Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7/9 Mom Springer, porpoises, oil train, crab volunteers, Boulevard Park, drones, dying from coal

PHOTO: Laurie MacBride
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes about artichokes: "Vegetable or flower? I guess it depends on your point of view. In the ornamental garden outside our neighbourhood restaurant, artichokes are grown for their lovely purple flowers, and never eaten. But in our own garden, we cut them long before their flowers can form, to enjoy as tender young vegetables. Botanically, artichokes are a type of thistle, but unlike most of their cousins, they’re very welcome in the garden..." Seeing the Art in Artichokes  /

New blog: "The bad joke used to be that the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority had no authority, the Puget Sound Action Team didn’t take much action, and the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council.. well, you can finish the bad joke. The Leadership Council meets in Skagit County this coming Wednesday and Thursday at the Padilla Bay Reserve..." Shhh...Puget Sound Partnership's Leadership At Work  

Springer, the orphaned orca that made headlines around Seattle 11 years ago when she was the first orca to be captured and reintroduced to her pod, is now a mom. The orca, also known as A73, was spotted near Vancouver Island with her baby on July 4, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Springer was discovered in January 2002 all alone along the ferry lanes off West Seattle, some 250 miles from her home waters of Johnstone Strait in British Columbia. Springer the orca is a new mom  

After nearly disappearing from local waters for decades, harbor porpoises are once again a common sight in Puget Sound. “They are back, big time,” says biologist John Calambokidis with the Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia. “They are probably the most common cetacean in Puget Sound.” Common in our inland waters through the 1940s and ’50s, harbor porpoises virtually disappeared in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal by the early 1970s. Lynda Mapes reports. Harbor porpoises now a common sight in Puget Sound  

The weekend’s deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train. By Monday afternoon the confirmed death toll had reached 13, with 50 people still missing after Saturday’s derailment of more than 70 tanker cars. They were filled with oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota - home of the largest oil boom in recent U.S. history. Bakken oil is also moving through the Northwest in increasing amounts, with three sites in Washington and Oregon receiving oil by train from North Dakota, and eight more in various stages of the permitting process. The proposals could bring oil trains to ports along the Columbia River, Puget Sound and the Washington coast. Ashley Ahearn reports. Canada’s Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern    And: Safety rules lag as oil transport by train rises  

Guys with badges and guns don't always elicit the most open and friendly response from crabbers. So the state Department of Fish & Wildlife's enforcement division is trying something new.... (Amanda) Flynn-Stach is a recreational crabber educator, a Washington State University Kitsap Extension volunteer who works with Fish & Wildlife to teach crab conservation and the many rules governing the recreational catch. She and about a half-dozen other volunteers began visiting docks and marinas around Kitsap just after the Dungeness season began July 1. While often wearing red crab-shaped beanies, the volunteers gently remind crabbers how to identify and measure crabs and the various ways they can prevent the all-too-common waste of what has become one of Puget Sound's most sought-after catches. Tristan Baurick reports. Volunteers help educate Puget Sound crabbers

Visitors to Boulevard Park will find a fence that runs much of the length of the park, cutting off access to a swath of lawn and the shoreline north of The Woods Coffee. The city of Bellingham has started its $422,079 project to take out the concrete riprap and return the beach to a natural state by replacing the rubble with material such as coarse sand, large rocks, cobbles and beach gravel. The project will reduce erosion, make getting to the water easier and improve near-shore habitat, Bellingham officials said. Kie Relyea reports. Project to rebuild Boulevard Park shoreline to be done by mid-October

They’re the tools of modern-day warfare: unmanned aircraft systems better known as drones. They’re also being tested to help carry our important scientific missions, including surveys of wildlife and marine debris in the National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. In the marina at La Push aboard the research vessel Tatoosh, two pilots dressed in dark blue uniforms run a pre-flight check on a Puma unmanned aircraft system. They’re with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the federal science agency that studies changes in our environment. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Feds testing drones for scientific and environmental missions

China's policy of giving free coal for heating to residents in the north has contributed to shaving 5.5 years off life expectancy there, a study says. It says air pollution from burning coal in the area north of the Huai River, with a population of some 500m people, was 55% higher than in the south. The region also had higher rates of heart and lung disease as a result of the policy in force up to 1980. China free coal policy in the north 'cut lifespans'    Read also: How to keep coal where it belongs: in the ground  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUL 9 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7
 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT OVERNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT. NW SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS.

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