Fukushima Radiation Update – Woods Hole Oceanographic

We have posted here about the Fukushima radiation issues since the plant was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami that followed it in 2011. While the contamination of the ocean is an outrage and the subsequent lack of concern by all the worlds leaders is even more so, (including President Obama), there has been ongoing citizen efforts, led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, to monitor for radiation. Here is a great update, a call for funding for an even better way to monitor, and a good graphic to help people understand the scale of the problem, in relationship to other radiation exposure. Very good reading. Feel free to donate to their cause which is included in the document.

CLICK on the IMAGES to see full screen.

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Woods Hole Fukushima Overview

Orca census shows increase in Southern Resident population -Watching Our Waterways

Some good news it seems, though preliminary.

A census of the killer whales that frequent Puget Sound is due today, and it appears that the total population of the three Southern Resident pods is 82, up from 79 last year at this time. But that’s not the end of the story, because two small groups of orcas have not been seen recently — so a final count must wait, according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research, which conducts the annual census. Chris Dunagan reports.


The Olympic Peninsula Environmental News on the radio (and streaming) Noon to 12:30 today

Tune in. http://www.kptz.org or 91.9 for the local folks.

25th anniversary of spotted owl listing: fewer owls, less timber industry – PDN

While there is less timber industry, the reduction in jobs is likely from automation, not environmental protection. And many other factors. In short, it would have happened anyway. The Spotted Owl was and is a convenient target. I just returned from a road trip, and saw lumber mills of various types from Central Oregon, to Sacramento, and over to the North California Coast and  back to Grays Harbor. Everywhere, at every single mill, are more log stockpiles than I’ve seen since the shipping of raw logs to Japan in the early 80s. In one morning, I counted 8 full logging trucks in less than 10 minutes heading into a mill near Astoria. It’s just not true to say that the Spotted Owl regulations is stopping logging. It apparently was 13% of the timber on the Olympic Peninsula, yet is blamed for an almost 70% drop in logging. Not possible. It was so many more things, though it contributed. Perhaps the local independent loggers  would have been better served coming to a solution sooner, rather than blaming the environs. Good work by George Erg. More on this next week.

The heated debate over whether to curtail the logging of old-growth forests to protect the northern spotted owl was at full throttle when the federal government declared the bird a threatened species June 22, 1990. At the time, environmentalists worried that the federal plan would fall short of saving the spotted owl.  Timber interests worried that a wave of environmental rules would gut the Olympic Peninsula’s wood-products industry and devastate communities. Twenty-five years later, the effects of the landmark decision can be seen in the reams of economic, industry and environmental data routinely gathered by state and federal governments. The outcomes are by turns expected, disheartening and surprising. George Erb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Some of the findings are worth noting. For example…

The Asian log-export market also tanked after 1990, with log exports to Japan plunging 70 percent from 1989 to 2000, according to a U.S. Forest Service study. Asian companies were big buyers of private logs exported through the Port of Port Angeles and elsewhere.

Read a good summary of the findings at


Conservation groups seek increased shoreline protections in Puget Sound – AP

Congratulations to FofSJ , WEC and SA. This is the kind of thing we expect you to be doing. Take the offensive.

Three conservation groups on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers to increase habitat protections along Puget Sound shorelines. Such concrete or rock structures prevent erosion and protect waterfront homes, but they also alter beaches and disrupt habitat for juvenile salmon, forage fish and other species. So Friends of San Juans, the Washington Environmental Council and Sound Action are asking the Corps’ Seattle District to use its authority to regulate so-called “shoreline armoring” projects in tidal areas. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)


Researchers study plumes of algae in Sequim, Discovery bays; biotoxins stand below hazard levels – PDN

This bloom, if it worsens, will affect tribal clamming, and crabbing, in addition to recreational users.

An algae strain capable of producing a potentially deadly biotoxin rarely found on the North Olympic Peninsula has been found in large quantities in both Sequim and Discovery bays. The marine algae has produced biotoxins in Sequim Bay, but not to the level that represents a public health risk, researchers said. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


UW researcher helping pinpoint massive harmful algal bloom – KUOW

Global warming continues to hit home. Crabbers being affected in our area.

The bloom that began earlier this year and shut down several shellfish fisheries along the West Coast has grown into the largest and most severe in at least a decade. UW research analyst Anthony Odell left June 15 from Newport, Oregon, aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research vessel Bell M. Shimada. He is part of a NOAA-led team of harmful algae experts who are surveying the extent of the patch and searching for “hot spots” — swirling eddies where previous research from the UW and NOAA shows the algae can grow and become toxic to marine animals and humans. Hannah Kickey and Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

See also: Dungeness Crabbers Hit Hard By Algae Bloom On Washington Coast http://kuow.org/post/dungeness-crabbers-hit-hard-algae-bloom-washington-coast Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)



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