Thursday, April 7, 2016

4/7 Peter Goldmark, Vic sewage, oil trains, illegal bulkhead, sick whale, water year, PSP closure

Lady's Mantle (Laurie MacBride)
Transformed by the Rain
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: 'Early each spring, when I begin cleaning up and weeding our garden beds, I tell myself that as soon as the sodden clay soil in the perennial bed dries out just a bit, I should dig up most of the Lady’s Mantle. For despite its genteel name, in our garden this muscular plant is highly invasive. Its roots take hold with superglue strength, its foliage spreads like wildfire, and it readily self-sows if its flower heads aren’t cut off quickly. No matter how hard I’ve tried to keep it in check, Lady’s Mantle has had the nasty habit of crowding out other, more delicate flower species that I’d hoped would flourish. So each spring I say to myself, “Enough!” But then it rains – and I can’t help but notice the sheer beauty that emerges when water droplets shine like strings of pearls along the edges of the Lady Mantle’s water-repellent leaves….'

Goldmark declines to say why he’s halting bid for third term at state lands office
Peter Goldmark’s surprise decision to end his bid for a third term in office as state lands commissioner leaves the race open for the key position that leads the Department of Natural Resources. Goldmark announced his withdrawal from the race Tuesday evening with a brief posting on Facebook that said he had decided — after talking with his family — not to run. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Public advised to stay out of Ross Bay waters after sewage malfunction
The public is being warned not to swim or wade in Ross Bay after raw sewage went into the water off Clover Point. Capital Regional District officials said unscreened sewage was discharged through a short outfall for about 30 minutes early Wednesday. A mechanical failure at the Clover Point pump station is to blame. (Times Colonist)

Ecology taking comment on potential oil transportation rules
The state Department of Ecology announced Wednesday it is taking public input on two proposed rules to improve oil transportation safety. One of the rules would require facilities receiving crude oil by train — including the Tesoro and Shell refineries near Anacortes — and pipelines delivering oil to provide notices to Ecology…. The other rule would require railroad companies that transport oil in bulk, such as BNSF Railway, to have contingency plans in place showing the company is prepared to respond to potential oil spills. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Reports of illegal armoring on Blakely Island
A potentially illegal bulk head built at Armittage Cove on Blakely Island has caught the attention of the local Community Development and Planning department and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Over the winter of 2010 winter storms caused bank blowouts along the driveway of a property owned by Whaleback LLC and the Runstad family of Seattle. They allegedly began work without local or state approval on a rock armoring wall along the beach bank adding up to more than 500 feet, with a few breaks due to natural rocks. In 2011 the Department of Community Development and Planning office informed the owners they would need a shoreline permit for the bulkhead. In 2012 they submitted an application for a permit, after the bulk head was completed but their site plan was deemed incomplete, according to Lee McEnery, Planner III for the Community Development and Planning office. In 2015 the property owners applied for an exemption from the shoreline permit. In the meantime their plan is still inaccurate as the armoring was omitted from the plan though, according to McEnery, the owners say their surveyor is working on it. The planning office gave them a deadline of April 1 to turn in the corrected paperwork. As of press time the paperwork had not been corrected. (San Juan Journal)

Gray whale spotted in Ballard Locks may be ill
A gray whale took an unusual swim through the Ballard Locks on Wednesday, exciting onlookers and catching the attention of scientists, who believe the mammal is sick. The emaciated whale spent hours Wednesday in the busy Seattle waterway. Tens of thousands of grays migrate this time of year from Mexico to Arctic waters, said NOAA Fisheries spokesman Michael Milstein. Some grays spend time in Puget Sound. But this whale’s route through the locks, a popular spot for boaters and tourists, is unusual, he said, suggesting the animal is unhealthy and struggling. Jessica Lee reports. (Seattle Times)

It’s been a wet ride through the first half of the 2016 ‘water year’
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "With half of our “water year” in the record books, 2016 is already being marked down as one of the wettest years in recent history. The water year, as measured by hydrologists, runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 each year, so we will be in WY 2016 for nearly six more months. If things keep going as they are, we will see some new lines plotted on the rainfall charts…."

North Whatcom beaches closed to recreational shellfish harvesting
The state Department of Health has closed beaches in northern Whatcom County to recreational shellfish harvesting because of unsafe levels of the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning on beaches in Birch Bay and Drayton Harbor. The ban affects beaches from Sandy Point north to the Canadian Border, including Point Roberts. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  244 AM PDT THU APR 7 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 

TODAY
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT  AT 11 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 S WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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