Friday, May 26, 2017

5/26 Walk 4 Salish Sea, Swinomish constitution, Grays Harbor whale

Pacific chorus frog [PHOTO: Mark Leppin]
Pacific Chorus Frog, Pseudacris regilla
Washington designated the Pacific chorus frog as the official state amphibian in 2007 (proposed by a third grade class at Boston Harbor Grade School in North Olympia, Washington). The Pacific chorus frog is a native amphibian found in every county of Washington state. The Pacific chorus frog (also called Pacific tree frog) can be brown, tan, grey or green, and produce their charming sound by puffing up their throat sacs to three times the size of their heads. They are beneficial by eating insects, including mosquitoes. (State Symbols USA)

Trans-Mountain pipeline foes to walk to Burnaby from Victoria
Opponents of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project will march from Victoria to Burnaby, beginning [Thursday]. Walk 4 the Salish Sea is a four-day, 75-kilometre walk from Mile Zero in Victoria to the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby. Organizer Bobby Arbess said participants want to show their support for the ecological values of the Salish Sea and solidarity with First Nations who have launched a legal challenge against the project. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

Swinomish approve changes to constitution
Members of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community have approved amendments to their constitution, including a section on jurisdiction that has proven controversial with some residents, businesses and governments. The tribe said 60 percent of its members took part in the vote, and each of the 29 amendments was approved with at least 80 percent of the vote. Brian Cladoosby, tribal chairman, said the vote will bring the constitution into the 21st century by removing paternalistic language that was mandated by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The bureau has recently advised tribes to remove that language. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Whale to rot on Grays Harbor beach, Washington State Parks decides
Sorry, guys, put away the dynamite. That’s not how we handle these sorts of things in Washington. Washington State Parks rangers will be leaving a dead gray whale to decay on the beach near Twin Harbors State Park after it washed ashore Tuesday. Instead of blowing it up, like the Oregonians fatefully tried back in the 1970s. Kenny Ocker reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  246 AM PDT FRI MAY 26 2017  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT AND SAT
 NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W  SWELL 4 OR 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT AND SUN
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS.  W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 OR 11 SECONDS.  SUN NIGHT  W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 2  FT AT 10 SECONDS.
MON
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, May 25, 2017

5/25 BC election, Partnership, Iceberg Pt, sea vents, tug tow, sea lion, Ericksen, NW grid, Blaine Marina, Cherry Pt

Vine maple
Vine Maple, Acer circinatum
Acer circinatum
is a species of maple native to western North America, from southwest British Columbia to northern California, usually within 300 kilometres of the Pacific Ocean coast, found along the Columbia Gorge and Coastal Forest. (Wikipedia) The wood, though limited in size, is very dense and hard, and it is flexible when fresh. It was used for snowshoe frames, drum hoops, and a variety of small implements, spoons and dishes. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest)

B.C. Liberals fall short of majority following final vote count
The final count of the B.C. election has concluded, and the result remains just as uncertain as it was on election night, with the Liberals just short of a majority.  With all absentee ballots counted in Courtenay-Comox, NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard has won by 189 votes over B.C. Liberal candidate Jim Benninger. It means the final seat count is 43 for the Liberals, 41 for the NDP, and 3 for the Green Party. It also leaves the Liberals one seat short of 44 seats — and a majority in the legislature — leaving a variety of scenarios in play, including a possible NDP government with the support of the Green Party. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC) See also: Vaughn Palmer: A Green deal can give Clark or Horgan keys to power  (Vancouver Sun)

Puget Sound Partnership improves, but some changes still needed
Puget Sound Partnership, created by the Legislature to coordinate protection and restoration of Puget Sound, has improved its operations over the past four years, according to a state audit report, which also makes recommendations for further improvements. One area where the Partnership is not meeting its legal mandate is to identify partner organizations — including state agencies and county governments — that are not living up to their responsibilities under the Puget Sound Action Agenda, which guides the overall restoration effort. Likewise, the Partnership has not been calling out partners that have made outstanding progress in their efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound, according to the audit, which was approved last week by state legislators who make up the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, or JLARC. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Some islanders don't dig federal plan to dig in San Juan Islands monument
The Trump administration has given an initial thumbs-up to a plan to dig holes throughout a meadow of rare wildflowers inside the San Juan Islands National Monument. It’s not part of any effort to eliminate the monument: It’s part of local tribes’ efforts to improve their diets and revive old traditions…. But just because land is in a national monument doesn’t mean it’s protected from harm…. Iceberg Point at the rocky, southern tip of Lopez Island, is one of the bigger parcels in the 1,000-acre San Juan Islands National Monument, designated in 2013 by President Obama. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management runs this southernmost outpost of the San Juan Islands. It has called Iceberg Point an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” since 1990. This month, the agency said its proposal to dig 100 to 190, possibly more, holes in the meadows and forests at Iceberg Point and conduct a three-week field school there would have no significant impact. Archaeologist Patrick McCutcheon from Central Washington University and up to 25 students would do the digging in July during a three-week field school. The plan has some islanders crying foul. Johh Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Government moves to protect sea floor mountain and thermal vents off B.C.'s coast
The federal government is taking the first step in protecting an area that contains rare, chimney-like hydrothermal vents off British Columbia's coast. The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans announced Wednesday the Marine Protected Area would cover an area twice the size of New Brunswick, or about 140,000 square kilometres, west of Vancouver Island to the edge of Canadian waters, 200 nautical miles off the coast. The vents, which were only discovered in 1982, release minerals from the Earth's crust and are home to a variety of unique sea life and plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions created by the warm or saline water. (Canadian Press)

Disabled tug towed into Port Angeles harbor
A disabled tug and its 320-foot barge is being towed into the Port Angeles Harbor [Wednesday night]. The Coast Guard coordinated assistance for the tug Mauna Loa which suffered engine failure and began to drift towards the Washington coast on Tuesday. The 113-foot Mauna Loa along with its 320-foot barge were met by the crew of tug vessel Lauren Foss of Neah Bay, which is towing the disabled vessel to Port Angeles…. The Lauren Foss is the current emergency rescue towing vessel (ERTV) based at Neah Bay. The ERTV is a state-mandated program funded by fees levied on vessels calling on Puget Sound. (Peninsula Daily News)

Lunging sea lion highlights need for stricter wildlife feeding rules: DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) says video of a sea lion dragging a young girl into the waters of Steveston, B.C. reinforces the need for changes to Canada's ill-defined rules around feeding wildlife. The video — which has been viewed online more than 20 million times — shows pieces of bread being thrown to the animal before it lunged at the child…. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has spearheaded efforts to end the practice in places like Victoria and Oak Bay, largely through education. (CBC)

Ericksen is out of the EPA. He says the work done there will benefit his constituents
State Sen. Doug Ericksen’s temporary job with the Environmental Protection Agency has ended and, at least for now, so has his employment with the federal government. In January, the Ferndale Republican accepted the appointment from President Donald Trump to serve as communications director for the EPA transition team. The 120-day post ended May 20…. “It was an honor to be selected by the president to serve on the EPA transition team. Working on this transition was a great experience. The people of the 42nd Legislative District and the people of Washington state will benefit from the work that was done,” Ericksen said in a statement to The Bellingham Herald. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Trump proposes selling Northwest's transmission grid
Buried among the revenue-generating ideas in President Donald Trump's new budget proposal is a plan to sell off publicly owned transmission assets, including those operated by the Bonneville Power Administration. For public power companies – and really all utilities in the Northwest – the proposal will ring alarm bells and resurrect a debate about the control of assets that were built with federal dollars but paid for by local ratepayers. Ted Sickinger reports. (Oregonian)

Port shows off cleanup at Blaine Marina
After 60 years of operation, fuel sales ended at Blaine Marina in 2015 – but the tanks and pipes remained, leaking oil and diesel fuel into the water. Residents got a closeup look at the cleanup operations Wednesday during a public tour led by the Port of Bellingham and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Part of the project was an ongoing restoration of more than 14 acres of eelgrass, which provides valuable habitat and is considered critical to the salmon recovery efforts, said Brian Gouran, environmental director for the port, which operates the marina. (Bellingham Herald)

Olympia will be port of call for cruise ship, port says 
About a year from now, a ship will sail into Olympia’s Budd Inlet carrying more than 100 tourists, instead of logs or a shipment of corn. That’s because the Port of Olympia announced Wednesday that American Cruise Lines, a company known for its cruises on the Columbia and Mississippi rivers, will make Olympia a port of call for the American Constellation, a new 175-passenger ship. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)

The Cherry on Cherry Point
Another long, long evening session last week, filled with diverse and thoughtful (and respectful) comments representing a broad swath of opinion, and Whatcom County Council at last—after more than a year of work—approved a series of amendments to govern future planning policy for the Cherry Point industrial zone. The amendments include provisions relating to future fossil fuel export projects; but more comprehensively, they re-weight and give improved standing to considerations of ecological function, environmental protection, historical use, stewardship and recognition of indigenous treaty rights alongside imperatives of economic development and industrial use in future planning for Cherry Point. Notably, the amendments require all permits that involve handling fossil fuels to be reviewed under the “Magnuson Amendment” to the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act; and very likely they foreclose forever on any future consideration of an additional shipping pier in Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Tim Johnson writes. (Cascadia Weekly)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  250 AM PDT THU MAY 25 2017  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR  LESS. W SWELL 7 TO 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  6 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 (@) salishseacom.com. 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, May 24, 2017

5/24 Budget, green crab, Chimacum, sea lion, quiet zone, oyster monitor, Glacier Park, big whale, bird kill

Sea pens [Chris Grossman/Encyclopedia of Puget Sound]
Sea Pen, Stylatula elongata
Sea pens are a type of octocoral, or soft coral, which are related to jellyfish and anemones… [and] can live to be 100 years old, glow in the dark and live in the soft sediments of Puget Sound. A sea pen is not one single animal, but a colony of many tiny animals called polyps. Each colony contains several types of polyps which contribute to its survival in different ways. (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound)

Trump budget slashes money from clean air and water programs 
The Trump Administration budget released Tuesday slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by nearly one-third, eliminating more than 3,800 jobs while imposing dramatic cuts to clean air and water programs. The White House’s proposed spending plan for the EPA amounts to $5.7 billion, a 31 percent cut from the current budget year. Adjusted for inflation, that would represent the nation’s lowest funding for environmental protection since the mid-1970s. The agency’s workforce would drop from 15,416 full-time employees to 11,611. Michael Biesecker reports. (Associated Press)

More invaders found: Invasive green crabs on the rise on Peninsula
The invasive European green crab count continues to rise on the Dungeness Spit. Researchers said 60 crabs had been caught by crews as of Thursday after they had quadrupled the number of traps placed in Dungeness’ waters. Lorenz Sollmann, deputy project leader at the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, said staff and volunteers put out 108 traps multiple times last week. (Peninsula Daily News)

Chimacum rushing into emergency service
The new ferry Chimacum will make its debut in a temporary, emergency role Wednesday morning on the Bremerton route. Crews were expected to continue training and wrapping up final details until the 144-car boat made an expected June 25 appearance. Bremerton ferry Kitsap broke a crankshaft Sunday, however, and will be out indefinitely. The 90-car Sealth was pulled off of the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route to replace the 124-car Kitsap, leaving the triangle one boat short. That wasn't going to cut it over the busy Memorial Day weekend. Ed Friedrich reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Family of girl grabbed by sea lion deny trying to feed it
The father of a girl who was grabbed by a sea lion and dragged into the water from the Steveston docks in Richmond, B.C., says the girl and her grandparents have been falsely blamed for feeding the marine mammal. "There was somebody beside them that was trying to feed them. Also, they weren't trying to take pictures or anything," said the father…. On social media, people assumed it was the girl's family feeding the sea lion. Tina Lovgreen reports. (CBC)

Skagit County, Blanchard residents agree on quiet zone proposal
Blanchard residents reached an agreement Monday with Skagit County to proceed with establishing a railroad quiet zone. Quiet zones remove the requirement for train engineers to blow their whistles at each crossing, instead leaving it to their discretion. To establish a quiet zone, the average safety rating of a group of crossings must be better than the national average. This often requires construction of supplemental safety measures. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Volunteers sought for Olympia oyster monitoring in Quilcene Bay
The Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee is seeking volunteers to monitor Olympia oyster populations as part of a nearshore restoration project. The committee is in need of volunteers Friday to collect data on test plots set out last year and to collect baseline data on this year’s seed clutch in the state Department of Fish and Wildlife tidelands in Quilcene Bay, said Cheryl Lowe, marine resources committee (MRC) member, in a news release. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Mapping 50 Years of Melting Ice in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers. The flowing sheets of ice scattered throughout the Montana park shrank by more than a third between 1966 and 2015, according to new data from the United States Geological Survey and Portland State University. Using aerial and satellite imagery, researchers traced the footprints of 39 named glaciers in the park and surrounding national forest. They found that 10 had lost more than half their area over 50 years. Nadja Popovich reports. (NY Times)

How The Biggest Animal On Earth Got So Big
Whales are the largest animals on the planet, but they haven't always been giants. Fossil records show that ancient whales were much smaller than the currently living behemoths. So when did whales get so big, and how? A new study suggests it might be due to changes in climate that affected the food that some whales eat: krill and small fish. Instead of being spread throughout the ocean, lots of krill started being packed into a small area. Bigger whales were simply more efficient at eating the dense pockets of krill, and they beat out their smaller cousins. Madeline Sophia reports. (NPR)

Pushing For Tough Penalty In Albatross Killings
Christian Gutierrez, the adult defendant in the 2015 Kaena Point albatross killings, is expected to be sentenced by First Circuit Court Judge Jeannette Castagnetti on June 1. As the day nears, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office and others are working quietly behind the scenes to make sure that the 19-year-old Gutierrez does not emerge with a clean record…. in the late evening and early morning hours of Dec. 27-28, 2015, at least 15 Laysan albatrosses were killed with a pellet gun, a machete and a baseball bat. Seventeen albatross nests and 17 eggs were also destroyed. The feet were cut off many of the birds to remove their identification tags. One of the perpetrators showed off the identification tags at a party.  The other two talked about killing the birds at the party on social media. Laysan albatrosses are internationally and federally protected seabirds. Debby Fawcett reports. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  255 AM PDT WED MAY 24 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 NW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT  AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SE 10 KT OR LESS. WIND  WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told






Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5/23 BC pipe, Trump budget, sea lion, eating steelhead, BC wave power, US offshore wind

Two-tug oil tanker escort [National Geographic]
Watch this: What Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline will mean for B.C.'s coast
As British Columbians await final results from the May 9 vote, the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline hangs in the balance. The expansion project could bring billions in new revenue, but it would also mean an increase in coast-to-port tanker traffic, and with that, an increased risk of oil spills. We follow a tanker as it threads the needle from Burnaby to the open ocean. (Globe and Mail)

Connelly: Trump budget message: Don't clean up America's waters
The budget proposed by President Trump, set for release Tuesday, is clear from coast to coast to coast: Don't clean up the water. The budget not only zeroes out the Puget Sound cleanup, but programs from Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain to New England's Lake Champlain to the Great Lakes. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

'Unbelievable': Dozens swarm dock where sea lion grabbed girl, despite warnings
On Saturday, a girl was yanked off a dock in Richmond, B.C. by a California sea lion. Moments before, her family had thrown bread to the animal. Video of the incident has been viewed more than 14 million times. Marine experts and port officials have sent out a slew of warnings, reminding the public to keep a safe distance from the animals. However, many near the area seem to be doing just the opposite. On Monday, the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf was packed with cellphone-wielding tourists and locals trying to catch a glimpse of the celebrity sea lion. Children leaned over the dock's edge, craning for a look. (CBC)

Is it really OK to eat steelhead?
What does “good” mean? If you’re trying to be environmentally responsible while picking out a steelhead fillet to grill or saute or maybe steam with green onions and soy sauce, that’s less obvious than it may seem. Recently, Seafood Watch, a respected program of consumer recommendations for sustainable seafood issued by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, listed steelhead from the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault rivers on the western Olympic Peninsula as a “good alternative” choice. Dan Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

UVic researcher sees powerful future in waves
B.C. has some of the best wave-energy potential anywhere in the world and with better government support and jurisdictional clarity, this province could be a global leader in developing the industry. Those are some of the findings in a recent report out of the University of Victoria-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. There’s a lot going for wave power, as Bryson Robertson, the report’s lead author, explained in an interview this week. Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

If you like to watch: An ‘Awesome’ View at America’s First Offshore Wind Farm  Produced by Chang W. Lee, Logan Jaffe and Joshua Thomas (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  305 AM PDT TUE MAY 23 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON PDT TODAY THROUGH
 WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6  FT AT 11 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF  SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 20 TO 30 KT BECOMING NW 15 TO 25 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8  FT AT 10 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, May 22, 2017

5/22 Culvert, pipeline, EPA rollbacks, monuments, sea lion, marine map, Hood Canal shore, helpful plants, sewer repair, DNR harvest, microburst

Common horsetail
Horsetail, Equisetum arvense
Equisetum
is a "living fossil" as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. Some Equisetopsida were large trees reaching to 30 meters tall. (Wikipedia) Ancient Romans ate young, common horsetail shoots as if they were asparagus. They also used them to make tea and as a thickening powder. Common horsetail is one of the most widespread plants in the world and often turns up as a bad garden week (sometimes called ‘devil guts’). It was the first vascular plant to send green shoots up through the debris of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Washington state loses big legal battle over salmon culverts
Washington state lost a major legal battle Friday that could force it to spend nearly $2 billion to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers blocking fish migration. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year affirmed a lower court’s 2013 ruling ordering the state to fix or replace hundreds of culverts — large pipes that allow streams to pass beneath roads but block migrating salmon. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Trudeau reiterates support for Trans Mountain pipeline on B.C. visit
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he'll work with British Columbia and Alberta to move ahead with his government's agenda of creating jobs while transitioning toward a lower-carbon economy. Trudeau was asked on Friday about the possibility that B.C. could wind up with a government that opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. He suggested that the province's NDP and Greens, who oppose the project, are "wrong" in their position. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press) See also: Protests, court challenges, B.C. recount: Trans Mountain IPO comes at awkward time for Kinder Morgan Ian Bikis reports. (Canadian Press)

How Rollbacks at Scott Pruitt’s E.P.A. Are a Boon to Oil and Gas
The new E.P.A. administrator has a long, helpful history with Devon Energy, going back to his days as attorney general of Oklahoma. Hiroko Tabuchi and Eric Lipton report. (NY Times)

Trump asked for input on monuments -- and he's sure getting it
At a rate of more than 100 to 1, comments are flowing into the Department of the Interior denouncing the effort to review, and perhaps undo, up to 22 national monuments. On the chopping block in this state is the Hanford Reach monument along the Columbia River. Danny Westneat reports. (Seattle Times)

Family slammed for 'reckless behaviour' after sea lion drags girl into water in Richmond, B.C.
Port officials are lambasting the family of a young girl for "reckless behaviour" after she was dragged into the water by a sea lion off a dock at Steveston in Richmond, B.C. Robert Kiesman, chair of the Steveston Harbour Authority, said there are several signs posted at the popular tourist destination warning people not to feed the sea mammals that frequent the area…. Robert Kiesman, chair of the Steveston Harbour Authority, said there are several signs posted at the popular tourist destination warning people not to feed the sea mammals that frequent the area. Maryse Zeidler and Chad Pawson report. (CBC)

Culturally significant First Nations marine sites mapped
The Nuu-chah-ulth First Nation on Vancouver Island now has access to data concerning culturally and ecologically significant maritime sites, information that could prove vital in the event of an oil spill or other emergency. Fisheries and Oceans Canada funded an 18-month project that brought together researchers, elders and First Nations youth to catalogue vital coastal resources. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)

Hood Canal property will compensate for Navy construction at Bangor
Hood Canal Coordinating Council has finally found some shoreline property to compensate for environmental damage from the Navy’s $448-million Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.
The shoreline of a 6.7-acre property to be used for mitigation of the Navy’s Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. // Photo: Hood Canal Coordinating Council The 6.7 acres of waterfront property — located near Kitsap County’s Anderson Landing Preserve on Hood Canal — becomes the first saltwater mitigation site in Washington state under an in-lieu-fee mitigation program. The $275,000 purchase was approved Wednesday by the coordinating council, which manages the in-lieu-fee program. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Volunteers tend plants to help endangered orcas
Plants taking root in a nursery northeast of Burlington could help save the region’s endangered orca whales. The plants will be used for salmon habitat projects throughout the Skagit River watershed, providing the fish with shade and a place to hide, as well as to attract bugs the fish can eat. The hope is that the plants will help increase the salmon population and thereby provide more food for the orcas. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Damage estimate soars to $57M, but insurers likely to pay in flood at West Point wastewater plant
The new price tag for the catastrophic Feb. 9 flood that crippled the West Point Treatment Plant is up to $57 million — more than double the previous estimate. But taxpayers may be off the hook for most of it. The Wastewater Treatment Division, in a letter Friday to the Metropolitan King County Council, updated its initial estimate of $25 million in damage, stating major repairs and replacement of equipment will continue through October and cost $49 million to $57 million. Christine Willmsen reports. (Seattle Times)

DNR: Sustainable harvest, murrelet plan due by end of 2018
 A pair of planning documents that will affect timber harvests on the North Olympic Peninsula for the next decade will be completed by the end of 2018, a senior state Department of Natural Resources official said. Angus Brodie, DNR deputy supervisor of uplands, said an agency review of 6,500 public comments and other factors have delayed the timeline for the 2015-2024 sustainable harvest calculation and long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Clean up continues from extreme storm in Thurston County
Cleanup continues around Tenino, East Olympia and parts of Lacey, where an extreme weather pattern known as a wet microburst struck on May 4. “It really reminded me of the movie ‘Twister,’ just without the comical cows flying around,” said Cheyanne McClune, a farmhand at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill on Rich Road. That’s where 22 jumbo trees fell, many pulling huge root balls right out of the ground. Seven others snapped in the middle during the storm. No people or animals were injured, but the farm’s power was knocked out for four days. Lisa Pemberton reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--

TODAY  SE WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING NE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE  MORNING.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 11 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 (@) salishseacom.com. 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, May 19, 2017

5/19 Mount St. Helens, orca celebrations, Anna's hummingbird, fossil fuel export study

Mount St. Helens, July 1980 eruption [Jack Smith/AP]
Mount St. Helens erupted 37 years ago on May 18, 1980
It’s the 37th anniversary of when Mount St. Helens erupted, killing 57 people. The eruption on May 18, 1980, caused the largest landslide in recorded history, knocked down trees 17 miles away, stripped nearly all vegetation from more than 230 square miles and caused more than $1 billion in damages. Stacia Glenn reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma) See also: What 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens looked like from space  Benjamin Woodward reports. (Seattle Times)

Orca celebrations and environmental learning are filling our calendar
From killer whales to native plants, it’s a potpourri of activities and events I would like to share with you. June is Orca Month. But first, on Saturday, we can celebrate the 15th anniversary of the remarkable rescue of a young killer whale named Springer. Also coming in June are gatherings small and large, including a water-based festival in Silverdale later in the month. This Saturday, May 20, folks will come together to celebrate Springer — the lost baby orca who was rescued and returned to her home in British Columbia. The 15th anniversary of the rescue will be commemorated on Vashon Island, at the Vashon Theatre, 17723 Vashon Highway SW. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Anna's hummingbird named Vancouver's permanent city bird 
Results from the most important election held in B.C. this year have been announced: Anna's hummingbird has been named the City of Vancouver's official bird following an online vote. Anna's hummingbird beat out the northern flicker, spotted towhee and varied thrush for the title, taking 42 per cent of the vote. (CBC)

Why Whatcom Council wants $150K study into fossil fuel exports from Cherry Point
A study into what Whatcom County can and can’t do when it comes to fossil fuel exports moving through the community drew sharp criticism when it went before the County Council Tuesday night. Opponents, many of them refinery workers at Cherry Point, said it would hurt the ability to compete and ultimately lead to job loss. Council members said the proposal to spend $150,000 to study the county’s authority to limit negative impacts on safety, transportation, the economy and the environment from crude oil, coal, liquefied petroleum gases, and natural gas exports from Cherry Point was being misrepresented. Kie Rleyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  318 AM PDT FRI MAY 19 2017  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 5 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 5 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 6 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF  SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  4 FT AT 5 SECONDS.
SUN
 LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT  5 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.
 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5/18 ESA Day, SRKW, Chinook release, Cherry Pt, Surrey coal, Coos Bay LNG, EPA rules, Samish fails, big tooth, whale ban, barn owls, Chimacum

[US FWS]
Endangered Species Day
On May 19, 2017 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will observe Endangered Species Day in order to recognize the national conservation efforts to protect our nation's endangered species and their habitats.

Southern resident killer whales to be recognized on Endangered Species Day
Southern Resident Killer Whales will be recognized in a display on the San Juan County courthouse and council chamber lawns on Endangered Species Day, Friday, May 19. There will be 86 orca whale dorsal fins displayed representing the 78 living free members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale J, K and L pods, plus the one living in captivity (L-25, Tokitae aka “Lolita”) and the 7 that died in 2016-17. (San Juan Journal) See also: Help people watch whales at Westside Preserve  (San Juan Journal) And: Events will mark 15th anniversary of Springer, the orphaned Northern Resident killer whale’s rescue  Celebrate Springer! May 20, 1 PM, Vashon Theater

Over 220,000 young Chinook to be released to help B.C.'s endangered orcas
It's a project started by a group of B.C fishermen that could produce big results in just a few years. By the end of May, the first batch of around 220,000 young Chinook salmon will be released into the ocean to help feed B.C.'s endangered orcas. The project, long in the works, is privately funded and was approved by the federal government last year. It involved catching wild fish and facilitating their reproduction in a hatchery — and now the smolts are set to be released off the docks of the Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Whatcom Council OKs new policies for development at Cherry Point
The Whatcom County Council has approved new policies for development of heavy industry at Cherry Point that include limiting new piers and conducting a study that will delve into what the council can and can’t do regarding unrefined fossil fuels moving through the community. Council members approved the measures 6-1 Tuesday night after hours of public comment from opponents and supporters of the changes to the county’s comprehensive plan that are related to Cherry Point. Council member Barbara Brenner voted no. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Environmental lawyers ask court to quash Surrey coal transfer facility
The Federal Court heard Wednesday from environmental lawyers that are trying to overturn the Vancouver Port Authority's approval of a coal transfer facility on the Fraser River. The project would see four million tonnes of thermal coal pass through the Lower Mainland every year. The coal would be brought in from Wyoming, barged to a site on Texada Islands and then exported to Asia. Tina Lovgreen reports. (CBC)

Coos County Voters Reject Measure Targeting LNG Facility
Coos County voters rejected a measure Tuesday designed to prevent a liquefied natural gas plant from being built on Oregon’s coast. Measure 6-162 would have essentially blocked an LNG export terminal and pipeline proposed by Canadian company Veresen. The measure failed with 75.91 percent of voters opposed and only 24.09 percent of voters in favor, according to election results released by Coos County. Ryan Haas reports. (OPB)

EPA public comments favor environmental protections for air and water
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency put out a call for comments about what regulations are in need of repeal, replacement or modification. The effort stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump earlier this year instructing agencies to reexamine regulations that “eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation” and/or “impose costs that exceed benefits.” More than 55,100 responses rolled in by the time the comment period closed on Monday — but they were full of Americans sharing their experiences of growing up with dirty air and water, and with pleas for the agency not to undo safeguards that could return the country to more a more polluted era. Brady Dennis reports. (Washington Post)

Samish Bay fails spring pollution evaluation 
Just days after a visit from Gov. Jay Inslee to discuss progress being made in cleaning up bacterial pollution in Samish Bay, the bay failed an annual state evaluation. Rain during Inslee's visit Monday increased the flow of the Samish River, prompting water sampling and a precautionary shellfish harvest closure on Tuesday. Skagit County Water Quality Analyst Rick Haley said Wednesday afternoon that the amount of bacteria in the water samples was about 10 times the limit set by the state Department of Health. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

A big find: Locals stumble upon mammoth molar on Sequim beach
Sequim residents Lori Christie and Dean Flowers were taking their regular walk along a Sequim public beach when they stumbled upon a rare find: a Columbian mammoth molar weighing just over 10 pounds. Christie, a managing broker at JACE Real Estate in Sequim, said she is a regular hiker and hikes about 20 miles a week. She and Flowers were looking for petrified wood and rocks along a local beach — where it is permissible to pick up objects — when they saw something different from the surrounding rocks. (Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Vancouver Aquarium 'will fight to the end' on cetacean ban
The Vancouver Aquarium is vowing to fight the new Vancouver Park Board bylaw which prevents it from bringing in new cetaceans.  "We will fight to the end to preserve our programs," said John Nightingale, long-time CEO of the aquarium.  Nightingale didn't rule out taking legal action, saying they were "keeping all options open."  Tina Lovgreen reports. (CBC) See also: Vancouver park board worries whale fight could sour relations with aquarium  Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Dramatic video shows killer whales hunting sea lion in Salish Sea
A whale watching group caught dramatic video of killer whales hunting a sea lion in the Salish Sea. Traci Walter with Western Prince Whale Watching says the family group is called the T123's. The group includes a 32-year-old mother, Sidney, her 17-year-old son, Stanley, and 5-year-old daughter, Lucky. (KOMO)

Vehicles, lack of hunting and nesting sites threaten urban barn owls
One of Canada's largest populations of barn owls may be more aptly named bridge or overpass owls because they're losing normal roosting spaces and struggling to adapt to urbanization, a new study says. It was based on owls around Metro Vancouver and found that habitat loss, road deaths and rodent poison have a lethal impact on the birds but changes to green-space policies and public education could mitigate the loss. Terri Theodore reports. (Canadian Press)

Ferry Chimacum preparing for Bremerton debut
State ferry workers continued to put the Chimacum through its paces, spinning doughnuts and slamming on brakes in Elliott Bay. The third of four Olympic-class vessels is preparing for a June 25 debut on the Seattle-Bremerton route. Washington State Ferries accepted the Chimacum from shipbuilder Vigor on April 7, outfitted it, is now conducting sea trials and on Friday will begin training its four 15-person crews. Pulling away from Colman Dock Tuesday, the new boat accelerated quietly, like an electric car. Ed Friedrich reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  314 AM PDT THU MAY 18 2017  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING W AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told