Friday, August 28, 2015

8/28 Vultures, Lummi coal, Shell drill, Duwamish cleanup, drone fined, Snohomish habitat, new ferry art

Turkey Vulture (Mike Gabelmann/BirdNote)
If you like to watch: Vultures! Nature's Clean-up Crew
In celebration of International Vulture Awareness Day Sept. 5.  Although some of the Turkey Vulture's habits may evoke our disgust, these remarkable birds also inspire our awe. With wingspans approaching six feet, Turkey Vultures ride currents of air to make their spring and fall journeys, and to cover the miles of their home range in summer. Gliding on updrafts, or pushed along by weather fronts, Turkey Vultures rarely need to flap their wings more than ten times in a row. To rise above storms, they ride upward on thermals. (BirdNote)

Lummis done talking, call for decision on coal port
Lummi Nation’s leaders expect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will stop a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. The tribe asked the Corps in January to reject permits for the terminal, claiming the 2,980-foot dock and up to 487 ships per year berthing there would interfere with traditional fishing areas protected by an 1855 treaty. The tribe doesn’t expect its fight against Gateway Pacific Terminal to end there, however. Lummi Nation announced on Thursday, Aug. 27, it had hired Dentons, reportedly the world’s largest law firm, to represent it in future lawsuits related to the terminal. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Environmentalists Appeal To Stop Shell's Return To Seattle
Environment groups have another opportunity to stop a Shell Oil rig from returning to Seattle. They are appealing a Superior Court decision from earlier this summer that the Port of Seattle could host Shell's Arctic drilling fleet without conducting an environmental review. The appeal argues that the port did need to conduct that environmental review. And it says that should be enough to strike down the lease involving Shell. Carolyn Adolph reports. (KUOW)

EPA wants $367,500 penalties on Jorgensen for faulty cleanup work on the Duwamish
Losing patience with faulty work in the heralded cleanup of industrial waste from Seattle’s Duwamish Waterway, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a six-figure penalty against a steel producer that is a major presence on the river. The EPA wants $367,500 in penalties against the Earle M. Jorgensen Co. for repeatedly failing to meet needed and agreed-upon requirements in its portion of the Duwamish cleanup. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Drone operator fined more than $1,000 for allegedly getting too close to orca pod
An American drone operator and photographer have been slapped with hefty fine for allegedly getting too close to a pod of orcas in Washington state.  The footage captured in the Haro Strait, just east of Vancouver Island, is incredible but one of the operators is facing a fine of more than $1,000.  U.S. authorities say the pair's drones were within nine metres of the whales while the regulation requires all vessels should be at least approximately 183 metres back. Tamara Baluja and Tina Lovgreen report. (CBC)

Snohomish River levee breached to open wetlands to salmon recovery
Bulldozers removed about 1,500 linear feet of a levee in the Snohomish River Estuary to reopen 350 acres of wetlands to threatened salmon. The Tulalip Tribes and officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries division say the breach was part of the largest restoration projects so far in the Snohomish watershed. (Associated Press)

Drought forces fishing ban in Nooksack River Basin
Fishing was closed unexpectedly Thursday, Aug. 27, in various areas of the Nooksack River Basin as the drought continues to take its toll on fish. As the drought reduces river flows to a trickle in places and water temperatures increase, spring chinook are dying off in high numbers, many before they can spawn, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Debbie Townsend reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Coast Salish asked to create art for three new ferries
B.C. Ferries has issued a call to Coast Salish people for expressions of interest in creating art for three new vessels — the Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven. Ferries has joined with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to organize the commission of three original designs from up to three Coast Salish artists. B.C. has 20 Coast Salish nations. Expressions of interest and portfolios are being sought, with a committee of artists and B.C. Ferries representatives to select a short list. Those shortlisted will be commissioned to propose specific design concepts, with the final selections to come from that work. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PDT FRI AUG 28 2015

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM PDT EARLY THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 4 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 16 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING S 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 5 TO 8 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 16 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SW WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 17 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 15 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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