Monday, August 10, 2020

8/10 Elwha nearshore,Lolita, bull kelp, Puget Sound art, shellfish update, BC COvID, Sunset Beach, cooling Vancouver

Elwha nearshore, 8/7/20, Coastal Watershed Institute

Taken from her pod 50 years ago, Lolita is the sole Puget Sound orca surviving from the capture era  
Fifty years ago on Aug. 8, Lolita was a baby orca, without a stage name. That changed forever that day in Penn Cove, when she was rounded up and captured for sale to the Miami Seaquarium, where she still lives today. Lolita is the sole survivor of the southern resident orcas captured for the aquarium trade, which took a third of the J, K, and L pods beginning in the late 1960s until Washington leaders worked to outlaw the hunts in 1976. The southern residents rebuilt in population, but are now at the lowest number since the capture era because of a triple threat to their survival of decreasing chinook salmon runs, vessel noise and disturbance, and pollution. There are only 72 left in the wild, plus Lolita. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

British Columbia’s looming extinction crisis
Canada’s westernmost province markets itself as 'Super, Natural, B.C.,' but more than 2,000 species of animals and plants are at risk of disappearing — and unlike six other provinces, B.C. still has no endangered species law, despite the NDP's election promise to introduce one. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

As bull kelp declines continue, collaboration is key
Efforts to understand what affects the health of bull kelp in the Salish Sea continue, with the recent publication of a recovery plan, the launch of annual kayak surveys and plans by the Samish Indian Nation to expand its research. Many are interested in kelp because of its connection with culturally and economically important wildlife including crab, rockfish, salmon and orcas. It provides refuge for some wildlife and food for others... Little is known about this palm tree-like algae beyond its role in the ecosystem and the fact that is has disappeared from some areas — including a recently noted decline near a local island. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Art contests help to carry the clean-water message to people around Puget Sound
Chris Dunagan writes: "’m impressed with artists who combine their passion for nature with a message about protecting the environment and how we all have a role to play. This week, I’d like to share winning artwork from two recent contests. One is a poster competition inspired by the “We are Puget Sound” (Water Ways) book and campaign. The other is a project that involves placing whimsical pictures of sea life on storm drains in Kitsap County. (Puget Sound Institute)

Updates on Crabbing, Clamming from Washington, Oregon Coast
For those who love crabbing and clamming along either the Washington coast or the Oregon coast, there’s mostly good news. An area between Washington and British Columbia will open up to crabbing a little bit later, while the southern Oregon coast resumes razor clamming. (Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

B.C. is no longer a model for COVID-19 prevention — and getting back to that stage is no guarantee
The months when British Columbia could pat itself on the back for dealing with COVID-19 better than nearly any other place in Canada or the entirety of the United States have come to an end. In the past month, the number of daily active cases in the province has quadrupled from about 10 a day to more than 40. The number of active cases has more than doubled, reaching levels not seen since May. Outbreaks are now widespread enough to require the self-isolation of more than 1,500 British Columbians. There are now more active cases per capita in B.C. than Ontario. In other words, it's not good. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Vancouver's Sunset Beach closed to swimming due to E. coli
Sunset Beach in downtown Vancouver has been closed for swimming because of high E. coli levels. Swimming beaches in Metro Vancouver may be required to close when E. coli levels exceed 400/100 ml. According to Vancouver Coastal Health, by 3 p.m. on Friday E. coli clocked in at 1375/100 ml. By comparison, the water at Kitsilano Point tested at 63/100 ml around the same time that day. (CBC)

How Vancouver plans to cool down the hottest parts of the city amid global climate change
A horde of cyclists and electric vehicle drivers will soon take to the streets of Vancouver to map out the hottest and coolest parts of the city — a move that will help inform future plans to mitigate rising temperatures. It's called heat mapping, which is an urban planning tool other cities across the world have used to identify which neighbourhoods are most susceptible to increased temperatures amid global climate change. Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  237 AM PDT Mon Aug 10 2020   
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 10 seconds. 
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 12 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Friday, August 7, 2020

8/7 Catkin, BC emissions, Oly goats, BC old growth, Pacific garbage, Dakota Access pipe, Kitsap Lake, KNKX weather, Frognal bankruptcy



A catkin or ament is a slim, cylindrical flower cluster, with inconspicuous or no petals, usually wind-pollinated but sometimes insect-pollinated. They contain many, usually unisexual flowers, arranged closely along a central stem that is often drooping.

B.C.’s emissions reach highest levels since 2001
Greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. spiked in 2018, reaching the highest levels since 2001, with oil and gas extraction, off-road industrial transport and heavy-duty diesel vehicles among the culprits, according to data released by the provincial government on Thursday. The figures show 2018 gross emissions totalled 67.9 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent , an increase of seven per cent since 2007and an increase of 2.2 Mt from 2017. The numbers push the province further away from its targets of a 40 per cent reduction from 2007 levels by 2030. B.C. is now 14 per cent further from its 2030 target than it was in 2007. Judith Lavoie reports. (The Narwhal)

Olympic goats take final flight to their new Cascade home
Not even a pandemic can stop scientists' multiyear quest to move invasive Olympic mountain goats by helicopter to their native Cascades. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

Starving for Old Growth Forests
On July 27, James Darling and Robert Fuller stopped eating. Equipped with signs and lawn chairs, they set up camp in front of the office of Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MLA for Nanaimo. In a letter to Premier John Horgan and all MLAs, the two men said they were launching a hunger strike until the government ended old growth logging in B.C. Natasha Simpson reports. (The Type)

Ship returns from Great Pacific Garbage Patch with 67 tons of plastic trash
In the fierce midday sun at Kewalo Basin Harbor Wednesday, elephantine mounds of algae-wrapped, tar-stained, red and yellow cordage, poison-green fishing nets and bleached consumer plastics in various stages of decay were being unloaded from the weatherbeaten hull of the tall-masted cargo ship KWAI, which had returned to Honolulu that morning with its hold bearing 67 tons of marine trash collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during 35 days at sea. Mindy Pennybacker reports. (Star-Advertiser)

U.S. court allows Dakota Access oil pipeline to stay open, but permit status unclear
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday said the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) does not have to be shut and drained per a lower court order, but a legal battle continued over the permit that allowed the line to be finished. U.S. regulatory officials may still need to issue another environmental assessment for DAPL before deciding if the 570,000-barrel-per-day oil pipeline can keep operating, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said. (Reuters) See also: What's next for the Dakota Access Pipeline? Recent court rulings cast doubt on future  Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Goodbye, 'pea soup': City funding cleanup of Kitsap Lake's persistent algae blooms
It’s a familiar sight to residents living on the shores of Kitsap Lake: each summer, around the beginning of June, a bright green algae begins to creep across the water. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, is a potentially toxic algae that has been a persistent problem for homeowners and lake-users for years. Blooms can be harmful to people and pets and have forced closures of Kitsap Lake and its beaches every year for the last five years, much to the chagrin of residents like Jay O’Connor. O’Connor, who has lived on the lake for 16 years, first noticed the blooms around 2008. The yearly explosions of algae seem to get worse every year, he said. Christian Vosler reports. (Kitsap Sun)

KNKX to stop airing Weather with Cliff Mass, effective immediately
"...We turn to our regular commentators for their expertise and points-of-view when it comes to sports, food and the weather. But if a commentator, even on his own independent platform, delivers rhetoric that is offensive and inaccurate, we cannot support it. This is the case today with Cliff Mass. His post on his personal blog compares recent events in Seattle to Kristallnacht, the 1938 pogrom carried out by Nazi Germany, and draws distorted, offensive parallels between protesters and Nazi Brownshirts. We abhor the comparison and find it sensationalized and misleading — it does not reflect who we are and what we stand for at KNKX. The segment Weather with Cliff Mass will no longer air on KNKX." (KNKX)

Frognal Holdings LLC Bankruptcy Filing
Frognal Holdings LLC filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 23, 2020, in the Western District of Washington. The debtor listed an address of 1610 Everett Mall Way, Everett, and is represented in court by attorney Christine M. Tobin-Presser. Frognal Holdings LLC listed assets up to $30,921,624 and debts up to $11,302,231. The filing's largest creditor was listed as Shaughnessy Capital LLC with an outstanding claim of $10,309,406. [Frognal Estates, formerly known as Horseman's Trail, is a proposed single-family subdivision project for 112 lots. It is an assembly of three currently forested parcels totaling 22.34 acres in the Picnic Point neighborhood, an area between Mukilteo and Edmonds.]

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  232 AM PDT Fri Aug 7 2020   
 Light wind becoming E to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. A slight chance  of showers. 
 E wind to 10 kt becoming S after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 10 seconds. Showers likely. 
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the  morning. 
 W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 7 ft at 9 seconds. 
SUN  NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at  11 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, August 6, 2020

8/6 Cattail, UBC ammonia, Site C settlement, Pressentin Park, noctiluca bloom

Cattails are wetland plants with a unique flowering spike, flat blade like leaves that reach heights from 3 to 10 feet. They are one of the most common plants in large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Two species are most common in US: broad leaved cattail (T. latifolia) and narrow leaf cattail (T. angustifolia).

UBC loses appeal of conviction for dumping ammonia into stream
The University of B.C. has lost its appeal of a $1.155-million fine and conviction for allowing ammonia to be discharged from the Thunderbird ice rinks into a tributary of the Fraser River. In November 2018, Provincial Court Judge Bonnie Craig found UBC guilty of offences under the Fisheries Act, namely permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish. Keith Fraser reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Agreement between province, BC Hydro, First Nation, ends legal fight over Site C
A British Columbia First Nation has ended its legal battle against the provincial government and BC Hydro over the Site C dam, a project the nation originally claimed was a $1-billion treaty violation. A statement from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation says the Prophet River First Nation, province and BC Hydro have reached agreements ending the civil claim. The matter involved the allegation that development of BC Hydro’s Site C dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., would destroy Indigenous territory and violate Aboriginal rights protected by Treaty 8. The statement, released jointly by the province, Crown utility and First Nation, says B.C. will work to improve land management and restore traditional place names in areas of cultural significance. Prophet River also receives ongoing payments while the Site C project is operating, and provincial Crown lands will be transferred to the nation along with a licence for woodland management. (Canadian Press)

Local salmon project gets boost from Cooke Aquaculture fine
A plan to offer recreation opportunities and improve salmon habitat where a bend in the Skagit River hugs Marblemount is getting a boost in funding. The $265,600 being given to the nonprofit Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group comes from a penalty levied against Cooke Aquaculture for a 2017 incident in which a company net pen broke, allowing Atlantic salmon to get into the Salish Sea. The money will allow for completion of Pressentin Park, which has been in the works for several years in coordination with Skagit County Parks and Recreation. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Noctiluca bloom in Chuckanut Bay may be a first
The Washington Department of Ecology has reported a noctiluca bloom in Chuckanut Bay. The department says they first became aware of the bloom after a citizen scientist sent in photos taken Tuesday. Oceanographer Christopher Krembs says this bloom may be a first for the region. Over the last 10 years, Krembs says he has not documented a noctiluca bloom in Chuckanut Bay. Noctiluca is not harmful to humans but it can be an indicator of excess nutrients and possible changes to the food web, oceanographer Juila Bos says. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  230 AM PDT Thu Aug 6 2020   
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 5 ft at  8 seconds. A slight chance of rain. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 11 seconds. A slight  chance of showers.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

8/5 Catnip, Land and Water Fund, Pebble Mine, Pilchuck dam, white ravens, treetop protest, wildfires, Colstrip, ocean megaprovinces

Nepeta cataria
Catnip is a species of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. It is widely naturalized in northern Europe, New Zealand, and North America. The names catnip and catmint are derived from the intense attraction about two-thirds of cats have toward them. (Wikipedia)

President Trump signs bill permanently funding Land and Water Conservation Fund
A landmark bill committing $900 million a year for land conservation and a one-time $9.5 billion boost to help catch up over the next five years on maintenance needs at national parks was signed into law by President Donald Trump Monday.The Great American Outdoors Act, S. 3422, will increase by two or three times the historic average amount of money spent by Congress for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program, used to fund acquisitions from willing sellers for federal, state and local open space and outdoor recreation, is paid for from royalties earned on oil and natural gas leases on public lands. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

President’s son Donald Jr. on Twitter calls for blocking Alaska mine in sensitive fishing area
Two tweets, one by the president’s son and one by Vice President Pence’s former top staffer, on Tuesday called for stopping a giant gold and copper mine from being built in Alaska at the world’s greatest sockeye salmon fishery. Steven Mufson, Brady Dennis and Ashley Parker report. (Washington Post)

Another Washington dam removal — and 37 more miles of salmon habitat restored
Washington’s dam-busting summer is still rolling, with two more dams coming down on the Pilchuck River, opening 37 miles of habitat to salmon for the first time in more than a century. The $2 million dam removal project is a collaboration between the City of Snohomish and Tulalip Tribes, and will benefit multiple species of salmon, including threatened chinook salmon, crucial food for endangered southern resident killer whales. It’s the state’s second dam teardown project in two months. In July, the city of Bellingham blew up its Nooksack Diversion Dam on the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River, opening 16 miles of habitat for salmon, including chinook. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

More sightings of rare white ravens on Vancouver Island
Mike Yip says the mysterious white ravens are considered leucistic — not albino, which have no pigment at all. These ravens have blue eyes and likely have genetic defects that dilute their natural colour. “They are a freak of nature,” Yip said. Darron Kloster reports. (Times Colonist)

60-plus days of tear gas leaves lingering questions about environmental
Public agencies are trying to answer a question on the minds of many, including a U.S. congressman and Oregon lawmakers: What will all that tear gas mean for trees, water and wildlife? Monica Samayoa and lauren Dake report. (OPB)

SFU professor mounts high-altitude protest against Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
Tim Takaro is by himself but insists he isn't alone. Takaro, 63, is protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project by camping out in a cluster of trees in Burnaby, B.C. Takaro is a professor of health sciences and environmental health at Simon Fraser University and a former physician, having retired from clinical medicine in December 2019. He and other environmental activists say trees along the Brunette River near the boundary between Burnaby and New Westminster are slated to be felled between now and Sept. 15 as part of pipeline construction. Liam Britten reports. (CBC)

Nanaimo-area wildfire is potential threat to Island marmots
A wildfire burning out of control on Green Mountain southwest of Nanaimo poses a potential threat to Vancouver Island marmots. Adam Taylor, executive director of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, said his team is still trying to determine where exactly the 160,000 square metre fire is burning on the mountain, which provides important habitat for the critically endangered herbivores. Lindsay Kines reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Olympic National Park fire held at 84 acres Firefighters continued efforts Tuesday to stamp out the East Beach Road Fire, with containment rising to 65 percent from 30 percent Monday and the burning area remaining at 84 acres, the Western Washington Type 3 Incident Management Team said. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Demolition starts on Colstrip's oldest units
Demolition has started on parts of Colstrip Power Plant used to service its oldest units. Construction workers began demolishing the Unit 1 and 2 cooling towers in July. The work comes 13 months after owners Talen Energy and Puget Sound Energy said it was uneconomical to keep running the units, which were shut down for good in January. Tom Lutey reports. (Billings Gazette)

The Ocean’s 12 Megaprovinces
Determining the borders of the ocean’s ecological regions is challenging. On land, different ecoregions such as rainforest or tundra can be classified by the species of animals and plants and their abundances, but in the ocean, most species are microscopic, and their movements mean boundaries are ever-changing. Typically, scientists studying the distribution of life in the sea use satellite images to measure a region’s chlorophyll levels—a chemical compound made by photosynthesizing phytoplankton—to get an idea of how much life is in an area. But these measurements don’t differentiate between species of phytoplankton, some of which support specific combinations of animal and plant life. New research led by Maike Sonnewald, a physical oceanographer at Princeton University in New Jersey, outlines a new way to classify marine ecosystems. She says that the ocean can be broken down into 100 different ecoprovinces, which together make up 12 main megaprovinces with similar balances of animal and plant species. Jackie Snow reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  232 AM PDT Wed Aug 5 2020   
 W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 11 seconds. 
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 9 seconds. A chance of rain in the evening then rain likely  after midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

8/4 Catsear, Mt Polley mine, Trump's habitat, Snake R dams, safe hiking, salmon habitat, ocean fish farms, bird study, the blob, OR timber


Common Catsear Hypochaeris radicata
Common Catsear is a serious weed in lawns, pastures and waste areas. It is extremely aggressive in lowland pastures and lawns. It is also thought to be poisonous and is believed to be the cause of Australian Stringhalt in horses. May be confused with common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale.  (WA State Noxious Weed Board)

No environmental charges as 6th anniversary of Mt. Polley mine dam collapse looms
Nearly six years after the collapse of the tailings dam at Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley mine, no charges for environmental damage have been laid and there is no word on timing of a decision. Environmental law experts won’t say there is zero chance of charges being issued in one of Canada’s worst mine spills in the past 50 years, but they say as time passes the likelihood drops... A three-year deadline to lay environmental chargers under B.C. laws passed in 2017, and a five-year deadline to lay summary charges under federal law passed last year. There still remains the possibility of more serious indictable charges under the federal Fisheries Act, for which there is no deadline. It allows fines up to $6 million for a first offence and up to $12 million for subsequent offences. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Research into Mt. Polley mine dam spill indicates environmental effects on Quesnel Lake  Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Trump administration seeks limits on what can be ‘habitat’ for imperiled species
The Trump administration is proposing to define what land and water can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals — potentially excluding areas that species could use in the future. The proposal to be announced Friday and obtained in advance by The Associated Press would for the first time define “habitat” for purposes of enforcing the Endangered Species Act, the landmark law that has undergirded species protection efforts in the U.S. since 1973. It has broad implications for how lands are managed and how far the government has to go to protect plants and animals that could be sliding toward extinction. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Federal Study Recommends Keeping Snake River Dams In Place, With Congress Having Final Say
The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies.  The plan guides dam management on the Columbia River System, which includes the four controversial Lower Snake River dams — Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite. These recommendations make a few changes from public comments this spring, but the federal agencies’ preferred alternative remains relatively unchanged. The final environmental impact statement (EIS) came out at the same time as the federal recovery plan for endangered salmon, known as the biological opinion, or BiOp, which supported the EIS preferred alternative. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW News Network/KNKX)

Safe hiking and other outdoors activities could improve mental health in pandemic
Outside seems to be the answer, in more ways than one. Virologists tell us that, aside from isolation, we are less likely to be infected with COVID-19 if we go outdoors and stay away from crowds. Psychologists have known for decades that getting out in nature can improve our mental health, something that many of us need at this time. Chris Dunagan reports. )Puget Sound Institute)

Salmon foundation provides funding for habitat rehab
The Pacific Salmon Foundation is supporting 16 projects focused on habitat rehabilitation, education and improving stock numbers on southern Vancouver Island. Grant money from the non-profit foundation totals $238,056 through its community salmon program. The total value of the projects, which includes community fundraising, contributions and volunteer time, is $1.48 million. Carla Wilson reports. (Times Colonist)

Appeals court: NOAA can't make rules for offshore fish farms
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a decision that throws out rules regulating fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico. The law granting authority over fisheries to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not also let the agency set rules for offshore fish farms, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its on Monday. The farms use enormous open-topped nets or to raise huge numbers of fish, including tuna, salmon, seabass and cobia, out in open water. “I think this is the final nail in the coffin for industrial aquaculture in federal waters unless Congress gives authority,” said George Kimbrell, who represented opponents of the plan as legal director for the Center For Food Safety. Janet McConnaughey reports. (Daily Independent)

Bird study helps indicate health of Puget Sound
Scientists don’t often look for citizen help collecting data for research. That is one of the reasons why Cyndy Holtz and other locals have volunteered for the Pigeon Guillemots seabird project for the University of Washington and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. She said volunteers are able to collect a high standard of data with the provided forms. “Scientists can rely on it,” she said. Another reason was she wanted to learn more about birds. “It’s one of my things on the bucket list,” she said. Another reason volunteers believe the work is important is the guillemots are a “good indicator species of the health of Puget Sound,” she added. (Bainbridge Review)

'The blob' revisited: Marine heat waves and the Salish Sea
Years after the appearance of the devastating marine heat wave known as "the blob," scientists are still working to understand how it has affected the Salish Sea. In some ways, they say, it is like the blob never left. Eric Wagner reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

How a public institute in Oregon became a de facto lobbying arm of the timber industry
Internal emails show a tax-funded agency created to educate people about forestry has acted as a public-relations agency and lobbying arm for Oregon's timber industry, in some cases skirting legal constraints that forbid it from doing so. Rob Davis and Tony Schick report. (Oregonian/OPB)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  226 AM PDT Tue Aug 4 2020   
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 9 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, August 3, 2020

8/3 Busy critters, White River trap, BC oil tankers, Site C dam, buying net pen sites, border closure, beach closures, sea otters, shellfish poaching, Haida Gwaii lodge, Klickitat Canyon

Honeybees on allium [Laurie MacBride]

Busy Critters, All of Us
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Despite the pandemic, it’s been very busy at our place over the past few months – so hectic that I’m way behind on this blog. I’m long past due for a quick catch-up! It’s a considerable amount of work to grow an organic garden that can feed us for most of the year. But it’s well worth it, for the plentiful supply of healthy food and the exercise and outdoor time involved. It does keep us moving every day..."

New fish trap on White River can handle a million salmon a year, biggest facility in nation
They were impaled and exhausted, weakened, or left dying in waves: pink salmon by the thousands, defeated by a nearly 80-year-old fish trap and dam on this waterway that also harmed spring chinook, the prize diet of endangered southern resident killer whales. But no more. At the insistence of tribes and federal fisheries managers, the Army Corps of Engineers will soon complete the biggest facility of its kind in North America, to capture and transport salmon to free flowing stretches of the White River, a tributary of the Puyallup. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Latest oil tanker stats show no visits to Vancouver in July after busy three months
There was no oil tanker traffic out of Burrard Inlet in July, according to figures released by a group opposed to the federal government’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The statistics show that during the first six months of 2020 there were 19 shipments of crude oil from Burnaby’s Westridge terminal — including eight to China in April, May and June — but none in July. The other shipments went to India, New Brunswick and the U.S. David Carrig reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Don’t blame COVID-19 for new Site C dam cost overruns and delays, energy experts say
The Site C dam project is facing unknown cost overruns, schedule delays and such profound geotechnical problems that its overall health has been classified as “red,” meaning the project is in serious trouble, according to two overdue project reports released by BC Hydro on Friday.  BC Hydro and B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the Site C project’s deepening woes. Yet BC Hydro’s own reports show the project was facing significant cost and scheduling pressures long before the pandemic emerged in B.C. On March 18, B.C. declared a state of emergency, but the province deemed the Site C dam an essential service, allowing work on the $10.7 billion project to continue. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

Environmental group wants to buy the rights to Puget Sound net pen sites
An environmental group is proposing to take over and hold in trust four sites throughout Puget Sound that have for years been used to farm fish. The Wild Fish Conservancy announced earlier this month that under a proposal it has submitted to the state’s Department of Natural Resources, it would pay to take over the net pen sites that have been run by Cooke Aquaculture: in Rich Passage, off Bainbridge Island; near Hope Island in Skagit County; and at former sites in Port Angeles Harbor and in Cypress Island’s Deepwater Bay. The net pens have been used to raise nonnative Atlantic salmon. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

The Canada-U.S. border could be closed for months. Here's what you need to know now
Many Canadians don't want the border to reopen any time soon. Sophia Harris reports. (CBC) See: Hawaii set to welcome Canadians without quarantine restrictions starting Sept. 1   Cathy Kearney reports. (CBC)

6 King County beaches closed because of high bacteria levels
Six King County beaches on Lake Washington — three in Seattle, two in Bellevue and one in Renton — are closed because of high bacteria levels measured in water samples. Results from Matthews, Mount Baker and Madrona beaches in Seattle, Enatai and Newcastle beaches in Bellevue, and Gene Coulon Beach in Renton all had high bacteria concentrations in the past week, according to King County data. The beaches are closed for all wading and swimming and are not safe for humans or pets. Paige Cornwall reports. (Seattle Times)

To oblivion and back
How sea otters are radically changing the West Coast ecosystem 50 years after their return to B.C. Greg Rasmussen and Chris Corday report. (CBC)

Fisheries officers worried by rise in shellfish poaching on busy beaches
As people flock to B.C. beaches, fisheries officers are concerned about shellfish harvesters who may be unaware they are risking their lives by disobeying closures. “It’s very, very dangerous,” said Art Demsky, a supervisor with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Langley. “I’m very concerned someone could die.” At least 15 people have been partly paralyzed by contaminated seafood in B.C. over the past four years, and one victim was totally paralyzed and lost the ability to breathe, said Tom Kosatsky, medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, last November. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Fishing lodge owner criticizes B.C. over order restricting access to Haida Gwaii
A fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii that faced criticism from local residents over its plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic says it should've been excluded from the British Columbia government's decision to restrict access to the archipelago. The West Coast Fishing Club reopened when B.C. entered Phase 3 in its pandemic recovery plan. But access to Haida Gwaii by non-residents was restricted by the B.C. government on Thursday, with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth saying in a statement that it was part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19... Brian Legge, the club's president, said the decision to restrict access to Haida Gwaii has effectively forced the fishing lodge to shut down. Nick Wells reports. (Canadian Press)

Welcome to Klickitat Canyon, Washington’s newest conservation area
Mountain goats, mule deer and black bears all move across the rugged basalt cliffs, forest and grasslands that make up the Klickitat Canyon Conservation Area. Salmon and steelhead swim up the Klickitat River, Washington’s longest wild river, running through the conservation area. The newly completed conservation area in south-central Washington is expected to protect habitat and lead to a more resilient forest. Conservation groups say this is a big step toward connecting important ecosystems in the area. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW News Network/Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Mon Aug 3 2020   
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.  Patchy fog. A chance of rain. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 9 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, July 31, 2020

7/31 Purple crab, Olympic fire, freeing humpbacks, hypesonic weapons, Haida Gwaii travel, BC-AK travel, LNG by rail, Mazama gopher, salmon restoration, octopus

Purple (naked) shore crab [Walter Siegmund/WDFW]

Purple (naked) shore crab Hemigrapsus nudus
Purple, or naked, shore crab is commonly found under rocks in the intertidal along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico. It measures up to 5.5 cm across. It can range in color from olive-spotted or dark olive to red-brown. (Biodiversity of the Central Coast)

Olympic National Park fire grows quickly
A wildland fire suspected to be of human origin exploded Thursday along the steep slopes above East Beach Road at Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. The East Beach Road fire is believed to have broken out about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. It covered 1 acre by about 9 p.m., 20 acres by the next morning and 63 acres by late afternoon, according to an Olympic National Park press release. The fire is burning primarily on a south-facing slope in steep, heavy timber with shrub understory and is being pushed uphill by terrain-driven winds. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Crews work to free humpbacks entangled in fishing gear off Island
Federal fisheries officials and conservation groups have been working to locate and free three humpback whales entangled in fishing gear around Vancouver Island and the Central Coast over the past five days. Two humpbacks dragging prawn traps and gear were reported and located over the weekend, but rescuers have since lost contact with both.Another entangled humpback was reported Tuesday on the North Coast. It was found late Wednesday afternoon and rescuers were near Gil Island trying to free the whale from several metres of seine netting and rigging. Darron Kloster reports. (Victoria Times Colonist)

Hypersonic Weapons Testing Faces a Big Problem: Killer Whales
Washington State officials want the U.S. Navy to modify a training program predicted to cause harm to killer whales and other marine mammals living in the Puget Sound area. The Navy plans to test a variety of weapons along the West Coast during a seven-year period, including what the The Seattle Times describes as a “projectile” flying at “seven times the speed of sound.” This is undoubtedly the Navy’s new Hyper Velocity Projectile, a hypersonic weapon designed to bombard enemy territory and shoot down enemy missiles. (Popular Mechanics)

B.C. bans travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID-19 outbreak
In light of the recent outbreak on Haida Gwaii, the provincial government has banned all non-resident travel to the archipelago. The decision was made, the province says, in consultation with public health authorities, the Haida Nation and local governments on Haida Gwaii. (CBC)

Officials crack down on Alaska-bound travellers crossing U.S.-Canada border
The Canada Border Services Agency is tightening up the rules for Americans and other foreign nationals travelling through Western Canada on the way to Alaska, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Beginning Friday, foreign nationals travelling to Alaska for non-discretionary purposes will only be allowed to enter the country through five border crossings in Western Canada. Each visitor will be allowed a "reasonable period of stay" to make the journey, but will be limited to following "the most direct route" to Alaska, according to a CBSA press release. They must avoid all national parks, leisure sites and tourism activities along the way, and must report to Canadian border officers when they leave the country. (CBC)

Environmentalists threaten suit over push to transport liquefied natural gas by rail
Two environmental groups on Friday threatened to sue the Trump administration over a newly published rule allowing the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail.  The rule, which allows for the transport of LNG in rail tank cars, was finalized last month but published in the Federal Register [last] Friday. Previously, a special permit was needed to transport LNG in this way. Rachel Fraxen reports. (The Hill)

Public can comment Friday on Mazama pocket gopher status
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission plans to hear a briefing and public comment on a recovery plan and status review of the Mazama pocket gopher Friday, in what is essentially a redo of a discussion that happened in mid-June. At that meeting, a scheduled public comment period never happened due to an administrative “hiccup,” so people who had anticipated providing comment weren’t given the opportunity, said Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Diversity Division Manager. The timing of the gopher briefing was also different than what was listed on the agenda. Sara Gentzler reports. (Olympian)

Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds
As global warming pushes up ocean levels around the world, scientists have long warned that many low-lying coastal areas will become permanently submerged. But a new study published Thursday finds that much of the economic harm from sea-level rise this century is likely to come from an additional threat that will arrive even faster: As oceans rise, powerful coastal storms, crashing waves and extreme high tides will be able to reach farther inland, putting tens of millions more people and trillions of dollars in assets worldwide at risk of periodic flooding. Brad Plumer reports. (NY Times)

Almost $300K approved for salmon conservation work
The Board of Jefferson County Commissioners approved two similar Recreation and Conservation Office fund grants with a combined total of almost $300,000 for projects focused on salmon conservation and resiliency. The grants were unanimously approved during the commissioners’ Monday afternoon session, with $195,415 going toward a Hoh River Resilience Plan Phase 1 and $94,825 going to the Dosewallips River Powerlines Project. Both projects will be overseen by Natural Systems Design (NSD), according to commission documents. Zack Jabonski reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

$332,000 Cooke Aquaculture penalty supports habitat restoration in Skagit County and statewide
Salmon will have better habitat with help from a $332,000 penalty settlement with Cooke Aquaculture after the collapse of its floating pen near Cypress Island in 2017. The settlement required that the fine be split, part going to an environmental project for regional salmon enhancement or habitat restoration and the other part going to our Coastal Protection Fund. (WA Dept of Ecology)

Meet the real-life kraken: the octopus
Seattle’s new hockey team is named for a legendary creature of the sea, and that’s a perfect fit, according to octopus researchers at the University of Washington. David Gire, an assistant professor of psychology, studies the neuroscience of the octopus. He says their tentacles act like little brains as their arms forage for food, that one species is big and strong enough to take down a shark, and how, even though octopus are solitary creatures, they learn from each other and work together. Kim Eckart reports. (UW News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  236 AM PDT Fri Jul 31 2020   
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 9 seconds. 
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 7 seconds. 
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 3 ft at  8 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told