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Elevated water temperatures are most likely the cause of spring Chinook salmon deaths in the Willamette River and some of its tributaries, according to fish biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee has provided funding for the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter facility in Newport to stay open through September 2016. The funding was included in the Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which passed the committee this morning. The bill must still pass the full Senate and the House of Representatives and be signed by the President for the funding to be assured.

Fire season began in Clatsop County on Tuesday, June 16th, at 1:00 am, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. Fire season is declared each year when conditions of fire hazard exist. This declaration affects all lands, both public and private, in Northwest Oregon and joins most other regions of Oregon already in fire season.

With concentrations of domoic acid reaching levels not seen since 1998, ODFW shellfish biologists see no possibility that razor clamming on Oregon's most popular beaches will re-open before the annual conservation closure on Clatsop beaches begins on July 15. the implications of closure are even broader as a team of scientists set out to research the toxic bloom along the west coast

Monday night the Astoria City Council took final action to effect changes to the zoning requirements for the Bridge Vista area in the Riverfront Vision plan that one councilor said will insure that the town riverfront will never become a wall of condominiums. The Bridge Vista area runs along the river front from Portway street to 2nd street and the new rules define the size of buildings that can go there in the future severely restricting development in most areas north of the river trail. This combined with similar legislation that allows no structures higher than the average bank height from the Maritime Museum to 39th street helps insure river views remain unimpeded in the future.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D- Ore., today said he would object to the Senate's consideration of the Department of Energy's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management, in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Wyden said he would hold up the full Senate proceeding to vote on the nomination of Monica C. Regalbuto until the Energy Department takes "concrete action" to address both the culture of hostility for workers at Hanford and the department's failure to clean up even one gallon of high-level radioactive nuclear waste after 25 years and billions of dollars spent at the site.

Researchers today outlined in a series of reports how governments, organizations and corporations are successfully moving away from short-term exploitation of the natural world and embracing a long-term vision of "nature as capital" – the ultimate world bank upon which the health and prosperity of humans and the planet depend.

Astoria has been designated by the Oregon Heritage Commission as an "Oregon Heritage All-Star Community." The commission created the All-Star program to recognize the strong efforts by communities to broadly preserve and develop heritage resources.

This year, July 4th is on a Saturday, meaning there will be more people than ever coming to the towns of Long Beach, Westport, Ocean Shores and others to celebrate at the beach. Experience shows that as a result, thousands of pounds of debris will cover the beaches on Sunday morning July 5th. Fireworks are primarily made out of plastic.  These plastics are harmful to wildlife and leave a mess on normally pristine beaches.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced legislation that would promote continued job creation in the growing craft beverage, cider, wine and distillery industries throughout Oregon and the country.

Clatsop Community College invites the community to the groundbreaking for the "new" Patriot Hall, Saturday, June 13, 11am-1pm. Tour Patriot Hall and reminisce with friends and family. The ceremony will begin at 11:30 in Patriot Hall. A complimentary lunch will be served following the ceremony at approximately noon.

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