Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7/25 EPA budget, dead orca, pipe oversight, Custom Plywood, 4M souls, refinery safety, goat options

"Lively Woodpecker" [Jeff Anderson]
Bird Fest poster winner announced
Jeff Anderson has been named the winner of the 2017 Puget Sound Bird Fest Poster Art Contest with his entry “Lively Woodpecker.” The piece was selected by a jury from among 20 entries, and will be featured on the promotional poster for the annual fall event. The contest is held each spring to select a piece of original art to be used for the festival’s promotional poster. Sponsored by the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, the winning artist is awarded a $200 prize. (Edmonds Beacon)

U.S. House votes to cut Puget Sound funding by $3 million
Bucking a proposed White House budget that would have cut EPA’s Puget Sound funding entirely, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted to approve $25 million for Puget Sound in fiscal year 2018. That still falls short of the $28 million budgeted by EPA for the region in fiscal 2017, amounting to a cut of more than 10%. The bill passed on a 30 – 21 vote and now goes to the Senate, which may revise the numbers further. The budget was part of a $31.4 billion appropriations bill for several federal agencies, including the EPA and the Interior Department. Overall, it would cut EPA’s yearly budget from 8.06 billion to 7.5 billion. That’s less than the 31% cut proposed by the Trump administration, but still steep according to some House Democrats. (Puget Sound Institute)

Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies
The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company’s San Antonio park, SeaWorld said. Veterinarians were treating 3-month-old Kyara for an infection last weekend, but her health continued to decline, the Orlando-based company said in a news release. (Associated Press)

Trans Mountain pipeline gets Indigenous-led oversight committee
Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has a new Indigenous-led oversight committee, backed by the federal government, to monitor the controversial project's construction which is slated to begin in September. The Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee includes 13 Indigenous members, representing bands from Alberta to the B.C. coast, and six federal representatives including the National Energy Board, Indigenous leaders announced today…. Ottawa has pledged $64.7-million over five years to support the work of the committee, which starts meeting in August. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Group completes survey at Custom Plywood restoration site
Where Custom Plywood once churned out wood products, a variety of wildlife is now found clinging to the pebbles, nestled in the mud and floating in the water. On Monday, the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee documented crabs, clams and other critters at the Fidalgo Bay beach site…. The volunteer effort Monday marked the third annual intertidal survey since thousands of tons of contaminated material were removed from the site in an effort to restore the beach. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Puget Sound area population climbs over 4 million h
The central Puget Sound region of Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap counties gained another 82,000 people in the last year, reaching a total population well over 4 million as of April 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the second year in a row that population growth exceeding 80,000. The 2.9 percent growth rate that is among the fastest in the nation. (Everett Herald)

11 states sue Trump admin to reduce risk of chemical explosions
Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants. The lawsuit aims to force the Environmental Protection Agency to revive safety rules enacted in the final days of the Obama administration. Within days of taking office, the Trump administration put the rules on hold as part of its push to de-regulate the U.S. economy. The chemical safety rules — amendments to EPA’s Accidental Release Prevention Requirements under the Clean Air Act — are in limbo until 2019. They were intended to reduce the risk of explosions that have killed workers and endangered communities in Anacortes and elsewhere in recent years. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Relocate, kill are among options studied for mountain goats
Olympic National Park officials are weighing several options to remove mountain goats from the park, including a plan to capture and relocate as many of the animals as possible and shooting others. In releasing a draft environmental review Monday, park officials say the plan will allow them to reduce environmental impacts and protect public safety. Mountain goats, which are not native to Washington's Olympic Peninsula, have long posed an environmental problem for the park. The fatal goring of a hiker in 2010 raised new concerns. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  238 AM PDT Tue Jul 25 2017  
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 5 ft at 7 seconds.
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5  ft at 7 seconds.

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