Friday, February 17, 2017

2/17 Sewage woes, block Pruitt, Ecology CWA failure, dissolved oxygen, World Heritage Site, slow4whales

Marine traffic
Marine Traffic: Global Shipping
For your viewing pleasure: "MarineTraffic provides the most comprehensive maritime database to more than 6 million users monthly. 800 million vessel positions recorded monthly; 18 million vessel and port related events recorded monthly; Details of over 650 thousand marine assets available (vessels, ports, lights). MarineTraffic is the Global pioneer in AIS vessel tracking." Check out the Salish Sea. Whew.

Officials say damage to sewage plant in Discovery Park is catastrophic 
King County has stopped dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound from its crippled West Point treatment plant for now — but the county will likely start dumping again when rainy weather returns. The plant, which treats sewage from 1.7 million people around the Seattle region, suffered catastrophic damage on Feb. 9 and will not resume regular service for many weeks, according to Mark Isaacson, director of the King County’s wastewater-treatment division. Beaches at Discovery Park are closed, with no date yet for reopening, because of the risk to public health from raw sewage pumped from the plant into the Sound.
 Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

E.P.A. Workers Try to Block Pruitt in Show of Defiance
Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been calling their senators to urge them to vote on Friday against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the E.P.A. Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in E.P.A. offices around the country say the calls are a last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting — by a president who has vowed to “get rid of” it. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Petition seeks to revoke Department of Ecology’s clean-water authority
Citing pollution problems in Puget Sound, an environmental group is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke Washington state’s authority to enforce the federal Clean Water Act. Northwest Environmental Advocates, based in Portland, says a review of 103 discharge permits issued by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a failure to control nitrogen pollution. Excess nitrogen reduces oxygen levels in the water and triggers algae blooms, resulting in serious problems in Puget Sound, according to a petition submitted to the EPA…. The 113-page petition filed by NWEA describes the problems that nitrogen can cause and the need to implement nitrogen-removal systems, especially in sewage-treatment plants that discharge into Puget Sound. EPA should either require Ecology to take action on nitrogen or remove Ecology’s authority to issue permits under the Clean Water Act, the petition says. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate
A large research synthesis, published in one of the world’s most influential scientific journals, has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world — a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine organisms if it continues. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Nature by oceanographer Sunke Schmidtko and two colleagues from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, found a decline of more than 2 percent in ocean oxygen content worldwide between 1960 and 2010. The loss, however, showed up in some ocean basins more than others. The largest overall volume of oxygen was lost in the largest ocean — the Pacific — but as a percentage, the decline was sharpest in the Arctic Ocean, a region facing Earth’s most stark climate change. Chris Mooney reports. (Washington Post)

World Heritage Site designation sought for Saanich Peninsula's Salish Sea
Long-time B.C. resident Laurie Gourlay nominated the Salish Sea for consideration as a World Heritage Site for many reasons, which he referenced to wearethesalishsea.eco. “It talks about 7,500 kilometres of coastline, 3,000 species in the Salish Sea … and then there’s 113 threatened species, including glass sponge, reefs and the like and they are some of the oldest and most unique species on the planet, right here in the Salish Sea,” said Gourlay, the director of the Salish Sea Trust. The application went into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the end of January. Carlie Connolly reports. (Peninsula News Review)

Mariner's guide to B.C. whales urges ship captains to slow down
The number one piece of advice for ship captains looking to reduce the risk of whale collisions? Slow down. That's according to a new industry handbook, the Mariner's Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises of Western Canada, which aims to reduce the impact of B.C.'s shipping industry on marine wildlife. Caitlin Birdsall, program coordinator at the Vancouver Aquarium's Coastal Ocean Research Institute, says the handbook provides information and practical advice for ships to help avoid collisions in areas with large cetacean populations. Matt Meuse reports. (CBC)

Kinder Morgan opponents launch chilly social media challenge
Opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion are jumping into freezing cold water and showcasing their feat on social media to gain exposure for their cause. "We're not raising money or anything," explains Kai Nagata, communications director for the environmental group Dogwood Initiative. "It's just a reminder of what's important and what's worth defending. If we can have a little fun with it, get people outdoors, and show off how tough we are in British Columbia, that's just a bonus." The #KMchallenge will soon be filling social media feeds if Nagata has his way. Megan Batchelor reports. (CBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  218 AM PST FRI FEB 17 2017  

TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF  SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
 N WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SAT
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING E TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING SE TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT  12 SECONDS.

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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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