Monday, October 20, 2014

10/20 Velella, Simushir, CWA, shore restoration, Pt Wells, greenhouse gas, Oly Park, Dunagan, aqua reserve

Velella
If you like to watch: The secret life of Velella: Adrift with the by-the-wind sailor
In the spring, beaches can be covered by thousands or even millions of blue jellyfish relatives called Velella velella, the by-the-wind sailors. Velella typically live on the surface of the open ocean far from shore, propelled by winds pushing on their tiny sails. (MBARI)

Incapacitated Russian cargo ship Simushir towed to Prince Rupert
An incapacitated Russian cargo ship is now in port in Prince Rupert on British Columbia's north coast, ending fears that the vessel, which lost power Thursday night, would drift ashore, hit rocks and spill hundreds of tonnes of fuel…. The Simushir lost power due to a mechanical failure late Thursday off Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, as it made its way from Everett in Washington state to Russia. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Gordon Reid arrived on scene Friday night and started towing the disabled ship away from shore, but three attempts to keep a towline attached failed and the ship was adrift again for six hours Saturday daytime. (CBC)

As Clean Water Act ages, Washington state groups spar over its meaning
The nation’s primary law to keep its waters clean has a birthday Saturday – but any celebration will have to compete with a contentious battle over what the law actually means. At issue is a proposal intended to clarify what waterways are and aren’t covered by the Clean Water Act, which dates to 1972. But that so-called “Waters of the United States” proposed rule has turned contentious, with federal officials receiving more than 200,000 comments from citizens and organizations nationwide. Chris Adams reports. (McClatchy)

Agencies develop plan to restore 5,000 acres of Sound shoreline habitat  
Public comments are being sought on a tentative proposal to restore more than 5,000 acres of central and northern Puget Sound shoreline habitat. A 45-day comment period on the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project draft feasibility report and environmental impact statement will run through Nov. 24. In addition, the proposal will be discussed at a public meeting from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 5, in the council chambers of Burlington City Hall, 833 South Spruce St… The project website is at pugetsoundnearshore.org (Olympian)

Searching for signs of success
During low tide, marine ecologist James “Jamey” Selleck scours the Anacortes shoreline where the Custom Plywood mill once stood, bending to get a closer look at the beach and turning pebbles with a gloved hand. He’s on the hunt for tiny eggs that indicate feeder fish have come to the beach to spawn. It’s been almost a year since the state Department of Ecology removed more than 1,000 creosote-coated pilings that once lifted a dock over the water, along with several thousand tons of contaminated sediment from this section of shoreline. Other pilings, structures and nearly 33,600 tons of contaminated soil were also removed in 2011. The state agency funded the $14.6 million, multiphase cleanup project that restored the beach and built a pocket estuary to improve fish habitat. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) In summary: Port, Ecology clean up Anacortes waterfront

Point Wells developer wants to expedite condo project
A developer seeking to build more than 3,000 condos at Point Wells has offered to pay for extra Snohomish County planning staff to expedite the project. That has some neighbors worried about a potential conflict of interest. Their issue isn't with Blue Square Real Estate's offer to pay for three county staff positions as much as the wording in a draft contract. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

State greenhouse gas pollution rates see spike; power plants lead hike
The state’s major industrial sources released about 6 million more metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2013, a 30 percent jump from the previous year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state’s only coal-burning power plant in Centralia topped the list, emitting 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming. Emissions from the plant spiked up about 82 percent from 2012 after experiencing a big drop the previous year. TransAlta spokeswoman Leanne Yohemas said in an email that carbon dioxide emissions at the company’s Centralia plant were substantially below normal levels in 2012, which explains the increase. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Olympic National Park plans overlooks out of parts of old Glines Canyon Dam on Elwha River
The National Park Service plans to transform the site of the former Glines Canyon Dam into a destination where the public can learn about the ongoing efforts to restore the Elwha River…. The removal of Glines Canyon Dam was completed with a final blast Aug. 26, but the abutments on either side of the once-210-foot-tall structure were left in place to eventually serve as observation points. Michael J. Foster reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Taking a moment for reflection, but I’m not saying good-bye
Chris Dunagan at Kitsap Sun's Watching Our Water Ways writes: "After 37 years at the Kitsap Sun, I’m writing one last salmon story today as a member of the newsroom staff. I was offered an early-retirement package, and I decided to take it. But that does not mean I’ll soon be shopping for a rocking chair. For one thing, I plan to continue writing this blog, and I intend to beef it up with even more original reporting. I’m also committed to completing the Kitsap Sun’s 10-part series called ‘Taking the Pulse of Puget Sound.’ The series has examined every corner of our troubled waterway, taking clues from the Puget Sound Partnership’s 'vital signs indicators.' Beyond those projects, I will continue to work for the Sun in a freelance capacity." See: Salmon soon to make a splash in Kitsap waters

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve focus of Bellingham forum
People can learn about Cherry Point herring and the risks that increased vessel and rail transportation pose to the Salish Sea during a Saturday, Oct. 25, forum about the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. The event is free and open to the public. It is 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bellingham Technical College, Building G Room 102A/103B, at 3028 Lindbergh Ave. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee is hosting the event. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Environmental Groups Say Oregon Got It Wrong With Oil Terminal Permit
Local and national environmental groups filed a petition Friday claiming Oregon erred in granting an air quality permit to Oregon’s largest oil train terminal. Their petition claims the Department of Environmental Quality should have considered pollution from the trains and ships that move oil in and out of the terminal, rather than just the terminal itself. Columbia Riverkeeper, the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Neighbors for Clean Air and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center jointly filed the petition challenging the permit for the facility at Port Westward, about 60 miles west of Portland. Tony Schick reports. (EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON OCT 20 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS IN THE
 AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 11 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY AND A SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS IN
 THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
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2 comments:

  1. An unforgettable image from a long-ago spring is Long Beach (Washington) transformed by the shimmering blue sails of innumerable Velella. Thanks for these images of the by-the-wind sailor at sea.

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    Replies
    1. The blue sails of the Velella brought to mind the following story from Laurie MacBride: "A guy I once knew was sailing back here, single-handed, from Central America (this was many years ago) when he got into a terrible storm. His catamaran was threatening to break up - the force on the hulls was stressing them so much that they were close to breaking apart. Then suddenly he came upon a huge raft of these jellyfish with their little upraised "sails", and noticed that just downwind of them the water was relatively placid. He got into their lee, and it was calm there - and he weathered out the storm that way. In other words, Velella saved his life!"

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