Thursday, January 25, 2018

1/25 Blue dasher, Tacoma LNG, Blue Carbon, WDFW heads, feeding orcas, poop spill, Pinky Vargas, concrete, Site C dam, Park Service

Blue Dasher [R.A. Nonenmacher]
Dating back 300 million years, dragonflies are one of the first winged insects ever found. Fossils of these ancient aquatic insects show wingspans of up to 24 inches compared with the 2- to 5-inch spans of contemporary dragonflies. Scientists have discovered more than 5,000 species of dragonflies worldwide, including 450 in North America alone. Dragonflies belong to the insect order called Odonata, which also includes damselflies. Odonata is a Greek word meaning toothed one. It refers to the serrated teeth located on the insect's chewing mouth parts (mandibles). Myths about dragonflies warned children to keep quiet or else the dragonfly's "darning needles" would sew the child's mouth shut. (Pacific NW Laboratory)

Tacoma LNG plant faces delay as clean air agency orders extra scrutiny
Environmental activists and the Puyallup Tribe are chalking up a win in their fight against the Puget Sound Energy liquefied natural gas plant being built on Tacoma’s Tideflats. On Wednesday, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced it would hire a consultant to do an in-depth analysis of the life cycle of greenhouse-gas emissions that would be caused by the proposed 8-million gallon plant. That study would need to be completed before PSE could get a required air permit for the project. The additional review, called a supplemental environmental impact statement, will delay the permit by several months and could potentially change the outcome of the permit application. Candace Ruud reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

If you like to watch: Blue Carbon – A Story from the Snohomish Estuary
“Blue Carbon” is a story of how coastal wetlands mitigate climate change and reduce carbon pollution to benefit all people. This video, filmed in the Snohomish Estuary in Puget Sound, Washington is presented by EarthCorps and Restore America’s Estuaries.

Washington Fish And Wildlife Director To Resign
Washington Department and Fish and Wildlife Director Jim Unsworth is resigning next month after three years on the job. He presided over a tumultuous time at the department…. Unsworth came to Washington from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Since then he’s dealt with numerous high profile issues including: controversial wolf hunts and the shutdown of salmon fishing on Puget Sound because of disagreements with tribes. He also had to deal with the fallout from two outside investigations into workplace culture at Fish and Wildlife—one of which found an “extremely sexualized culture” at a fish hatchery on the Columbia River. Four employees were fired and Fish and Wildlife lost its contract to operate that hatchery for a local public utility district. Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network) See also: Former Fish And Wildlife Deputy Director Convicted Of Rape, Burglary  Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network)

Endangered Orcas Are Starving. Should We Start Feeding Them?
Washington state officials have proposed a new tack to save the Pacific Northwest's critically endangered orca population. Their idea is to boost salmon hatchery production by 10 to 20 million more fish per year to provide more food for the iconic killer whales. No one wants to see orcas starve, but reliance on fish hatcheries leaves some whale advocacy groups uneasy. There are just 76 orcas left in the pods that call the inland waters of the Northwest home. That's the lowest number in more than three decades. Numerous factors take the blame for the dwindling population, but one of the biggest according to biologists is lack of prey. Chinook salmon are the preferred food for these orcas. Sport fisherman Greg King can relate. "The science is there. They're dying,” he said. “We're on a world stage here right now. The whole world is watching us. Are we going to let these orca whales die and have that blood on our hands? I don't think we want that." Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Navy sewage spill forces oyster recall
A three-day delay in reporting a sewage spill at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor last week forced the recall of more than 2,000 oysters harvested at a tribal shellfish farm in Dyes Inlet, according to the state Department of Health. Mark Toy with the department said a recall was required for 2,040 oysters grown at a Suquamish Seafoods facility in Chico, which were harvested between the time the spill occurred on Jan. 18 and 19, and when public health officials were notified of the spill Monday. Suquamish Seafoods and the Department of Health confirmed all the recalled oysters were accounted for and none reached consumers.  Kitsap Public Health District issued an advisory Monday warning residents to avoid contact with portions of Clear Creek and Dyes Inlet downstream from the spill. On Wednesday, health officials were still trying to untangle the miscommunication that caused the delay in notification.  Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Pinky Vargas will pursue Ericksen’s seat
 Bellingham City Council member Pinky Vargas announced last weekend she will be a candidate for state Senate in the 42nd Legislative District, a position held by Doug Ericksen of Ferndale. The announcement was made on the one-year anniversary of the Bellingham Women’s March, at which Vargas spoke. Vargas currently serves as a member of the Bellingham City Council from Ward 4, having been elected in 2013 and 2017. In 2016 she was chosen by her colleagues to preside at council meetings. (Lynden Tribune)

What do you do when a major polluter is holding Seattle together?
Yet another building with 400 offices, first-floor retail space, and underground parking is going up in Seattle’s South Lake Union. One of the primary ingredients for the building is concrete. As each concrete truck empties its contents into the site, a new one pulls up: that’s a truckload of concrete every five minutes. As the Pacific Northwest booms, it’s using a lot of concrete to build buildings, roads and other infrastructure — and making all that concrete is a big part of our carbon footprint…. The only cement plant in Washington is in South Seattle: Ash Grove. It makes one third of all the cement used in Washington. Its kilns dominate the skyline by the Port of Seattle. And it also contributes an out-sized chunk to Seattle’s carbon footprint: the plant accounts for ten percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. EilĂ­s O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

B.C. auditor general set to scrutinize Site C dam project
B.C.'s auditor general has set her sights on the Site C dam in northeast B.C., although she isn't yet sure which aspect of the mega-project her team will be scrutinizing. "It's such a complex project," said Carol Bellringer, who released her 2018-19 priorities plan Wednesday. Bellringer said many of the questions her office had about Site C were answered in the B.C. Utilities Commission analysis released last year, but she believes the dam's construction still requires outside oversight. Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Official Who Allowed Tree Cutting By Redskins Owner Is Named National Parks Director
The new acting director of the National Park Service is a former parks official who was reprimanded 12 years ago for pressuring employees to allow the owner of the Washington Redskins to cut down trees for a better view of the Potomac River. Interior Department Sec. Ryan Zinke announced the promotion of Paul Daniel Smith on Wednesday. From 2004 to 2015, Smith was superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park…. A 2006 investigation by the Interior’s inspector general’s office found that Smith “inappropriately used his position to apply pressure and circumvent NPS procedures” on behalf of Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Snyder subsequently cut down more than 130 trees on federally protected land between his house and the C&O Canal. Laurel Wamsley reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  259 AM PST Thu Jan 25 2018  
 S wind 10 to 20 kt then becoming 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 8 ft at 10 seconds.  Showers.
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 10 ft at 13 seconds. Showers.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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