|(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)|
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "It seems that in gardening, as in real estate, it’s “all about location”. When the plants in the photo above appear in my flower or veggie beds, I call them “weeds” and rip them out – especially if they’re about to set seed. But when they grow in a small grassy area outside our garden fence, near the edge of the forest, I call them “a wild flower meadow”….
SSA Marine: We need more time to respond to Lummi concerns about coal terminal
The company that would build a coal terminal at Cherry Point told a federal agency it needs more time to respond to a tribe’s request to shut down the project. Seattle-based SSA Marine said in a May 12 letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers it needs about 90 days to respond in full to Lummi Nation’s claims that the terminal and associated vessel traffic would interfere with the tribe’s traditional fishing practices, as protected in an 1855 treaty. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)
A flotilla protesting 'bomb trains' planned for final round of U.S. Open
Players dissatisfied with the rub of the green at Chambers Bay apparently won’t be the only protesters at the U.S. Open next month. Several groups — Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Backbone Campaign, and the People’s Climate Action Fleet — are planning an offshore environmental protest during the final round of the Open. John Strege reports. (Golf Digest)
Tesoro Announces Rail Car Upgrades
Oil company Tesoro announced Monday it’s upgrading the fleet of tank cars it uses to carry crude oil by rail. The company moves crude oil by train through the Pacific Northwest to its refinery in Anacortes, Washington. Officials with the company said it will add 210 “enhanced” tank cars. According to Tesoro executives, the new tank cars exceed federal standards announced earlier this month. A company spokeswoman said they expect to have about half of the cars in service before the end of the year. Conrad Wilson reports. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Oil pipeline spills about 21K gallons off California coast
A broken pipeline spilled 21,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean before it was shut off Tuesday, creating a slick stretching about 4 miles along the central California coastline, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Authorities responding to reports of a foul smell near Refugio State Beach around noon found a half-mile slick already formed in the ocean, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. They traced the oil to the onshore pipeline that spilled into a culvert running under the U.S. 101 freeway and into a storm drain that empties into the ocean. (Associated Press)
BNSF won’t face possible fine on oil spill reporting until January http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/05/19/4302481/bnsf-wont-face-possible-fine-on.html
It likely will be January 2016 before it is decided if BNSF Railway should face fines for what state rail regulators said was improper reporting of crude oil and other hazardous materials spills. BNSF, the largest railroad operating in Washington, met with state Utilities and Transportation Commission representatives Monday, May 18, to schedule a hearing related to more than a dozen hazardous materials spills across the state between Nov. 1, 2014, and Feb. 24, 2015. The parties asked to meet again at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 19, 2016, at the commission’s hearing room in Olympia, in order to accommodate summer vacations and ensure there is enough time to complete testimony or come up with a settlement by this fall, said UTC spokeswoman Amanda Maxwell. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Using Fish Ear Bones To Track Salmon
If you were to catch a salmon in Puget Sound, chances are you won’t be able to say exactly where that fish came from. That’s because salmon spawn in rivers and streams and then swim hundreds or even thousands of miles to the ocean to mature. Some new research could help fisheries managers better protect salmon by studying their ear bones - that’s right, ear bones. They're called otoliths and they help fish with balance and hearing. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of fish, but they share a common, very cool, growth pattern. Each year, the otolith adds a ring, just like a tree trunk. Those rings are incredibly valuable to scientists like Sean Brennan because they reveal where the fish spent time over the course of that year. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)
Orca calf and mom spotted inside Columbia’s entrance
Commercial fishermen returning from a shrimp trip spotted two orcas about two miles inside the Columbia River earlier this week. Clint Beasley, who operates the Brookings, Ore.-based fishing vessel Prolifik, snapped a photo: two dorsal fins, one large and one small, rise above the water. The crew of the Prolifik said the orcas swam close to the boat before moving on. Beasley said he thought the orcas were a calf and its mom. (Chinook Observer)
Councilman seeks to overturn Lacey plastic bag ban
A Lacey city councilman, armed with some recent data, is set to discuss the city’s current plastic bag ban, a ban he hopes can be overturned or at least put to a vote of the people. Councilman Lenny Greenstein has initiated the conversation, and the larger discussion will take place during a Lacey City Council work session set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Lacey City Hall, 420 College St. SE…. The Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, made up of elected officials from each jurisdiction, began the plastic bag ban ordinance process more than two years ago. But as part of the process in developing the ordinance, the stakeholders agreed to a follow-up survey six months after the ordinance took effect, said Terri Thomas, waste reduction supervisor for the county. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED MAY 20 2015
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
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