National ocean acidification study finds Northwest among hardest-hit regions- KPLU

More news on the Ocean Acidification front, which is right here. The race to save our shellfish industry is on. International action is needed but there is no political will to fight it at that level. The changes needed for the US, China and India are so immense, that only a massive shift to electric vehicles along with solar and wind replacing coal will likely help. China continues to built coal plants like there is no tomorrow, and frankly, they may be right!

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report today that won’t come as a surprise to Northwest shellfish growers. Ocean acidification–a chemical imbalance in the water caused by carbon dioxide emissions–is hitting the Northwest harder than other parts of the country. Authors of the report, “Vulnerability and adaptation of US shellfisheries to ocean acidification,” ranked Oregon and Washington high among regions expected to be rocked by the ocean’s changing chemistry, but not only because of our water conditions. They picked us because many Northwesterners make their living off shellfish – a species that’s particularly vulnerable to acidification. Kelly House reports. (Oregonian)

See also: Acidifying Waters Are Endangering Your Oysters And Mussels Christopher Joyce reports. (KPLU)

US sea level north of New York City ‘jumped by 128mm’ – BBC

More news that should concern our city and county planners. The rise of sea level is happening at the extreme end of the spectrum rather than the middle or lower end of the curve. This will be of concern anytime there are storm tides.  While this is on the east coast, it is likely indicative of trends to be found elsewhere.

Sea levels north of New York City rose by 128mm in two years, according to a report in the journal, Nature Communications. Coastal areas will need to prepare for short term and extreme sea level events, say US scientists. Climate models suggest extreme sea level rises will become more common this century. Helen Briggs reports. (BBC)

National parks set attendance record for 2014; Olympic 6th most-visited national park in system – PDN

A good reason to not allow the Navy to expand their warfare simulations over the west end of the Olympic National Park, including the Hoh River, and Lake Quinault.

The national park system in the United States has a new attendance record for 2014. More than 290 million people visited one of the many national parks or recreational areas in the country. The old attendance record was set in 1999 when more than 287 million people visited the park system.  The 2014 record was an increase from 2013 by 7 percent, or 19 million.  The actual attendance for 2014 was 292,800,082 million people, 3,243,872 of whom visited Olympic National Park. (Peninsula Daily News)

Silt, sediment and change: Federal government releases scientific studies on Elwha River dam removal – PDN

First wave of scientific studies on the Elwha since the dam removal

Five peer-reviewed studies on the effects of the Elwha River dam removal were released this week. Authors with the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Washington Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and the University of Washington provide detailed observations about the changes in the river’s landforms, waters and coastal zone during the first two years of dam removal, which began in 2011. In the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were demolished, allowing the river to revert to its wild state. The five new papers can be found in Elsevier’s peer-reviewed journal, Geomorphology, which can be found at (Peninsula Daily News)

In memory of … Ticiang Diangson: A legacy of environmental justice – NW Asian Weekly

I know that there are many ex-Seattle people here on the Peninsula. Some of you may have worked with Ticiang, (another Chicago transplant), and not have known that she was ill. She accomplished a lot for the larger community. A small side note, I hear complaints by some people on an almost monthly basis about how Seattle  and the Pacific NW are ‘not like they used to be” because of the influx of ‘outsiders”. These are usually from people fortunate enough by the luck of birth to have been born here. Ticiang was a person who came to the Northwest and accomplished a lot to make it a better place. She spent more time living here and giving her energy to us than she did in her time living ‘where she came from’. Worth remembering the next time you hear someone moaning about ‘the people moving to the state.’ Perhaps it would be better to complain less and act more for our area, as Ticiang did in her life. We all have something to give.

A pioneer in the field of environmental justice, Ticiang Diangson died peacefully on Jan. 29 at her home on Beacon Hill.  The legacy of her work lives on in Seattle and in cities throughout the nation. (NW Asian Weekly)

Proposal wants big study for Puget Sound’s little fish – KOMO news

While this Senate bill is a great idea, I don’t see a companion House bill  (see comment below, apparently there is), I assume that this will not survive the session. It also has no bi-partisan supporters. Maybe it’s a ‘stake in the ground’ kind of proposal, to try and pave the way for a full House and Senate set of bills in the next session in 2016.

Puget Sound’s little fish – the kind that school together near the shore – don’t have the celebrity status of salmon or orcas. But as the populations of herring, smelt and other forage fish dwindle, so too may the sound’s more iconic species. A bill by state Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, aims to improve what state regulators readily admit is a poor understanding of the small fish that serve as prey for the sound’s larger predators…. Senate Bill 5166 would initiate the most comprehensive study of forage fish ever undertaken in Puget Sound. It would also require a recreational fishing license for smelt, a species typically caught with dip nets near the shore…. Sound Action, the Coastal Conservation Association and the National Audubon Society’s Washington chapter are among the environmental groups that have spoken in favor of the bill. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun) If you like to watch: Sound Action – Forage Fish Matter

Jefferson Healthcare and Grace Lutheran Church lease gifted mineral rights in North Dakota to frackers

This has to be one of the stranger stories lately. Apparently the hospital and church were gifted this mineral lease back in 2000. The hospital and the church will apparently get a minimum of $36,000.

A local watchdog, according to the story, has already requested that the Governor step in and stop this kind of leasing from public facilities. It is ironic that a public healthcare facility would be profiting from a technology that is harming the health of citizens, rivers and air in North Dakota.

It brings into question whether the hospital and other public entities in PT should have instructions given them about divesting in oil and gas exploration investments. I believe that would an appropriate decision. Perhaps a ballot initiative is needed?

Not sure why our firebrand liberal “Occupy” hospital commissioner Matt Ready only gave a tepid “abstain” vote. Maybe he would like to clarify that in our comments. I would have expected a stronger vote than that from him.

Perhaps the money could be donated to the Mountainview Swimming Pool and workout facility fund, to help get us closer to a pool upgrade. There is of course, the still hanging issue of why the public hospital is teaming with a non-profit (the YMCA) to build and run a facility when we have 3 working health clubs already in town, paying city taxes, struggling to survive, and providing working class wages to a lot of people. Oh, and the Sequim pool levy apparently failed to pass, meaning that it’s future is in doubt. Worth thinking about that for the future of the pool levy here. Do we need a workout facility tied to the pool given the voters lack of enthusiasm for ongoing funding of these facilities? Lots of questions.

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