Humpback whale washes ashore on Grayland beach

A 30 foot humpback whale washed ashore in Grayland over the weekend. Kathryn Myrsell with the Westport Aquarium tells us it appears to have been dead for at least a week, and had lacerations on it’s tail. The way is washed ashore Sunday prevents them from telling if it’s male or female. Teams from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with Cascadia Research, performed a necropsy on the whale Monday morning.

Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology  Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla's first whale necropsy.  The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.
Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology
Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla’s first whale necropsy. The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.

Grays Harbor AHAB sirens test successful, connection issues identified

The AHAB test on Monday, January 13th at noon, was successful in activating all AHAB sirens. Washington State Emergency Management Division as well as the Grays Harbor County Radio Shop monitored the test activation. Minor connection issues were found in five AHAB Sirens; Westport, Aberdeen, Ocean City and two in Grayland. Every AHAB siren was activated during the test. Washington State Emergency Management will be sending a crew to inspect each of the five identified sirens this week. The minor connection issues would have no effect in a true activation of the AHAB Siren with the wailing siren used in a true emergency.

Each day, Washington State Emergency Management sends a silent test message to every AHAB Siren in the State. All Sirens in Grays Harbor County passed the daily test this morning, prior to the activation of the test mode by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management.

Washington State Emergency Management is scheduled to activate the AHAB test in February. In order to ensure all sirens are operating optimally, Grays Harbor County Emergency Management will activate the Monthly Test on Monday February 3rd, the regularly scheduled test activation day. Washington State Emergency Management and Grays Harbor County Radio Shop will once again, be monitoring the test.

Ecology publishes updated Grays Harbor oil-spill response plan

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Coast Guard published an updated Grays Harbor Geographic Response Plan this week to improve site-specific, oil-spill response strategies in the area.

The plan is one of 19 geographic response plans (GRPs) in the state designed to lessen the impact of spilled oil on sensitive natural, cultural, and economic resources during t an incident. It covers shoreline and nearshore areas from Cosmopolis to the Pacific Coast (Grayland to Copalis Beach).
The Grays Harbor GRP is part of a larger plan called the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP) which covers Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The NWACP functions as Washington State’s master plan for oil spill and hazardous substance release response. The NWACP is maintained by the Northwest Area Committee, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho State Emergency Response Commission, and Ecology.

From the end of August through mid-October, Ecology solicited public comments on the updated draft GRP for Grays Harbor. Over 40 comments were received during this period from ten groups or individuals. “We appreciate the feedback because it allows us to develop a plan with input from citizens, resource managers, spill response contractors, industry representatives, tribal governments, and local officials,” said Dale Jensen, Spills Program Manager. “Updating the GRP is one of several readiness improvements happening in Grays Harbor over the next months.  The natural environment of the harbor is truly a jewel to this state, and the harbor is getting a well deserved boost in oil spill preparedness.”

The updated plan contains site-specific spill response measures like oil-containment booming and notification strategies. It also establishes priorities based on potential spill locations and the proximity of sensitive resources to them. Jensen said all of the strategies within the plan support Ecology’s goal of a rapid, aggressive, and well coordinated response to oil spills.  Other improvements will include tugs, more equipment staged locally and an opportunity for vessel owners to volunteer for training to support oil spill responses.

The former Grays Harbor GRP was published in March, 2003 and work to update the plan began in August, 2009. The updated plan is significantly more detailed, and nearly six times larger than the former plan. All parts of the existing plan were comprehensively reviewed and updated, with two dozen response strategies added.

The updated plan and Ecology’s response to public comments are available online:
. 2013 Grays Harbor GRP Web page: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/GraysHarbor/GraysHarbor.html
. Ecology’s Response to Comments on draft updated Grays Harbor GRP: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/GraysHarbor/GraysHarbor-RTC.pdf
. The Grays Harbor GRP is part of the larger Northwest Area Contingency Plan.

For more information:
Geographic Response Plans:  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/Introduction/introduction.htm
Ecology Spills Program:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html

Ecology’s social media:
www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html

Westport votes to support Visitor Information Center as VIC loses PUD contract

WESTPORT, Wash. – Change is coming to the Westport Visitor Information Center. Regardless of continued support from the city of Westport, the Grays Harbor PUD is pulling it’s pay station and a contract that makes up almost a 1/4 of the chamber’s budget at the end of the month.
At a special session Friday morning, the city council approved a contract with the Chamber for a 1 year term on a similar deal as the previous, with additional reporting requirements, and a kiosk to be setup at city hall. Executive Director with the chamber, Leslie Eichner tells us this helps, but they’ve just lost another 20% of their budget “We are of course in another transitional phase because of the PUD [contract]”
Due to new regulations, the PUD will be moving pay services to Anchor Savings Bank branches, closing current pay stations at Hoquiam Ace Hardware, D & K Grocery in Pacific Beach, Grayland Hardware, Image Flowers in Elma, Pick Rite Thriftway in Montesano, and the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce effective the first of December.

Grays Harbor PUD to close pay stations in several areas

ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Grays Harbor PUD will be changing the locations for pay stations in outlying areas of the county.  Current pay stations located at Hoquiam Ace Hardware, D & K Grocery in Pacific Beach, Grayland Hardware, Image Flowers in Elma, Pick Rite Thriftway in Montesano, and the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce will no longer accept payments on behalf of the Grays Harbor PUD effective November 30, 2013. 

 

Beginning Monday December 2, 2013 payments can be made at any Anchor Bank location in Grays Harbor County, including Aberdeen, Elma, Hoquiam, Montesano, Ocean Shores, and Westport.  The change is being made due to increased regulations around personal information related to customer accounts. 

 

“The District appreciates the relationship and the quality of work that each pay station has provided; however, regulatory requirements have prompted these necessary changes.” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward.

Council stalls decision on funding for Westport/Grayland Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

WESTPORT, Wash. – The City Council last night tabled the decision on what to do with the Westport/Grayland Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. At a standing room only council meeting, they considered cutting funding, and moving the VIC to City Hall.Local business owner Bill Wolfenbarger* said they weren’t looking at the bigger picture “the bigger picture is not Westport versus Grayland, which is unincorporated, and whether Westport puts money into the chamber or not. The question is whether the city of Westport should contribute to the greater welfare of the whole South beach area. Can’t you do that? Don’t you recognize that people who go to Grayland come to Westport?”
Council Desire Dodson said the idea has been discussed for years, but she’s changed her mind “when I took some time to actually go out and talk to some of you, I wondered why this is happening without having talked to anybody. Here we are at a year when we’re going into a centennial and we have so much coordinating to do and so much information to get out there. This is a really bad year to be doing this.” Council voted to take the issue up again at their second meeting in November.
*Note: Bill Wolfenbarger is the President of Jodesha Broadcasting, owner of this radio station.

Grayland whale removal almost complete, on display in Westport within a year

GRAYLAND, Wash. – Just about all of the gray whale that washed up on the beach in Grayland late last month is gone, you’ll be able to visit it’s 40 foot skeleton at the Westport Aquarium in about a year.
Store owner Marc Myrsell updated the Westport Council at this week’s meeting “All that’s left on the beach right now is just the Skull…we’re keeping all the bones, I have every single stitch of bone out of that 40 foot whale.” The state Fish and Wildlife Department and Cascadia Research said the adult female apparently died in a collision with a vessel.
A few gray whales wash up on state beaches each year, but removal efforts can be costly. When the body of a baleen whale washed ashore near Ocean Shores in June parks officials were given an $8,000 quote to bury it on the beach, it was swept out with the tide days later.
Grays whale washes ashore near Grayland

Dead whale washes ashore near Grayland

GRAYLAND, Wash. – The body of a gray whale washed up on the beach in Grayland on Monday, you can visit it’s 40 foot skeleton at the Westport Aquarium later this summer. Store owner Marc Myrsell tells us they assisted crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Cascadia Research Center with the necropsy on Tuesday, and will begin stripping the whale to it’s skeletal frame today. He plans to put the skeleton on display in his aquarium once it’s been prepared.

The dead gray whale washed up Monday on the beach at Grayland, just south of Westport on the Washington coast.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department and Cascadia Research took tissue samples Tuesday to investigate what may have caused the whale to die. A few gray whales wash up on state beaches each year.

Myrsell said NOAA has approved the acquisition, and the Parks department was gracious that they wanted to remove it for them. However the clock is ticking, they have three days to help move the body parts to a piece of nearby property, where it can be prepared. The property is about 1000 feet away and the private landowner is donating the use of it to the Aquarium, pursuant to  preparing the skeleton.
Courtesy Westport AquariumCourtesy Westport Aquarium

Visit Grays Harbor : June Events Calendar

Grays Harbor Tourism

June

Ongoing:
Straddleline Off-Road Vehicle Park – McCleary
Weekly Car Races – Grays Harbor Raceway, Elma

2-3 International Kite Challenge – Ocean Shores
Annual event showcasing kites & kite flying.
Contact: (360) 289-4103

9 Flag Day Parade & Street Dance – Ocean Shores
Salute the stars and stripes with this parade and dance.
Contact: (360) 289-2314

Fleur de Lis Festival & Art in the Vines – Westport
Westport Winery hosts a French themed art market.
Contact: (360) 648-2224

22-24 Rusty Scupper’s Pirate Daze – Westport
Fun, family festival celebrating pirates & ships.
Contact: Westport/Grayland Chamber (800) 345-6223

29-7/1 Five Star Sand & Sawdust Festival – Ocean Shores
Master & amateur sand and chainsaw competition.
Contact: (360) 289-3797


Grays Harbor Tourism

Grayland Woman Spots Smoke, Leaves Burning Car

ABERDEEN, Wash. – A Grayland woman pulled her child and dog from a burning car over the weekend. Aberdeen Battalion Chief Bill Mayne tells us flames were visible from the engine compartment of a 1995 Cadillac STS when crews responded to the Southside Swanson’s grocery store around 8 Sunday night. Mayne said the driver saw smoke coming from the dash of her car before she pulled into the parking lot and exited the car with her daughter and the family dog. No injuries were reported, Mayne said the vehicle was likely totaled.