Environment 1280 results

READY TO RECYCLE? ‘Roundup’ on Sunday

One more reminder that Fauntleroy Church‘s twice-a-year Recycle Roundup is now just two days away – 9 am to 3 pm Sunday (September 24th). Drive up, ride up, or walk up to drop off, free, whatever the Recycle Roundup partner 1 Green Planet is accepting (scroll through the list above, or see the PDF version here). As always, the church – which is at 9140 California SW [map] – advises that lines are shorter in the early going.

READY TO RECYCLE? 2 West Seattle events now ahead

We’ve already previewed the next Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church – just a week and a half away, 9 am-3 pm Sunday, September 24th – and now a second West Seattle event is set for this fall: The West Seattle Junction Association has announced a recycle/reuse event for 9 am-1 pm Saturday, October 14th (in the parking lot on 42nd SW just south of SW Oregon).

The two events are complementary to some degree – while the Fauntleroy event has a long list of what will be accepted, it also has a short list of what won’t, and some of those items WILL be accepted at the Junction event – clothing, Styrofoam, wooden furniture, for example.

Both events are free!

WEST SEATTLE SMOKE: Why Puget Sound Clean Air Agency didn’t order a burn ban

As we’ve tracked the smoky, ashy air in recent days – with murky skies, and reddened sun and full moon (photo at right is by Jim Spraker), plus Weather Service alerts – one question came up in comment discussion: Why didn’t the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency order a burn ban this time? We sent the question to the agency’s communications team two days ago. Today, they sent air-quality scientist Phil Swartzendruber our way to explain. And even though the smoke is clearing, so it’s a moot point for now, we thought you might be interested in how he explained it during our phone conversation:

Read More

SMOKE LINGERS: National Weather Service extends Air Quality Alert into tomorrow

With morning views like that one from Don Brubeck riding on the low bridge, above, and from Roy van Duivenbode, riding on the Water Taxi, below, you won’t be surprised to hear the National Weather Service has extended its wildfire-smoke-fueled Air Quality Alert for the area into tomorrow, now set to expire at 5 pm Wednesday.

The NWS’s latest “forecast discussion” acknowledges “many reports of falling ash” (we first mentioned it late last night), saying it “will likely continue” this afternoon. Here’s a car-top view of that, from David Hutchinson on Alki:

Back to the NWS update:

The smoke will actually help keep high temperatures down today. Have updated the morning forecast to reflect this with highs generally reaching into the mid to upper 80s over much of the area … The thermally induced surface trough along the coast will move into the interior late this afternoon helping start the transition back to onshore flow along the coast in the afternoon and evening. The heat advisory remains in effect for parts of the area today.

Weak low-level flow onshore tonight will help marine clouds work onto the coast and to a limited extend into the interior, reaching as far as (Shelton) by Wednesday morning. This will help improve air quality somewhat as smoke clears from the west overnight. It is likely that this clearing will mostly affect the coast and strait tonight, with smoke likely lingering into Wednesday over much of the interior. Have extended the air quality alert through Wednesday afternoon to reflect this.

No burn ban, though; we have a question out to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency seeking information about that.

If you’re looking for wildfire updates – lots of info here. (And a smoke-specific update is here, with questions being answered in the comment section.)

P.S. Expect another red moon tonight – moonrise is at 7:41 pm, and it’s officially full just after midnight.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Moon reddens, as smoke brings Air Quality Alert

9:49 PM: Thanks to Ben Hutchinson for the photo! We were discussing the smoke-reddened almost-full-moon view on Twitter thanks to a heads-up from @WestSeaWx, but no image until Ben’s photo arrived. The color’s a lot like what we saw at sunset, vivid orange-red, now that wildfire smoke has moved back in – this time the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says it’s coming west from the Cascades. And the National Weather Service has an Air Quality Alert for our area through midnight tomorrow night, citing Montana smoke moving this way too. This map shows the fires around the region:

Meantime, we’re also still under a Heat Advisory alert from the NWS>, through 10 pm Tuesday night.

11:11 PM: If you go out to look at the moon, you might notice ash in the air, too, and a light dusting on parked vehicles.

GET READY! 3 weeks until fall Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church

Got a little spare time this holiday weekend? See if you have anything to drop off at the upcoming fall edition of Fauntleroy Church‘s legendary Recycle Roundup. Above (or here, in PDF), you can see the list of what 1 Green Planet will (and won’t) be accepting this time around. When the big day arrives (Sunday, September 24th), just walk/ride/drive into the church parking lot at 9140 California SW, 9 am-3 pm, and drop off your item(s). It’s free, though of course the church’s Green Committee will gladly accept donations to help cover their costs for this twice-a-year community event.

FARMED-SALMON ESCAPE: Are they making their way here?

Kersti Muul sent that photo of what she identified as a two-foot-long Atlantic salmon, caught tonight at Seacrest Pier in West Seattle. She wondered about the timing, given that it turned up days after thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon escaped from a collapsed pen in the North Sound. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife news release about the situation says there’s no size or catch limit for Atlantic salmon, as long as you’re fishing in an area where it’s already open for Pacific salmon, among other caveats – here’s the latest info on salmon fishing in Elliott Bay.

Here’s a state-produced page showing how to identify Atlantic salmon. The North Sound pen collapse has rekindled long-running concerns about farming them in Northwest waters; as summarized by WDFW: “Potential impacts by escaped Atlantic salmon include competition, predation, disease transfer, hybridization, and colonization.

HEALTH ALERT: Cormorant Cove beach closed

After our friends at Beach Drive Blog published a report of a warning sign on the beach at Cormorant Cove Park, in the 3600-3700 block of Beach Drive, we started checking around with public agencies today. From Andy Ryan at Seattle Public Utilities:

Yesterday (8/22), SPU responded to a report of an active side sewer leak, at 3601 Beach Drive SW. We contacted the property manager, who was unaware of the leak, and who then called the plumber to arrange for repairs. SPU’s inspector posted beach-closed signs and reported the leak to: the state Department of Ecology; Public Health — Seattle & King County – King County; the state Department of Health and Seattle Parks. SPU will coordinate with the property management to ensure the repair is completed and, as advised by Public Health — Seattle & King County – King County, will begin to take water quality samples after the leak is stopped.

AT THE ADMIRAL: Panel discussion after ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ opening night Friday

(Trailer for ‘Inconvenient Sequel’)

Just in from the Admiral Theater:

This Friday, we are excited to begin our engagement of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Al Gore’s follow up to his 2006 pivotal movie, which brought the importance of the global-warming issue to the forefront.

A decade ago, “An Inconvenient Truth” brought climate change into the heart of popular culture. Gore’s follow-up sequel shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. From director Davis Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Sequel, offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming and inspire actions to prevent it.

The movie will normally screen at 7 PM, but Friday starts at 6:30 pm so that after we can bring an exciting and informative Q&A panel of experts to answer questions and teach our audience what they can do in Washington to battle the effects of this very real issue.

The evening will be hosted by Washington Women for Climate Action Now!. This summer, WashingtonWomenCAN partnered with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to train women across our state to speak eloquently and confidently on the urgent need for powerful climate action. Climate change affects us all, but the impacts and solutions often depend on where we live. This partnership has empowered more than 50 Washington women to speak out in their own communities across our state and to lead us to a clean energy future.
The panel will feature Heidi Roop, a climate scientist with a passion for science and communication. She is currently the Strategic Communications Lead for the UW Climate Impacts Group. Heidi’s professional mission is to improve the reach and impact of climate science in order to engage, motivate and catalyze action around climate change.

Additional panelists will be added during the week and hopefully throughout the run of the movie there will be additional opportunities for more speakers and Q&A panels.

As we got ready to publish this, we got word of one more panelist for Friday: Belinda Chin, a Climate Reality Leader and Seattle Parks and Rec Program Coordinator for Sustainable Operations.


The resurgence of wildfire smoke has the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency bringing back a Stage 1 Burn Ban, as of 2 pm today, two days after the previous one was lifted. From the official announcement:

No burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:
• No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
• No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
• No campfires or bonfires
• No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
• No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
• Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal
lands during air quality burn bans.
It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
* The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a
previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Clean Air Agency

Meantime, here’s the latest on the B.C. wildfires.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Burn ban now in effect as air quality deteriorates

Thanks to Charlie Anthe for that photo that’s more about what you don’t see than what you do – Charlie explains that view from the West Seattle Golf Course usually includes the downtown skyline, which by early afternoon was completely obscured. Up here over Lincoln Park, we’re noticing that even nearby Vashon is all but impossible to see. It’s still the wildfire smoke, mostly from British Columbia, which is having one of its worst fire seasons ever. And it’s led to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency calling a Stage 1 outdoor burn ban that takes effect right now, because of air quality (or, the lack of it) – here’s what that means:


No burning in uncertified wood stoves or inserts, or fireplaces. No outdoor burning. EPA certified devices and pellet stoves are allowed.


Uncertified Wood Stoves
Uncertified Wood Inserts
Outdoor Burning

And the National Weather Service alert (Excessive Heat Warning) remains in effect through 9 pm Friday, with tomorrow expected to be hotter than today.

P.S. The NWS tweeted this view from above:

ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: James Bratsanos sent this photo of the sunset, even redder than Tuesday night:

HAPPENING NOW: Question about East Admiral tree restoration? Go ask!

July 18, 2017 8:32 am
|    Comments Off on HAPPENING NOW: Question about East Admiral tree restoration? Go ask!
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

About half an hour ago, we were the first people to stop by the question-and-answer tent at the 35th SW dead end in the 3200 block, where you can talk with Michael Yadrick of Seattle Parks and Patti Bakker of the Green Seattle Partnership until 9:30 this morning, and/or again 7:30-9:30 am tomorrow. They’re there with information about the restoration work that is now under way immediately north and east of there, on the city-owned slopes where some neighbors acknowledge involvement in the illegal cutting of more than 100 trees more than a year and a half ago.

Money from the settlement announced in April is paying for work that started this week, they tell us, with weed removal, and will continue with major planting this fall. You can even be part of it on Green Seattle Day, November 4th, when it will be one of 22 sites around the city hosting volunteers. Even if you just want to go look at the site of the infamous incident – look for the tent. And the sign that somebody tore down and threw down the slope (it will be put up again, they told us).

PUGET PARK TREE-THINNING: Why hundreds of trees will be removed, before thousands are planted

(WSB photo: Looking into the West Duwamish Greenbelt from the northeast edge of the SSC campus)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

An unusual forest-restoration project – involving a significant amount of tree-cutting as well as tree-planting – is about to get under way in eastern West Seattle’s Puget Park, after three years of planning.

The project leader says it’s work that will have benefits for decades and centuries to come – but it’s a project unlike any other they’ve undertaken, and they want people to understand why it will require taking out hundreds of trees (an estimated 600 “stems” – some trees have more than one).

We went to a weekend briefing to find out more firsthand. It’s a Seattle Parks project under the umbrella of the Green Seattle Partnership, which will have 1,500 acres in restoration citywide by year’s end. The challenge here is that the area has an “unnaturally dense hardwood canopy” – far out of balance with evergreens, and bringing them back requires removing some of that dense canopy.

Here’s what plant ecologist Michael Yadrick from Seattle Parks told attendees about what’s going to be done and why: Read More

Restoration work to start at West Seattle illegal-tree-cutting sites; 2 morning open houses next week

The city is about to start restoration work on the East Admiral sites where trees were illegally cut, three months after announcing a settlement in part of the case. Today’s announcement also includes word of two open houses next week, both early in the morning:

In 2016 more than 150 trees were cut from the Duwamish Head Greenbelt, which is owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Seattle Department of Transportation. The City of Seattle filed two lawsuits regarding the cutting. In April 2017, the City settled one of the two lawsuits. The funds from this settlement enable Seattle Parks and Recreation to begin removing and replacing damaged and destroyed trees. The settlement funds will also enable Seattle Parks and Recreation to carry out standard urban forest restoration work to protect hillsides and wetlands. SPR will remove nonnative invasives, implement erosion control measures, plant native vegetation, and monitor the site to ensure that new plantings become successfully established.

Large equipment will be moved into the north Duwamish Head Greenbelt and truck traffic will increase. SPR and the contractor will make every effort to minimize impact to the community. The project remediation and erosion control work will occur from July to December 2017 with planting occurring from November 2017 to March 2018. Additional restoration work and monitoring will last through 2022.

SPR is hosting two Informational Open Houses from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Please join us at 3201 35th Ave. SW at the dead end of 35th Ave. SW north of SW Hinds St.

All vehicles, or any other personal property items parked or stored on the public property in the north portion of the Duwamish Head Greenbelt must be removed by Sunday, July 16, 2017. The City may impound any vehicle or remove personal property remaining on the property after July 16, 2017. If you have questions please contact Michael Foster, Senior Real Property Agent, Seattle Parks and Recreation at michael.foster@seattle.gov or 206-684-0767.

For more information about the mitigation and restoration work please visit www.greenseattle.org or contact Jon Jainga, Interim Natural Resource Manager at jon.joinga@seattle.gov or 206-684-4113.

King County Superior Court online files show the case that was not settled is still proceeding through the system, with a trial date recently pushed back to May 2018.

3-day ‘Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea’ plans Friday night rally in West Seattle

A three-day advocacy walk that starts downtown tomorrow afternoon will head to West Seattle for a rally Friday night. Here’s the announcement we received:

Protectors of the Salish Sea, the Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary, and Orca Network, are co-sponsoring:


Tomorrow, Friday, July 7, 2017, 2 PM to July 9, 6 PM

Starting at Myrtle Edwards Park (3130 Alaskan Way)

DAY 1 – Friday, July 7th
2:00 PM: Meet and rally at Myrtle Edwards Park – Traditional territory of the Duwamish Nation, then launch our Walk to Protect our Salish Sea. We will walk in song and blessings of our drums as well as the blessings of Jingle Dress dancers leading us to the Duwamish Longhouse (4705 W Marginal Way SW).

6:30 to 8:00 PM: Walkers arrive and we rally, eat, and rest for the night. Dinner provided.

DAY 2 – Saturday, July 8th
7:00 AM: Breakfast provided at Duwamish Longhouse.
8:00 AM: Depart on our walk to Saltwater State Park, 25205 8th Pl S, Des Moines, where we will participate in a water blessing ceremony and song.

From there, the walkers continue to a nearby church, and on day 3, Sunday, they plan to go from Des Moines to Tacoma for a rally at the site of a proposed LNG facility. Organizers say they also are using the walk to advocate for the proposal to retire the orca Lolita (aka Tokitae) in her Pacific Northwest habitat after 47 years of East Coast captivity.

FOR OUR WILDLIFE: Clean up Alki Beach with Seal Sitters and friends next Saturday

(Photo by Robin Lindsey)

As this weekend winds down, here’s a plan you can make for the start of next weekend: Lend a couple hours next Saturday morning to help Seal Sitters keep Alki Beach wildlife from being harmed by trash. Here’s the announcement:

Let’s clean up our act! Join Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network and co-sponsor Sno-King Marine Mammal Response on Saturday, June 24th, as we clean up Alki Beach and surrounding sidewalks and streets to help reduce the impact humans have on our fragile marine ecosystem and save wildlife (photo is a typical early morning scene at Alki during warmer months). Trash on the beach becomes treacherous in the water. The “Sentinels of the Sound” cleanup is from 9:30-noon with assembly at the Statue of Liberty Plaza (Alki Avenue SW and 61st Ave SW).

All marine life is endangered by marine debris and plastics pollution. Many, many thousands of marine animals and sea birds are injured and die each year from derelict fishing gear, marine debris, and pollution. They are entangled and drowned by nets and gear – strangled and contaminated by plastics.

Harbor seals (who do not migrate and are year-round residents) and resident Puget Sound orcas, both animals at the top of the food chain, are especially hard hit by pollutants from storm runoff and plastics that break down into microscopic particles and enter the food chain. These deadly toxins are then stored in the blubber of marine mammals and passed on in mothers’ milk to nursing young.

You can truly make a difference for wildlife. Come on down and grab a bucket and pair of “pluckers” (if you have your own, please bring them). RSVP is requested – e-mail sealsitters.outreach@msn.com – to ensure there are enough materials on hand. If you can’t attend on Saturday, you can make every trip to the beach a personal cleanup day by taking a bag and gloves along with you to pick up and dispose of trash. Every little bit helps!

Please visit Seal Sitters’ website to learn more, in-depth, about the dangers of marine debris and pollution.

HAPPENING NOW: See the Delridge Wetlands Project design possibilities

June 15, 2017 6:34 pm
|    Comments Off on HAPPENING NOW: See the Delridge Wetlands Project design possibilities
 |   Delridge | Environment | West Seattle news

We’re at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, where an open house continues until 9 pm, first public review of the design alternatives for the Delridge Wetlands Project. If you can get here by 7 pm, project leader Willard Brown tells us, you’ll see the official presentation by the Pomegranate Center designers who are presenting three alternatives. This project involves a site at 23rd SW and SW Findlay that includes a former City Light substation; the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and its Nature Consortium affiliate are partnering to turn it into a park and educational site, which it’s already been for students from nearby Louisa Boren STEM K-8:

Even if you can’t get here for the presentation, stop by before 9, have a look at the designs, share your thoughts on what’s meant to be a community resource. The open house is in the south classroom on the ground floor at Youngstown, which is at 4408 Delridge Way SW.

DELRIDGE WETLANDS PROJECT: Be part of its future Thursday night

June 13, 2017 12:05 pm
|    Comments Off on DELRIDGE WETLANDS PROJECT: Be part of its future Thursday night
 |   Delridge | Environment | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, April 2016)

That’s one of the scenes we showed you on Duwamish Alive! day in spring of last year, when the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and its affiliate Nature Consortium held an event at the site that’s home to the Delridge Wetlands Project. It’s another one of Seattle City Light‘s no-longer-needed former substations, and this one, instead of going up for sale as real estate, has a different future, in a public/private partnership.

(WSB photo of site’s unfenced north side, June 2017)

You can be part of it by dropping by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center between 6 and 9 pm Thursday (June 15th). It’s a chance to see the design planned for the site, in its future as:

…a project spearheaded by DNDA to protect, restore, preserve and expand the existing wetland to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek, meanwhile developing the space as a public park for all to enjoy. Beside wetland restoration, other plans for the park include the creation of an urban garden, community orchard, as well as developing the space as an outdoor classroom for local students and the community to learn hands-on environmental science and wetland stewardship.

Youngstown CAC is at 4408 Delridge Way SW; the Delridge Wetlands Project site is at 23rd SW/SW Findlay.

VOLUNTEER POWER: Orca Month cleanup at Alki

Alki’s a little cleaner after one hour of volunteer help today – thanks to Kersti Muul for the photos and report!

Today many groups are meeting at several beaches to help clean up for “An hour for the ocean” another event for Orca Month.

I worked with Whale Scout at Alki and we got 100 pounds of trash in one hour, in a small stretch near the bathhouse!

Beautiful day, beautiful people. We had a woman from Poland there, and one from Colombia helping, amazing!

More chances to clean up the beach are coming up this summer – including a Seal Sitters event two weeks from today!

SNEAK PEEK: Go inside Murray CSO ‘wet weather facility’ before Saturday’s community celebration

(WSB photo, January 2015)

Two and a half years ago, that was the view into the then-under-construction million-gallon combined-sewer-overflow-control tank at what’s now called the Murray “wet weather facility” across from Lowman Beach (named for Murray Avenue SW).

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Today, that’s the view from atop the site – which we just toured with a delegation from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, which runs the facility, where you’re invited to a community celebration next Saturday (June 10th, 10 am-noon). The $47 million facility has been operational since last November – when it handled an overflow situation; now the exterior’s complete, too, and it’s party time. This has been eight years in the making, dating back to community meetings in 2009 to talk about options for reducing combined-sewer (the system that takes both stormwater and sewage) overflows into Puget Sound in two areas of central/south West Seattle, part of a wide-ranging court order. The Murray project – which replaced a block of residential buildings – ultimately was designed to include viewpoint, seating space, and art atop and alongside its support building. What looks like lawn, for example, is actually part of a green roof.

You might already have seen the exterior – people were there on this sunny morning doing yoga and walking the stairs. The tank itself is off-limits but we got a look at what’s inside the support building:

Read More

West Seattle weekend scene: National Trails Day hiking @ West Duwamish Greenbelt

Our area has the city’s longest stretch of contiguous forest – the West Duwamish Greenbelt – and it was the place to be to celebrate National Trails Day this weekend. Paul West from the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group shared the photos from Saturday’s guided hikes; below, Patti Bakker from Seattle Parks told hikers about the city’s forest-management plans:

The trailhead closest to Saturday’s hiking area is at 12th SW/SW Holly (map), if you want to go explore on your own. You can also help out in the forest – next work party is June 17th.

Celebrate National Trails Day with guided West Duwamish Greenbelt hikes next Saturday

May 29, 2017 12:33 pm
|    Comments Off on Celebrate National Trails Day with guided West Duwamish Greenbelt hikes next Saturday
 |   Environment | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

(Lost Pond in the West Duwamish Greenbelt)

Explore your peninsula! Next Saturday brings a special opportunity – the announcement and photo are from Judy Bentley:

On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 3, hike locally without crossing the bridge.

The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group is sponsoring guided hikes in the largest urban forest in Seattle, on a ridge above the Duwamish RIver. Members of the trails group and Nature Consortium will be on hand to guide hikers and provide information on the history and reforestation of the greenbelt.

The first half of the trail is a constructed gravel trail. The second half is muddier and less developed. There are a few ups and downs and a bit of scrambling but only modest elevation changes, suitable for most ages with appropriate footwear. The trail makes a loop from the south end of the campus of South Seattle College, paralleling the campus in the greenbelt, to the Chinese Garden and Arboretum at the north end of campus, returning to the start along the campus and 16th Ave. SW.

Guided hikes will be at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Meet at 12th Ave. SW and SW Holly Street.

More details can be found here.

The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group’s work was also featured at the first stop on last Thursday night’s Highland Park Find It, Fix It Walk (WSB coverage here).

West Seattle weekend scene: Cottonwood ‘snowstorm’

If you’ve been anywhere near cottonwood trees today – you might have found yourself in something of a “snowstorm.” Jamie Kinney‘s quick clip above, recorded at Westcrest Park, captures it; we experienced (but didn’t record) the same thing at midmorning, while driving eastbound toward Highway 509 from the end of the Roxbury/Olson corridor. Looking for some background, we found this 2010 story by Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes. As she noted, the peak season continues into the first half of June.

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