Thursday, March 6, 2014

3/6 Salmon futures, Seattle waterfront, coal cleanup, Quartermaster Harbor, BC geoducks, Exxon Valdez

PHOTO: Matt Casselman/Scientific American
Anticipated salmon run could overwhelm Fraser River this summer, experts say
If the early signals are correct, the Fraser River could have the biggest salmon run in B.C. history this summer, with up to 72 million sockeye returning. That would be more than double the record number that came back in 2010, when about 30 million sockeye flooded into the Fraser, overwhelming fish plants with such bounty they ran out of ice and storage boxes. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail) See also: LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Great salmon season projected  (Peninsula Daily News)

Dueling ideas debut for Seattle waterfront
This week has seen the unveiling of a pair of competing plans — an elevator and a gondola — to get people from downtown Seattle to the waterfront. What’s next: a luge run? The gondola would glide above Union Street for the half-mile between the Washington State Convention Center and the Seattle Aquarium. It’s being proposed by the same Griffith family that built the $20 million Seattle Great Wheel. The elevator — also on Union Street, near the Four Seasons Hotel— is being touted by the Central Waterfront Committee, which is planning the massive makeover of the 26-block-long shoreline for when the Alaskan Way Viaduct — eventually — comes down. This glass elevator wouldn’t travel as far as the gondola, but might be less disruptive to build and appears to have the support of city planners. Steven Goldsmith reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

CN launches cleanup of coal dumped by January derailment in Burnaby
CN Rail has started a major cleanup of metallurgical coal that spilled into fish-bearing Silver Creek, a tributary of Burnaby Lake, after a train derailment almost two months ago. CN, which has hired consultants Triton Environmental to help with the operation, has estimated 5.5 cubic metres of coal lies in Silver Creek and 76 cubic metres were carried downstream into Burnaby Lake. The B.C. Ministry of Environment has allowed CN — the company responsible for the spill — to proceed with the cleanup after several weeks of preliminary assessment and development of a recovery plan. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Study confirms concerns about poor health of harbor, sheds light on causes
... Scientists recently completed a four-year study on Quartermaster’s low oxygen levels, which threatens life in the harbor. The extensive study found that human influences on the harbor, such as septic system contamination and fertilizer run-off, likely don’t play as significant a role in the low oxygen levels as once thought. However, some familiar with the situation and the study say it’s as clear as ever that conservation efforts should continue, as any additional pollution to the harbor could be detrimental... Earlier this year, King County released a final report on the Quartermaster Harbor Nitrogen Management Study, a four-year effort to determine whether nitrogen-loading is leading to the bay’s depleted oxygen levels and what role human activity plays in the equation. The $893,000 study, funded by a $625,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as funds from King County, the University of Washington-Tacoma and the state Department of Ecology, started in 2009 but built on years’ worth of data collected by scientists and field researchers. (Vashon Beachcomber)

Geoduck draft framework to be unveiled this week
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will make its draft integrated geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) management framework public this week. According to a DFO spokesperson, the draft management framework will be posted on the DFO website this week and DFO will accept written comments about it for 45 days after it's posted. BC Shellfish Growers' Association executive director Roberta Stevenson says this announcement is big news for B.C.'s aquaculture industry, as it should mean the lucrative shellfish can be farmed in the future. Renee Andor reports. (Comox Valley Record)

Exxon Valdez 25th Anniversary: Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost
In recognition of this month's 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (March 24), this seems a good time to reflect on lessons learned, and lessons lost. Richard Steiner blogs. (Huffington Post)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU MAR 6 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT EARLY...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT BY LATE EVENING. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL
 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 11 FT AT 14 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SHOWERS LIKELY.
--
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