Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3/3 Tulips, port sued, WA transport, salmon forecast, hunting hawk, BC protected areas, Yakima spill

Early Skagit tulip (KOMO)
Warm winter bringing out the tulips early at Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Walk around the Puget Sound area and you'll notice trees starting to bloom and perhaps the whirr of a lawn mower or two, even though winter still had a solid 3-4 weeks left in its reign.  Seattle finished up February as the warmest on record, on the heels of a very warm January (and record-warm December) as well, and the early spring-time weather has in tandem brought out the first signs of spring. That applies to the tulips and flowers that normally bloom in April for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. With the warm winter this year, they too are getting a bit of a head start.  Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO)

Environmental groups sue port to block Shell Oil project at Terminal 5
Five environmental groups filed suit against the Port of Seattle Monday, in an attempt to block the lease of West Seattle's Terminal 5 for oil-drilling vessels operated by Shell Oil. The lawsuit seeks to force cancellation of the contract between the port and Seattle-based Foss Maritime, which would operate the site as a base for Shell vessels exploring for oil off Alaska's North Slope…. The suit was filed in King County Superior Court by Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, Seattle Audubon Society, Puget SoundKeeper Alliance and the Washington Environmental Council. Steve Wilhelm reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Senate OKs transportation package, boost in gas tax
Over the objections of most of the chamber’s Democrats, the state Senate on Monday passed a $15 billion transportation packageincluding an 11.7-cent gas tax increase…. The gas-tax bill passed 27 to 22. Lawmakers also passed a spending bill that allocates the money to specific projects…. Many Democrats opposed to the proposal cited environmental concerns, including a provision intended to keep Gov. Jay Inslee from enacting low-carbon fuel standards as a way to cut greenhouse gases. Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Washington Lt. Governor Tosses Two-Thirds Rule For 'New' Taxes  Austin Jenkins reports. (KUOW)

Strong pink salmon run expected in 2015, as well as chinook in the ocean and Columbia River
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife Monday in Olympia released the forecasts for salmon runs in Puget Sound, Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.… Slightly more than 900,000 fall chinook are expected to return to the Columbia River this year. That would be the third largest run on record since 1938, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator. The ocean abundance of Columbia River coho this year is expected to be nearly 777,000 fish, down from 964,000 last year. Jeffrey P. Mayor reports. (Olympian)

If you like to watch: Hawk Cam Captures the Hunt
Thanks to a helmet camera, researchers discovered that a goshawk mixes its methods of chasing its prey. Poh Si Teng and James Gorman report. (NY Times)

New bill adds to B.C. parks, protected areas
A new bill introduced Monday would add more than 1,500 hectares to B.C.’s protected areas and parks, according to the B.C. environment ministry. Bill 8 — the Protected Areas of B.C. Amendment Act, 2015 — would add land to six parks, increase public safety along Highway 3 (the Crowsnest Highway) and make administrative changes to clarify legal descriptions. Brian Morton reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Crews Work To Clean Up Yakima River Oil Spill
Emergency crews are responding to a 1,500-gallon oil spill in Central Washington’s Yakima River.  The used motor oil has threatened wildlife since it escaped Sunday from an above-ground storage tank at the site of a former feedlot. The heavy oil flowed across a paved area and into an irrigation ditch, known as Sulphur Creek, which drains into the Yakima River. An oil sheen flowed as south as Prosser, about 25 miles away. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Radio)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PST TUE MAR 3 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL
 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 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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