Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31 Seals, seals, seals; exporting pollutants

PHOTO: Laurie MacBride
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "What is it about the BC coast that inspires so many dreamers? In one community after another, you can see the evidence: an old boat that someone once planned to restore to its former glory. We came upon this long-retired fishboat in the dusty back reaches of the shipyard at Shearwater, on BC’s Central Coast – but you don’t have to go that far to find other, similar old boats. They’re in back yards and boat yards everywhere, and they represent a lot of abandoned or forgotten dreams..." Coast of Dreams 

New blog: It’s hard to take seriously a tropical storm named Flossie but Hawaii state authorities made sure everyone paid attention before Flossie reached the Big Island on Monday... In Flossie’s Aftermath

If you like to watch: Camera Captures Birth of Baby Seal at Elliott Bay Marina  

The harbor seals at the Seattle Aquarium have new digs.  "This summer we opened a brand new harbor seal exhibit and it's got so many cool features. Deeper water, an acrylic surround for people to see, and it seats 100 people so they can really sit and spend time with our seals," said biologist Traci Belting. New digs for Seattle Aquarium's harbor seals

Vancouver Aquarium is asking the public not to handle seal pups found on B.C.'s beaches, after a Vancouver Island woman posted video of herself petting a pup online. Heather Marshall noticed the seal pup's mother had not returned to Nanoose Bay for two weeks, and after seeing the pup grow sick, decided to rescue it. Marshall did report the rescue to Vancouver Aquarium, but later came under fire from the public for taking in the sick pup and petting him while he was in her care. Some solo seal pups don't need rescuing

Stephan Michaels and Fred Felleman opine: Puget Sound's health is at risk if Washington becomes the fossil fuel gateway to Asia. President Obama says he's open to "better ideas." Time for state leaders to give him some. Exporting Pollutants: No way to reduce a carbon footprint  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT TUE JUL 30 2013
WED
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
WED NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT 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.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7/30 Where are the whales?, Vancouver WA oil, Quesnel BC natural gas

Western meadowlark (Paul Bannick/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Writer Ivan Doig writes about bird songs, including that of this Western Meadowlark, in his book, Ride with Me, Mariah Montana: "Warbles and trills and solo after solo ... the air was magically busy. None of us spoke while the songs of the birds poured undiluted. I suppose we were afraid the spate of loveliest sound would vanish if we broke it with so much as a whisper. But after a bit came the realization that the music of birds formed a natural part of this place, constant as the glorious grass that made feathered life thrive." BirdNote: Ivan Doig on the Music of Birds

Monika Wieland at Orca Watch writes: "Where Are The Whales? It's a question we island residents patiently put up with from May through September, the best time of year to see whales in local waters. Second only to, "What time do the whales come by?" the question "Where are the whales?" is a common one from not just tourists, but also among researchers, boat captains, naturalists, and all members of the whale-watch community.... This year, however, the question, "Where are the whales?" has taken on a different meaning among the whale watch community. It's not just a curious question among hopeful whale watchers trying to track the movements of J-, K-, and L-Pods. It's a sadder, more anxious question this year because, quite simply, the whales aren't here...." Where Are The Whales

The Port of Vancouver has released copies of the lease agreement Port commissioners approved last week for a controversial oil terminal. The document wasn’t available to the public until Monday. The lease does not restrict the terminal developers from exporting oil overseas, according to port communications specialist Katie Odem. Tesoro Corporation and Savage Companies plan to build an oil terminal that would move crude oil produced in North Dakota from trains to ships bound for West Coast refineries.... Matt Gill, external affairs manager for Tesoro, said U.S. regulations prevent North Dakota crude oil from being exported overseas, but the company isn’t ruling out the potential for exporting oil produced elsewhere. Cassandra Profita reports. Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease Would Allow Exports  

Part of Quesnel, B.C. was under an evacuation order on Monday afternoon following damage to a Fortis B.C. natural gas pipeline. The company learned at about 3 pm of damage caused to a two-inch main by a third party, Fortis spokesman David Wylie said. A Fortis technician was on site shortly after to work with local officials on immediate safety precautions. A work crew was headed to Quesnel from Prince George and was expected to be on site shortly after 4 pm. Wendy Stueck reports.  Damage to natural gas pipeline prompts evacuation in Quesnel, B.C.  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT MON JUL 29 2013
TUE
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TUE NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT 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

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Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29 Seal pup, Strait swim, BC crisis time, oil trains, Burns Bog, oil spill threat, pumpin' CO2, Keystone jobs

Nursing seals (Tony Overman/The Olympian)
A harbor seal pup that appeared to be abandoned in Henderson Inlet has found comfort from an adoptive mother. The 4-week-old pup was seen Friday afternoon nursing with a mother seal who was also nursing her 1- to 2-week-old infant.... While the situation has changed for the young seal pup, the stance of the National Marine Fisheries Service has not. The organization’s spokesman on Friday directed would-be rescuers to leave the seal alone. Even if it were a nursing pup stranded in the haul-out site, it would have been left to nature’s outcome. Tony Overman reports. Seal pup finds a mother's love

With about 1 mile left to go, Andrew Malinak, a 26-year-old civil engineer from Seattle, quit his attempt to swim from the southern tip of Vancouver Island to U.S. shores at either Freshwater Bay or Crescent Beach west of Port Angeles today (Sunday). "The last few miles have been slow," his tweet at about 2:50 said.  And at 3:30 p.m., the tweet said: "Andrew aborted swim. 6 hours and 10 minutes. He had about 1 mile left but progress was slow. Water ranged from 46-50 deg, air in 50s. Cold." He was trying to make the 12-mile crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca without wearing a wetsuit. Swimmer cuts short attempt to swim Strait to Port Angeles  

Two of B.C.’s major environmental organizations are launching a Save-the-Salish-Sea campaign because of looming threats to the delicate ecosystem. The groups are concerned about possible expanded coal and oil exports, which would increase the number of tankers and coal ships travelling from Vancouver, through the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca Strait, as well as existing problems, such as pollution and overuse. Georgia Strait Alliance and the Wilderness Committee are asking B.C. residents to demonstrate support for the water that surrounds them by pledging to become “caring kayakers, bright birders and savvy shoreline users.” Judith Lavoie reports. ‘Crisis time’ for B.C. waters, environmental groups say  

Hundreds of people came to the (Vancouver, WA) waterfront Saturday for a sun-baked demonstration against the fossil fuel industry and its projects in the Northwest. The climate change advocates 350.org organized a national day of action around a broad range of fossil fuels. But the Port of Vancouver’s recent decision approving a train-to-tanker-ship oil terminal for West Coast refineries added grist for protestors like Pat Douglass of Vancouver. She’s not happy about the oil terminal project, and wants to stop encouraging fossil fuel industries. April Baer reports. Oil Terminal Fuels Vancouver Protest  

With a growing population in the Lower Mainland, developers are looking at odd-shaped tracts of land, former industrial sites and agricultural zones as potential space for new neighbourhoods. Often, those developers’ visions clash with area residents’ concerns about loss of green space. That is especially the case when proposed development would occur next to Burns Bog. The bog, between the south arm of the Fraser River and Boundary Bay, is a haven for migratory birds, a flood-absorbing sponge and one of the biggest urban wilderness sites in North America. In 2004, four levels of government – Ottawa, the province, Metro Vancouver and the Corporation of Delta – paid $73-million to acquire 2,000 hectares of the 3,000-hectare bog to run as an Ecological Conservancy Area. Wendy Stueck reports. Eliza Olson: protecting Burns Bog from developers  

Richmond residents have renewed their call for a pipeline to deliver fuel to Vancouver airport, in the wake of the spill that dumped 35,000 litres of jet fuel into Lemon Creek in B.C.'s Slocan Valley. "When I heard and saw the spill on TV my heart just sank," says Carol Day, chair of Vapor BC, a group calling for a safe route to transport aviation fuel to Vancouver airport from the Cherry Point refinery in Washington. Currently, some 40 trucks run along Richmond streets everyday delivering fuel. Jet fuel worries resurface in Richmond  See also: B.C. man finds dead fish downstream from jet fuel spill; Water restrictions remain for Lemon Creek, Slocan River and Kootenay River  

Opinion: Our waters’ long journey to health  

Scientists start pumping CO2 into basalt deposits to test the idea that greenhouse gases could be locked up underground — but with no emission caps, industry is unlikely to adopt the technology. Sandi Doughton reports.  Is there a fix for global warming under our feet?  

TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) insists that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will create about 20,000 jobs, despite suggestions by U.S. president Barack Obama that those estimates might be unrealistic. In an interview with The New York Times this weekend, Obama said that based on "the most realistic estimates" the project might create "maybe 2,000 jobs" during the construction of the pipeline. "...and then after that we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people," he said. But a spokesman for Trans-Canada noted that Obama's comments were aimed at his Republican opponents, who have used the economic benefits as one of their major arguments for the project. TransCanada sticks by its numbers after Obama challenges Keystone job estimates  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT SUN JUL 28 2013
MON
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY MORNING DRIZZLE.
MON NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE.
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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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Friday, July 26, 2013

7/26 Orca fishing, Namu, Halliburton guilt, oil train regs, Obama's climate, rain gardens, BC Ferries, bluff science

PHOTO: Kevin Klein
If you’ve ever gone fishing, then you probably know what it feels like to catch a big one only to lose it as you reel it in. A Friday Harbor man recently had this experience, but there’s much more to this whale of a tale. Jennifer Wing reports. Orca Snags Angler's Big Catch Right Off the Line 

The story begins north of Vancouver Island in June 1965, near the tiny fishing village of Namu, British Columbia. Fishermen retrieving gear that had snagged on rocks made a surprising discovery. A giant orca was trapped in a cove by a runaway net. Word of the captive orca reached Seattle and a man named Ted Griffin. Griffin owned an aquarium on the waterfront and had long been fascinated with whales. In short order, Griffin bought the whale — now called Namu — for $8,000. Then, he made arrangements to bring Namu home to Seattle using a floating cage pulled behind a tugboat. Feliks Banel reports.  Killer Whale Makes Big Splash In Seattle

Halliburton Energy Services agreed Thursday to plead guilty to destroying evidence during the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster in 2010, admitting one count of criminal conduct and agreeing to pay the $200,000 maximum statutory fine, according to the Justice Department. In a startling turn in the three-year criminal investigation, the oil-field services company said that twice during the oil spill, it directed employees to destroy or “get rid of” simulations that would have helped clarify how to assign blame for the blowout — and possibly focused more attention on Halliburton’s role. The plea is subject to court approval. Steven Mufson reports. Feds: Halliburton agrees to plead guilty in spill

The Pacific Northwest Energy Boom rolled into Vancouver, Wash., in a big way Tuesday, sparking more debate about how the region can handle demands from oil and coal companies for export terminals shipping to markets in the U.S. and Asia. Port commissioners in Vancouver unanimously endorsed a huge oil terminal that would bring up to 360,000 barrels a day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota, by rail, to the Columbia River port. That decision would add eight long unit, or mile-and-a-half-long trains daily to the already heavy traffic through the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Gorge protectors protested. (The extra rail traffic would include both full and empty return trains.) Floyd McKay reports. Coming soon: Oil trains. All the risk, fewer regulations

Environmental experts who remain unimpressed with President Barack Obama's war-on-carbon rhetoric point to one key reason for concern that's off most Americans' radar: U.S. coal exports. A push to expand coal mining operations in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, and to build three ports in Oregon and Washington to ship the fuel to Asia, could create more national and global environmental impact than a Canadian company's proposal to ferry Albertan tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Keystone XL pipeline. Yet these remote projects are not getting the attention they deserve, critics suggest, and they fear Obama may be overlooking, apathetic to, or even supportive of them. Lynn Peeples writes. Coal Exports Contradict Obama's Climate Pledge, Critics Say   

Rain garden maintenance has emerged as one of the big hurdles to expanding the use of green stormwater solutions. You build it. The rain comes. Then what? Lisa Stiffler reports. Checklist for a Healthy Rain Garden  

B.C. Ferries has won approval to buy three new vessels and will seek to bring more standardization to its fleet with the purchase... In a ruling released Tuesday, the B.C. Ferries Commissioner approved the three new vessels, which will replace the aging Queen of Burnaby and Queen of Nanaimo. Jeff Bell reports.  B.C. Ferries given OK to build three new vessels at a cost of hundreds of millions  

Dana Hunter writes about the first day at Discovery Park: What an experience that day was! A walk through a forest greener than any I’d ever seen, across a sandy trail with signs saying “UNSTABLE BLUFF” all over the place, and then down and down and down until beach and sea and seal. Hundreds of clear jellyfish washed ashore gleamed like diamonds on that stony beach. And this amazing bluff, which would, nearly a decade later, put a match to the kindling laid by my physical geography professor and the great state of Arizona. So. Seven years spent trying to get back there, and then a glorious May day, and a discovery at Discovery: this bluff was like nothing I’d ever seen.  So What’s a Coastal Bluff Got To Do With Mount St. Helens?

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT THU JUL 25 2013
FRI
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG IN THE MORNING.
FRI NIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
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 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 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, July 25, 2013

7/25 Diarrhetic shellfish, baby seal, drift cards, Tacoma water, coastal erosion suit

PHOTO: Laurie MacBride
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: Can there be anything that lifts one’s spirits more than watching a wide-eyed little fawn starting to explore its big new world?... The Little Spirit Lifters

Washington’s Department of Health closed some shellfish beds in South Puget Sound Wednesday for the first time because of elevated levels of diarrhetic shellfish toxin. The biotoxin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting, appears to be spreading in Puget Sound. It made three people sick after eating mussels harvested in Sequim Bay in 2011. Ashley Ahearn reports. Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxin Closes Beaches In South Puget Sound For First Time  

Brandy Garcia spent the last three days listening to the cries of a hungry baby. By Tuesday, the crying had stopped. "It's heartbreaking," Garcia said of a weeks-old harbor seal pup left without a mother just 50 yards from her waterfront home north of Woodard Bay. "It cried and cried all day and night Saturday, all day and night Sunday, into Monday morning. I haven't slept in two days. Morally and ethically, I feel horrible watching that poor thing starve to death. How can you sleep through something like that?" Tony Overman reports. Olympia mom seeks help for starving motherless seal pup

When a group of science students from Port Angeles' Lincoln High School cast 500 green wooden cards into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in May, they had no idea they would travel farther from Port Angeles than ever before. The 11th annual drift-card experiment is designed to track surface currents in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia, inland waterways and along the Pacific coast. This year, cards have reached Vargas Island, 225 miles northwest of Port Angeles on the western shore of Vancouver Island, “the most north ever reported,” and arrived early in Tofino, B.C., said Deb Volturno, science teacher at Lincoln High, whose class disperses the drift cards. To Tofino and beyond: Drift cards travel far and wide

Tacoma’s water will be sold to a bottling company that plans to move to East Pierce County in spring of next year. The Tacoma City Council approved a contract Tuesday between Tacoma Water and Niagara Bottling, LLC, a California-based company that plans to start construction on a $50-million bottling plant in Frederickson this fall. Niagara hopes to open its 311,111-square foot plant in about April 2014, said Tony Lindgren, Tacoma Water’s distribution engineering manager. Melissa Santos reports. Bottled water company's deal with Tacoma is done

In what is being called a landmark lawsuit, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East filed suit today against more than 100 oil and gas companies claiming they have put the New Orleans area at risk through contributing to coastal erosion. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPA-E) that governs levee districts in Orleans Parish, East Jefferson Parish and the Lake Borgne Basin filed the suit in the Orleans Parish Central District Court. Land loss has been noted by scientists, environmentalists and conservationists as an ever present problem on Louisiana’s coast for numerous years, according to the suit.  It also says that a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2011 reveled that the state is losing nearly 17 miles of coastal marshland per year, which has more than tripled during the last decade. Kyle Barnett reports. Flood protection agency files massive lawsuit against oil companies over land loss  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUL 25 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY
 FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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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.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24 Oil terminal OK'd, shooting owls, eating fish, BC LNG, canoe journey, fish ears, plane noise

Barred owl shoot (Ray Bosch/USFWS)
If you like to watch: Divers almost swallowed by whales  

Port of Vancouver commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved leasing 42 acres for a controversial oil terminal, despite overwhelming public testimony against the plan by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies to build what would be the largest such facility in the Pacific Northwest. Commissioner Brian Wolfe said the lease — worth $45 million to the port over an initial 10 years — addresses public safety concerns. Port managers will stay on top of Tesoro and Savage like “white on rice” to ensure the project is “done right,” Wolfe said. Aaron Corvin reports. Port of Vancouver unanimously approves oil terminal lease    See also: Vancouver oil port could help Whatcom refineries  See also:  Study finds little environmental enforcement in oilsands infractions  

Federal wildlife officials plan to dispatch hunters into forests of the Pacific Northwest starting this fall to shoot one species of owl to protect another that is threatened with extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday released a final environmental review of an experiment to see if killing barred owls will allow northern spotted owls to reclaim territory they've been driven out of over the past half-century. Jeff Barnard reports. Feds plan to shoot barred owls

The official estimate of how much fish people eat dictates the levels of pollution that are allowed, and a statewide coalition of clean water advocates says an accurate standard is long overdue. Waterkeepers Washington is threatening to sue the federal government over lack of enforcement. Right now, the state Department of Ecology sets water pollution standards based on an assumption about how much fish people eat that is woefully inaccurate, says Janette Brimmer, staff attorney with Earthjustice, which is  representing the members of Waterkeepers Washington who have threatened to file suit. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. EPA Put on Notice over Wash. State's Fish Consumption Rate

In its latest bid to demonstrate the potential scale of its nascent liquefied natural gas industry, the province has unveiled a scenario that shows the sector could support a permanent workforce of 75,000, which British Columbia’s northern regions couldn’t hope to fill on their own. It is the first full-scale estimate of potential employment in the sector, on the assumption that five LNG export plants would be built on B.C.’s coast by 2021. The numbers were compiled as part of the work of the B.C. Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee, whose report was released Tuesday. On top of that, the construction phase under this scenario would require a workforce of 60,000 during its peak in 2016/17. Derrick Penner reports. B.C.'s LNG export industry could provide 75,000 permanent jobs, report claims  

Between 30 and 40 canoes from across the Pacific Northwest and Canada made landfall Tuesday morning at Hollywood Beach as children and adults from the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe welcomed travelers in the Paddle to Quinault journey. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Perilous paddle: Another mishap on tribal canoe journey  

A tiny white sliver inside the heads of fish could hold evidence of a century’s worth of humans wrecking the environment: atomic bombs, overfishing, even climate change. Fish ear bones, also known as otoliths, are like tree rings for the ocean. A layer of calcium carbonate laid down each year offers a snapshot of both the fish’s yearly growth and its surrounding ocean conditions. The University of Washington’s Burke Museum has been transferring and cataloging 2 million pairs of otoliths, representing some 80 species. Scientists hope this collection, gathered over the past half-century, will help them track the health of fish populations and ocean conditions up and down the West Coast. Sarah Zahang reports. Fish-ear bones offer clues to health of ocean, species  

If you like to listen: Some Whidbey Island residents say Navy jets are so loud that they have to sleep with headphones on, and now they're suing to get some peace and quiet. The Navy often practices "touch and gos" at nearby outlying field runway, and everyone involved admits they can be rather loud. Luke Ducey reports. Whidbey Island neighbors sue Navy over jet noises  And: Army serves notice on Jefferson County: The choppers are coming

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED JUL 24 2013
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT 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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/23 Don Santiford, sockeye cam, rain gardens, Vic sewage, free Capitol Lake

An outspoken critic of B.C.'s salmon farming industry has been ordered to pay a major industry player $75,000 for claims he made online about the safety of farmed salmon. Last year Mainstream Canada, which operates 27 farms off B.C.'s coast, sued Don Staniford for defamation after he claimed online that "salmon farming kills" and "salmon farming is poison". While the trial judge found Staniford's statements were defamatory, she ruled they were also protected by the defence of fair comment, because readers could make up their make up their own minds about what Staniford was saying. However on Monday, B.C.'s Appeal Court disagreed, and ruled the facts Staniford relied on weren't sufficiently referenced on his website.  Salmon farming company wins defamation lawsuit

If you like to watch: A salmon cam in Alaska’s Steep Creek is showing fair numbers of sockeye swimming upstream near the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau.  Live webcam shows return of sockeye

Foodies get to drool over countless images online and in print of perfectly posed burgers, mouth-watering slices of pies, and other culinary treats. Now rain garden junkies and the bioretention-curious can indulge in inspiring photos and illustrations of green stormwater solutions in the newly released “Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington: A Guide for Design, Installation, and Maintenance.” Lisa Stiffler reports. Rain Gardens, the Glamour Issue

B.C.’s environment minister remains unwilling to get involved in Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment dispute, after meeting with the Capital Regional District and Esquimalt on Monday. Both sides argued their case to the minister at the legislature but left without persuading her to wade into the disagreement over a treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.  Environment minister avoids taking role in sewage dispute

The Olympian editorializes: South Sounders can complain all they want about a do-nothing Congress, or partisan deadlock in the state Legislature, but that and a couple of candidates’ campaign yard signs won’t get us very far. There is one log jam right in front of our noses, however, on which local citizens can have a significant impact: Capitol Lake. As Olympian columnist John Dodge reminded us in a recent Soundings column, it’s been decades since the annual Lakefair festival had any connection to Capitol Lake. More to the point, its been four years since the nine-member Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Plan (CLAMP) issued its split-vote recommendation to revert the 250-acre lake into a tideflat mixing salt and fresh water from the Deschutes River. Yet nothing has changed. Well, nothing except another 140,000 cubic yards of sediment has flowed down the river and continues to clog the lake and Budd Inlet at the rate of 35,000 cubic yards per year. Capitol Lake can’t wait for us to get our act together

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUL 23 2013
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT 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, 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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"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, July 19, 2013

7/19 Salish Sea health, safe shellfish, sewage, orca funding, 'Blackfish,' gray whale

Blackfish (Suzanne Allee/Magnolia Pictures)
A report featuring key environmental indicators for the Salish Sea shows mixed trends, with some indicators showing improvements, others declining, and others remaining steady. The Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada, features indicators in four key areas: Air, water, animal species, and human well-being..... As a whole, the 2013 report showed positive trends in reducing pollution in the aquatic food web, but showed continuing declines across aquatic habitat and species based indicators. More specifically, the report shows improved air quality, improved freshwater water quality and reductions in persistent toxic chemicals in the aquatic food web. The indicators representing populations of wild species, including marine species at risk and Chinook salmon abundance, need more attention. Two habitat indicators sensitive to climate change, summer stream flow and marine water quality, are also showing declining trends. News release: Health of the Salish Sea Report shows mixed trends for key environmental indicators in Puget Sound and Northwest Straits  

Detecting pathogens in shellfish that are harmful to humans is currently laborious and time-consuming work, but a new robotic sensing unit could vastly improve the system, resulting in fewer people getting sick. Officials from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration introduced the Environmental Sample Processor on Thursday, July 18, at Taylor Shellfish Farms. The unit uses molecular probes to detect micro-organisms by their DNA, and it can be done nearly in real time, giving scientists a better chance to see an algal bloom (also known as a red tide bloom) as it is happening. Dave Gallagher reports. New machine could help predict red tide blooms in NW waters  See also: New robot helping keep Puget Sound seafood safe to eat

Red dye will be injected into treated wastewater on Monday and Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis McChord’s wastewater plant then monitored in a state health department study. The Washington State Department of Health, along with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, are doing the study in the Puget Sound waters off Solo Point in Pierce County to see where shellfish are safe to harvest. The test will be on Monday and Tuesday. Red dye will likely be visible in the waters near the treatment plant. Tracking will include gauging the wastewater’s movement and dilution. Rita Robison reports. Puget Sound to turn red near Joint Base Lewis McChord on Monday and Tuesday  

Ronald Stansberry's septic business took illegal dumping to a new low. Stansberry, 62, last month admitted in court to unloading more than 6,000 gallons of human waste surreptitiously on a stranger's property south of Stanwood. Now the owner of Camano Septic is on the hook to pay restitution, pony up another $643 in legal penalties, and obtain proper permits before returning to any sewage-pumping work. If he doesn't comply, he could face nearly a year in jail. Noah Haglund reports. Septic firm fined for dumping waste

If whales could smile, they’d be happy to hear the news: New federal funding has been approved to help protect the Orcas that make Puget Sound their home. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that more federal dollars have been approved under the Endangered Species Act to help protect the Southern Resident Orcas that live in our area annually from May to September. Sgt. Russ Mullins, with the department, said the federal grant will allow a two-pronged approach to help the whales. One will be through enforcement and educating boaters in operating their boats around whales. More money will also add more enforcement officers, to allow them to spend more time on the water. John White reports. Feds earmark money to protect Orcas

A group of at least five killer whales prowled Kitsap Peninsula waters on Thursday, drawing crowds as they passed a ferry, leaped out of the water near Keyport and cruised around Poulsbo's docks... Orca Network Director Howard Garrett said the whales are believed to represent three generations of one family. National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Brad Hanson said the family is part of a larger group of 19 transient killer whales that were seen Saturday near Seattle and then off Whidbey Island.  Killer whales visit Puget Sound

Unapologetically designed both to inform and affect, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s delicately lacerating documentary, “Blackfish,” uses the tragic tale of a single whale and his human victims as the backbone of a hypercritical investigation into the marine-park giant SeaWorld Entertainment. Denied on-camera interviews with park executives, who have strenuously taken issue with the film’s contentions in a lengthy news release, Ms. Cowperthwaite tells the distressing story of Tilikum, a 12,000-pound bull orca implicated in the deaths of three people. Through the rueful voices of former trainers and whale experts, a narrative driven by disillusion and regret unfolds as the trainers point to a gap between SeaWorld’s public image and behind-the-scenes reality. Jeannette Catsoulis reports. Do Six-Ton Captives Dream of Freedom? ‘Blackfish,’ a Documentary, Looks Critically at SeaWorld  

A gray whale was spotted Wednesday morning in Burley Lagoon, a backwater of Puget Sound that is about as far from the ocean as a whale can get. John Calambokidis, a whale expert with Cascadia Research, said the marine mammal is believed to be the same one that has been in the south Sound for the past four or five days. It was spotted Tuesday in Budd Inlet near Olympia. On Wednesday morning it showed up only a few feet from the shore in Burley Lagoon, a small body of water in northern Pierce County between Purdy and Wauna. Gray whale spotted in backwater of south Puget

Please do not avert your eyes because you see the words Olympia or Legislature. Yes, the double-overtime session was exhausting and exasperating, but lawmakers did talk about more than taxes and budgets. Important, if incremental, progress was made on various environmental fronts. Lance Dickie writes. Legislative budget battle didn’t block environmental progress

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI JUL 19 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SAT
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT 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

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/18 Capitol Lake, Anacortes creosote, Tim Malone, BPA, Skeena sockeye, BC corvids, gas pipeline, oil trains, bumblebees, stormwater manual

Capitol Lake and Heritage Park
The 57th Annual Lakefair festival opened Wednesday under cloudy skies on the shore of a lake with a cloudy future. Capitol Lake used to be an integral park of the mid-summer celebration, home to water skiing competitions, sailboat races, swimming events, log rolling and water polo in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fair and the lake used to fit together like a hand and a glove. Not anymore. The lake is in a state of prolonged neglect, choked with aquatic weeds and invasive species, including the New Zealand mud snail, which was discovered in October 2009, prompting a ban on all recreational use of the lake to avoid spread of the miniscule creation to other Puget Sound water bodies. John Dodge reports. Soundings: Lakefair doesn't have much to do with Capitol Lake these days

Work crews began removing pilings Tuesday from the former Custom Plywood mill site on Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes. The pilings were coated with creosote during construction to prevent the wood from deteriorating in the water. Now, the creosote poses an environmental threat as it leaches into the bay. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Fidalgo Bay cleanup begins  

The husband of Sen. Karen Fraser has died in Alaska while accompanying his wife at a meeting in Alaska. The Secretary of the Senate sent an email Wednesday to staff and senators informing them of the death of Tim Malone, who died Tuesday. Malone had traveled to Anchorage with Fraser, who was attending a Pacific Northwest Economic Region meeting this week. Malone was 78... Malone retired from the state Attorney General's office in 1989, where he worked as a senior assistant attorney general. Fraser, of Olympia, is the Senate Democratic Caucus chair and has served in the Senate for 20 years. Sen. Fraser's husband dies in Alaska

The ubiquity of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A led researchers to ask what it might be doing in publicly supplied, chlorinated drinking water. The answer: Chlorinated BPA has different, but no less profound effects on cell-signaling networks than unmodified BPA. For years, scientists have been worried about bisphenol A. The chemical is known as an "endocrine disruptor," a substance that interferes with the body's hormone signaling system, and it's found in everything from plastic drink bottles to the linings of food and drink cans to the thermal paper used for cash register receipts -- not to mention the urine of 92.6 percent of Americans over the age of six. BPA has been associated with the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and ovarian dysfunction. In 2012, the FDA banned BPA from use in the production of baby bottles and drinking cups. BPA and Chlorine Means Bad News: Modified Forms of Bisphenol A Found to Alter Hormone Signaling in New, Disturbing Ways

A near record-low sockeye salmon run for Skeena River fisheries has cut off the catch in B.C., but conservation groups say Alaskan fishermen are not pulling in their nets, making the problem worse. "This is probably one of the lowest [runs] we've seen in about 50 years," said Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Only 453,000 sockeye are expected to swim along the Skeena this year, Kotyk said, compared to approximately 2.4 million last year. The DFO has been forced to close all commercial and recreational fisheries for the area. Alaskan fisheries allegedly endangering Skeena sockeye  

A deadly paralysis is striking ravens and crows in the Peace River region. Leona Green, who runs the Hillspring Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in Dawson Creek, said Wednesday that she has had dozens of reports of ravens and crows being found sitting on the ground unable to use their feet. University of B.C. professor Patrick Mooney, who specializes in biodiversity and urban birds, believes it’s possible that the birds have died from contracting the West Nile Virus that is carried by mosquitoes. Gerry Bellett reports. Paralysis killing ravens and crows in B.C.

Northwest Pipeline LLC, an operation of the Williams company, filed an application June 25 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand and operate a 140-mile natural gas pipeline in Washington state, including about 13 miles in Skagit County. Public comment regarding the application is open until 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12. Comments should be addressed to FERC or submitted online and should reference the assigned docket number CP13-507.... The proposed expansion will add 10 segments of 36-inch diameter pipeline to the existing system along the I-5 corridor between Sumas and Woodland. It will transport 750 million cubic feet of natural gas from Canada to the Washington-Oregon border per day. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Pipeline application open for public comment

The number of spills and other accidents from railroad cars carrying crude oil has skyrocketed in recent years, up from one or two a year early in the previous decade to 88 last year. Only four of those were classified as serious by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and none involved injuries. So they didn't even approach the human tragedy caused by a runaway oil train in Quebec earlier this month. But the jump highlights a side effect of crude oil production growing faster than pipeline capacity: more rail accidents. Much of the increase involves crude shipments from North Dakota, where booming Bakken Shale oil drilling is producing more oil than its limited pipelines can transport. Mike Soraghan reports. Crude mishaps on trains spike as rail carries more oil  And see: CN and CP tighten safety rules after Lac-M├ęgantic disaster  

The plight of honeybees is well known. Their numbers are dropping, and entomologists are trying to figure out the cause. But did you know that bumblebees—the larger, slower, and furrier relatives of the honeybee—are also in trouble? A project in Seattle, called the Urban Pollination Project, is trying to show how important bumblebees are for pollinating food. That ripe juicy tomato in your salad was likely made possible by bumblebees. Jennifer Wing reports. The Decline of Bumblebees  

The 2012 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (“SWMMWW” or “manual”) is a bedrock document that guides how nearly everyone involved in regional stormwater management does his or her job. It outlines how to control the quantity and quality of stormwater pollution that typically increases as new development replaces natural landscapes with roads, driveways, roofs, and other impenetrable surfaces that no longer soak up rain. Once it hits the ground, that rain picks up pollutants—from oil and grease to toxic metals to nutrients in animal waste and fertilizers—and washes them into state waters. Ashley Pedersen and Jennifer Langston at Sightline go deep into the updated Manual. The Skinny on Washington’s New Stormwater Bible

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUL 18 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT SUBSIDING TO 1 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT 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

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7/17 Forks weather, B'ham waterfront, water conservation, BC farming, Cedar Grove odor, drones

Waterfront of Subdued Excitement
KOMO meteorologist Scott Sistek writes: I'm not sure what everyone in Forks thought they were going to wear Tuesday morning when they got up but whatever it was, it was probably the wrong choice... unless they put on their entire wardrobe.  The town has gone through a temperature roller coaster the likes that Western Washington rarely sees. Town of Forks has most absurd weather day... ever!?!  

Port of Bellingham staff presented eight different proposals at the port commissioners' meeting Tuesday, July 16. The proposals were focused on the first phase, a 10.8-acre parcel around the Granary building. Three of those eight proposals were for the overall project; three were for the Granary Building and two were for specific buildings. Dave Gallagher reports. The Port of Bellingham will be able to draw on local, regional and international perspectives as it begins the process of selecting a developer for The Waterfront District.

Seattle was among the first major American cities to accept that it had hit the limit. The Emerald City taps a clear mountain river called the Cedar, and a smaller river, the Tolt, to quench the thirst of 1.4 million urbanites and corporate giants from Amazon to Microsoft. Beginning in the 1960s, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) offcials were convinced the system could not meet the demands of a fast-growing population that, like most of America, used water as if it were abundant as air. While many cities faced one water anxiety or another — dwindling supply, looming infrastructure costs, flooding, sewage and stormwater overflows — Seattle, its original waterworks so old they had been built with wooden stave pipes, faced all of those and more. Cynthia Barnett writes in Part 3 of Water Works, 3: The conservation conversation

Local agriculture is big these days, spurred by the success of the 100 Mile Diet, the ongoing blueberry bonanza and the rising demand for organic produce. Farmers’ markets have never been more popular. Yet a perplexing problem confounds agricultural advocates on the Lower Mainland, home of some of Canada’s richest farmland. Many owners of this fertile land aren’t farming it at all. Rod Mickleburg reports. ‘Land-banking’ leaves Lower Mainland’s fertile farms fallow   Meanwhile: Canadians waste more than $2.5 billion in fresh produce each year, study says

As the weather keeps heating up, so again are the complaints against Cedar Grove Composting. The Smith Island business was cited for four odor violations last month by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Inspectors for the agency recently traced the smells from residences in Marysville to the composting plant, twice June 6 and twice again June 25, agency spokeswoman Joanne Todd said. The citations bring the total to 13 in the past five years for Cedar Grove. Bill Sheets reports. Cedar Grove odor complaints return  

Once used mostly for surveillance and reconnaissance on the battlefield, small, unmanned aircraft are now fetching data for Northwest scientists. Sandi Doughton reports. Northwest scientists using drones to spy on nature  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED JUL 17 2013
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. ISOLATED
 THUNDERSTORMS 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. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 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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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/16 Victoria sewage, Water Works, Clam Digger, Pt. Wells, BC oil, killer killer whales

Eastern Meadowlark (Matthew Paulson/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: We may be more indebted to birds than we know. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton explains: “I was curious about the human range of sound . . . it’s a perfect match for bird song,” he says. “. . . If we hear bird song, then we’re also listening to an area that has food, water, and an extended favorable season long enough to raise the young off the nest . . . Bird song is the number one indicator of habitats prosperous for humans.” BirdNote: Listening for Bird Song - Featuring Gordon Hempton

New blog: Last week, the subject of telling a story came up at the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council meeting. “We need to tell our story,” Councilmember Diana Gale said. Even people on the “inside,” our friends, don’t know what we’re doing and what’s being accomplished. Others on the Council agreed that better stories, not only about the bad things happening to the Sound but also about the good things being done, need to be told... Tell Me A Story...About Puget Sound

The B.C. government will have to decide the future of a sewage-treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, after a town council vote Monday night put the community at loggerheads with the Capital Regional District. Esquimalt refused to pass the CRD’s rezoning application to build a sewage-treatment facility at McLoughlin. Instead, council passed its own alternate bylaw by a vote of five to two. It allows the CRD to build at McLoughlin only if the regional government offers more amenities, barges all construction material to the site to avoid traffic and safety problems and pays $55,000 a year into an amenity fund. Rob Shaw reports. Esquimalt rejects CRD sewage plan for McLoughlin Point, pushes issue to province  

In 1878, a sanitary engineer named George E. Waring Jr. ranted in The American Architect about the nation’s sudden craze for faucets on every bowl and washbasin....  Waring was right when he warned of the limits. The 20th-century miracle has become a 21-first-century migraine as aging systems strain to rush freshwater to and rid waste from some 300 million Americans and their industries. Cynthia Barnett reports in Part 2 of Water Works 2: A system at its utmost limit  

The Clam Digger still rests on the seafloor where it sunk last week near Guemes Island. Oil has spilled from both an external fuel tank and a hydraulic oil tank on board. Weather and currents in the area have made removing the boat a challenge. Divers successfully rigged the boat Monday, but removal operations continue today. The amount of fuel on the boat was revised from an estimate of 3,000 gallons to 1,600 gallons, including a 700-gallon external tank that was pinned under the boat after sinking this past Wednesday, Department of Ecology spokesman Dustin Terpening said. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Clam Digger still submerged, oil spilled

When locals first petitioned to incorporate (Woodway) in 1958, they included an oil-company's property on Puget Sound within the boundaries. Then-owner Union Oil objected. To Woodway's dismay, the upscale residential community formed without the beachfront industrial property known as Point Wells.... Fast-forward 55 years, and a deep-pocketed developer is advancing plans to turn the old fuel facility into Snohomish County's largest condo development, with some 3,000 luxury units, retail businesses and a public pier. The coming transformation has set up a tug-of-war between local governments looking to annex the prime real estate. Noah Haglund reports. Status of Point Wells still in limbo  

An oil refinery in Burnaby says it has been forced to receive oil by rail and by truck because the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline isn’t able to meet demand. Up to 35,000 barrels of crude oil come through the pipeline to Chevron’s Burnaby refinery every day. But spokesman Ray Lord says that isn’t enough. Eight to 10 rail cars deliver about 6,500 barrels a day to the refinery, Lord said. Another 1,000 barrels of oil a day are also delivered by tanker truck.  Oil brought by rail, truck to Burnaby refinery  

On February 24 2010, news channels aound the world reported that Dawn Brancheau, an experienced trainer of killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando, had been found dead in the pool. A huge male orca, Tilikum, had leapt out of the water as Brancheau had been talking about the creature to a group of visitors, grabbed her with its jaws and dragged her under the water, where she drowned. Initially, there were calls for the “rogue” whale to be put down. But as the facts began to emerge, the story grew darker and more complicated, as revealed by Gabriela -Cowperthwaite’s astonishing new documentary, Blackfish. “I first heard about the story on the news,” the director told me, on a visit to London. “I didn’t understand it. I had a lot of questions.” Those questions led Cowperthwaite to an extraordinary human drama, framed by the greater drama of our troubled relationship with animals that we claim to love, yet which we allow to be treated in appalling ways. Philip Hoare reports. Do captive whales turn into killers?

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUL 16 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM THIS MORNING TO NOON PDT TODAY
TODAY
SE WIND RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT THIS MORNING...THEN EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS.

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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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Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15 Cle Elum sockeye, Avatar Grove, B'ham waterfront, Growing Vine St., native bees, GMO food, Sakinaw Lake, crayfish, milfoil, Keith Seinfeld

Avatar Grove
For the first time in more than a century, sockeye salmon are returning to Lake Cle Elum high in the Cascades. The project led by the Yakama Indian tribe - on a bare bone's budget - is getting applause across the continent. And this weekend, tribal members were there to witness something not seen in more than 100 years - sockeye salmon returning from the Pacific Ocean back home to Lake Cle Elum at last. So historic is this for the Yakama Tribe that they call it simply "the return." Jeff Burnside reports. After a 100-year absence, sockeye return to Lake Cle Elum

From the logging road just outside Port Renfrew, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, there is no obvious sign that you are in the presence of megaflora. But a small sign announcing the Avatar Grove trailhead and a few vehicles pulled over onto the dusty margin of the road make it clear this is the place to encounter ancient life. Mark Hume reports. Avatar Grove: Seeing the forest for the ancient trees   See also: Big Trees, Old Trees: What makes an Old Growth Forest?

The Port of Bellingham has received eight proposals from developers who want to be involved in the first phase of a long-awaited waterfront renaissance on dormant industrial land south of Roeder Avenue. The proposals are focused on a 10.8-acre parcel in and around the Granary Building - a small slice of the 237 waterfront acres controlled by the port and the city. Most of those 237 acres once were home to Georgia-Pacific Corp. pulp, chemical and tissue operations that shut down in 2007. John Stark reports. Port will review developers' plans for Bellingham waterfront

Seattle's Growing Vine Street project began as a small, grassroots effort among residents and property owners to turn their stretch of a former industrial neighborhood into an urban watershed. Twenty years later, it is a big part of the answer to the largest single source of pollution fouling Puget Sound and most of the major bays and freshwater ecosystems of the United States — stormwater. Cynthia Barnett reports.  Water Works: Miracle on Vine Street

Bee enthusiasts beat the bushes Sunday to see if the colony of rare insects is still active, and biologists are planning conservation efforts. Sandi Doughton reports.  Native bee species spotted for first time since ’90s  

A national fight over labeling of genetically engineered foods is touching down in Washington this fall, fueled by money from organic and food-safety advocates. On the other side, large agribusiness and food industry groups are giving mightily to efforts that oppose Initiative 522. Like Proposition 37 that failed narrowly in California a year ago after opponents spent $46 million to defeat it, I-522 would require that food products with genetically modified or engineered contents be labeled. Genetically engineered foods are those that come from plants that have had genes transferred from another organism. Brad Shannon reports. The fight over engineered food lands in Washington

On the surface, Sakinaw Lake is a vacationer’s paradise – a freshwater gem tucked among the steep ridges of British Columbia’s sunshine coast. But 30 metres down, the lake undergoes a serious personality change. That’s where it becomes a salty, oxygen starved-haven for microbes that thrive in an utterly alien world. Now Sakinaw Lake’s hidden depths have become part of a massive effort to explore some of the least understood branches of the tree of life. Ivan Semeniuk reports. B.C. lake explored for clues to life's beginnings  

Gumbo and jambalaya may not be at the top of Northwest menus. But if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change. The Red Swamp Crayfish – also known as “crawfish” or “crawdad” – is native to the Southeastern U.S. and the Gulf Coast. But over the past decade this crimson-clawed invasive has moved in on some Northwestern lakes and rivers, and it could be impacting native species of trout and bass. Ground zero of the invasion? Pine Lake - It’s a small body of water 40-feet deep, about 20 miles East of Seattle. The shores are lined with nice homes. Yellow labs patrol well-maintained yards and docks. Bass and trout fishermen share the water with laughing kids on paddleboards. Ashley Ahearn reports. Crayfish Turf Wars Of The Northwest

Just as we head into a week of nice weather, several beaches on the Eastside will be shut down - due to an invasion. It's milfoil - an invasive plant species. Left unchecked it can choke a lake, robbing it of oxygen. Now it's in Lake Washington - and it's very hard to get rid of. Some of the most popular swimming spots on the Eastside are affected. Now, crews with Bellevue Parks are working with neighbors to attack the creeping plant. But to do it, they will have to shut down three parks for a day this week - putting a crimp in summer plans. Theron Zahn reports. Invasive plant closes popular Bellevue swimming beaches  

After 15 years at KPLU, Keith Seinfeld is off to a new adventure at Public Health - Seattle & King County. And he's handing off the baton to our new health and science reporter Gabriel Spitzer, who has been covering the education beat at KPLU. So Long, Keith Seinfeld!

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON JUL 15 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.

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