Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29 Elwha, white-side dolphins, False Cr. herring, Duwamish, Polley mine, Navy warfare, seawall, Trans Mountain

If you like to watch: Time-lapse video of the removal of Glines Canyon Dam . . . and report on salmon spawning in the Elwha River
And then it was gone... Timelapse of the removal of Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River in Olympic National Park. The largest dam removal in history is complete. (Peninsula Daily News)

If you like to watch: White-sided dolphins make rare appearance near Victoria, B.C. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/white-sided-dolphins-make-rare-appearance-near-victoria-b-c-1.2780140
The Pacific Whale Watch Association says whale-watching boats have been reporting rare sightings of white-sided dolphins off the coast of Vancouver Island and the San Juan islands. The PWWA says the species had mostly disappeared from the area more than a decade ago and is usually found in these kinds of numbers much farther north. (CBC)

Pollution thwarts efforts to restore False Creek herring population
This year, for the first time in decades, millions of herring spawned in False Creek. An estimated 10 to 20 million herring — a foundation food for salmon and whales — survived as eggs on a synthetic stand-in for natural eelgrass habitat that Jonn Matsen and the Squamish Streamkeepers developed and wrapped around creosote-soaked pilings in Vancouver’s waters. But an equal number of eggs died before they could hatch, apparently poisoned by the same type of persistent pollutants that a new study out of the University of Calgary found to be a larger threat to the Pacific coast than oil tankers and cargo ships. Matthew Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Criminal investigation into Duwamish River pollution ends quietly in civil fine
An eight-year investigation that saw divers sneak water monitoring equipment into the drain of a South Seattle cement plant quietly ended with a fine and no criminal prosecution. Workers at the investigation’s target – a cement plant on the Duwamish River – were suspected of illegally pouring waste into the river, which runs through Seattle's Industrial District separating West Seattle from the rest of the city. Criminal investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency took the unusual step of hiding water quality sampling equipment inside a 32-inch drainpipe thought at the Lafarge North America plant. Agents obtained a warrant similar to those required to wiretap suspects and discovered “spikes” in pollution emanating for the facility, which wasn’t supposed to be dumping anything at all. Levi Pulkkinen reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Imperial’s cleanup plan underway for Mount Polley mine dam breach, but questions remain
With 24 million cubic metres of water and tailings flushed downstream of the Mount Polley gold and copper mine, the company’s biggest challenge now is to keep the remaining tailings and water contained. There is already considerable concern over the potentially toxic metals released into the environment after the failure of the earthen tailings dam on Aug 4. The tailings surged into nine-kilometre Hazeltine Creek, which was home to spawning trout and coho salmon, as well as Quesnel Lake, the migration path of more than one million sockeye salmon. With an estimated 17 million cubic metres of tailings remaining in the storage facility (enough to fill 6,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools), there is urgency in ensuring it stays in place. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

No people, large animals to be harmed in electronic warfare training, Navy says — but it has its risks
Fifteen minutes. That's the estimate of time it could take for “the liquid tissue” of the eye to be damaged by close proximity to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by three electronic warfare trucks the Navy wants to deploy in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties, Navy official Jerry Sodano said Friday. The Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range project would entail the first use of electromagnetic radiation for the Navy training that pilots now simulate by internal aircraft controls. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Seattle seawall project to close waterfront businesses
The heart of Seattle’s historic waterfront will shut down for nine months on Wednesday to make way for seawall replacement work. The construction — stretching from the north side of the Seattle Ferry Terminal at Pier 52 to the south side of the Seattle Aquarium at Pier 59 — won’t require many detours. But it will result in the temporary closure of more than a dozen businesses on Piers 54, 55, 56 and 57, including Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Elliott’s Oyster House and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Daniel Beekman reports. (Seattle Times)

Burnaby, Trans Mountain both looking for support in pipeline fight
Kinder Morgan took its fight with the City of Burnaby, B.C., directly to residents on Friday, the latest salvo in an ongoing feud over the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline. A letter distributed to residents near the company's Westridge marine terminal in Burnaby blamed city council for blocking its survey crews from Burnaby Mountain, home to Simon Fraser University and a expansive conservation area. Dene Moore reports. (Canadian Press)

Traffic study on Tacoma’s Tideflats could shape emergency response patterns
As traffic by land and sea increases at the Port of Tacoma, it’s becoming more difficult to get fire trucks and ambulances there quickly, city officials say. Now the city of Tacoma, port and others are spending $600,000 to examine traffic patterns and emergency response on the Tideflats, partly in hopes of getting new businesses that could add to the gridlock to contribute toward fixing it. Kate Martin reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Sidney-Anacortes ferry sails into budget storm
The Sidney-Anacortes ferry is facing the possibility of extended winter shutdowns as Washington state’s Department of Transportation looks for budget savings. Its preliminary budget identifies $594,000 in savings that could be realized from 2015 to 2017 by extending the winter closure on the Anacortes ferry to 20 weeks from the current 12. Other potential cuts include reducing service on the San Juan routes and having no third vessel weekend service for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. If adopted, the cuts would take effect in November 2015. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 850 PM PDT SUN SEP 28 2014
MON
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN TAPERING OFF TO SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE
 AFTERNOON.
MON NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
--
"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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