Thursday, August 17, 2017

8/17 Wetlands, salmon or dams, Olympic goats, Trump's floods, WDFW sex, bad mussels, seastars, Bill Frank, Jr, oilpatch secrets

Three Tree Point
Three Tree Point
Three Tree Point is a low, gravelly, triangle-shaped spit jutting into the east side of Puget Sound. It is about the midpoint between Seattle and Tacoma. It is referred to on some navigation charts as "Point Pully", in recognition of crew member Robert Pulley of the Wilkes Expedition…. Three Tree Point is a densely populated residential area where much attention has been paid toward tree preservation. The surrounding waters are popular among scuba divers. (Wikipedia)

Gig Harbor Landowner Fined for Destroying Wetlands
A Pierce County landowner has been fined $90,000 after he destroyed forested wetlands that could take 50 years to restore. The Washington state Department of Ecology says Richard Leone (Lee-O-nee) of Gig Harbor hired a contractor in 2016 to illegally drain, clear and fill two protected wetlands in order to expand a housing development. Ecology manager Perry Lund said Wednesday that wetlands are critical to the overall health of Washington's watersheds. He says Leone documented the wetlands in a report submitted to Pierce County, so he was fully aware of their locations and took specific steps to destroy them. (Associated Press)

The Pacific Northwest faces an impossible choice: Salmon or dams?
Salmon in the Pacific Northwest have been brought to the edge of extinction, and conservationists argue hydroelectric dams along the Snake and Columbia Rivers are a major obstacle blocking salmon migration. Dam defenders point out the integral role this infrastructure plays in powering the region. The choice between the two will deeply affect the region's environment and economy. Ali Rizvi and Sohali Al-Jamea report. (McClatchy)

Officials present park, forest goat relocation plan
A two-year mountain goat relocation plan for Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest would start in July 2018 under a proposed project presented this week at the park’s visitor center in Port Angeles. Goats not relocated would be shot beginning in 2019 under the proposal, officials said. Any goats found in the park after that date would be eliminated. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects
President Trump’s astonishing press conference on Tuesday was, ostensibly, an announcement about infrastructure. But his brief remarks on the permitting process were entirely overshadowed by his defense of attendees at a white supremacist rally, among other remarks. But the president was, in fact, announcing a new executive order with serious repercussions. Among other things, he’s rolling back an Obama-era order that infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges, be designed to survive rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change. Camilia Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Another 'Sexualized Culture' Investigation At Fish And Wildlife Leads To Firings
Four Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employees were fired this month after an investigation found an “extremely sexualized culture” at a fish hatchery on the Columbia River. One woman who worked at the hatchery told investigators she sought a seasonal job elsewhere to escape the “constant, daily sexual banter.” The misconduct at the Wells Hatchery near Pateros in Okanogan County follows a 2015 report that found a sexual climate among some members of the executive management team at Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Olympia. Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network)

Water advocates say feds need to do more to prevent invasive mussels from moving into B.C.
So far this summer, B.C. conservation officers have flagged 1,100 boats coming into the province as high risk for carrying invasive mussels. And that has Tracy Gray, chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, worried. "Down in the U.S., where literally they have piles and mounds of these dead shells on their beaches that they have to shovel out," she said. (CBC)

Can sea stars make a comeback in Kachemak Bay? 
Sea star wasting syndrome, or disease as it has become known, hit Kachemak Bay hard in 2016, killing about 90 percent of sunflower and true star populations. Researchers eagerly waited for spring to roll around in hopes their numbers would rebound. As the days got longer, it quickly became apparent that wasn’t going to happen this year, but there is some hope the disease is waning. Aaron Bolton reports. (Alaska Public Media)

Washington state officials troubled by oilpatch secrets
Washington State officials have privately complained about a lack of information — vital for an oil spill response — on the ingredients of the diluent used to help Alberta bitumen flow through Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The data is crucial for spill response planning as the company proceeds with a proposed $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would triple the daily flow between Edmonton, Alta. and Burnaby, B.C. to 890,000 barrels. From the company’s Burnaby site, the oil would be shipped to Asian markets in tankers through Vancouver Harbour and then through the waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait shared by British Columbia and Washington State. The pipeline company has suggested in responses to National Observer that it has been transparent enough, publishing a list of 52 products that Transport Canada has approved for the pipeline, as well as components listed on for various types of oil. It has told Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) it would quickly disclose ingredients in the event of a spill. Stanley Tromp reports. (National Observer)

If you like to watch: Recalling the voice and wisdom of Billy Frank Jr. in a new animated video
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "It is very nice to hear once again the distinctive voice of the late Billy Frank Jr. in a new animated video called simply “sčədadxʷ” — or “Salmon.” Billy was the voice for the Nisqually Tribe, for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, for native people everywhere and for the human race, which he believed holds a special relationship with salmon and all of nature’s creatures. The new video was produced by Salmon Defense, a nonprofit organization created by the 20 Western Washington treaty tribes to foster the welfare of salmon. The short animation was distributed by Northwest Treaty Tribes, the communications arm of the NWIFC…."

Regarding yesterday's item about Popeye the seal biting the hand that didn't feed him in Friday Harbor [Seal bites man in Friday Harbor; experts, victim say seal expects to be hand fed], Gene Helfman notes: "Maybe Popeye wasn't hungry but just pissed at the guy for catching undersize crabs.  See video around 1:10." Check out the size of the crabs.

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  904 AM PDT Thu Aug 17 2017  
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 to  7 ft at 12 seconds.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 to  6 ft at 12 seconds.

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