Friday, October 25, 2013

10/25 BC orca behavior, Victoria sewage, coal money, 'Blackfish,' toxic algae, Bill Taylor

Snow Geese, Skagit Valley (PRISM)
If you like to listen: From BirdNote-- Paying Attention to Climate Change
While watching a flock of Snow Geese, Kurt Hoelting wondered if they were ever going to move; they seemed so content. Then, one by one, their heads began to bob. And after awhile, small groups started to fly away. Then suddenly, the entire flock peeled off the field. Kurt says, “When I think about something like climate change, maybe the whole flock doesn’t have to get it. Maybe just a few us have to notice that it’s time to move and start moving." In response to climate change, Kurt Hoelting gave up car and air travel for a year, relying mostly on his bike, boots, and kayak.
You can read about his experiences in The Circumference of Home: One Man's Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life.

Researcher: High death rate, 'puzzling' behavior in B.C. orcas
A Vancouver Aquarium researcher is sounding the alarm over "puzzling" changes he's observed in the killer whale pods that live off the southern British Columbia coast. Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard says he fears changes in the ocean environment are prompting odd behaviour and an unusually high mortality rate. Barrett-Lennard says the southern resident orca pod, which is found in the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland, has lost seven matriarchs over the past two years, and he's noticed a lack of vocalizations from the normally chatty mammals. The Vancouver Aquarium's cetacean research team says the whales were also seen the past two summers travelling in small groups, further offshore to find food - behaviour more typical in winter than summer. At the same time, the researcher says the number of normally transient killer whales has been increasing over the past 25 years.

Opponents of CRD sewage plan offer a proposal of their own
Opponents of Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment plan have pitched yet another alternative, this time involving a system of 15 smaller plants with a higher level of treatment, and gasification technology that could also handle the region’s garbage and kitchen scraps. The proposal, which advocates say could save the region millions over the long term, would replace the Capital Regional District’s current plan for a single treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and a biosolid sludge centre at Hartland landfill in Saanich. However, it would also need the backing of politicians on the CRD’s sewage committee, where a majority of directors have consistently voted to reject delays and proceed with the current plan. Rob Shaw reports.

Coal issue dominates Whatcom County election, but nobody’s talking about it
More than $1 million has flowed into races for four Whatcom County Council seats that could help determine whether a controversial coal-export terminal is built near Bellingham. Brian Rosenthal reports.

"Deplorable" condition of captive Puget Sound orcas in renewed spotlight
When a killer whale killed its trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida back in 2010, it sent shockwaves through an industry dependent on the regal mammals. But orca expert Howard Garrett tells the Ron and Don Show it shouldn't have been a surprise. "Tilikum hit the peak of frustration at that point and you can see it ," says Garrett, the co-founder of the Whidbey Island-based Orca Network. "He's been isolated and kicked around his whole life. It's no wonder. At some point he just cracked." The attack is the focus of "Blackfish," a new CNN documentary that traces the 39-year history of killer whales in captivity leading up to the 2010 killing of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound. Josh Kerns reports.

NW Researcher Says Toxic Algae Have A Competitive Edge
Pollution and climate change may be making freshwater algae blooms more toxic, according to a Northwest scientist’s newly published analysis. Oregon State University researcher Tim Otten’s article in the journal Science concludes that fertilizer pollution, wastewater, and a warming climate are fueling the growth of huge mats of green scum in lakes and reservoirs... Algae can pose a risk to drinking water because some species, notably cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, release powerful liver toxins and nerve toxins. A toxin called microsystin is particularly common. Amelia Templeton reports.

Bill Taylor of Taylor Shellfish enters Hall of Fame
Taylor Shellfish's Bill Taylor was inducted into the Hall of Fame this month -- Shaw's Crab House Oyster Hall of Fame in Chicago. Every year Shaw's Crab House honors an individual who has made a "significant or enduring contribution to Chicago's or America's oyster culture," according to a news release. Taylor was recognized during a multi-course induction dinner on Oct. 17, a dinner which featured Taylor Shellfish. Rolf Boone reports.

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI OCT 25 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS. AREAS OF DRIZZLE THIS MORNING. AREAS OF FOG THIS
 MORNING...THEN PATCHY FOG IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG...THEN  FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. FOG IN THE MORNING...THEN PATCHY FOG IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
--
"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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