Environment – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 24 Jun 2018 13:34:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 COUNTDOWN: West Seattle Junction reuse, recycling, shredding event less than 2 weeks away http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/countdown-west-seattle-junction-reuse-recycling-shredding-event-less-than-2-weeks-away/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/countdown-west-seattle-junction-reuse-recycling-shredding-event-less-than-2-weeks-away/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 02:04:53 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919987

If you have stuff to turn in for reuse/recycling – and/or documents to shred – here’s your less-than-two-weeks-away warning for the West Seattle Junction’s big event, coming up 9 am-1 pm on Saturday, June 30th. Toplines of what will and won’t be accepted are here and here. The West Seattle Junction Association is teaming up with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Public Utilities, Waste Management, and Windermere to present this – free – just bring your recyclables and shreddables!

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West Seattle weekend scene: Setting salmon fry free at Fauntleroy Creek http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/happening-now-set-salmon-fry-free-at-fauntleroy-creek/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/happening-now-set-salmon-fry-free-at-fauntleroy-creek/#comments Sat, 09 Jun 2018 20:54:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919081 (WSB photos)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:54 PM: Get over to Fauntleroy Park and see what it’s like to set salmon fry free in the creek, as thousands of students have done via the Salmon in the Schools program. They had 200 leftover fry this year and are offering community members the chance to walk to the bridge over the creek (from the park entrance at Barton/Henderson) and release them. Volunteers are there to guide you, until 3 pm.

5:13 PM: Added a few more photos. Above, the stars of the show; below, more of the people who stopped by to participate:

Shoutouts to this year’s Salmon in the Schools program at the creek were in our June 1st wrapup of the school-visit season.

ADDED: Here’s a photo of the volunteer crew, shared by Mark Ahlness (see comments):

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Notice the red water? Likely the algae bloom known as noctiluca again http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/notice-the-red-water-likely-the-algae-bloom-known-as-noctiluca-again/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/notice-the-red-water-likely-the-algae-bloom-known-as-noctiluca-again/#comments Fri, 08 Jun 2018 03:58:49 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918953

ORIGINAL REPORT, THURSDAY: Thanks to Jill for the photo. She asked about the red water along the shore south of Fauntleroy. Chances are that it’s the nontoxic algae bloom known as noctiluca, which has shown up time and again over the years – compare that photo to others we’ve published, such as 2014 and 2012. As explained by this state Department of Ecology webpage, noctiluca blooms are nontoxic.

MONDAY UPDATE: Thanks to Kersti Muul for turning up this new Ecology link confirming ongoing algae blooms.

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SATURDAY: Your chance to add salmon to Fauntleroy Creek http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/saturday-your-chance-to-add-salmon-to-fauntleroy-creek/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/saturday-your-chance-to-add-salmon-to-fauntleroy-creek/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 02:16:38 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918817 (WSB photo: Fauntleroy Creek)

As we reported at the end of last week, the Salmon in the Schools program has wrapped up this year’s releases into Fauntleroy Creek – but there are leftover fry, so you are invited to the creek on Saturday to experience what it’s like. If you haven’t already seen the announcement, Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Watershed Council explains what’s happening:

This spring more than 700 students in the Salmon in the Schools program entrusted their coho fry to Fauntleroy Creek, where they will grow until heading to saltwater next spring. Schools were especially successful this year in rearing their fish from eyed eggs, as was Jack Lawless, who rears fish for schools in the program that loose a lot or for preschools that don’t bring their own to release.

The Fauntleroy Watershed Council invites the community to put Jack’s remaining 200 fish in the water on Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00 pm at the big bridge in Fauntleroy Park. Volunteers will be on hand to keep everyone dry and answer questions about salmon, habitat, and the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund.

Enter the park from the SW Barton Street kiosk and turn left at the trail T a few yards ahead. The bridge is about a three-minute walk east on a nearly flat, well-maintained trail. Expect to kneel on a rock at the water’s edge to release your fish; no boots are required. Dogs will need to be secured away from the water.

Can’t easily walk? The trail is suited to a walker or wheelchair. Can’t easily kneel? You’ll still be able to get up close and personal with your fish.

Here’s a map to the park.

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West Seattle’s new Fire Station 32 gets LEED Platinum certification http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattles-new-fire-station-32-gets-leed-platinum-certification/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattles-new-fire-station-32-gets-leed-platinum-certification/#comments Thu, 31 May 2018 20:59:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918233 (WSB photo from November 2017 open house at Station 32)

A rare honor for our area’s newest Seattle Fire station – it’s been certified as Platinum LEED, the city has announced, recognizing sustainable design and construction practices. From the announcement:

… The Fire Station 32 project incorporated sustainable features such as solar hot water systems, photovoltaic arrays, green roof, water-efficient landscaping, energy-efficient LED lighting systems, energy-efficient HVAC systems, recycled building material use, low volatile organic compound (VOC) building material use, natural daylighting of common spaces, and individual thermal controls of sleeping areas. …

Station 32, the city says, is one of only two Platinum LEED-certified fire stations in Seattle, one of three in the state. The Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed station opened last August, on the same site in The Triangle (38th/Alaska) as the former Station 32.

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TALK ABOUT IT: Longfellow Creek connection project for Delridge neighborhood, with flood control, gets closer to reality http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/talk-about-it-longfellow-creek-connection-project-for-delridge-neighborhood-with-flood-control-gets-closer-to-reality/ Thu, 31 May 2018 01:48:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918181 Back in 2014, we noted a flood-control plan in the works for the neighborhood along 24th SW in mid-Delridge. Now, it is getting closer to reality – and a community conversation is the next step.

Here’s what they’ll be talking about:

Project Area: Longfellow Creek Corridor between SW Willow St and SW Graham St, including 24th Ave SW and Longfellow Legacy Creek Trail

The Issues:

• 24th Ave SW often floods during rainstorms, affecting access to homes

• Water from rainstorms does not drain well from the street and forms large puddles, creating unsafe conditions in the winter

• 24th Ave SW is a confusing area for users of the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail because it’s difficult to see where the trail ends are and there’s nowhere to walk except the middle of the street

The Solutions – What we want to hear from you:

Based on community input, ideas will be developed on how to change 24th Ave SW to reduce flooding, improve trail connections, and make other improvements the community is interested in.

For more information on the project, go here.

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Get ready: West Seattle Junction recycle/reuse event returns in June – with shredding! http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/get-ready-west-seattle-junction-recycle-reuse-event-returns-in-june-with-shredding/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/get-ready-west-seattle-junction-recycle-reuse-event-returns-in-june-with-shredding/#comments Sun, 27 May 2018 19:41:53 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=917877

Last October’s recycle/reuse event in The Junction was so popular, an encore is set for next month – and this time, shredding is included! 9 am-1 pm Saturday, June 30th, bring your recyclables, reusables, and shreddables to the southwest corner of the West Seattle Junction Association parking lot off 42nd SW, just south of SW Oregon. WSJA is partnering with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Public Utilities, Waste Management, and Windermere to present the event – see this flyer for guidelines on what they will and won’t be taking.

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FOLLOWUP: Fauntleroy Creek salmon-release season at midstream http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-fauntleroy-creek-salmon-release-season-at-midstream/ Sat, 19 May 2018 04:58:30 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=917112 (Volunteer Dennis Hinton instructs Pathfinder students and EarthCorps crewmembers in the gentle releasing of fry into Fauntleroy Creek. Photo by Kersti Muul)

Thanks to Judy Pickens for the update from Fauntleroy Creek:

Salmon-release season passed the midpoint this week, with nearly 400 students, plus 170 adults and younger siblings, having put just over 700 coho fry in upper Fauntleroy Creek. Reared through the Salmon in the Schools program, the fish will spend the next year in the creek, then head for two years in saltwater.

EarthCorps trainees restoring habitat along the middle reach of the creek were special guests on Pathfinder’s May 15 field trip, joining students to release fish and answer questions about their work and career plans.

Keeping the creek safe for such students as well as healthy is a major objective of the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund administered by EarthCorps. Since March 1, individuals and school groups have donated $6,300 toward a goal of $30,000.

Salmon releases will continue through June 1.

Here’s the backstory on the stewardship fund.

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Southwest District Council goes green for May meeting http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/southwest-district-council-goes-green-for-may-meeting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/southwest-district-council-goes-green-for-may-meeting/#comments Fri, 04 May 2018 04:54:49 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915630 This month’s Southwest District Council meeting had an environmental theme. Two guests spotlighted that. First, Craig Kenworthy, executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:

In our photo, Kenworthy was showing a test strip that indicated air dirty enough for a burn ban. He gave the SWDC a primer about the most common particulates in our area – mostly fine particles that come from engine combustion – diesel and gas, cars, rail, or ships. (Added – here’s his slide deck):

Then there’s woodstove smoke, as woodstoves are used all around Puget Sound and are particularly dense in some part of Pierce County where natural gas is not available for home heating.

Kenworthy said that collective matter is what they look at trying to keep down, as it creates a health risk. He moved from there to talk about diesel in general as – while the others are a health risk to lungs and the circulatory system – diesel is the only item that is listed as a carcinogen. That’s why he said they’ve been working with the port to reduce the amount of diesel that’s being used by the vehicles that come and go with the freight. He said that one goal is to get the truck fleets to convert to newer vehicles that can burn
diesel 90 percent more efficiently than trucks made prior to 2010.

Originally the Northwest Seaport Alliance (the ports of Seattle and Tacoma) had a deadline of this past January 1st to only accept trucks that met the newer emissions standards, but that was extended to next January.

Kenworthy also talked about South Park as an area of air-pollution concern, but didn’t go into much detail other than to say its on their watch list for assistance.

In Q&A, he was asked about idling vehicles – he said that in areas where vehicles/drivers congregate, it’s especially important to shut the engine off while waiting – ferry lines and drawbridges, for example.

And before wrapping up, Kenworthy mentioned that his agency will have air-quality-measuring devices
that can be distributed to people around the area to monitor the air where they live.

Second guest was 34th District State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, now a West Seattle resident, who chairs the House Environment Committee.

He started by discussing that helping save the Southern Resident Killer Whales is a priority, with Governor Inslee having set up a task force earlier this year.

Another major topic: Oil transport via rail through our region. Though action was taken long ago regarding transport by water, to minimize the chance of disastrous spills, Fitzgibbon noted that much of the oil sent to North Sound refineries goes by rail, so that’s a big concern and a state priority for prevention and preparedness. As of just this week, he noted Burlington Northern Santa Fe has a contingency plan in place in case of a spill, as the result of legislation, similar to the one the state has in case of a marine oil disaster.

During the Q&A, Fitzgibbon was asked about vessel noise affecting the endangered orcas. He said some relief might come from the state, if it could run an electric ferry. He said the Volkswagen emissions settlement had included more than $100 million for the state and there’s talk that some of that might go toward an electric ferry. It would be more likely to run from downtown Seattle’s Colman Dock than from Fauntleroy, though.

The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays most months (but agreed to skip July this year since the first Wednesday is Independence Day), 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. Our coverage of SWDC is archived here, newest to oldest.

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FOLLOWUP: West Seattleites’ dropoffs total up to a record-setting Recycle Roundup! http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/followup-west-seattleites-dropoff-total-up-a-record-setting-recycle-roundup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/followup-west-seattleites-dropoff-total-up-a-record-setting-recycle-roundup/#comments Tue, 01 May 2018 00:24:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915365 (WSB photo, April 22nd)

So many people showed up for Fauntleroy Church‘s Recycle Roundup on April 22nd, it was a record-setting event, Judy Pickens tells WSB. With 500 vehicles – the most ever – “1 Green Planet relieved West Seattle of 14.6 tons of recyclables for responsible disassembly.” The fall edition will be in September – no date yet, but we’ll announce it when we find out. And in the meantime, the West Seattle Junction Association will have a drop-off recycling-and-more event in late June.

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Saving the Southern Resident Killer Whales: Research update at The Whale Trail’s first Orca Talk of the year http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/saving-the-southern-resident-killer-whales-research-update-at-the-whale-trails-first-orca-talk-of-the-year/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:30:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915012 (Photo courtesy NOAA Fisheries)

You’re invited to The Whale Trail‘s first Orca Talk of the year, 7 pm next Tuesday (May 1st) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). The announcement:

“Current Research to Support Recovery Actions for Southern Resident Killer Whales”
Presentation by Brad Hanson, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 – 8:30 (doors open at 6:30)

Cost: $5 suggested donation; kids free
Advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com

With just 76 orcas in J, K and L pods, the Southern Resident Killer Whale population is nearing its all time low of 71 individuals. Is the population still viable – can they be saved? What have we learned over the past year that will help these orcas recover, and what are the most pressing questions still to be addressed?

Join us to hear the latest findings and future research directions, presented by Dr. Brad Hanson, NWFSC lead killer whale researcher. Buy tickets now to reserve your seat. And hurry – this will likely sell out. This is the first in the 2018 Orca Talk series hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle. Thanks to Nucor Steel for sponsoring this Orca Talk!

About the Speaker

Brad Hanson joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in April of 2003. Previously, Brad worked as a Wildlife Biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, WA. Brad received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington where he worked on the development of improved tag attachment systems for small cetaceans. He also holds an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Zoology also from the University of Washington. Brad is an ecologist and is currently studying foraging and habitat use of Southern Resident killer whales and health assessment of harbor and Dall’s porpoises.

About The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail is a series of sites where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the North American west coast, from California to British Columbia.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the Whale Museum. Donna Sandstrom is the Founder and Executive Director. The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State. Join us!

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EARTH DAY: Congratulations to local students in this year’s Environmental Slam http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/earth-day-congratulations-to-local-students-in-this-years-environmental-slam/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/earth-day-congratulations-to-local-students-in-this-years-environmental-slam/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:16:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914677

On this Earth Day, congratulations go out to the local students who competed in this year’s Environmental Slam, presented by the Washington Foundation for the Environment this past Thursday night at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Each team gave a five-minute presentation about a local/regional environmental issue and what people can do about it. Above is West Seattle High School senior Annie Means, overall winner, whose presentation was about trash trouble in Seattle city parks. Her prize: $750 to be donated to the environmental group of her choice. She’s heading to Whitman College next year and was pronounced by the judges as “our activist of the future.”

The audience was brought into the presentation by the People’s Choice winners, “Killer Whales or Killed Whales?”, by these Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students:

The presenters: Violet. Avery, Shona (who played a killer whale), Julia, and Frances. They had interview questions for Shona and orca-related quiz questions for the audience (also involving the salmon on which orcas depend.)

Also from Explorer West, Sofia and Peter with “Another One Bites the Coal,” looking at coal’s impact on Puget Sound:

Explorer West students Cece and Faye presented “Fleeced,” about microfibers in the food chain:

“Rescue” was the presentation from Explorer West’s Paloma, Ruby, and Grace, focusing on the importance of animal rescue and adoption:

A team from Madison Middle School competed, too: Tim, Ethan, and Staten examined how pollution affects Puget Sound:

The rules, judges, and full list of participating schools (including two from outside West Seattle) are on the event webpage. Explorer West teacher Tim Owens, who’s on the WFFE board, coordinates the slam.

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HAPPENING NOW: Earth Day 2018 brings a busy Recycle Roundup http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/happening-now-earth-day-2018-brings-a-busy-recycle-roundup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/happening-now-earth-day-2018-brings-a-busy-recycle-roundup/#comments Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:02:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914639

Two hours down, four to go for the spring Recycle Roundup, coinciding this year with Earth Day. The Fauntleroy Church Green Committee partners twice a year with 1 Green Planet, which has multiple trucks on site to collect a long list of recyclable items (see it here). No matter what the weather, every year hundreds of West Seattleites drop off tons of recyclables, but it’s a bonus that this year the sky’s clear. Recycle Roundup continues until 3 pm, but organizers hope you will NOT wait until the last minute, as the lot (9140 California SW; map) doesn’t have much room for a queue.

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25th anniversary for West Seattleite-founded Earth Day Groceries Project! http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/25th-anniversary-for-west-seattleite-founded-earth-day-groceries-project/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/25th-anniversary-for-west-seattleite-founded-earth-day-groceries-project/#comments Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:40:26 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914634 Coast to coast and around the world, the Earth Day Groceries Project is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. It was founded by now-retired teacher Mark Ahlness at Arbor Heights Elementary, where he and students posed with some of the bags they decorated in 2010:

Mark shared this year’s official news release with us:

On April 22, 2018, the Earth Day Groceries Project will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Starting out in 1994, with 43 schools participating, the activity has grown and brought together thousands of schools and millions of children and grocery store shoppers worldwide in an annual event on Earth Day.

Here’s how it works. School children decorate paper shopping bags from a local grocery store with inspirational Earth Day messages and artwork. The bags are then returned to the store, which uses them to bag groceries for shoppers on Earth Day, April 22. Students become teachers in their communities.

*“Thanks to Kroger…our students have the opportunity to do their part along with our school’s white paper and newspaper recycling program to show that they care about the environment” – S.L. Lewis Elementary, College Park, GA

*“Our efforts were written about in the local newspapers and carried on 3 local TV stations. The third graders were even proclaimed “Home Town Heroes.” – Kunkel Elementary, Middletown, PA

*“On the trip to deliver the bags back to the grocery store, we cleaned the neighborhood sidewalks and boulevards.” – Victory School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

About the project website: At earthdaybags.org, interested schools can find information on how to participate, helpful tips, video presentations, desktop/phone backgrounds, award certificates, and more. Participating schools are asked to send in a report describing the effort at their school.

Visitors to the website can read through thousands of amazing stories and pictures from schools and children who care about the celebration of Earth Day. From all over the world. For the past 25 years.

We don’t have a list of local participants for this year so we don’t know if there are any local stores where you can get a special bag today, but thought you would want to know that a West Seattleite-founded project has continued going strong far beyond the peninsula.

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EARTH DAY: Start your Sunday at Harbor/Avalon http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/earth-day-start-your-sunday-at-harbor-avalon/ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 02:12:57 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914593 Start your Earth Day with some help around the spot where Harbor Avenue, SW Avalon, and Spokane Street meet. Tools, gloves, coffee, snacks provided! In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB calendar, here’s the reminder from organizer Roxane Rusch:

You are INVITED to Our Neighborhood EARTH DAY Harbor Avalon work party!!!!!!!

This is a work party to celebrate Earth Day and maintain the work completed through our Neighborhood Street and Park fund grant project.

Please join our party and help us positively and uniquely brand this West Seattle gateway area for all to enjoy!

Don’t worry about RSVP’ing if you haven’t already – just show up to help!

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