Thursday, January 30, 2014

1/30 Skokomish, BC dams, Maury Beach, Tesoro blast, BC oil, Chickamauga, starfish, boat poop, Ledgewood slide, Sunset Falls, Trans Pac, climate change, Seahawk mask

Drumbeg Park (Laurie MacBride)
Perigee Moons and Cluttered Shores
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Thursday will bring a “supermoon”, with the New Moon occurring at the same time as the moon is in Perigee (the closest its orbit comes to the earth). Larger than average tides accompany every New and Full Moon, year-round. But the added Perigee component means that over the next few days, our high tides will be much higher than normal, and the difference between high and low tides will be more extreme...."

If you like to watch: Coming Back: Restoring the Skokomish Watershed
Members of the Skokomish Watershed Action Team have been collaborating for a decade on how to best restore the Skokomish watershed, located at the southern end of Hood Canal, in western Washington. From federal agencies to the Skokomish Tribe to private citizens, this is the story of how these very different groups have worked to restore the river after decades of logging and development in the area. North40 Productions (14 minutes)

Risk to B.C. salmon 'minimal' from run-of-river projects
An independent review of B.C.'s run-of-river projects has tentatively concluded that most of the hydro plants have had no impact on salmon species in the rivers used to generate electricity. The review was conducted by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, a salmon and watershed conservation group, on behalf of Clean Energy BC representing independent power producers in the province.... The foundation found that while it is likely individual fish are killed at a number of facilities after getting caught or stranded by diverted water flows, there is little evidence that there has been harm to the fish populations as a whole.

Maury Beach
Dan McShane blogs that the City of Bellingham is seeking input on naming a new park in Bellingham Bay and suggests the name "Maury Beach Park" after the late WWU scientist Maury Schwartz who studied beach processes. (Further south, the island next to Vashon island was named, per Wikipedia, during the Wilkes Expedition in honor of William Lewis Maury, who between 1863 and 1864 raided Union ships on behalf of the Confederacy and is buried in Caroline County, Virginia.)

Tesoro blast report faults oil industry standards
A draft report by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigating the deadly 2010 Tesoro refinery explosion found serious flaws in safety culture at the facility, with industry standards, and with state and federal oversight of the petroleum industry. The explosion was caused by “High Temperature Hydrogen Attack” or HTHA, which severely cracked and weakened carbon steel tubing leading to a rupture, according to a CSB draft report released Thursday. The report makes far-reaching recommendations to federal agencies to prevent further incidents. The draft report is available at www.csb.gov. Public comment will be accepted until Sunday, March 16. Comments can be sent to tesorocomments@csb.gov. All comments will be reviewed and published on the CSB website.

Jack Knox: Dump the rhetoric, prepare for oil spill
Listening to Barack Obama give his State of the Union address, you could just about envision the oil tankers sliding past Victoria. Or maybe not, depending on who’s reading the tea leaves. In any case, our neighbours across Juan de Fuca Strait are taking no chances. They’re preparing for an oil spill. Spurred on in part by the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal, U.S. authorities on the Olympic Peninsula are getting down to the nuts and bolts of what to do if the black goop hits the beach. For this is what suddenly alarmed Americans are dealing with now that dependable if dull Canada, the Ned Flanders of North America, has suddenly gone Breaking Bad: Ford, Bieber and bitumen, baby — the Canucks have gone rogue.

Tugboat owner enters not guilty plea to felony charges
he owner of the historic tugboat that sank last October in Eagle Harbor and spilled hundreds of gallons of fuel into Puget Sound entered a plea of not guilty to three felony charges Wednesday in Kitsap County Superior Court. Anthony Royce Smith, the owner of the 100-year-old tug "Chickamauga," was charged earlier this month by the Washington State Attorney General's Office with one count of first-degree theft, one charge of causing a vessel to become abandoned or derelict and one count of discharge of polluting matters into state waters. The charges were the first in recent history to be filed by the state of Washington for environmental crimes involving derelict vessels, and were prompted by the sinking of the "Chickamauga" in its mooring at the Eagle Harbor Marina on Oct. 2. Cecilia Garza reports.

Northwest Starfish Experiments Give Scientists Clues To Mysterious Mass Die-offs
Near the ferry docks on Puget Sound, a group of scientists and volunteer divers shimmy into suits and double-check their air tanks... (Ben) Miner is a biology professor at Western Washington University. He studies how environmental changes affect marine life. He’s conducting experiments in hopes of figuring out how and why starfish — or sea stars, as scientists prefer to call the echinoderms — are wasting away by the tens of thousands up and down North America’s Pacific shores. Katie Campbell reports.

'Pump, Don't Dump': Campaign Urges Boaters To Avoid Sewage Spills With Free Kit
A rubber adapter be the answer to preventing illegal dumping in local waterways, according to a new campaign by Washington Sea Grant. The pathogens in untreated wastewater can cause everything from minor skin rashes to serious gastrointestinal illnesses like Giardia and norovirus. But it happens, and often by accident. Many boaters know better, but lack proper equipment or information on how to pump out safely.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

Study reveals groundwater contributed to massive slide at Ledgewood
Homeowners still living near the massive landslide area in Ledgewood are wary as more pieces of the bluff continue to slough off. Ralph Young, a resident living near the landslide site, said a large piece of the bluff broke away last month... Island County Public Works Director Bill Oakes said officials anticipated that more parts of the bluff would break off and that the debris field from the springtime landslide would remain unstable. The massive landslide occurred in March 2013, destroying a portion of Driftwood Way and prompted the evacuation of several nearby houses. Oakes said a final geology report concerning the landslide was completed in late 2013. That report described the incident as “unprecedented in recent history” and said it “represents one of the largest landslide events in the recorded history of the Puget Sound area.” Nathan Whalen reports.

Sunset Falls Dam Fight: Citizen Activists Accuse SnoPUD Of Waste, Illegal Meeting
New accusations are fueling an ongoing controversy over a proposal to put a small inflatable dam on one of the Northwest’s scenic treasures. Opponents accuse the Snohomish County PUD of clouding the issue with confusing information and a secret meeting. Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

Listen up: Trading Away Mother Earth:  Greens & Fair Trade Advocates Slam Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
When WikiLeaks recently exposed the “Environmental Chapter” of the little known trade agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, opponents worst fears were confirmed. Like trade agreements before it, corporate interests trump enforceable environmental and labor standards. The agreement is fueling another debate over "fair trade" versus the "free trade" model long promoted by the US.  Martha Baskin reports on Green Acre radio.

Climate change taking toll on penguins, study finds
The study by University of Washington scientist P. Dee Boersma is one of the first to show a direct impact of climate change on seabirds. Most studies have looked at how warming temperatures affect animals indirectly, by altering predation patterns or food supplies.

Number of monarch butterflies drops, migration may disappear
The black-and-orange Monarch butterflies cover only 1.65 acres in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City this year, compared with 2.93 acres last year.

At Tribe's Request, SAM Withdraws Native Artwork From Super Bowl Wager
It was meant to be a friendly wager with a cultural twist: Seattle Art Museum and Denver Art Museum each bet a temporary loan of a work of art on the Super Bowl. But SAM has withdrawn its original choice of artwork,"Forehead Mask" by the Nuxalk First Nation, at the request of the Nuxalk, and has replaced it with a different piece.... Barbara Brotherton, SAM's curator of Native American art, initially selected the mask, which bears a striking resemblance to the Seahawks logo. After news reports in Canada noted the Nuxalk were angry about the bet, she reached out to the tribe and apologized. Florangela Davila reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 625 AM PST THU JAN 30 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT IN THE LATE MORNING...THEN BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2
 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS...  SUBSIDING TO 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS 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.

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