License to kill: how Washington may lose its right to wipe out salmon – Crosscut

Good to hear that the three judge panel is not buying the wildly overinflated State cost estimates.  The need to move forward and replace these culverts is critical. The Tribes are not buying the State’s argument either.

…. (The) 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided the state must do more toward fixing its hundreds of culverts. The court affirmed a lower court decision ordering the state to replace its worst salmon-killing culverts that block passage upstream for the fish. A unanimous three-judge panel held that the culverts violate federal treaties signed with Washington tribes. When the 9th Circuit ruled for the feds and tribes on appeal, it scathingly rejected the state’s arguments and even its math. For one thing, the court found the state’s cost estimates — running to $1.9 billion — were “dramatically overstated.” This case really goes back to issues raised nearly half a century ago, and its legal underpinnings stretch back more than a century before that.  Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

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)

Marbled murrelet plans to have little impact on county harvests, says Clallam commissioner – PDN

I assume this is good news. I’ve not heard anything to make me think otherwise. The issue is really about whether they are doing anything that is significantly changing the downward slide of the bird and it’s habitat.

Proposed protections for the marbled murrelet on state-managed forests would have a “minimal impact” on harvest volumes in Clallam County, Commissioner Bill Peach reported last week. Peach also serves on the state Board of Natural Resources, which sets policies that guide how the state Department of Natural Resources manages forest lands and other resources. The DNR board is considering six alternatives in a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet, a seabird that nests in coastal forests. It is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.   Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Free Speaker Event: Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change


Free Speaker Event: Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change

PORT ANGELES – Changing chemistry in our marine waters is changing the food web and the industries that depend upon it. How those changes occur, and what each of us can do to help reduce those changes, will be explored at a speaker forum and panel discussion on September 28 at the Red Lion Inn conference room. The free event begins at 6:00 p.m., and is sponsored by Clallam County Marine Resources Committee and Olympic Climate Action.

Forum speakers will examine the ecological impacts of ocean acidification, the impacts of ocean acidification on local shellfish, water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula, and how individuals can be involved to help make a difference.

Ginny Broadhurst, Executive Director at the Northwest Straits Commission, will facilitate the event and the panel discussion. Ms. Broadhurst will also outline actions that individual citizens can take to help reduce the impacts of ocean acidification.

Anna McLaskey, PhD student at University of Washington, will discuss the ecological impacts of ocean acidification. A member of the West Coast Ocean Acidification 2016 Cruise, Ms. McLaskey will introduce the cause and chemistry of ocean acidification. Ms. McLaskey’s research focuses on the impacts of ocean acidification on crustacean zooplankton such as krill and copepods.

Bill Dewey, Director of Public Affairs for Taylor Shellfish, will explore the impacts of ocean acidification on oysters and other shellfish Mr. Dewey states, “Ocean acidification is a big deal. Sea water chemistry is going to change in dramatic ways in our lifetime. We are going to watch all the organisms shift in the ocean in ways we can’t fully understand.” He travels around the world speaking about ocean acidification, how ocean acidification impacts the shellfish industry, and how it will impact the ocean food web. Taylor Shellfish started as a family business in 1890 and today they are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the country.

Ann Soule, Resource Manager at City of Sequim, will describe future water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula. Based on future weather predictions with drier, warmer summers and wetter winters, Ms. Soule concludes that we should “harness all possible sources of water for our water-dependent region.” She has worked extensively on surface water and stormwater, and water quantity and quality issues in the Dungeness watershed and Clallam County—and will explore potential relationships between freshwater supplies and marine resources.

Following the presentations a panel will engage the audience in a discussion about ocean acidification and water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the US EPA under Assistance Agreement PC-OOJ90301.

Spaeth appointed to state Conservation Commission – PT Leader

From the Jefferson County Land Trust.

I wanted to share news of a state-wide honor for a local conservationist – Jefferson Land Trust’s Conservation Director Sarah Spaeth has just been appointed by the governor to the Washington Conservation Commission:

A pipeline next door: Canadian project means 34 tankers a month in our waters – Seattle

Joel’s take on the upcoming pipeline through Vancouver. When he goes “one step beyond” and blames the “radical/huckster wing of the local environmental movement” he is just losing me. As if he is the personal guardian angel of the environmental movement because he has column on a web site that is not read much anymore. Joel, give me a call and come up to PT for an afternoon beer on the beach here at our favorite watering hole.  You can join a couple of your old friends from the PI and Times, and a few other folks that you know. The first drink is on me. You need to chill out.

…. Nobody in public office, and certainly nobody in the radical/huckster wing of the local environmental movement, has begun developing a response to  the pipeline next door. It’s coming. The Canadian federal cabinet, on or before December 19th, is likely to approve a tripling of the TransMountain Pipeline, which carries oil from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby just east of Vancouver. The completed pipeline would have a capacity to 890,000 barrels, more than the Keystone XL pipeline.  The bitumen oil, from Alberta’s mammoth tar sands project, would be bound for export to Asia.  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Sea Grant Monitors In High Gear After Invasive Green Crab Found On San Juan Island -KNKX

The latest threat to our Salish Sea ecosystem is being investigated by volunteer teams and Sea Grant. Here’s an update on what they are finding.

This week, scientists are scouring shoreline habitat near Westcott Bay on San Juan Island, hunting for green crabs. The Washington Sea Grant Crab Team, with help from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, will set dozens of traps in an effort to learn more about the population of the invasive species. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

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