Wednesday, December 2, 2020

12/2 Otters, perch, oysters, border, Exxon, Budd Inlet, Canadian oceans

Mom and pup [Laurie MacBride]

Otter Delights
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Usually when we’re anchored in a quiet spot, an audio cue is what alerts me to the presence of river otters – a series of sharp, high-pitched chirps if a whole family is afloat, or more frequently, an unmistakable crunch, crunch, crunch as one of these sharp-toothed hunters chomps through a fish or crab. But that October afternoon it was a visual cue: the sight of two sleek, dark bodies against the smooth sandstone shore, lit by the low-angle sun of late afternoon... (read more)

Shiner Perch
In regard to the note yesterday on Shiner Perch, reader Don Norman writes: "Through the research of Rob Butler in British Columbia, the preference by Great Blue Herons for Shiner Perch was documented.  This makes sense, as the shiner perch are ovoviviparous (the eggs are held inside the fish and the baby fish hatch ready to swim away) and are also the highest caloric item on the intertidal buffet for the herons.  So the females are a double caloric package!  The large schools of shiner perch in eelgrass beds are the primary reason there are large colonies of herons associated with eelgrass beds."

B.C. oyster producers fighting to stay afloat financially and hold on to their farms during pandemic
While many B.C. restaurants have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by offering home delivery, it is not likely a customer's first thought to dial up a dozen half shell oysters. Normally the providers of a delicacy enjoyed at seafood restaurants and special events, oyster farmers in the province have collectively lost millions of dollars in sales since the spring when the pandemic changed the way people live. According to the B.C. Shellfish Growers Association, it is possible some of those farmers will not survive the current situation they find themselves in. (CBC)

Canada: US border measures to last until virus under control
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the ban on nonessential travel with the United States will not be lifted until COVID-19 is significantly more under control around the world. Canada and the U.S. have limited border crossings since March, extending the restrictions each month.
“Until the virus is significantly under more control everywhere around the world, we are not going to be releasing the restrictions at the border,” Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Rob Gillies reports. (Associated Press)

Exxon Writes Off Record Amount From Value of Assets Amid Energy Market Downturn
After insisting for months that its oil and gas investments remain as valuable as ever, ExxonMobil plans to write down $17 to $20 billion in natural gas assets, in the largest such announcement the company has ever made. The assets are located in the U.S., Canada and Argentina, according to an announcement released Monday afternoon. Many of those assets in the U.S. were acquired a decade ago when Exxon struck a poorly-timed $41 billion deal to massively expand its natural gas holdings. Camila Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Budd Inlet shellfish could give you diarrhea
Public health officials have closed Budd Inlet to recreational shellfishing after finding elevated levels of a marine biotoxin in shellfish harvested there. The toxin is known as “diarrhetic shellfish poison,” and when consumed by humans can cause nausea, vomiting, and, as the name would imply, diarrhea. Brandon Block reports. (Olympian)

Canada recommits to protecting oceans, sustainable marine management
Canada is joining 13 other countries in a non-binding pledge to sustainably manage 100 per cent of its oceans by 2025, continuing the Trudeau government's international declarations on the environment. The undertaking commits — or, in some cases, recommits — Canada to a variety of measures, including protecting 30 per cent of marine waters by 2030, rebuilding fish stocks, reducing plastic in the ocean and creating a sustainability plan. Paul Withers reports. (CBC)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  225 AM PST Wed Dec 2 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft  at 17 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming NE after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft at 19 seconds.



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

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

12/1 Shiner perch, Giving Tuesday, COVID app, whale sounds, protection pollution, pipeline terrorism, Skagit mining, managing wildfires, Biden's green presidency

 

 Shiner perch [Liberal Dictionary]


Shiner perch Cymatogaster aggregata
Abundant in shallow water in summer; moves deeper in winter. Seen in schools in bays and estuaries, especially eelgrass beds. Well developed at birth; male can breed after just a few months. Adult feeds on muscles, small crustaceans, worms and snails . Southeastern Alaska to Baja California. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Editor's note: Today is Giving Tuesday, the day when you can help our region's not-for-profit organizations by making a donation. It can be a small but significant way to say you support their work to make the Salish Sea a better place to live. My favorite, among others, is personal: Amy Nelson and I launched Salish Current, an independent local news platform serving Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties, to keep local news reporting alive and our communities informed. Check it out and if you like, make a NewsMatch donation. Thank you! Mike

Washington launches COVID exposure alert app statewide. You need to turn it on
Washington state on Monday launched a coronavirus exposure alert tool for smartphone users statewide. Washington joined more than a dozen other states further east using an automated, anonymous notification system to aid in the fight against virus spread. Oregon and California are expected to roll out similar smartphone-enabled exposure alerts statewide soon, too. The smartphone app sends you an alert if you've had close contact with another user who later tests positive for the coronavirus. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

It’s Time to Listen
The onset of COVID-19 created devastation worldwide. But for whale researchers like Janie Wray, who has been studying the unique calls of killer, humpback, and fin whales in British Columbia for more than 20 years, the pandemic presented a unique opportunity—a chance to hear how whales respond to a quieter underwater world. Louisa Gilbert reports. (Hakai Magazine)

How your used face masks and gloves are contributing to water pollution
A complicated series of events has led to where we are now — from the pandemic to pollution. When the pandemic first hit in early 2020, people stocked up on face masks and gloves. And then people tossed those masks and gloves on the ground. And eventually, it all ended up in our sewage lines. That also means these discarded masks and gloves are potentially now floating in Lake Washington, Lake Union, or Puget Sound and interacting with wildlife. It also means they are adding to environmental problems down the line. Dyer Oxley reports. (KUOW)

Opposition to B.C. pipeline linked to terrorism charges in Washington state
Federal authorities in Seattle have charged two people with a terrorist attack on train tracks, suggesting they were motivated by opposition to the construction of a natural gas pipeline across British Columbia when they interfered with the operation of a railroad in Washington state. (Associated Press)

Local mining operation approved, two more under review
Skagit County Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford on Monday approved the expansion of a gravel and sand mine on Fidalgo Island. His granting of a special use permit will allow Lake Erie Pit to mine 60,000 tons of material per year for 60 years from 53.5 acres off Rosario Road near Lake Erie. Dufford's decision to allow the mine to expand from its current 17.7 acres comes about a month after hearing from 34 residents against the proposal. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Scientists say WA wildfire management must go beyond forests
Better management of dry rangelands east of the Cascades is key to slowing catastrophic fires. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Broadcasting)

What will a Biden presidency mean for environmental protections and public lands — in Washington and beyond?
After four years of rollbacks to environmental protections and reductions to public lands introduced by the Trump administration, President-elect Joe Biden and his incoming administration will be presented with a chance to reverse course, say outdoor recreation and advocacy groups. The Biden administration’s stated goals for conservation and stewardship — if upheld — would be a boon for Washington state’s outdoor recreation community, and the public lands they rely on. Megan Burbank reports. (Seattle Times)



Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  338 AM PST Tue Dec 1 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
  
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  10 ft at 13 seconds subsiding to 8 ft at 13 seconds in the  afternoon.
 TONIGHT
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 6 ft at 13 seconds.



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

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Monday, November 30, 2020

11/30 Song sparrow, Cherry Pt, local news, Pt Wells, Gold R, BC logging, Everett sea rise, young orcas, whale watching, Salmon People, bird kill, Trump's dereg, Electron Dam, Pebble Mine

Song sparrow [Gregg Thompson]

 
Song sparrow Melospiza melodia
Washington's song sparrows are large, dark, heavily streaked, chunky birds. They are solitary and highly territorial during the breeding season, but are found in loose flocks during migration and winter. They forage mostly on the ground, sometimes scratching the soil. They will come to bird feeders with adequate cover close by. These birds sing almost all year, and respond to 'pishing.' Typical of the family, song sparrows eat insects and seeds, with a greater proportion of seeds in the fall and winter, and a greater proportion of insects in the spring and summer. (BirdWeb/Seattle Audubon)

Unlikely partners' compromise will halt new fossil-fuel development at Cherry Point
An effort to steer future development at Whatcom County’s primary industrial center away from fossil fuels while providing regulatory certainty is inching closer to completion with the help of an unlikely partnership between environment and industry interests. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Salish Current)

Erosion in local news threatens democracy
Bill Dietrich writes: "My old newspaper boss isn’t shy about warning that local dailies here in Northwest Washington are turning into ghosts — ghost newspapers, existing in name but no longer having the staff or the commitment to cover local and regional news. That’s not the fault of Whatcom and Skagit’s hard-working, underpaid journalists. It’s a national crisis that’s been accelerating at warp speed since 1990, when newspaper revenue began to crater because the internet eliminated want ads and much of print retail advertising. Frank Blethen, the 75-year-old publisher of The Seattle Times, is trying to address the erosion in local news that he fears threatens democracy..."  (Salish Current/Community Voices)

Point Wells plan should abide stricter rules, critics say
Opponents of a nearly decade-old plan to build a high-rise condo community on Puget Sound urged Snohomish County officials this week to hold the proposal to more stringent standards for construction near landslide hazard zones. Residents near the Point Wells development site, situated between the water and a steep hillside near Woodway, on Tuesday called on the county hearing examiner to require that the developer abide existing regulations for geologically hazardous areas. Rachel Riley reports. (Everett Herald)

‘A lost run’: logging and climate change decimate steelhead in B.C. river
When zero fish showed up for a winter count in the Gold River on Vancouver Island, their absence hinted at a much larger story of how and why this species is disappearing throughout the province. Stephanie Wood reports. (The Narwhal)
 
Conservationists demand fast action from B.C.'s new forestry minister on protection for old-growth trees Stark photos released this week by a conservation group pushing hard for the province to protect what remains of B.C.'s largest and oldest trees is just one point of pressure the province's new forestry minister is facing as she comes into the job.  Chad Pawson reports  (CBC)

How the Port of Everett is preparing for a rising sea level
[T]he Port of Everett is adapting to climate change: The pilings that secure the new stretch of dock are taller than those at the older west end. The additional two feet will allow the dock to float higher as global warming causes sea levels to rise. If that isn’t enough leeway to accommodate future king tides, extensions can be welded to the pointy-topped columns, said Erik Gerking, director of environmental programs for the port. While visible, the pilings at the state’s largest public marina are not his top climate change concern. “The biggest issue that we will have involves bulkheads and shoreline – having those high enough,” he said. Julie Titone reports. (Everett Herald)

Young orca calves take part in fall excursions into South Puget Sound with their mothers
The two orca calves born to J pod in September are still alive and doing well, according to Mark Malleson of the Center for Whale Research, who spotted J pod on Monday near the Canadian city of Victoria. Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute) See also: J-pod orcas swim close to shore near Maury Island  (KING)

Where the whales are: Discovering marine mammals from shore along the Pacific Coast
Erin Williams writes: "Only 100 yards from a nature center and down a sandy trail to the Pacific, I spotted a telltale heart-shaped spout — a misty exhalation of a California gray whale on her northern migration — rising from the ocean. Sunlight glinting off the animal’s back was a sparkling sign that some of the best whale watching can occur from a surprising place: land. This February visit to Dana Point Preserve near San Diego was my fourth stop along the Whale Trail, a collection of coastal sites stretching 1,500 miles from Southern California to British Columbia..." (Washington Post)

Salmon People: A tribe's decades-long fight to take down the Lower Snake River dams and restore a way of life
...The Nez Perce are at the center of a decades-long battle to remove this dam, and three others on the Lower Snake River. In many tribal members’ lifetimes, dams have transformed the Columbia and Snake from wild rivers to a hydropower behemoth and shipping channel — despite fishing rights reserved by their ancestors guaranteed in the treaty of 1855. The tribe does not agree with a recently completed assessment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies that essentially cemented the status quo on the dams. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds
The Trump administration published an environmental analysis Friday finding that its proposal not to hold companies responsible for killing birds 'incidentally" would not cause undue harm, clearly the way for it to finalize the rollback before the president's term ends on Jan. 20. The administration, which is racing to lock in a series of regulatory changes before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, can now publish a final rule modifying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Juliet Eilperin and Sarah Kaplan report. (?Washington Post)

E.P.A.’s Final Deregulatory Rush Runs Into Open Staff Resistance
President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency was rushing to complete one of its last regulatory priorities, aiming to obstruct the creation of air- and water-pollution controls far into the future, when a senior career scientist moved to hobble it. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

U.S. Justice Department sues over Puyallup River pollution
The Justice Department has filed a civil suit against the owners of the Electron Hydroelectric Project for violating the Clean Water Act by polluting the Puyallup River. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Army Corps says no to massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
The Trump administration on Wednesday denied a key permit for a massive gold and copper mine in Alaska, striking a devastating blow to a project opposed by an unlikely coalition that includes the president’s son and other prominent Republicans, as well as conservationists, commercial fishermen and Alaska Natives. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)


Now, your tug weather--West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  614 AM PST Mon Nov 30 2020   
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
  
TODAY
 W wind 30 to 40 kt easing to 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Combined seas 13 to 15 ft with a dominant period of  16 seconds building to 16 to 17 ft with a dominant period of  15 seconds in the afternoon. Rain likely in the morning then a  chance of rain in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming N to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 14 ft at 13 seconds subsiding to 12 ft at  14 seconds after midnight.


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

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Friday, November 27, 2020

11/27 Salish Sea News Week in Review: Bill Nye, kid orcas, bird kill, Electron Dam, Pebble Mine, Kalama methanol, Cooke Aqua, feeding orcas, BC indigenous CG, Skagit dams, Navy training

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 27 2020

Bill Nye (Nov. 27, 1955)

Happy Birthday, Science Guy!
Bill Nye the Science Guy is best known as the host of the PBS and syndicated children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993–1998), the Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World (2017–2018), and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.


Young orca calves take part in fall excursions into South Puget Sound with their mothers
The two orca calves born to J pod in September are still alive and doing well, according to Mark Malleson of the Center for Whale Research, who spotted J pod on Monday near the Canadian city of Victoria.

Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds
The Trump administration published an environmental analysis Friday finding that its proposal not to hold companies responsible for killing birds 'incidentally" would not cause undue harm, clearly the way for it to finalize the rollback before the president's term ends on Jan. 20.

U.S. Justice Department sues over Puyallup River pollution
The Justice Department has filed a civil suit against the owners of the Electron Hydroelectric Project for violating the Clean Water Act by polluting the Puyallup River.

Army Corps says no to massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
The Trump administration on Wednesday denied a key permit for a massive gold and copper mine in Alaska, striking a devastating blow to a project opposed by an unlikely coalition that includes the president’s son and other prominent Republicans, as well as conservationists, commercial fishermen and Alaska Natives.

Congress Seeks Answers on Alaskan Mine Project
House investigators are seeking records from the developers of the Pebble Mine project and the Army Corps of Engineers, to determine whether the company misrepresented its plans.

US judge voids permits for Columbia River methanol plant
A judge on Monday voided permits needed for a massive methanol plant on the Columbia River in Southwest Washington, agreeing with conservation groups that the project needs a more thorough environmental review.

Steelhead farm proposal appealed to state Supreme Court
Environmental groups are taking their fight against Cooke Aquaculture’s proposal to transition from farming Atlantic salmon to steelhead to the state Supreme Court.

Regional proposal would reduce fisheries to help orcas
Plans for managing coastal chinook salmon fisheries that take into account endangered Southern Resident orca whales are taking shape.

Canada's 1st Indigenous coast guard auxiliary has launched in B.C.
Now, more than four years since it was announced, the Indigenous Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary has fully launched in B.C. — already having completed a number of missions.

Fish passage studies sought in Skagit River dam relicensing
The series of concrete dams strung across the upper Skagit River predate construction of the North Cascades Highway and the establishing of North Cascades National Park.

Navy training proposal met with concern
The State Parks Commission is in the midst of discussions about whether public lands, including Deception Pass State Park, are appropriate place for the military to train.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

11/25 Noble fir, kids climate, BC enviro poll, rubber runoff, orca to Oklahoma, IJC

Noble fir

 

Noble fir Abies procera
The noble fir, also called red fir and Christmastree, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington. It is a high-altitude tree, typically occurring at 300–1,500 m (980–4,920 ft) altitude, only rarely reaching the tree line. (Wikipedia)

Young people taking climate change lawsuit to Federal Court of Appeal
A group of 15 young people will try again to have the courts force Ottawa to develop a climate recovery plan after it was denied by the Federal Court. The youths have filed an appeal of the court's October decision that their claims don't have a reasonable cause of action or prospect of success so the case cannot proceed to trial. They had argued the federal government's inadequate action on climate change is violating their charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person. (Canadian Press)

‘The federal government absolutely needs to do more’: poll finds 41% of British Columbians want Ottawa to step up action on environment
Survey shows three in five respondents are personally concerned about water pollution, toxic waste and climate change. Matt Simmons reports. (The Narwhal)

When Rubber Hits the Road—and Washes Away
A stealthy source of pollution leaves the highway in astonishing amounts and heads to sea, toxic chemicals and all. Laura Trethewey reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Connecting orcas to Oklahoma: Project introduces inlanders to Salish Sea's endangered species
A town in Oklahoma has a special connection to the Southern Resident orcas that swim in the waters of western Washington. The town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, may be more than 2,000 miles from where the Southern Resident orcas call home, but because of the vision of an Oklahoma philanthropist, those in her state will learn about whales — including Tahlequah, a member of the orcas' J Pod — through the Oklahoma Killer Whale Project. Jessie Darland reports. (Kitsap Sun)

The watershed watchers: in conversation with the International Joint Commission
Canada and the U.S. are bound together by waterways that transcend political borders. But what happens when industrial development changes those waters in ways that could last hundreds of years? Carol Linnit reports. (The Narwhal)


Now, your US Thanksgiving long weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  249 AM PST Wed Nov 25 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
  
TODAY
 S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 17 ft  at 16 seconds. A chance of showers. TONIGHT  SE wind to 10 kt becoming S after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 14 ft at 15 seconds subsiding to 12 ft at  14 seconds after midnight. 
THU
 S wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 10 ft at 14 seconds subsiding to 8 ft  at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A slight chance of rain. 
THU NIGHT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 13 seconds  building to 8 ft at 17 seconds after midnight. 
FRI
 S wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 11 ft at  14 seconds. 
FRI NIGHT
 S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 10 ft at 14 seconds. 
SAT
 NW wind to 10 kt becoming E. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W  swell 11 ft.  SUN  E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE to 10 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or  less. W swell 7 ft.


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

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

11/24 Whiting, Padilla Bay poop, Kalama methanol, fish farm appeal, oil spill, Quiet Sound, whale watching, native history, BC Ferries mask

Pacific whiting [NOAA]


Pacific whiting Mercluccius productus
Pacific whiting, or hake, is a ray-finned fish species found off the West Coast of the United States and Canada. They are a semi-pelagic schooling species of groundfish. There are three stocks of Pacific whiting: a migratory coastal stock, ranging from southern Baja California to Queen Charlotte Sound; a central-south Puget Sound stock; and a Strait of Georgia stock. While the latter stocks have declined significantly, the coastal stock remains large and healthy and is the most abundant commercial fish stock on the Pacific Coast. Pacific whiting are night-time predators that move up the water column to feed and then migrate back down during the day. (NOAA

New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation
Finding and fixing remaining sources of dangerous fecal coliform pollution coming into Padilla Bay is like “herding cats," some say. A report due to be submitted soon by the state Department of Ecology to the Environmental Protection Agency lists sources and strategies for cleanup. The caveat: full implementation requires the participation of many different groups. Alex Meacham reports. (Salish Current)

US judge voids permits for Columbia River methanol plant
A judge on Monday voided permits needed for a massive methanol plant on the Columbia River in Southwest Washington, agreeing with conservation groups that the project needs a more thorough environmental review. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had granted the permits for the construction of an export facility that is part of a $2 billion NW Innovation Works plant proposed in Kalama. The plant would take natural gas from Canada and convert it into methanol, which would be shipped to China to make olefins — compounds used in everything from fabrics and contact lenses to iPhones and medical equipment. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Steelhead farm proposal appealed to state Supreme Court
Environmental groups are taking their fight against Cooke Aquaculture’s proposal to transition from farming Atlantic salmon to steelhead to the state Supreme Court. The groups appealed Monday a Nov. 6 decision by King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender that upheld a permit issued by the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to allow such farms in area waters. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Collision between barge and fishing boat in Vancouver Island harbour leads to diesel spill 
The Canadian Coast Guard says it has completed its cleanup of a diesel spill caused by a collision between two vessels in the harbour at Parksville, B.C. According to the Coast Guard, a barge carrying a fuel truck struck a fishing boat in the French Creek Harbour on Monday at around 11:50 a.m. The collision caused the tank of the fuel truck to rupture, leaking diesel into the harbour. Although initial estimates suggested that 300-500 litres had been spilled, the Coast Guard said Monday evening that the final estimate is 188 litres. (CBC)

Quiet Sound underwater noise reduction program could soon slow ships, protect orcas
Underwater noise from ship traffic is one of the major threats to Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident orcas. It can interfere with the whales’ ability to communicate, navigate by echolocation and find the increasingly scarce salmon they prefer. A recommendation from the orca recovery task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2018-19 is to reduce noise and disturbance from large vessels. Work is underway to develop a program called "Quiet Sound," which will alert ships to the presence of whales so they can re-route or slow down. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

To help save orcas, pause whale watching
Suspending commercial whale-watching boats can help southern resident killer whales avoid extinction. Opinion by Donna Sandstrom and Tim Ragen (Crosscut) And, if you like to watch: Sentinels of Silence? Whale Watching, Noise, and the Orca   Ecosong (10/22/20) And, to have a say: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Public Hearing on Commercial Whale Watching, Dec. 4, 11:15 a.m. via Zoom

Why learning real Native history is important to the PNW and beyond
Washington schools are changing how they teach Indigenous histories. Here's what the people who've already been through school can learn from these efforts. Manola Secaira reports. (Crosscut)

B.C. Ferries mask image will be replaced after everyone has a laugh
Mark Collins, president and chief executive of B.C. Ferries, said Friday that it’s a stock image that the company paid for the right to use. “We didn’t see it at first,” he said. “But I do recognize that once you see it, you can’t unsee it.” Carla Wilson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PST Tue Nov 24 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds. A  chance of rain in the morning then rain in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  12 ft at 19 seconds building to 15 ft at 18 seconds after  midnight. Rain likely and a slight chance of tstms.


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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Monday, November 23, 2020

11/23 Cinnamon teal, orca recovery, BC indigenous CG, Skagit dams, dying cedars, logging, green Biden, Navy training, dungeness season, Pebble Mine, sage grouse, BC fishers, feeding orcas

Cinnamon teal [Audubon]

 
Cinnamon teal Spatula cyanoptera
Unique among our northern dabbling ducks, this teal also has nesting populations in South America. A close relative of Blue-winged Teal (and sometimes hybridizing with it), the Cinnamon Teal has a slightly larger bill, better developed for straining food items out of the water. In some ways this species seems intermediate between Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shoveler. (Audubon Field Guide)

Regional proposal would reduce fisheries to help orcas
Plans for managing coastal chinook salmon fisheries that take into account endangered Southern Resident orca whales are taking shape. The Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages coastal fisheries along Washington, Oregon and California, approved rules Monday to ensure salmon are available for the imperiled whales to eat. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Canada's 1st Indigenous coast guard auxiliary has launched in B.C.
First Nations along B.C.'s West Coast have a long history of responding to emergencies in the Pacific. Now, more than four years since it was announced, the Indigenous Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary has fully launched in B.C. — already having completed a number of missions. The auxiliary consists of 50 volunteer members from five first nations along B.C.'s coast — the Ahousat, the Heiltsuk, the Gitxaala, the Nisgaa and the Kitasoo.(CBC)

Fish passage studies sought in Skagit River dam relicensing
The series of concrete dams strung across the upper Skagit River predate construction of the North Cascades Highway and the establishing of North Cascades National Park.  Their construction — starting in 1917 with Gorge, then Diablo and finally Ross — also predates the listing of Puget Sound chinook salmon and steelhead trout as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1999 and 2007. Whether the dams harm those threatened fish is getting ample attention as Seattle City Light, which operates the three-dam Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, seeks a new license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Parksville, B.C., looks at ways to manage dying Western red cedars
In Parksville, B.C., over half of the Western red cedars in the existing canopy are dying. Now the city's parks department is looking for more resources to manage what's left.  Over the last few decades, the Western red cedar, British Columbia's provincial tree, has struggled with drier climate conditions brought on by climate change, says Guy Martin, the parks and facilities manager for the city of Parksville. (CBC)

‘Put away your power saws’: First Nations leaders, conservationists have a new plan to protect old-growth
Ancient forest advocates are weary of political promises that have so far been unable to slow the pace of clearcut logging in B.C. Here’s how visionaries think the province should move forward to protect beloved trees and critical habitat while making good on commitments to uphold Indigenous rights. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

What Biden's agenda on the environment could mean for the Pacific Northwest
From reintroduction of the grizzly bear to its wild North Cascades redoubt to attacking climate change, a wide range of environmental policies could see a new direction in the Pacific Northwest under a Biden administration. For starters, government and nonprofit policy leaders say they are looking forward to a return to science as a basis for environmental policymaking. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than on climate warming. Lynda Mapes and Hal Bernton report. (Seattle Times)

Navy training proposal met with concern
The State Parks Commission is in the midst of discussions about whether public lands, including Deception Pass State Park, are appropriate place for the military to train. Two Navy officials spoke with the seven-member commission Thursday, answering questions about the Navy's proposal to train on public lands and acknowledging the need to address the public's concerns. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed
The Dec. 1 commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 16 for the entire Oregon coast because testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield. (Associated Press)

Congress Seeks Answers on Alaskan Mine Project
House investigators are seeking records from the developers of the Pebble Mine project and the Army Corps of Engineers, to determine whether the company misrepresented its plans. Henry Fountain reports. (NY Times)

Sage grouse meets lame duck: New rules loosen restrictions on grazing, mining and drilling 
The Trump administration announced plans Friday to lessen protections for sage grouse in Oregon and six other Western states. The announcement is in line with the administration’s long-stated goal to clear the way for drilling, mining and grazing on public land. The latter of those three has historically gained the most attention in Oregon. Bradley Parks reports. (OPB)

B.C. government gives okay to trap endangered fishers for fur as scientists warn of impending extinctions
Unlike six other provinces, B.C. has no endangered species legislation, which allows species at risk to be killed outside of protected areas. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

Can we and should we feed the orcas?
Lynne Barre, NOAA’s recovery coordinator for the southern resident killer whales, said feeding salmon or other fish to orcas can be detremental for their survival. Steve Bunin reports. (KING)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  234 AM PST Mon Nov 23 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft  at 13 seconds building to 10 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A  chance of rain. 
TONIGHT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 10 ft at 13 seconds subsiding to 8 ft at  12 seconds after midnight. A chance of rain.



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