Olympic National Park Seeks Volunteer Citizen Scientists to Study Olympic Marmots

The Olympic National Park is now accepting volunteer applications for the Olympic Marmot Monitoring Program 2015 survey season. Launched in 2010, the Olympic Marmot Monitoring Program employs

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U.S. Coast Guard recovers boat of missing Canadian near Ocean Shores

The Coast Guard says a sailboat that was reported missing July 11 off of British Columbia was found capsized Thursday about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores.

There

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Imperium Renewables and Pacific Coast Canola sign contract for biofuel supply

HOQUIAM, Wash. –Imperium Renewables, one of the largest biodiesel manufacturers in the United States, has reached an agreement with Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) to purchaseregionally sourcedcanola oil for biodiesel production. Pacific Coast Canola’s canola crushing plant in Warden, Wash., is the largest in the West. It began commercial operation in August of 2013 and has the capacity to produce at approximately 137,000 metric tons, or 40,000,000 gallons, of oil annually. “This milestone agreement with PCC will help us fully realize the potential of renewable biofuels in Washington,” said Imperium CEO John Plaza.  “Canola grown by Pacific Northwest farmers will be processed by PCC and that oil will be made into biodiesel by Imperium at our Hoquiam refinery. This advanced biofuel will be shipped to consumers in the region and around the world. We have been pursuing this goal since 2004 and we are very excited to be working with PCC to see this vision through.” The agreement will provide a reliable and diversified market for a portion of PCC’s production capacity, while supplying regionally sourced canola oil for Imperium. Locally sourced canola oil will help the biofuels company produce fuels that meet low-carbon fuel standards required by law in California and British Columbia, as well as biodiesel market demands in Oregon and Washington and the global marketplace. Low-carbon fuel standards mandate not only that fuel be refined from less carbon heavy materials such as petroleum, but also take into account the carbon emitted during the growth, production, distribution and use of those fuels. “We are proud to partner with Imperium, one of our local Washington state customers benefitting from our close proximity,” said Matt Upmeyer, Chief Operations Officer of PCC. “The Imperium contract is another big step as we bring our facility to full capacity, which is great news for local canola farmers.” About Imperium Renewables Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production in the US. Founded in 2004, the company continues to focus on providing safe domestic fuel supplies for the marketplace and providing family wage jobs in Washington State. Imperium Renewables operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000 certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash., which is capable of producing up to 100 million gallons per year. More information is available at www.imperiumrenewables.com. About Pacific Coast Canola Pacific Coast Canola operates the first and only commercial scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains in Warden, Wash., which is well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the West Coast of the United States. Pacific Coast Canola is 84 percent owned by Legumex Walker Inc. www.pacificcoastcanola.com.

October is Disaster Preparedness and NOAA Weather Radio Month

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month. In keeping with the proclamation, local jurisdictions, individuals, schools and businesses across the state will promote all-hazard preparedness throughout the month.
Highlight of the month is the Great Washington Shakeout “drop, cover and hold on” earthquake drill on Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. The drill will emphasize the urgent need for people, organizations, schools, communities and businesses to practice what to do to be safe during an earthquake, and how to be ready before an earthquake strikes. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same time.
“Earthquakes are one of the greatest hazards in our state,” said Robert Ezelle, director of the Emergency Management Division of the Washington Military Department. “The good thing about the Great Washington Shakeout is that so many members of the public will come out of it better prepared not only for quakes, but for other significant hazards such as tsunamis, floods, winter storms and acts of terror.”

International task force to discuss protecting West Coast from oil spills

SEATTLE, Wash. - States and provinces on the Pacific Ocean will gather this year in Seattle to discuss emerging issues in energy and how best to protect the West Coast from oil spills.

The Washington Department of Ecology is hosting this year’s annual meeting. The task force, known as the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, is composed of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii.

The states will update one another on their spill-response programs and initiatives. They’ll also learn about how the transportation of energy is changing along the West Coast; characteristics of new and emerging fuels; arctic issues; and risks of oil spills from vessel traffic.

Earthquakes off B.C. coast, no damage reports

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - A series of earthquakes has struck an area off British Columbia's coast, but the quakes did not generate a tsunami and there have been no damage reports.

The largest quake recorded Tuesday was a magnitude 6.0 and was centered nearly 120 miles off Bella Bella, on British Columbia's northern coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey says several additional quakes followed, with the largest as of Tuesday evening recorded as a magnitude 5.9.

Natural Resources Canada seismologist Honn Kao tells The Canadian Press that the area is "known to have very active seismic activity in the past" and quakes of this size are not uncommon. He says no reports have been received from anyone feeling the quakes.

Canadian Press talked to Bella Bella Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Glen Caston, who says he didn't feel a thing and says police haven't heard from anyone who felt any rumbling.

For quick details on the latest quakes that may affect our area, visit the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Tsunami Debris Information

The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan is a human tragedy. The disaster claimed nearly 16,000 lives, injured 6,000 people and destroyed or damaged countless buildings.

Most debris sinks, unknown amount still in Pacific Ocean

The tsunami also swept approximately 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. About 70 percent of the debris sank near Japan’s shore.

It is still unknown how much of the remaining 30 percent of the debris remains afloat. The debris dispersed in the northern Pacific Ocean where it is making its way eastward, carried by currents and wind.

Assessing tsunami debris, monitoring impacts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is collaborating with federal, state, tribal and local partners to collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to our coastal communities and natural resources. Ecology has been closely involved in this coordinated effort.

Ecology is distributing information about whom to call when citizens encounter debris. The department has developed a flier and a wallet card; they can both be saved and printed for your use.

If you see suspected tsunami debris, NOAA asks that you report it, including the specific location and associated photographs, todisasterdebris@noaa.gov.

Please don’t burn any tsunami debris — burning wood or natural vegetation that has soaked in saltwater creates dangerous toxic pollution. In Washington, burning garbage is always illegal.

No Tsunami Threat to US West Coast

HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. officials say a 7.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan is not expected to create a tsunami threat in Hawaii or the West Coast.

Federal agencies say that area includes Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. No tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.

The Japan meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to about 3 feet. The warning was issued for a coastal area of Japan already torn apart by last month's tsunami. Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute. Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the northeast region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, but few have been stronger than 7.0.

Statewide Medicine Take-Back Bill Fails to Pass State Senate

Olympia, WA – On Monday March 7, the Washington State Senate failed to vote on and pass Substitute Senate Bill 5234, the Secure Medicine Take-Back Bill. The proposed legislation would have required drug manufacturers selling medicines in Washington state to provide and finance a secure take-back and disposal program for left-over or expired medicines from residents. Over 140 organizations statewide supported the proposed legislation, including sheriffs, public health leaders, substance abuse professionals, and water quality experts.

“While many Senators were strongly in favor of this bill, pressure from the pharmaceutical industry managed to derail a good piece of legislation that would help protect our families and the environment from left-over medicines. It’s unfortunate that common sense and innovation were left on the sidelines in favor of backroom politics. Washington desperately needs a secure system to safely dispose of leftover medicines from homes without hurting the environment. It’s time to put our families first, not the pharmaceutical companies,” said Karen Bowman, RN, Washington State Nurses Association.

Local Ministries Prepare to Send Aid to Haiti

MONTESANO, Wash. - Haiti ARISE Ministries prepares to send aid to the people of Haiti, following the devastation caused by yesterday’s 7.3 earthquake 14 miles southwest of Port au Prince. Haiti ARISE Ministries operates out of Grand Goave southwest of Port au Prince. As news trickled out of the country about massive destruction throughout the country, Haiti ARISE teams in the US and Canada waited anxiously for word from the staff in Grand Goave.
 
The earthquake occurred at 5 p.m. (2 p.m. Pacific Time) bringing extensive infrastructure trauma and collapse of even significant structures, including hospitals, stores, government, aid organizations and the partial collapse of the National Palace.   The death toll and scope of devastation is yet untold, but it can be presumed that this is a tremendous blow to the country, just beginning to pull out of the devastation of last year’s brutal hurricane season. Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Of the 8.5 million inhabitants, over 4 million are considered malnourished. Over half the adult population is illiterate, and 70% of the population is unemployed.