Wednesday, August 19, 2015

8/19 Hazel Wolf, sewage, citizen scientist, tanker ban, coal port, rewilding, Blob-Godzilla, crab closure, quakes, gulls

Brown creeper (Mike Hamilton/BirdNote)
Hazel Wolf
The writer Paul Bowles said, “Nothing just happens. It depends on who comes along.” For the Audubon Society in Washington State, that “who” was Hazel Wolf. She was a labor activist, environmental campaigner, and life-long champion of causes she believed in. From 1969 until 1997, Hazel Wolf organized Audubon chapters throughout the Pacific Northwest. She made a difference for birds including her favorite, the Brown Creeper, because someone had made a difference for her. It was a calling, though, that nearly didn’t happen... (BirdNote)

Department of Ecology honors Vashon wastewater plant
The Vashon Wastewater Treatment Plant is perfect — according to the performance requirements of the State Department of Ecology (DOE), that is. The plant is one of 127 such operations throughout the state recently recognized for perfect performance by the DOE. The plant passed all environmental tests, analyzed all samples, turned in all state-required reports and avoided permit violations during 2014. It is the first time the plant has been recognized for such an award. Craig Groshart reports. (Vashon Beachcomber0

Sewage treatment: Victoria’s constipated political process needs fixing
The Seattle Times editorial board asks: "Despite decades of ridicule and protest, Victoria continues the foul practice of treating the Puget Sound like a toilet bowl. What will it take, Oh Canada, to bring your sewage treatment into the 20th century?"

New blog: Citizen Scientists – Are They For Real?
Guest blogger Pete Haase writes: "Nowadays, in this business of volunteering in the environmental community around Puget Sound, I see citizen scientists behind every tree and on very beach…. I’m one.  I know this because several “real” scientists have told me so and thanked me for being one!…"

Greens push for supertanker ban on B.C. coast, stronger environmental laws
The federal Green party says Canada needs stronger environmental assessment laws to help defend coastal communities from risky pipeline and tanker schemes. The party also wants a legislated ban on supertankers on British Columbia's coast and a moratorium on drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. (Canadian Press)

Montana officials praise Cherry Point coal port plan
Congressional and business leaders from Montana shrugged off the concerns of environmentalists and praised a coal terminal proposed for Cherry Point. This was no surprise, as coal is an $80 million a year business in Montana, according to U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Republican and Montana’s only House member. No state has more coal in the ground than Montana, the officials said. Zinke and representatives of the Montana Farm Bureau and Montana Chamber of Commerce met with reporters on Tuesday, Aug. 18, after touring the site of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Burrard Inlet restoration boosts Seymour River salmon returns
Salmon numbers in the Burrard Inlet are improving, with the help of a so-called rewilding project put in place following an oil spill in Burnaby, B.C. in 2007, according to a North Shore environmental group. "On the pink salmon I would say the returns are 50 per cent better this year than what we saw two years ago," said Shaun Hollingsworth, president of the Seymour Salmonid Society.  He said he believes the numbers of salmon on the Seymour River have improved in part because of the work being done by the Burrard Inlet Restoration Program. (CBC)

Blob-Godzilla combo to affect B.C. coast weather
What will happen when “the blob” meets “Godzilla” off the coast of the Pacific Northwest this year? The question might sound like science fiction, but B.C. scientists are watching closely. Experts forecast this year could bring one of the most intense El Niño events in recorded history, of such strength that some scientists recently dubbed it the “Godzilla El Niño.” The El Niño is expected to bring another warm, dry winter to southern B.C., and experts are watching to see how it combines with a warm-water phenomenon called “the blob” already being observed off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. John Colebourn and Dan Fumano report. (The Province)

Drought prompts more rule changes for region’s rivers
Drought conditions have prompted changes to rules on 60 rivers and streams in the state. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced changes this week for some dredging and plant removal activities. The changes prohibit or restrict suction dredging for gold and the removing aquatic plants using machinery. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Emergency closure of Dungeness crab fishery in Olympic National Park’s coastal section
To protect people from severe health impacts, fishing for Dungeness crab along the coastal strip of Olympic National Park is closed, effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19…. This emergency closure is designed to protect human health, as levels of the marine toxin domoic acid have exceed health standards in Dungeness crabs along the Washington coast. (Peninsula Daily News)

Cascadia fault chatters and pops with little quakes
Initial results from a program to monitor the Cascadia Subduction Zone in unprecedented detail show that the fault off the Northwest coast isn’t as seismically quiet as it has long appeared. Seafloor seismometers deployed as part of the National Science Foundation’s Cascadia Initiative detected nearly 600 small earthquakes off central Oregon during their first year of operation — quakes that didn’t register on any land-based instruments. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Gull darn it! – Lots of seabirds, lots of guano
The problem with gulls in Port Townsend. John Boone reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED AUG 19 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 9 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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