Thursday, October 24, 2013

10/24 Elwha fish, orca health, whale noise, Steller ESA, Donkey Cr., climate hearing, coal money, Kennedy Cr., Antarctic preserve

Elwha Chinook (USFWS/Dan Cook)
If you like to watch: Going Home
John Gussman shares: "With the lower Elwha Dam gone, and the Glines Canyon Dam scheduled to be gone in early 2014, the chinook salmon are coming back to their ancestral spawning grounds unreachable for the last 100 years. I spent a week in early September filming them in the Elwha River and one of its tributaries, Indian Creek."

Research shows Orca population in Puget Sound is dwindling  
New research reveals the number of the Orca population in Puget Sound is dwindling -- especially among reproductive age males. "That's clear, they're not recovering," said Bruce Stedman, who heads-up the Orca Relief Citizens' Alliance. He points to numbers from the Center for Whale Research and NOAA, which Stedman claims since 2009, the number of reproductive-age males is down 26 percent, and there are only 14 reproductive age male Orca left. And he worries if those numbers don't get better soon, the result could be devastating. Luke Duecy reports.

Whales in B.C. bombarded by constant shipping noise
A bombardment of constant shipping noise and increased tanker traffic is putting whales along the B.C. coast at ever-greater risk, a new international study concludes. Endangered killer whales are suffering the highest levels of noise in their designated critical habitat while threatened fin and humpback whales living in some of the quietest waters are at risk from increased tanker traffic associated with planned LNG and pipeline projects.... The study, published Tuesday in the journal Animal Conservation, notes that shipping noise is considered a serious threat by inhibiting the ability of whales to communicate, search for prey, navigate and select mates. Military sonar and seismic surveys are other forms of underground noise that can damage or even kill whales, other cetaceans and fish. Larry Pynn reports.

Steller sea lions taken off threatened species list by NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking the eastern population of Steller sea lion off the threatened species list. Spokeswoman Julie Speegle said the eastern population has met recovery criteria the agency set out in 2008. In 1979, the federal agency estimated about 18,000 sea lions were in the eastern population, which stretches from Alaska's Panhandle to California's Channel Islands. That number rose to more than 70,000 by 2010, the most recent year a count was available. The western population of Steller sea lions, stretching from Cape Suckling, Alaska, west to Russian waters, remains listed as endangered.

Gig Harbor's Donkey Creek project opens with ceremony, blessing from Puyallup Tribe
It was a blessing for both the past and the future at Donkey Creek in downtown Gig Harbor. Up to 5,000 years ago, the spot where people gathered to see the opening of the Donkey Creek project was filled with the Puyallup Tribe’s ancestors, said Brandon Reynon, archaeologist for the Puyallup Tribe. As they hunted, fished and lived, they enjoyed the land in the same ways many in Gig Harbor do today....Beginning in March, the project started to restore the stream and estuary in the space between Donkey Creek Park and Gig Harbor Bay. The project also included road improvements that widened sidewalks and built a bridge on North Harborview Drive. Notably, the bridge removed a 300-foot pipe that salmon previously had to swim through in order to reach spawning grounds. Karen Miller reports.

Governor Inslee’s Climate Hearing In Seattle Draws Large Environmental Crowd
More than 500 people packed into a waterfront convention center on a foggy Wednesday night to tell Governor Inslee and other lawmakers what they think the state needs to do to reduce green house gas emissions. Ideas ranged from improving public transportation to instituting policies and incentives fostering clean technology companies and alternative energy sources.... Again and again, people took the microphone and asked the politicians before them to “stay strong” and put a price on carbon by putting a carbon tax or a cap and trade system in place... The other theme that ran throughout the evening was the issue of fossil fuel exports in the Northwest.  Ashley Ahearn reports.

Coal terminal, outside money at issue in Whatcom County Council races
Candidates for Whatcom County Council aren't talking about it, and a decision on a proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point is more than two years away - if it comes at all. But if you follow the money entering the four council races in the Nov. 5 election, most of it leads to coal - either people in the industry who want to see the terminal built, or a conservation group that is waging a campaign to see the terminal proposal fail. Ralph Schwartz reports.

Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail opens soon
The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail between Olympia and Shelton is set to open to the public Nov. 2, providing birds-eye viewing of the creek's fall chum salmon run. The half-mile trail, which has been open each salmon spawning season for 14 years, is sponsored by the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, and plays host to some 5,000 people each year. Visitors are welcome 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends through Dec. 1, as well as Veteran's Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Delegates To Debate Watered-Down Plan For Antarctic Marine Preserve
Less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are set aside as protected areas, but diplomats meeting now in Australia could substantially increase that figure. Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union have convened to consider proposals to create vast new marine protected areas around Antarctica. This same group met over the summer and didn't reach consensus, so it's now considering a scaled-back proposal. Richard Harris reports.

And, if you truly like to watch: Mauna Kea Heavens Timelapse
Sean Goebel shares: Timelapse of the observatories atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The summit is at an altitude of nearly 14,000 ft and is the premiere site for astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere. And furthermore, Astronomers Discover the Most Distant Known Galaxy: Galaxy Seen as It Was Just 700 Million Years After Big Bang

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU OCT 24 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS. DENSE FOG WITH
 VISIBILITY LESS THAN 1/4 NM THIS MORNING...THEN PATCHY FOG IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG...THEN AREAS OF FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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