Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5/14 Climate, ghost nets, steelhead vandal, Vashon shore, Woodfibre LNG, boat fine, logging ban, state $s

Melting ice lifts all floes
New blog: Antarctic Ice Melting is So Scary We Need A Laugh
News that a part of the the West Antarctic ice sheet is not only in the process of falling off but also there’s nothing much that can be done to stop the process is pretty grim news. Anybody got something funny to say about that?

If you like to watch: Responding to the Risks of Marine Debris: Derelict Fishing Gear
Marine debris poses a threat to our environment, human health and to the economy. The Northwest Straits Foundation has spent the last decade recovering lost fishing nets in Puget Sound. This video is just one day in the life of those sea captains, biologists, environmentalists and scuba divers that made a commitment to address this particular risk of marine debris. (Oregon Sea Grant)

Police seek steelhead bandits who released 25,000 fish l
Washington state’s five steelhead hatcheries are on high alert after someone broke into a facility overnight and released approximately 25,000 juvenile fish into the Snoqualmie River.  State Fish and Wildlife Hatchery managers are concerned it was an act of defiance against a new agreement that sharply curtails the state’s steelhead hatchery program. The agreement resulted from a lawsuit filed by a fish protection group, Wild Fish Conservancy, which accused the State of violating the Endangered Species Act. State Fish and Wildlife Managers agreed to stop planting winter steelhead hatchery fish in all but one river. This set off a wave of criticism by some sport anglers who eagerly await the steelhead runs each year. Gary Chittim reports. (KING)

Loss of natural shoreline confirms concerns about Puget Sound health
Despite shoreline restoration efforts, Vashon has seen an overall loss of natural shoreline in the last decade, a recent study found, leading some to call for better education for homeowners, stricter permitting enforcement and even the banning of bulkheads. “It’s a bit disheartening when you work on so many different projects and we’re still treading water and not forging ahead,” said Greg Rabourn, Vashon’s basin steward for King County. In recent years on Vashon, Rabourn said, the county has removed almost 600 feet of bulkheads, shoreline armoring that harms the environment by stopping natural beach processes and destroying important habitat. However, the installation of bulkheads on private property — as well as retaining walls, docks and stairs — outpaced those conservation efforts, according to the recent study, and Vashon has still seen a net loss of natural shoreline since 2005. Natalie Martin reports. (Vashon Beachcomber)

Woodfibre LNG chooses electricity over natural gas to power Squamish plant
Woodfibre LNG announced Tuesday it will use electricity to power cooling compressors for its proposed $1.6 billion liquefied natural gas plant near Squamish. The use of BC Hydro electricity, instead of natural gas, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent as well as other smog pollutants, according to the company, a subsidiary of Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto’s company Royal Golden Eagle. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Crab boat owner fined $300K
The state Department of Ecology levied a $301,000 fine against the man whose crab boat caught fire and sank in Penn Cove in 2012, causing an oil spill that temporarily shut down nearby Penn Cove Shellfish. It’s just the latest bad news for Rory Westmoreland, a 51-year-old scrap-metal dealer with a history of running afoul of environmental rules, according to the Department of Ecology. Westmoreland is facing a misdemeanor charge in Island County District Court for allegedly abandoning the 128-foot Deep Sea crab boat. Jessie Stensland (Everett Herald)

No Logging Moratorium In Wake Of Oso Landslide
In the wake of the deadly landslide near Oso, Washington, there will be no immediate moratorium on logging around unstable slopes. Some conservationists and regulators wanted to push for that. One of them, Peter Goldman, director of the Washington Forest Law Center in Seattle, says the state Forest Practices Board learned Tuesday it doesn’t have the authority to impose a logging moratorium. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Revenue report: Monthly state collections were up $36.1 million over forecast
State government’s coffers grew by $36.1 million more than predicted over the past month, according to the May 12 revenue collections report by Washington’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The growth in revenue came despite weaker than expected growth in jobs and home-construction activity. The boost in revenues from April 11 to May 10 was 2.9 percent above the Feb. 19 forecast. Top state forecaster Steve Lerch’s monthly report said that brings the total revenue increase above the forecast to $61.8 million so far. Of that, $37.9 million of that due to one-time payments that had not been incorporated into his quarterly forecast. Brad Shannon reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 301 AM PDT WED MAY 14 2014
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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