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.

Scientists map global routes of ship-borne invasive species – BBC

We who live on a major shipping lane are constantly grappling with this threat. The Coast Guard is on watch for invasives, but from what I’ve seen, very little money is spent on this project.

Scientists have developed the first global model that analyses the routes taken by marine invasive species. The researchers examined the movements of cargo ships around the world to identify the hot spots where these aquatic aliens might thrive. Marine species are taken in with ballast water on freighters and wreak havoc in new locations, driving natives to extinction. The research is published in the Journal Ecology Letters. Matt McGrath reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22397076

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