Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24 Galveston spill, spill survey, Duwamish, plastic bottles, stormwater, pipe land, seafood, Salish Sea paddle

Canvasback (Adam Grimm/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Wetland Birds Thrive
While nearly a third of North American bird species are in decline, many birds that depend on wetlands are thriving. Duck breeding populations in 2009 were an estimated 25% above historical averages. Conditions on the breeding grounds have improved since the drought years of the 1980s, but human action has also made a huge difference. You can help by encouraging your elected representatives to protect wetlands - and by purchasing a duck stamp every year. (BirdNote)

Oil Spill Cleanup Impedes Major Texas Ship Channel
The cleanup of an unknown amount of thick, sticky oil that spilled into the Galveston Bay blocked the movement Sunday of about 60 ships, including three cruise ships, between the Gulf of Mexico and one of the world's busiest petrochemical transportation waterways. A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of marine fuel oil sprung a leak after colliding with a ship Saturday afternoon in the Houston Ship Channel. Officials believe only one of the barge's tanks — which holds 168,000 gallons — was breached, though Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Sam Danus said Sunday it wasn't clear how much oil had spilled... The area is home to popular bird habitats, especially during the approaching migratory shorebird season. Michael Graczyk reports. (Associated Press) See also: Texas City oil spill affecting local economy  (USA Today)

New blog: When Bad Things Happen, Who Ya Gonna Call? Thinkin’ ‘Bout the “G”-Word
Last week Alan Durning at Sightline wrote about how a lot of people distrust and don’t like The G-Word, that is, the government. I’ve thought about the “G”-word a lot these last few days as I’ve thought about public health and safety and about some awful disasters...

Stay tuned: International Drift Card Study Highlights Cross-Border Oil Spill Risks
Washington and British Columbia conservation groups today mark the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill by launching 650 degradable plywood drift cards along the oil tanker route between the Gulf and San Juan islands. The cards will be uniquely marked and are part of a study of the path an oil spill might take. Each card will carry the message: "This could be oil." The event is organized by Friends of the San Juans in the US and Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Georgia Strait Alliance in Canada.

Decades of toxic waste dredged from the Duwamish
Waste from industry is being dredged up from the Lower Duwamish Waterway, dumped on barges, then onto rail cars, then moved to a disposal site in Klickitat County. By 2015, enough muck will have been hauled away to fill nearly 95 Olympic-size swimming pools. Eric Lacitis reports. (Seattle Times)

Beach Walkers illuminate tidal life at night  
Under the stars at Lighthouse Park, Bernie Busch illuminated much more about the beach than the flashlights people were carrying. Busch, 71, was one of the volunteer Washington State University Extension Beach Watchers helping lead an educational walk during a low tide in late February. It’s a passion he’s indulged since retiring 10 years ago from a career in social work. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

WWU bans plastic water bottle sales starting April 1
Sales of bottled water on Western Washington University's campus will end April 1 - about two years after students overwhelmingly voted for the ban over environmental concerns. Western will be the largest Washington state college or university, public or private, to do so, thanks to an initiative led by Students for Sustainable Water to get people to turn to tap water instead of buying plain water in disposable plastic bottles. Kie Relyea and James Kozanitis report. (Bellingham Herald)

Salmon, streams and stormwater compatible
The town of Eatonville, with financial backing from the Nisqually Indian Tribe, has a new and improved stormwater management plan that officials say will reduce pollution and protect salmon in nearby rivers. The plan, in its updated form, was formally approved March 10 by the Town Council. The Nisqually Tribe funded the update as part of a broader project to protect salmon habitat by managing the stormwater that flows out of the town and finds its way into salmon-bearing streams. David Troutt, the tribe’s director of natural resources, noted Eatonville is between the Mashel River and Ohop Creek, which are considered vital salmon tributaries to the Nisqually River. Pat Jenkins reports. (Eatonville Dispatch)

This land is your land, this land is Kinder Morgan’s land
If Kinder Morgan knocks on your door and wants to run a pipeline through your backyard, there’s not much a resident can do besides negotiate reasonable compensation, according to an expropriation lawyer. Ted Hanman, a lawyer with Victoria firm Cox Taylor, says once the planning has been done and the alignment chosen for a particular infrastructure project, residents are usually at a loss to keep their land intact if they sit on a proposed right of way. Kelly Sinoski reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Why 500 Million U.S. Seafood Meals Get Dumped In The Sea
Seafood often travels huge distances over many days to reach the people who eat it. And it's often impossible to know where a fillet of fish or a few frozen shrimp came from — and, perhaps more importantly, just how they were caught. Fortunately, activists are doing the homework for us, and what they're telling us could make your next fish dinner a little less tasty. According to a report released Thursday by the environmental group Oceana, commercial fishermen in the U.S. annually throw overboard as much as 2 billion pounds of so-called bycatch, much of which is edible fish equivalent to at least a half-billion seafood meals. Incredibly, much of this waste includes some of the most valuable — and delectable — seafood species in the world, like bluefin tuna, swordfish and Pacific halibut. From National Public Radio. (KPLU)

An adventure close to home: What it’s like to paddle from Vancouver to Victoria
The haunting cry of a bald eagle followed my stand-up paddleboard across still waters. Beside me, sandstone shores – fractured and orange – rose sharply from the ocean, occasionally giving way to the arid headlands of Mayne Island, dotted with saxifrage, Garry oak and even cactus. Waves washed over my toes, and in the waters below, fish darted through emerald forests of kelp. Bruce Kirkby writes. (Globe and Mail)

GREEN Congress classes at TESC make water-wise kids
About 400 students in grades 3-12 gathered Friday at The Evergreen State College in Olympia for the South Sound Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN) Congress. The event hosted students from several school districts, including Olympia, North Thurston, Griffin, Tumwater, Yelm, Clover Park, Steilacoom and Eatonville. “It’s really local,” said Rebecca Chamberlain, a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College and one of the workshop presenters. “It’s based on understanding our South Puget Sound watersheds, habitats and ecosystems.” Lisa Pemberton reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON MAR 24 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN...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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