Monday, February 6, 2017

2/6 Grizzly, geoduck, oil/gas, Break Free PNW, Grays Harbor oil, biofuel, sinking boat, ballast water

Time for the Grizzly?
Last month, the National Park Service and other agencies released draft proposals for restoring the struggling grizzly bear population in Washington's North Cascades. But just how do we restore these iconic animals? A new 13-minute film, Time for the Grizzly?, tells the story of grizzly bear recovery in Montana’s Cabinet Mountains through the lens of Bellingham-based ecologist and bear expert Chris Morgan. Watch the film then make comments on the draft plan on restoration strategies before March 14, 2017.

Farmed geoduck's sustainability rating takes a hit
Geoduck farming’s increasing use of plastic gear cost it a top-spot rating from Seafood Watch, a consumer guide popular with environmentally minded eaters. Washington’s farmed geoduck was downgraded from the guide’s “best choice” rating to the mid-range “good alternative” designation after an assessment late last year of aquaculture practices in Puget Sound. The fast-growing industry’s use of plastic gear, including beach-embedded grow tubes and protective netting, has sparked “increasing concerns” about debris and plastic particles in the marine environment, according to Seafood Watch’s 115-page assessment. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

G.O.P. Hurries to Slash Oil and Gas Rules, Ending Industries’ 8-Year Wait
The document carried the title “A Roadmap to Repeal,” a concise list of Obama administration environmental regulations that a Koch brothers-backed group was pressing President Trump and Congress to quickly reverse after Inauguration Day. It was a tally of rules that energy industry executives and lobbyists had waged a futile fight against for eight years, donating millions of dollars to lawmakers who vowed to help block them, filing lawsuits to try to overturn them and hiring experts to generate reports that questioned the need for them. But in a flurry of activity this past week, Congress did what Charles G. and David H. Koch — who own a conglomerate that sells hundreds of products, including gasoline, jet fuel and coal — and other industry leaders had been asking for. Eric Lipton reports. (NY Times) See also: House votes to overturn Obama's rule on methane emissions  Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times) And: Keystone debate: Is there really a need for so many new oil pipelines?  Lynda Mapes and Hal Bernton report. (Seattle Times)

Jury convicts Break Free PNW protestors
A jury found four people guilty of trespassing Friday for blocking BNSF Railway tracks during the Break Free PNW protest in May. Each was convicted of second-degree criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor, in Skagit County District Court. Each was sentenced to 12 months of probation, fined $250 and required to do eight hours of community service work in Skagit County, Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich said. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Grays Harbor port oil project in limbo after ruling
Despite a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that put Contanda Terminals’ Port of Grays Harbor expansion project on hold, the company is confident it can meet the additional requirements created by the ruling and continues to pursue a shorelines permit from the City of Hoquiam…. The court case centered on whether Contanda’s expansion project — which would include an area to receive, store and ship crude oil and enable its Port of Grays Harbor facility to receive up to 17.8 million barrels of oil per year and add 1 million barrels of storage capacity for crude oil — fell under the umbrella of the Ocean Resources Management Act. The state Supreme Court said it did, which suggested the project would face much more strict environmental scrutiny than it would under the City of Hoquiam’s shorelines regulations. Don Hammock reports. (Aberdeen Daily World)

Sequim lab looks to find the best biofuel in algae
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Sciences Laboratory are turning algae inside out to find the best biofuel possible. Dr. Michael Huesemann, a lead researcher, said algae is a promising clean energy but expensive to harness effectively…. Huesemann, who has worked with algae for 16 years, started on the $6 million, three-year algae DISCOVR project (Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Validation Research) in October 2016 with a small team of senior and junior scientists in Sequim. (Peninsula Daily News)

Sinking boat near Kingston to be hauled off soon
The Olympic, the historic fishing vessel languishing in Appletree Cove, has one more trip to make. That journey likely will be the last of its century-long life. The 58-foot vessel foundered in the cove in early December after it broke anchor and winds pushed it into shallow water. When the Olympic struck ground, it tipped and water poured into the vessel. It has since sat partially submerged in the cove, leaching fluids. The state Department of Natural Resources has launched an effort to clean up the boat through its Derelict Vessel Removal Program. The DNR is finalizing an approximately $50,000 contract to have the boat raised and hauled to Port Townsend, where it will eventually be destroyed, DVRP manager Troy Wood said. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Facing backlash, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz withdraws bill to transfer federal land to the states
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew legislation Thursday that would have transferred 3 million acres of land from federal to state ownership, citing objections from constituents who complained that the move would limit access to public hunting and fishing grounds. Juliet Eilperin reports. (Washington Post)

Ballast water bill could allow invasive species to enter Puget Sound
Invasive species from San Francisco Bay — known as the most infested waterway in the country — would have an open door for entry into Puget Sound under a bill moving through Congress… If VIDA [Vessel Incidental Discharge Act]  passes, ships coming up the coast from California will be able to take on infested ballast water in San Francisco Bay and discharge it without treatment into Puget Sound. Invasive species that hitched a ride in the ballast water would have a chance to populate Puget Sound. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  257 AM PST MON FEB 6 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
   TODAY  E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 4 FT  AT 12 SECONDS. SNOW LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN SNOW SHOWERS  LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING E 15 TO 25 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SNOW SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE  EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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