Friday, May 1, 2015

5/1 Coal port, rail fees, whaling, toxic spray, tugboat grant, sea lice, Bowen shore, sub volcano, Tesla battery

May Day 2015
Northwest tribes stand with Lummis at Cherry Point in opposition to coal port
Speaking in the Lummi language, tribal chief Bill James told a crowd assembled Thursday, April 30, on the Gulf Road beach at Cherry Point that a late elder once brought him to the site and told him, “This is the place of our ancestors from long ago. They need to be protected.” Speeches by Lummi tribal members and a seaside lunch featuring prawns, crabs and halibut fished from Puget Sound marked the end of the two-day Tribal Habitat Conference, where Puget Sound tribes shared stories about habitat restoration — and degradation. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables
U.S. senators from six states on Thursday proposed that the government charge companies a special fee to ship oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids in older railroad tank cars that have been involved in fiery explosions. The fee would start at $175 and increase to $1,400 per car by 2018. It would raise an estimated $600 million to train first responders, clean up spills and relocate rail tracks around populated areas. The proposal would be paired with tax breaks for upgrades to newer tank cars, so they can better withstand derailments. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Whaling opponent changes mind to support Makah tribe's request; turnaround shocks those at Port Angeles meeting
At least one mind changed sides Wednesday at a public meeting on the Makah tribe's request to resume whaling, turning upon a flow of tears shed by a man who said he'd swum with whales. Gary Michael Lee of Salt Spring Island, B.C., led off the 19 people who testified at a NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service public hearing... He first urged NOAA Fisheries administrators to deny the Makah request for a waiver from the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But after 18 others had spoken — 15 in favor of whaling — Lee returned to the lectern about an hour later and tearfully renounced his point of view. “I've listened to all this testimony, and I'm moved,” he said. “These [whales] are valuable creatures, but a deal [the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay] has been made. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Plan to put neurotoxin on oyster beds distresses restaurants
A plan to spray pesticide over the sizable oyster beds at Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor is raising concerns with chefs and their diners. Renee Erickson was on the phone to her oyster suppliers as soon as she heard the news about Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. As chef/owner of several Seattle restaurants, including renowned oyster bar The Walrus and The Carpenter, the region’s famous bivalves are her bread and butter, so she was “horrified” by a newly approved plan to spray some Washington oyster beds with imidacloprid, a neurotoxic pesticide, starting as soon as low tide on May 17. Bethany Jean Clement reports. (Seattle Times)

Big grant to help preserve ‘Tugboat Annie’ vessel
Congrats to Northwest Seaport for securing an $87,000 grant to help preserve of the historic Arthur Foss tugboat, which was featured in the classic movie Tugboat Annie. Built in 1889, the boat has a long and storied past, including roles on the Columbia River towing sailing vessels cross the bar, carting miners and others up the coast during the Yukon Gold Rush, and narrowly escaping Japanese forces as they invaded Wake Island during World War II. The boat is part of the collection of historic ships maintained by Northwest Seaport and moored near the Museum of History and Industry at South Lake Union in Seattle. Marty McOmber reports. (Three Sheets Northwest)

Sea lice limit young salmon’s ability to get food
Sea lice could be affecting wild salmon stocks, according to a new study by a Simon Fraser University-led team of researchers that found a link between sea lice infestation and the ability of juvenile sockeye salmon to forage for food. The competitive foraging experiment was conducted in part by Sean Godwin, a doctoral biology student at SFU. Godwin found that highly infected juvenile sockeye salmon were 20 per cent less successful at consuming food, on average, than lightly infected fish. Shawn Conner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Bowen’s beaches help to feed the Salish Sea
A healthy shoreline is good for human security, ecology and economics, and Bowen’s shores have a lot of potential, says biologist Ramona DeGraaf. DeGraaf sampled soft-sediment beaches all around Bowen last October to assess their suitability for forage fish spawning, and delivered the results to council this week. “I sampled 75 beach units, with a beach unit being an area no more than 300 metres long. Fourty beach units I sampled equalling 3.4 kilometers, are amenable for surf smelt or Pacific sand lance spawning,” says De Graaf. “Being a Howe Sound Island, the shoreline is mostly made up of hard rock, limiting the amount of shoreline that is available in the first place.” (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

Did she blow? NW submarine volcano likely just erupted
More than 80 scientists from around the world gathered in Seattle last week to discuss a thrilling development: For the first time, seafloor instruments were providing a real-time look at the most active, submarine volcano off the Northwest coast — and all signs indicated it might erupt soon. But even the researchers most closely monitoring Axial Seamount were stunned by what happened next. Beginning Thursday, April 23 — the day after the workshop ended — the new sensors recorded 8,000 small earthquakes in a 24-hour period. The volcano’s caldera, which had been swelling rapidly from an influx of magma, collapsed like a deflated balloon. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Tesla expanding battery technology to homes, businesses
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric-car company’s battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages. Michael Liedtke and Jonathan Fahey reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI MAY 1 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT
 AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
N WIND 10 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
NW WIND 10 TO 20 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT IN THE EVENING...THEN LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 6
 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND TO 10 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 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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