Health of sediments in Commencement Bay improving

OLYMPIA - Sediment samples the state Department of Ecology has collected from the bottom of Puget Sound's Commencement Bay show signs of improved environmental health compared to samples from identical locations nearly 10 years ago.


The findings come from a just-released Ecology study, "Urban Waters Initiative, 2008: Sediment Quality in Commencement Bay." The Commencement Bay sediment data collection is a follow-up to a previous Ecology sediment study at the same locations in 1999.

The new study found reduced levels of toxic metals in the sediments such as arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, tin and zinc. It found reductions in cancer-causing chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. The study also found healthier populations of tiny sediment-dwelling life known as benthic invertebrates.

Coast Guard to assist RCMP during Winter Olympics

Top notch athletes throughout the world are in the final stages of training for the 21st Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.  As the world prepares for this fury of sporting spectacle, professionals of another sort are training around-the-clock to provide maritime safety and security throughout the region during the games.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be assisting its Canadian counterparts with security measures for the areas surrounding Vancouver, to include the maritime U.S./Canadian border.

It’s a tall order considering the San Juan Island chain on the U.S. side of the border is peppered with more than 170 islands and Canada has its own island chain north of U.S. waters leading into the Vancouver region.

Coast Guard planning for the security of the Winter Olympics, certain to draw millions to the region, has been coordinated between the U.S. and Canada for more than a year and the Coast Guard has been actively training with Canadian personnel since 2007.