Thursday, November 21, 2013

11/21 Freeze, Helena Star, glaciers & oysters, Seabeck junk, pinto abalone, Green R. grant, rain barrel art

PHOTO: Vancouver Aquarium
If you like to watch: Seals released with GPS trackers by Vancouver Aquarium
Five seals equipped with satellite transmitters were released by the Vancouver Aquarium Wednesday morning, in order to track how rehabilitated animals fare once released into the wild. The seals, which were cared for at the aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, were transported in dog kennels and released at Porteau Cove in Howe Sound, just north of Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway, on Wednesday morning, along with two other seals that were not equipped with transmitters.

A Hard Freeze and Modified Arctic Air Hits the Northwest
The air felt very different today.  Colder, drier and without a cloud in the sky.  And it was different, as we switched the  air mass over us from maritime polar to modified continental polar.    The result will be the first hard freeze over the region, with 20s being common west of the Cascade crest and teens in colder, valley locations.  Even colder in valley's east of the Cascade crest. Cliff Mass writes. And see:  Cliff Mass on the Northwest's naturalistic religion

Derelict ship could soon be removed from Hylebos Waterway
A derelict 167-foot boat that sank in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway 10 months ago could be raised and hauled off next month. The Helena Star went down Jan. 25, taking with it a former fishing vessel it was tied to and spilling nearly 1,000 gallons of diesel and lube oil into the water. Officials placed a containment boom to stop the rest of the spill from spreading. The other vessel, 130-foot Golden West, was moved Oct. 16, and its owner removed from it 10,500 gallons of recyclable oil. Stacia Glenn reports.

Bellingham audience told glaciers, oysters show climate change impacts
Northwest glaciers are shrinking and marine life is struggling as climate change makes itself felt on land and sea. That was the message that more than 200 members of Bellingham City Club heard Wednesday, Nov. 20, from glacier scientist Michele Koppes and Taylor Shellfish Farms public policy manager Bill Dewey... As of now, the approximately 700 glaciers in the North Cascade Mountains hold as much fresh water as all the region's rivers and lakes combined, but that total keeps dropping. In many areas of the North Cascades, the amount of water stored in mountain snow is down 45 to 60 percent since 1950 based on April measurements... John Stark reports. Meanwhile: How Rain Strengthens The Cascades Snowpack

Picturesque Puget Sound lagoon littered with toxic sea junk
Chainsaws shattered the quiet Tuesday at one of the most picturesque spots on Puget Sound. The natural estuaries in Nick's Lagoon in Seabeck, on Hood Canal, have a problem. "It's a toxic chemical," said Kristian Tollefson, a restoration specialist with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, referring to the creosote permeating the decades-old wood debris..."Yeah, that's actually a piece of ship," said Scott Phillips, a worker with Puget Soundcorp, part of the 12-man crew on site today beginning the removal of 15 tons of debris. "I'm not sure where it came from but we're cutting it up and getting it out." There is steel, metal floats, tires and more. But the most dangerous is the creosote-soaked wood debris. Lots of it.  Jeff Burnside reports.

Overfished pinto abalone to be considered for endangered list
A 6-inch Pacific Ocean marine snail prized for its delicate flavor and colorful shell will be considered for endangered or threatened species status. The National Marine Fisheries Service announced last week that it will conduct a status review for pinto abalone, which are found from Alaska to Baja California. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity filed petitions over the summer calling for the status review that could lead to added protections for the species. Dan Joling reports.

Middle Green River Coalition receives $10,000 grant for stewardship along Green River
The Rose Foundation selected the Middle Green River Coalition (MGRC) as a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund. The funding will support the continued water quality and habitat restoration project adjacent to Soos Creek along the Green River southeast of Auburn, near the Neeley Mansion. To date, MGRC has planted more than 3,000 native willow and cottonwood on the site and has maintained it to ensure the plants survive. The project expands on an existing Washington Department of Ecology grant that King County Department of Natural Resources received to remove blackberry and plant native vegetation along the creek to improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality.The Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund was created by a legal settlement between the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.

Everett seeks artists to create rain barrels
One of the more rainy places in the world is looking for artists to make rain barrels. The city of Everett is launching the program, "Let It Rain." The city is looking for artists to make creative rain barrels to display from February until summer in downtown Everett and at Everett Mall. Artists are asked to submit their design concepts by Friday. Rain barrels can be made with recycled materials. The city will buy the barrels for $300 each, for a total of $4,500. Up to 15 artists will be selected. Maria Damman reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU NOV 21 2013
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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