Friday, October 31, 2014

Setting the record straight on ocean acidification

Camille St. Onge, Climate Change Communication Manager

The Washington Policy Center got the facts wrong, as did media outlets that repeated the story. We do not disagree with Gov. Jay Inslee on ocean acidification.

We have reason to be concerned. Washington waters are particularly susceptible to ocean acidification and our shellfish are vulnerable.
The science is complex. It takes many partners with expertise in multiple disciplines to address the issue adequately.

As the state’s water quality lead, Ecology supports continued research and monitoring to help determine effective actions to address ocean acidification in Washington.

The Marine Resources Advisory Council, Washington Ocean Acidification Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Ecology, and many others are addressing this global issue.

Several resources are available to help people better understand the impacts of ocean acidification:

As Director Maia Bellon said in her blog, ocean acidification is real, and we support Gov. Inslee’s efforts to protect Washington waters. We support further investment in research and monitoring to fully understand the sources, causes and impacts in different aquatic environments.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Around the Sound: An early Halloween cleanup treat ...

By Seth Preston, communications manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

So here's a little pre-Halloween treat since it's Throwback Thursday -- a rundown on the work we're doing on 11 old or current industrial sites on Everett's Port Gardner Bay waterfront.

The Navy's Everett shipyard during World War II.
Check out the great, historical aerial photo of the World War II-era Naval Shipyard at the right in the bay's East Waterway.

As a bonus, here's another one of the Navy Reserve ships moored there in 1957.

Now there's a Navy homeport in that area.

Port Gardner Bay is one of the Toxics Cleanup Program's high-priority areas under the Puget Sound Initiative.

For context, here's a great presentation that shows where we're working with many local partners to protect and improve the environment, the Sound and the health of local residents.

Navy Reserve ships moored in Everett's East Waterway.
(You can find a glossary of cleanup terms to help make sense of the acronyms we use.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Around the Sound: A hot streak for some cool work

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

The work our Toxics Cleanup Program team is doing on the former Custom Plywood mill site on Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes is getting a lot of attention recently.

First, the Skagit Valley Herald published an in-depth look at the environmental cleanup of this key Puget Sound Initiative site on a bay that is important for protecting, restoring and maintaining the Sound's health. That was on Sunday, Oct. 19.

Jan Hersey sent us this great shot.
Then last week someone sent us a great photo (at right) of a rainbow with the Custom Plywood site in the foreground. See how we showed the contrast between the site now and how it looked in 2011 in this previous "Around the Sound" post.

And go here to Flickr to check out our photos that show off the great work our people coordinated and helped fund.

Now this video -- made by the Friends of Skagit Beaches and an independent filmmaker using an Ecology public participation grant -- is live online.

Citizen groups and not-for-profit public interest organizations use the grants to encourage people to get involved in the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites.

Stay tuned -- we have much more great things to share about our cleanup work in and around Puget Sound. Watch for it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Around the Sound: Cleanup is a beautiful thing

By Seth Preston, communications manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

Jan Hersey snapped this rainbow photo with the former Custom Plywood site in Anacortes in the foreground on the shore of Fidalgo Bay.

Rainbow photo courtesy of Jan Hersey.
It and our own photo from 2011 show the remarkable transformation that has happened at the site under our Puget Sound Initiative cleanup work.

Just a little more than three years ago, the site was littered with debris and toxic contamination. Now, it's a recovering ecosystem that also is home to a boat storage operation.

Jan was gracious to let us use her great photo, which shows how powerful cleanup can be -- for the environment, for the health of a local community and economy, and for the people who live nearby and can see the changes that cleanup brings.

It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October brings yellow leaves and green chemistry

By Andrew Wineke, communications, Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Is there ever too much of a good thing? Not when it comes to pollution prevention and green chemistry. Ecology is supporting a pair of workshops later this month aimed at giving professionals interested in reducing toxic chemicals new information and insight.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Ecology begins soil cleanup on Vashon-Maury Island

By Jill Jacobson, Outreach Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program

Gardens are an area of the yard where people often
 come in contact with soil.
On Monday, Ecology will start digging up contaminated soil at six yards on Vashon-Maury Island. This work is part of Ecology's Residential Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program. The program cleans up arsenic and lead from the former Asarco copper smelter in Tacoma.
Since 2012, we have sampled over 600 yards on the southern half of Vashon-Maury Island. As a result, we have identified 40 homes on the island that qualify for the soil cleanup program.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fecal Matters: Swimming Closure Issued for Ravine Creek, and Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park, Bainbridge Island, Kitsap Co.

BEACH Program Update

On October 7, 2014, Kitsap County Health District issued a no contact advisory for Ravine Creek and Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park, on Bainbridge Island.  The closure is due to a sewer spill into Ravine Creek.  Bacteria sampling showed high bacteria levels at the mouth of the creek that flows to Eagle Harbor. The public is to have no contact with the water until further notice.