Orca Network News - May, 2010

News, updates and events about
the Southern Resident orcas,
orcas worldwide, and their habitats
May 1, 2010 through May 31, 2010.

Salmon protections eased at request of water agencies
May 27, 2010 (San Jose Mercury News)
A federal judge who last week ruled that federal regulators illegally restricted water pumping from the Delta to protect salmon struck down those rules late Tuesday for the remainder of the spring.
U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger's order means water agencies can take more water from the Delta than they otherwise would during the next three weeks. After that, the measures to protect salmon would be lifted anyway because the fish are presumed to be at sea and out of danger in the Delta.
"We're going to allow a lot more dead fish for a little more water," said Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Doug Obegi. "We're going back to the same conditions that got us in this mess in the first place. "... We're evaluating our options."
More here

Dolphins, sea lions going on guard at Bangor base
May 27, 2010 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
The Navy is keeping quiet about the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions that will guard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor's shoreline, except to say they'll arrive sometime this year.
Four floating enclosures, 30 feet long by 30 feet wide, will each house up to four dolphins. Their water temperature will be kept at a minimum of 52 degrees.
The sea lions will have three enclosures of the same size, each of which can accommodate up to six of animals, according to the FEIS. The marine mammals' waste will go into the base's wastewater treatment system instead of into Hood Canal.
When the dolphins, accompanied by handlers in small power boats, find an intruder, they'll swim back to the boat and alert the handler, who will place a strobe light on a dolphin's nose. It will race back and bump the intruder's back, knocking the light off. The light will float to the surface, marking the spot. The dolphin will swim back to the boat, join the handler, and they'll clear out as security guards speed to the strobe to subdue the intruder.
The dolphins' sonar is better than any that man has made and they're best for moving quickly in open water. Sea lions can see and hear better underwater and are better for shallower work around piers.
More here

Transient Killer Whales Visit Bremerton, Silverdale
May 26, 2010 (Kitsap Sun)
A group of at least five killer whales showed up in Bremerton Wednesday morning, exciting shoreline residents who watched the orcas as they wandered through Sinclair and Dyes inlets throughout the day.
These are transient orcas, the seal-eating variety. They travel quickly and quietly, searching the nooks and crannies of our inland waterways for marine mammals — even checking out Ostrich Bay near Bremerton’s Jackson Park.
Reports of the orcas began coming in around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a group of three whales were sighted off Enetai near Manette. The animals swam into Sinclair Inlet and past Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, where they were spotted by a Sunn Fjord resident about 11:45. The orcas were soon headed out of the inlet, turning in front of the Bremerton Ferry Terminal.
More here

Whale spotted at Everett Marina is in bad shape, biologist says
May 25, 2010 (Everett Herald)
“This does represent one of the more extreme ends of the spectrum in terms of animals that are skinny and emaciated,” said John Calambokidis, a research biologist for the Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, which specializes in marine mammal research.
The whale was seen near the Everett Marina on Saturday and again on Monday. Calambokidis didn’t see the whale in person but said he could tell from KIRO-TV video footage that the whale was in very poor condition.
Howard Garrett, director of the Orca Network on Whidbey Island, said a whale matching the gray whale’s description was seen on Sunday heading north near Tulalip. If it was the same whale, it returned to Everett on Monday.
It’s not uncommon for migrating gray whales to enter Possession Sound this time of year and even get close to the marina to feed, he said.
However, some of the whales know where to go for food and some don’t, Garrett said.
“An amazingly consistent group” of about 11 whales comes in every year and “hit the hot spots,” according to Garrett. These include an area right outside the marina and other places near Hat Island, Camano Island and Whidbey Island.
More here

As wind power booms, so do the challenges
May 24, 2010 (Seattle Times)
On a blustery spring day, these turbines can crank out more than twice the power of the Northwest's sole nuclear power plant. Then, on hot days in the summer, when the winds go still, the output plunges.
But the fickle, roller-coaster nature of generating electricity from the wind is also placing large new strains on efforts to manage the regional power grid.
As the wind industry expands, the BPA has found it more difficult to even out all the surges and drop-offs in electrical power, and still meet other responsibilities that include spilling water to aid the passage of endangered salmon.
The Northwest wind industry, which currently is able to generate more than 2,700 megawatts of electricity during peak winds, is expected to more than double or triple in size by 2016.
But nearly half the region's wind power is shipped to California, and that proportion is expected to grow in the years ahead, according to BPA. The power lines that head south already are close to capacity, creating questions about who will pay for new lines and where they might go.
Smart-grid technology under development could help consumers make better use of wind power. In periods of surplus, for example, this grid would signal water heaters and other appliances to use more power, or electric-car batteries to charge.
More here

New hydroelectric dam to be first in county since '80s
May 24, 2010 (Everett Herald)
Its size and location upstream should limit its harm to salmon, the PUD says.
"It gives us greater control over our power generation," spokesman Neil Neroutsos said
With Puget Sound chinook salmon listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, building large dams is out, said Scott Spahr, senior engineer for water resources and generation for the PUD.
The Youngs Creek project is fish-friendly, PUD officials say. The powerhouse is about 1 miles upstream from a scenic waterfall on the creek. The waterfall is an impassable barrier for salmon. That means the dam is not expected to affect fish.
Eight government agencies — federal, state and local — and the Tulalip Indian Tribes signed off on the project, Spahr said.
The PUD's project diverts less water from Youngs Creek than in Puget Sound Energy's original plan, said Daryl Williams, environmental liaison for the Tulalip Tribes.
"It will help leave more habitat available for the trout compared to what was proposed in the 1990s,” he said.
Still, not everyone is convinced the project won't affect the environment. State Rep. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, said he's against dams, period.
"I have concerns about any water impoundment for hydro,” McCoy said. "There are in-stream technologies that don't do water impoundment.”
More here

Navy Releases Final Proposal on Expanding Navy Test Ranges
May 24, 2010 (Kitsap Sun)
The Navy's final proposal to expand three underwater test ranges was released for public review on Friday. People have until June 21 to comment about the plan to enlarge ranges near Keyport, in Hood Canal, and off the Washington coast.
The Navy, according to the preferred alternatives in its Final Environmental Impact Statement, wants to:
-Extend its Keyport range from 1.5 square nautical miles to 3.2 and the average number of days it would be used each year from 55 to 60;
-Enlarge the Dabob Bay range from 32.7 square nautical miles to 45.7 with no increase in the 200-day annual use;
-Expand the Quinault range in the Pacific Ocean from 48.3 square nautical miles to 1,840, including a new 7.8-square-nautical-mile surf zone at Pacific Beach. The average annual use offshore would increase from 14 to 16 days and testing in the surf would occur an average of 30 days per year.
The final EIS - all 1,134 pages of it - is posted HERE. Written comments will be taken electronically or can be mailed to Kimberly Kler, Naval Facilities Command, 1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203, Silverdale, 98315-1101 or faxed to her at (360) 396-0857.
More here

Gray whale spotted near Everett Marina
May 23, 2010 (Everett Herald)
A gray whale was spotted near the mouth of the Snohomish River on Saturday morning.
The whale was seen swimming near the Everett Marina about 9 a.m. Gray whales have been seen in the area before, said Howard Garrett of the Greenbank-based Orca Network.
Wildlife groups are hoping the animal will find its way back into the sound, but they are not optimistic.
"It's not a good sign. It well may not make it out alive," Garrett said.
The whale likely came to the mouth of the river looking for food.
It's common for several gray whales to die each year as they migrate north. Stressed and unfamiliar with the area, they seek food where it's scarce, Garrett said.
Five gray whales already were found dead in the Puget Sound and in British Columbia waters. Despite the above-average numbers, there is no cause for serious alarm, Garrett said.
More here

Obama Administration says climate change has already hurt salmon
May 21, 2010 (Idaho Statesman)
The Obama Administration has issued its own salmon and dam plan for the Snake and Columbia River Thursday that says climate change has hurt the endangered fish that are a symbol of the Pacific Northwest.
The plan, a supplemental biological opinion for the Columbia and Snake River hydroelectric dams, begins a new chapter in the legal battle over the 13 stocks of endangered salmon and steelhead that has raged for more than 15 years. The new biological opinion calls for new studies and monitoring of the effects of toxic chemicals, invasive species and hatchery fish along with the rising temperatures that it said already is making life harder for salmon.
U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland will decide whether the plan meets the requirement of the federal Endangered Species Act. But since the biological opinion will not be finalized until August, no decision is expected until after the November elections.
More here

Judge may deal jolt to delta water plan
May 19, 2010 (San Francisco Chronicle)
A judge in Fresno slammed the federal government Tuesday for reducing the supply of water last year to Central Valley farmers and millions of California residents without scientific justification.
U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger will consider restoring the water supply and ordering government biologists back to the drawing board during a hearing today that could decide the fate of the state's beleaguered salmon.
The flow of delta water to farms and communities was cut by about 7 percent in June 2009 to protect salmon, steelhead, green sturgeon and southern resident killer whales, whose primary prey is salmon. Biologists with the National Marine Fisheries Service claimed in an 800-page regulatory report known as a biological opinion that there was not enough water in the delta to support migrating salmon, which are too often killed in the delta pumps that move water south - or harmed by warmer waters resulting from the water delivery.
The judge's harsh words surprised fisheries advocates who remembered that it was Wanger himself who affirmed in a 2008 ruling that water diversions in the delta had, in fact, jeopardized the existence of chinook salmon. He had even accused water regulators of failing to consider the effects of global warming and other environmental factors when they approved increased pumping.
More here

Feds To Require Salmon-Related Labels For 3 Pesticides
May 18, 2010 (Oregon Public Brodcasting)
The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a point of frustration with the makers of malathion, diazinon, and chorpyrifos.
The feds gave manufactures two weeks at the beginning of May to voluntarily put warning labels on the three products aimed at keeping the chemicals out of salmon-bearing streams.
The manufacturers sent back a letter rejecting the EPA's request. They argue that scientific research has concluded the products aren't jeopardizing threatened salmon.
However federal scientists argue the chemicals interfere with certain natural abilities of threatened salmon, like finding food.
Now, the EPA officials say they'll mandate labels – with specific instructions to avoid spraying near salmon habitat.

Longview man reports seeing orcas near Germany Creek
May 17, 2010 (Longview Daily News)
Scott White had stopped for construction on Ocean Beach Highway just west of Longview on Monday and was passing time sitting on the guardrail.
Then, he's sure, he saw a couple of killer whales surface about 25 feet off the river bank.
Howard Garrett of the Orca Network said the whales would likely be transients, which don't eat fish but live on marine mammals. "Sea lions would be just right down their gullet," Garrett said.
Based on Whidbey Island, Orca Network compiles orca sightings from the West Coast.
Garrett said killer whales wouldn't stay in fresh water long because it irritates their skin. "They would want to be out of there in 24 hours," he said.
More here

Lawsuit to Challenge Disregard of Marine Mammal Laws in Gulf of Mexico
May 17, 2010 (Environmental Network News)
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal notice of intent to sue Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for ignoring marine-mammal protection laws when approving offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Since Salazar took office, the Department of the Interior has approved three lease sales, more than 100 seismic surveys, and more than 300 drilling operations without permits required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act that are designed to protect endangered whales and other marine mammals from harmful offshore oil activities.
"Under Salazar's watch, the Department of the Interior has treated the Gulf of Mexico as a sacrifice area where laws are ignored and wildlife protection takes a backseat to oil-company profits,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director for the Center.
More here

Lolita orca protest will be held today
May 15, 2010 (Canada.com)
A demonstration will be held today in Victoria to draw attention to the plight of Lolita, a killer whale captured in Puget Sound in 1970.
The orca has spent most of her life at Miami Seaquarium in a tank critics say is too small.
Protesters want Lolita sent to a sea-pen off San Juan Island in Washington, where she can interact with her family, demonstration organizer Diane McNally said Friday.
Howard Garrett of Washington-based Orca Network said demonstrations are planned in 42 cities worldwide.
The size of the tank breaks federal rules, said Garrett.

Plan aims to reduce toxins reaching river
May 14, 2010 (Bellingham Herald)
A draft plan that aims to reduce the flow of toxic metals and chemicals into the Columbia River and its tributaries over the next five years is ready for public comment.
The Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group, which includes representatives from federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, industries and nonprofits, rolled out its proposals this week. They include a series of recommendations to cut the amount of toxic materials entering the Columbia River Basin.
Other parts of the plan aim to increase public awareness and boost monitoring of and research on the contaminants, said Marylou Soscia, Columbia River Toxics Reduction coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Among substances in the river that pose a threat to people, fish and wildlife are mercury, DDT, PCBs and PBDEs, a class of flame retardant used in furniture foam, consumer electronics, wire insulation, back coatings for draperies and upholstery and plastics for personal computers and small appliances, according to the plan.
The EPA is accepting comment on the draft action plan until June 25, and a final action plan is expected by late July. Comments can be sent to soscia.marylou@epa.gov.
More here

Obama administration names new NW salmon chief
May 14, 2010 (Seattle Post-Intellilgencer.com)
The Obama administration has picked the chief architect of one of the failed Columbia Basin salmon restoration plans of the past to implement a new plan it hopes will finally pass legal muster.
Will Stelle takes over June 1 as northwest administrator of NOAA Fisheries Service in Seattle.
He held the post under the Clinton administration from 1994 to 2000, when many of the 13 protected stocks of Columbia Basin salmon were first put on threatened and endangered species lists. The government was also struggling to find a way to make hydroelectric dams, which are an important source of power in the region, less lethal to fish.
More here

Strong salmon run on the Columbia
May 13, 2010 (KTVL)
Officials say the Columbia River spring salmon run is not as strong as predicted, but is still quite good.
The estimated run of 350,000 fish falls well short of an earlier prediction of 470,000.
But the nearly 195,000 adult salmon that have passed over Bonneville Dam represent the third-highest count since 1977.
More here

Puget Sound pays price for BP's spending in Olympia
May 12, 2010 (Everett Herald)
In 1988, the people approved by initiative the Model Toxics Control Act. This act funds hazardous waste clean-up through a tax on the wholesale value of hazardous substances, including oil. It makes sense — those very substances are what pollute Puget Sound. But the tax rate was set 22 years ago, and growth has outstripped our ability to protect the sound.
So a number of Democrats co-sponsored the Clean Water Act to clean up Puget Sound by raising more than $100 million a year for local stormwater infrastructure projects. The revenue would have come from increasing the tax on hazardous substances from 0.7 percent to 2 percent, or $13 for every $1,000 of crude oil.
Here is where the trouble started. The oil industry doesn't want to be taxed for its petroleum production. So it persuaded the Legislature to drop this effort to clean up Puget Sound. BP was one of the main saboteurs. BP employs several lobbyists and lobbying firms to do their bidding in Olympia, including lobbyist firms with nice sounding names like Alliances Northwest and Tower LTD.
BP also has its own salaried lobbyist dedicated to keeping watch over the Legislature. Their man in Olympia is William Kidd, whom BP pays $120,000 a year to prevent any new taxes or regulations from becoming law. He also has an expense account to wine and dine legislators. For example, Kidd took Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, out to dinner on July 12 in Boise. He took Morris out to dinner again on July 14. And again on Sept. 2. And again on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 in Regina, Saskatchewan. And again on Dec. 8 in San Diego. (Lobbyist expenses are public records in Washington, and available at www.pdc.wa.gov. )
More here

Stray grey whale navigates the North-West Passage
May 11, 2010 (New Scientist)
Conventional wisdom has it that grey whales have been extinct in the Atlantic Ocean for more than 200 years, and the species survives only in the north Pacific. That was the case until last weekend, when a 13-metre-long grey whale was spotted cruising off the coast of Israel.
"This is sensational," said Phillip Clapham of the US government's National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle after hearing the news from marine biologists in Israel. "The most plausible explanation is that it came across an ice-free North-West Passage from the Pacific Ocean, and is now wondering where the hell it is."
The North-West Passage, which runs through the Canadian Arctic, has been open in summer in recent years, partly because of rising global temperatures.
More here

Groups want more water over dams for salmon
May 10, 2010 (Skagit Valley Herald)
Conservationists and fishermen say the state's decision not to allow more water to spill over dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers will hurt salmon survival.
The state Department of Ecology on Friday denied a petition by Earthjustice, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association to change the spill standard.
More here

Sea of people marches to fight fish farms
May 9, 2010 (Vancouver Sun)
Nearly 1,000 people crowded Government Street yesterday in the culmination of a 500-kilometre walk to protest fish farms — which they say are killing B.C.'s wild salmon.
Surveying the sea of people, the largest local rally yet in support of protecting wild salmon runs, biologist and activist Alexandra Morton said it's proof the cause has turned mainstream.
"I was hoping for this,” said Morton, who walked from Sointula on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Victoria in what she called the Get Out Migration campaign. The final leg was from Centennial Square to the legislature yesterday. "The government is very deaf and they need [to hear from] a lot of people. We're trying to save something people love and it's amazing it's been so difficult.”
The question of sea lice will continue to be front and centre as the Eighth International Sea Lice Conference begins this weekend in Victoria.
More than 80 presentations will be made by 150 scientists from around the world.
More here

Are We Prepared For a Big Spill?
May 9, 2010 (KPLU)
The massive spill from a blown-out oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has focused the world's attention on the damage large spills can do. There are no offshore oil rigs in Washington State, but an estimated 20 billion gallons of oil and other petroleum products are carried in and out of Puget Sound each year. So, how well are we prepared for a major spill?
Curt Hart, with the Washington Department of Ecology, is feeling pretty good about the state's ability to deal with oil spills.
"We've got a very strong and robust spill preparedness program," he says, "and we've got a very strong and robust spill prevention program."
More here

Too ugly to save? Parasitic Pacific lamprey numbers plummet in last 50 years
May 8, 2010 (Tacoma News Tribune)
Some 60 years ago, when the Columbia River ran free, a young Elmer Crow stood on the riverbank at the lower end of Celilo Falls and maneuvered his net in the water. One at a time, he scooped up more than half a dozen slippery Pacific lampreys and hauled them back to camp.
The proud little boy was only half the size of a man, but he was big enough to feed his whole family.
Hydroelectric dams are widely viewed as a major reason for the decline of the Pacific lamprey.
He said an estimated 350 million to 400 million adult lampreys regularly passed through the Bonneville Dam yearly in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, it's down to fewer than 30,000.
They may be the prey of choice for just about everything, except - as my tribal elders tell me - the white people. Every creature loves lampreys because of the high fat content," said Heinith.
When lampreys were plentiful, salmon fry were eating their eggs. Fish and gulls were eating juvenile lampreys. And sea lions and terns would have their fill of the easier-to-catch adult lampreys.
They provide other benefits to our rivers and streams.
For the first three to seven years, while they're growing under muddy riverbeds, lampreys feed on algae in the slow-running parts of a river.
"What they're doing, basically, is they're cleaning the stream," Crow said. And when they return to the river as adults, they're chock full of the ocean's nutrients found to be so vital to a river's ecology, said Heinith.
More here

Activist walks the talk in anti-fish-farm campaign
May 7, 2010 (Victoria Times Colonist)
Alexandra Morton has been a voice in the wilderness, literally and figuratively, for more than 20 years.
Way up in the Broughton Archipelago, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, the biologist has been sounding the alarm about fish farming since 1989.
Wild salmon stocks are being wiped out by sea lice from fish farms that sit smack in the middle of their migration routes, she warns. The fragile, inter-connected ecology of the coast is in peril. Morton isn't the only one sending this message, but it's her name that has become synonymous with the cause -- and the frustration of environmentalists who feel ignored by those in power.
So now she has left the wilderness, has spent the past two weeks walking down Vancouver Island en route to Victoria, where the Get Out Migration protest will culminate in a rally at the legislature tomorrow.
They hammered Ottawa for overemphasizing the tonnage of farmed salmon compared to that of wild fish, ignoring broader issues. Wild salmon are a key to the whole eco-system, not just a source of supermarket food, they said.
It's a position heard often from Morton, who calls salmon the lifeblood of the coast. No salmon means no bears, no eagles, no killer whales.
More here

Mill Creek developer faces fines for harming fish habitat
May 6, 2010 (Seattle Times)
A Mill Creek-based real-estate developer has been fined for the third time in a little over a year by state regulators for mismanagement of construction sites that destroyed salmon habitat.
David Milne was fined $134,000 on May 1 by the state Department of Ecology in connection with more than 250 violations of stormwater regulations at a 40-acre construction site in Mount Vernon in 2008.
The most recent violation damaged a mile of steelhead and salmon spawning habitat, according to the agency, when on May 21, 2008, a stormwater detention pond failed on Milne's Parkwood development. A flood of muddy water powerful enough to rip trees and stumps from the ground blasted down slope to Thunderbird and East Thunderbird Creeks, tributaries of the Skagit River, Skipper said.
The mud, water and debris scoured the bottom of the two creeks and settled in Trumpeter Creek. The creeks are home to coho and chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Both populations of chinook and steelhead are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Juvenile salmon had been documented in the creek by state wildlife staff weeks before the stormwater pond blew out.
More here

Seawalls for salmon
May 6, 2010 (Seattle Post-Globe)
The seawall on Seattle's waterfront carries a lot on its shoulders, structural support for surface streets and buildings and protection from the raging sea. The seawall is slated to be rebuilt. A question fisheries biologists and city engineers are asking, is can the seawall be rebuilt to accommodate salmon? Can the new seawall be designed as a prototype for ways coastal cities can protect marine life the world over? Martha Baskin found some boots and went down to the seawall to find out.
More here

Oregon scientists will try sound to steer gray whales away from wave-energy devices
May 6, 2010 (Oregonian)
The odd underwater noise, an upsweeping "whoop," will start as quietly as conversation, rise as loud as traffic and peak at the din of a rock concert, all within one second.
Chances are, whales will listen. And without doubt, scientists will watch.
All of it is part of an experiment that Oregon State University marine researchers plan early next year during gray whale migrations. They hope to learn whether low-power acoustic devices -- this one emitting a single "whoop," then a rising "whoop-whoop-whoop," -- can prevent whales from approaching wave-energy platforms and cables that might one day occupy waters off Oregon and elsewhere.
But results could reach much farther, leading to help for marine mammals in peril worldwide.
More here

Oregon conference discusses protecting wild salmon
May 5, 2010 (Seattle Times)
Fishery managers have known for years that hatchery-raised salmon aren't as robust as wild fish, and that their lack of genetic diversity means whole fisheries may collapse under unfavorable ocean conditions.
But an international conference of scientists and fisheries managers meeting in Portland this week is looking at less-studied impacts — disease, predation and competition for food — and how to overhaul a hatchery system that may hurt wild salmon more than it helps.
"There is alarm," said Lincoln, director of the Portland-based nonprofit, State of the Salmon, which organized the conference. "The question is, do you need to see the results of the inevitable to see the collaboration that nations need to take?"
Five billion hatchery fish are pumped into the northern Pacific yearly and account for as much as 90 percent of the young fish entering the ocean. Almost the entire Japanese fishery comes from hatcheries, and the percentage is rising from Alaska to California. The Columbia River basin relies heavily on hatchery fish, especially chinook.
More here

EPA gives pesticide producers a deadline
May 5, 2010 (Eugene Register Guard)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given pesticides manufacturers a deadline to agree to new restrictions on applying three farm pesticides that pose a threat to Pacific salmon, or the agency will take action itself.
A letter from the EPA gives manufacturers of diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos until May 13 to say whether they will comply with the restrictions.
The chemicals have been found by federal biologists to interfere with salmon's sense of smell, making it harder for them to find food, avoid predators and return to native waters to spawn.
More here

Boeing agrees to restore Duwamish fish, bird habitat
May 5, 2010 (Seattle Times)
Boeing will restore fish habitat along the Duwamish Waterway and pay $2 million to settle allegations that decades of airplane manufacturing helped pollute the waterway with oil and other toxic substances.
The settlement was filed Tuesday in federal court in Seattle. Boeing agreed to undertake two habitat-restoration projects to benefit salmon and other fish and birds.
Boeing plans to create nearly five acres of wetlands, restore a half-mile of waterway and establish a holding area for young out-migrating salmon. It also will demolish several buildings that were partially constructed on pilings over the waterway during the 1930s and early 1940s.
Kathy Fletcher, executive director of the conservation group People for Puget Sound, said the deal sounds good, but it depends entirely on details that weren't available Tuesday.
"Boeing has been holding off on resolving these issues until they could tie the cleanup to absolving them of other liabilities," Fletcher said.
More here

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