Monday, August 5, 2013

8/5 Lummi coal, octopus ban, BC quake, Luna, orca ESA, orca enforcer, Port Angeles pier, feral rabbits, ocean fracking, Irish fish farms

Luna (Debra Brash/Times-Colonist)
New blog: "A few weeks ago our loyal and good friend Joe Spike the Dog was suffering in his infirmities too much and I made the hard decision to say good-bye and having him euthanized. Losing a good animal friend might have made me a bit more sensitive to animal news and encounters these last few weeks— and made me reflect on how we humans stand in relation to animals and to the wild..." Animals as Friends, Animals as Wild Creatures

In a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lummi Nation Chairman Tim Ballew says the tribe "has unconditional and unequivocal opposition" to the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export pier that SSA Marine hopes to build at Cherry Point. The letter is the 5,000-member tribe's formal effort to exercise its treaty right power to block developments that pose a threat to tribal fisheries. In the past, the Army Corps has acknowledged that power and has refused to process permits for projects if tribal objections cannot be resolved. John Stark reports. Lummi Nation sees no compromise on Gateway Pacific

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously decided (Friday) to ban  giant Pacific octopus hunting across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound. Nick Provenza reports. Washington commission restricts octopus hunting

A "moderate" quake shook the northern end of Vancouver Island early Sunday morning, waking many people in their beds as windows rattled and blinds swayed from the tremors. Earthquakes Canada said the 5.5 magnitude quake hit at about 6:20 a.m. local time about 25 kilometres west of Nootka Island, off the north coast of Vancouver Island. There were no reports of any damage or injuries, and no tsunami was expected. Earthquake rattles northern Vancouver Island, no injuries reported

...The release this summer of (Mike) Parfit and (Suzanne) Chisholm’s book, The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna, may be the last chapter of the couple’s involvement with the young killer whale that turned up alone in Nootka Sound seeking human contact. But Parfit and Chisholm’s time with Luna changed their lives forever — and they believe others were similarly affected during the controversy-ridden years the whale spent in Nootka Sound. The book, like Parfit and Chisholm’s award-winning documentary films, Saving Luna and The Whale — narrated by Ryan Reynolds and executive produced by Reynolds and his then-wife, Scarlett Johansson — does not answer the many questions that were raised by Luna’s short life, which ended in March 2006. Instead, Parfit said, the central theme is empathy. Judith Lavoie reports. Luna’s legacy of love and loss  

Killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound are a distinct population group and will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Friday. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service spent a year reviewing a petition to delist the orcas. The petition was brought by the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of California farmers who faced water restrictions to protect salmon the orcas eat. They argued the Puget Sound orcas were part of a larger north Pacific population and didn’t qualify for the 2005 endangered species listing. But NOAA spokesman Brian Gorman said those arguments were rejected. Doug Esser reports. Puget Sound orcas versus California farmers: Whales win    Read also: Orcas still ‘endangered’ as next steps contemplated  

Washington state is getting a new officer — one who will protect and serve killer whales. Federal funds will allow the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department to hire an officer to enforce laws protecting Puget Sound orcas.
The National Marine Fisheries Service says the department will use the $925,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to hire the enforcement officer for three years. Washington state to hire official to enforce orca protection laws

Rachel Benbrook writes: “The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group are now accepting applications for a comprehensive training program.  The Citizen Action Training School, or CATS, includes 12 weeks of class and field instruction on local watershed and Puget Sound ecology, as well as guidance about civic engagement around natural resources issues.  CATS is being offered throughout the region with the first sessions in Bellingham and South Sound starting mid-September.  For more info or to apply, go here  or email here.  Applications are due August 14th so get yours in soon for this comprehensive training program on local and regional Puget Sound recovery efforts!”

A 1,160-foot dock that has anchored Port of Port Angeles marine operations for 87 years is due to become more environmentally friendly. It's part of a $3 million project jointly funded by the federal government and the port in which toxic creosote piles will be replaced and the pier strengthened. Port officials received notice last week that they obtained preliminary approval for a $1.5 million U.S. Economic Development Agency, or EDA, investment assistance grant to redevelop the giant pier, known as Terminal 1. Paul Gottlieb reports. Port Angeles pier in line for $1.5 million grant

A local rescue organization says its efforts to help a colony of feral rabbits live hoppily ever after have been handcuffed by government red tape. Fifty of the furry creatures have been stranded in a spare garage at the Richmond Auto Mall, while officials with the province’s fish and wildlife branch determine whether they can issue permits for their transfer to safe harbour in B.C.  Richmond rabbit rescue runs aground on shoal of ‘red tape’  

Companies prospecting for oil off California's coast have used hydraulic fracturing on at least a dozen occasions to force open cracks beneath the seabed, and now regulators are investigating whether the practice should require a separate permit and be subject to stricter environmental review. While debate has raged over fracking on land, prompting efforts to ban or restrict it, offshore fracking has occurred with little attention in sensitive coastal waters where for decades new oil leases have been prohibited. Hundreds of pages of federal documents released by the government to The Associated Press and advocacy groups through the Freedom of Information Act show regulators have permitted fracking in the Pacific Ocean at least 12 times since the late 1990s, and have recently approved a new project. Alicia Chang and Jason Dearen report. Offshore fracking draws less attention than on land

The Aran Islands shield Galway Bay from the wild Atlantic beyond - a key reason its waters have been chosen as the proposed site for the country's biggest salmon farm by the sea fisheries state agency (BIM).The plan to double the farmed-salmon output of 15,000 tonnes a year pits those who say it is an under-developed resource badly needed in recession against those arguing it threatens the environment and wild salmon and sea trout stocks. Out on Inis Oirr island, the Irish-speaking community of fewer than 300 relies mostly on fishing and tourism. Bilingual posters oppose the farm. Background music to breakfast is a new protest CD against the scheme. Diarmaid Fleming reports. Irish battle over plans for Aran giant salmon farm

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 858 PM PDT SUN AUG 4 2013
MON
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. AREAS OF DENSE FOG IN THE MORNING.
MON NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. PATCHY DENSE FOG.
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