From the monthly archives:

March 2009

So says Seattle Times environment reporter Warran Cornwall: The region’s dirtiest exhaust pipes, spewing tons of toxic diesel fumes into Seattle’s air, could be forced to clean up under a new federal initiative targeting freighters, cruise ships and oil tankers. The United States and Canada together are asking an international shipping regulator to require large [...]

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In today’s Peninsula Daily News, Jeff Chew has a progress report on the Northwest Maritime Center, under construction along the Port Townsend waterfront. [Jeff Chew/Peninsula Daily News photo.] Contractor Primo Construction of Carlsborg is fast at work installing windows and putting up siding outside and drywall inside the $12.5 million campus’s two structures that the [...]

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Photo courtesy of BitterEnd reader Bruce Moore. The Associated Press reports that… Pontoons with a new section of roadway for the Hood Canal floating bridge were towed out of Seattle’s Elliott Bay today for Port Gamble. Pieces are being gathered there for a six-week project in May and June to retrofit the older eastern half [...]

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A nice backgrounder over at Islands Weekly: OLYMPIA – In the 20 years since the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 10.8 million gallons of crude oil, Washington has made tremendous strides to prevent devastating spills to its state waters. “Our number one priority is preventing spills from occurring [...]

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Storms of the Pacific Museum

by Tim Flanagan on March 28, 2009

Pacific Northwest uber-weather-geek Cliff Mass shares an idea for a museum dedicated to Storms of the Pacific over on his blog: Imagine a “Pacific Storms Museum” in Westport (or some other coastal town). A facility with exhibits on past great storms (like the Columbus Day Storm), explanations of the structure and nature of major Pacific [...]

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How to catch a glimpse of mighty gray whales

by Tim Flanagan on March 28, 2009

[LUIS ACOSTA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES]  Mark Yuasa has some helpful advice for shore-based whale watching in the Seattle Times.

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Port of Shelton unveils new signs at marina

by Tim Flanagan on March 28, 2009

This story by By Dedrick Allan  appeared in the Mason County Journal on March 25th. The Port of Shelton unveiled interpretive signs at Oakland Bay Marina recently. The signs were developed by Skookum Rotary: one on water quality and the other on the working waterfront. The Rotary’s Daryl Cleveland first approached the Port nearly two [...]

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Environmentalists to battle Navy proposal

by Tim Flanagan on March 27, 2009

Justin Burnett of the the Whidbey Examiner has the story. Here’s an excerpt: Whidbey Island environmental groups opposed to the Navy’s plan to expand its Northwest training operations say they will take their objections to the highest levels of government. Representatives from Orca Network and the Whidbey Environmental Action Network have agreed to team up [...]

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Gray whales return to Whidbey waters

by Tim Flanagan on March 27, 2009

King 5 has the report, and a slideshow of great photos by Veronica von Allworden of Sea and Sky Photography. WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. –  Resident gray whales have returned to Whidbey and Camano Island waters, according to the Orca Network’s Whale Sighting Network. The whales have been spotted in Saratoga Passage, Port of Susan and [...]

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Port of Tacoma to take another nip, tuck

by Tim Flanagan on March 27, 2009

Pay raises, cell phone use targeted after revenue slower than expected With cargo traffic continuing to slide, the Port of Tacoma looks to trim more expenses. It will cut $100,000 from its cell phone bill, delay raises and cut some travel. Kelly  Kearsley at the Tacoma News Tribune has the story.

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Blackmouth season wide open in Puget Sound

by Tim Flanagan on March 27, 2009

Bill Monroe has this piece (including photo) in the Oregonian: As fish and wildlife commissions in Oregon and Washington continue their you-first standoff over the spring salmon fishery on the Columbia River, [skipper Gary] Krein and two dozen other Puget Sound charter skippers, their customers and thousands of other private anglers are focused on a [...]

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What’s wrong with Salish Sea name designation?

by Tim Flanagan on March 27, 2009

Over at Crosscut, Knute Berger writes about the most compelling objections to recognizing the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin with its own name. We’ve written about this several times. Many scientists, environmentalists and Indian tribes have already adopted the term, though it’s not official in the U.S. or Canada. Count me among them. But not everyone is [...]

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Ten ideas for saving the Salish Sea

by Tim Flanagan on March 26, 2009

The best way to save the Puget Sound is to think larger — the Salish Sea — and more holistically, argues Seattle Times guest columnist Joe Gaydos, regional director of the SeaDoc Society. In this opinion piece, he offers 10 principles to save an ecosystem that includes the 17,000-square-kilometer inland sea shared by Washington state [...]

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  ANACORTES – WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF) has removed the 144-auto ferry Elwha from service to address an emerging drive motor repair. Customers should expect service disruptions on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route this morning. The regular schedule will resume this afternoon when a vessel that was scheduled to tie up for the day will [...]

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Gregoire signs Neah Bay rescue tug bill into law

by Tim Flanagan on March 25, 2009

Here’s the story from the Seattle Times: OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a measure that requires shippers, tankers and large vessels to pay for a year-round rescue tug at Neah Bay, Wash. Gregoire signed the bill into law on Tuesday, the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William [...]

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Morning razor clam dig starts Friday

by Tim Flanagan on March 24, 2009

Mmmmm, razor clams… OLYMPIA – Clam diggers have received the go-ahead to proceed with a razor-clam dig starting Friday, March 27. Three morning digs are scheduled March 27-29 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, while Long Beach and Copalis will open March 28-29 only. Digging on all beaches must be completed by noon. The Washington Department [...]

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Region’s ports poised for big growth – by 2030

by Tim Flanagan on March 24, 2009

Cargo volumes through the region’s ports may be in the doldrums now, dogged by the global recession and the consequent drop in trade, but hang in there, things will get better, lots better. It might take awhile for that to occur, however, according to the Washington Public Ports Association and the state’s Department of Transportation. [...]

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What we need is ‘one orca, one vote’

by Tim Flanagan on March 24, 2009

Daniel Jack Chasan has a piece over at Crosscut. Here’s an excerpt: The orca vote evidently doesn’t count for much these days. The Puget Sound Partnership went to Olympia this year hoping for a statute that would enable voters in the 12 counties bordering Puget Sound to create an improvement district that could raise money [...]

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Exxon Valdez 20th anniversary coverage

by Tim Flanagan on March 24, 2009

Lots of material has been published today to mark the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. The Seattle Times has an in-depth report by Hal Bernton on the recovery, “still in progress”. Craig Bennett, director of the National Pollution Funds Center has a guest blog post over at US Coast Guard Commandant [...]

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Puget Sound Maritime has been covering preparation for the big Hood Canal Bridge closure coming up in May. Erik Hidle has a story in today’s Peninsula Daily News about Kenmore Air’s current plan: PORT TOWNSEND — A plan to land Kenmore Air passenger floatplanes in Port Townsend Bay isn’t going to take off in time [...]

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