Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2/4 Rains, Polley spill, Lummi coal, oil trains, salmon climate, Strait book, enviro ed, Pier 4, halibut, more bird flu

More heavy rain coming to Metro Vancouver  And see: Forecast: Heavy rains, mild temps across Washington

Mount Polley spill: Search warrants executed at Imperial Metals
The B.C. Conservation Service executed search warrants at the Mount Polley mine and the Vancouver offices of its owner Imperial Metals Tuesday night, in relation to the spill of 25 million cubic metres of waste from the mine's tailings pond last August. Insp. Chris Doyle with the conservation service said the search warrants were issued to support a joint investigation by the B.C. Conservation Service, the RCMP, Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. (CBC) See also: Vaughn Palmer: A ‘dangerous game’ at Mount Polley preceded disaster, according to senior engineer

Lummi Nation rejects coal terminal applicant’s invitation to negotiate
Lummi Nation sent another clear message about a proposed coal terminal on Tuesday, Feb. 3: Under no terms will it accept Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, an area near the Lummi Reservation with cultural and economic value to the tribe. Lummi Chairman Tim Ballew responded Tuesday to a Friday, Jan. 30, request from terminal proponent SSA Marine to meet face to face and discuss how to “harmonize the facility with the environment.” Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Legislation Would Mandate Bigger Crews On Oil Trains
A growing number of oil trains rolling through Washington has  emergency responders and rail workers calling for bigger crews on board to better protect human health and the environment. A set of  bills, one introduced in the House and one in the Senate, would require all freight trains coming through Washington to have a minimum of two crew members. Trains carrying hazardous materials would be required to have a third crew member at the rear of the train. Oil trains more than 50 cars long would be required to have two crew members at the rear of the train. Oil trains can be more than a mile long, but they are currently only required to have crew members at the front. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix) See also: Should oil trains' schedules be public knowledge?  John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

Puget Sound salmon face more ups and downs in river flows
Many salmon rivers around Puget Sound have experienced increasing fluctuations in flow over the past 60 years, just as climate change projections predict - and that's unfortunate news for threatened Chinook salmon, according to a new analysis of salmon survival and river flow. More pronounced fluctuations in flow can scour away salmon eggs and exhaust young fish, especially when lower flows force adult fish to lay eggs in more exposed areas in the center of the channel. The new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology says such increased flow variability has the most negative effect on salmon populations of several climate factors considered. (Phys.org)

Coffee-table book looks at Georgia Strait
The Sea Among Us (By Richard Beamish and Gordon McFarlane) is the ultimate coffee-table book and reference material for all who live by and love the beauty of the Strait of Georgia.... This is the first book to present a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia in all aspects, featuring chapters on geology, oceanography, invertebrates and marine plants, fish, marine mammals, birds, and human history. It was written with the intended purpose of providing sound science and an expansive view of the Strait of Georgia to decision-makers who find themselves responsible for the management of the Strait. Pascale Archibald reports. (Nexus)

Environmentalists stress value of knowledge
Skagit County is a hub for environmental education, from the North Cascades Institute in the mountains to the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on Padilla Bay. As an agricultural center and outdoor recreation destination, the valley is also deeply reliant on the soil, water and wildlife, culturally and economically. But what makes environmental education important? Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tracking Down the Owner of Seattle’s Latest Foot Discovery
Nestled in the snug confines of Elliott Bay, Washington, a quiet stretch of beach called Centennial Park plays host to joggers, fishermen, and other Seattleites who have discovered the area's undisturbed bliss. On any given day, much like other Seattle beaches, trash and garbage of all kinds can be found washed up on the park’s shores. Early on a Tuesday last May, a volunteer group cleaning up trash on the park’s beaches came across something far more gruesome than the usual beer cans and candy wrappers: a tennis shoe filled with the decomposing remains of a human foot. Spencer Davis reports. (Pacific Standard)

Port of Tacoma planning Pier 4 demolition
The Port of Tacoma commission Thursday will consider authorizing demolition of Pier 4 in a project that ultimately will equip the port to handle the new generation of monster-sized container ships. The razing of Pier 4 on the west side of the Blair Waterway north of East 11th Street is the next step in creating a nearly-3000-foot-long pier that could berth two ultra-large containerships at once. The port has already strengthened the adjacent Pier 3 and equipped it with wider gauge rails on which new larger container cranes can operate to load and unload the gigantic new ships. John Gille reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

State project to pull invasive weeds in Port Townsend
A Puget SoundCorps team plans to work with City staff and volunteers in February 2015 to remove English Ivy and English Holly from Sather Park Woods; and Spurge Laurel, English Ivy, English Holly and Scot's Broom from the forested uplands of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park. These invasive non-native plants challenge native species for resources, and in some cases even kill trees. Once the invasives are gone, native vegetation is to be planted where warranted. (Port Townsend Leader)

Halibut fishing in Bering Sea continues despite supply concerns
Halibut fishing will forge ahead in the Bering Sea this year, despite warnings of a closure that could have choked off much of the year-round supply of the fish to consumers and restaurants and put hundreds of fishermen out of work. The Bering Sea accounts for one-sixth of the halibut caught in the United States. The catch includes most of the frozen supply that sustains restaurants, food-service companies and retail stores nationwide, such as Costco and Whole Foods. The crisis affecting the fish stems from a clash between hook-and-line fishers, who reel in the popular halibut, and two classes of trawl boats whose nets inadvertently kill the fish. Lee Van Der Voo reports. (Investigate West)

Another New Case Of Bird Flu Pops Up In Northern Wash. State
Another new case of bird flu has popped up in northern Washington state. This one is a hobby and 4-H program flock in Oroville, Washington, not far from the Canadian border. It’s mostly chickens and waterfowl. Another, larger flock 40 miles south in Riverside, Washington is on the chopping block as early as Tuesday. Anna King reports. (KPLU)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PST WED FEB 4 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 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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