Thursday, October 1, 2015

10/1 Whales, Duwamish swim, refineries, Shell ship, BC pipe, new fish, Van shores, manure no-no

(Hakai Magazine/Mark Garrison)
Whales Through a New Lens
Forty years ago, the world’s whale researchers met in Indiana. The now legendary, but nearly forgotten, meeting changed the way scientists and the public see whales—and it all started with a few photographs. Erich Hoyt recounts. (Hakai Magazine) [Erich Hoyt speaks in the Salish Sea Oct 3, 6, 10, 11 & 13, Orca Tour 2015]

Intertwined Fates: The Orca-Salmon Connection In the Pacific Northwest
Dr. Carl Safina and an expert panel discuss the critical connections between Columbia Basin Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales. Hosted by the Orca Salmon Alliance which is working to prevent extinction of the Southern Resident Killer Whales by recovering the wild Chinook populations upon which the whales depend for their survival. Oct 7, Seattle Aquarium, Brown Paper Tickets

Bainbridge man swims Duwamish to raise awareness of river
Mark Powell slips on his goggles, adjusts his snorkel and drops away from the industrial wasteland at the mouth of the Duwamish River. The rusty barges, crumbling piers and the screech of freight trains give way to a quiet, green-blue world that is startlingly alive…. Powell, who lives on Bainbridge Island, has spent the last several months swimming the entire length of the Duwamish. He started where the 85-mile river begins as a clear trickle on Blowout Mountain near Mount Rainier. He traveled the river in 3- to 7-mile sections, sometimes crawling or wading through shallows. He finished the swim Wednesday in West Seattle, about a mile from the river’s mouth. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

EPA Sets Tougher Pollution Standards For Oil Refineries
The Environmental Protection Agency released new rules Tuesday requiring better monitoring and control of air emissions from  oil refineries, including  five operating in Washington. Refineries are being targeted by the new rules in part because they emit volatile organic chemicals, greenhouse gases and the carcinogenic compound benzene. Officials behind the new rules said they will improve the health of the 6 million Americans who live within 3 miles of a refinery. The EPA’s assistant administrator, Janet McCabe, said this will be especially beneficial for people of color, who are nearly twice as likely to live near a refinery. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Port of Seattle wins Shell Arctic cargo ruling
In a ruling issued Wednesday morning, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe ruled the activities conducted by Foss at Terminal 5 for the Polar Pioneer and its support vessels are permissible cargo terminal uses. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

First Nations’ challenges of Northern Gateway pipeline to be heard in court
Multiple legal challenges aimed at overturning the federal government’s approval of Enbridge Inc. Northern Gateway pipeline plan will be heard starting Thursday. The challenges are expected to bring new scrutiny to Ottawa’s environmental approval process and its responsibility to consult with aboriginal groups. Eight First Nations, four environmental groups and one labour union launched the legal actions, which will be heard at the Federal Court of Appeal over six days in Vancouver. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

Known fish species living in the Salish Sea increases in new report
Coho salmon, Pacific halibut and even the dogfish shark are familiar faces to many people in the Salish Sea region. But what about the Pacific viperfish, northern flashlightfish, dwarf wrymouth or the longsnout prickleback? These colorfully named species and others are compiled in a new, 106-page report that documents all of the fishes that live in the Salish Sea, a roughly 6,500-square-mile region that encompasses Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands. In total, 253 fish species have been recorded in the Salish Sea, and that’s about 14 percent more than in the last count, said Ted Pietsch, co-author of the new report and a University of Washington emeritus professor of aquatic and fishery sciences. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

A healthy future for Vancouver's waterfront
Christianne Wilhelmson comments: "…What if we thought of our shores as a natural resource? With Vancouver’s coastal waters home to 1,200 species, including 119 classified as at-risk within the larger Salish Sea, it isn’t an outrageous idea. After all, our waterfront is a public commodity that allows many of us to work, live, and play in this city. If we see the waterfront as a natural resource and acknowledge that without adequate planning and care it might someday look very different than today, wouldn’t we want to commit to developing a vision for its sustainability in the near and long-term future?" (The Georgia Straight)

Livestock owner near Ferndale fined for manure pollution
The state Department of Ecology has fined a livestock owner $12,000 for polluting waterways with manure north of Bellingham. Ecology officials fined Jim and Victoria Snydar last week for polluting waterways near Ferndale that flow into California Creek in the Drayton Harbor watershed. The penalty cites lack of adequate covered manure storage, improper manure spreading, and accumulations of manure in pastures and areas that slope to water bodies, as factors that led to discharges. (Associated Press)

Commissioners pass quiet zone procedures, but some residents unhappy
Skagit County Commissioners approved procedures on creating railroad quiet zones, but some residents of Blanchard are not optimistic. The proposal dictates that a majority of property owners in a half-mile radius of the proposed quiet zone need to sign a petition with a $2,000 application fee. The county then has 180 days to hold a public meeting and present the estimate to the community and negotiate a funding agreement. The community can either create a road improvement district or fund it independently and has 180 days to come forward with the money, the commissioners decided at the meeting. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

NOAA reports never-seen-before marine life in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Scientists returned from a 28-day research expedition today aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Hi‘ialakai to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, reportng marine life never seen before, including a possible new species of seahorse and a sea star not previously found in Hawaii. The scientists used advanced diving technology to survey reefs within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument at depths up to 300 feet, deeper than what conventional scuba gear allows, NOAA said in a news release today. (Star-Advertiser)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU OCT 1 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 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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