|Mosier, OR, 6/3/16 (Seattle Times)|
The origin of the sheen is not known. Crews laid down more booms Saturday and were assessing the size of the sheen, a day after the oil-train derailment outside Mosier, Ore. Hal Bernton and Lynda Mapes report. (Seattle Times) See also: Oil train derails, on fire in Columbia River Gorge (Seattle Times) And also: Mosier, Ore., moves to halt traffic on rail line after derailment Union Pacific Railroad says it appears some sort of track failure caused the derailment of 16 oil tanker cars near Mosier, Ore., causing the fire and oil spill. Mike Carter and Daniel Gilbert report. (Seattle Times)
Trainmen long used to hazmat cargo, but oil trains pose special risk
From chlorine gas to anhydrous ammonia, train conductors and engineers deal regularly with hazardous cargo. But mile-long trains of nothing but volatile Bakken crude are especially dangerous. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: 'We are playing catch-up' to oil-train threats in Washington state Washington isn’t ready for an oil-train derailment. Those trains — made up entirely of black, sealed cars and carrying hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil — are relatively new to Washington, rolling through some of the state’s most populous and environmentally sensitive areas. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)
Anti-coal activists, coal port supporters clash in Tri-Cities
Anti-coal activists squared off against pro-business interests Thursday as Pasco hosted the third and final hearing on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal at Longview. The two-part hearing attracted about 100 red-shirted coal activists and an equal number of blue-shirted supporters of the coal export plan to TRAC. Wendy Culverwell reports. (Tri-City Herald)
Heat records broken Sunday in Puget Sound (KIRO) It's hot in Metro Vancouver. Really hot. (Vancouver Sun)
Salish Sea 'slime' vital for shorebirds
IIf you have ever been to an estuary in the Salish Sea, then you’re probably familiar with the scuzzy green stuff that sits atop the mud when the tide is out. And when it got all over your shoes, you may have even referred to it by one of several less-than-flattering nicknames: scum, slime, snot. The scum/slime/snot is actually a living assemblage called biofilm: a dense layer of diatoms, primarily, along with organic detritus and sediment, all of which is held together by the microbes’ sticky cells to form what biologists refer to as a mucilaginous matrix. Biofilm was known to be a food source for benthic invertebrates, as well as a few species of fish, but only recently have scientists begun to understand better just how central a role it plays in the lives of migrating shorebirds. And this knowledge could have significant implications for development projects proposed in sensitive estuaries. (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound Magazine)
Whatcom County beaches now safe for recreational shellfishing
Recreational shellfish harvesting in Birch Bay is safe once again since biotoxin levels have dropped, the state Department of Health said Friday, June 3. With that announcement, all Whatcom County beaches have been reopened to harvesting. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)
The raw truth about Washington’s oysters
Oysters: Some people love them, some people hate them, but this week, all shall celebrate them. Yes, Washington Shellfish Week is upon us, as declared by a January 15 ceremonial proclamation by Gov. Jay Inslee. From June 4 to 11, oyster lovers will be able to study, shuck and slurp up oysters to their hearts’ content at events across Puget Sound. The week-long shellfish shindig is a only a small part of Inslee’s ongoing Washington Shellfish Initiative, designed to protect and promote local shellfish farming, an industry that shaped our state in its beginnings, and still one of the most important sectors of the state’s agricultural economy. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)
Plenty of Dungeness crab to catch this summer in Puget Sound
One early sign that it could be shaping up to be a promising season is the planned early opening of Hood Canal June 16. The state and tribal Puget Sound Dungeness crab fisheries landed a total of 11.8 million pounds in 2015, exceeding last year’s record by 1.2 million pounds. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)
Our region of earthquakes, and tsunamis
Considered the world’s largest, subduction zone earthquakes range in magnitude from 8.0 to more than 9.0. Such quakes happen when the stress building between two giant underground plates “breaks,” causing them to slip. The result is a “megathrust.” The action takes place about 20 miles below the surface. The quakes trigger prolonged shaking, tsunamis and numerous aftershocks, many that can be about 7.0 in magnitude…. The Cascadia subduction zone lies largely offshore of the Pacific Northwest. It is about 700 miles long and covers the area from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, down the West Coast to Cape Mendocino, California. The last time a subduction zone quake happened on the Cascadia fault was January 1700. Scientist studied geological landscapes and found evidence on land and on the seafloor to determine the quake was a 9.0 magnitude. A tsunami followed within minutes. Research indicates these types of quakes happen about every 500 years along the Cascadia fault. So South Sound residents might see one before the year 2200. Brynn Grimley reports. (Tacoma News Tribune) See also: Preparing for the Big One: Massive rehearsal set for Northwest mega-quake response Terrance Petty reports. (Associated Press)
Cause of whale’s death undetermined
The death of a humpback whale found under a Navy dock Wednesday in Bremerton has stumped researchers. The whale's death is somewhat puzzling, said John Calambokidis, biologist with Cascadia Research Collective. An examination on Saturday showed the whale had been eating recently, although there were "some indications of nutritional stress," according to a press release on Cascadia's website. That stress could be related to the time of year, because humpback whales generally fast most of the winter. Researchers are hoping additional testing and reports from potential witnesses will provide answers. Rachel Seymour reports. (Kitsap Sun)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON JUN 6 2016
TODAY W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
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