Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5/13 Samish ferry, Shell drill, train rules, oil pipe, Vic sewer, fish cops, oil spill, trail walk, forage fish

(Image: Vigor Industries)
The Samish: Bound for service in the San Juans
Following two months of sea trials and crew training, the Samish, WSF's newest Olympic Class ferry, will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Sunday, June 14, on the eve of the summer sailing season. It will be christened as part of an open house and unveiling at the Anacortes ferry terminal Wednesday, May 20. (San Juan Journal)

Port says to hit brakes; Shell rig coming anyway
Port of Seattle commissioners asked that Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs delay their arrival at Seattle’s waterfront while the port appeals a city ruling that a new permit is needed. But Foss Maritime expects to move ahead with the planned arrival of the Polar Pioneer on Thursday. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Clock ticking on Polar Pioneer's stay in Port Angeles as trip to Seattle nears; Noble Discoverer passes by North Olympic Peninsula  (Peninsula Daily News) And also: Easier for pols to join oil protests than to lead change  Danny Westneat reports. (Seattle Times)

Oil industry sues government over train safety rules
The oil industry went to court Monday over the Obama administration’s new oil train safety rules, challenging the timeline for refitting tens of thousands of tank cars and the requirement for enhanced braking systems on the cars. In its petition for review, filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the American Petroleum Institute called the provisions, unveiled May 1 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, “arbitrary, capricious, (and) an abuse of discretion.” Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

Experts warn expansion of Trans Mountain pipeline poses threat to whales
Marine experts in both Canada and the U.S. are raising concerns about the impact of underwater noise on endangered killer whales and other mammals on a shipping route that will become increasingly busy if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project proceeds. A review of the Trans Mountain proposal by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has warned that an increase in tanker traffic associated with the pipeline project “has the potential to result in sensory disturbance to marine mammals from underwater noise, ranging from auditory injury to behavioural disturbance.” Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Potential sewage-plant sites are all over the map
Beacon Hill Park, Ogden Point and Rock Bay are among 40 potential sites for a sewage-treatment facility on the east side of the capital region. The Eastside Select Committee — a Capital Regional District sewage-treatment subcommittee representing Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich — released a map Tuesday showing public and private properties that have been identified as “technically feasible.” Other potential sites include Banfield Park, Barnard Park, Royal Athletic Park, Windsor Park, Saanich Public Works, Henderson Park and private properties in the Gordon Head-Cadboro Bay and Tillicum south areas…. Each of the member municipalities proposed sites within its boundaries for public consultation. The committee expects to select a site or sites by the end of June. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

Fish & Wildlife: Proposed staff cuts could endanger local seafood eaters
Now more than ever, buying seafood from a local farmers’ market or fancy restaurant could be tainted by toxins or poached from Northwest waters, according to multiple officers from Washington State Fish and Wildlife. State legislators are considering a new budget that could cut eight officers from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Lt. Paul Golden oversees the WDFW’s Statewide Investigative Unit and said, because of staffing cuts over the past two decades and the potential loss of another eight officers, “the state’s economy is at risk, and people’s health is at risk.” Amy Clancy reports. (KIRO)

Feds: Penn Cove boat owner must pay for spill that threatened shellfish
May 12, 2012, was a bad day for Rory Westmoreland, and for Penn Cove’s mussel beds. Westmoreland’s ship Deep Sea – a derelict hulk of a fishing vessel – burned and sank that day while spewing more than 5,500 gallons of oil into waters off Whidbey Island. The spill shut down Penn Cove’s shellfish beds, threatening one of the Puget Sound’s most celebrated harvests. May 12, 2015, can’t have been a whole lot better for Westmoreland – the U.S. Justice Department marked the anniversary with a summons, inviting him to respond to a $2.8 million claim filed against him the day before. Levi Pulkkinen reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Anacortes’ waterfront trail system grows
The community celebrated Saturday the latest addition to the city’s trail system, which opens more of the waterfront to nonmotorized use. Many hit the latest stretch of the paved Guemes Channel Trail this weekend after Saturday’s opening ceremony. The 3,200-foot segment of trail, the second to be completed, extends the Guemes Channel Trail to a total of 5,200 feet (nearly a mile) along the city’s northern waterfront. It was paid for with a $700,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce. Kimberly Cauvel repairs. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Jellyfish Boom As Little Fish Disappear In Puget Sound
Little fish are disappearing from much of Puget Sound, according to a new study. These are the fish that orcas and salmon depend on, and they’re being replaced by ballooning populations of jellyfish, which most fish and seabirds don't eat. That’s why Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill last week to authorize a major study of these "forage fish" in Puget Sound. The study could help provide answers to why herring and other "forage fish" have become so rare and what to do about it. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED MAY 13 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT...THEN 1 TO 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL
 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 7 FT AT
 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.

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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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