West Seattle, Washington
In the hours before the sun broke through today … 15 sites along Seattle’s only river and in its watershed got some love from hundreds of volunteers during the fall edition of the twice-yearly mega-work-party known as Duwamish Alive! But first … it was time to celebrate its champions:
At center above, Willard Brown, recently retired from the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, was honored as a Green-Duwamish Champion. (The Duwamish River begins as the Green River.) His award was presented at a Duwamish Alive! event along Longfellow Creek in North Delridge – with emcees including State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon – while at T-107 Park on the river, the opening ceremony included honors for another “champion,” Port of Seattle biologist George Blumberg:
The Duwamish Alive! opening there was emceed by James Rasmussen, who leads the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. He spoke of T-107 Park’s importance as “the only place where the old river still lives,” and told the story of how it was spared from development by the discovery of archaeological significance – “my ancestors reached up and saved this place.”
He and Chris Wilkie from Puget SoundKeeper both spoke of the river’s significance to salmon runs and how that in turn affected the fate of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Here are both of their speeches on video:
The Duwamish Valley Youth Corps stopped for a photo op before it was time to grab shovels and get to work:
At T-107 Park, they and other volunteers were planting on the shore, while others took to the water for cleanup work:
As always, the kayaks were courtesy of West Seattle’s Alki Kayak Tours/Mountain to Sound Outfitters. Back at Longfellow Creek, volunteers were digging in too:
The Longfellow Creek included the first-ever Arabic-language Duwamish Alive! group. Among the participants were Nada Almaslmani, below left, visiting from Jordan:
With Nada in our photo, West Seattleite Bridgett Chandler. Fall is considered perfect for planting so roots can grow before the ground gets too cold in the winter – then they’re perfectly set to grow full-speed-ahead in spring.
The next Duwamish Alive! event will be in spring. But you don’t have to wait that long to spend a little time doing a lot of good in local parks and other greenspaces. Our calendar features work parties every weekend
One week from Saturday, the fall multi-site Duwamish Alive! event asks you to spend a few hours helping the river, which also will help the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales who need the salmon supported by healthy habitat. Here’s the reminder:
What is the connection between the Duwamish River and our local Orca? The Duwamish River is home to 5 species of salmon, including the vital Chinook, which is a critical food source for Puget Sound Orca. Orca depend on the dwindling Chinook runs for the majority of their diet, and Chinook depend on healthy salmon habitat in the Duwamish.
Duwamish Alive! on October 20th will have volunteers working throughout the Duwamish Watershed to improve the health of our green spaces, creeks and especially our Duwamish River, which provide salmon critical habitat. Volunteers are needed at many local sites which provide critical habitat for our community and our river.
Duwamish Alive! celebrates the connection of our urban parks and open spaces to our river, wildlife and community. Starting at 10:00 am, volunteers of all ages, at multiple Duwamish sites throughout the watershed from river to forest, will participate in a day of major cleanup and habitat restoration in the ongoing effort to keep our river alive and healthy for our communities, salmon and orca.
A special opening ceremony will be held at T107 Park, across from the Duwamish Longhouse at 10:00, with special honoring of George Blumberg and Willard Brown for their work in restoring the Duwamish.
T107 Park 9:45 â 10:30 am
Cecile Hansen, Duwamish Tribe
James Rasmussen, Presentation of Honors
Chris Wilke from Puget Soundkeeper, Stewardship
Sameer Ranade from Front and Centered Highlighting I-1631
Longfellow Creek at Greg Davis Park 10 am
Representative Joe Fitzgibbon from the 34th District, State House
Duwamish Alive! is a collaborative stewardship effort of conservation groups, businesses, and government entities, recognizing that our collective efforts are needed to make lasting, positive improvements in the health and vitality of the Green-Duwamish Watershed. Twice a year these events organize hundreds of volunteers to work at 14 sites in the riverâs watershed, connecting the efforts of Seattle and Tukwila communities.
To volunteer, visit DuwamishAlive.org to see the different volunteer opportunities and to the contact for the site of your choice, or email firstname.lastname@example.org This is a family-friendly event for all ages – tools, instruction and snacks are provided.
The two sites with opening ceremonies are only two of many along the river and its watershed.
Big haul last Sunday for the latest Recycle Roundup! Judy Pickens just sent the results:
Despite its being a Seahawk Sunday, the September 23 Recycle Roundup collected 13.5 tons of recyclables – in the top three since Fauntleroy Church teamed with 1 Green Planet in 2010 for this event. An estimated 475 vehicles came through the line to offload all manner of things now on their way back to the resource stream. Watch for the next roundup in April.
Things are moving fast at the fall Recycle Roundup in the lot at Fauntleroy Church! Multiple trucks/trailers from 1 Green Planet and lots of help. Just drive/ride/walk up before 3 pm and give them your recyclables – first look at the list (PDF) to see what they are and are not accepting this time. Free! The church has been hosting these events since 2010 and they always leave the peninsula tons lighter.
“Spring cleaning” is what you hear about most often – but tomorrow’s Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church brings you an opportunity to start fall with some cleaning too. 9 am-3 pm on Sunday, the church parking lot (9140 California SW) welcomes you to drop off items for 1 Green Planet to recycle. The list of what will and won’t be accepted is here. No charge, though the church accepts donations if you want to help support the twice-yearly Recycle Roundups. Rain or shine!
You don’t have to leave the city to enjoy nature – or to teach kids about it, which is the goal of a Seattle Audubon looking right now for West Seattle volunteers. The announcement, from Wendy Walker:
Do you know how spiders navigate their own webs without getting stuck, or why tree leaves are different shapes? Explore these and other fun science topics with Seattle Audubon’s *FUN (Finding Urban Nature) program.
The FUN program introduces 3rd-grade students to the nature in their schoolyard habitat and examines how each organism depends on others to survive. Volunteers lead small groups of four to seven students through a series of outdoor investigations, which teach kids to use their senses and scientific practices to discover the importance of urban biodiversity firsthand.
Four lessons in the fall and four more in the spring give students the opportunity to build knowledge and observe seasonal changes in their schoolyard habitats. We are currently recruiting for volunteers for the fall lessons at Sanislo, Lafayette, and Genesee Hill Elementary Schools.
A volunteer training will be held in early October at Genesee Hill, and in-school lessons will be held at each school beginning in October.
Interested? E-mail Wendy at FUNvolunteer@seattleaudubon.org to receive an application and schedules.
One week from today is not only the first full day of fall, it’s also one of two days each year that the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee invites you to a Recycle Roundup! We thought you might appreciate a reminder in case today’s weather is keeping you indoors. 9 am-3 pm on Sunday, September 23rd, you can ride, drive, walk, roll up to the church parking lot (9140 California SW) and drop off items for 1 Green Planet to recycle. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the list of what they are (and aren’t) accepting this time. It’s free (though of course the Green Committee appreciates donations to help it keep offering these events every fall and spring) – see you there!
A family-friendly vigil happening Saturday, September 15 near the Pier 91 cruise terminal will highlight how human-caused climate change is impacting the health of the worldâs oceans, especially the Arctic. The vigil will feature a floating art installation in Elliott Bay of a polar bear perched on a melting iceberg.
The vigil is happening on Arctic sea ice minimum day, the annual day when the sea ice extent is at its lowest. Sea ice minimum â which occurs in mid-September of each year â happens when the ice stops melting and the glaciers begin to accumulate again. The vigil will also draw attention to the role cruise ships play in accelerating the melting ice in the Arctic and contributing to sea level rise by burning heavy fuel oil, the dirtiest fossil fuel available for marine transportation.
The event coincides with two other international vigils for Arctic sea ice minimum day, in London and Rotterdam. The event is also part of the region-wide Salish Sea Day of Action.
The vigil is happening by the Magnolia cruise-ship terminal 3-5 pm. (The ship in the background is the new megaliner Norwegian Bliss, docked today at Pier 66 downtown; the port touted its environmentally friendlier features earlier this year.)
Time to start getting your recyclables together for the fall Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church. Judy Pickens sends the reminder that it’s set for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, September 23rd – drive, ride, walk to the church lot (9140 California SW) with your recyclables and drop them off with 1 Green Planet. Here’s the newest list of what they will and won’t be accepting – free of charge (though donations are always welcome to help the church’s Green Committee continue presenting the twice-yearly Recycle Roundups).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two months after the June 26th Seattle Iron and Metals barge fire on the Duwamish River (WSB coverage here) filled the sky with black smoke seen for miles around, a followup meeting answered some questions but raised even more concerns.
The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition brought together some of the departments/agencies involved in fighting the fire and assessing its damage. “For us, this is a very important meeting – we had a lot of people who were really scared by the fire,” began DRCC director/coordinator James Rasmussen, later noting that what they had gathered for was to find out the truth. “The people who are here, who are your regulators, are trying to do the best they can for you.” We recorded Wednesday night’s meeting – here’s our unedited video in its entirety:
If you weren’t there and don’t have time to watch, here’s what was revealed, asked, and discussed:
As mentioned in our Saturday coverage of the Duwamish River Festival, we learned while there that a community meeting is planned this Wednesday for updates on the June 26th barge fire. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has organized the meeting for 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday (August 22nd) at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (6737 Corson Ave. S.). From the flyer:
We have put together an opportunity to hear short presentations from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Fire Department, and Puget SoundKeeper, all of whom have some level of expertise with (Seattle Iron & Metal)/the barge fire/the barge fire response. The agenda will also include a dedicated portion of time for community members to ask questions and receive answers. Please join us to learn about the fire, the response, the repercussions, and next steps.
The fire caught the attention of people for many miles around as it spewed thick black smoke into the sky on an otherwise clear summer evening. No injuries were reported; the next day, SFD said the fire had been ruled “accidental” with damage estimated at $1 million. Wednesday’s meeting will be in the Gene Colin Educational Hall on the southwest side of the SSC Georgetown campus; here’s a map.
Still time to get to this year’s Duwamish River Festival (at Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 10th Ave. S., until 5 pm), where you can learn about the river by getting out onto it, or talking to people about it.
That’s James Rasmussen, coordinator of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, from whom we found out there’s a community meeting Wednesday about June’s barge fire on the river. (More on that in a separate story.) Along with information, the festival is also a cultural celebration:
Dancers from the Somali Youth Community Center were onstage while we were there – we published the full entertainment lineup in today’s daily highlights list. They were followed by Vietnamese community performers, including a dancer who specializes in cha-cha:
And the many organizations and city departments there include Seattle Parks, with some hands-on education about river wildlife:
Go learn, play, and watch!
More than a week after a Coleman Oil tanker truck spilled thousands of gallons of gasoline at the West Marginal/Chelan/Spokane/Delridge intersection, a cleanup crew was still on scene when we went through the intersection Thursday afternoon. We’ve since obtained more followup information from Seattle Public Utilities:
The responsible party hired an environmental consultant and cleanup contractor. SPU monitors and advises on their activities. SPUâs goal is to ensure that pollution in the stormwater system doesnât leave and is cleaned out.
The Oil and Water Separator (OWS) is still operating. There is also a large pneumatic plug in the stormwater pipe downstream from the spill. The plug blocks polluted flows from heading downstream and into the Duwamish. The contractor will also be pressure washing our pipes between the spill and the plug.
Most of the spilled fuel went into the oil water separator (OWS). The contractor has pumped out both the OWS and the pipes behind the plug. Collected materials have either been recycled or are being processed as hazardous waste. Early numbers indicate that weâve recovered over 2000 gallons of gasoline, but we wonât know the final amount until the responsible party reports and Department of Ecology verifies.
Ecology and SPU have monitored related outfalls along the Duwamish and have seen sheen. Department of Ecology has taken samples to determine the environmental impacts.
We will bill the responsible party for our time and materials, and we will investigate the incident under Seattle Municipal Code 22.800.
We’ll continue checking back, with the Department of Ecology too.
No one was hurt when one of the truck’s tanks went sideways the night of Wednesday, August 1st, with an early police assessment noting it happened during a “sharp right turn.” The incident kept the intersection closed – with West Seattle “low bridge” access blocked – for almost 12 hours.
That image is from the traffic cam on West Marginal at Spokane/Chelan/Delridge; SDOT says it is now open again, more than 24 hours after a tipped tanker truck was removed and crews started removing spilled gasoline from the drainage system (as explained here). We’re following up with Seattle Public Utilities to see if there’s any new info, but wanted to let you know that the traffic backups should now ease. Meantime, the tanker’s owner, Coleman Oil, has posted a statement in the comment thread following our original coverage of the Wednesday night incident.
That image was taken a short time ago from the SDOT camera on the east side of the Spokane/Chelan/West Marginal/Delridge intersection, the area blocked off for almost 12 hours after a double-tanker truck went sideways and spilled gasoline. The cleanup continues, and that’s led to the lane closure shown on the camera – so you’re advised to keep avoiding the westbound routes through that intersection. Meantime, we have information from Seattle Public Utilities regarding pollution concerns and what the crew’s doing there; we contacted SPU spokesperson Andy Ryan to ask about it. He provided these details:
The truck leaked an estimated 2,800 to 3,200 gallons of gasoline into the City’s storm drain system, which empties into the Duwamish River. At this point, the fuel has not made it into the riverâalthough we anticipate that some fuel is likely to enter the river.
The transportation company responsible for the spill is paying for contractors to remove the fuel from the storm drain system, and transfer it to storage tanks. Seattle Public Utilities is overseeing the cleanup.
Seattle Fire has sprayed Novacool fire retardant foam in the area to reduce the chance of fire. SFD got the foam as part of a $247,000 grant from Washington Ecology. Novacool is said to be of lower toxicity than other fire retardants, and it breaks down faster to decrease the risk of oxygen depletion in receiving water.
SPU is monitoring safety issues, ensuring there is not an explosive environment in the drainage system, and closing a lane of traffic to facilitate cleanup. Cleanup efforts are expected to take about 36 hours. The cleanup will be performed by vacuum trucks specially designed for the removal of gasoline.
… Because of the potential explosion/fire risk, this material [foam and gas] cannot be boomed and contained at the outfall. There is a large oil/water/separator (OWS) between most of the spill and the outfall that was built and installed specifically for this purpose. As of right now there are several inches of fuel in the OWS and the cleanup contractor (NRC) hired by the trucking company is working on keeping that material pumped down. We are cautiously optimistic that the OWS will prevent most of the material from entering the waterway. This area is tidal, and is beginning to go out so there will be more indication of the level of material bypassing the OWS as the afternoon goes on. At this time, we cannot estimate the volume of material that will be unrecoverable.
The worst-case scenario is fish kills in the area. Gasoline will typically dissipate relatively quickly when exposed to the atmosphere. This would be aided if sunny weather, but unfortunately it does not look like there is sunshine in the forecast. Department of Ecology is taking responsibility for monitoring from the outfall and has a boat from NRC on standby in the event spill material bypasses the OWS.
SPU Spill Response and Safety is onsite to monitor the clean-up activities of NRC and is developing a schedule for SPU to staff the site until the cleanup is complete. As of now, NRC has the appropriate resources onsite to effect clean-up. Early estimates indicate the cleanup process could take 24-36 hours. A debriefing and review of the incident after the clean-up is done will indicate if further action (enforcement) by SPU Source Control & Pollution Prevention is warranted.
As reported in our previous coverage, SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is looking into the cause of the crash, with early indications that the trailer went sideways as the truck made a sharp turn. No injuries were reported.
Several people have asked about the green streaks/patches visible in Puget Sound this week. We’ve reported before on the red patches – and the short answer is that the green stuff is a lot like the red stuff: Algae blooms. Not the same exact type – the red algae (noctiluca) seems to be unique in that coloration – but as the state Ecology Department notes, algae blooms come in many colors. What they have in common: They’re a sign something is awry – the water is too full of “nutrients,” a catch-all term for many things – including, according to Ecology:
Human sources of nutrients include (among others):
Over-application of fertilizers that get into stormwater runoff
onsite sewage systems (OSS)
Poorly managed land use practices
Natural sources, too, “but analyses indicate that human nutrient sources are making things worse,” says the state. Good for algae – bad for animals and plants that need oxygen-rich water. The state does an aerial survey that leads to a report titled Eyes on Puget Sound – the mid-July edition is here.
Seattle Public Utilities has cleaned up the debris left behind after an RV crashed into the greenbelt east of West Seattle Health Club‘s parking lot early Saturday. As we reported from the scene, a man and woman were taken to the hospital and a dog went to a clinic. We doh’t know the status of any of those three, but we do know what happened at the scene. We went back at midday today to see if the debris had been cleaned up, and while we were there, two people from SPU arrived.
In our photo is environmental compliance inspector Angelique Hockett, who said they had just found out about the situation; they hadn’t received notification from SPD or SFD but the co-worker with her had happened onto our report. She also said they found no sign of Longfellow Creek pollution or fuel leakage; that had been a concern of responders at the time of the crash, as it happened on the slope over the creek, which then goes into an underground culvert and on to the Duwamish River. She and her co-worker had planned to move the debris up away from the creek, and that an SPU crew that deals with illegal dumping would then come to pick up the items. We went back for a look about an hour ago and the scene was indeed clear; Hockett confirmed by phone that the cleanup was complete. We still have a few big-picture questions for SPU but our usual contacts are out of the office until later this week.
The EPA sent word this morning (with this flyer) that cleanup starts next month at the Harbor Island Superfund site, and it’s planning a drop-in info event tomorrow at Seacrest, 4-6 pm, for anyone with questions. Here’s the announcement:
Lockheed West Seattle is one of the remaining areas to be cleaned up at the Harbor Island Superfund site.
The Lockheed Martin Corporation, as the Potentially Responsible Party for the cleanup, will remove contamination from a 40-acre area in the northwest corner of the mouth of the West Waterway and north of the Port of Seattleâs Terminal 5. An estimated total of 167,000 cubic yards of contaminated material will be removed over the course of the cleanup, reducing site risks to human health and the environment. Of that total, more than 151,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged from the sub-tidal area and an additional 15,800 cubic yards will be excavated or dredged from the shoreline and intertidal area.
For the cleanup, Lockheed Martin will:
-Remove pilings and debris.
-Dredge and dispose of sediments, pilings and debris at a permitted off-site landfill.
-Add a thin layer of clean sand across the entire site to enhance natural recovery and cover dredged areas.
-Continue the Washington State Department of Health fish advisory so people are aware of risks from eating contaminated seafood. Theï»ż fish consumption advisory, warning individuals not to consume contaminated resident seafood caught in the waterway, is in place. However, salmon are safe to eat since they only pass through Elliott Bay and do not live year-round in the bay.
The cleanup work begins mid-August of 2018 and will be done in the spring of 2019.
King County Noxious Weed Control Program specialists were in West Seattle again today – for the second time this week, removing an infestation of a plant that’s one of the most noxious they tackle: Giant hogweed.
We contacted them after two WSB readers suggested we follow up on TV reports about a patch of this weed getting removed in West Seattle earlier this week. Sasha Shaw answered our inquiry and explained, it’s not that West Seattle is a particular hotbed of giant hogweed, but rather, the TV folks contacted her looking for a local angle on a story from the East Coast about someone getting badly burned by this weed, and it just so happened that West Seattle was where their most-recent report of a giant hogweed happened to be. Here’s a photo from that first stop, in the Genesee Hill area, on Tuesday:
Shaw is the communications specialist for the program, which is part of the county Natural Resources and Parks department. She explains, “Our program has the big job of stopping the spread of state-regulated noxious weeds such as giant hogweed throughout King County, including in the cities. For the Class A noxious weeds such as giant hogweed, which are limited in distribution in the state, we offer to help people with the control work because of the huge public benefit to stopping these highly invasive and damaging plants from becoming established. Giant hogweed also poses a serious health risk because of the potential of the sap to cause burns and blisters.”
(Here’s their info sheet about giant hogweed, so you can find out more about it.)
She also clarified that the removals in Genesee on Tuesday and Admiral today aren’t the first discoveries of this scary weed in our area: “We have responded to locations of this plant in West Seattle many times. It isnât the neighborhood in Seattle with the most giant hogweed, but we have found several hundred sites there over the past 15 or so years that we have been working on this plant. We typically find some new sites every year, but more locations are closed than opened as the plants get controlled.”
She points out that you can use the county’s map to “zoom in and see the locations of all the giant hogweed sites we have found in West Seattle, as well as other regulated noxious weeds.” Go to https://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/iMap/ – and, she advises, “turn on the Noxious Weeds layer, select ‘Most Widespread Noxious Weeds,’ zoom in to West Seattle and look for the little green icons that look like pine trees.”
She continued: “At this point, most of the giant hogweed in West Seattle, and other parts of the city, is out of sight in ravines, alleys and backyards. Typically we find new sites when people contact us either about their own hogweed or their neighborâs plants. Hogweed spends several years as small plants and can be inconspicuous especially in areas overgrown with other vegetation like blackberry. When they flower they are 10 to 15 feet tall so that is often when people discover them. Sometimes people get burned by the sap while working in the yard and then contact us to find out what they have. Thatâs what happened in the case of the West Seattle homeowner that was featured on KING5 News, although they actually got burned last year but didnât know why until they found a flowering plant in their alley and identified it online. … People do get seriously burned by this plant so getting the word out as widely as possible is very important.” Also note, this is already toward the end of giant hogweed’s season, and most of the plants are dying back.
This isn’t the only “big problem” noxious weed/invasive plant out there – “but few that are regulated noxious weeds, highly dangerous to people and very invasive,” Shaw notes. We’re going to take her up on her offer to talk with us for a separate story about other weeds you should watch for. (You can start reading about them all here!)
The three days of West Seattle Summer Fest (Friday-Sunday, July 13-15) include GreenLife, a festival within a festival, presented by Sustainable West Seattle and partners, who describe it as “three days of demonstrations and presentations to inspire more sustainable living,” focused this year on âSave the Orcas and the Salish Sea.â You’ll find GreenLife at Junction Plaza Park, along the north side of SW Alaska west of 42nd SW. GL will feature the “Virtual Salish Sea” exhibition, taking you underwater in Puget Sound via VR, plus an orca ride for kids, and booths with info on living sustainably. Plus – presentations and discussions, as scheduled:
Friday – What can we do?
1:00 pm – Opening Ceremony by the Duwamish Tribe; Discussion: Native American rights
2:00 pm – Make your yard a water cleaner to the Salish Sea
3:00 pm – The Tox-Ick Monster presentation
4:00 pm – Damsense presentation: Free the Snake and other wild rivers
5:00 pm – Diver Laura; Tox-ick
7:00 pm on, Summer Fest and GreenLife singalong
Saturday â Legislative Action!
12:00 pm – Governor Insleeâs Orca Task Force public forum
2:00 pm â Liquid Natural Gas, What it means to the Salish Sea, with Lily Adams
3:00 pm -.Neighbors for Peace and Justice
4:00 pm – Natural Law with Rebecca Campbell
7:00 pm – Free Movie at the Senior Center: “Damnation,” about the removal of the Elwha Dam and the freeing of wild rivers.
Sunday â Solutions
1:00 pm â Liquid Natural Gas: What it means to the Salish Sea, with Lily Adams
2:00 pm â SR3 whale and marine wildlife rescue
3:00 pm – Diver Laura – Tox-ick monster
Festival hours are 10 am-6 pm Friday and Saturday (main-stage music and beer garden running later), 11 am-5 pm Sunday. And remember that the streets start closing at 4 pm today (Thursday) for setup and Summer Fest Eve – more on that later this morning!
(WSB file photo of Fauntleroy Cove, looking toward Lincoln Park)
The infamous Fauntleroy “stench” is back, reports Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Community Association:
Since the early 1980s, rotting sea lettuce in Fauntleroy Cove has generated hydrogen sulfide gas (aka “the stench”) in the heat of summer. It inexplicably stopped about nine years ago and residents and visitors could breathe easy. Now, even after weeks of relatively cool weather, it’s back.
With hot days ahead, the following advice is offered to newcomers and long-term residents wanting to enjoy summer despite the stench:
– Keep a tide table handy or bookmark a table online so you can anticipate when low tide will be; sea lettuce emits the gas when low tide leaves it stranded on the beach.
– Close all windows and skylights when you first notice the acrid smell.
– Stay indoors until the air seems fresh again.
– Use a fan to blow out your bedroom before sleeping; the invisible gas is heavy and needs a push.
– Leave home for awhile if the smell is especially strong.
Remember: Itâs not simply the smell of saltwater. Itâs a noxious gas that can cause itchy eyes, headache, and nausea.
That photo is from the Lincoln Park area, taken by Stani – one of several people who’ve pointed out this afternoon that the red algae bloom known as Noctiluca is back off West Seattle shores today.
— RicKitty (@Rick_Kitty) July 3, 2018
We reported on sightings about a month ago too – same time the state Department of Ecology explained it here. It’s non-toxic, as Ecology’s post notes, but it’s not a good thing: “An increase in the abundance of Noctiluca is an indication of an unbalanced system, and while the plankton is not toxic itself, their presence creates a cascade of effects in the marine food web. … While Noctiluca are naturally occurring and blooms have been observed and recorded in Puget Sound since the 1940âs, there is growing concern that human-caused nutrient over-enrichment is increasing the intensity, changing the timing, and increasing the spatial distribution of Noctiluca blooms.”
Now that West Seattle Summer Fest 2018 is 13 days away – Friday-Sunday, July 13-15, in The Junction – it’s time to start counting down. First up, let’s talk about GreenLife, the sustainability expo/festival-within-a-festival that you’ll find at Summer Fest again this year. From Stu Hennessey:
The GreenLife Festival will focus on the issues surrounding the failing Southern Resident Killer Whale population and the health of the Salish Sea. There are many solvable issues connected to the decline of our local waters, including Puget Sound. We will examine these issues at the Junction Plaza Park location.
Much of the marine wildlife is in decline, (including) the salmon that our Orcas depend on for survival. The 3 days of the festival will be divided into Day 1: What can we as individuals do? Day 2: What is being done with legislation? And Day 3: What solutions are already helping?
This will be very enlightening for the whole family. We will have a virtual reality underwater tour of the Puget Sound with 3D headsets, presented by “Diver Laura” James. There will be a mechanical Orca whale ride for the kids. You will hear a lot about what is being done by our local governments, and on Saturday night, July 14th, we will be showing the movie “DamNation” at the West Seattle Senior Center (Oregon and California). The movie is free and starts at 7 pm. We hope you are concerned about the decline of our native Orcas and will want to learn more about what can be done. The GreenLife Festival is a project of Sustainable West Seattle. Sponsors include Verity Credit Union, Alki Bike and Board, West Seattle Nursery, PCC, West Seattle Electric and Solar, and Waste Management.
And as part of that:
Governor Inslee’s task force on the Southern Resident Orca crisis wants to hear from you. Task force director Stephanie Solien will be coming to the GreenLife Festival on Saturday, July 14th, at 12 noon.
The objective is to present the task force mission and to hear from the public their concerns and comments about the failing status of our iconic Orca population.
Your concern and your comments can have an impact on what the task force will recommend to the Governor for future action.