West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle beaches http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:11:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Sailboat on the sand: Beached on Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/sailboat-on-the-sand-beached-on-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/sailboat-on-the-sand-beached-on-alki/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:15:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279216

(Photo received via text message – thank you!)
We’re receiving notes pointing out/asking about a sailboat that’s up on the sand on Alki Beach this morning, not far east of the Bathhouse. We don’t know anything but the circumstances but we do know that authorities are aware – there was scanner talk about it earlier this morning, including the acknowledgment that it’s probably going to be there for some hours, as the tide is very low this morning and high tide isn’t until about quarter past 7 tonight.

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West Seattle 4th of July aftermath: How you can help http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-4th-of-july-aftermath-how-you-can-help/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-4th-of-july-aftermath-how-you-can-help/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 01:55:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278469 (UPDATED with pics from others who did some cleanup! Share your photo: editor@westseattleblog.com)

Got a little time before dusk? You can make a big impact by heading down to the beach with a bag. There’s been lots of talk today about the noise of last night – not quite as much about the debris in its aftermath. West Seattle advocate/activist “Diver Laura” James reports back on what she found when she went to the shore this afternoon to see the aftermath:

I went out for about an hour and got halfway down Alki Beach. The fireworks debris is not as prominent as it was last year after the private fireworks display, but there was definitely stuff to be cleaned up.

The public beaches are actually a bit cleaner than the private beaches and the park next to my house, mostly because the cops shut the beach down at 11 pm last night. I encourage everyone to take 15 min to half an hour and walk the local beaches in your neighborhood. If you don’t have a local beach, take a stroll by the local park. If you don’t have a local park, check your street. It may not be your fireworks debris, but I would put a healthy wager on all of us having shot off some assortment of noisemakers at some point for which others did the cleanup. Puget Sound and its inhabitants don’t care who fired them off, it’s who picks them up that really matters. While you are out there, feel free to pick up some other trash as well – plastic caps, styrofoam, plastic utensils, earplugs, wrappers, you name it… Every little bit helps and your individual actions count.

There is a garbage patch growing on the bottom of Puget Sound, and the only way we can stop it (other than everyone learning to dive and coming with me to clean it up) is to stop the trash before it reaches the waterways. So step up, bend down, and pick up that trash. Do it for Puget Sound, do it for our collective future. A lot of the cardboard and plastic debris is up in the high tide line, mixed in with the seaweed …

… but with a bit of patience you can pick it out.

If you can’t spare any time tonight – maybe tomorrow.

ADDED: NW went to Alki and shared this photo afterward:

ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: Here’s what Claire picked up:

Anybody else? editor@westseattleblog.com

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Seal-pup season on local beaches: What to do if you see one http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/seal-pup-season-on-local-beaches-what-to-do-if-you-see-one/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/seal-pup-season-on-local-beaches-what-to-do-if-you-see-one/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:13:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278159

That little harbor seal photographed by Adem at the Fauntleroy ferry dock last weekend wasn’t technically a pup, Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network explains, but rather a yearling. However, the season of seal births IS now under way, and if you see a little seal on a local beach, it’s most likely a nursing pup and it’s critical that you keep your distance so its mom won’t be scared away when she comes back for it. It’s also important to call Seal Sitters – 206-905-7325 (SEAL) – so they can help.

Earlier this week, rescuers had to intervene after a nursing pup got stuck in the rocks by Duwamish Head; the story is on their Blubberblog website. That pup, nicknamed Junebug, was the third spotted on West Seattle shores already this season, which Robin says is the earliest on record.

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On second look, Seattle Parks discovers, and plans temporary fix for, seawall damage from stolen car pushed into water http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/on-second-look-seattle-parks-discovers-and-plans-temporary-fix-for-seawall-damage-from-stolen-car-pushed-into-water/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/on-second-look-seattle-parks-discovers-and-plans-temporary-fix-for-seawall-damage-from-stolen-car-pushed-into-water/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 00:17:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278051 Remember the car stolen from Queen Anne, found upside down in the water off Emma Schmitz Overlook?

(Photo republished with permission of Beach Drive Blog)
That’s the photo from Beach Drive Blog‘s original report early Sunday morning, June 22nd. We followed up with Seattle Police and Parks the next day and published this story. Right after the crarsh, Parks didn’t find noticeable seawall damage, but on second look, that assessment has changed. Update today from Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad:

The crews who maintain the parks couldn’t tell if there was damage, but when our engineers went out there, they definitely found some. Please see attached pictures.

We are going to truss up the wall with structural steel as a temporary measure as we await a full replacement. We have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers for some time on a replacement project, and we expect that the replacement will happen sometime within the next two to three years.

BDB reported on the replacement plans back in April.

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Beached-buoy update: King County water-quality outpost floats in, gets towed out http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/beached-buoy-king-county-water-quality-outpost-floats-in/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/beached-buoy-king-county-water-quality-outpost-floats-in/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 16:25:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277839

FIRST REPORT, 9:25 AM: Lura shares the photo from the 5400 block of Beach Drive SW. It appears to be the King County water-quality-monitoring buoy placed off Lincoln Park almost a year ago, described at the time as “firmly anchored in about 550 feet of water just less than half a mile off Point Williams.” She was making phone calls in hopes of finding someone to report it to, and just sent an update saying a neighbor has reached somebody. (The buoy, by the way, still seems to be sending readings.)

UPDATE, 4:51 PM: From King County’s Kimberle Stark:

Thanks definitely go out to the residents who reported the buoy was on the beach!!! Staff from the King County Environmental Laboratory are going to try and retrieve it tonight. We’re not sure what happened yet until we get a close look at the bottom frame. Thanks again to the residents who reported it in such a timely manner!

UPDATE, 6:40 PM: Looks like they were able to retrieve it – Lura sent this photo of the buoy under tow:

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Sick starfish: If you see any sea stars this weekend, here’s what to do http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/sick-starfish-if-you-see-any-starfish-this-weekend-heres-what-to-do/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/sick-starfish-if-you-see-any-starfish-this-weekend-heres-what-to-do/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 21:27:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276525

The tide’s coming back in again after the mega-low -3.3 at noontime. But it’ll be almost that low tomorrow, and if you went out on the beach today – or plan to do so tomorrow – “Diver Laura” James has a request for you: Everyone studying the sick starfish is hoping for a new round of surveys with this weekend’s low tide, so if you saw any starfish, alive or dead, there’s a variety of ways to share the information – optimally through the surveys linked here, but Laura adds: “If people don’t have time to fill out a form if they could just use #sickstarfish [social-media hashtag] or manual entry on www.sickstarfish.com or even just email me at ljjames@mac.com, it would be a massive help.” She was planning to do a walking survey near Seacrest, to reach divers and others in the area.

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West Seattle low-tide sights: Sizable squid on Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattle-low-tide-sights-sizable-squid-on-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattle-low-tide-sights-sizable-squid-on-alki/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:01:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276287

12:01 PM: “Washington’s squid are generally less than a foot long,” says this state Department of Fish and Wildlife page. Well – not this one that Carrie Ann photographed during this morning’s low tide. She says, “Looks to have a bit of wear and tear from hitting rocks and scavengers pecking at it, but still impressive to see up close.” Humboldt squid? Reminiscent of this one five years ago.

2:46 PM UPDATE: In comments, Lynn says it’s believed to be a “robust clubhook squid.”

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Premature seal pup’s short life on Alki: Did you see its mom? http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/premature-seal-pups-short-life-on-alki-did-you-see-its-mom/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/premature-seal-pups-short-life-on-alki-did-you-see-its-mom/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:45:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276218

Wildlife advocates tried but were unable to save the life of a prematurely born seal pup that appeared on the Alki shore on Monday. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network tells the story of “Luigi” in an update on Blubberblog, and adds in a note to WSB:

Yesterday was a terribly sad day for all of us that looked after Luigi, estimated to be only a day old when reported on Alki Monday. For the past two days, onlookers were so considerate and caring and understood the urgency about keeping the area free of disturbance in hopes that mom would return. There are a number of reasons that this pup might have been abandoned on our shore – not the least of which is that the mom may have died during the birth. We are hoping that anyone who might have noticed an adult seal on shore Monday at Alki or nearby – or one offshore that appeared to be in distress – will contact us so we might help unravel this mystery.

It is no mystery, however, that if people and dogs are too close and scare away a mother seal, she will often not return for her pup if she feels threatened. As always, dogs continue to be a problem on our public beaches and put wildlife at risk.

In the photo here, you can see the long lanugo coat that indicates she was born a month prematurely, a very difficult hurdle for survival. To our knowledge there has not been a live lanugo birth in West Seattle before – certainly not in the almost 8 years I have been doing this. Pupping season is just now getting underway in South Puget Sound rookeries and full-term pups generally start being born in late June. Usually, we see our first pup in West Seattle in early July, but the height of the season is September and October as weaned pups disperse from the rookeries.

Usually, a pup turns up on shore just to rest while its mom is out looking for food. If you see one – as Robin mentions, the season is about to begin – or if you have information on the circumstances of Luigi’s birth, call 206-905-SEAL. Robin also adds a vital reminder: “Only authorized members of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network can handle marine mammals. It is against the law to touch, move or feed them.” (It really IS a network, including volunteers like SS – the most recent NOAA map with contacts is here.)

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Happening now: Low tide in West Seattle, with volunteer naturalists at 2 beaches http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/happening-now-low-tide-in-west-seattle-with-volunteer-naturalists/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/happening-now-low-tide-in-west-seattle-with-volunteer-naturalists/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 18:52:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274784

Just before noon, the low tide will be out to -1.9 feet – great for beach exploration. As we’ve been noting for the past few days, the Seattle Aquarium‘s volunteer beach naturalists are back on duty.

Part of the corps, John Smersh (who you might know from longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits in The Junction), shared the photos from Constellation Park south of Alki Point. The naturalists are there and on the Lincoln Park beach by Colman Pool until 1 pm today; here’s their schedule for the rest of the week, and on into summer. In just two weeks, you’ll see some even lower tides, bottoming out at -3.3 feet on June 14th, lowest it’ll get this summer.

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Signs of summer: Banners go up for Seafair Pirates Landing on Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/signs-of-summer-banners-go-up-for-seafair-pirates-landing-on-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/signs-of-summer-banners-go-up-for-seafair-pirates-landing-on-alki/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 18:39:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274606

With Memorial Day weekend opening the gate to summer, festival season is in view. This year, the Seafair Pirates Landing on Alki is earlier than usual – Saturday, June 28th. On a visit to the beach this morning, we noticed the newly placed promotional banners, making their annual appearance. There will of course be pirate sightings before then; according to their online schedule, they’ll be in the Portland Rose Parade this weekend (as will the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band).

SIDE NOTE – ALSO IN JUNE: Two more big-event dates for your June calendar – the Westwood Village Street Fair on June 14th and the Morgan Junction Community Festival (co-sponsored by WSB) on June 21st.

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Don’t touch marine mammals! Reminder from Seal Sitters after troubling report of Lincoln Park incident http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/dont-touch-marine-mammals-reminder-from-seal-sitters-after-troubling-report-of-lincoln-park-incident/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/dont-touch-marine-mammals-reminder-from-seal-sitters-after-troubling-report-of-lincoln-park-incident/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:08:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=271095 From Seal SittersRobin Lindsey:

Seal Sitters’ hotline received a call last evening that two women (with illegally
off leash dogs on the beach) at Lincoln Park picked up a harbor seal pup and moved the animal. By the time we received the call the pup had left the beach. Apparently there were a number of people who told the women it was the law to stay back and not touch the pup – information which they disregarded. The pup was close to our beach signage at the north end of the Park which also has the number of our stranding hotline.

Seal Sitters would like to remind people that all marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act which prohibits touching, feeding, moving and disturbance. Violations such as the one reported last night can be prosecuted by NOAA Office for Law Enforcement punishable with a substantial fine and, if the infraction is severe enough, jail time.

I personally find it hard to believe that an approximately 7 month old pup would allow anyone to pick him up unless he was sick or injured. This is all the more reason the women should have called Seal Sitters’ hotline at 206-905-7325 (SEAL) in case the animal needed to be transported to rehab for stabilization and treatment.

We have had an unusually quiet off season with very few weaned pups coming ashore. They are more often using the offshore platforms to rest – which is obviously much safer from harassment by people and dogs.

Harbor seal pupping season is just now beginning on the outer coast of Southern Washington and Northern Oregon. Please be aware as you walk coastal beaches and if you see a pup alone on the beach, stay back and give the animal space so the mom will not abandon her newborn.

Seal Sitters thanks the residents of West Seattle for their support in helping to keep marine mammals safe in our area. If you see a seal pup on the beach, please call our hotline immediately.

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Mid-afternoon photo break: The eagle has (almost) landed http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/mid-afternoon-photo-break-the-eagle-has-almost-landed/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/mid-afternoon-photo-break-the-eagle-has-almost-landed/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:20:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=270788

You love skyline-from-Duwamish-Head photos. You love bird photos. Now – thanks to Craig Howard – two in one! Couldn’t wait until tomorrow’s daily preview to share it, so while we work on a few more news stories, here it is. Craig was on the beach at low tide, and “a murder of crows sent this eagle down right in front of me. He hung around until the crows went away. Didn’t seem to mind me at all.”

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Video: See what The Whale Trail’s volunteer cleanup found along the Lincoln Park shore http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/video-see-what-the-whale-trails-volunteer-cleanup-found-along-the-lincoln-park-shore/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/video-see-what-the-whale-trails-volunteer-cleanup-found-along-the-lincoln-park-shore/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:15:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=269596

Do you enjoy Lincoln Park – its views, its wildlife? It can’t be taken for granted; it’s at risk due to human carelessness – but human caring can help make up for it, as you’ll see if you take a few minutes to watch the video. Thanks to Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail for sharing the video Barry White produced of last weekend’s TWT cleanup at the park – in the rain! – organized by Judy Lane. Donna has also written about it on the Whale Trail website.

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Why plant palm trees on Alki? ‘Beach-y whimsy,’ says Parks, among other reasons http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/why-plant-palm-trees-on-alki-beach-y-whimsy-says-parks-among-other-reasons/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/why-plant-palm-trees-on-alki-beach-y-whimsy-says-parks-among-other-reasons/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:35:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268619

In case you missed it – our Friday mention of those palm trees, just planted at Alki Beach Park (hat tip again to Connie), were the most-discussed WSB story of the weekend. We promised to follow up today with Seattle Parks, whose Joelle Hammerstad responded, first checking out the comments and then putting together this Q/A:

Q: Why are there palm trees at Alki?

A: The palm trees planted last week are part of a larger project to improve and beautify the landscape along Alki Beach. For the past several years, Parks landscape architects and plant horticulturists have been working to add interest to the landscape along Alki. Among the many projects undertaken include planting sea grass, arranging interesting and attractive and driftwood along the beach and adding an element of beach-y whimsy with the addition of palm trees in this location.

Q: How many trees are there?

A: There are 9 palm trees located in this landscaping area. The two most recent trees planted were by far the most mature. There are seven smaller palm trees grouped with the two larger ones. The addition of these last two trees completes the landscaping plan for this area of the beach.

Q: How much did the trees cost?

A: The trees were free. L & B Nursery in North Seattle donated the trees to Seattle Parks and Recreation. We received the donation last year, but only put them in the ground recently. After receiving the donation, we allowed their root system to mature a bit more before planting them. Mature palm trees are sold for around $125 a foot. We estimate that the donation for these trees is between $2,500 and $3,000.

Q: These trees are not native to the Pacific Northwest. Why did Seattle Parks and Recreation plant them?

A: These trees are native to China. They are a temperate species called Windmill Palm trees, and come from a region of China that gets colder than Seattle. Seattle Parks frequently plants non-native species in Seattle’s parks. When park visitors encounter a flowering tree in Seattle’s parks, they are usually seeing a non-native species. These include flowering cherry trees and dogwood trees, but also non-native ornamental trees, such as Japanese Maples. Nearly all the flowering annuals that bring bright colors to flower beds in the summer are non-native.

Q: The trees will impair the view.

A: Palm trees have an inherently small canopy. As they get more mature, they simply get taller. Their small canopy will grow higher and higher and impinge less and less on views. They will reach a height of about 35 feet.

The palms in our photo are near Alki’s 53rd Street Pump Station.

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Seen on Alki: ‘Production shoot’ no-parking zone; new palm trees http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/seen-on-alki-production-shoot-no-parking-zone-new-palm-trees/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/seen-on-alki-production-shoot-no-parking-zone-new-palm-trees/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:38:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268375 Two sightings on Alki:

SIGHTING #1: Driving Alki Avenue a little earlier today, we noticed those signs along both sides of the Alki Bathhouse block (61st SW vicinity), announcing a temporary No Parking zone for 11 am-10 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 22nd). The mandatory hard-copy notice attached to one sign explains that it’s for a “production shoot.” No further details so far.

SIGHTING #2: At first we wondered if this were related to #1, but a Twitter conversation threw cold water on the idea: Palm trees arrived today, further east on the beach, tweeted Connie (@EyeOnAlki). At first, that led to memories of 2011, when palm trees were brought in so that Alki could double as Florida during the filming of “Ira Finkelstein’s Christmas” (which has since been retitled “Switchmas“). But after we tweeted that observation (but before we could get to the beach for the photo below), Jen (@hildeborg) tweeted that Parks crew members told her they’ve planted two between 53rd-54th SW to see how they do – with more possibly to follow.

We’ll be checking with Parks for more on the palm plan.

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