Friday, August 14, 2015

8/14 Derelict gear, coal terminal, oil pipes, geoducks, safe oysters, drought, power sales, mine safety

Ken Woodside at work
(Bellingham Herald)
Lost nets, crab pots pulled from Puget Sound waters
Divers pulled more than 5,660 derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound’s shallow water — within 105 feet of the surface — as part of the work to remove lost and abandoned gear that had snared and indiscriminately killed marine life, sometimes for decades. Bellingham-based Northwest Straits Foundation led the project. It started in 2002 and ended June 30 this year. About 3,800 crab pots also were removed. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: Long-running effort to remove deadly ghost nets reaches major milestone  Christopher Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Finally, Some Real Rain
Cliff Mass writes: "For almost a week the models have been advertising a significant rain event today (Friday).  And the most recent forecast is no different.  A substantial rain event that will substantially reduce water use for several days and perhaps put some meaningful water into reservoirs.   The first significant rain of the summer…." (Weather Blog)

Coal company buys stake in Gateway Pacific Terminal
Coal producer Cloud Peak Energy has purchased a 49 percent stake in a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, according to a joint announcement by Cloud Peak and majority owner SSA Marine. Cloud Peak paid $2 million up front and will pay up to $30 million in future permitting costs, according to the announcement Thursday, Aug. 13. In the short term, SSA Marine gets an infusion of cash and some relief from what has already been an expensive permitting process. SSA Marine has paid more than $11 million so far for an ongoing environmental review that is scheduled to be completed next year. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Shipping oil by pipeline safer than rail, says Fraser Institute report
While a new study finds transporting crude oil by pipeline is much safer than by rail, pipeline opponents argue there is no safe way to transport oil and given the threat of climate change, the discussion should be how to reduce the need to transport fossil fuels. The Fraser Institute report was released Thursday, ahead of an anticipated rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project by U.S. President Barack Obama. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun)

New blog: Old Japanese Pitcher Throws No-Hitter
Japanese-born Hisashi Iwakuma pitched a no-hitter on Wednesday in Seattle. At 34 years old, Iwakuma is the oldest pitcher since Randy Johnson threw a non-hitter in 2004. That’s according to Tim Booth, the Associated Press sports writer. Did it matter that Iwakuma needed to be identified as Japanese-born by the sports writer?

Geoduck farms expand along with rules and critics
New geoduck farming rules are rolling out across Puget Sound, prompting a renaissance in the clam harvest and a growing movement to stop it. In the last decade, Taylor Shellfish has expanded geoduck farms by 30 acres, with another 25 awaiting permit. They produce 7,000 pounds of geoduck per year, through which hundreds of jobs have been created. Their nursery is filled with tens of thousands of growing geoduck seed…. Now, counties across Puget Sound are adopting the new geoduck rules. That's prompted renewed interest, along with big demand in Asia. The Department of Ecology counts 28 new geoduck farm permits since 2012. However, geoduck growth has also grown grit from critics. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Growers say B.C. oysters are ‘safe to eat raw’ despite Vancouver-wide ban
Vancouver Coastal Health issued an order this week instructing all restaurants to cook their B.C. oysters before serving them to customers, explaining that a naturally occurring bacterium called Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is found in coastal waters, is linked to a rise in gastrointestinal illness. Other health authorities across the province, including on Vancouver Island and in the Fraser Valley, followed suit. Raw oysters harvested elsewhere are unaffected. But the B.C. Shellfish Grower’s Association, which represents about 70 per cent of shellfish growers in the province, disputed that its members had anything to do with the illnesses. Executive director Roberta Stevenson said the province’s oysters are fine when they come out of the water. Kat Sieniuc reports. (Globe and Mail)

If you like to listen: Drowned Out
If you’re a whale, you use your ears to navigate. Unfortunately, humans can have a hard time seeing all the noise they make, and what it’s doing to the world of sound. Christopher Clark can explain. He’s a senior scientist in bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is part of a “listening culture” of scientists. And he knows a lot about whales. This is an audio story about listening. (NPR)

Peninsula drought intensifies; status boosted from severe to extreme
The North Olympic Peninsula's drought status has been upgraded from severe to extreme. The U.S. Drought Monitor announced the change Thursday. The new categorization indicates regional impacts that include major crop and pasture losses and widespread water shortages or restrictions. It is based on multiple factors including soil moisture, rainfall, river flows and groundwater availability. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Drought Cuts Seattle City Light's Revenue By Millions
Seattle’s electric utility says it's taking a big financial hit because of the weather: The lack of rain has affected its ability to produce surplus power to sell in the open market. Its revenue from selling that surplus is down more than 40 percent, KUOW has learned. The utility relies primarily on hydropower, and in this normally wet corner of the country, it typically produces a lot more power than its customers need. Deborah Wang reports. (KUOW)

The Animas River spill and the myth of mine safety
The definition of a mine, said Mark Twain, is a hole in the ground owned by liars. And this month the industry's biggest lie — that it can be trusted with our water — is once again on display as another mining disaster has spilled millions of gallons of toxic mining waste and chemicals into our streams, rivers and lakes. Joel R. Reynolds reports. (LA Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 250 AM PDT FRI AUG 14 2015
TODAY
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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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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