Friday, September 22, 2017

9/22 EPA in PS, no LNG, Kalama gas, Illahee Preserve, Smith Is. restoration, Big One, cow gas

Praying mantis
Praying Mantis: beautiful but invasive
At KWIAHT, we have received several reports of the European Praying Mantis, Mantis religiosa, in the San Juan Islands, as well as a live specimen for confirmation. This is a concern for the conservation of pollinators and other beneficial insects that mantids will eat indiscriminately. Mantis eat everything they can subdue, and do not distinguish between (what humans regard as) harmful or beneficial insects. This large aggressive insect is native to the eastern Mediterranean region, and was first introduced to North America as early as 1890. Its arrival in the Pacific Northwest is more recent, however; and for many years the only significant population was in the Okanogan valley of British Columbia. Sightings in the Salish Sea have been scattered and few, but they are increasing. (Islands Sounder)

U.S. EPA commits funding to support PSI’s role in Puget Sound science
A collaboration between the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute (PSI), Oregon State University, Northern Economics, and the Puget Sound Partnership has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate the region’s science program. The four-year cooperative agreement provides an anticipated $7.25 million to create and communicate timely and policy-relevant science to support and enhance new recovery strategies. The collaboration also strengthens monitoring and modeling programs and identifies and promotes regional science priorities. The Puget Sound Partnership will receive and administer the primary award and other partners will receive sub-awards from PSP over the four year project period. Jeff Rice reports. (Puget Sound Institute) See also: Trump’s EPA Wants to Reverse Clean Water Protections  Removing the rule would put drinking water, rivers, and wildlife at risk. Here’s a chance to weigh in. John Abbots reports. (Sightline)

Protesters gather to say no to LNG plant in Tacoma
Demonstrators traveled city to city in a major protest against Puget Sound Energy on Thursday. It is to say 'no' to a liquefied natural gas plant that's now going up on the Tacoma tide flats. When finished, the $300 million project will have a giant storage tank in the middle of the site. To the utility this represents a better environment with cleaner emissions from ships by weaning them off of bunker oil. To protester,s it represents a threat to the environment. "Stop construction of the LNG plant in Tacoma now," said demonstrator Dakota Case of the Puyallup Tribe. "The only bridge that fracked natural gas provides is a bridge to hell on Earth." Keith Eldridge report. (KOMO)

Kalama methanol backers weigh options
Methanol proponents say they’re committed to seeing the $1.8 billion plant through in spite of a state board’s reversal on Friday of two major permits needed for the project. While the Port of Kalama and Northwest Innovation Works weigh their options, Gov. Jay Inslee maintained his support for the project, which would increase state greenhouse gas emissions by 1.28 percent annually…. Inslee has traveled to Kalama in support of the methanol project, which would use new technology to cut emissions by 31 percent compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Proponents also have argued the project would help China reduce its climate change impacts by replacing coal-based methanol with natural-gas based methanol, a key ingredient in producing plastic. Additionally, the Department of Ecology would require Northwest Innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 percent annually until 2035. Marissa Luck reports. (Longview Daily News)

Illahee storage proposal mired in wetland debate
In 2005, a landowner filed for permits to build a storage facility on a parcel bordering Illahee Preserve, sparking disagreement over the value of wetlands along the property line. A decade later, the proposal remains mired in debate. Representatives for the landowner, Kitsap County, the state Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Suquamish Tribe, and Illahee Forest Preserve — the nonprofit group appealing the All Secure storage project — tromped the soggy stretch of woodland Thursday, collecting information that could finally settle the issue.  Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Restoration project on Smith Island to cost $1.2M more
The cost of building a new dike to help restore tidal marshes on Smith Island is expected to cost Snohomish County $1.2 million more than originally thought. The salmon-habitat project is set to wrap up next summer at an overall cost of $28 million. That’s when a contractor would breach old dikes, allowing about 350 acres of low-lying farmland to flood. “The bottom line is that we’re still within budget,” public works director Steve Thomsen told the County Council on Tuesday. Thomsen said the project remains within budget because the original bid for the dike work came in lower than expected. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Seismic Neglect: A Seattle Times Special Report
The earthquake nightmare public officials are failing to confront (Seattle Times)

And, finally: Gassy Cows Warm The Planet. Scientists Think They Know How To Squelch Those Belches
Cattle pass a lot of gas, and the methane from their flatulence and especially, their belches, is an expanding burden on the planet. The greenhouse gas has a warming potential 25 times of carbon dioxide. Livestock account for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, with over half of that coming from cattle according to a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. Given that, some environmentalists might choose to eschew milk and beef, but scientists think they’ve figured out a way for us to one day have our cattle and eat them, too – gas-free. Angus Chen reports. (NPR)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PDT Fri Sep 22 2017  
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 5 ft at  9 seconds.
 W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
 E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  11 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the morning.
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds.
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 11 seconds.

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