The environmental review process is currently underway for two proposals to expand crude oil processing facilities in Hoqiuam. The scoping period is currently open until Tuesday, May 27- see Dept of Ecology's announcement here.
Many are concerned about the public safety and environmental costs of oil trains due to the recent uptick in derailments and explosions that have caused deaths and toxic spills across the United States and Canada. A New York times article earlier this year brought attention to these dangers to communities and the environment. The current proposal in Grays Harbor would include the export of Bakken crude from North Dakota as well as tar sands oil from Canada. According to the Washington Environmental Council, Bakken is "highly volatile, the train cars being used are old and unsafe, and a safe way to transport it has yet to be found". The proposals for facilities in Grays Harbor would increase the transport of crude by rail through the state- from Spokane to Hoquiam.
We launched a survey this week to document the recreational use
of Washington's coast, which will help determine its value to the state’s
The survey aims to collect data for numerous non-consumptive
uses by the public including diving, kayaking, surfing, birding, and camping.
Though technically consumptive, clamming will also be included in the survey as
it’s a signature use on Washington beaches. To assist with future
planning of Washington's coast, the study is needed to document where and how
the public recreate from Ilwaco to the Port Angeles.
Randy Kline, Environmental Program Manager for Washington
State Parks is looking forward to using this information. “The Washington State
Parks staff are excited about the opportunity for additional data to help us
understand the public's use of the coast,” says Randy. “We will use this data
to provide better recreation experiences for park-goers.”
The survey will document the growing importance of tourism
to the Washington coastal economy and increasing opportunities for
non-consumptive recreation. “The Washington coast is an extraordinary place
that offers significant recreational and economic opportunities,” says Casey
Dennehy, Washington Coastal Program Manager for the Surfrider Foundation.
“While there is data regarding traditional industries on the Washington coast,
there is very little about the recreation economy.”
The survey, funded by the Washington State Department of
Natural resources and private foundations, is part of a larger coastal planning
effort called Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) that will inform policy, decision
making, and management of our ocean resources. The survey is one of
several other projects supported by the state under MSP, many of which
have already gathered data on physical oceanography, marine life, shipping,
fishing, ecological resources, and economics. This information has been
incorporated into a data viewer that is available to the public at msp.wa.gov.
According to Jennifer Hennessey, Ocean Policy Lead at the
Washington Department of Ecology, “This survey will provide much better data on
which areas of our coast are most important for different users and how those
uses influence the local economy. This new data will help us understand and
address recreational interests in developing a marine spatial plan for