Monday, April 11, 2016

4/11 Vic sewer, Vaughn Bay, Jericho Lands, wetlands bank, fossil fuel terminals, gray whales, leaded water

(PHOTO: David Horemans/CBC)
In bloom: A look at cherry blossom season around the world
Cherry blossom season is in full bloom around the world. From the gardens of Tokyo to Vancouver's Stanley Park, it's a sea of eye-popping pink and white. (CBC)

City of Victoria’s sewage focus wrong, critics say
Everything from dust to design will be under consideration as Victoria moves to develop policies for siting a sewage treatment plant in the city. But Coun. Geoff Young says the city is putting the cart before the horse and by developing policies on how to site a treatment plant, it will be perceived as advocating for it rather than adjudicating whether it’s the right fit…. Mayor Lisa Helps, however, said the hope is to put a set of principles into the process. The Capital Regional District’s latest sewage-treatment plan has identified Victoria’s Clover Point and Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point/Macaulay Point as sewage-treatment sites and has asked the two municipalities to consult their residents about the areas’ suitability.  Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist) See also: Clover Point sewage plant push vexes nearby residents  Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

Shellfish restrictions in Vaughn Bay force Pierce County to act
The rocky shoreline in front of Dale Skrivanich’s house is peppered with empty oyster shell clusters and other marine debris. Her home overlooks Vaughn Bay, a relatively calm saltwater cove on the eastern shore of the Key Peninsula…. Fluctuating bacteria levels over the years have prompted regulators to adopt a patchwork of shellfish harvesting restrictions. The most recent were issued Aug. 5 by the state Department of Health. That’s when 55 acres of commercial shellfish beds were downgraded from an “approved” status to “conditionally approved.” The downgrade means Goodro Shellfish and Dabob Bay Oyster, the two commercial entities that harvest shellfish from the affected area, must first consult the rain gauge before digging. If an inch or more of rain falls in a 24-hour period, the area is closed to harvesting for five days, according to state regulations. It also triggered a state requirement that the county form a Shellfish Protection District to focus on cleaning up the water that feeds the bay. Brynn Grimley reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

After First Nations purchase, what's in store for Jericho Lands?
Three British Columbia First Nations have paid nearly half a billion dollars for a prime piece of real estate on the west side of Vancouver. However, it's still unclear what plans are in store for one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the city's pricey west side.  The Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations nations purchased the 15.7-hectare parcel known as the Jericho Lands from the province for $480 million. The First Nations said in a news release that the property overlooking Jericho Beach Park in the West Point Grey neighbourhood was once the site of a First Nations village. (Canadian Press)

What the heck is that? Port’s wetland bank near Puyallup repays development elsewhere
The 40-acre site between River Road and Pioneer Way draws curious glances from passing commuters. It’s a $9 million mitigation project by the Port of Tacoma, the result of a settlement with the EPA. The site design restores historic channel of Clear Creek while building fish-friendly habitat. Sean Robinson reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

‘Fat Lady About To Sing’ On Gateway Pacific Export Terminal Permits Near Bellingham
The next few months will be crucial in determining whether the West Coast serves as a gateway to the Pacific Rim for U.S. exports of fossil fuels. Anti-coal- and oil-train activists say their work, combined with global economic realities, is pointing increasingly toward a future free from energy exports that move through Northwest ports. After years of heated debate, only two of six coal export facilities that were originally proposed for the Northwest are still in play. Many of the energy companies backing them have gone bankrupt or sold off their interests as the overseas markets for U.S. coal and oil products have deteriorated. Now, only the plans for Longview in Southwest Washington and Gateway Pacific near Bellingham’s Cherry Point remain. And earlier this month, the company behind the Gateway Pacific proposal suspended work on its environmental impact statement.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

On Whidbey and Camano, the whales are a sight to behold
Despite being packed with more than two dozen people, the deck of the Mystic Sea was dead silent. No one made a whisper. Suddenly, tick, tick, tick — the silence was broken with snapping cameras and excited yells. Gray whales. They’d found them. The cycle of silence and snapping repeated again and again. Whale season is in full swing, and the ruckus is a common occurrence on whale watching boats running out of Langley’s little marina, South Whidbey Harbor. The gray whales, or Saratoga grays as they are often called, have nearly iconic status on Whidbey and Camano Islands due to their annual visits to the Saratoga Passage and Possession Sound to feed on their favorite snack — ghost shrimp, also known as mud or glass shrimp. Kyle Jensen reports. (Whidbey News-Times)

JBLM suspends proposal to send helicopters to North Cascades 
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is putting a controversial helicopter training proposal back in the hangar while it looks for high-altitude sites in the state where its aviation crews can train without disrupting hikers and campers. Its initial proposal drew strong criticism from outdoors advocates who especially opposed the Army’s selection of a site in a wilderness area near Leavenworth. The Army received 2,350 written comments about the plan, including a coordinated campaign from small-business owners in Leavenworth who worried that military helicopters would drive away tourists. Adam Ashton reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

More than 60 Northwest water systems exceed federal lead limits
More than 60 water systems in Oregon, Idaho and Washington have reported samples above federal lead limits during the last three years, according to an Associated Press analysis of test results reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A total of eight water systems in Washington have reported water samples above the limit since 2013, including the Washington State Patrol Academy, according to the analysis. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  231 AM PDT MON APR 11 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT  AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN OR DRIZZLE IN THE MORNING.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS  AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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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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