Friday, October 16, 2015

10/16 Humpbacks, BC LNG, Columbia coal, train derail, NW drought, disaster prep, Jude Rubin

Humpback (Andrew Lees/KING)
Humpback whales resurging in Salish Sea  
After traveling north for the summer, humpback whales have migrated back to the Salish Sea. The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) said they've resurfaced in record numbers. “We’ve seen more humpbacks this year than ever, and they’re popping up now everywhere, in the San Juan Islands, Georgia Strait, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, Rosario Strait, Saanich Inlet – repopulating the areas where they were once abundant pre-whaling," said Captain Mark Malleson, veteran whale watch captain for Prince of Whales Whale Watching. " Very exciting time out there now.” Kate Clark reports. (KING)

New blog: Wow! “Clean Up Puget Sound— Now”
Hadn’t heard that in a while so it got me excited last Friday when I saw the Seattle Times editorial headline, “Stop political inaction, clean up Puget Sound — now”. The problem, according to its editorial board, is — guess what? -- politics. The solution, according to its editorial board, is — guess what? -- more politics….

Pacific NorthWest planning 2016 LNG start despite legal challenge
The president of Pacific NorthWest LNG says the energy consortium is poised to start construction next year, undaunted by a native group’s legal challenge of the project’s proposed British Columbia site for exporting liquefied natural gas. “We’re shovel ready, and ready to move ahead as soon as we’ve got the final federal government approvals and final permits,” Michael Culbert said in an interview during an international LNG conference in Vancouver. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is expected to rule in early 2016 on the proposal submitted by Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Review of coal-export project on Columbia River delayed
Local, state and federal regulators have delayed their review of a coal export project along the Columbia River near Longview. The state Department of Ecology said Thursday that a draft environmental impact statement would be out next year, not in November as scheduled. The agency says more time is needed to "ensure reliable and accurate data is used to carry out objective and rigorous" evaluations. Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview wants to build a facility to handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. The coal would arrive on trains from Montana and Wyoming and exported by ships to Asia. (Associated Press)

Nobody injured, nothing spilled in Tacoma train derailment
Nobody was hurt Thursday afternoon when seven cars of a freight train derailed in Tacoma. Gus Melonas with Burlington Northern Sante Fe said the six-engine, 106-car train was heading from Pasco to Seattle when the last seven cars derailed near State Route 509 and Interstate 705 in Tacoma. The train was carrying flour, rock products and ethanol, but the cars that went off the rails were empty, Melonas said. (KOMO)

NOAA: El Nino Means More Drought For Eastern Washington
The latest El Nino forecast report is out from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- and it looks like the drought will continue into next year for most of Washington. NOAA releases regular temperature and precipitation predictions and the latest information confirms what it has been saying for months. El Nino is expected to be very strong in the Pacific at least through January, but the impact on Washington state will be mixed. Lisa Brooks reports. (KUOW) See also: Did the Pacific Northwest Pass the Global Warming Stress Test? Cliff Mass answers. (Weather Blog)

Floods, fires, slides: Experts at Seattle summit bracing for disasters
U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell traveled to Washington Thursday to discuss heightened risk of natural disasters because of climate change. In Oso, Snohomish County, slammed by a mudslide that claimed 43 lives last year, Jewell and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, watched an earthquake- preparedness drill and walked the disaster site. And later in Seattle, Jewell met with a panel of scientists, environmental and tribal leaders on the topics of fire, floods, earthquakes, landslides, sea-level rise and more. Preparedness was the watchword. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

'Bag Monster' conservation leader recognized with Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award in Port Townsend
Judith “Jude” Rubin, who has worked in support of a variety of environmental causes, is this year's recipient of the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award.  “On behalf of the many hundreds of people who collaborated on these important projects, I am deeply honored to accept this award,” Rubin, 50, said Thursday. Rubin's selection for the 11th annual award was announced at a Wednesday breakfast at Fort Worden State Park. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PDT FRI OCT 16 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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