Environment – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:55:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 FOLLOWUP: State announces fine for Duwamish River diesel spill http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/followup-state-announces-fine-for-duwamish-river-diesel-spill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/followup-state-announces-fine-for-duwamish-river-diesel-spill/#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 02:48:21 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909202
(U.S. Coast Guard photo, February 2017)

The state has announced a fine for a diesel spill that followed a tugboat incident in our area one year ago. Here’s the Ecology Department news release:

The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Island Tug and Barge $8,000 for a spill of diesel fuel into the Duwamish River on Feb. 28, 2017. The penalty cites the company for the spill itself and for not making immediate notifications, as required by state law.

The company’s tug Island Wind struck a barge in the West Waterway of the Duwamish on that date, , breaching its hull and a fuel tank, spilling approximately 1,340 gallons of diesel. The company and its contractor, Global Diving and Salvage, mounted a prompt response and recovered 1,273 gallons of the spill. Small, unrecoverable sheens escaped into Elliott Bay.

The notification to the state occurred more than 90 minutes after the incident. Oil spills to water must be immediately reported to the Washington Emergency Management Division and the National Response Center. See Ecology’s website for details.

In addition to the penalty, Ecology is billing Island Tug and Barge $3,000 to recover the state’s costs to oversee the response.

The company also faces, under state law, a Resource Damage Assessment for harm caused to public resources. Compensation could include a restoration and enhancement project or study, or the spiller may be assessed a monetary amount, to be paid into a state fund that issues grants to local governments for environmental restoration projects.

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CELEBRATING SUSTAINABILITY: 2 rounds of awards, including 1 that invites your votes http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/celebrating-sustainability-2-rounds-of-awards-including-1-that-invites-your-votes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/celebrating-sustainability-2-rounds-of-awards-including-1-that-invites-your-votes/#respond Sun, 11 Feb 2018 09:09:19 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908634 Two rounds of upcoming citywide awards will celebrate sustainability – and both have West Seattle ties.

HEART OF SEATTLE AWARDS: Adam Werner of Clean Air Lawn Care in West Seattle sent word of these – not just because his business is nominated, but also because, as he points out, other West Seattle businesses are too. You can vote here; note the locally linked businesses in the dining, grocery, and sustainable-services categories.

SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP AWARDS: You can’t vote on these – the finalists already have been chosen – but the event at which they’ll be announced is happening here in West Seattle, and you’re invited. Sustainable Seattle will present the awards the night of March 2nd at a party at Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. Finalists are listed here, and they include West Seattle restaurant Mashiko in the Business category as well as Plant for the Planet (which has a WS group) in the Resilience category. Tickets include a cocktail reception, dinner, and auction, and you can get yours here.

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Second lawsuit in West Seattle illegal tree cutting settled for $360,000, city announces http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/second-lawsuit-in-west-seattle-illegal-tree-cutting-settled-for-360000-city-announces/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/second-lawsuit-in-west-seattle-illegal-tree-cutting-settled-for-360000-city-announces/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 23:34:01 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908101 (City-provided photo accompanying announcement)

3:34 PM: Almost 10 months after the city announced its first settlement in the infamous West Seattle illegal tree-cutting case, another has just been announced. From the city news release:

The City has settled the second of two civil suits against West Seattle homeowners who the City alleged hired people to cut down a swath of a greenbelt in late 2015 or early 2016 to improve the homeowners’ views.

The unpermitted tree cutting near the 3200 block of 35th Ave. SW occurred in environmentally critical areas on a steep slope near the defendants’ homes. In its two lawsuits, the City alleged that two separate groups of people were responsible for cutting two distinct areas of City trees. Between the two cuttings, 153 trees of varying sizes, including many big-leaf maples and Scouler’s willows, were felled and left crisscrossing the area. The first suit settled in 2017 for $440,000. In the second suit the City sought damages from Kostas Kyrimis, Linda Kyrimis, Nancy Despain, Wendy Sweigart, Leroy Bernard, Joyce Bernard, Charles King, Shirley King and Bruce Gross. The defendants have agreed to pay the City a total of $360,000 to resolve the matter.

Parks remediation of the area is already under way, and Parks plans to use the settlement funds to continue its work restoring the site and other greenbelt areas in the City.

Read the full news release here; our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is quoted as saying, “I expect these clear consequences will make someone think twice before considering arboricide in the future.” You can also read the settlement document here; we’re reading it now and will add any details of note that the city announcement didn’t include.

4:05 PM: A few other notes:

-Before the settlement, the case had been scheduled to go to trial this May.
-City-led restoration work continues at the sites where the trees were cut; volunteers helped out on Green Seattle Day last November.
-If you are new, or need a refresher on where this happened, our March 2016 story included a map.

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SIGN OF IMPROVEMENTS: Peace Lutheran Church’s new RainWise sign http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/sign-of-improvements-peace-lutheran-churchs-new-rainwise-sign/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/sign-of-improvements-peace-lutheran-churchs-new-rainwise-sign/#comments Fri, 02 Feb 2018 03:32:38 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907761

A new addition to the RainWise-enhanced grounds of Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood – a new permanent sign explaining the stormwater-diverting program and the congregation’s commitment to it. In the photo sent by Pastor Erik Kindem is congregation president Michael Truog, who is also chair of the church’s Green Team. So next time you walk or ride by 39th SW/SW Thistle, take a look! You can also take a look at this PDF showing what’s on the sign. (The church celebrated its RainWise improvements at an event we covered last year.)

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FOLLOWUP: Cleanup removes thousands of creosote-treated pilings from Port of Seattle property http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/followup-cleanup-removes-thousands-of-creosote-treated-pilings-from-port-of-seattle-property/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/followup-cleanup-removes-thousands-of-creosote-treated-pilings-from-port-of-seattle-property/#comments Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:59:21 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907635 (WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

What you see on the barge in our photo above are hundreds of creosote-treated pilings removed from the north end of the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 in West Seattle. We reported back in October that the removal was about to begin, as explained in this document. This morning, the port invited news media to T-5 for an update.

So far, the port says, 2,300 pilings have been removed; back in 2000, the port had an estimated 18,000 of them, and with this and other removal operations, they are down to 8,000. As the port news release explains:

Creosote-treated pilings and timbers were used for more than 100 years throughout Puget Sound, as fundamental structural elements in marine cargo and transportation infrastructure. Present-day marine facility piers and docks have replaced creosote construction with inert steel and concrete pilings, and in many cases fender systems requiring no piling have been installed.

The show-and-tell today also included an underwater camera nicknamed Ringo, used in the removal operation:

This part of the cleanup operation also involves restoration of more than four acres of habitat. The importance of the continuing restoration and cleanup was underscored by James Rasmussen of the nonprofit Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition:

Port commissioner Fred Felleman, who has a decades-long background in marine conservation, spoke as well:

And state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz was there.

The $6.8 million pilings-removal project has a state angle, as noted in our October report – this part of the cleanup was related to the termination of a state lease more than a decade ago.

Our October report also included details on exactly how the pilings were to be removed. They are to be barged up the Duwamish River to the Waste Management facility, from which they will be sent to the Columbia Ridge landfill in Oregon for permanent disposal.

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TASTY WAY TO HELP: Duwamish River beer and chocolate fundraiser http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/tasty-way-to-help-duwamish-river-beer-and-chocolate-fundraiser/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:44:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905987 This could be the tastiest fundraiser in West Seattle – and it’s days away.

One week from Friday, 5:30-8 pm on January 19th, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group is hosting its third annual Chocolate Fest at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse (4705 W. Marginal Way SW). DRCC/TAG invites you “to drink beer, eat chocolates and cupcakes, and celebrate the cleanup and stewardship of Seattle’s only river, the mighty Duwamish.”

You can get tickets now by going here.

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TREE TAKEDOWN TIME: Rainbow Girls’ dropoff event Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/tree-takedown-time-rainbow-girls-dropoff-event-saturday/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 17:00:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905548 Christmas tree still up, and drying out? Curbside pickup or transfer-station dropoff options not quite working for you? Tomorrow brings another option – the West Seattle Rainbow Girls’ annual dropoff event in The Junction. They’ll be at the Masonic Center parking lot (4736 40th SW) between 9 am and 1 pm Saturday (January 6th) to accept your tree. It’s a fundraiser, so the fee is whatever you want to donate for the service.

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TREE-CYCLING: Here’s how to turn your Christmas tree into compost http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/tree-cycling-heres-how-to-turn-your-christmas-tree-into-compost/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 01:14:00 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=904721 Again this year, Seattle Public Utilities is giving you more than a month to get your Christmas tree turned into compost – either via curbside pickup, or Transfer Station dropoff. Today’s announcement:

From Dec. 26, 2017, to Jan. 31, 2018, Seattle residents can compost holiday greens, including wreaths and trees, for free curbside or at a Seattle Public Utilities transfer station.

At the Curb

Place your holiday greens on the curb next to your food and yard waste cart on your collection day. Please keep in mind the following:

Remove all decorations and lights, tinsel, metal clips, ornaments and bows.
Trees must be cut into lengths to 4-feet or shorter.
Bundle each section with sisal string or twine (not plastic).
Flocked and plastic trees or wreaths will be charged as extra garbage.

At apartments, one tree may be placed next to each food and yard waste cart at no extra charge each collection day.

At the Transfer Station

Bring Christmas trees and other holiday greens to a city transfer station. Starting Feb. 1, 2018 regular fees will apply.

Trees should not exceed 8-feet in length and must be free of decoration.
Trunks should not exceed 4-inches in diameter.
The stations will accept up to 3 trees per vehicle.

The South Transfer Station is just east of West Seattle, 130 S. Kenyon (here’s how to get there).

P.S. And remember that for the next two weeks, curbside pickup day for everything is one day later than your usual day, because of the Monday holidays.

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RESTORING SEOLA POND: Explorer West, Westside students help Scott Dolfay’s dream become reality http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/restoring-seola-pond-explorer-west-westside-students-help-scott-dolfays-dream-come-true/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/restoring-seola-pond-explorer-west-westside-students-help-scott-dolfays-dream-come-true/#comments Fri, 15 Dec 2017 04:41:10 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=903778

A local greenspace is a little greener tonight thanks to the hard work of dozens of student volunteers – and a man with a vision.

The site is Seola Pond, near 30th SW/SW 106th. The students who worked there this afternoon, getting native plants into the ground, were from nearby Explorer West Middle School and Westside School (both WSB sponsors). The man with a vision – Scott Dolfay.

On our partner site White Center Now, we’ve covered his updates at recent meetings of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – the site is along the city-county line and Dolfay’s been talking with NHUAC about his work to restore the site, and working for many months to secure help, not just volunteers, but also donated materials.

He explained that the site, where he bought property in 2010, “acts as a de facto neighborhood park” and was historically a peat bog that would dry up in the summer, and held runoff because of all the construction around it. He has had help from EarthCorps and Nature Consortium, too. If you’re interested in future work at the site, you can reach him at satomiscott (at) q (dot) com.

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Salmon farming in nearby waters? King County Executive Dow Constantine seeks moratorium http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/salmon-farming-in-nearby-waters-king-county-executive-dow-constantine-seeks-moratorium/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/salmon-farming-in-nearby-waters-king-county-executive-dow-constantine-seeks-moratorium/#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:48:49 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=902019 In the wake of last August’s Atlantic salmon farm collapse in north Puget Sound, King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to ensure no new pens are built in waters over which the county has jurisdiction. The announcement:

Citing the threat to native salmon populations, King County Executive Dow Constantine today called for a six-month moratorium on allowing any new Atlantic fish farming facilities along marine shoreline in unincorporated King County.

“The hundreds of thousands of farmed, invasive Atlantic salmon that spilled into the Salish Sea in August threaten our native fish populations and our way of life,” said Executive Constantine. “Atlantic salmon don’t belong here. Beyond a six month moratorium, we need to ensure these operations can never again pose a threat to indigenous salmon already struggling to survive.”

Legislation enacting the moratorium will be transmitted to the King County Council (today). Indian tribes including the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Suquamish Tribe reviewed and approved the proposed moratorium to ensure it did not interfere with their local fisheries and treaty rights.

In the State of Washington, commercial net pens are required to obtain federal and state permits. Local governments like King County can also require permits as part of implementing shoreline master plans.

While the state has issued a moratorium on permits they administer for net pens, an applicant could still apply for and receive a county shorelines permit.

The moratorium announced by Executive Constantine will enable King County to review and strengthen its shoreline regulations to eliminate the risk of harm from non-native salmon farming to native salmon runs and sensitive shorelines.

King County rivers are home to seven native salmon species, including chinook, steelhead, and bull trout populations that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Puget Sound is where these and other salmon species spend much of their lives, feeding for a year or more, before returning to their home streams to spawn.

King County and a host of partners, including treaty Indian tribes, cities, counties, and state and federal agencies have invested heavily in salmon-habitat preservation and restoration efforts.

Executive Constantine’s proposed moratorium coincides with a state-mandated review and update of King County’s Shoreline Master Program. The program includes policies, regulations and plans that manage the shorelines within King County’s jurisdiction, and is incorporated into the County’s comprehensive plan.

The Shoreline Master Program must be reviewed, updated and delivered to the Washington Department of Ecology by June 30, 2019.

The nearest Atlantic-salmon-farming facilities right now, according to what we’ve found out via research so far, are off Bainbridge Island, which is part of Kitsap County.

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COMMUNITY GIVING: See where West Seattle is a little greener after Green Seattle Day http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/community-giving-see-where-in-west-seattle-its-a-little-greener-after-green-seattle-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/community-giving-see-where-in-west-seattle-its-a-little-greener-after-green-seattle-day/#comments Sun, 05 Nov 2017 04:58:17 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=899863

Me-Kwa-Mooks is one of the West Seattle spots that’s greened up after a chilly morning of hard work by Green Seattle Day volunteers today. (Thanks to C. Parrs for the photos above and below!)

During the Green Seattle Day work parties, our photographer stopped by two other spots where volunteers were planting trees and shrubs – in Highland Park, volunteers worked east of the off-leash area at Westcrest Park, where some Friday snow was still on the ground:

(WSB photos from here down)

And in east Admiral, the Duwamish Head Greenbelt drew dozens of volunteers to work at 34th and City View, one of the sites where the city is restoring damage done by illegal tree-cutting:

Steve Richmond from Garden Cycles was leading the work today, and told us they were planting larger evergreens as well as understory plants such as ferns.

The city is committed to work at the east Admiral restoration sites for five years, Jon Jainga from Parks noted.

The 21 Green Seattle Day sites with work parties today included two others in West Seattle – Camp Long and Lincoln Park.

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GREEN SEATTLE DAY: 3 West Seattle greenspaces that would love to see you Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/green-seattle-day-3-west-seattle-greenspaces-that-would-love-to-see-you-saturday/ Mon, 30 Oct 2017 21:34:30 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=899215 Before we get too much further into fall, it’s still prime time for planting, and that’s what Green Seattle Day is all about next Saturday (November 4th). If you can help out 9 am-noon, three West Seattle spots would appreciate your tree-planting TLC, including:

Westcrest Park in Highland Park – get details and RSVP here

Duwamish Head Greenbelt in East Admiral – get details and RSVP here

Me-Kwa-Mooks along Beach Drive – get details and RSVP here

All ages welcome – tools (and more) provided.

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Welcome home, salmon: After singing and drumming, Fauntleroy Creek watch is on http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/welcome-home-salmon-after-singing-and-drumming-fauntleroy-creek-watch-is-on/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/welcome-home-salmon-after-singing-and-drumming-fauntleroy-creek-watch-is-on/#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:56:20 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898480

Though the annual gathering along Fauntleroy Creek is billed as singing and drumming, today, the messages resonated most – messages written by participants of all ages, to tie to the fence at the creek overlook across and upslope from the ferry terminal.

Some were simply notes of welcome. One even carried an apology. And of course there was also singing and drumming, led by Jamie Shilling:

The songs urge the salmon to return:

And then there’s an urging of environmental respect, “Habitat,” to the tune of the half-century-plus-old “Lollipop.” Some wore salmon hats, decorated during the Fauntleroy Fall Festival a week earlier:

Leading the activity then, and emceeing the gathering today, was creek steward Judy Pickens, who noted that the welcoming event goes back to 1994:

She provided updates including the explanation that volunteers will now be watching for coho spawners, likely into mid-November, since the prediction this year is that they’ll arrive late. She also says a UW researcher will be studying pre-spawning mortality in the creek and will be waiting for word of any fish in obvious distress – less of a problem on Fauntleroy Creek than Longfellow Creek in eastern West Seattle, which has more of a runoff-pollution problem.

With Judy’s help, we’ll have updates during salmon-watcher season – and she says they’re hoping to organize another weekend event where you can come to the creek and talk with volunteers; we’ll let you know as soon as we get word of that.

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DUWAMISH ALIVE! Habitat help along ‘A River for All’ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/duwamish-alive-habitat-help-along-a-river-for-all/ Sun, 22 Oct 2017 01:59:31 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898367

(Mouse over center of image to reveal ‘play’ button)

Pastoral, industrial, vital. Our Instagram video clip is the view of the Duwamish River from Terminal 107 Park, steps away from the kickoff event for today’s installment of the twice-yearly Duwamish Alive! work parties. As James Rasmussen had told the gathering of volunteers, this is “the last stretch of the old Duwamish River”:

Rasmussen spoke both as leader of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and as a member of the Duwamish Tribe, whose longhouse is across West Marginal Way SW from T-107. “This place would not have been saved if not for my ancestors,” Rasmussen explained, recounting how the discovery of shell heaps – evidence of a long-ago Duwamish village – stopped work at the site years ago. While so much of the Duwamish River’s shore has been the focus of restoration, so much of the riverbed itself the subject of cleanup, this stretch, including mudflat Kellogg Island, remains “original habitat,” Rasmussen said. And now, the intent is to improve its health so it can serve as “A River for All”:

Rasmussen promised one of those buttons to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who also spoke:

After a few speeches – in light rain – it was time for everyone to get to work:

Much of today’s work involved planting. Rasmussen urged volunteers to name their plants – “(they’re) not an inanimate object, they know you’re there” – and come back to visit them as they grow.

P.S. If you weren’t able to work at one of the Duwamish Alive! sites today – there are work parties in the area almost every weekend (often featured on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar) – and another long list of them on November 4th for Green Seattle Daysee that list here, including five locations in West Seattle (and easy RSVP links for each).

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SUNDAY: Where and when to join Fauntleroy Creek drumming to call the salmon home http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/sunday-where-and-when-to-join-fauntleroy-creek-drumming-to-call-the-salmon-home/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:30:11 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898280 judyporch2-2(WSB photo, October 2016)

With rain in the forecast, Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens tells WSB that Sunday’s annual drumming and singing to call the salmon home will be on her porch as it was last year – just down the path from the northeast edge of the Fauntleroy Creek overlook at Fauntleroy/Director (across and upslope from the ferry terminal). “If more people than last year brave the weather, we’ll move into the back under cover of our boat shed.” Start time is still 5 pm. “In addition to drumming and singing (led again by Jamie Shilling), we’ll make welcome flags for the spawners, which I’ll hang at the viewpoint during a break in the rain.” Judy adds, “The watch officially starts Sunday. State Fish and Wildlife is predicting a strong but somewhat late return of coho to the Sound, so we expect to watch into mid-November.” Seven spawners were counted last year – which was seven more than the spawner-less previous year. By the way, all ages are welcome at Sunday’s drumming/singing event.

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