From the Editor’s Desk / Readers respond to why the San Juans need a rescue tug
Lopez Island readers of the article “Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan-Gulf waters, study says” responded to the article’s posting in Lopez Rocks.
Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan – Gulf waters, study says
With increased vessel traffic around the San Juan Islands, some worry that the risk of oil spills may be rising as well. A new study makes the case that an emergency response tug stationed in the islands would be money well-spent.
Local food banks have been addressing a hunger crisis — even before COVID
Even before the pandemic lockdowns caused unemployment to skyrocket, food banks worked to help millions of Americans who were not able to feed their families.
Proposed Roberts Bank terminal will add cargo capacity — but at what cost to Salish Sea
A lesser-known yet major Canadian infrastructure project could bring major changes to shipping traffic in waters shared by British Columbia and Washington. If constructed, Roberts Bank Terminal 2, would enable Canada to move another 2.4 million shipping containers per year through its southernmost terminal about 1 mile from the Washington state border.
‘A very complex issue’: Ramel gives update on San Juan Islands ferry delays
The state-run ferry system linking Salish Sea communities has remained on a three-vessel winter schedule due to lower travel volume. As vehicle traffic has increased over the summer and loading and unloading times have taken longer, the result has been hour-long delays by the afternoon and evening.
Necessary travel: ferries’ winter schedule in summer brings travel delays for locals, visitors in San Juans
Currently, several COVID-shutdown related factors require WSF to continue running on a limited schedule even as summer travel increases, creating travel delays and raising as-yet unanswerable questions about when things may change.
New oil spill response base in Friday Harbor will address present — and growing — threat
A new response base to be built on San Juan Island will amp up the Islands Oil Spill Association’s prevention capabilities — all the more vital because local small-spill threats are not likely to get response from elsewhere.
Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic
Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.
Virus versus visitors: San Juan residents weigh health risks of tourism amid pandemic
In the San Juan Islands, locals bank on a bustling tourism economy to generate business and provide wages, particularly during the sunny summer months. But with a growing pandemic, islanders, like others in small vacation destinations, are realizing fewer visitors might mean healthier locals.
Water concerns spark funding request for groundwater studies for San Juans, Guemes
Concerns of island residents about water supply sustainability motivated requests by 40th District Sen. Liz Lovelett for state funds for groundwater studies. As of adjournment of the 2020 state legislative session on March 12, Lovelett’s office reported that funding for groundwater studies on Guemes Island and in San Juan County were approved and included in the capital budget.
San Juan Islands’ fresh-water supply sustainability is in question
Back in the ’70s, the Lopez Island water witch and other old-timers would rattle a newcomer’s cage by telling him the water feeding wells in the San Juan Islands came from a large undersea aquifer reaching to Mount Baker. The water witch and the old timers are gone, and the specter of climate crisis is here. No one jokes about fresh water in the islands coming from Mount Baker. Instead, talk is in earnest and concerns the question of sustaining the islands’ supply of fresh water.