHY MORNING FOG.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
SAT
SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING W 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 17 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 9 FT AT 16
 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
NW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
SUN
NW WIND 10 TO 20 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT IN THE MORNING...THEN LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 9 FT
 AT 14 SECONDS.

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