Wednesday, July 15, 2015

7/15 Orcas, Navy easement, Shell drill, undersea habitat, WDFW priorities, toilet-to-tap

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Protecting our Coastal “Salad Bowl”
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "While our planet’s oceans are clearly facing serious health challenges these days, we’re fortunate that many marine and coastal habitats are still alive and relatively healthy. In our little corner of the world, the Salish Sea teems with life in many places, including some of the shores of Haro Strait at the southeastern end of Vancouver Island…."

Listening To Orcas: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us
If you ever thought of Puget Sound Orcas as some kind of magical being, you’re not alone. A new book by local author and investigative journalist David Neiwert details some of their most impressive qualities. “Of Orcas and Men –What Killerwhales Can Teach Us” weaves personal narratives with the latest science. Neiwert says killer whales also have an advanced underwater culture that demonstrates values he thinks humans could learn a lot from. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Navy easement on hold until lawsuit settled
The Navy has suspended its application for a restrictive easement along Hood Canal’s Kitsap County shoreline until a lawsuit over a similar easement on the Jefferson County side is settled. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor applied with the state Department of Natural Resources in August 2013 for an easement from the Hood Canal bridge south to the county line near Holly that would prohibit new commercial wharves, piers, docks and floats. It would comprise a strip of state-owned bedlands from 18 feet below the average low tide to 70 feet down. Ed Friedrich reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Groups want Shell's Arctic plans stopped after ship damaged
Ten environmental groups say a missing icebreaker should be a deal-breaker for Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska's northwest coast. The groups in a letter Tuesday called on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to reject permits sought by Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea because of the absence of the 380-foot icebreaker Fennica while it undergoes repairs…. The groups signing the letter to Jewell are the Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, League of Conservation Voters, Oceana, Audubon Alaska, Greenpeace USA, Ocean Conservancy, Natural Resource Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center and Sierra Club. Dan Joling reports. (Associated Press) See also: Key Piece Of Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet Headed To Portland For Repairs  Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)

Dreaming of an undersea habitat off the coast of Vancouver
Phil Nuytten is not the first person to dream of setting up an undersea habitat, but the businessman is in a rare club of people with an adequate supply of diving suits, mini subs and other equipment to possibly get it done. Over a career that began when he set up a Vancouver-area dive shop at age 15, the president of Nuytco Research Limited has accumulated gear that includes Iron Man-style suits that allow diving to depths of 1,000 feet without subsequent decompression…. But he is also dreaming of something much more ambitious: an undersea habitat about 200 feet below the surface near Vancouver that would serve as a pilot project for a deeper outpost to mine undersea vents. Ian Bailey reports. (Globe and Mail)

The Warm Pacific Helps Keep the Northwest Toasty
Climate scientist Cliff Mass writes: "If one looks at the recent temperatures at Northwest stations for the past month,  one is struck by the fact the minimum temperatures have persistently shifted towards warmer temperatures….  One reason is that we have had very warm water off our coast; the air reaching us has to transverse this warm H2O…." (Weather Blog)

Shellfish management, poaching a WDFW priority
Shellfish poaching is an expensive problem. In a two-hour tide, a poacher can make anywhere from $200 to $800 and sell their take at a reduced price, edging out legitimate businesses. Even worse, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) enforcement are in constant pursuit and they can't catch every offender. This and other findings were shared with a group of about 30 people in a presentation by the WDFW's Rich Childers and Mike Cenci at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce member lunch meeting Monday, July 13. Jonathan Glover reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

San Diego's unusual water recycling program
San Diego’s $3.5 billion plan to fight the drought by recycling sewage into drinking water is forcing state regulators to rewrite their water recycling rule book. State rules call for purified sewer water to be pumped into large natural basins under ground before it can enter the local water supply, partly because that’s how it’s done where water recycling essentially began in Orange County. San Diego’s lack of adequate groundwater basins and aquifers, however, will force local officials to pump the recycled water directly into city reservoirs. David Garrick reports. (San Diego Union Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 248 AM PDT WED JUL 15 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 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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