Tuesday, April 10, 2018

4/10 Water hemlock, shellfish spray,BC novovirus, BC pipe, recycling, harbor cleanup, snowpack, 'best place,' fishing app

Water hemlock [WikiMedia]
Western water hemlock Cicuta douglasii
Western water hemlock is a perennial plant in the parsley and carrot family that grows in wet areas of meadows, pastures, and streams.  It has small  white flowers that grow in umbrella-like clusters which each produce two seeds.  Water hemlock is the most toxic plant native to North America. Only a small amount of the toxic oil from the plant is needed to produce poisoning in livestock or humans.  The roots are the most toxic part, but the green seed heads are also highly poisonous.  The leaves and stems are poisonous in the early stages of growth, but lose much of their toxicity when mature.  (Thurston County Integrated Pest Management)

State ecology officials deny pesticide permit 
Washington state ecology officials have denied a permit sought by shellfish growers that would have allowed them to use a pesticide on oyster and clam beds. The Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association wanted to use a neonicotinoid pesticide to control native burrowing shrimp. But the Washington Department of Ecology on Monday denied the request, saying the environmental harm would be too great…. The decision is subject to public comment through May 14. Once the decision is final, it may be appealed within 30 days. (KIRO) See also: Washington state says no to spraying neurotoxic pesticide on oyster beds   Bethany Jean Clement reports. (Seattle Times)

2 B.C. oyster farms closed after norovirus outbreak
Two B.C. Vancouver Island oyster farms have been closed following an outbreak of norovirus associated with eating the raw shellfish. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says about 40 cases of acute gastrointestinal illness have been connected to the consumption of raw oysters since March. Testing has confirmed some of the cases were norovirus. Federal officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirmed the affected farms are located on the east coast of Vancouver Island at Deep Bay and Denman Island. (CBC)

B.C. could face budgetary backlash for Kinder Morgan stance
British Columbia could face a budgetary crisis if Ottawa begins withholding federal money for health care, child care or Metro Vancouver transit, amid a worsening rift between the two governments over the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told her legislature Monday that she’s discussed with Ottawa the idea of curtailing funding to B.C. as retaliation for the province frustrating Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion with court challenges. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Financing, lawsuits among Ottawa's options for moving Trans Mountain forward, says Carr

If proposed pipeline fails, Kinder Morgan could take Canada to court
Kinder Morgan has spent plenty of time recently on the defensive as it faces legal challenges against its proposed Trans Mountain expansion pipeline. However, if the project fails, the Houston-based company could go on the offensive to try to recoup billions of dollars. Investors are already asking whether the company will take such action, and some legal experts say it has a legitimate case against Canada because of how the B.C. government and some municipalities have tried to oppose the project. If the company seeks damages, it would likely use NAFTA, since Chapter 11 of the agreement allows foreign companies to file compensation claims in countries where they have investments and believe a government action is unfair and discriminatory. Kyle Bakx reports. (CBC) See also: Risky business: Trans Mountain twist pits shareholders against taxpayers  Jason Proctor reports. (CBC)

China recycling policy impacting Skagit County
On any given day, Skagit County residents recycle a variety of plastic items, from yogurt containers emptied at breakfast to soda bottles drained for an afternoon pick-me-up. For years, many of these items have made their way to China — the primary market for recyclables from throughout the United States, including Skagit County. Now, with China banning the import of several types of recyclables — including some plastics, metals and fibers used for textiles — communities throughout the U.S. must either send such recyclables to more expensive recycling markets or to area landfills. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Seattle: You need to clean up your recycling act Kim Malcolm and Katherine Banwell report.(KUOW)

Draft cleanup study for Port Angeles Harbor given to Ecology
A carpet of sand and gravel would cap buried logs, woody debris and carcinogenic pollutants that contaminate sediment at the bottom of Port Angeles Harbor under a $32.1 million draft plan recommended by a five-party group of governments and businesses. Representatives from the city of Port Angeles, Port of Port Angeles, Nippon Paper Industries USA, Merrill & Ring timber management company and Georgia-Pacific LLC pulp and paper company presented the 782-page draft Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study in person Friday to the state Department of Ecology’s Olympia headquarters, Nathan West, director of the city Department of Community Development, said Monday. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Washington snowpack above average heading into April
Washington state is heading into spring with above normal snowpack, according to federal data released Monday. Snowpack is on average at 113 percent, or 13 percent above normal, across Washington state, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s National Water and Climate Center in Portland, Ore. The snow pack ranges from 155 percent to just below 80 percent in the lowest areas. (KING)

Puget Sound Falls In Ranking Of 'Best Places To Live'
The Seattle area has dropped in U.S. News & World Report's 2018 Best Places to Live in the United States rankings, considered the granddaddy of "best places" lists. This year, the Seattle-Tacoma metro area was ranked No. 10 on the list. In 2017 we made it to No. 6, up from No. 7 in 2016…. The Seattle area got dinged for two things: cost of living and commute time (and to a lesser extent, the famed "Seattle freeze"). Neal McNamara reports. (Patch)

'Fish Washington' app to provide up-to-the-minute information for anglers, WDFW says
Ahead of the lowland lakes fishing opener later this month, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday the debut of a new mobile application that will help users determine fishing regulations across the state. The free app, titled "Fish Washington," is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and via the WDFW website. It lists up-to-the-minute regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state, WDFW says. The app launches ahead of the lowland lakes fishing opener on April 28, which is considered the biggest fishing day of the year in Washington. Lauren Smith reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Tue Apr 10 2018  
 SE wind 20 to 30 kt becoming SW 25 to 35 kt in the  afternoon. Combined seas 6 to 7 ft with a dominant period of  11 seconds building to 9 to 11 ft with a dominant period of  11 seconds in the afternoon. Rain in the morning then showers in  the afternoon.
 S wind 20 to 30 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft subsiding to 1 to 3 ft after  midnight. SW swell 12 ft at 11 seconds. Showers in the evening  then rain after midnight.

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