Submarine, support vessel collide off Washington coast – AP via Q13Fox

While not fatal to the environment (at least that we know about due to Navy secrecy), it is a reminder of how at risk our Strait and Coast are to possible radioactive contamination if one of these vessels has a catastrophic failure due to a crash. How their support vessel crashed into them is something  I hope we get more information on, from the Navy. Perhaps Derek Kilmer’s staff can ask for clarification?

BANGOR, Wash. (AP) — The Navy says a ballistic-missile submarine and a support vessel collided off the coast of Washington state.

There were no injuries from the Thursday evening incident in the Strait of Juan de Fuca involving the USS Louisiana and the offshore support vessel. In a statement, the Navy said the collision occurred during routine operations.

From http://q13fox.com/2016/08/19/submarine-support-vessel-collide-off-washington-coast/

 

Did the US Navy Break Federal Laws to Push War Games Over National Forests? – Truth Out

The continuing saga of the Navy taking over more land, sea and air space, with the implied notion that they “own” it. We need a good lawyer out here that can stop this nonsense.  A good read by Truth-Out’s local writer Dahr Jamail.

“The Navy has an astonishing sense of entitlement to public lands and waters,” Sullivan said about how the Navy has approached the public’s concerns over its operations. “Northwest Training and testing range manager Kent Mathes told me last year after a public meeting, ‘We own the airspace and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.'”

As Truthout previously reported, if it gets its way, the Navy would be flying Growler jets – electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming – in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day. Naval surface fleet ships will also be participating by homing in on ground-based emitters – a topic that was never discussed in the Navy’s environmental assessment.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33387-us-navy-allegedly-broke-federal-laws-to-push-forward-electromagnetic-war-training-over-national-forests

Trudeau victory means uncertain future for pipeline projects – CBC

The first of many good news articles for the north coast of British Columbia, but with concerns still alive about tanker traffic increases in the Straits and Salish Sea, especially around the San Juans. This battle is not over yet, but at least a favorable government to ending it is now coming to power.

The Liberal victory in yesterday’s federal election appears to be the nail in the coffin for one West Coast pipeline project, but the future of another remains unclear. Incoming-prime minister Justin Trudeau is on record saying he would kill the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal, which would carry crude oil from the Alberta oilsands to a tanker terminal on the North Coast of B.C. near Prince Rupert…. That leaves the proposed expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Alberta to Port Metro Vancouver on the South Coast of B.C. While Trudeau has promised to formalize the non-binding moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s North Coast passed by MP’s in 2010 — that ban applies specifically to the North Coast. And that leaves leave the door open for Kinder Morgan, which is seeking approval from the NEB to twin the 50-year-old pipeline, tripling its capacity, and increasing the tanker traffic in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet on the South Coast. Mike Laanela reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/trudeau-pipelines-northern-gateway-kinder-morgan-1.3280444

Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections: A 43 Percent Increase – Friends of the San Juans

The battle is on to stop the expansion of shipping oil through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea. Our gems, the San Juan Islands, lie directly in the path of a huge increase in vessel traffic, much of it carrying very destructive processed oil. Here are facts, based on the filings of the companies themselves.


If all the new and expanding terminal and refinery projects in the Salish Sea are permitted and developed, including projects that became operational in 2014, there would be a 43 percent increase in large, commercial marine vessel traffic. Friends of the San Juans and San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping have released the Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections featuring 18 new or expanded proposed or recently completed projects, which cumulatively would add an additional 5,300 annual vessel transits to and from ports in British Columbia and Washington State…. The Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections flyer and source information are available at Safe Shipping in the Salish Sea http://www.sanjuans.org/safeshipping/. (9/23/15 News Release from Friends of the San Juans/San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping)

Provided by Friends of the San Juans/San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping

Provided by Friends of the San Juans/San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping

Lyre River Property Purchased for Conservation Area

Great news from the North Olympic Land Trust. If you have not been to the Lyre, it’s a beautiful small river out west of PA.
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A 280-acre property that is important to several salmon species and wildlife will be permanently conserved, thanks to its recent purchase by North Olympic Land Trust. The property abuts the Lyre River on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, about 20 miles west of Port Angeles. This property features an important estuary at the mouth of the Lyre River, streams, wetlands, tidelands, kelp beds and bluff-backed beaches. It also includes a large upland area with a diverse forest at various ages of growth.

“The Land Trust has been working with community partners for years to conserve this property,” said North Olympic Land Trust Board President Karen Westwood of Sequim. “This is the largest land protection project in the Land Trust’s almost 25-year history and will be a terrific place for the community to enjoy local forests and shoreline.”

The Land Trust and local partners bought the property with grants from the state’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Fund, Marine Shoreline Protection Fund, and Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program. The Land Trust also contributed its own money. The previous land owner has also provided a donation to pay for ongoing stewardship of the property. Critical partners include the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Puget Sound Partnership, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and the Makah Tribe.

This project was ranked eighth among regional large-scale capital projects for 2013-15 PSAR funding by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. This ranking was based on impact to salmon recovery, project readiness, and how the individual project would advance Puget Sound Action Agenda targets.

Planning is underway for the use of the property. Visitors will be able to park about a mile from the beach and walk in from there. Visitors can enjoy day-use activities such as birdwatching, wildlife viewing, surfing, picnicking, and beach walking. The area will be closed to all motor vehicles.

This property purchase is a win not only for the community, but also for the mission of the Land Trust: conservation of open spaces, local food, local resources, healthy watersheds and recreational opportunities. Long-term goals of the Land Trust are to conserve lands that sustain the ecological and economic vitality of the communities of Clallam County.

The Lyre property includes the 3,000th acre that the Land Trust has conserved in Clallam County. This property will join other areas permanently conserved by the Land Trust through ownership, including properties on Elk Creek, Siebert Creek, and the Pysht River. The Land Trust also conserves land through voluntary conservation easements with private landowners. These agreements are in place on properties across the county, from the Bogachiel River to the Miller Peninsula.

This purchase pushes the value of total land conservation by the Land Trust to more than $14 million since 2007. For every unrestricted dollar donated by supporters to run the Land Trust, the organization has conserved $16 of land in Clallam County.

Drift Card Project Shows the impact of an Oil Spill – Globe and Mail

Experiment using plywood cards shows the effects of a major oil spill on the Strait, San Juans and beyond.

An interesting experiment generates unexpected results. And shows how vulnerable we all are to the massive increase in oil tankers that the Canadian Government is hell-bent on creating in the Straits just outside our windows. This issue is trans-border. The San Juans will be one of the first hit by a major spill. The beaches along the Strait are next.

A small piece of plywood that washed up in Haida Gwaii shows the potentially massive reach of an oil spill in the Salish Sea, say environmental groups studying the risks associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/drift-card-project-shows-potential-impact-of-oil-spill/article16845002/

Mystery kelp found in Strait at Elwha River mouth – PDN

An uncommon species of kelp was found last week off the Elwha River mouth — possibly a species that has not been seen there before. A team of scientists found the kelp, thought to be Laminaria ephemera or Laminaria yezoensis, during a survey of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the Elwha River mouth and brought it to the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier for temporary safekeeping. “There is something strange going here, something different,” said Steve Rubin, a fishery biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Arwyn Rice reports.

Read the whole story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130919/news/309199984/mystery-kelp-found-in-strait-at-elwha-river-mouth

Support local journalism: subscribe to the Peninsula Daily News

Halibut and Ling Cod fishing season set.

Season will open in May. Hood Canal and South Puget Sound being closed to help protect the rockfish population, which could be argued is similarly threatened in the Strait, but for some reason the State scientists felt that the populations there are healthy enough to support more by catch.

We hope all you fishermen will stick to one Halibut a day, and report your catch. Your reporting helps make the science better, and ultimately leads to you being able to your grandchildren being able to fish. Given the current trend, that’s seriously in doubt.

Be aware that the Seattle Times is preparing to put a pay wall into affect. Soon you may have to subscribe to get any content from them. I recommend that anyone that appreciates getting substantial local news subscribe to their local papers. Us bloggers don’t get paid to go out and gather the news. The newspapers do, if ever so poorly since the Internet has hobbled their profit model.

Puget Sound getting ready for halibut seasons similar to last year’s
The Seattle Times

Halibut fishing will be closed in Hood Canal (Area 12) as well as
south-central and southern Puget Sound (Areas 11 and 13) to protect
endangered rockfish …
<http://seattletimes.com/html/othersports/2020525080_outn10.html

Nice short video showing forage fish in action in the Strait

When you see the fish diving at the herring balls, this is likely what’s happening under the water.
http://www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org/video.htm

Caffeine flushed into Pacific Ocean stresses marine life–CBC

So my question is: Is Caffeine ‘legacy’ as well as modern? Does it have a half life? Is this the caffeine that was dumped by our fathers in the 30s into the Sound after drinking coffee? Or is it modern?

Caffeine has become a significant pollutant in the ocean off the U.S. Pacific Northwest, according to a university researcher. Elise Granek, a marine ecologist at Portland State University in Oregon, sampled waters up and down the Oregon coast and found measurable levels of caffeine…Granek, who did all her initial research in the waters off Oregon, said she’s curious about caffeine levels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between southern Vancouver Island and the Washington coast. That’s where Victoria pumps untreated sewage effluent directly into its coastal waters, and won’t have a sewage treatment facility in place until 2018.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/08/28/bc-ocean-caffeine.html

Victoria should brace for rising sea levels, more storms: climate change report – Vancouver Sun

Our neighbors across the Strait assess what climate change might mean to us on the Strait.

A risk assessment on climate change for the City of Victoria says it needs to start work now to prepare for rising sea levels, more storms, wetter winters and drier summers. The assessment looks at the projected risks the city will face with changes in climate conditions by 2050. The report predicts temperatures in Victoria could rise by more than two degrees by 2050, the amount of summer rain could drop by 32 per cent, while winter precipitation may jump 14 per cent, along with a similar increase in the number of intense storms.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Victoria+should+brace+rising+levels+more+storms+climate+change/7109202/story.html

June 4th: Silence is not an option in Canada

Things are not going well for environmental protection on the north side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Since Canadian voters elected a majority conservative government and PM, an all out slashing of social and environmental programs is underway. Programs that have long supported environmental protection and science are falling away. The most immediate concern for those of us on this side of the Strait, is the removal of tanker monitoring to somewhere near Ottawa. This would be like moving our Coast Guard monitoring to Chicago. When governments let their guards down, is usually when mistakes happen, and get compounded. Given the ease by which oil spreads on water. We must be helping our friends on the other side to restore these disastrous cuts before we are cleaning up a mess that will be “our” mess too. Letting federal officials, like Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and others, know that you are concerned about this, would be a good start. On June 4th, Canadian environmental groups and others are planning a ‘black out’ day to alert the public to the threat.
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Georgia Strait Alliance writes: ‘In recent memory, there has never been such an open attack by our federal government on our environment and the civil society that is its voice. And that is why there has never been a more important time for us to speak up. So on June 4th Georgia Strait Alliance is joining organizations, businesses, unions, bloggers and individuals from across the country to “Black Out, Speak Out”.’

http://georgiastraitalliance.blogspot.ca/2012/05/june-4th-silence-is-not-option.html

The oily truth, strait up: 800 tankers a year in Strait

As Victorians fuss about the idea of an expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline sending 350 oil tankers sliding past our front door every year, consider this: We already have 800 going the other way.

U.S. government statistics show 548 tankers entered Juan de Fuca Strait bound for Washington state ports in 2010.

Another 252 came in bound for Canada. Jack Knox unpacks the numbers.

The oily truth, strait up: 800 tankers a year http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Jack+Knox+oily+truth+strait+tankers+year/6522107/story.html

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Jack+Knox+oily+truth+strait+tankers+year/6522107/story.html

Canadian oil boom may bring many more tankers to Northwest waters

6/11 Seattle Times
Canadian oil boom may bring many more tankers to Northwest waters
By Craig Welch
Seattle Times environment reporter

In the icy oil fields of Alberta, gargantuan machines traverse open-pit mines to access one of the greatest oil deposits on Earth: Canada’s oil sands.

That massive store of energy has touched off political feuds in the U.S. over a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline to funnel crude oil to the Gulf of Mexico.

But fights over Canada’s oil sands could have an impact much closer to home. One company is hoping to boost oil-sands shipments to Asia through Northwest waters — plans that would quadruple tanker traffic through Vancouver, B.C., and dramatically increase the amount of oil traveling through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

More at
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015297007_tanker12m.html

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