Wednesday, August 1, 2012

8/1 Salish gathering, coal export, bird plastics, BirdNote, BC fish virus, global warming?, shellfish closures, saving marshes

BirdNote makes me happy, birdnote.org
First day of August and the sun’s shining this morning. Beautiful. Our news and weather website got 2,170 pageviews last month, totaling 15,408 pageviews since launch 11 months ago. Our Salish Sea Communications blog site got 1,736 pageviews last month, totaling 9,921 pageviews since launch 10 months ago. And many of you are subscribers reading this by email every morning. Subscribing by morning email is free.  Now, onto summer, in earnest.

Orca Network commemorates the 45 Southern Resident orcas captured in Washington State, the 13 orcas killed during the captures, and Lolita, the sole survivor of the captures at their annual Penn Cove Orca Capture Commemoration Wednesday, August 8th on Penn Cove and at the Coupeville Wharf on Whidbey Island. More info is at Orca Network.

The sounds of tribal drummers and singers flowed from a 30,000-square-foot tent Tuesday as the Paddle to Squaxin 2012 Canoe Journey unfolded at the Squaxin Island tribal center. The host tribe, aided by a small army of volunteers, is playing host this week to a gathering of more than 100 Coastal Salish tribes, the largest known gathering of cultures ever in the South Sound region. John Dodge reports.  More than 100 tribes gather at Squaxin Island tribal center

More voices are chiming in on the debate over proposed coal terminals in the Northwest. A new report adds sports fishermen and tribes to the opposition. It comes less than a week after proponents launched a campaign touting the benefits coal exports could bring. Bellamy Pailthorp reports.  New voices in debate over Northwest coal export terminals  

BNSF Railway Co. will join in the legal arguments swirling around the No Coal! initiative in Whatcom County Superior Court. After a brief hearing Tuesday, July 31, Judge Charles Snyder granted BNSF's motion to intervene in the case, because the railroad's interests are at stake as attorneys for the city of Bellingham and the No Coal! initiative argue whether that initiative should go before Bellingham voters in November. That initiative would ban the shipment of coal through the city by rail or other means. John Stark reports. BNSF joins legal case against Bellingham coal train initiative  

A new study suggests there’s been a dramatic increase in plastic pollution off the coast of the Pacific Northwest over the past 40 years. That’s after analysis of trash ingested by seabirds in Washington and British Columbia. The study looks at plastic eaten by northern Fulmars, a gull-like bird that forages at the surface of the ocean, scooping up things like squid or fish eggs. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Rising rate of plastics ingested by birds off the coast of Washington  

I've often meant to share how happy taking a look at the BirdNote website makes me feel. Today's piece in words and picture and sound is about the Call of the Loon. Listen up: BirdNote

A Clayoquot Sound salmon farm is under quarantine because of a positive test for a fish virus - and Friends of Clayoquot Sound say the outbreak illustrates the risks of approving any more fish farms in the sensitive area.  Fish farm quarantined after virus discovered  

If it seems like severe rain and snow storms are becoming more frequent in western Washington, that's because they are. A study by Environment Washington released Tuesday, July 31, claims this trend toward more frequent and more intense severe storms is caused by global warming - a claim that is in line with mainstream climate research A local weather expert isn't so sure. Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, said linking global warming to a particular weather trend is risky business. Study links Whatcom rains to global warming; local scientist raises doubts

State of the Oyster Study volunteers invite you to join them to look at bacterial contamination on privately owned beaches in Hood Canal and throughout Puget Sound. Property owners will collect shellfish on their privately owned beaches and bring them to convenient drop-off locations where volunteers, Washington Sea Grant staff, and WSU Extension staff will collect the samples and send them to a lab for testing. The price for testing is $25 for fecal coliform and $30 for Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  Shellfish testing on private Gig Harbor beaches this weekend and Aug. 29  

The state has closed some beaches in Snohomish and Island counties and in many other areas in the state to shellfish harvesting because of the presence of a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. Scattered beaches are closed to harvesting in Snohomish County, including from Picnic Point south to the county line. Beaches on Whidbey Island are closed to harvesting between Admiralty Head and Possession Point. Some or all beaches in Jefferson, Kitsap, King and Pierce counties also are closed. Some beaches closed to shellfish harvest  

In February of this year, scientists identified what may be the oldest living organisms on Earth: a gnarled mass of aquatic seagrass off the coast of Spain, thought to be 200,000 years old. About 8,000 kilometres away, in the estuary of the Squamish River, a gumbooted army of volunteers attempts to restore a once broad seagrass meadow, long ago destroyed by log booming. What the two aquatic gardens a hemisphere apart share is the potential to store more carbon than the thickest swathe of Amazonian rainforest, nurturing as much life concentrated into a smaller footprint. And while forests hold carbon for centuries at best, the sediments below such aquatic meadows can store carbon for millennia. Christopher Pollon writes. WHY SAVING MARSHES MIGHT SAVE CIVILIZATION  

Finding available moorage space is becoming a growing problem for Lower Mainland boat owners. Some marinas in False Creek and Coal Harbour have closed due to high land prices and expanding waterfront development. Others now cater towards bigger boats, which means fewer spots for those with smaller vessels. Moorage shortage a growing problem in Lower Mainland  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED AUG 1 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 2 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 2 FT AT 19 SECONDS...BECOMING W 2 FT AT 9
 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF RAIN OR DRIZZLE AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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