Thursday, November 21, 2019

11/21 Milfoil, BC shellfish poison, killing seals and sea lions, chum return, orca grants

Eurasian watermilfoil [L. Baldwin]
Eurasian Watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum
Eurasian watermilfoil is a submersed aquatic invasive plant native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. It was first reported in North America in 1942 and has since spread to 45 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Eurasian watermilfoil is a very invasive aquatic plant in Washington State. It is not always easy to identify because there are many different species of milfoil known here. (Whatcom Boat Inspections)

Closed B.C. beaches serve up worst of paralytic shellfish poisonings
Poorly informed seafood poachers are risking their lives and those of others by skirting official harvesting closures. At least 15 people have been partially paralyzed by contaminated seafood in the past three years and one victim was totally paralyzed and lost the ability to breathe, according to Tom Kosatsky, medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control...Once paralysis sets in you may not be able to talk or explain how you became ill. The most severe cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning were traced to seafood from closed beaches, in particular clams, oysters, mussels and crabs. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

“it’s now time to harvest or cull the seals and sea lions”
Let us harvest and manage the population of seals in the Pacific Northwest. That will be the central message carried by a group of First Nations elders to this week’s pinniped workshop in Bellingham, Washington. The second seal & sea lion workshop addressing what needs to be done about the overpopulation is put on by Washington State Fish & Game and Canada’s Department of Fisheries & Oceans. This workshop is part of the process addressing the call for a cull or harvest of seals and sea lions in Washington and British Columbia waters.... Among those who will be attending the workshop will be Hereditary Chief Roy Jones Jr. of the Haida First Nation and Richard Harry C.E.O. of the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association. Together under the Pacific Balance Marine Management Inc. they have identified numerous markets for all parts of seals and sea lions from furs, human food consumption, pet food consumption and medicinal needs from the Omega 3 fatty acids found in the oil. Fabian Dawson reports. (SeaWest News)

Chum salmon are returning in low numbers so fishing ends five weeks early here
Fishing in the part of Whatcom Creek that flows through downtown will end more than five weeks early this year because chum salmon are returning in low numbers. The closure begins Friday, Nov. 22, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife announced. That means fishing won’t be allowed from the mouth of Whatcom Creek to the markers below the footbridge downstream of Dupont Street in Bellingham. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Grants awarded for orca research
In the continued effort to understand what it will take to prevent the region’s Southern Resident orca whales from becoming extinct, a partnership announced Thursday about $666,000 in grant funding to several organizations in the Salish Sea region. The grant program, called “Killer whale research & conservation,” focuses on supporting research of Southern Resident orca behavior and the threats the whales face: lack of food, boat traffic and pollution. The program is organized by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with support from NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, SeaWorld Entertainment and Shell Oil Co. Of six projects awarded funding this year, two are based in the San Juan Islands, according to a foundation news release. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  153 AM PST Thu Nov 21 2019   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 14 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft  at 13 seconds building to 8 ft at 18 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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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

11/20 Bigleaf maple, BC pipe, WA greenhouse gas, Matika Wilbur, Salish Sea spectacle, shoreline threat, ship speed, boat disposal, StarMetro end

Bigleaf maple
Bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum
The Bigleaf maple or Oregon maple is a large deciduous tree in the genus Acer. Bigleaf maple can grow up to 157 feet tall, but more commonly reaches 50–65 feet tall. It is native to western North America, mostly near the Pacific coast, from southernmost Alaska to southern California. Some stands are also found inland in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, and a tiny population occurs in central Idaho. (Wikipedia) See: Untapped potential: Workshop focuses on making bigleaf maple syrup  ...Kevin Zobrist, a professor in the Washington State University Extension forestry program, said there is growing interest in bigleaf maple syrup production. Jacqueline Allison reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in 2019, report finds
The Trans Mountain pipeline received $320 million in subsidies from the Canadian and Alberta governments in the first half of 2019, says a new report by an economic institute that analyzes environmental issues.  The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies that were not clearly disclosed to taxpayers, says the report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Laura Kane reports. (CBC) See also: Trans Mountain pipeline’s biggest obstacle will drag saga into 2022  Construction may have resumed and Trudeau has promised to see TMX through, but it's the legal delays that look set to hold everything back. Julius Melnitzer reports. (Financial Post)

Washington's greenhouse gas emissions continue to trend higher in latest inventory
As scientists issue increasingly dire warnings over climate change, Washington state’s greenhouse-gas emissions continue to trend higher, according to the latest state inventory. Emissions in 2017, the most recent year for which information is available, were similar to those in 2016 but up about 1.6% when compared with 2015, according to data released Tuesday by the state Department of Ecology. Rising emissions from transportation and building heating cut away at gains in other sectors of the economy, according to the report. The data shows just how challenging it will be to steer the state toward a greener future as it continues its rapid growth. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Native photographer is ‘rounding the corner’ on Project 562
Photographer Matika Wilbur, who is a member of the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes, set out seven years ago in November on an ambitious journey. The goal was to document people from the more than 562 federally recognized, sovereign Native American nations. A similar mission was undertaken in the early 1900s by Seattle photographer Edward S. Curtis, who believed traditional American Indian cultures had to be recorded before they vanished because of disease, genocide and assimilation. A graduate of the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur says she was visited in a dream by her grandmother Laura, who asked Matika why she wasn’t photographing her own people. Wilbur also knew first-hand the lack of school curricula regarding Native Americans today, and decided to refocus her work.... Wilbur, now 35, had a baby last week. But she is “rounding the corner” on Project 562, with an exhibition planned for late 2020 and book publications to follow. Gale Fiege reports. (Everett Herald)

If you like to watch: Salish Sea Wild: The Salish Sea’s Greatest Spectacle
Team SeaDoc witnesses the Pacific Northwest’s most awesome wildlife spectacle as more than 100 million spawning herring lure the greatest annual gathering of Salish Sea predators to the Strait of Georgia. Join us for front-row seats above and below the water as thousands of marine mammals and seabirds, hundreds of hungry raptors, and packs of killer whales assemble for the feast. Written and produced by Bob Friel and SeaDoc Society.

Shoreline homeowners facing a rising tide over coming century
With the potential for two feet of sea level rise by the end of the century, King County is analyzing the safety of buildings and homes by the water. Climate experts say elevated sea levels can increase flooding risks and destroy critical habitat for salmon as well...King County is now updating its building codes to account for projected sea level rise. The issue can lead to flooding problems on roads and parks as well increased problems from stormwater. Lara Whitely Binder, a climate preparedness specialist for the county, says the rising sea levels could also affect the state's efforts toward helping salmon and orca populations. “We’re also concerned about the loss of near-shore habitat that is critical for the recovery of Puget Sound salmon and the orca," she said. Abby Acone reports. (KOMO)

Report: Climate-Driven Speed Limits Would Also Benefit Whales
A new report commissioned by the NGOs Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment suggests that a modest reduction in vessel speed would greatly reduce shipping's impact on human health, the climate and the marine environment. Ship speed reduction is one of the largest single interventions available for reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This also saves on the cost of bunker fuel, an important consideration with IMO2020 fast approaching. The report looks at the less well-publicized benefits that speed reduction brings: a 20 percent reduction in ship speed would reduce underwater noise pollution by 66 percent, and it would cut the chance of a fatal collision between a ship and a whale by nearly 80 percent. Ship noise is exceptionally sensitive to speed change. Some research studies suggest that the switch to slow-steaming produced a fall-off of about two-thirds, and even more for fast-moving container ships. (Maritime Executive) See also: ‘No Appetite’ at IMO for a Ship Speed Reduction Regulation The International Maritime Organization appears to be backing away from pressure to introduce ship speed limits as part of its strategy to decarbonize the shipping industry. Instead, it has opted for a goal-setting approach as the best way to reduce carbon emissions in the short term.  Mike Schuler reports. (gCaptain)

Directors warm to working with boat disposal society
Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors want more information about working collectively to remove abandoned boats from coastal waters before jumping into an agreement with the Dead Boat Disposal Society. A staff report for the Nov. 14 meeting provided a series of options for moving ahead with a partnership, as well as feedback from other regional districts that have worked with the society and “spoke favourably about the experience.”  Sophie Woodrooffe reports. (Coast Reporter)

Toronto Star shutting down StarMetro newspapers
The Toronto Star is shutting down its StarMetro commuter newspapers across Canada, cutting 73 jobs. The final editions in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax will be published Dec. 20, a spokesperson for Torstar Corp., the parent company of both newspaper brands, told CBC News in an email.  "Commuter readers are using their smartphones, laptops and tablets to access their news," Bob Hepburn said in an email. "This trend, coupled with a corresponding decline in print advertising volumes, has decreased the need for a free daily commuter newspaper in these cities." Anjuli Patil reports. (CBC)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PST Wed Nov 20 2019   
TODAY
 E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 E wind to 10 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 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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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

11/19 Trumpeter swan, Shell oil spill, Klamath Basin tribal water, trash to treasure, Starrett's Pond

Trumpeter swans [Joseph V Higbee/BirdWeb]
Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator
The largest of the North American native waterfowl and one of our heaviest flying birds, the Trumpeter Swan is large and white. It holds its long neck straight up, often with a kink at the base. The bill is black, and there is no coloration in front of the eyes. The juvenile is dusky-gray, with a mottled dark-and-light bill that is black at the base. The juvenile plumage persists until at least spring migration, which helps distinguish the Trumpeter Swan from the Tundra Swan. (Seattle Audubon BirdWeb) Also: Swans return to the Skagit Valley  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Refinery oil spill cleanup complete
Cleanup of an oil spill at Shell Puget Sound Refinery was completed as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday, according to an announcement from the spill response team. The spill occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday during the transfer of crude oil from Alaska's Northern Slope from a barge to the refinery. The spill response team reported Saturday that about 20 gallons of crude spilled due to problems with a pressure release valve. Five of those gallons made it into Fidalgo Bay, but were successfully contained within a boom system and removed from the water, according to the response team. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Federal Court: Klamath Basin Tribal Water Rights Outrank Farmers' Rights
A federal appeals court has found that the water rights of Klamath Basin tribes take priority over those of farmers who sued the federal government in 2001 for reducing their irrigation water supply after a dry year. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a key step forward toward the tribes’ goals of restoring the Klamath Basin ecosystem and saving chinook and coho salmon, the Yurok tribe said Sunday in a statement. The federal appeals court made its decision public on Nov. 16 in a lawsuit that’s been in the courts for two decades. The irrigators have not decided if they will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Times Standard reported. (Associated Press)

Revolutionary recycling? A new technology turns everyday trash into plastic treasure.
Eight tons of trash are piled high at the entrance of a small factory in this tree-lined kibbutz — rotting food mixed with plastic bags, dirty paper, castoff bottles and containers, even broken toys. But nothing is headed for a landfill. Instead, what’s next is a process that could revolutionize recycling. Within hours, the mound will be sorted, ground, chopped, shredded, cleaned and heated into a sort of garbage caramel, then resurrected as tiny pseudo-plastic pellets that can be made into everyday items like trays and packing crates. “The magic that we’re doing is we’re taking everything — the chicken bones, the banana peels,” says Jack “Tato” Bigio, the chief executive at UBQ Materials. “We take this waste, and we convert it.” Jim Morrison and Shoshana Kordova report. (Washington Post)

Starrett’s Pond in Hope to become healthy salmon habitat
A pond in Hope that was a salmon trap for decades will soon be a valuable extension of the local river system. Starrett Pond, at the old Tom Berry Gravel Pit, gathers water in the spring freshet when the Fraser River rises. The waters spill over the ledge, and with that spillage comes young salmon. Then the water recedes and the salmon are stuck in the shallow, warm and unprotected waters. They never reach the ocean, or the orcas who feed on them. The pit was created in the 1980s when the provincial government was building the TransCanada Highway. The pond is the result of years of water washing over the banks. Now, the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition (FVWC) is about to restore connectivity to the Fraser River, while making the pond a more salmon-friendly environment. They were in Hope on Saturday, working with a group of about 20 volunteers who showed up eager to help. Jessica Peters reports. (Hope Standard)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  231 AM PST Tue Nov 19 2019   
TODAY
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  6 ft at 11 seconds building to 8 ft at 11 seconds in the  afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind to 10 kt rising to 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 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

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Monday, November 18, 2019

11/18 Painted greenling, shellfish permit, BC old growth, electric ferries, barge freed, Fidalgo spill, Keystone XL protest, Jordan Cove LNG, Skagit swans

Painted greenling [Janna Nichols/WDFW]
Painted greenling Oxylebius pictus
Painted greenling range from Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska to north-central Baja, California, but are rare north of Washington. They are found in rocky areas from the intertidal to 160 feet (49 meters). Painted greenling can grow up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) in length and live to be 8 years old. Rarely caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and uncommon in coastal waters. (WDFW)

Taylor Shellfish, Swinomish in midst of legal battle over shellfish permit
A legal battle is being waged over a national permit’s use for shellfish farming operations in Washington and whether it adequately considers the environmental impacts of those farms...A federal judge ruled in October that the Army Corps permit does not meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Still up for discussion is whether to vacate that permit — which would shut down shellfish farms — or leave it in place while requiring the Army Corps to remedy its shortfalls. Hanging in the balance is an industry that according to an Associated Press report generates about $150 million in revenue per year, as well as questions of environmental health in the region’s marine waters...The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat, the Center for Food Safety and the Swinomish each filed lawsuits against the Army Corps over the five-year permit, which was originally issued in 2007 and re-issued in 2012 and 2017. Taylor Shellfish Farms, which has operations in Samish Bay and other areas throughout Puget Sound, has sided with the Army Corps against vacating the permit, which would impact workers and come at an economic cost to the region.

Conservationists criticize latest old-growth forest panel. Say action needed — not more talk 
The province will spend months collecting more public feedback on how old-growth trees should be protected or cut down in yet another round of engagement over new rules for forestry and conservation in B.C. The Old Growth Strategic Review follows a similar consultation process, intended to result in the overhaul of B.C.'s forestry rules to better protect ecosystems, maintain jobs and reconcile with First Nations. The overhaul was a central plank of the NDP's election platform in 2017. However, conservationists say the review is a stalling tactic and argue new legislation is needed now to slow the cutting of B.C.'s huge trees, some as old as 800 years. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Dumping diesel: With a shift to electric ferries, a robot might soon be charging your ride
The distinctive drone of vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet will soon begin to fade a bit. “When we’re in battery mode, it’s going to be almost silent,” said Matt von Ruden, who heads up the agency’s vessel division, standing in one of the pilothouses onboard the diesel-guzzling ferry Puyallup. The vessel, one of three Jumbo Mark II-class ferries, is in line for a conversion that will allow the boat to run completely on electric power. Sister ferries Tacoma and Wenatchee will get the same conversion treatment and a new, unnamed Olympic-class vessel will be built similarly over the next few years. New equipment will soon allow the vessels to charge automatically when they dock. Nathan Piling reports. (Kitsap Sun) See also: Metro Vancouver proposes an electric river bus for Fraser River  The Metro Vancouver Regional District wants TransLink to consider introducing an electric river bus to transport passengers from Fraser River communities. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Barge grounded off Quadra Island successfully refloated, says coast guard
The Canadian Coast Guard says a barge that ran aground off Vancouver Island last week has been successfully refloated. The coast guard said in a statement the barge left the area safely Friday and is now secured at Campbell River, B.C. The Nana Provider, owned by Alaska Marine Lines, was carrying rail cars and containers on its deck when it ran aground Nov. 9 at Quadra Island, located about three kilometres east of Campbell River. No injuries were reported among the six people on board and there were no signs of marine pollution.(Canadian Press) (CBC)

Oil Spill Prevention Law Helps Contain Leak at Shell Puget Sound Refinery 
The Washington Department of Ecology responded to an oil spill that took place Friday night when a Crowley Maritime Barge was transferring five million gallons of oil to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery, CNN reported. Around 20 gallons spilled, of which five entered the water, and that oil was contained within an area that was boomed before the transfer began. The cleanup was completed by 8:30 a.m. Sunday, the department said. "There were no impacts to the shoreline or wildlife," department spokeswoman Cheryl Ann Bishop told CNN in an email. Olivia Rosane reports. (EcoWatch)

How the American environmental movement dealt a blow to Alberta's oilpatch
The strategy to stifle Alberta's oilsands came together in a hotel near a mall in Minneapolis over a decade ago. It was the fall of 2008, and a group of environmental activists spent part of a conference there brainstorming tactics for slowing down the growth of the oilsands — and they identified pipelines as the most vulnerable target. One in particular fit the bill: Keystone XL — a 1,897-kilometre pipeline to be built by TC Energy that would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would link up with the company's existing pipeline network. Alexander Panetta reports. (CBC)

Energy Regulators Maintain Jordan Cove Environmental Impacts Are Mostly 'Less Than Significant'
Federal energy regulators released the final environmental impact findings Friday for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline. This is the last major permitting document that will be published before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission makes a final decision on the southern Oregon project. Canadian energy developer Pembina is proposing to build a 230-mile natural gas pipeline across four Oregon counties. The gas would be liquefied at a terminal facility near Coos Bay before being exported to Asia. Yes Burns reports. (OPB)

Swans return to the Skagit Valley
Trumpeter and tundra swans are once again descending for the winter on fields in the Skagit Valley and surrounding areas. With the birds’ annual return, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife has reopened a hotline to report observations of any appearing dead, sick or injured. The hotline is available 24-7 now through March. The hotline is at 360-466-4345, ext. 266. The agency has for several years operated the hotline during the winter in an effort to understand and reduce lead poisoning that occurs when the swans consume lead pellets left behind through hunting, as well as to collect birds injured in collisions with power lines. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Now, your tug weather--West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  253 AM PST Mon Nov 18 2019   
TODAY  SE wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft at 11 seconds. Rain in the  afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 E wind to 10 kt becoming NW after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. Rain in the evening  then a chance of rain 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

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Friday, November 15, 2019

11/15 Dungeness Spit, hatchery size salmon, remembering Tom Jay, climate and kids health, youth climate cases, English Bay oil spill

Dungeness Spit [Eric Frommer/Flickr]
Dungeness Spit
Dungeness Spit is a 6.8-mile long sand spit jutting out from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in northeastern Clallam County, Washington, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. The body of water it encloses is called Dungeness Bay. (Wikipedia)

Bigger doesn't mean better for hatchery-released salmon
....A recent study in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere examines hatchery practices in regard to how the Chinook salmon that are released back into the natural waterways in the PNW are affecting wild populations. In the face of changing climate, ocean conditions, freshwater habitat loss, and increased human consumption, many salmon populations in the PNW are depleted relative to historical abundance. A large salmon, for instance, is a prized and sought-after catch for a sport fisher. There is a growing demand for salmon hatcheries to provide food security and to bolster fish populations; many hatcheries release fish after they reach a certain age or size, with a goal of increasing opportunities for commercial, recreational, and indigenous fishers. Salmon hatcheries in the PNW, however, seem to be releasing young fish when they are the desired size for predators to prey upon. In this case, bigger does not equal better for the salmon population's survival. Zoe Gentes reports. (Phys.org)

Salish Sea blog: Remembering Tom Jay
Tony Angell writes: "My friend Tom Jay passed away a few days ago and yet he remains amid us..."

Why Climate Change Poses A Particular Threat To Child Health
When it comes to global health, the world has made remarkable strides over the last two decades. There’s been unprecedented progress vaccinating kids, treating diseases and lifting millions out of poverty. The childhood death rate has been slashed in half since 2000. Adults are living an average five-and-a-half years longer. Now scientists say these successes are under serious threat from climate change. The warning comes in a sweeping new study in the journal The Lancet. It’s the latest in an annual — and evolving — effort by researchers from more than a dozen universities as well as the World Health Organization to track the health impacts of climate change. Nurith Aizenman reports. (NPR)

These young activists want Washington and Oregon to be bolder on climate — so they sued their governors 
A win could mean more aggressive action to avoid climate disaster. Some environmental leaders think the lawsuit is a distraction from the action Jay Inslee and Kate Brown are pushing for. Carl Segerstrom reports. (Crosscut) See also: Oregon Supreme Court Hears Arguments For The Youth Climate Crisis Case  Monica Samayoa reports. (OPB)

Coast Guard investigates fuel spill in Vancouver's English Bay
Crews are investigating a small fuel spill in Vancouver's English Bay. The Canadian Coast Guard said it received a report Thursday of sheen in the water. A crew assessed the area and discovered a spill of about 220 litres, none of which is recoverable. The average car tank holds between 45 and 65 litres of fuel. (CBC)


Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  245 AM PST Fri Nov 15 2019   
TODAY
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt by mid morning.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft by mid morning. W swell 10  ft at 15 seconds. Rain in the morning then rain likely in the  afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance  of rain in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight.  Patchy fog after midnight. 
SAT
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft  at 14 seconds. Rain. 
SAT NIGHT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S after midnight. Wind  waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft at 13 seconds building to 11 ft at  12 seconds after midnight. 
SUN
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon. W swell 10 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 (@) 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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Thursday, November 14, 2019

11/14 Tree frog, whale hunt, Puget Sound warming, Marine Servicenter fined, salmon closures, science journalism award

Pacific tree frog
Pacific Tree Frog Pseudacris regilla
The Pacific tree frog, also known as the Pacific chorus frog, has a range spanning the Pacific Northwest, from Northern California, Oregon, and Washington to British Columbia in Canada and extreme southern Alaska. They live from sea level to more than 10,000 feet in many types of habitats, reproducing in aquatic settings. They occur in shades of greens or browns and can change colors over periods of hours and weeks. (Wikipedia)

Makah tribe heads to court — with NOAA support — in effort to resume whale hunt
The Makah whale hunt is back in court. The tribe wants to resume a limited hunt of gray whales off the Washington coast.  An administrative judge in Seattle will hear arguments for and against over several days, starting Thursday at 1 p.m. The Makah Indian Tribe says whale hunting is a tradition so central to its culture, they protected it in the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay...the tribe is seeking a waiver under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, for a ceremonial hunt limited to roughly two to three whales per year over the next decade. It would be limited to the outer coast, to protect populations that frequent the Strait of Juan de Fuca. NOAA Fisheries supports this and says it poses no conservation concern. Gray whales were removed from the federal endangered species list in 1994. But animal rights groups, including Sea Shepherd and the Animal Welfare Institute, disagree. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

New Report: Puget Sound Marine Waters See Effect of Climate Change in 2018
A new report details the effects of a changing climate on Puget Sound in 2018, and describes how these changes trickled down through the ecosystem to affect marine life and seafood consumers.  Scientists observed unusually warm water temperatures, though not as hot as during the years of “the Blob,” the marine heatwave of 2014-2016. Salinity went up everywhere in the Puget Sound through the summer and fall, in response to the record-setting summer drought. Hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) was more apparent in 2018 than previous years, though no fish kills were reported. Scientists reported lower numbers of fish, seabirds, and marine mammals, including continuing declines in endangered Southern Resident killer whales. (Puget Sound Partnership)

Anacortes company fined for water pollution
Marine Servicenter, a boatyard near the Anacortes Marina, has been fined $30,000 for allowing polluted stormwater to reach Fidalgo Bay. The state Department of Ecology, which issued the fine Tuesday, is also requiring the company to install a stormwater treatment system. The problem, according to Ecology, is that work such as the sanding of boat hulls has allowed copper and zinc to accumulate at the facility and then get carried into Fidalgo Bay with stormwater. Copper and zinc can harm endangered chinook salmon and other marine life found in Fidalgo Bay. According to Ecology, copper can confuse salmon, making young fish susceptible to predators and adults unable to find their home rivers for spawning. Zinc can kill the fish. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

WDFW Announces Willapa, South Puget Sound Salmon Seasons Shuttered
Recreational salmon fishing came to an unexpected end on Willapa Bay and many of its tributaries this week. The impromptu closure came on the same day that a public meeting took place in Raymond regarding poor returns of Chinook salmon. The public meeting was called by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife earlier this month in order to address the future of Chinook smolt releases in the face of insufficient broodstock reserves. The sudden wave of closures announced on Tuesday is intended to address the current dearth of returning coho in the system. In a press release, the WDFW noted that this season’s return of coho has so far come in at rates that are “significantly lower than preseason predictions.” That preseason forecast called for 157,467 coho to return through Willapa Bay. (Centralia Chronicle)

Seattle Times wins international science journalism award for ‘Hostile Waters’ series about endangered orcas
The Seattle Times won an international science journalism award for its special report “Hostile Waters: Orcas in Peril,” about the plight of endangered southern resident orcas. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced Wednesday that the series’ team — including reporter Lynda Mapes, photographer Steve Ringman, graphic artist Emily Eng, videographer Ramon Dompor and video editor Lauren Frohne — won the Gold Award and a $5,000 prize in the large newspaper category in the 2019 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards. Benjamin Woodward reports. (Seattle Times)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  241 AM PST Thu Nov 14 2019   TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming E to 10 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 14 seconds. Rain likely  in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 17 seconds building to 10 ft at 16 seconds after  midnight. Rain.



--
"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, November 13, 2019

11/13 King Eider, microplastics, Kalama methanol, sturgeon, sewage nutrients, Extinction Rebellion, fixing septics, bullet train, Vi Fernando

King Eider [Glen Tepke]
King Eider Somateria spectabilis
This large seaduck resides all around the northern hemisphere, breeding on tundra near coasts north of the Arctic Circle and wintering far enough south to escape winter ice, often at sea. It is a rare winter visitor along the West Coast outside Alaska. Washington has 11 accepted records ranging from late October to mid-May, all but one of them from inland marine waters; the other is from Westport (Grays Harbor County). British Columbia has about 30 records, California close to 40, and Oregon, 13. King Eiders are often found in the same places as other diving seaducks, especially Surf and White-winged Scoters.(BirdWeb/Seattle Audubon Society)

PSU study finds microplastics in majority of razor clams and oysters collected on Oregon coast
The synthetic fibers that make up much of our modern clothing are making their way into the stomachs of the animals we eat, according to a new study from researchers at Portland State University. The vast majority of razor clams and oysters that were collected along the Oregon coast tested positive for microplastics, the researchers found. The results of the study, conducted by Britta Baechler, a student in the university’s Earth, Environment and Society program, and Elise Granek, a professor of environmental science and management, were published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters.  Kale Williams reports. (Oregonian)

Federal Lawsuit Aims To Kill Stalled Methanol Refinery Project Along Columbia River
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday aims to keep one of the world’s biggest methanol refineries from being built along the Columbia River in Washington state. Plans for the $2 billion refinery, shipping terminal and pipeline project in the small city of Kalama are already stalled after a state board required further environmental review. Conservation and public health groups, including Columbia Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, sued in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to invalidate key federal permits as well. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press) See also: A small Washington town may build the world's largest methanol plant, but do locals want it?  In Kalama, the promise of jobs and the peril of greenhouse gas emissions are keeping neighbors divided over a proposed methanol plant to be built along the Columbia. Ian Edwards reports. (Crosscut)

Saving Sturgeon
Sturgeon are one of the more imperiled fish species in the world. Beloved of anglers, caviar fans, and Indigenous groups who have had a long relationship with this big prehistoric-looking fish, sturgeon have a confounding life history. We don’t know a lot about them, whether they’re swimming in Russian or Canadian waters. Writer Laura Trethewey gives readers a glimpse into the life of this enigmatic species in her new book The Imperiled Ocean: Human Stories from a Changing Sea, and that glimpse is lovely. (Hakai Magazine)

Wastewater 'nutrients' knocking Puget Sound ecosystem out of balance
Clean water experts say treated wastewater discharged into Puget Sound is harming fish, orcas, and the entire ecosystem. That’s why the Washington Department of Ecology is considering elevating water quality standards for sewage plants in Puget Sound. “This is coming from human waste," Alyssa Barton said. "This is coming from our toilets, our drains." Barton is a Policy Manager for Puget Soundkeeper Alliance – a non-profit that focuses on water quality. She, along with Washington Ecology, are concerned that treated wastewater funneled into Puget Sound has excessive levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in it. These chemicals are also called "nutrients" and in high levels, they can harm wildlife and the whole ecosystem in Puget Sound. Abby Acne reports. (KOMO) See also: Washington Water Pollution Clean-up Program Needs Fixing  (Northwest Environmental Advocates)

Extinction Rebellion UBC to stage week of protests starting today
Extinction Rebellion UBC (XRUBC) will kick off a week of climate action on campus beginning Tuesday to urge the university to divest from fossil fuels and achieve carbon neutrality within the next six years...Members of Extinction Rebellion UBC are hoping a divestment plan can be struck by 2020 and that carbon neutrality can be achieved by 2025. (Canadian Press)

Jefferson County to offer cost-sharing on sewage system fixes
Jefferson County Public Health has launched a cost-sharing program to help homeowners repair or replace their on-site sewage systems. The agency will focus on areas in Discovery Bay and along the Hood Canal near commercial shellfish operations to help improve water quality... The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program is funding about $300,000 through the state Department of Health.. The program will run until the funds are spent or through June 2021. Brian McLean reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Fish America Foundation Awards Four Habitat Improvement Grants
The FishAmerica Foundation, in conjunction with the Brunswick Public Foundation, has selected four grassroots organizations that are working to improve water quality and aquatic habitat for funding under this cooperative partnership...The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, located in Seattle, Wash., will use its funds to remove marine debris from the shorelines of the San Juan Islands area of the Salish Sea as well as marine debris and garbage throughout the San Juan Islands waters. Staff, volunteers and partners will remove the debris brought in by the large winter storms. (ASA News Release)

Bullet train for Cascadia urged on despite electorate's anti-tax mood
Tuesday's vote in Washington state to roll back car registration fees has scrambled transportation budgets. But Pacific Northwest rail advocates are undeterred in pursuing their vision of a bullet train connection between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. Microsoft hosted a high-power meeting of state policymakers, train manufacturers and rail supporters at the software giant's headquarters Thursday in conjunction with the U.S. High Speed Rail Association. At the Cascadia Rail Summit, enthusiasm to build a bullet train capable of going from Seattle to Portland -- or to Vancouver -- in one hour rubbed against an anti-tax message from the passage of Washington Initiative 976. Tom Banse reports. (NW Neews Network) See also: Does Cascadia High-Speed Rail have a future after Initiative 976? Gregory Scruggs reports. (Crosscut)

Upper Skagit tribal elder Violet 'Vi' Fernando dies at 97
Violet “Vi” Fernando, an integral part of the community fabric of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, died Saturday. At 97, she was the oldest living elder of the tribe, with five generations of descendants and many others in the tribal community who called her “Gramma.” Fernando lived an adventurous and storied life that began in Marblemount, took her to farm worker camps as far as California, and ended back in the Skagit Valley. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  235 AM PST Wed Nov 13 2019   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell  5 ft at 10 seconds.



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