Thursday, October 31, 2013

10/31 Mola, orcas, Vic sludge, Puget Sound pollution, big floods, Navy noise

Morning Mirror (Laurie MacBride)
Daybreak at One Boat Bay
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment shares a magical moment while sailing: "Some years ago, we stayed in a bay in BC’s Broughton Archipelago, a spot we’d never tried before and which has no name.  It was a little nook in a small island, offering just enough space to slip safely past the reef at its mouth and set down our anchor inside. It offered privacy, as there was no chance of other boats trying to anchor beside us. And it gave us a marvelous view in every direction – so lovely that we ended up staying for three days. Standing on our foredeck during that charmed time, I shot more photos than I could possibly count, often in exactly the same direction. Yet no two images from that sequence are alike, for the movement of sun, sea, fog and clouds brought a constantly changing panorama of light and colour... I was (and remain) smitten."

Huge fish ‘from Mars’ caught in Elliott Bay
On Tuesday night, Todd LaClair, a Muckleshoot tribal fisherman, got his gill net tangled into something huge in Elliott Bay off Harbor Island.... LaClair soon discovered that it was a giant sunfish — also known as a mola — which he estimated at 325 to 350 pounds. The fish was so large that he asked for assistance from a larger vessel, and with the help of three other people managed to bring the fish aboard... “There have been lots of weird fish showing up in Puget Sound this year,” said Mark Baltzell, a state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in Olympia. “There was a sunfish seen by a sport angler at Boston Harbor in Budd Inlet in southern Puget Sound, and a Pacific mackerel caught in Commencement Bay.” Mark Yuasa reports.

Orcas in Puget Sound near Seattle
Whale spotters say dozens of killer whales are still in Puget Sound where they have been seen by ferry passengers as well as people on shore. Howard Garrett of the Orca Network at Freeland says 30 to 35 were spotted again Wednesday from the ferry on the Edmonds-Kingston route. The killer whales had been spotted in the same area at sunset Tuesday after swimming past Seattle. The Orca Network reports members of the J and K pods have been in Puget Sound since Sunday.

CRD directors uphold ban on applying sewage sludge to land
In a move projected to add millions of dollars to the cost of treating Greater Victoria’s sewage, Capital Regional District politicians Wednesday overwhelmingly decided against overturning a 2011 ban on applying sewage sludge to land. The decision came after some six hours of presentations and debate. More than a dozen residents spoke in opposition to the change. CRD staff had recommended that directors reconsider the policy, which would have maintained a ban on applying biosolids on agricultural land used for food production, but would have opened the door for use in applications such as silviculture, mine reclamation, fertilizer soil amendments, landscaping and forage crops. But many directors said changing the policy wasn’t worth the risk. Bill Cleverley reports.

Clean-water advocates release frightening facts about pollution in Puget Sound
On the eve of Halloween, a local environmental advocacy group hopes to add a little fright to the night by releasing its list of scary facts about pollution and the Puget Sound. According to Environment Washington, the state's iconic waterway is haunted by stormwater runoff and toxic dumping, and now is the time for federal environmental leaders to step up and protect the Sound from unchecked pollution. Kiersten Throndsen reports.

National Weather Service Says Big Floods Likely This Winter
November, which marks the start of flood season in the Northwest, is just around the corner. And the National Weather Service says there is high potential for rivers to burst their banks from now through February. This winter will bring what is known as a “neutral” weather pattern; we won't see the milder El Niño nor the wetter, windier La Niña this winter. But that hardly means we get a break. A neutral winter can mean trouble for those who live or work near flood plains in western Washington as it brings the highest number of so-called “Pineapple Express” events during which an atmospheric river forms off the coast. Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

NAS Whidbey resumes practices; Fidalgo noise may increase
Fidalgo Island residents might hear some extra noise in the next few weeks as Naval Air Station Whidbey Island ramps up practices for their Electronic Attack Wing at Ault Field. The Field Carrier Landing Practices will begin on Nov. 4 in Oak Harbor and last for approximately three weeks, said a release from the base. These practices are crucial for pilots training to qualify for aircraft carrier operations. For the trainings, the base will use either runways 7/25 or 14/32, depending on conditions. This will be the first time runway 14/32 has been used for FCLPs since July. Kera Wanielista reports.

Here’s your Hallowe’en tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 915 AM PDT THU OCT 31 2013
TODAY
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING W. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 17 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 17 SECONDS.
--
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