Friday, May 17, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 17 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 17 2019

Tapanuli orangutan [Tim Lehman]
Aloha Endangered Species Friday!
In 1973, President Richard Nixon, a Republican, signed a piece of monumental environmental legislation, the Endangered Species Act, into law. The United States Congress created Endangered Species Day in 2006 to be celebrated on the third Friday in May. The day is for learning why it's important to protect endangered species, for learning how to take part in protection efforts, and for celebrating species that have recovered as a result of these efforts.

Inslee, Ferguson denounce EPA move to ease water standards for Washington state
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes to ease Washington water-quality standards for chemicals discharged into state waterways, a move embraced by industry groups that sought the change and denounced as “illegal” by Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Canada: Sanctuaries and food for our endangered killer whales
Canada has announced big-scale measures to safeguard and feed endangered killer whales in the Salish Sea, a day after Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law measures to protect endangered orcas on the U.S. side of the border.

Public environmental assessment hearings underway on proposed Roberts Bank container terminal
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has kicked off the public hearing process on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's proposed $2 billion to $3 billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project.

North Dakota to sue Washington state over oil train standard
North Dakota is preparing to sue Washington state over a new Washington law requiring oil shipped by rail through that state to have more of its volatile gases removed, which supporters say would reduce the risk of explosive and potentially deadly derailments.

It was 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean this weekend as carbon dioxide hit its highest level in human history
Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius).


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather  which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm

A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm

Reviewed by Floyd McKay


The icons that define us are all around in this land west of the great mountains: the mountains themselves, the miles of giant trees, the powerful ocean. Our friends. Until they come to destroy us.

As they did on October 12, 1962, the day of the greatest windstorm in the modern history of the Pacific Northwest. We call it the Columbus Day Storm, a monster that killed as many as 65 people, destroyed billions of dollars of our built world and made permanent changes in the way we live.

John Dodge was 14 years old when the storms broke over his Olympia home, and he remembers the falling trees and flying debris of his neighborhood. A worse terror was waiting just a few miles away in Spanaway; seven-year-old Charley Brammer was outside his home when he was attacked by an adult African lion, liberated from a neighbor’s holding pen by the crashing trees. Ray Brammer wrestled with the lion and with the aid of a baseball bat saved his son’s life. Perhaps the most spectacular of many heroisms that harrowing night.

During his four-decade career on the Olympian, Dodge became a specialist in natural disasters, including the Mt. St. Helens eruption. He turned to the storm upon retirement, and has combined riveting personal stories with exhaustive scientific research to produce a book important to the entire Cascadia region—for the winds came ashore at San Francisco Bay and blew themselves out on Vancouver Island two days later.

Dodge reminds us of the pioneering nature of storm forecasting in 1962, using as a key example the Portland meteorologist Jack Capell, who sensed the approaching danger before his former U.S. Weather Bureau colleagues were willing to make the call. Capell’s breathless warning to his KGW radio and television listeners barely preceded the storm at it roared into the mid-Willamette Valley, the ultimate center for storm damage in the state. “The Columbus Day Storm was a freak of nature, a weather outlier, a beastly wind that caught weather forecasters flat-footed and dumbfounded,” Dodge declared.

Typhoon Freda was at the root of the Columbus Day storm, swooping ashore in northern California and southwest Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 11; five deaths were already recorded. None of today’s whiz-bang electronic systems were in place; Navy picket ships at sea were the major warning systems and communications were easily lost.

Oregon suffered 27 deaths, Washington 11; 17 were caused by falling trees. The region’s forests were clearcut in a 24-hour orgy of roaring noise and crashing timber. An estimated 15 billion board feet—enough to frame a million homes—was felled in the storm. Cleanup was massive, and dangerous, and the replacement forests were managed under a new paradigm called The Managed Forest. Many of the salvaged logs were shipped to Japan, where growth in wood-frame homes opened a new market. 

Prune and filbert orchards were destroyed in Oregon, and the prune industry never recovered—it was replaced by pinot noir grapes, a new industry growing in the rubble of the old. Dodge explains all this, in what is really quite a remarkable overview of a storm for the ages. Many witnesses are now gone; this book will remind their heirs of a remarkable natural disaster and the people who survived and built in its wake.

Hear author John Dodge at Bellingham's Chuckanut Radio Hour on May 21, 7 PM, at Whatcom Community College's Heiner Center.

Reviewer Floyd McKay resides in Bellinghan and is the author of Reporting The Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed A State.

*Old enough to remember the Columbus Day Storm? Share your memories and stories here.*





Saturday, May 11, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 10 2019

Aloha Fintastic Friday!
"Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice" was created by WhaleTimes, along with help from the Shark Research Institute. WhaleTimes director Ruth Musgrave...believed they needed a new voice and that kids could be that voice. Rightfully, the day celebrates and raises awareness for sharks, and is geared towards children.... Not only is the day dedicated to sharks, but to other elasmobranchs like rays and skates as well.


Inslee signs bills bringing Washington state closer to zero-carbon electricity
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement.


Gov. Jay Inslee speaks out against LNG plant in Tacoma, methanol facility in Kalama
Washington’s governor is changing course on his support of two fossil-fuel projects in the state.

After decades of debate, Victoria is building a sewage treatment plant
Along the rocky south coast of Vancouver Island, hundreds of construction workers are building a nearly $800 million dollar wastewater treatment facility — a project that has been debated for decades and described as long overdue by some, and completely unnecessary by others.

Gov. Inslee signs range of bills aimed at helping orcas
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed several bills Wednesday designed to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas, measures that he said gave him hope the species might be saved.

National parks group sues U.S. Navy in pursuit of information on Growler jet training
A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island.



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review: May 3 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 3 2019

Aloha World Press Freedom Friday
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.  "No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power." — António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Environmentalists win historic gains in Legislature despite a few stumbles
Environmentalists scored big victories — of historic size, especially on climate-change — but also suffered a few significant setbacks at the Washington Legislature’s 2019 session.

State budget scrimps on replacing salmon-blocking culverts
Washington faces a federal court order to fix under-roadway pipes that block migrating fish by 2030, but a budget passed by lawmakers puts the state at risk of missing the deadline and could delay salmon recovery even as the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas are starving.

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $332,000 fine after net pen failure
Cooke Aquaculture has agreed to pay the $332,000 fine for the negligent release of thousands of Atlantic salmon in August 2017, the state Department of Ecology announced Monday.

B.C. ready for court battle as Alberta proclaims turn-off-the-taps law
Alberta has proclaimed a law that allows it to slow the flow of oil and gas to B.C. For its part, the B.C. government says it is ready to fight in court right away.

Vancouver to postpone ban on straws, Styrofoam and other single-use items
With Styrofoam takeout containers, plastic straws and disposable coffee cups everywhere in the food industry, the speed of the move to ban single-use items in Vancouver is running into resistance.

Washington Budget Funds Group To Study Snake River Dam Removal
Tucked into Washington’s $52.4 billion operating budget passed Sunday night by the Legislature is controversial funding for a “stakeholder group” tasked with looking into what would happen should the four Lower Snake River dams be removed or altered.


'Best day ever.' Scientist celebrates recovering sea stars
Earlier this week, a scientist in the San Juan Islands tweeted: “Best day ever." What triggered her joy? Sea stars. Hundreds of healthy, colorful sea stars.


SeaWorld publishes decades of data to help wild orcas
SeaWorld, which displays orcas at its parks in California, Texas and Florida, has recently published data from thousands of routine blood tests of its orcas throughout two decades, revealing the most comprehensive picture yet of what a healthy orca looks like.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 26, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review: April 26 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review: April 26 2019

from The Birds of America
Aloha Audubon Friday!
John James Audubon (born Jean Rabin; April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.


Washington State Passes Law Requiring 100% Clean Energy by 2045
Washington state’s Senate on Monday gave the final vote of approval to a law requiring 100 percent clean energy by 2045, joining three other states — New Mexico, California and Hawaii — with similar legislation on the books.

Duckabush restoration promises major benefits for five species of salmon
An ecosystem-restoration project that would replace two bridges across the Duckabush River and restore a 38-acre estuary on the west side of Hood Canal has moved into the design phase with funding from state and federal governments.

Community solar comes to Snohomish County
Solar power can feel out of reach. Upfront costs are usually considerable and you need a sunny roof or open space where you can put the panels. Community solar projects make it more accessible, by allowing ratepayers to buy shares in an installation that’s financed and operated by a group of investors. Now, Snohomish County PUD is getting in on the game — in a big way.

‘State of the Air' report gives failing grades to Washington for sooty particulate pollution
Warmer weather and wildfire smoke are causing more air pollution in Washington. Three metropolitan areas in the state have the worst air pollution in the nation. They made the top-15 list for particle pollution in this year’s “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association, which looks at both particle pollution and ozone.

Glaciers ‘deflating’ with Cascades snowpack 28% below normal
Glaciers in the North Cascades could shrink for the seventh year in a row. That’s because snowpack, which acts as a shield against hot summer days, has been lower than normal this winter, according to recent measurements taken at six sites in the region. 

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 19, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 19, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 19, 2019

Aloha National Garlic Friday!
Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use. (Wikipedia)


Northwest orcas to get expanded habitat protection, feds say
The federal government says that by October it will propose expanded habitat protections off Washington, Oregon and California for Pacific Northwest orcas. (Associated Press)


Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18
The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to June 18. Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the extended deadline will give the government more time to complete its consultations with Indigenous groups. (Canadian Press)


It’s not just pipelines: Sea ports could see marine traffic reviews after Ottawa’s directive on $2B Vancouver terminal
In an echo of the criticisms that stalled the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, opponents of a $2-billion container terminal near Vancouver are calling on the federal government to delay hearings on the project, arguing regulators have failed to account for the environmental effects of increased tanker traffic that would result from the development. Jesse Snyder reports. (Vancouver Sun)


Gov. Jay Inslee's orca-recovery agenda advancing, but billion-dollar funding yet to be seen
Gov. Jay Inslee’s orca agenda is advancing in the Washington state Legislature, but with the budget yet to be decided how much of the governor’s billion-dollar-bold ambition will be accomplished is yet to be seen. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)


2019 salmon seasons set
State and tribal fishery co-managers reached an agreement Monday, setting the general salmon fishing seasons for the remainder of 2019. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Fraser River chinook fishery closed through most of the summer
Commercial and recreational fisheries for Fraser River chinook will be closed for much of the summer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Tuesday Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Hey, seals and sea lions! Quit eating so much endangered orca food... or else.
"This is that classic mix of the predators being a protected species and the prey being a protected species," said Nate Pamplin, policy director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We don't know the level of consumption in terms of whether or not humans should intervene." Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather  which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 12, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review, April 12, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review, April 12, 2019

Here's a week's end selection of some news items collected in this past week's Salish Sea News and Weather, a weekday compilation provided as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Aloha Big Wind Friday!
A windmill is a mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Centuries ago, windmills usually were used to mill grain, pump water, or both. There are windmills that convert the rotational energy directly into heat. (Wikipedia) ~Wind doesn't blow; it's sucked. Bucky Fuller~


Black hole! The big, Big BIG news this week was far, far away from the Salish Sea: NPR's Bill Chappel (and many other news outlets) told about our first look at a black hole Watch: Earth Gets Its First Look At A Black Hole  The scientific work was done by teams of many but special recognition went to Katie Bouman, a 29-year-old computer scientist who helped develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole.  Katie Bouman: The woman behind the first black hole image And, with the world’s first image of a black hole made with the help of two Hawaii telescopes, astronomers say it was only right to give it a Hawaiian name: Powehi a name sourced from the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant.


BC Big Pipe. Alberta premier Rachel Notley might be right that approval for the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline will get approval in May B.C. Green leader agrees Trans Mountain pipeline approval could come as soon as May  Meanwhile, President Trump in Texas acts to speed up construction of oil and gas pipelines by getting rid of “state-level abuse of water-quality certifications.” Trump's order would make it harder to block pipelines, and projects such as Longview coal-export terminal

Oil to China. At the same time twinning moves to approval, David Carrigg reports that the First crude oil shipment of the year bound for China has left Vancouver. In an earlier article this week, Carrigg reported that "This followed a record year for China, where it bought 6.56 million barrels of crude (12 tanker loads), or almost one-third of all the crude shipped out of B.C. in 2018. According to Port of Vancouver records, China imported crude from B.C. every year between 2008 and 2018, except 2016 and 2017."


Save the shoreline. Stories about why alterations to the shoreline harm fish and whales have been told many times but Eilis O'Neill tells it again and what lawmakers are doing about it this session. Tougher rules aim to save salmon habitat for the good of Puget Sound orcas Late Thursday, Amy Carey of SoundAction posted that the Washington House and Senate had both approved seawall legislation and the measure is being sent to the governor for his signature. Stay tuned for details.


No whale watch ban. Despite a three-year moratorium on commercial whale watching being a top recommendation of the Orca Task Force, the Legislature won’t ban orca-watching boats in Puget Sound
 

Go shellfish. After years of closure due to pollution, Portage Bay has been declared clean enough from April 1 to June 30 for the Lummi Nation to harvest shellfish on about 800 acres These shellfish beds were closed because of fecal pollution. But there’s ‘big change.’  


Victoria flushed. Megan Thomas at CBC reports that the Greater Victoria's sewage treatment system could be at least $10M over budget Construction is on time but the cost is expected to rise from the original $765 million estimate.


Have a good weekend. Be safe. Have fun. Stay involved.
 

# # #

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Remembering Helen Engle


Helen Engle (2015) United Methodist Women
Remembering Helen Engle
February 18, 1926 - March 11, 2019
A mighty oak has fallen.’ Helen Engle, a giant of conservation, has died Craig Sailor reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

We remember activist and friend Helen Engle and welcome others who wish to share their memories. Please email to msato@salishseacom.com to have your memories added.

 "Helen was such a vital, positive inspiration and mentor to all of us working to preserve and protect our natural world. A great cedar – long lasting and beautiful." --Marcy Golde

"Margaret Mead said 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.' Helen Engle proved that true, along with many of the friends offering tributes here. A few years ago, Helen hosted a fundraiser for The Whale Trail. My favorite part was walking through her yard as she told the story of every bird, bush and tree. A place well-tended, as were we. I will always be inspired by her fearlessness and the example she set of a life well-lived." --Donna Sandstrom

"What a life well lived. I first met her when serving on the Wildlife Diversity Advisory Committee for WDFW some years back. I was immediately blown away at this feisty older woman who was so sharp and so committed. Finding out she was Bill Engle’s mom was just icing on the cake! Helen seemed to have never lost her passion for taking care of this amazing place. I hope I can be so lucky and have such an impact." --Joe Gaydos

"Helen was a most valuable supporter of the preservation of one of the last prairies in Thurston County. She attended one of the “field-trips’ I had organized to introduce the site and encourage the preservation.  Her supporting letter to the County Commissioner, Les Eldridge is attached. Helen’s letter was the most personal of all.  It must have made an important impression." --Hans A. Littooy

[The letter says, in part, "...Today we revisited the Black River trough from Black Lake to near the confluence of the Black with the Chehalis. This is my home turf and I love it -- the land forms, the watery places, the plant material, all of it. I especially love it in winter, for some obscure reason sensed only by natives of the wet side of Washington..."]

"Some people leave ripples, Helen Engle left a wake behind her that will inspire generations to come." --Stephanie Buffum

“She was such a wonderful person! So well read and articulate.”--Ellen Gray

"Helen Engle is a legend in her own time, an incomparable leader who compelled you to action simply by being in her presence.  Since our days together at People for Puget Sound, she continued to be my friend and mentor.  When I emailed her for guidance, her response was instant and informed.  When we met for casual lunches, she would arrive with a handwritten scrap of paper containing all of the environmental issues she wanted to cover – “lunches” would last several hours!  She has left this world a better place for all of us." --Melissa Mager

“What an amazing, positive, forceful, indomitable, wonderful human being. Helen was a force of nature. From saving the Nisqually Delta from a superport to its remarkable restoration, helping to spark Commencement Bay cleanup, chairing People For Puget Sound, and many more, Helen gave so much of herself to the Salish Sea — not to mention her local, state and national work with Audubon and her mentoring and inspiration to young and old.” -- Ken Weiner

"It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without Helen Engle, whose 93 years were all too short. I met her when I was a child and she was a young member of a group of women water color artists that included my grandmother. Little did I know then that she would become my hero, my mentor, and best of all, my friend. A true leader who fought the good fight while always staying positive, Helen was everything the world needed, and still does. RIP." --Kathy Fletcher

“A heroic force in focusing the public's responsibility for conserving, restoring and sustaining our diverse Pacific Northwest environments.  It is now very interesting for me to consider and recognize how consistently significant women were and are in the environmental movement here and elsewhere.  Heroic and certainly under appreciated.   Like Polly Dyer, Hazel Wolf and Vim Wright, (and others) Helen was something of a pioneer in the environmental movement in Washington. If I attended a hearing, conference or planning session on an environmental issue in Western Washington, Helen was there raising questions, posing arguments and networking on behalf of our natural heritage. Rather heroic to say the least.

As a Supervisor of Environmental Education for Washington State for nearly 35 years, I counted on Helen's leadership for our Environmental Education Council.  Her bright intellect and energy went a long way in seeing that our goals and guidelines and statutes, related to our field, were enacted by the legislature in Olympia and adopted by school districts-- not an easy task then or now.  The balanced and inclusive nature of our curriculum content was likewise influenced by her recommendations and insights.

I have enormous gratitude and admiration for Helen's enduring persistence and generous work on behalf of the lands and waters that we call home.  Her understanding and support of environmental education has been key to establishing a citizenry that can make informed and wise decisions regarding the stewardship of our natural resources.” --Tony Angell, Artist/Naturalist

“It is hard to imagine this world without Helen. She brought joy and fun to everything she did, no matter how serious (like saving Puget Sound). For all her remarkable work and remarkable nature, she was humble and always more interested in hearing about you rather than talking about herself. I got to know her almost 30 years ago as one of the progenitors of People For Puget Sound, in fact the very first Board President. During my hiatus from PFPS, I worked for Audubon as Director of the National Wetlands Campaign. Helen was on the Board of National Audubon those years, and I was at many a meeting and many a fun weekend with Helen, and she always carried the day. Seeing Helen and Hazel Wolf at work together on some urgent conservation threat was a thing of beauty. Like I said, it's hard to imagine the world without Helen.” --Naki Stevens

“I treasure the times we spent together and her periodic responses and comments to the Salish Sea News clips, our days at the founding and growth of People For Puget Sound, those years at Citizen Lobby Days in the tar pits of Olympia. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude were both instructive and infectious.  She was born in ‘26, was an early adopter of email and one of the earliest subscribers to and supporter of the Salish Sea News blog. I thought she was immortal. Vim Wright, Joan Thomas, Polly Dyer, Hazel Wolf-- and now Helen. I have learned and worked in the company of giants.” –Mike Sato





Monday, February 11, 2019

Remembering the New Carissa

New Carissa broken in two [Wikipedia]

by Don Norman

Last week's story commemorating the 20th anniversary of the New Carissa grounding near Coos Bay, Oregon, [20 Years Ago: The Grounded Freighter That Never Reached its Destination] prompted Salish Sea News reader Don Norman, a veteran of oil spills, to recall his work there.

Before the New Carissa grounding 20 years ago, I had only been to Yachats one weekend and had been to a winter conference on the Oregon coast back in the 1980s, so, when the call came to help on the New Carissa, it was a real winter infusion of adventure (and some paying work for a winter with no work). 

When I got down to the Command Center in Waldport, it was quickly apparent that I did not want to stay inside the gymnasium doing paperwork when there were hundreds of miles of beach to check for oil and dead birds. Much to the chagrin of my employer, I opted for the field work and took a truck with a ATV and got permission to visit all the major spits from Newport north to ensure no oil (or dead birds) was going north.

I distinctly remember the day that they towed a large part of the boat out to sea. I had been searching the Tillamook Spit beach, which is 18 miles long.  I was riding down wind, standing up on the ATV dodging logs on the beach and the shoreline, searching.  It was really glorious fun until I turned around and faced south.  The wind had picked up, it started to cloud up, and I could barely move forward hunkered down on the ATV.  The surf was up so I couldn’t ride the hard pan on the beach and I was getting wet.   It took me about 2 hours to get back, and I was hypothermic.  I sat in the truck, heat blasting, no one around as the storm had really come in.  As I warmed up, I dozed off, nibbling on something… I finally got enough energy to load the ATV and head back towards Newport, where we were staying.  I was driving south on that windy Hwy 101 and I hit a complete stop where trees had crashed down, blocking both lanes. All the loggers had grabbed their chainsaws and were cutting the trees.  I was helping haul branches off and rolling logs off to the side of the road.  No one was saying much; everyone just wanted to be home.  It was like a scene out of a movie.  Pitch black outside the headlights, rain pouring down, chain saws sputtering and whirring.   Someone asked me, who are you, and I said I was working on the oil spill.  That was when I learned that the cable snapped in that storm and the boat came ashore again. 

The other thing I remember was that our motel was right next to the Rogue Brewery.  Remember, it was February, and it was dark early, so we were able to call in our reports from the field around 4pm, and stop in Newport, not having to drive all the way down to Waldport and then drive back.  So we made it into the little pub often before they closed.  And drank some of the greatest beer at cheap prices. 

It was really hard cold work.  But I got to visit Tillamook, Netarts, Newhalem and Nestucca spits.  I was away from the oil and action, but I was helping ensure that there were no surprises up north from the spill area.  


For more on the New Carissa, see  The Removal of the New Carissa and New Carissa 
Another try to tow the ship away [Gene LaRochelle]