Monday, February 17, 2014

2/17 Navy dock, sunk boat, discharge ban, state oyster, sewage, geoduck ban, cheap coal

The "new" Elwha (PHOTO: John Gussman/KPLU)
Navy studies building $15 million dock project in Port Angeles Harbor
The Navy has initiated long-range plans to build an estimated $15 million dock and shoreside facility on Ediz Hook. The 200-foot-long, L-shaped dock for Coast Guard escort and Navy blocking vessels for submarines would be built out from an unused barge landing within Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles at the end of the Hook, Bangor Naval Base spokesman Tom Danaher said Friday. It would mark the Navy's first return to Port Angeles Harbor — except for occasional anchored ship visits that have dwindled since the 1990s — in decades. Paul Gottlieb reports.

Coast Guard: 67-foot pleasure boat sinks near Everett
A 67-foot, wooden pleasure boat ran aground near the Everett Marina after its operator miscalculated its position, the Coast Guard said Saturday. The Cape Caution, built in 1939, ran aground in shallow water about 500 feet offshore Friday night. The operator of the vessel managed to get safely to land in a dinghy, but the boat began to list and then was declared to have sunk as the tide came in at about 4 a.m. Saturday.

Meeting to explain proposed boat sewage discharge ban
The state Department of Ecology plans to submit a draft petition to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting Puget Sound be designated a No Discharge Zone, which would prohibit boaters from releasing sewage into the water. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, a volunteer group dedicated to the protection of the marine reserve north of Bellingham, will host an information session about the petition on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with support from the Bellingham-based nonprofit RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. Kimberly Cauvel reports.

Bill honoring oysters closer to adoption
The Olympia Oyster moved one step closer to becoming Washington’s official oyster Thursday, with a bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield passing in the state Senate. The Raymond Democrat introduced the bill in late January in attempt to bring recognition to local oyster growers. This species of oyster is found in many areas of the Washington coast and Puget Sound, including Willapa Bay. Hatfield introduced the measure at the urging of Claire Thompson, a student at Nova Middle School in Olympia, who suggested the bill as part of a school project.

Bellingham, Lake Whatcom water district set to OK new sewer deal
The city and Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District appear ready to sign a new 20-year wastewater treatment agreement that recognizes limits to residential growth around the lake. Lake Whatcom is the drinking water source for the city of Bellingham and for approximately 4,000 households in Geneva, Sudden Valley and other areas near the lake. In recent years, the district, the city and Whatcom County have been scrambling to reduce the flow of polluting phosphorus carried into the lake when rain falls on developed areas. John Stark reports. And: Malfunction causes sewage spill at Everett station

US asks China to limit shellfish ban to 2 areas
U.S. officials have asked China to limit its shellfish ban to two localized areas rather than a wider swath of the West Coast. A NOAA Fisheries official, Timothy Hansen, sent a letter dated Monday asking Chinese authorities to consider reducing its shellfish ban to one harvest area near Federal Way and another in southeast Alaska. China imposed a ban in December on the import of shellfish after it found high levels of arsenic in geoducks from Puget Sound.

Don’t sell cheap coal U.S. Coal to Asia
Opponents decry the prospect of the dirty, smelly, noisy trains blocking railroad crossings all across Washington State as they transport coal here from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. They also warn that coal dust from the terminal will pollute nearby waters and harm our dwindling populations of herring, threatened Chinook salmon and endangered killer whales. But much larger issues of national and global concern are at stake. The low-sulfur Western coal, strip-mined from federal lands, is valuable public property. The federal government’s leasing of these lands at low cost to strip miners made some sense a few decades ago when the United States needed low-sulfur coal to reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide that was being emitted by coal-burning power plants and causing acid rain. But today, as utilities convert to cheap natural gas and American coal use declines, mining companies are seeking customers in China, Japan and Korea. Shipping this subsidized coal to Asian countries to help them power their factories, which undercut American manufacturers, makes little sense. Yes, this coal will help those countries produce cheap consumer goods for sale in stores across the United States. But it will also promote the continued transfer of industrial work to Asia, especially if the Trans-Pacific Partnership goes through. Is that good for American workers? Physicist Michael Riordan of Orcas Island writes.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON FEB 17 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 14 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY THIS MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...THEN RAIN 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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