Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5 Elwha love, Snake dams, methane rules, Superfund, Ballard Locks, new pest, crabbing, BC orcas, BC ferries

Tony's ravens
Tony Angell on the Raven
Tony Angell reflects: "It's a cloudless summer day as I listen to ravens behind me in the woods. There's an endless repertoire of croaks, krawks, barks, yelps, and yodels. Other ravens across the bay respond in kind, and I imagine that this is a day of poetry and perhaps a few jokes shared between clans of these birds." There's more to learn at (BirdNote)

At Elwha River, forests, fish and flowers where there were dams and lakes
With easy road access to trails open for the first time in years, and the river valley in full summer splendor, the Elwha beckons as never before. Where once there was a dam, today tourists are enjoying the newest interpretive attraction at Olympic National Park, about the world’s biggest-ever dam-removal experiment. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

New Federal Effort Tries To 'Save Our Dams' Along Snake River
A new bill in Congress would make sure Washington’s four lower Snake River dams stay standing. It’s push back against a recent court order to find “a new approach” to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. That approach could include removing or altering the dams. That’s not something Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, thinks would be good for the Northwest. Newhouse introduced the legislation, along with four other Northwest representatives. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Radio/EarthFix)

Appeals Court Says EPA Can't Keep Delaying Obama-Era Methane Rules
An appeals court in Washington, D.C., has blocked an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to delay Obama-era methane regulations, rejecting claims by the EPA that the oil and gas industry wasn’t allowed to comment on the rules. The agency could choose to rewrite the rules, but it overstepped in trying to delay them for years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided. The regulations in question are designed to prevent leaks at oil and gas facilities. Methane, which is released in natural gas leaks, is a potent greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming; other leaked substances are harmful for human health. Camila Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Trump’s EPA wants to focus on Superfund cleanups, including Seattle’s Duwamish. Will plans take climate change into account?
…. Experts say that Superfund sites across the country — including Portland Harbor in Oregon, naval bases in Virginia and landfills in the Midwest — are at risk from the increasingly extreme weather and rising sea levels associated with climate change, and that longstanding methods for cleaning them may need to be rethought. Under President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency began doing just that, proposing technical guidelines in 2015 to make Superfund cleanups more resilient to climate change. Yet, how the Trump administration will address the dual threat of past and future is unclear. Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, has said cleaning up Superfund sites is at the top of his “back to basics” approach for the agency. He has promised to streamline the Superfund process, including getting directly involved with large projects. William Yardley reports. (LA Times)

Creation Of Ballard Locks Left One Tribe High And Dry
The creation of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks had a profound impact on the future of the region environmentally, economically and geographically. But that impact was immediately felt by one Native American tribe in particular. "When they lowered the lake, the Black River disappeared, which had been an outlet for Lake Washington," historian John Caldbick said. "There were a lot of Duwamish living on the Black River. It was very important for them. It was a big fishery for them ... and the river just disappeared." Ariel Van Cleave reports. (KNKX)

Agriculture pest captured in Skagit County for first time 
A brown marmorated stink bug, an agriculture pest that has devastated crops for a decade on the East Coast, has for the first time been captured in Skagit County. The insect feasts on a variety of crops, including vegetables, fruits and berries. Among its favorites are apples, corn and tomatoes. It was found Wednesday in a Washington State University Skagit County Extension trap in south Mount Vernon, Director Don McMoran said. Aaron Weinberg reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Illegal crabbing keeps WDFW busy on holiday
The Fourth of July holiday was a busy day for wildlife police patrolling Puget Sound for illegal crabbing. Crabbing on the Sound has been closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a couple years, but this year, one of the most popular fishing holidays happened to fall on a Tuesday. Within in a few hours, officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife made contact with seven boats breaking the rules, many of them with multiple violations. The majority were caught with Dungeness crabs. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Drone footage captures killer whales in motion near Horseshoe Bay
New drone footage shot over the long weekend near Horseshoe Bay captures an afternoon in the life of five killer whales…. As drones become more popular with recreational users and photographers, the Canadian government has been grappling with drafting regulations to protect wildlife from harassment. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is still gathering expert advice on the interaction between marine mammals and drones, keeping a close eye on regulations in the U.S. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

B.C. Ferries plans to add a ship a year for next dozen years, president says
B.C. Ferries is looking to add about one new ship a year for the next 12 years, at an average cost of $70 million apiece, says president and CEO Mark Collins. Collins was commenting on B.C. Ferries’ year-end report for the 2017 fiscal year, and on efforts to ensure future needs will be met. He said the corporation is in a sound financial position. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PDT Wed Jul 5 2017  
 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 9 seconds.   

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 2 ft at 8 seconds.

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