A Forgotten Hero’s Shipwreck Imperils Washington’s Oysters – Earthfix

A slow moving ecological disaster is happening in Willapa Bay. While crews work to do what they can, our underfunded state budget for derelict vessel removal is unable to mount the funds necessary to do a quick removal. Can the Governor step in with a one time funding?

Global Diving and Salvage, a Seattle-based company contracted by the state of Washington, has been helping with daily cleanup. Workers are using booms in the water and absorbent pads to soak up the materials. So far, they’ve removed about 1000 gallons of oily water and more than 60 gallons of diesel fuel and petroleum.

http://kuow.org/post/forgotten-heros-shipwreck-imperils-washingtons-oysters

Barge that’s been polluting canal for decades being removed – Kitsap Sun

Very good news. These kind of derelict vessels need to be removed from these beaches, which likely host forage fish and other critical habitat.

A derelict barge that had for decades both poisoned and smothered part of a Hood Canal estuary is finally on its way to the dump. A state Department of Natural Resources-led crew used excavators and dump trucks to break up and haul out the 475-ton barge this week. Constructed of creosote-treated timbers, the barge has been leaching wood preservatives and other chemicals into the Dosewallips River estuary, directly across the canal from Seabeck, for 40 or more years. About 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, the former shellfish processing barge also took up a piece of tidal real estate that has high value to threatened salmon and other marine life. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local/barge-thats-been-polluting-canal-for-decades-being-removed-3ca798df-6aef-6c3b-e053-0100007fe4bd-393790091.html

Legislature approves several Puget Sound priority bills

The fact that what did get put forward in the legislature this year did get passed is good news. Other bills that were important died in committee, some with very little help from even their sponsors (such as the bill allowing the banning of net pens that was sponsored by Representative Kevin Van De Wege and lightly supported by him). However, the rubber will meet the road in Olympia, this week and next, as the budget tries to get through. All these bills’ funding is stalled in the Senate, which, with a small Republican majority, is blocking a final budget. If you are so inclined, call your Representatives and Senator and tell them to get this done.  Kudos to NGO’s such as Washington Environmental Coalition, Puget Soundkeepers, Audubon, and companies such as Taylor Shellfish, who have stepped into a leadership role fighting Ocean Acidification, along with  many others who championed these bills.
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Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law all of the Puget Sound priority bills. Most recently, partners celebrated the signing of bills that prevent derelict vessels (ESHB 1245), prevent aquatic invasive species (SB 5702), strengthen the management of our coastal resources and protect Washington waters from the effects of ocean acidification (SB 5603). Attention remains on the budget, where little progress is visible toward bridging the significant impasse between the House and Senate.

Bill in Legislature seeks early action for derelict vessels–Kitsap Sun

This is a bill we should see unanimous support for, as it has been a major problem for our counties along the Sound for many decades now.

State officials would be encouraged to deal with derelict boats sooner — preferably before they sink — under a proposed law moving through the Legislature. …The legislation was approved unanimously last week by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and now moves to a vote by the full House. Chris Dunagan reports.

 http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/feb/17/state-bill-seeks-early-action-for-derelict/#axzz2LGYSOgoY

Penn Cove company shifts shellfish harvesting operation to Quilcene Bay–Port Townsend Leader

Luckily for Penn Cove Shellfish, they have a backup location. Hope that the State starts taking derelict vessels more seriously after this.

Until it gets the “all clear” notice that Penn Cove waters are clean, Penn Cove Shellfish has relocated its mussel-harvesting operation to its Quilcene Bay farm on Hood Canal.

Read the whole article at the PTleader online

http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=31481&SectionID=36&SubSectionID=55

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