Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10/16 Oarfish, tasting oysters, BC/Alberta oil, glass sponge, Connie Gallant

PHOTO: AP
Top this, Puget Sound: 18-foot-long sea creature found off Calif. coast
A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass of an 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish. Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute needed more than 15 helpers to drag the giant sea creature with eyes the size of half dollars to shore Sunday. Christopher Weber reports.

New blog: Are We Capable of Protecting the Oceans? --Probably Not.
BBC News asked that question to a number of experts at the beginning of the month and, not being an expert, I’ve been grappling with an answer for the last couple of weeks.

If B.C. pipelines not built, oil will flow west by rail
B.C. and Alberta acknowledged Tuesday that if the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines to the west coast are not built, rail will fill the “void” to the coast. It’s the first time the B.C. Liberal government has stated that Alberta oilsands bitumen will flow to the B.C. coast and onto tankers destined for Asia whether or not pipelines are built. The acknowledgment came in a terms of reference released by B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford on their joint effort to co-operate on opening new markets and expanding exports for oil, gas and other resources. Gordon Hoekstra reports.

How an Oyster’s Environment Plays Into Its Taste  
When Jon Rowley stood at the headwaters of the Nisqually River on the southern slopes of Mt. Rainier, he couldn’t help but think of oysters. Now it could be that Rowley, a renowned seafood expert, has oysters on the brain perpetually, but as he peered down the gash left by the river and its retreating glacier, he says he had a “poetic moment.” Rowley thought about the glacial melt, the snow and the rain, the microscopic flora and fauna and the minerals steeping in the water, and the tributaries the Nisqually picks up on its way to Puget Sound. Everything the river flushes into the inlets and passages of the South Sound imparts flavor to the oysters grown in this area. If you chew on a Peale Passage Pacific oyster, for example, you’re tasting minerals that have been filtered down from Rainier’s flanks. Megan Hill reports.

Fragile glass sponges lead Sun reporter to bottom of Howe Sound
At 1:02 p.m. the swirl of fog lingering around Passage Island gives way to a cloudy olive hue as the three-person submersible Aquarius begins its descent to the ocean floor. As we plunge into the dark abyss, the submersible’s high-intensity lamps expose a stream of white nutrients and minutia of life known as marine snow visible just outside the bubble acrylic viewport. Larry Pynn reports.

Olympic Forest Coalition elects new president
Connie Gallant of Quilcene has been elected president of the Olympic Forest Coalition board. Former President John Woolley remains as vice president for the coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Quilcene. Gallant has served as volunteer vice president for several years, handling the group's administrative functions and public relations.  She also serves in another volunteer position, as chairwoman of the Wild Olympics Campaign, seeking to add wilderness and “wild and scenic” river designations on the Olympic Peninsula.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 312 AM PDT WED OCT 16 2013
TODAY
SE WIND 10 KT...BECOMING E TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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