Friday, April 21, 2017

4/21 Science, Earth, marsh pub, whales, State of the Sound, Tacoma action, Kalama gas, EPA cuts, LA coast

[Image by Miles Greb/KNKX]
Earth Day on Saturday includes old events plus new March for Science
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "With Earth Day falling on a Saturday this year, all sorts of environmental activities have been scheduled for this weekend. On top of your typical Earth Day activities, there will be a March for Science in Washington, D.C., as well as in Seattle and hundreds of other communities across the country. It just seems like a great time to get out and do something.... The National Weather Service predicts that warm weather tomorrow will give way to a low-pressure trough moving over Western Washington on Saturday. That weather system might be traveling slowly enough that the rains won’t appear until later in the day when most activities have been wrapped up in the Puget Sound region…." See also: Organizers Of Seattle's March For Science Expect It To Be 2nd Largest In U.S. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Forget hockey, Saturna pub tuning into marsh sounds marathon
At the Saturna Lighthouse Pub, weekends are typically filled with the sound of clinking beer glasses and hockey games on five TV screens. But this Saturday, on Earth Day, it’ll be different. All day and night, the Saturna Island bar will be suffused with the dulcet tones of croaking frogs, buzzing bees, hooting owls and quacking ducks. The pub is tuning into a marathon radio broadcast of a 24-hour recording that captures the natural sounds of a marsh on the island. Adrian Chamberlain reports. (Times Colonist)

Vancouver Aquarium says unknown toxin killed belugas last year
he Vancouver Aquarium says an unknown toxin was the cause of death for two belugas last year. Aurora, aged 30, and her calf, Qila, 21, died within nine days of each other in November 2016. The aquarium says the determination followed a five-month investigation involving "dozens" of aquarium and external specialists. (CBC) See also: SeaWorld Welcomes Its Last Orca Born In Captivity  (NPR)

Muri’s bill supporting Puget Sound Partnership signed into law http://thesubtimes.com/2017/04/20/muris-bill-supporting-puget-sound-partnership-signed-into-law/
The governor signed a bill sponsored by Rep. Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, that would help the on-going efforts of the Puget Sound Partnership…. Every two years, the Puget Sound Partnership is required to produce a State of the Sound science work plan. The plan identifies recommendations for improvements to their ongoing work in Puget Sound. Because of the short interval for updates, they are in a continuous planning mode. Muri’s bill changes the frequency of the report from every two years, to four years. By reducing the frequency of the updates, the proposal would help free up the Puget Sound Partnership’s resources. This would allow them to focus on meeting restoration performance targets. (Suburban Times)

Coalition of groups priming for election fight, protests
The community uproar that originally started a year ago and prompted the death of a planned natural gas to methanol plant on the tideflats continues to morph into other local environmental and social justice issues as like-minded groups merge and share resources. The grassroots effort Save Tacoma Water, for example, is gathering momentum for a ballot measure to change the term limits for City Council members from the current 10 years with a “break in service” before running again…. RedLine Tacoma continues to protest the planned liquefied natural gas plant Puget Sound Energy is preparing to build…. Both groups are also recruiting candidates to run for political office, particularly the three seats up for votes in November on the Port of Tacoma Commission and the five open seats on the Tacoma City Council, including the mayor’s seat. Steve Dunkelberger reports. (Tacoma Weekly) See also: New tenant for ex-methanol plant site at Port of Tacoma?  Derrick Nunnally reports. (New Tribune of Tacoma)

Proposed Kalama Methanol Refinery Hits Snag In Permit Approval
Washington’s Department of Ecology wants more information before deciding whether to approve a shoreline permit for a controversial methanol refinery in Kalama. The state agency sent a letter to Cowlitz County on Tuesday that called the submitted permit incomplete. It said some of the proposed site plans were out of date and missing key information. It also said the applicants underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions at the proposed site. In its application, NW Innovation Works establishes a self-imposed limit of 976,131 metric tons greenhouse gas emissions annually. But in the letter to the county, the Department of Ecology says its calculations found an additional 232,136 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be emitted per year. Molly Sullivan reports. (OPB)

Staff cuts under way at EPA
The Trump administration has lifted its hiring freeze for the federal government. But the Environmental Protection Agency remains frozen, according to internal documents obtained by KUOW. The Trump administration has proposed cutting EPA’s budget by 31 percent, more than at any major federal agency, and scrapping 56 programs there, including funding for Puget Sound restoration. This week, even though Congress has final say when it comes to spending, administration officials told EPA brass to start letting go of employees through buyouts and early retirement offers. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Louisiana's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state’s rapidly eroding coastline. It’s an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects. “Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels have made the Louisiana coast the nation’s most rapidly deteriorating shoreline,” WWNO’s Travis Lux tells our Newscast unit. “It loses the equivalent of one football field of land every hour.” Merrit Kennedy reports. (NPR)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  230 AM PDT FRI APR 21 2017  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT BECOMING 1 TO 2 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL  5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT RISING TO 15 TO 20 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT  13 SECONDS BUILDING TO 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A  CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS BUILDING TO 9 FT  AT 13 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SUN
 SE WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS

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