Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28 Dioxin, listeria, acidification, geoducks, BLM lands, BC whale watch, orca tracking, Navy training, Keystone XL OK

EPA map of dioxin "hotspots"
New blog: Puget Sound Partnership: Who Cares?

EPA has finally released its "science assessment" report that formally links dioxins to many serious and chronic health hazards that can be life-threatening to humans. The report validates the peer-reviewed findings of numerous research teams who had already found exposure to dioxin toxic to human health. A dioxin survey map from the EPA shows areas where the agency's baseline testing found toxic sediment hot-spots in Puget Sound "due to point source pollution outfalls and legacy manufacturing sites." Bellamy Pailthorp at KPLU reports: Puget Sound 'tub' tainted by industrial residue of toxic dioxin

A UBC researcher has found the potentially deadly listeria bacterium in ready-to-eat seafood in stores around the Lower Mainland – but in concentrations that aren’t a health threat for most people. Although the levels of the bacteria didn’t exceed federal guidelines, the strains present are alarming, said food microbiologist Kevin Allen at the University of British Columbia. Potentially deadly bacteria found in seafood at Lower Mainland stores

Craig Welch at the Seattle Times reports that scientists long have predicted climate change eventually would make waters more corrosive as oceans take up carbon dioxide. Scientists now are asking more complicated questions as they try to analyze how those changes may alter the way creatures function. They're no longer looking at simple questions of life or death. Nor are they studying chemistry in isolation, but in combination with other factors — such as shifts in water temperature or changes in wave action in tide pools. Ocean researchers dive deeper into Puget Sound's acidification

"Geoduck poaching is particularly damaging because the species grows slowly over a long period," said Phil Anderson of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Recent surveys have revealed that the natural recovery of the giant clams has been slowing or reversing years after the beds were closed to commercial harvests, and surveys note signs of active harvesting. Christopher Dunagan in the Kitsap Sun reports: Poaching hurts geoduck population growth

Absent an executive order from President Obama, legislation to designate federally managed land in the San Juan Islands as a National Conservation Area will continue to wend its way through Congress, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell says. “We’re hoping we can move the legislation sometime in the next year, but as you can see, back in Washington [DC] everything is not moving as quickly as we would like,” said Cantwell.  Officials still looking at making local lands federally protected

Whale-watching boats should stay 500 metres away from southern and northern resident killer whales and, when whales are found, they should not call other boats to the area, says a controversial report prepared by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre. However, a whale-watching industry spokesman says increasing distances would have little effect and that, instead, Fisheries and Oceans Canada must figure out how to increase the supply of chinook salmon for whales. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is holding consultations on action plans needed to help spur the recovery of endangered and threatened whale populations. 500-metre limit proposed for whale-watching boats in B.C.

Candace Calloway Whiting describes how NOAA researchers shot a tracking device into the dorsal fin of the young male orca “Mike” (J-26) a week ago to track the whereabouts of our local orcas during the winter season. The device worked-- for three days. Tracking Device on Orca Whale “Mike” Useless, Fails After Three Days

The Navy has announced it will draft an environmental-impact statement for the new permit for training and testing — possibly including a greater use of sonar -- which would allow incidental harassment of marine mammals. The current "take" permit expires in 2015. The new permit would cover activities at four existing training range complexes, including those along the Washington Coast and in Puget Sound. Navy begins review for increased training that could include more use of sonar

With President Obama under fire from Republicans over the rising cost of gasoline, the White House moved quickly Monday to trumpet a Canadian company's decision to build a section of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Houston after Obama blocked a longer path last month.  Obama backs plan to build part of pipeline

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE FEB 28 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM PST THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 30 TO 40 KT. COMBINED SEAS 5 TO 8 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14
 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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