Local group opposes military use of state parks

The group “No Park Warfare” has organized to oppose the state allowing the Navy to use state parks as military training sites. Count me in as this is another expansion of the never ending reach of the military here in our area. Have we ever been asked to vote on this? Nope. All done through a board of non-elected officials who apparently ignored thousands of emails in coming to their decision. 

 

“S.O.S. WA STATE PARKS ALERT!
Fellow Park Lovers,
We are challenging the
recent State Parks Commission decision to allow Navy SEAL covert
training in our coastal Washington State Parks.
We are a group of everyday citizens who believe we can stop this horrible plan if we all pull together right now. 
Read & Sign our Citizens’ Complaint Letter Here.
Please sign before March 31 when we will submit this letter.

The letter can be found at:

https://noparkwarfare.wordpress.com/

NAS Whidbey resumes practices; Fidalgo noise may increase – Skagit Valley News

It’s not just Fidalgo Island, as these jets can be heard in Port Townsend, especially when the air is calm. The region of Admiralty Inlet has been designated, without virtually any debate, a major training area for the Navy. Our politicians failed us on this one, as we are going to see an increasing amount of jet and helicopter traffic.

Fidalgo Island residents might hear some extra noise in the next few weeks as Naval Air Station Whidbey Island ramps up practices for their Electronic Attack Wing at Ault Field. The Field Carrier Landing Practices will begin on Nov. 4in Oak Harbor and last for approximately three weeks, said a release from the base. These practices are crucial for pilots training to qualify for aircraft carrier operations. For the trainings, the base will use either runways 7/25 or 14/32, depending on conditions. This will be the first time runway 14/32 has been used for FCLPs since July. Kera Wanielista reports.

http://www.goskagit.com/news/local_news/nas-whidbey-resumes-practices-fidalgo-noise-may-increase/article_0c572e00-7d00-5ee7-8d34-0c79c005ba46.html

Come out to Shellfest today (8/17) on Marrowstone Island

Looking for outdoor activities today? You can drive, bike, swim, sail, or paddle your way across to Fort Flagler to have fun at Shellfest 2013. The Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee will be one of many exhibitors at the at Fort Flager on Marrowstone Island today. Here’s a bit of the schedule.  Come out for some great shellfish if for no other reason! It’s very shellfish of you, I know, but hey, just remember to “keep clam.”

Shellfest-2013-Fort-Flagler-Poster-final-LR

 

 

Shellfest 2013 Program

 

 

Porpoise deaths off Whidbey raise alarms about health of Puget Sound

Three dead porpoises have washed ashore on Whidbey Island in a matter of days, and now some experts are wondering if the animals were ill – or the cause of their deaths is something worse. One of the porpoises was found a few yards away from the iconic Admiralty Lighthouse on Whidbey Island, and Susan Berta is hoping to find answers that will shed light on the mystery.

The dead harbor porpoise found near the lighthouse is the third one she has investigated this week. Just as concerning is what happened north of here, along the San Juan Islands. In early May, over a seven-day stretch, eight porpoises were found dead along the shoreline.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Porpoise-deaths-raise-alarms-about-health-of-Puget-Sound-151268325.html

Harnessing Tides in the Northwest–KCTS

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — The sun is setting as the Jack Robertson, a 65-foot research vessel, leaves the harbor. Two spidery-looking orange pieces of machinery, each one weighing about 1,000 pounds, crouch on the back deck. These sea spiders, as they’re called, are for measuring tidal currents and more.

They’re part of an extensive research project, lead by researchers at the University of Washington, to try to better understand the environmental impacts of putting turbines on the sea floor.

Read the whole story and see the video at:

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/energy/article/harnessing-tides-in-the-northwest/

Coast Guard Bill – Huge win for protection of the Strait!

-Update – Chris Dunagan goes into detail on this bill. This is really significant and is one of the most important pieces of legislation to help us protect our coasts since the Magnuson Act. Read the overview at

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2010/10/10/coast-guard-bill-covers-safety-and-budget-issues/

President Obama is expected to sign a sweeping authorization bill that reorganizes U.S Coast Guard operations, increases maritime safety rules and calls for improved oil-spill prevention and response in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

This bill has been blocked for over a year, so this is great news. It is a great win for everyone who fishes, or makes a living off people enjoying the Straits. Thanks are in order to Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray, as well as all the other people behind the scenes who pushed this, like Fred Felleman,  People For Puget Sound, The Makah Nation, and many others. This has been a major effort for over 10 years. It is sad that it took losing the Gulf to get this over the hump, but we are there. Now to the House for a final vote. This also will help better protect fishermen who have the most dangerous job in America.

9/30 Seattle Times
Bill OK’d that overhauls fishing-industry safety, protects Sound
Seattle Times staff
The U.S. Senate late Wednesday night unanimously approved a Coast Guard authorization bill that includes a major overhaul of federal fishing-industry safety laws, and measures to strengthen efforts to prevent Puget Sound oil spills.
The bill was expected to soon be approved by the House of Representatives and sent to the President Obama for signing.
“It has been nearly four years in the making to get this important legislation through Congress,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wa., who chaired a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the legislation. “This bill establishes new safety laws on oil-spill prevention and fishing vessel safety so that we can continue to operate in these pristine waters in a safe and effective manner.
…. The oil-spill provisions will include measures to expand oil-spill response capabilities around the entrance of Strait of Juan de Fuca and increase the role of Indian tribes in the response effort. The legislation will result in oil-spill response equipment, including booms and barriers, positioned along the strait.
Approximately 600 oil tankers and 3,000 oil barges travel each year through Puget Sound and carry about 15 billion gallons of oil to Washington refineries, according to Cantwell.
More at
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013032351_webcoastguardbill.html

Navy NW Training Range EIS now out – Comments welcome

In case you missed it, (which wouldn’t be hard to do), the Navy have finally released the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed NW Training range. This range, which would include helicopter training over the triangle that makes up Admiralty Inlet and a bit beyond, would greatly increase noise levels at any and all hours of day or night that the Navy sees fit. Add to that the heightened security for all us boaters to deal with, the meshing of Navy traffic with freighter traffic, threats to sea life, and general raising of security seems to make this an unwanted project for our area.  This blog certainly appreciates  our military, and it’s job protecting our country from threats. But training sailors and soldiers in the midst of a population center like Port Townsend, given that we have seen (and heard) Navy training jets from Whidbey Naval Station flying at all hours of day and night, along with the likelyhood of increased accidents and sealife threats (noise etc.) just seems like a recipe for problems.  It would be great to see this training idea moved further west, perhaps off Neah Bay area, where they already train.

Comments are due by OCTOBER 12th.  Please visit the Navy web site, http://www.NWTRangeComplexEIS.com to download, read and comment on this proposal.

Snohomish PUD tidal project gets $10 million federal grant

While I have some reservations from an environmental point of view, I am happy that the PUD is going to be able to do more experimentation on this. If we are ever going to get off coal and oil, we have to do some new generation on something and tidal does seem to hold some promise. Solar in the NW and wind are not going to get us there.

—————————————————————————————-
The Everett Herald
Tidal power here is suddenly riding a wave of cash. The Snohomish County Public Utility District was told Thursday it’s receiving $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for its pilot tidal energy project in Admiralty Inlet. The PUD will match the grant with $10.1 million of its own. Only a handful of tidal power projects are operating worldwide, PUD officials said. "We’re excited to be leading the way in the research of this innovative energy source — another tool to help us and the nation combat climate change and attain energy independence," PUD general manager Steven Klein said in a press release.
To continue reading >> <http://psp.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1e527a1c4505cbd9d6662d091&id=822cda4018&e=7fe7e0e103>

%d bloggers like this: