Oil spill off Lummi Island from Lummi Rock Quarry Bellingham Herald – The News Tribune

LUMMI ISLAND – An oil spill from two sunken barges on the south end of Lummi Island is contained for now, the state Department of Ecology said Thursday afternoon, March 15.

Divers from Ballard Diving and Salvage of Seattle were cutting one of two submerged barges into pieces for removal on Thursday when a sheen of oil, 100 feet long and 6 feet wide, appeared and moved toward shore in strong winds, Ecology spokeswoman Jani Gilbert said.

State and federal authorities did not know what type of oil was leaking or how much there was. The divers from the salvage company might have disrupted sediment around the barges and released oil that was trapped underneath, Gilbert said. The barges had been under water for a couple years, and Ballard Diving had been hired by the Lummi Rock quarry to remove them.

The spill, just offshore of the quarry on the island, was affecting 200 feet of shoreline, a state Department of Ecology statement said. It wasn’t immediately known if the spill was affecting sensitive habitat. There might be eelgrass in the area, which is habitat for herring, Gilbert said.

Workers with Lummi Rock placed a containment boom and absorbent materials around the submerged barges and on the shore. Active cleanup would not begin until Friday, Gilbert said.

Ecology was not able to confirm another oil sheen at the same site, reported on March 8.

Bellingham Herald reported this story at www.bellinghamherald.com

Oil spill off Lummi Island contained; cleanup planned for Friday | Bellingham Herald – The News Tribune.

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A New Beach Bill in the Senate

Urge your Senators to show their support for healthy beaches and robust coastal economies by co-sponsoring the Clean Coastal Environment & Public Health Act of 2011. 

Don’t let them put this off for yet another year!

Click here: A New Beach Bill in the Senate | Surfrider Foundation.

Don’t miss this Program on June 9th “What’s in our Waters?”


Find out current Whatcom County Water Quality an shellfish survey data. Including Lummi Island’s data!

For Current Lummi Island Water Quality
Data Go to : LI_04_11_WQsummary

Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation – Environment – GOOD

Laird Hamilton who works with the Surfrider Foundation  in an article from   on Good News says:

“A true understanding and compassion for the fragility of ocean life is the issue I feel is most crucial to any conversation about the ocean. On a micro level, individuals should feel a sense of both responsibility and empowerment to doing all the little things that matter to the coastline—pick up trash, stop littering, recycle—scores of small contributions can quickly lead to large scale change. On a macro level, it is important that we hold corporations and politicians accountable to understanding the needs of our ecosystem—they represent us, and we are all dependent on that ecosystem—we posses the power and capability to prevent its destruction”

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For more visit: Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation – Environment – GOOD.

Evidence Of Water Cleansing Benefits from Biodiversity

This is an interesting article about a study on how bio-diversity helps remove toxins in water. Cardinale’s study, which appears in the April 7 issue of Nature, was funded by the National Science Foundation.

The cleansing power of biodiversity
Scientists have long known that ecosystems that have more plant species tend to have a greater capacity to remove pollutants from soil and water than do ecosystems that have fewer species. But, until now, no one knew how or why this is so.

Cardinale’s study helps solve this mystery by explaining how biodiversity promotes the self-cleaning power of streams. According to the study, as algae grow in streams and produce more biomass, they incorporate into their bodies some common forms of pollution and thereby remove it from the water. Each species of pollution-removing algae has evolved and adapted to a different set of conditions, and so occupies a unique mini habitat, or niche, within a water body. Therefore, as the number of species of pollution-removing algae increases in a stream, so too does the number of unique niches that are occupied, filtered and cleansed by them. Hence: the more algae species a stream has, the more total pollutants these organisms may remove from the water.

Read More: Precedent-Setting Evidence Of The Benefits Of Biodiversity.

View video: http://www.wateronline.com/article.mvc/How-Biodiversity-Promotes-Water-Quality-0001