Thursday, July 30, 2015

7/30 Shell drill, anchorage, drought conflict, warm waters, Big One, bull kelp, toxic spills, Polley mine, fish names

St. John’s Bridge, Portland ( Mike Zacchino /Oregonian)
Protesters in Portland dangle from bridge in a bid to block Shell icebreaker
Protests against Shell’s off-shore Arctic drilling took a dramatic turn in the pre-dawn hours Thursday as 13 Greenpeace activists suspended themselves on ropes from a bridge above the Willamette River here in a bid to stop an icebreaker from heading north to the Chukchi Sea. The 380-foot icebreaker, the MSV Fennica, must be on hand in the Chukchi before Shell can drill into oil-bearing zones where the company hopes to make a major new find. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Proposed freighter anchorages anger islanders
The owner of a multi-million dollar home on Gabriola Island says he’ll fight the establishment of five proposed anchorages for freighters less than a kilometre from shore all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if he has to. “NIMBY? You bet,” said Ted Fullerton, who moved into the view home on the island near Nanaimo four years ago and worries about decreasing property values. “It’s heavy industry in my back yard. I don’t want it here and they can’t get away with it.” Susan Lazaruk reports. (The Province)

In drought, conflict emerges between fish and man
…. Government and the courts now protect “in-stream” flows for salmon, other critters, aesthetics, and more. In Washington, salmon have a special place in the calculations. Endangered Species Act listings and the treaty rights of Indian tribes make it impossible to just forget about the fish. Nevertheless, spurred by the current lack of summer water, some people are trying to forget, while others, for transparent reasons of self-interest, are steadfastly remembering. Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

Warm waters bring more restrictions on salmon fishing in Tulalip
The continuing drought in Washington state has led the Department of Fish and Wildlife to put more restrictions on salmon fishing in Tulalip. Significantly fewer summer-run chinook are showing up in tribal and state hatcheries. Any salmon caught by anglers is one less fish that can be used for brood stock, said the Tulalip Tribes' Mike Crewson. Water temperatures in rivers and streams have been high for most of the summer, and now Tulalip Bay has been getting too warm for the fish, providing a barrier to migration for chinook returning to the tribes' hatchery off Tulalip Creek. Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald) See also: B.C. drought forces closure of another fishery  Drought conditions in British Columbia have forced the closure of another fishery in the province's southern Interior. The Okanagan Nation Alliance has suspended the commercial and recreational sockeye salmon fishery on Osoyoos Lake after high water temperature led to more fish disease, infection and death.  (Canadian Press)

How To Stay Safe When The Big One Comes
For most of the past three years, I’ve worked as a book critic, which is not a job that affords me many opportunities to scare the living daylights out of my readers. (Authors, occasionally; readers, no.) But earlier this month, when a story I wrote about a dangerous fault line in the Pacific Northwest hit the newsstands, the overwhelming response was alarm. “Terrifying,” the story kept getting called; also “truly terrifying,” “incredibly terrifying,” “horrifying,” and “scary as fuck.” “Don’t read it if you want to go back to sleep,” one reader warned. “It’s hard to overhype how scary it is,” Buzzfeed said. “New Yorker scares the bejesus out of NW,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote. Kathryn Schuulz reports. (The New Yorker)

Little is known about bull kelp, which nearly all marine life here relies on
When bull kelp washes ashore in the fall, it's almost too tempting for any kid to leave alone. It provides a ready-made whip or, if cut right, a natural wind instrument. The slick, greenish-brown plant with a bulbous end is such a feature of the beach landscape that it's easy to take for granted. Yet little is known about its presence in the waters of north Puget Sound. Where does it grow? Is it growing back in the same places after it dies off each fall? Is it thriving or declining? Bull kelp has disappeared in parts of south and central Puget Sound, but the situation farther north is unclear. With those thoughts in mind, volunteers from Snohomish County's Marine Resources Committee paddled out in kayaks for several days in mid-July. They left from beaches in Edmonds, Meadowdale and Mukilteo to perform a first-of-its-kind survey, in collaboration with other communities around the Sound.  Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Tacoma tideflats recycling company fined again for toxic spills
For the second time in five months, the state has fined a Tacoma recycling company for spilling toxic waste into Commencement Bay. Emerald Services, Inc., a waste-management company on the Tacoma tideflats, was fined $99,000 by the state Department of Ecology for two back-to-back spills on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 of 2014. A tank overflowed and spilled 100 gallons of “dangerous waste solvent” into the water, the department said. The spill was the result of employee error, officials said, highlighting shortcomings in training. Stacia Glenn reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Mount Polley tailings pond cleanup completes first phase
The first phase of the cleanup operation triggered by the Mount Polley tailings pond collapse has been completed. On Aug. 4, 2014, the massive dam storing tailings from the gold and copper mine gave way, spilling 24 million cubic metres of mine waste and water into nearby lakes and rivers. The phase one cleanup was meant to stabilize a creek and ensure water quality. (CBC)

You Say Striped Bass, I Say Rockfish. What's In A Fish Name?
Order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, and you’ll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a Vermilion rockfish, a Pacific Ocean perch or one of dozens of other fish species on your plate. This jumble of names is perfectly legal. But it’s confusing to diners — and it can also hamper efforts to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud, says the ocean conservation group Oceana. Clare Leschin-Hoar reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUL 30 2015
TODAY
VARIABLE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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