• Winter high ‘king’ tides on Washington shores

    OLYMPIA – Washington’s naturally occurring king tides start this week, and the state Department of Ecology (Ecology) is inviting the public to share their photos of these higher-than-usual winter tides.

    These tidal events are often referred to as king tides. They offer a glimpse of how rising sea levels from global climate change could affect Washington’s marine shorelines by:

    • Intensifying coastal flooding, especially during high tides and major storm surges.
    • Shifting marine beaches inland. Increasing coastal bluff erosion.
    • Endangering houses and other structures built near the shore such as roads, sea walls and utilities.

    Recent scientific studies project that global sea level will rise 4-56 inches by 2100 with significant local variation. By soliciting and posting king tide photos on its Web page, Ecology is working to educate people about the impacts of sea-level rise with the goal of better informed public policy decisions about shoreline  planning and management.            

    In Washington’s coastal regions – Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the outer coast – this season’s king tides will happen from early December 2013 through the end of January 2014.

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  • Report Says Washington is in Store For More Rain, Floods, and Fires

    SEATTLE, Wash. – August was the second hottest month in 30 years for planet Earth, and will now be drenched, according to researchers, who also advise Washingtonians to look for a soggier-than-normal fall. A new report blames these extremes, at least in part, on the warming climate.

    From the floods in Pakistan to the wildfires in Russia, severe weather events have made news headlines worldwide this year, notes Anastasia Schemkes with the Sierra Club. Her organization sees these events as reasons to move more quickly to curb global warming pollution, she says.

    “These events are all sort of sounding this alarm and providing us with warnings – the same warnings that scientists are really trying to tell us so we can prevent the worst impacts in our state.”

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  • Washington Dental Care Program Receives National Acclaim

    SEATTLE – A collaborative program developed in the state of Washington to address “the greatest unmet need for health services among children” has achieved impressive results while delivering “a strong return on taxpayers’ investment,” according to the Pew Center on the States.

    In its June 2010 report, Washington’s ABCD Program:  Improving Dental Care for Medicaid-Insured Children, Pew says, “other states would be smart to consider a similar approach.”  The need for prevention-based programs is apparent because, as the Pew report notes, “The costs of dental disease are severe: impaired nutrition and health, lost school time, worsened job prospects and sometimes even death.”

    “We were very impressed with Washington State’s ABCD program.  It is a good model for others to consider because it is effective and shows that investing in early preventive care results in lower dental treatment costs over time.” said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign.

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  • UW Tacoma coming to Satsop

    SATSOP – Would you like to learn more about project management or contract management? If so, you can now do so closer to home.

    The University of Washington Tacoma KeyBank Professional Development Center will offer project management and contract management certificate programs at the Regional Education and Training Center’s (RETC) Satsop campus starting in August. The new collaboration between the RETC and the UW Tacoma’s KeyBank Center will bring high-demand professional certifications to the region, targeting Grays Harbor, Centralia, Shelton, Olympia, Tumwater and surrounding areas.

    The RETC and UW Tacoma’s KeyBank Center hosted a fact-finding forum May 5 attended by community members representing local manufacturers, small business, government agencies, healthcare, labor and education.

    “The strong show of support at that forum demonstrated a demand in the area for continuing education opportunities,” said Ryan Davis, executive director of the RETC. “In today’s fast-paced economy, education is an ongoing process. This recession has impacted workers at all levels. Earning these certificates can provide a pathway to employment or advancement in the workplace,” Davis said.

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  • “The Ocean and You” Meeting in Illwaco

    ILWACO, Wash. – A meeting sponsored by the Pacific County Exploratory-Marine Resource Committee and the State Ocean Caucus titled “The Ocean and You” will be held Wednesday, October 21st at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, in Cape Disappointment State Park – Ilwaco, WA.

    Come learn, share, and discuss information about the Pacific Ocean and coastal resources: erosion, methane vents, glass sponges, marine spatial planning, and more! We are excited to welcome Dr. Paul Johnson from University of Washington who will discuss his research on methane vents and glass sponges off of Washington’s coast. See details on this event below and in the attached agenda.

    The State Ocean Caucus is an interagency team with representatives from state agencies involved in ocean and coastal resource management. More information on the state ocean caucus available at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/ocean/

    For more information:
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  • Ecology Workshops on Possible Changes to Fish Consumption Rates

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Department of Ecology (Ecology) will hold public workshops on possible changes to the state’s fish consumption rates in May in Ellensburg, Tacoma and Spokane Valley.

    The sessions are part of Ecology’s efforts to share information with the public and to involve all parties interested in the agency’s work to update regulatory standards for in-water environmental cleanup and water pollution discharges. Ecology also proposes to amend existing regulatory tools to help entities work effectively toward meeting permit limits and toward controlling sources of pollutants.

    Part of this effort includes updating the state’s fish consumption rates, which help guide regulatory standards about how clean Washington’s waters and sediments must be.

    Washington’s marine and fresh waters are home to rich stocks of fish and shellfish. Protecting the health of these resources is important for the well-being of the state’s environment, economy and people. Fish and shellfish are important parts of a healthy diet.

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  • Extra Patrols This Weekend

    SEATTLE, Wash. – The University of Washington Huskies and Seattle Seahawks will take the field this weekend for their home openers while King County Troopers take the streets looking for impaired drivers. Extra patrols will be out this weekend with help from the King County Target Zero Team and Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU).

    The University of Washington Huskies and Seattle Seahawks will take the field this weekend for their home openers while King County Troopers take the streets looking for impaired drivers. Extra patrols will be out this weekend with help from the King County Target Zero Team and Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU).

    The State Patrol wants everyone to have fun this weekend while remembering to be responsible by having a designated driver if you plan on drinking. Remember, you don’t have to be “falling over drunk” to be arrested for DUI.

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  • WA Taxpayers Asked to Sound Off on State Budget

    TACOMA, Wash. – Washingtonians are being asked to sound off about the state budget at a series of four hearings beginning tonight in Tacoma. You don’t have to be an economist or a labor leader to add your two cents’ worth – or, in this case, two minutes’s worth – of testimony. Each meeting starts with a one-hour overview of the state budget. In the second hour, citizen comments will be taken.

    Marty Brown, director of the governor’s Office of Financial Management, says he knows the panel will hear a lot of complaints, but he hopes there are also some good ideas for navigating the budget crisis.

    "We’re going to get down to some very tough decisions about what to spend taxpayer dollars on and what not to. We need to hear from folks about what they think is important to receive from the state, from the taxpayer’s perspective and from some people who receive those services."

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  • Washington Target of “Dirty Little Secret” Tour

    SEATTLE – Using electricity in Washington has impacts as far away as Montana and Wyoming. That’s the message from a Wyoming rancher, LJ Turner, who is in the Northwest this week to tell people about the damage done to his area by coal mining. Turner has joined what’s called the "Dirty Little Secret Tour," organized by the Sierra Club’s Northwest office, which estimates Washington utility companies get about 20 percent of their power from coal mined in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. It’s where Turner’s family has ranched since 1918.

    "We’re losing the pasture, we’re losing our air, we’re losing our water. I don’t know what else there is going to be left for the coal industry to take from us."

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