West Seattle Blog... » Environment http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:25:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 HAPPENING NOW: Got recyclables? ‘Roundup’ on until 3 pm http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-got-recyclables-roundup-on-until-3-pm/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-got-recyclables-roundup-on-until-3-pm/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:43:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308343

(WSB photo: Some of the early dropoffs)
You can’t put them out at the curb … you can’t put them in the trash … but chances are, those old items you have in the basement or back yard CAN be dropped off at today’s Recycle Roundup, happening right now in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot. If you haven’t already seen it in our daily highlights list, here’s the guide to what 1 Green Planet will accept (free!) and what they won’t. The church’s Green Committee sponsors this twice a year and will be glad to see you at 9140 California SW (map), until 3 pm.

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FOLLOWUP: Shell drill rig still in Port Angeles, awaiting trip here http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-shell-drill-rig-still-in-port-angeles-awaiting-trip-here/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-shell-drill-rig-still-in-port-angeles-awaiting-trip-here/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:35:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308017

(Saturday photo by Chuck Jacobs)
Six days after arriving in Port Angeles, the drilling platform Polar Pioneer is still there, being prepared for its tow to West Seattle’s Terminal 5. The Peninsula Daily News reports that it’s an economic boom to PA – both from the workers that are getting it ready for the trip, and from tourists who have come to gawk at it. It’s expected to start heading this way by early May. When it gets here – it’ll be a gawk magnet even here in the big city. Remember the SBX floating radar platform that was here in 2011?

(WSB photo, August 2011)
Polar Pioneer is 25 percent taller – 355 feet, compared to the SBX’s 280. Pending the Polar Pioneer’s arrival, the icebreaker Aiviq remains the lone Shell-related vessel at Terminal 5; the other drilling vessel, Noble Discoverer (derrick height 170′), is still crossing the North Pacific, headed this way.

Meantime, Arctic drilling opponents are still preparing for rallies here, even before the Shell drill rigs get here. The Shell No” coalition sent this photo of banner-waving on the foot/bike bridge over the Fauntleroy approach to the bridge this past Monday evening:

They’re planning to rally at Myrtle Edwards Park at 2 pm this Sunday in addition to already-announced mid-May actions – that’s the rally announced during the “encouragement march” in West Seattle earlier this month. A kayak flotilla is also planned for May 16th, with ongoing training at Alki Kayak Tours in West Seattle – a session at 5 pm tonight is for would-be trainers.

And the Port of Seattle already has a webpage linking to its reminders and background about the T-5 situation, pending the start of protests and arrival of more vessels, including a link to the Coast Guard’s announcement of “safety zones” and a “voluntary free-speech zone.”

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West Seattle Earth Day: Tilden School’s big cleanup http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-tilden-schools-big-cleanup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-tilden-schools-big-cleanup/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:58:19 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307996

Another local cleanup this Earth Day – Julie from Tilden School (WSB sponsor) shares the photo and report:

From Hiawatha Park to the Alaska Junction, Tilden School’s students, faculty, and staff showed their respect and appreciation for Mother Earth (and more specifically, West Seattle) by picking up trash. As always, the kids enthusiastically leapt to the task, rapidly filling their bags. (Students noted that the number of cigarette butts, which they have generally found to constitute the larger part of the trash in the past, has increased this year.) Local business people took time to express their thanks, which made the kids feel so proud!

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‘Stop talking, start planting’: Plant for the Planet’s Earth Day message http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/stop-talking-start-planting-plant-for-the-planets-earth-day-message/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/stop-talking-start-planting-plant-for-the-planets-earth-day-message/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:03:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307989

It’s been a busy Earth Day week for some local students who are part of Plant for the Planet. Last weekend, they joined in the Cascadia Climate Conference on Whidbey Island, as shown in the clip above. Christine Deppe tells us what they were up to today:

Today, Fairmount Park Elementary students Abby Snodgrass and Tim and Sarah Deppe held a schoolwide presentation on climate change. As Plant For The Planet Ambassadors they explained the impact of climate disruption and their 3-point plan on what can be done. One action item is to plant 150 trees per person by 2020, bringing Seattle to a little over 95,000,000 trees. The plan ‘Stop talking, start planting’ was originally created by 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner, and now 52,000 Youth Ambassadors all over the world share his vision.

If you want to learn more, please visit the website and watch ‘How We Children Save the World’ with your family.

Christine says Abby was interviewed for an HBO documentary that aired tonight, “Saving My Tomorrow” – watch for repeats on the HBO schedule. And Christine says, if you want some trees planted – Plant for the Planet would be happy to help.

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West Seattle Earth Day scenes: Alki Beach cleanup http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-scenes-alki-beach-cleanup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-scenes-alki-beach-cleanup/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 00:52:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307976

(WSB photos)
Beautiful day for a beach cleanup! As promised, the Surfrider Foundation‘s Seattle chapter was out at Alki on this Earth Day afternoon, with volunteers picking up trash.

The special focus is on cigarette debris left behind, as this sidewalk message pointed out:

Read more about that campaign on this Surfrider Foundation page.

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West Seattle Earth Day reminder: 4 days to Recycle Roundup http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-reminder-4-days-to-recycle-roundup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-reminder-4-days-to-recycle-roundup/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 09:16:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307911 A green reminder on this Earth Day: If you’re ready to recycle items that you can’t put out with the usual curbside recyclables – good news: Fauntleroy Church‘s next Recycle Roundup is only four days away, coming up this Sunday (April 26th), 9 am-3 pm. It’s one of the two days each year that the church’s Green Committee partners with sustainable recyclers 1 Green Planet to set up the main church parking lot at 9140 California SW as a dropoff zone for your no-longer-needed items … as long as they’re on this list. See you there!

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VIDEO: Duwamish Alive! celebrates 10th anniversary, honors tireless volunteers http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-duwamish-alive-celebrates-10th-anniversary-honors-tireless-volunteers/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-duwamish-alive-celebrates-10th-anniversary-honors-tireless-volunteers/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 05:09:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307547

(WSB photos/video)
More than 1,000 volunteers spent hours on Saturday giving TLC to the Duwamish River and its watershed, during the twice-yearly Duwamish Alive! mega-work party at multiple sites (11, this time, from West Seattle to Tukwila).

This time, it started with a special event marking Duwamish Alive’s 10th anniversary, featuring the presentation of the John Beal Environmental Stewardship Award, in honor of the tireless volunteer who, as the program pointed out, “dedicated decades of his life to the health of the Duwamish River and Puget Sound,” especially Hamm Creek, where his work “became a beacon of all the good a single person can accomplish directly benefiting our river, the Puget Sound, and the overall health of our communities.” (Mr. Beal died in 2006.)

Six volunteers were honored:

- Brooke Alford (who couldn’t be at the ceremony)
- Mike Arizona
- Scott Blackstock
- Marianne Clarke
- Susan Ward and Peg Peterson

We recorded the presentations on video:

The pre-work party event at Terminal 107 Park on the river in West Seattle was emceed by James Rasmussen of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (as you can see in our video), who reminded all present that it’s a river, not a “waterway.” Volunteers also heard from longtime river advocate and Tukwila City Councilmember Dennis Robertson, who urged them to keep the pressure on local elected officials regarding the health of the Duwamish River and other areas that are vital to our area’s sustainability:

The artists working on Duwamish Revealed spoke too (you’ll hear that in a separate story about the project) – and volunteers were greeted by Cecile Hansen, chair of the Duwamish Tribe, whose longhouse is right across West Marginal Way SW from the park. She shared history as well as words of welcome:

After the ceremonies – it was time to work. One of the award recipients happens to be the steward of a site here in West Seattle. So we went to Roxhill Bog, where we photographed Scott Blackstock with his plaque:

The bog – which has its own challenges – is at the historic headwaters of Longfellow Creek, which feeds into the Duwamish River after making it through a somewhat torturous route – piped beneath Westwood Village, for starters. And it’s in a park that has some challenges of its own, making cleanup all the more vital:

We were shown one of the items found strewn at the site:

At both sites we visited on Saturday, what was stressed was this: One person can make a difference (as Blackstock has done at Roxhill Bog, for years). So if you can take some time – watch for word of work parties. Or opportunities to comment on a project or proposal. The next Duwamish Alive! event, by the way, will be in October, and that’s a great time to get involved too.

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West Seattle Earth Day 2015: Alki Beach volunteer cleanup http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-2015-alki-beach-volunteer-cleanup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-earth-day-2015-alki-beach-volunteer-cleanup/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 20:33:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306965

Making your plans for Earth Day on April 22nd (one week from Wednesday)? Barbara Clabots from the Surfrider Foundation (in our August 2014 photo above) just sent word they’re organizing a volunteer cleanup on Alki Beach, 2:30-4 pm on Earth Day – details on their website. They’d love all the help they can get to remove cigarette butts and other trash from the sand. We’re hearing of some possible warm weather this weekend, so there might be a lot of cleanup to do by then.

P.S. Their Hold On To Your Butts disposal-can campaign continues too – and at least one West Seattle business has signed on.

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VIDEO: ‘Port Encouragement March’: 50+ walk from Junction to T-5 http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/port-encouragement-march-50-walk-from-junction-to-t-5/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/port-encouragement-march-50-walk-from-junction-to-t-5/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 22:23:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306257

3:23 PM: This rally was just the start, promised speakers at the rally that wrapped up today’s “Port Encouragement March” about an hour ago, with more than 50 people walking from Walk-All-Ways in The Junction to the 5-way intersection by Terminal 5, west of the low bridge, in hopes of “encouraging” the Port of Seattle to cancel the T-5 interim lease that will bring Shell Arctic-drilling equipment here.

Encouragement March almost to 35th and Alaska. #westseattle

A video posted by West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) on

The march was peaceful and relatively low-key – several speakers and a song at the end; walking along from The Triangle to the end of the route, we noted lots of sign waving along the way, some horn-honking from passing motorists, one bicyclist telling the marchers “thank you.”
Seattle Police officers on bicycles accompanied the march, which stayed on sidewalks/trails throughout.

ADDED 4:37 PM: Here’s how it unfolded: Participants gathered at Walk All Ways in The Junction, including the Raging Grannies:

Today’s march segued from a standing monthly rally to encourage people to take action against climate. Marchers headed east on Alaska – along the way, American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle offered a “hydration station”:

Staying on sidewalks and trails along the way, the group headed down 35th to Avalon:

On Avalon, the police bicycle escorts blocked traffic at the Genesee stoplight for an extra few moments so everyone could cross safely:

Turning onto the Alki Trail under/alongside the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, the marchers were urged to stay single-file so bicyclists could get past them. Those with signs held them high to catch the eyes of drivers heading westbound on Spokane:

Rather than going all the way to the gates of Terminal 5, the group stopped by the 5-way intersection west of the low bridge and listened to a few short speeches before the rally ended.

Organizer Stu Hennessey, a longtime West Seattle community advocate, said he felt “betrayed” by the Port’s decision:

Speaking second, Zarna Joshi of Rising Tide, who said there is more at stake than people realize:

She criticized Port Commissioner Tom Albro for telling her he wouldn’t take action to try to cancel the lease, even though he personally opposes Arctic drilling. (At the last Port Commission, as we reported in as-it-happened coverage, both Albro and Courtney Gregoire, the other anti-drilling commissioner, had said they won’t take action to try to cancel it.) Organizers of today’s march included the Green Party of Seattle and Greenpeace, which also provided a speaker:

She said another rally is being planned for April 26th, after the expected arrival of Shell equipment including the drilling platform Polar Pioneer, now in the North Pacific and being trailed by a Greenpeace boat. No counter-protesters showed up today, but supporters of the 2-year lease for Foss to use a third of T-5 say it will provide hundreds of jobs and that it’s better to have a company like Foss, which has a good environmental record, handling this work, than someone else.

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What’s up down in the pit? Murray CSO project update http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/whats-up-down-in-the-pit-murray-cso-project-update/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/whats-up-down-in-the-pit-murray-cso-project-update/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 01:56:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306067

A little over one year into major work at the site of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s million-gallon storage tank, another phase has begun, according to a notice from King County: The outer wall and floor of the tank are done, and crews are now building its inner walls. That’s what you see in the photo above, which we took this afternoon through the fence along Lincoln Park Way over the northeast side of the site. The inner-wall work will mean “small concrete pours every week” through June, says the county, and possibly some Saturday work. Then this summer, according to the update, “the contractor expects to begin work to connect to the tank to the existing sewer system. This work will affect traffic on Beach Drive SW. King County will provide more information to the community before work begins.”

The Morgan Community Association has had Murray project updates at its quarterly meetings for quite a while now, so you’ll probably see one on the agenda for the April 15th MoCA meeting (7 pm, The Kenney), in case you have questions, which you can also take to the 24-hour project hotline – 206-205-9186. The project is supposed to be finished by fall of next year.

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FOLLOWUP: Sunday’s Port Encouragement Rally/March; Saturday’s kayak training for would-be ‘flotilla’ participants http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-sundays-port-encouragement-rallymarch-saturdays-kayak-training-for-would-be-flotilla-participants/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-sundays-port-encouragement-rallymarch-saturdays-kayak-training-for-would-be-flotilla-participants/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 21:42:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306054 Opponents of the plan for Shell’s Arctic fleet to use part of the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 plan two events in West Seattle this weekend:

SUNDAY ‘ENCOURAGEMENT’ MARCH UPDATE: That’s the map for Sunday’s rally/march from The Junction to Terminal 5, dubbed by organizers as a Port Encouragement Rally – encouraging the Port of Seattle to cancel the T-5 lease for Shell vessels/equipment intended for Arctic drilling. We published the original announcement back on Monday. It starts at Walk-All-Ways (California/Alaska) at 1 pm Sunday; the march will be “using sidewalks and obeying pedestrian traffic laws,” says the update from Stu Hennessey, which also notes:

This March is sponsored by the Green Party of Seattle and is supported by Greenpeace, 350.org, Backbone, West Seattle Meaningful Movies and the citizens of West Seattle. Speakers from the Green Party, Sustainable West Seattle and 350.org will address the crowd as they gather at the entrance of West Seattle’s Terminal 5.

Also noted in the update – Sunday’s march will be discussed at the West Seattle Meaningful Movies gathering this Saturday night, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.

KAYAK ‘FLOTILLA’ – SATURDAY TRAINING: Opponents of the lease warned at the last Port Commission meeting March 24th (WSB coverage here) that the presence of Shell vessels/rigs here would result in a “long, hot summer” of demonstrations. In addition to Sunday’s rally/march, plans for a “flotilla” are taking shape, and the coalition organizing it is planning training sessions at Alki Kayak Tours in West Seattle. The first one is scheduled for 10 am-12:30 pm tomorrow.

WHEN DOES THE ‘FLEET” ARRIVE? No timeline has been announced for expected arrivals – the chair of Foss‘s parent company Saltchuk, Mark Tabbutt, told the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce yesterday morning (WSB coverage here) that the platform Polar Pioneer is indeed headed this way. (Here are its specs, including a 17-story-high derrick; not as high as the SBX radar platform that was here four years ago. It was built by Hitachi Zosen, also known in these parts for building the Highway 99 tunneling machine “Bertha.”) It’s on board a “deck cargo” ship called Blue Marlin, which is still out of MarineTraffic.com-tracking range but filed a plan with estimated arrival in the Port Angeles vicinity around April 12th. Greenpeace is following the Polar Pioneer/Blue Marlin across the Pacific with its boat Esperanza.

That same Greenpeace boat was here in 2012 while part of Shell’s fleet was at Vigor.

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Here’s where you can make a difference during the spring edition of Duwamish Alive! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/heres-where-you-can-make-a-difference-during-the-spring-edition-of-duwamish-alive/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/heres-where-you-can-make-a-difference-during-the-spring-edition-of-duwamish-alive/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:09:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305832

Duwamish Alive! is just two and a half weeks away, and organizers hope you’ll take a minute now to decide where you want to join in to help out our city’s only river and its watershed. All you need to commit to is a four-hour shift on April 18th – 10 am-2 pm – and as the map shows, you have options from West Seattle to South Park and beyond. Go here to find out more and to choose your site.

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Shell drilling fleet @ Terminal 5: West Seattle rally, march Sunday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/shell-drilling-fleet-terminal-5-west-seattle-rally-march-on-sunday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/shell-drilling-fleet-terminal-5-west-seattle-rally-march-on-sunday/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:37:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305604

Though the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5, expected to host part of Shell’s Arctic-drilling fleet, is in West Seattle, the challenges to the lease have mostly been taking place elsewhere – in public-comment periods at Port Commission meetings, and in legal action at the King County Courthouse. This Sunday, that changes, with a rally in The Junction followed by a march to Terminal 5. Stu Hennessey sent the announcement:

What: Large turnout expected to encourage the Port of Seattle to rescind the lease agreement with Foss Marine and Shell Oil for Terminal 5 in West Seattle. A march will be made after the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally”

Where: The West Seattle Alaska Junction

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Press Availability
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Event and march
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Speakers and rally

This will be a 1.5 mile march from the Alaska Junction in West Seattle to the entrance to Terminal 5. The March will follow the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally” which takes place at SW Alaska and California Ave. SW in West Seattle.

To recap the backstory and where things stand:

The port closed Terminal 5 last summer and announced plans for a modernization project to make it able to handle the big new “post-Panamax” ships. But that work wasn’t starting immediately, so it sought an interim tenant.

After months of closed-doors talks, the Port Commission’s January 13th agenda, made public less than a week earlier, revealed the planned lease with Foss, who would host part of Shell’s fleet, with the oil company expecting to get permission to try Arctic drilling again this summer. The commission doesn’t usually vote on leases, but did take a sort of vote, with three supporting proceeding with it, two against it. CEO Ted Fick announced in a February 11th letter to the environmental coalition opposing it that he had signed it two days earlier. Since then, the lease has dominated the public-comment period at the past two commission meetings, both of which we covered – March 10 here, March 24th here. Commissioners, even the two who say they didn’t support it – co-president Courtney Gregoire and Tom Albro – say they don’t support rescinding it.

Meantime, a legal challenge is proceeding. And while there’s been no public description yet of exactly which Shell vessels are expected at Terminal 5 and when, it’s widely reported that the drill ship Noble Discoverer and the platform Polar Pioneer are part of it. Greenpeace has its vessel Esperanza following the Polar Pioneer, which is atop a carry ship called Blue Marlin, and chronicling it all on this website, where it says Blue Marlin/Polar Pioneer is on a course for Mexico. Its last filed itinerary, according to MarineTraffic.com, has it due in Port Angeles on April 12th. The Esperanza crew says it talked with the ship by radio and was asked to keep a mile away; that reminded us of 2012, when Shell’s last Arctic drilling attempt was preceded by Esperanza visiting here:

At the time, you might recall, Noble Discoverer was at Vigor on Harbor Island along with the drill rig Kulluk. Both later encountered trouble. Now, more than two years later, the federal government’s formal approval of Shell’s Arctic drilling is apparently imminent.

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FOLLOWUP: Two dozen volunteers remove almost one ton of trash from Fairmount Ravine http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/followup-two-dozen-volunteers-remove-almost-one-ton-of-trash-from-fairmount-ravine/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/followup-two-dozen-volunteers-remove-almost-one-ton-of-trash-from-fairmount-ravine/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:29:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305581

(First two photos courtesy of John Lang – above, some of the 24 volunteers who helped)
Under the Admiral Way Bridge, volunteers of all ages helped clean up Fairmount Ravine this past Saturday – and as coordinator John Lang reports, the job was a bit easier this year thanks to added assistance from city agencies:

The 23rd annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup was a big success on Saturday 3/28. Thank you to the 24 volunteers who participated, young kids to seniors; about half removed trash under the Admiral bridge and the other half climbed the steep hillsides to remove invasive ivy from the mature trees.

The community appreciates SDOT reinforcing the fences at the corners of the bridge. It has reduced the amount of illegal activity under the bridge yet the hard working volunteers removed almost one ton of trash from the ravine!

Over 50 garbage size bags were filled with trash filling up the DOC flatbed truck hauling the trash to transfer station. Fortunately, homeless encampments were less of an issue this year.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
We greatly appreciated participation by officers Flores and Lucas, with the Seattle Police Department, sweeping the area of any potential squatters prior to cleanup and helping with traffic control. Three cheers to our local merchants Metropolitan Market, Starbucks, and Zatz a Better Bagel for their generous support of this community effort.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s cleanup a success. It is a great example of community pride and putting into action the teamwork necessary to tackle a difficult situation.

The ravine is along Fairmount Avenue, a much-used driving, riding, walking, running route between Admiral and east Alki.

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West Seattle scene: Fauntleroy Creek’s first 2015 outbound coho http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-scene-fauntleroy-creeks-first-2015-outbound-coho/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-scene-fauntleroy-creeks-first-2015-outbound-coho/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:52:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305525

They’re headed out – maybe to return. Thanks to Judy Pickens for a Fauntleroy Creek salmon update:

The first two coho smolts have been documented leaving Fauntleroy Creek. Volunteer Steev Ward found the first in a soft trap in the lower creek, closely followed by volunteer Dennis Hinton with the second, on Friday (March 27) – the first day of annual trapping. The Fauntleroy Watershed Council has been conducting volunteer monitoring to see how many leave the creek for saltwater since 2003 and this year’s research will continue through May.

Fall is when volunteers watch for returning coho spawners; 19 were documented last year.

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