Petition seeks upgrades to Puget Sound Treatment Plants – Kitsap Sun

This upgrade would cost cities tens of millions of dollars. While it’s a noble goal, and one that should eventually be implemented for the health of the Salish Sea, poorer counties like Jefferson and Clallam would be put in a very difficult position financially. There is no money coming out of Washington D.C. to fund these efforts anymore, thanks to the folks who elected our current President and Senate. You can’t have both an anti-environmental President and expect to get help to do such things as improve the sewage outflows of our rural cities.  As to the State of Washington providing for these upgrades, given the current demands of culvert replacement and the McCleary Decision, I wouldn’t expect any funding for this anytime soon, if ever. By the way, I’ve heard that Port Townsend is reaching the end of life of it’s sewage treatment plant, and is making plans to eventually look at tertiary treatment. But it’s really expensive.

An environmental group, Northwest Environmental Advocates, is calling on the Washington Department of Ecology and Gov. Jay Inslee to invoke a 1945 law in hopes of forcing cities and counties to improve their sewage-treatment plants.

https://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/

Federal court upholds ruling in anchovy catch-limit lawsuit -Seafood Source

This has been a problem over and over again with NOAA. They did the same thing with net pens, using antiquated information to set modern law. very glad to see that Earth justice and these environmental groups down the coast, were able to successfully defend our fish stocks from overfishing due to NOAA limits.

A federal judge in California on Friday, 22 January, upheld her decision from last year that claimed NOAA Fisheries did not follow the law when it set the catch limit on an anchovy stock in the state.

https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/federal-court-upholds-ruling-in-anchovy-catch-limit-lawsuit

Washington state to regulate federal dams on Columbia, Snake to cool hot water, aid salmon – Seattle Times

In a move that might be the beginning of the State finally deciding that they are going to need to manage the Columbia River dams, this has been announced.That our state has been ignoring the temperatures in the Snake and Columbia for decades while billions of salmon fry and mature salmon have perished is another block in the wall of shame that has led us to this point.

Dams and climate change are the leading cause of high temperatures in the Columbia and Snake rivers that are killing salmon, according to an EPA draft analysis. Now the state wants to get involved.

And to drive home the point of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRDs) let’s review the information that has been put together by DamSense.org

The 4 LSRD’s have a benefit to cost ratio of 15¢ on the dollar, forego about 4,000 jobs and $500 million in direct expenditures and about $20 million per year that could go to State School budgets, when compared to the benefits of a free flowing river.
The cost of producing power (that is surplus and rarely available for meeting peak demands) adds significant pressure to BPA’s dire financial situation causing rate increases and diverts funds from other dams and restoration work. In the last 93,000 hours of production, the 4 LSRDs produced only 2 hours of power needed by BPA customers.

…The 4LSRDs provide no flood protection. Irrigation to a small number of farms on Ice Harbor pool can easily be upgraded as a mitigation feature of breaching.

Inland waterborne transport on the lower snake of wheat has declined significantly over the last 10 years as Washington State (through its grain shuttle service) and farmers are finding it cheaper to ship by rail. Petroleum shipments up the lower Snake virtually ceased several years ago with the only remaining terminal located at mile 1 on the lower Snake River which is NOT impacted by breaching of the 4LSRD’s

Prepared by J Waddell, Civil Engineer, PE, USACE Retired

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/washington-state-to-regulate-federal-dams-on-columbia-snake-to-cool-hot-water-check-pollution/

 

West Coast’s biggest starfish vanishing amid disease, warming oceans, study finds – Seattle Times

Not good news from the starfish front. As most of you know, the starfish wasting disease decimated our native starfish. Whether they ever return to previous numbers is in doubt. Here’s why.

A new study reveals the recent widespread die-off of starfish — linked to climate change, warming oceans and a disease epidemic — imperils the biggest starfish of all, the sunflower star.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/starfish-slaughter-along-west-coast-imperils-biggest-starfish-of-all-as-oceans-warm/

To Help Salmon, Fish Advocates Want To Kill Gulls – NW Public Broadcasting

More bad ideas on the backs of other bad ideas. Don’t bears eat salmon? Eagles? you name it. Might as well kill them all. What a bunch of idiot ideas. More feelgood options that don’t change a thing. But let’s not talk about taking down the dams that are both losing money and killing fish. Can’t go there.

There are a lot of predators known to eat imperiled salmon, from sea lions to double-crested cormorants. For a long time, biologists thought gulls weren’t a big part of the problem. Now, they say that was a miscalculation. “When some analysis was done, the impact of gulls – just in the section from McNary (Dam) to Bonneville (Dam) – nearly 20 percent of the fish taken were taken by gulls,” said Blaine Parker, an avian predation coordinator with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission…. The solution he proposes? Lethal control of specific problem gulls, along with non-lethal harassment…. Any killing of gulls — referred to as “lethal management” or “lethal control” by the government — is a tactic the Audubon Society of Portland vehemently opposes. “It’s a continuation of a very unfortunate pattern of killing wildlife to protect other wildlife,” said Bob Sallinger, conservation director at the society. It’s not the wildlife that’s the problem, Sallinger said, it’s the dams. Killing gulls, he said, is “pure scapegoating.” Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Broadcasting)

To Help Save Salmon, Fish Advocates Want To Kill Gulls 

Scientific study on issues of intertidal structures that cross water

This 2017 scientific study on the issues of intertidal structures just was sent to us. Worth listing her for future reference.  Thinking about the Hood Canal Bridge here, among others.

Executive Summary
For hundreds of years, people have built water crossing structures to enable the transportation of people, livestock, vehicles, and materials across rivers and other bodies of water. These structures have often created barriers to fish passage, an issue which has recently drawn intense scrutiny due to concerns over impacts to anadromous fish. While much work has focused on the impacts of freshwater crossing structures, inter-tidal structures have received less attention. This may be due to the importance of passage for adult anadromous fish in freshwater, and that bidirectional flows in intertidal environments complicate interpretation of structures as barriers. Intertidal water crossing structures likely have adverse impacts on juvenile life stages of fish due not only to impacts to passage, but also to impacts to estuarine habitats extensively used by these species as rearing environments. Examining the impacts of intertidal water crossing structures only through the lens of fish passage therefore misses key aspects to how these structures can affect fish.
In this report we review literature on intertidal water crossing structures and how they affect fish that depend on intertidal habitats for passage during migration or for extended rearing during early life stages. Our findings are important for establishing fish passage criteria, providing design guidelines, and identifying key data gaps for future research of intertidal water crossing structures.

 

greene-et-al.-2017-review-on-intertidal-water-crossing-structures-and-fish-1

Salish Sea Science

A good program over north of us on the Salish Sea.

Two years ago, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and the Whatcom MRC formed the North Sound Stewards, a program in which citizen scientists receive training to build a reliable stock of data on various plants and animals from local beaches and tidal zones. The goal is to inform Salish Sea recovery and protection efforts. For example, RE Sources is working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to use citizen science data in updated management and oil spill response plans.

“We need to make sure our elected officials and the public have both the information and motivation to act. Who better to help provide these than a voter who has also helped watch over our precious ocean ecosystems?” said Chris Brown, Whatcom Marine Resource Committee (MRC) member and citizen scientist.

http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/cw/currents/salish_sea_science

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