Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9/30 Seattle waterfront, indoor air, train notification, Enbridge challenge, BC kokanee

Kokanee salmon (BC Environment/Vancouver Sun)
With costs up, mayor wants to roll back Seattle waterfront plan
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city should save money by scaling back its ambitious downtown waterfront-redevelopment plan — including a proposed swimming-pool barge. In a presentation to the City Council on Monday, Murray staffers said cost estimates have gone up, and the plan would eat up about $200 million more than previously thought unless modifications are made. That’s partly because much of the work can’t begin until the Highway 99 tunnel is completed and the Alaskan Way Viaduct is brought down. David Beekman reports. (Seattle Times)

EPA working with South Seattle residents to clean up air quality inside homes
The EPA is teaming up with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition to help homeowners clean up the air indoors. "This area of South Park and Georgetown have some of the worst air quality anywhere in the city. Also higher rates of asthma (than) anywhere in the city," said James Rasmussen, coordinator for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. He said back in July the nonprofit entered into a cooperative agreement with the federal agency, which contributed $120,000 for the cause. The money will go toward in-home air quality assessments for residents primarily in South Park and Georgetown. David Ham reports. (KIRO)

Senators ask for more oil train notifications
Four West Coast senators are asking the federal government to expand a recent order for railroads to notify state emergency responders of crude oil shipments. The letter, sent Monday to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, says railroads should supply states with advanced notification of all high-hazard flammable liquid transports — including crude from outside the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, as well as ethanol and 71 other liquids. The letter was signed by Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Gosia Wozniacka reports. (Associated Press)

BC First Nation wins bid to challenge pipeline
A First Nation from British Columbia's North Coast says the Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear its legal challenge of the Northern Gateway pipeline project. The Gitxaala Nation filed the court action in July over a federal cabinet decision to approve the project that would link the Alberta oilsands with a marine terminal on the B.C. coast. The Gitxaala say it has now been given the green light for a judicial review of the controversial $7-billion pipeline project proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB). The First Nation is challenging the Joint Review Panel report that the government based its decision for approval on, claiming Canada failed to provide reasonable accommodation and consultation over aboriginal rights and title. (Canadian Press)

Genomic tools eyed to reverse kokanee fishery collapse
New genomic tools are being developed in an attempt to halt and reverse the “invisible collapse” of B.C.’s kokanee salmon stocks. Funding from Genome BC, the provincial government and local stakeholders will be used to identify unique regional stocks and migratory patterns, and to support hatchery programs aimed at bringing the province’s landlocked freshwater salmon back from the brink. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 1215 AM PDT TUE SEP 30 2014
TUE AND TUE NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS.
 W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 OR 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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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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Friday, September 26, 2014

9/26 Burnaby pipe, Swinomish climate, crude-train testing

Whale watching by drone (Vancouver Sun)
Kinder Morgan loses one round against Burnaby at NEB
Kinder Morgan’s bid to block the City of Burnaby from obstructing its survey crews has been rejected by the National Energy Board — for now. In a ruling Thursday, the NEB said that the oil and gas company’s motion requesting access to Burnaby Mountain raises a constitutional issue that the board doesn’t yet have the legal authority to address. If Kinder Morgan wants the NEB to make a decision on whether the city’s bylaws allow it to block survey work for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the company is required to notify provincial and federal attorneys general that a constitutional question is being raised. Once the company has provided notice, the board says it will expedite the decision process. Bethany Lindsay reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Swinomish Tribe blazing trail in preparing for climate change
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a Northwest Indian tribe a $700,000 grant to continue its groundbreaking work in preparing for climate change. EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran on Thursday congratulated Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby for his tribes work in weaving together the science and culture of climate change in Native American communities. (KING)

Oil industry offers crude-train testing standards
The oil industry's lead trade group released new standards on Thursday for testing and classifying crude shipped by rail after prior shipments were misclassified, including a train that derailed in Canada and killed 47 people. As with earlier orders from the federal government, the industry standards leave it to individual companies to decide how often to test crude in order to gauge its danger. The American Petroleum Institute said the standards were crafted in cooperation with regulators and the rail industry. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT THU SEP 25 2014
FRI
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
FRI NIGHT
VARIABLE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
--
"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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Thursday, September 25, 2014

9/25 Obama reserve, JeffCo restoration, BC fish farm, Chlliwack mess, BC tanker, & pipes, Endridge, BC tribes

(Jim Maragos/AP, Washington Post)
Obama to create world’s largest protected marine reserve in Pacific Ocean
President Obama will use his legal authority Thursday to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, demonstrating his increased willingness to advance a conservation agenda without the need for congressional approval. By broadening the existing Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, Obama has protected more acres of federal land and sea by executive power than any other president in at least 50 years and makes the area off-limits to commercial fishing. By Juliet Eilperin reports. (Washington Post)

Bridge to replace culverts between Indian, Marrowstone islands
A bridge would be installed to replace road fill and twin culverts on the highway connecting Indian Island and Marrowstone Island, part of a $24.8 million boost to salmon recovery projects in Puget Sound. The "restoring Kilisut Harbor" project is one of four Salmon Recovery Board and Puget Sound Partnership projects set in Jefferson County, according to a press release from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. (Port Townsend Leader) See also: Saltmarsh, shoreline habitat restored along Tarboo Bay  (Port Townsend Leader)

B.C. salmon farmers pledge to meet new global standard
Fewer than one in 20 of the world’s salmon farms have achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council environmental certification, but B.C.’s salmon aquaculture companies have committed to 100-per-cent certification in this region by 2020. “The members of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association want to achieve the gold standard in certification,” said Jeremy Dunn, executive director of the association. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Sockeye fishing mess creates need for Chilliwack river cleanups
An extremely busy recreational fishery for sockeye in Chilliwack this summer means lots of extra garbage is littering the riverbanks right now. In response, river stewards in Chilliwack are gearing up for two big cleanups, Sept. 27 on the Fraser River and Sept. 28 on Chilliwack-Vedder River system. The Fraser Valley Salmon Society recognized there has been a larger than normal influx of visitors to the fishing spots, hence the need for a special cleanup. Jennifer Feinberg reports. (Chlliwack Progress)

NDP Bill Would Ban Tankers off BC's North Coast
Banning supertankers from the North Coast of British Columbia is one way to avoid potential conflict or environmental hazards related to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, says a New Democrat MP from the province. Finance critic Nathan Cullen tabled a private member's bill Tuesday that if passed would not only ban oil tankers from the province's North Coast, but also force a more thorough consultation with communities to be impacted by such projects in the future. Jeremy J. Nuttall reports. (TheTyee) See also: Cross-border Indigenous Treaty Takes on Kinder Morgan Pipeline  David P. Ball reports. (TheTyee)

Recreational boats spills more likely to pollute B.C. waters than tankers
Proposed new oil pipelines have heightened concerns about major spills from increased tanker traffic on the West Coast, but a new study has found that fleets of leaking recreational boats and other small vessels are more likely to foul B.C. waters. Stefania Bertazzon, a University of Calgary researcher, worked with several federal government departments and the University of Victoria in putting together what is thought to be the first study of its kind in the world. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Mayor, port authority say no room for Northern Gateway pipeline in Prince Rupert
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice wants Enbridge Inc. to reroute the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, but the coastal community that is touted as the obvious alternative to locate the marine terminal is no longer rolling out the welcome mat. Prince Rupert’s Mayor Jack Mussallem said residents in his resource-dependent community don’t want to play a role in getting Alberta oil products to Asia. Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey report. (Globe and Mail)

Site C or LNG: pick one, say B.C. First Nations
Several B.C. First Nations are in Ottawa today to offer the federal government an ultimatum — it can have the Site C dam or liquefied-natural-gas development, but not both. Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nation says an 1899 treaty gives his community title to land in the Peace River valley that's crucial to both projects. He says a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada has bolstered his First Nations' say on any industrial development on that land. (CBC)

Now, your tug weatrher--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT WED SEP 24 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
THU
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS
 LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
THU NIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE
 OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

9/24 Toxic return, creosote, train spill response, enviro hazards, ferry woes, Columbia Chinook, N.A. Humans

Stink Bug (Dwi Janto Johan/Getty Images, NewScientist)
The creepy crawly story of life on Earth
Mammals are normally considered the stars of the evolution show, but insects should be centre stage, says Scott Richard Shaw in Planet of the Bugs. Bob Holmes reviews. (NewScientist)

Part 2: Returning Chinook Exposed To Bathtub Of Contaminants In Puget Sound
Puget Sound is one of the most enchanting bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest. Framed by mountains to the east and west, its physical beauty is part of what attracts new people to the region every year. A total of 115 towns and cities surround this deep inland fjord. But the Sound’s geography is also part of what makes it toxic for fish that migrate through it. All the polluted runoff and treated sewage from the dense population around the Sound get trapped in and don’t flush out, making it similar to a dirty bathtub that never gets cleaned. Residue from prescription drugs and flame retardants, pesticides and heavy metals are among the contaminants. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Creosote removal to start soon in North Kitsap
The state Department of Natural Resources will launch a major clean-up next week of creosote-saturated pilings and debris along the Puget Sound shores of Kitsap County, the agency announced Sept. 23. About 245 piles and 18 tons of debris will be removed from eight sites located along the eastern Kitsap Peninsula shoreline. (North Kitsap Herald)

Oil trains: BNSF to fund training for state’s first responders
BNSF Railway is paying for 142 Washington firefighters to attend specialized training in Pueblo, Colo., to help them prepare for any mishaps involving crude oil shipped by train. Those classes began in July and will continue through the end of the year. This represents a stepped-up training effort by BNSF Railway at a time of increased shipments of crude oil through the region, which have raised safety concerns about oil spills or fires in the event of a derailment. BNSF will also provide hazardous-materials training for some 600 Washington first responders by early October, and for 800 by the end of the year, according to Gus Melonas, a BNSF spokesman. (Seattle Times)

Housing report ranks Whatcom County low in man-made environmental hazards
Whatcom County has the seventh-lowest score in the nation when it comes to man-made environmental hazards, according to a newly released report. That’s the assessment from RealtyTrac, a national supplier of real estate information. The firm ranked the 578 largest real estate markets based on five man-made environmental hazards: percentage of bad air quality days, number of Superfund sites, brownfield sites, polluters and former drug labs per square mile. According to the data collected by RealtyTrac, Whatcom County averaged zero bad air quality days annually in recent years and was below the U.S. average in the other categories. The brownfield sites, polluters and former drug labs totaled 0.06 per square mile, according to the report.  Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Lawmakers give governor an earful about ferries
Two state lawmakers who have been sharply critical of Washington State Ferries asked the governor on Monday to remove some of the agency’s top leaders as a newly hired director takes the helm. Reps. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, made the request to Gov. Jay Inslee in a closed-door meeting in which they explained their frustrations surrounding the construction of new vessels and souring relations between workers and managers. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Biologists Try To Figure Out Large Fall Chinook Runs
Thousands of fall chinook salmon are swimming up the Columbia River every day right now. This year’s migration is expected to be one of the largest in recent years. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why fall chinook have made such a big comeback. Salmon and steelhead restoration has been a big push throughout the Northwest — from Puget Sound to coastal streams to the Columbia-Snake River Basin — where fall chinook were nearly extinct by the 1960s. Courtnery Flatt reports.

Underwater discovery near Haida Gwaii could rewrite human history
As far as underwater photos go, the sonar images acquired by scientists from the ocean floor off Haida Gwaii aren’t as dramatic as those of the recently found Franklin ship. But for a team of archeologists who for decades have been searching for proof of the earliest human presence in North America, the images of a cluster of rocks and unnatural rectangular shapes are just as important as the Arctic discovery that made world news two weeks ago. Mark Hume reports. (Globe & Mail)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-
900 PM PDT TUE SEP 23 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM PDT WEDNESDAY
WED
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 16 SECONDS...BUILDING TO
 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING... THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
WED NIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN
 SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

9/23 Drone on pods, missing Chinook, West Coast warming, beach access, Quilcene PSP

Hexacopter (Canadian Press/Globe & Mail)
Vancouver Aquarium uses hexacopter drone to monitor whale pods
Vancouver Aquarium killer whale experts have teamed up with American researchers to monitor and record images of Northern Resident killer whales using a drone. Hovering 30 metres above pods of orcas, the drone's camera allowed scientists to see the whales from a much different perspective than from a nearby vessel. Some whales were clearly pregnant, a condition not always visible by boat.(CBC)
  


Where are the salmon? Chinook waiting for rain
Concern is growing over the low numbers of Chinook salmon returning to Puget Sound rivers. State officials and the Nisqually Indian Tribe have closed that river to Chinook fishing until the numbers increase…. Sport fishermen are also wondering where the salmon are after there were official forecasts of a strong Chinook season. Experts say the Chinook may be just be late and are pooling up at the mouths of Puget Sound rivers waiting for cooler temperatures and rain. Gary Chittim reports. (KING)

Study says natural factors, not humans, behind West Coast warming
The rise in temperatures along the West Coast over the past century is almost entirely due to natural forces — not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study. But that doesn’t refute the idea that humans are contributing to global climate change, the authors say. Craig Welch reports. (Seattle Times)

Railroad curbs access to Everett waterfront trail
The trail that runs from near the Port Gardner neighborhood to Pigeon Creek Beach is a lot quieter nowadays. In late June, BNSF Railway closed the underpass at Bond Street, citing safety concerns. The underpass runs under the railroad's main line, and the city doesn't have an easement in the railroad's property…. More and more frequently, the railway has been parking long trains, usually hauling coal or petroleum products, for up to several hours at a time along those tracks. Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)

Quilcene Bay shellfish show lethal levels of PSP biotoxins
Lethal levels of marine biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning have been detected in shellfish taken from Quilcene Bay, Jefferson County health officials warned Monday. Quilcene and Dabob bays have been closed to the recreational harvest of molluscan shellfish ­— clams, oysters, mussels and scallops — since Sept. 8. Paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, concentrations have risen to more than 6,000 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish. That’s 75 times the 80-microgram closure level, and twice the levels detected last week. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 830 PM PDT MON SEP 22 2014
TUE
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
TUE NIGHT
SE WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. RAIN.--

"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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Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22 Puget Sound health, climate action, geoduck poacher, train oil spill

Kiwi time (Laurie MacBride)
Race for the Kiwis
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "It’s kiwi time, and the race is on. Each September as our Hardy kiwis (Actinidia arguta) start to ripen, we begin a delicate balancing act, deciding exactly when to harvest. We want them soft, ripe and sweet, but if we wait too long, many will vanish in the night…."

Better measurements needed to track the health of Puget Sound  (paywall)
The ongoing restoration of Puget Sound has scored some successes and probably some failures, according to Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. But if people really want to know how well things are going, better measurements are needed. That is the message Sahandy says she will take to the Legislature next year, as she seeks funding for more complete monitoring of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Sahandy said she will ignore political advisers who tell her that requesting money for monitoring is the last thing she should do in a tight budget year like 2015. Basic scientific measurements are essential to understanding how fish and wildlife populations are changing and whether restoration projects are working, she told a group of scientists during a conference Thursday in Shelton. Chris Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Worldwide rallies call for action now on climate change
In Seattle, New York and around the world, people took to the streets Sunday, urging policymakers to address conditions they say threaten the survival of future generations. The grass-roots demonstrations came just before the start of the U.N. Climate Summit. (Seattle Times) See also: Protesters march against climate change in Vancouver (Vancouver Sun)

Geoduck poacher sentenced to jail time
A Port Orchard man received a four-month sentence after illegally harvesting 300 pounds of geoduck clams from the Olympia area and dumping them near Port Orchard. Matthew R. Petersen, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful shellfish trafficking and two counts of second-degree theft in Kitsap County Superior Court on Sept. 8. He was sentenced to 4 months with credit for time served by Judge Leila Mills. Deputy Chief Mike Cenci, of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Police, said Petersen’s case was long and complicated — as is common for many poaching cases. He called the case a “rare win” for the department. Amelia Dickson reports. (Olympian)

Train Spills 2,000 Gallons Of Diesel In Washington
A rock punctured a BNSF train engine Friday outside Pasco, Washington, causing about 2,000 gallons of diesel to spill along the tracks. The engine held about 3,000 gallons of diesel. None of the fuel has leaked into the Columbia River, a BNSF spokesman said. The boulder tumbled early Friday morning from nearby cliffs and onto the track, where the train ran atop it. The 108-car train was carrying freight to Seattle. Courtney Flatt reports. (EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON SEP 22 2014
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY
 AFTER MIDNIGHT.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, September 19, 2014

9/19 Mussel test, starfish wasting, Salish Sea pledge, oil protest, creosote removal, Gabriola Is. bridge

Year of Light Photo Contest
Your photo of light in your life could win you fame and fortune – really. The United Nations has declared 2015 the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies” to help raise awareness of how important applications of light-based science and engineering are in our lives. Think  of the internet, those buoys off Sequim using lasers to gather information about the wind, the aurora borealis. Think of your camera! And bring that all together in the form of your entry in the photo contest sponsored by the optics and photonics association SPIE. The society is offered a total of $4,500 in cash prizes and placement on its website and in its print magazine, SPIE Professional, to winners of the SPIE International Year of Light 2015 Photo Contest. Don’t delay – the contest closes at the end of September.

Shellfish Tell Puget Sound’s Polluted Tale
Scientists used shellfish to conduct the broadest study to date of pollution levels along the shore of Puget Sound. And in some places, it’s pretty contaminated. This past winter the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife put mussels at more than 100 sites up and down Puget Sound. After a few months, volunteers and WDFW employees gathered the shellfish and analyzed them for metals, fossil fuel pollution, flame-retardants and other chemicals. The WDFW just released the results. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome
Most people who've grown up in the Northwest can remember walking on the beach as a kid, enjoying tide pools full of brightly-colored starfish. But beachcombing has become less joyful over the past year. An epidemic known as sea star wasting syndrome has devastated huge populations of starfish, especially on the West Coast. U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, has introduced an emergency act in Congress to respond to the outbreak. The syndrome was first noticed in Washington waters last summer and has spread rapidly since. White lesions appear on the skin of affected starfish which then curl up, contort and disintegrate. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Sign the Pledge to Save the Salish Sea
Here's the pledge: "We are concerned about the export of fossil fuels through our shared waters. Tar sands pipelines, oil and LNG terminals and new coal ports proposed on both sides of the Canada/US border would have significant impacts on the air, ocean and wildlife, and would put community health and safety, our economy and our climate at risk. I  demand that new oil, coal and LNG export projects proposed for the Salish Sea be rejected, and I hereby pledge to take cross-border action to protect the Salish Sea and our climate from the threats of fossil fuel expansion." Sign the pledge. And: Rally for Salish Sea health Saturday at Peace Arch park  (Tacoma News Tribune)

Activists block tracks near oil terminal at Port Westward  (Longview Daily News) Comment period begins today for Grays Harbor terminal  (Dept. of Ecology) Councilman plans anti-crude-by-rail resolution   (Aberdeen Daily World)

Dilapidated docks, creosote piles to be removed from Chambers Creek, Steilacoom waterfronts
Work began Thursday to clean up the shoreline at Sunnyside Beach Park in Steilacoom and will start next month at Pierce County’s Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place. On the Steilacoom waterfront, the cleanup effort will remove 32 creosote piles. In University Place, it will take out two docks, including almost 800 creosote piles. The dilapidated docks and piles date to a time when gravel mining dominated the waterfront. Brynn Grimley reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Gabriola Island bridge could replace BC Ferries service
The B.C. government is going to study the idea of building a bridge to Gabriola Island to replace BC Ferries service to the Southern Gulf Island. The study, which is expected to be completed by an independent consultant this spring, will examine potential locations, provide a cost estimate, and make a cost comparison with the existing ferry service. The government says the study is a response to a petition by local residents, but the study is not intended to assess public support for the idea. (CBC) See also: Map: Where would a fixed link from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island go?

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI SEP 19 2014
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NE TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS...BECOMING W AT 9 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 7 FT AT
 12 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W
 SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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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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Thursday, September 18, 2014

9/18 Burnaby, home toxics, DNR HCP, Seahurst Park, WA investment, BC humpback, Kitsap sewage, Shell refinery, canoe journey, GBR coral

George the goldfish (ScienceBlogs)
If you like to watch: 10-year old goldfish undergoes surgery to remove a tumor
No joke. George (the goldfish) had developed a rather large tumor over the past year and the owners loved the fish so much, they spent $200 to have the life-threatening tumor surgically removed… Dr. Dolittle reports. (ScienceBlogs)

Burnaby's Trans Mountain Pipeline injunction rejected by B.C. court  
The City of Burnaby's application for a temporary injunction to stop Kinder Morgan cutting trees for survey work on Burnaby Mountain has been rejected by a B.C. Supreme Court Judge. The judge in the case has not yet issued the reasons for the decision. Those could be issued next week. The city was seeking the temporary injunction while it prepares for an upcoming court case challenging the company's right to cut trees in the conservation area as part of its survey work for a new route for its existing Trans Mountain Pipeline. (CBC)

Mystery solved: How household toxics get into the environment
Scientists have well chronicled the vast reach of flame retardants in waterways and wildlife -- even in the most remote corners of the planet. But exactly how toxic flame retardants get from inside homes and then out into the environment has never been confirmed until now, says the author of a new study. The peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found household flame retardants, a portion of which degrades into dust, cling to our clothing and are then washed away in our washing machines. The wastewater then goes to municipal treatment plants, where it passes through into the environment. While some levels of certain kinds of flame retardants tend to cling to sludge and then disposed on land, much of it is water soluble and exits the treatment plants directly into waterways. Jeff Burnside reports. (KOMO)

DNR seeks comment on aquatic lands plan
Washington’s Department of Natural Resources invites the public to review the new draft Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan. In a press release, the agency said that over the next 50 years, the HCP is designed to guide DNR in better ways to protect at-risk native aquatic species on 2.6 million acres of state-owned lands under marine and fresh waters of the state. DNR manages these lands as a public trust…. The draft HCP is a culmination of nearly eight years of effort by DNR aquatics staff, working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. It will protect 29 sensitive, threatened and endangered aquatic species—several listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. It will help identify and restore important habitat on state-owned aquatic lands. The plan allows DNR to address protection of species and their habitats through management decisions, including authorizing public and private uses of state-owned aquatic lands. These lands include the marine bedlands under Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the coast, including 30 percent of their related tidelands; the freshwater bedlands and about 70 percent of the shorelands of the navigable lakes and rivers—or basically, all the lands under the navigable water bodies in the State of Washington. (Wahkiakum County Eagle)

Ribbon-cutting at Seahurst Park merges environmental and community interests
On Friday, September 12th, community members and leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting at newly restored Seahurst Park in Burien…. At the Seahurst Park beachfront, where once there was a concrete wall, there are now wetlands. Children climbed on logs, waded through surf grass and sedges, and tested pooled water with fingers. The pooled water on the beachfront is a vital part of the Puget Sound estuary. Some species of fish lay eggs on the gravel and during low tide, the gravel remains wet enough to keep the eggs alive. Since restoration, the Environmental Science Center has seen a healthy rise in the population of fish species and invertebrates. Maggie Nicholson reports. (Highline Times)

Report: Wash state investment accounts included big money in coal exports, oil shipping
How much of the Washington State Investment Board’s portfolio is sunk into controversial fossil fuel investments is a bit in dispute, but a Seattle-based think tank that focuses on environmental issues thinks the figure is in excess of $500 million and could be in the billions of dollars. The Sightline Institute published an online report Wednesday that cited two private-equity investments alone worth $250 million each, including funds in a private equity company linked to both a coal export proposal and oil-by-rail project. It also identified money the Oregon Investment Council put into those controversial energy projects. But the Washington SIB is disputing the report’s details. Spokeswoman Liz Mendizabal said a screen of total investments shows the share of WSIB’s $75 billion trust fund that is devoted to coal investments is closer to $108 million, or 0.14 percent of total assets under management. Brad Shannon reports. (Olympian)

Rescuers search for entangled humpback whale off Vancouver Island
A humpback whale tangled so tightly in thick rope that its fins are torn is somewhere along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island in need of help. “We need to put the word out that if anybody sees it, they call our hotline,” said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal co-ordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This entanglement is almost certainly going to be lethal if nothing is done.” Cottrell got a call Sunday morning that a distressed whale had been spotted off the coast of Tofino by researcher Jim Darling. Darling sent photos, showing rope digging several inches into the whale’s blubber. Sarah Petrescu reports. (Times Colonist)

Broken pipe at PSNS results in sewage spill, beach closure  (paywall)
Local health authorities have issued a no-contact advisory for the waters in Sinclair Inlet and Port Washington Narrows following a 45,000-gallon sewage spill at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Shipyard officials reported that a sewer line running along the beach inside the shipyard apparently broke Sunday, according to Stuart Whitford of Kitsap Public Health District. At high tide, large volumes of seawater flowed into the line. The high flows were noticed at a nearby pump station, which delivers sewage into Bremerton's sewer system. The spill was repaired Wednesday, Whitford said. Chris Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Northwest Clean Air Agency takes comments on Shell refinery offloading plan  
The Northwest Clean Air Agency is now accepting public comment on a draft construction permit for the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s crude-by-rail offloading facility proposal. The regional air agency announced the start of the comment period Tuesday, and will accept comments through Oct. 16. The agency has also set a public hearing for the permit for Oct. 16. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tribal Canoe Journeys on hiatus in 2015 after no host comes forward
The Tribal Canoe Journeys, traditionally an annual event, is expected to take a one-year hiatus in 2015 for the first time since 1993. “No one has stepped up to the plate to host [the Canoe Journey] in 2015,” said Frances Charles, tribal chairwoman of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. The first canoe journey was the 1989 “Paddle to Seattle,” which was conceived by Quinault tribal member Emmet Oliver and Frank Brown of Bella Bella. That led to the first Canoe Journey in 1993 in Bella Bella. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Effect of ocean acidification: Coral growth rate on Great Barrier Reef plummets in 30-year comparison
Researchers working in Australia's Great Barrier Reef have documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. (Science Daily)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU SEP 18 2014
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9/17 Quake, oil train response, Fraser sockeye, 'Salmon Safe,' coal dust risks, coastal politics

(Doug Davis/CBC)
If you like to watch: Humpback whales pause for YouTube close-up off B.C. coast (CBC)

4.0 magnitude quake wakes up the Puget Sound
No, that wasn’t a truck passing by the house, and your dog wasn’t just barking at the moon – that was an earthquake! The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.0 magnitude quake near Seabeck, Washington just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. There were no reports of any damage or injuries, according to Central Kitsap Communications Center. The USGS reported the quake was approximately 7 miles southwest of Seabeck and 14 miles west of Bremerton in Kitsap County. The quake was reported to be relatively “shallow”, about 10 miles deep. John White reports. (KCPQ)

Report Finds Weakness In Seattle’s Ability To Respond To Oil Train Mishap
A new report by public safety agencies highlights several weaknesses in Seattle’s ability to respond to an oil train accident. The report to the Seattle City Council was complied by the Seattle Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management. At the top of the report’s list of concerns: the 100 year old tunnel that runs through the middle of downtown Seattle. The report said that the lack of safety systems in the Great Northern tunnel will present significant challenges to first responders. Next on the list: landslides along Puget Sound. The stretch of track between Seattle and Everett has banks that are prone to slides. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Fraser River's sockeye salmon run size uncertain, but ‘great’
The Fraser River’s sockeye run is being hailed as exceptional by fisheries experts even though there is considerable doubt about how many millions of salmon remain at sea and how many of those fish should be caught. “I would call it a great run,” Jennifer Nener, area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), said Tuesday as seine boats were given a three-day opening to scoop up late-arriving sockeye off the mouth of the Fraser. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Some hope island will go 'Salmon Safe'
In the coming week, representatives from the environmental organization Stewardship Partners will visit the island twice with information about their Salmon Safe certification program, part of an effort to get more island farms and other organizations to consider their environmental impact, not just on the island’s salmon streams, but on  Puget Sound in general. With help from a grant from the King Conservation District, Stewardship Partners has already certified five island farms as Salmon Safe, meaning their practices protect water quality and fish habitat. Now, islander CC Stone is leading an effort to get more farms and other entities on Vashon certified. She has organized a community meeting for next Monday with Stewardship Partners, and Salmon Safe representatives will also be at this Saturday’s Farmers Market. Sarah Low reports. (Vashon Beachcomber)

Scientists On A Quest For Knowledge About Coal Dust Risks
Coal had been transported around the country by rail for decades before the recent push to bring it by train to ports in the Northwest. And yet, scientists don’t really know how much coal dust could escape from rail cars, how far it might travel, and what coal-borne mercury and other contaminants might do to aquatic life. With the permitting process moving forward for two large coal terminals in Washington, a team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey is trying to find out how the chemicals in coal might interact with the environment. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment 

From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share a common characteristic: their views about coastal environments divide along political lines. That's a primary finding of a new study by University of New Hampshire sociologists published this month in the journal Society & Natural Resources. "We found a lot of environment-related differences from place to place to place. Each environment is different so that's just what you'd expect. But underneath there's a common pattern: partisanship," says Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology at UNH and lead author of the paper. "On almost every issue in every place, Democrats express greater concern about environmental problems than Republicans." (phys.org)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT WED SEP 17 2014
TODAY LIGHT WIND. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT AND THU
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16 Tufted puffin, Chinook journey, climate protests, OR coal port, Bainbridge shore, Whale Scout

Tufted puffin (Skagit Valley Herald)
State considers listing tufted puffin as endangered species
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting public comment on a status report for the tufted puffin, and a proposal to add the Pacific Northwest bird to the state’s list of endangered species. Tufted puffins are native seabirds once common in the San Juan Islands, Strait of Juan de Fuca and along the state’s coast, Fish and Wildlife said in a news release. But over the last several decades, 38 of 43 known breeding sites have been abandoned or seen significant declines in use. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Adult Chinook In The Pacific Ocean Prepare For Long Journey Home
As soon as you arrive in Sekiu, Washington, you get a whiff of salty ocean air laced with the unmistakable smell of fresh fish. The scent fills your nostrils as the gulls mew nearby, fighting for the remains of the day’s catch in the protective cove. Located 20 miles east of Neah Bay by car, the fishing village has a long reputation for good salmon fishing. It’s also where we pick up the trail of the Lake Washington chinook. The subset of the Puget Sound salmon were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999 and traced here by scientists who tag them. The fish spend their adult lives in this open ocean before heading home to spawn in the Cedar River or in Bear Creek, or the state hatchery in Issaquah. Bellamy Pailthorp reports in Part 1 of a series. (KPLU) See also: Oak Bay fisherman looks to revive scarce chinook  (Times Colonist)

The Mother Nature of climate protests comes Sunday with offspring here  
….An estimated 1,000 organizations are working to mount the mother of all environmental demonstrations this Sunday in Manhattan.  Its aim, along with other events worldwide, is the biggest impact on public consciousness since the first Earth Day in 1970…. The Puget Sound area will see two offshoot demonstrations. The first will take place Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Peace Arch in Blaine, with a heavy emphasis on protecting the Salish Sea — inland waters of Washington and British Columbia through which millions of salmon pass en route to the Fraser river…. The second event will be a Peoples Climate March in Seattle, slated for Westlake Park at 1 p.m.  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Corps Halts Review Of Oregon Coal Export Terminal
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has brought its review of a proposed coal export terminal to an immediate halt, a blow to the Australian company trying to get coal from the Northern Rockies to an eager Asian market. Last month, Oregon state regulators rejected the proposed terminal on the Columbia River because it would potentially interfere with tribal fishing rights. On Monday, the Corps announced it had put its review on hold while a judge considers an appeal of the state’s decision. (Associated Press)

Tripp shuts down Common Sense Bainbridge; announces new group to fight city's SMP
Common Sense Bainbridge has closed up shop, and property rights advocate Gary Tripp announced Monday that a new nonprofit group will take over the fight against the city of Bainbridge Island's controversial Shoreline Master Program. Tripp, the leader of the Bainbridge-based nonprofit property rights group Bainbridge Defense Fund, has been a consistent opponent of the city's Shoreline Master Program, a state-mandated plan that restricts development along shorelines while protecting wildlife habitat and public access…. He said a new nonprofit called Preserve Rational Shoreline Management, made up of representatives from 17 waterfront communities on Bainbridge, has been formed to take on the fight over the SMP. Brian Kelly reports. (Bainbridge Review)

Whale Scout in Action!
Whitney Neugebaurer, director of Whale Scouts, asks folks to help Whale Scout volunteers who help people watch whales and inspire salmon restoration. She's launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise money to outfit volunteers with identifying vests, laminated materials and assorted gear. "Many amazing individuals and organizations contributed special gifts you can redeem for your donations like underwater photography, beautiful orca photos, handmade gifts, and much more!" Neugebauer says. Check it out.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT TUE SEP 16 2014
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15 Elwha chinook, Smith Is., Fraser sockeye, Kinder Morgan protest, Shell appeal, train spills, BC LNG

(PHOTO: Tom Grey/BirdNote)
Ravens and Crows - Who Is Who
Is that big black bird a crow or a raven? How can you tell? Ravens (seen right here) often travel in pairs, while crows (left) are seen in larger groups. Also, study the tail as the bird flies overhead. A crow's tail is shaped like a fan, while the raven's tail appears wedge-shaped. Another clue is to listen closely to the birds' calls. Crows give a cawing sound, but ravens produce a lower croaking sound. Frances Wood explains. (BirdNote)

Chinook salmon seen in upper Elwha River for first time in 102 years
The sight of a chinook resting quietly by the bank of the Upper Elwha River was one that Mel Elofson had awaited for 56 years and worked toward for 20. It was the first sighting of a salmon above the Glines Canyon Dam site in 102 years. “It was awesome,” he said. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Raft trip on Elwha River shows its newly untamed nature  Jeffrey P. Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Salmon habitat project on Smith Island to proceed
The Snohomish County Council last week signed off on an agreement that brings it closer to creating salmon habitat on Smith Island. The county plans to create a 350-acre wetland at the mouth of the Snohomish River. The $25 million project involves removing dikes and allowing the acreage to flood, turning it back into a saltwater estuary. The plan has drawn opposition from businesses that share the island. They are concerned about effects on their properties from construction or saltwater flooding. Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)

Fraser River sockeye run still avoiding U.S. waters, frustrating Whatcom County fishermen
With the sockeye salmon run into the Fraser River nearly complete, the fortunes of local U.S. commercial fishermen haven’t improved much. As of Thursday, Sept. 11, the number of sockeye caught in Canadian waters for the Fraser River run is estimated to be 7,783,800, compared to 438,200 in U.S. waters, according to data from the Pacific Salmon Commission. The run size to date is 20.7 million fish, right around the preseason forecast. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Trans Mountain pipeline: Kinder Morgan terminal locked down by activists
A handful of activists locked themselves to the main gate of Kinder Morgan's Westridge Terminal Saturday morning vowing to remain for 13 hours or one hour for every tree the company cut doing survey work for its proposed pipeline expansion. Burnaby RCMP arrested one man to get his identification, but quickly released him and made no move to stop the protesters. (CBC)

Groups appeal county on proposed rail terminal at Shell refinery
Several groups banded together to file an appeal with Skagit County Thursday over the proposal to build an oil-by-rail terminal at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes. The appeal is aimed at the second determination of nonsignificance the county issued last month for Shell’s application for a shoreline variance permit. The county first issued a similar determination in April, but reviewed the proposal after it was overwhelmed by public comments on the issue….Six groups — RE Sources for Sustainable Connections, FRIENDS of the San Juans, ForestEthics, Washington Environmental Council, Friends of the Earth and Evergreen Islands — joined with Earthjustice to file the appeal. Earthjustice is an environmental law group headquartered in San Francisco. Daniel DeMay reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Preparing for the worst: Is Whatcom County ready for an oil train derailment?
If a train hauling more than 100 cars of highly volatile crude oil were to derail in Bellingham, would the city be prepared? What if it instead left the tracks near Ferndale, or rural Custer, or along Chuckanut Drive, where an accident only feet from the water might be nearly impossible for first responders to reach from land? Samantha Wohfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Ecology launching study of spill response need at Nisqually River from passing oil trains
The state Department of Ecology says it is asking for the public’s help in crafting a response plan for potential oil spills into the Nisqually River from passing trains. Railways since 2012 have begun hauling larger amounts of volatile oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to refineries in Washington. A one-hour public meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Monday at the agency headquarters auditorium, 300 Desmond Drive in Lacey. The effort is one of nine inland response plans the agency is preparing using money provided this year by the Legislature, Ecology spokeswoman Lisa Copeland said Friday. Brad Shannon reports. (Olympian)

Controversial natural gas rule changes came after B.C., oil lobby met
In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers made a presentation to high-ranking officials in British Columbia's Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for natural gas projects. Those changes became law on April 14, but they didn't stay that way for long. An outcry from First Nations organizations forced an about-face from Environment Minister Mary Polak, who rescinded the revisions two days after they were passed by order-in-council.... The Environment Ministry says Polak met with "various industry and environmental organizations" to discuss the regulation change, but the documents don't make a single mention of any meetings other than with the petroleum producers' association. (Canadian Press) See also: B.C. LNG firms press Ottawa for tax break  Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT MON SEP 15 2014
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND BECOMING W 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told



Friday, September 12, 2014

9/12 Northern lights, old rail cars, Vic sewer $s, coal $s, BC no-pipe alliance, BC CG, Ted Fick

(PHOTO: Notanee Bourassa/CBC)
Northern lights: Auroras expected after 2 huge solar flares erupt
Two powerful blasts from the sun are hurtling towards Earth, and may generate beautiful auroras as far south as Pennsylvania tonight and tomorrow night – along with possible power and communications disruptions. "A G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm Watch has been issued for September 13th due to the combined influence of these two events," reported the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. early Thursday morning. It recommended looking for possible auroras both Thursday and Friday night. (CBC)

If you like to watch (no flush): Victoria… It’s More than That  (TourismVictoriaBC)

Groups Sue Over Oil Shipments In Older Rail Cars
Environmental groups sued the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday over the shipment of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars. Accident investigators have complained for decades that the cars are too easily punctured or ruptured when derailed, leading to spills. The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics says the agency failed to respond to a legal petition the groups filed in July. That petition sought an emergency order to prohibit crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana and elsewhere from being carried in older tank cars, known as DOT-111s. (Associated Press)

Funding 'reset' if sewage plant's site changed, CRD warned
Eliminating McLoughlin Point as a site for a regional sewage treatment plant is like “pushing the reset button and starting over” on $253 million in federal funding, Capital Regional District directors were told Wednesday. The federal and provincial governments have agreed to provide a combined $500 million — about two-thirds the cost — of the $783-million project. But the agreements are predicated on the CRD’s approved Liquid Waste Management Plan, which identifies McLoughlin Point as the treatment plant’s site. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

B.C. coal mine suspends activity amid low prices
Anglo American PLC says low coal prices have forced it to make plans to temporarily halt production at its Trend mine in northeastern British Columbia. “This is a pause and not a withdraw from our long-term vision in British Columbia,” Anglo American spokesman Federico Velasquez said in an interview Thursday from Tumbler Ridge, B.C. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

First Nations & Allies Launch Alliance to Protect Coastal Waters from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline
Proposals to triple the volume of tar sands production in Canada have sparked a new alliance of First Nations and Northwest tribes to stop it. Lead by the Coast Salish Tseil-Waututh nation of British Columbia, the alliance urges environmental and faith allies to take “unprecedented, unified action” to protect and restore coastal waters and lands from fossil fuel expansion. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Acres Radio)

And: On September 20, Canadians and Americans, First Nations and Native American tribes, and all the diverse communities of the Salish Sea will gather at the Peace Arch to send a unified and clear message that it is time for unprecedented action to defend the Salish Sea and our global climate from fossil fuel development. Info here.

Coast Guard closure leaves Kits in rocky waters
When the federal government closed its Kitsilano Coast Guard base early last year despite the City of Vancouver’s objections, it did everything except literally pull up the pilings. It removed its docks, and most importantly, the breakwater that protected the entrance to False Creek from English Bay’s frequent wind-whipped waves. Now the city is having to spend $300,000 to replace that breakwater after it began to suffer damage to its adjacent Burrard Civic Marina. (Vancouver Sun)

Port of Seattle commissioners OK Ted Fick as new CEO
The Tacoma native will start work Sept. 29 at a salary of $350,000 a year. He succeeds Tay Yoshitani, who is retiring as CEO at the end of the month after seven years. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI SEP 12 2014
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
E WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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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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