Friday, July 8, 2016

7/8 Saving shores, oil train, vibrio, Cherry Pt., salmon, Dickerson Cr,, bee killer, runoff suit, saving whales

Red elderberry (Erica Bats/WSU)
Red elderberry (Sambucus racemes) is a shrub to small tree common to coastal areas of the Salish Sea. Though small and seedy, red elderberries were an important food source for central and northern coast peoples. They should always be cooked since the raw berries could cause nausea. The berries make an tangy jelly and are sometimes used to make wine after cooking. Stems, bark, leaves and roots of fresh plants are toxic due to cyanide-producing glycosides. Caches of red elderberries have been found in archeological sites dating back hundreds of years. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

"Living Shorelines" Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise
As sea levels rise along U.S. coasts, it may soon get easier for people and local governments to obtain federal permits to build what are known as “living shorelines,” natural or nature-based structures designed to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme storms and flooding even as they protect habitat. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering a new category to its nationwide permits that would allow speedier approval of living shorelines, which include wetlands with sea and marsh grasses, sand dunes, mangroves, and coral reefs. Currently, it’s much faster for property owners in many parts of the country to get a permit for sea walls, bulkheads and other so-called gray infrastructure than it is to get a permit for construction of nature-based systems. If the corps moves forward with the new category, though, permits to build living shorelines could be issued in as few as 45 days, instead of 215, a spokesman for the agency said. Erika Bolstad reports. (Scientific American)

If you like to watch: Up close with the Cascadia Subduction Zone
An ocean exploration right off the Washington coast  last month was the first of its kind! A team of experts on board an exploration vessel used Remote Operated Vehicles to search along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, mapping methane seeps, marine life, and the overall ecology of the area. (KCPQ)

Stop Oil Trains Week of Action hosts events
A nationwide Stop Oil Trains Week of Action starts today (7/6) and runs through July 12 with events across Skagit and Whatcom counties hosted by environmental groups. The goal is to call attention to the threat of oil trains, the people who are stopping them and the need for 100 percent clean and safe energy, according to a RE Sources for Sustainable Communities press release. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Opponents Of Crude Oil Terminals Rally In Grays Harbor County    Opponents of plans to ship crude oil by rail and barge through Grays Harbor in Southwest Washington will rally in Hoquiam on Friday. They say the risks far outweigh the benefits of the proposal. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

How Inspectors Missed Broken Bolts That Caused An Oil Train Derailment
…. Simple steps could have prevented the fiery derailment [June 3]. Had inspectors from Union Pacific railroad or government regulators walked the stretch of track in the weeks or months prior, they might have spotted the broken bolts. But no one did. Those unseen, broken bolts in Mosier, Oregon, expose a significant flaw in the current system for railroad inspections. Yet, federal and state regulators, as well as the railroads, all say current rules are adequate. Minimum federal requirements allow railroads considerable leeway for how they inspect their own track, while government checks are few and far between. As Mosier showed, the system can allow potentially dangerous defects to go unaddressed for months. Tony Schick and Conrad Wilson report. (OPB/EarthFix)

Raw oysters hit with vibrio bacteria again this year on B.C. coast
Raw oyster lovers are once again being warned about a possible outbreak of the bacterium Vibrio after the B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed its first case of illness this summer. An outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in 2015 was the largest ever and sickened a total of 73 people who ate raw oysters in restaurants, bought from stores or self-harvested. Vibrio is linked to warmer sea water and can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea. This first case was reported June 30 after a person ate raw oysters in the Vancouver area. Erin Ellis reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Cherry Point at planning crux
Whether the Cherry Point industrial zone should be used for future export of fossil fuels has shaped up to be a key battle point as the county gets close to wrapping up its Comprehensive Plan update. With the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal-shipping proposal derailed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ruling in May, opponents now hope to keep that kind of idea from coming to the table again. Bellingham-based ReSources for Sustainable Communities has issued an action alert for its members to speak out on “prohibiting all future fossil fuel export projects for Cherry Point.” The Whatcom County Council received a steady volume of communication in June, much of it asking for the prohibition to be included in the land use section, chapter 2, of the massive Comprehensive Plan update. Cal Bratt reports. (Lynden Tribune)

Salmon diversity improves catch for First Nations, SFU study finds
The diversity of salmon populations in the Fraser River has a profound effect on the stability of catches and the length of the fishing season for First Nations, according to new research from Simon Fraser University. Diversity means much more than the presence of the five main salmon species, say authors Holly Nesbitt and Jonathan Moore. The health of distinct populations within those species from the many tributaries of the Fraser had the most potent effect on the food security of peoples that depend on salmon.  A recent study of food and nutrition in British Columbia found that 41 per cent of First Nations people are food insecure and more than 90 per cent expressed a desire to eat more of their traditional foods. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Dickerson Creek restoration keeps flowing
As Dickerson Creek adjusts to one stretch of new streambed, another is being prepared. Nordland Construction crews, in Phase 2 of a $4.4 million floodplain restoration project, have carved a new, longer route between Taylor Road and Dickerson's confluence with Chico Creek. The stream was too steep there as a result of homeowners straightening it. Fish now must climb a decrepit ladder to reach a culvert under Taylor. Ed Friedrich reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Lawsuit filed over federal permits for alleged bee-killing pesticides
Environmental groups have launched a court challenge to federal permits for two common pesticides that some say are behind large die-offs in bee populations. The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court in Toronto, takes aim at neonicotinoids, which are among the most widely used pesticides in Canada. The David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ontario Nature and the Wilderness Committee say in court documents that Canada's federal pesticide regulator has allowed the chemicals to be used despite being uncertain about their risks. Bob Weber reports. (Canadian Press)

Judge OKs clean-water settlement at Seattle cruise terminal
A federal judge has approved a settlement in a lawsuit filed over stormwater runoff at a Seattle cruise terminal. U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour signed off Wednesday on the agreement between Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and the Port of Seattle and Cruise Terminals of America. The environmental group sued in 2014, alleging the port and Cruise Terminals violated clean-water laws by allowing runoff into Elliott Bay without a proper permit. The port and the cruise terminal operator did not admit to the allegations. But they each agreed to pay Puget Soundkeeper $250,000 for legal and other fees. The group will allocate $50,000 to a fund that provides money to improve water quality in Puget Sound. (Associated Press)

Man rescues humpback whale entangled in fishing net off B.C. coast
A group of people helped free a humpback whale off B.C.'s Central Coast that had become entangled in fishing nets and other equipment — but Fisheries and Oceans Canada say it would have preferred if its teams could have performed the rescue instead, especially because there may still be netting attached to the animal. Gavin Fisher reports. (CBC) See also: New warning to leave harbor seal pups alone  Michelle Li reports. (KING)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  254 AM PDT FRI JUL 8 2016  

TODAY
 SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
TONIGHT
 NE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...  THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
 E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT  10 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A  CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
 NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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