Monday, October 17, 2016

10/17 Storm?, sunk tug, coal trains, Burley 'duck, Elwha fish, school salmon, foul waters, TacomaLNG, dinofish

PHOTO: Port Townsend (Stuart @yrpstu/KOMO)
What the heck went wrong with the storm forecast?!?
Well, this storm certainly will go down as one meteorologists will be talking about for years... just not in the way it was expected. What was computed -- even as of Saturday morning -- to rank among the region's greats ended up woefully under developing. What was supposed to be a lion turned out to be something more along the lines of a lizard with maybe a bit of an attitude… Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO) See also: Tempest in a teapot as third storm fizzles on South Coast  Cheryl Chan reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Fuel to be removed from sunk tug boat in Bella Bella 
On Monday, crews hope to begin removing the remaining fuel aboard a tug boat that ran aground in the waters near Bella Bella — allowing the Nathan E. Stewart to be lifted from the ocean and onto a barge for transport…. The Nathan E. Stewart and the empty fuel barge DBL 55 crashed on Edge Reef, in Seaforth Channel near Athlone Island, just after 1 a.m. PT on Thursday. Both are owned by the U.S. company Kirby Offshore Marine and were heading south from Alaska when the accident occurred. While the fuel barge was empty, the tug leaked some of the nearly 200,000 litres of fuel it had left port with.
Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)
 

More coal trains? Company says it’s exporting to Asia through a B.C. port
A company with coal mines in Wyoming and Montana said Thursday, Oct. 13 that it’s begun exporting fuel to Asia through a Canadian port –pulling out of a planned export terminal in Oregon and potentially sending more coal trains through Whatcom County. According to the announcement from Lighthouse Resources, Inc., the company began shipping coal to power plants in South Korea this month through Westshore Terminals in Vancouver, B.C., a boost for a beleaguered industry that’s been in a prolonged tailspin. The company declined to give shipment volumes. (Associated Press/Bellingham Herald)

Agencies officially stop EIS work on Shell rail project
State and county agencies announced Thursday that environmental review work has officially stopped for the rail unloading facility project at Shell Puget Sound Refinery, a week after the refinery called off the project.A letter dated Oct. 11 from refinery project manager Burt Newbry to the state Department of Ecology and Skagit County Planning and Development asked the agencies to stop their work on an environmental impact statement for the project. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Department of Natural Resources reschedules public meeting to Tuesday on expansions of two conservation areas
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has rescheduled the public hearing for proposals to expand two DNR-managed conservation areas near Quilcene in Jefferson County due to travel safety advisories related to storm conditions in northwestern Washington. The public hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 25 in the Quilcene High School multi-purpose room, 294715 U.S. Highway 101. (Peninsula Daily News)

Big geoduck farm planned in Burley Lagoon
A large shellfish farm proposed on a south Kitsap Peninsula lagoon will undergo special scrutiny over its potential impacts on water quality and wildlife. Taylor Shellfish, the state's largest shellfish grower, plans to convert existing commercial shellfish beds in Burley Lagoon to one of the region's largest geoduck-growing operations. The 25-acre tideland would be covered with a grid of plastic tubes and mesh that protect the large clam's seed during its first years. Plastic netting would be draped over the area as an added barrier to predators. The lagoon is in Pierce County, just south of the Kitsap County border and about 5 miles from Gig Harbor. The area Taylor wants to convert to intensive geoduck cultivation is scatter-planted with oysters and clams, and has much less of a visual and environmental impact, according to environmental groups opposed to geoduck farming. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

More Elwha fish find way to dam-free upper watershed
More sockeye, chinook and bull trout have made it above the former Glines Canyon dam site so far this spawning season than documented in any year since the unprecedented dam-removal project was completed on the Elwha River. The fish returns this season are an encouraging sign that blasting work in the river last summer to improve passage after initial dam removal has made a difference. Numbers aren’t yet final, but so far snorkel surveys and radio telemetry used by scientists to track and monitor fish throughout the Elwha show that from the end of July through the end of September, about 70 chinook salmon made it above the former Glines Canyon dam site. The farthest the fish have been seen upriver so far is at river mile 29. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Fauntleroy Creek Salmon in the Schools program will swim on
After months of not knowing if the Fauntleroy Creek Salmon in the Schools program would continue uninterrupted as it has for more than 20 years, word came late last week that it will. The program centers on coho fry released by schoolchildren. Ten elementary schools and three preschools in West Seattle receive coho eggs in January and students rear the fish while learning about biology, habitat, and the role of salmon in Pacific Northwest environment, commerce, and culture. Nearly 800 students came to the creek this past spring on release field trips, bringing 1,800 coho fry. Dennis Hinton reports. (West Seattle Blog)

Look out, salmon: Storm pushes foul waste into Seattle waters
Wind and heavy rain could make this weekend tough for Puget Sound dwellers. The storm could be rough on the sound's underwater residents as well. Big storms mean big water pollution as heavy runoff carries toxic crud into local waters, and as city sewer systems can't keep up. Along shorelines in Seattle and Puget Sound, outfall pipes dump raw sewage and runoff whenever heavy rains, like those expected this weekend, overwhelm the sewer system.  By Friday morning, 12 of these "combined sewer overflow" pipes had begun dumping an unhealthy mix straight into Seattle waters, according to King County's real-time "combined sewer overflow" monitoring: five outfalls on the Duwamish River, two along the Seattle Ship Canal, two on Portage Bay, one at Carkeek Park, one on Elliott Bay and one in West Seattle. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

PSE drops one court fight against LNG records release, continues another
Puget Sound Energy on Friday dropped its court fight to keep safety studies of its proposed Tacoma liquified natural gas plant secret after The News Tribune published the records. In a filing with the state Court of Appeals, PSE said it was abandoning its lawsuit to block the public-records releases of the siting study and fire protection evaluation for its Tideflats LNG plant to three activists who requested them from government agencies. The utility company also sued to block The News Tribune from getting the documents via a public records request.  Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Dinosaur-era 'swordfish' discovered in outback Australia
"Extremely rare" fossils from a swordfish-like creature which lived 100 million years ago have been discovered in the Australian outback. Two families on holiday unearthed the prehistoric predator at a free fossil-finding site in north-west Queensland. The remains are thought to be from the Australopachycormus hurleyi, a 3m-long ray-finned fish with a pointed snout. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  249 AM PDT MON OCT 17 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON  

TODAY
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS IN THE  AFTERNOON. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS. NUMEROUS SHOWERS.  TONIGHT  SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS  LIKELY.

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