Friday, August 30, 2013

8/30 Mazama gopher, Buckley Dam, Fraser sockeye, crabbing close, Longview coal, megaquake, tanning whales

Nest Making (Chris Peterson)
If you like to listen: Here they come! Kindergartners are entering the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom on Washington’s Whidbey Island to learn about birds. “It’s critical for our students to get into a practical application of what they’re learning in their classroom,” says Dr. Jo Moccia, Superintendent of the South Whidbey School District. “The Outdoor Classroom . . . is cared for by the Whidbey Watersheds group, and it’s really a win-win for our community.” BirdNote: Children Study Birds at Maxwelton Outdoor School

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing a controversial decision on whether to list the Mazama pocket gopher as a threatened species in the South Puget Sound area. Washington State manager Ken Berg says his agency wants six additional months to consider input from upset landowners and affected counties. Berg says farmers and ranchers in Thurston County claim there are more pocket gophers than the government realizes and that they can co-exist with human activity. Tom Banse reports. Feds Delay Controversial Decision On Pocket Gopher Protection  

Right now there are tens of thousands of salmon dying at the base of an outdated dam on the White River east of Tacoma. Local tribes say the federal government is failing in its responsibility to transport the fish around the dams on this river, and into prime spawning habitat in the Mount Rainier watershed. The Buckley Diversion Dam is a small dam on the White River about 25 river miles from Tacoma. It was built in 1911 and hasn’t really been updated since. For tens of thousands of pink salmon, it’s the end of the road. Ashley Ahearn reports. Wash. Tribes Grow Impatient With Fish-Killing Dam

A Fisheries and Oceans spokesman says a population of Fraser River sockeye salmon that had dwindled to such alarming numbers it prompted a federal inquiry is showing signs of improvement. About 1.4 million to 1.6 million sockeye out of an estimated run of 10 million returned to the river in 2009, leading the federal government to call an inquiry led by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen. Jeff Grout, a regional Fisheries manager, says the offspring from the 2009 run are now making their own way back up the Fraser and the department estimates those numbers could hit four million. Fraser River sockeye numbers show signs of improvement

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is closing most areas of Puget Sound to recreational crab fishing beginning at sunset Monday. The only two areas to remain open after Labor Day will be marine areas 7-North and 7-South, near the San Juan Islands. Sport fishers crabbing in those two areas after Sept. 2 must record their catch on winter catch record cards. All sport fishers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab in the Puget Sound have through October 1 to submit summer catch reports to WDFW. Most of Puget Sound closing to crabbing Monday

The magic number for Millennium, the giant coal terminal proposed at Longview on the Columbia River, is not 44 million — that’s how many tons of coal would be shipped annually. It's 432. As in State Route 432, or at least the stretch of highway where traffic crossing the Lewis & Clark Bridge merges with the railroad tracks and streets that serve the busy Port of Longview and assorted major industries. “There’s no way you can put coal trains through Longview without fixing SR 432,” is the blunt assessment from Gary Lindstrom, marine consultant and former Port of Longview marketing director. “It’s a nightmare to me.” Floyd McKay reports. The elephant in the room on the Longview coal port  

It's been a busy summer on the high seas for researchers trying to figure out the inner workings of an ominous earthquake fault. The Cascadia subduction zone runs offshore from Vancouver Island to Northern California. When it rips, we could have a magnitude-9.0 catastrophe.  University of Washington geophysicist Paul Johnson led a nearly month-long research cruise to the likely epicenter for the Big One. His ship carried an unmanned mini-sub to probe the sea floor directly over the still somewhat-mysterious Cascadia earthquake fault. Tom Banse reports. Research Cruise Reveals New Findings about Megaquake Fault

Some pale whales appear to tan in order to protect themselves from sunburn, says a new study. An international team of scientists took mitochondrial DNA samples from blue whales, fin whales and sperm whales to check for genetic damage from ultraviolet rays. They found that higher melanin levels in the whale's skin correlated with lower levels of skin lesions and DNA damage, suggesting melanin protects the ocean mammals from sun damage. Dene Moore reports.  Scientists find some whales sun tan to protect themselves from sunburns

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI AUG 30 2013
TODAY
S WIND TO 10 KT THIS MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS THIS MORNING. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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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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Thursday, August 29, 2013

8/29 Tethys, Shell Oil trains, PNW frog, Oly shores

Tethys, they say, once had a lock on all the drinkable water in the world. That was some time ago, when Tethys was the goddess of fresh water, which the ancient Greeks knew to be the most precious resource in the universe. These days you’re more likely to run into Tethys as a corporation with a thirst to build the nation’s largest bottling plant, in Anacortes; however, the Planning Director of that city says we may not call it a bottling plant. It is, rather, a “food grade beverage manufacturing facility.” Whatever it is, it’s expected to become the size of 17 football fields and drink five million gallons of Skagit River water per day. The CEO of Tethys Enterprises, Inc. says 500 or more people will work there, once the plant’s in full production. It is a very big deal on tiny Fidalgo Island, population 20,000. Bob Simmons reports. Bottled Up  

On Thursday morning Shell Oil will be meeting with officials from a county in Washington state to talk about plans to build a rail extension to deliver oil from North Dakota to its refinery near Puget Sound. Shell Oil wants to build a 5,500 foot-long rail extension to bring oil trains from the existing BNSF Railway line to their refinery in Anacortes, according to the pre-development meeting documents. The tracks would enable up to six trains per week to deliver petroleum from the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota - trains measuring more than a mile in length. Ashley Ahearn reports. Shell Moving Ahead On Oil Train Project For Puget Sound Refinery

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to protect the Oregon spotted frog as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Fish and Wildlife also proposes to designate 68,192 acres and 23 miles of streams in Washington and Oregon as critical habitat for the aquatic frog, a species that rarely emerges on land. A 60-day public comment period begins today, and Fish and Wildlife will collect scientific and commercial data over the next year before making a final decision on the proposal. Kimberly Cauvel reports.   Pacific Northwest frog proposed as “threatened” species  

In a meeting lasting more than six hours Tuesday night, the Olympia City Council mostly eliminated the possibility to erect buildings next to the Budd Inlet shoreline, a move billed as the council’s final direction on its Shoreline Master Program. The direction taken was a significant change from even the latest draft of the plan that the council spent more than a year developing before the meeting. Here are some of the changes: Matt Batcheldor reports. Council’s Shoreline direction restricts waterfront building

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU AUG 29 2013
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING. SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SHOWERS LIKELY AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS 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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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/28 Mega-ships, wastewater fees, steelhead vs chum

RTF (houghtonmifflinbooks.com)
If you like to listen: August 28th is the birth anniversary of Roger Tory Peterson. He was born in 1908 and died in 1996. RTP, as he was known, wrote A Field Guide to the Birds. His favorite bird? The King Penguin. He explains his fascination with birds: "...They are attractive, they sound off with spirit, and they can fly wherever they choose, whenever they choose... The truth is, the birds could very well live without us, but many - perhaps all - of us would find life ... almost intolerable without the birds." Happy Birthday, RTP, and thanks.  BirdNote: Happy Birthday, Roger Tory Peterson  

New blog: President Obama established by executive order the San Juan Islands National Monument last March and this week activists on Lopez Island met Bureau of Land Management Interim Monument Manager Marcia deChandenedes (pronounced, she says, like the white wine we all enjoy.)... Next Steps to the San Juan Islands National Monument  

One of the world’s largest ships arrived at the Port of Tacoma Sunday morning. The Zim Djibouti slipped in at dawn, carrying loads of goods for big box stores. The vessel is 10,000 TEUs in size, meaning it holds 5,000 shipping containers. When the Zim Djibouti appeared on Sunday, fresh from a port in Vancouver, B.C., containers were 18 across on its upper deck. The ship is part of a new wave of cargo ships emerging from Asian shipyards. They’re super-sized to save fuel costs. Carolyn Adolph reports. Mega-Ships Big Opportunity For Northwest Ports  

The state Department of Ecology has proposed a fee increase for some types of wastewater discharge permits and is accepting public comment on the proposal through Oct. 1. Permits for dairies, concentrated animal feeding operations, aquatic pest control, boatyards, stormwater and large municipal wastewater treatment plants would see an increase of 4.55 percent in 2014 and 4.63 in 2015. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Public comment period for wasterwater permit fee increase  

Billy Blewett runs one of the most famous fishing lodges in the world on British Columbia’s Dean River, where the steelhead are renowned for being big and plentiful. But he has been apologizing to his clients at the Lower Dean River Lodge lately because so few fish are being caught – and many of those are scarred from being entangled in nets. Mr. Blewett and others are blaming the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans because it allowed a commercial chum fishery that has concentrated more than 150 fishing boats in the area of the Dean Channel, near Bella Coola. Mark Hume reports. Steelhead stocks on Dean River ‘hammered’ by chum fishery

Now, your tug weather-
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 755 AM PDT WED AUG 28 2013
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. AREAS OF DENSE FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
VARIABLE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/27 BC orcas, industrial stormwater, BC mineral permit, Snohomish grants, underwater sights, Columbia R. gillnets

Janusz Kowalski/YouTube
If you like to watch: Janusz Kowalski has seen orcas in Active Pass before, but not so many from so close — splashing and diving as they swam by the Galiano Island shore — and not while he was filming. Kowalski shot 3½ minutes of the up-close swim-by and posted the footage on YouTube on Sunday. Whale pod makes a splash in B.C. video close-up

As part of ongoing federal and state efforts to restore Puget Sound, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing enforcement actions against four Seattle-area companies for discharging industrial stormwater in violation of the Clean Water Act....Ash Grove Cement, Merlino Construction, and Waste Management in list of settlement... EPA focusing on industrial stormwater compliance, targeting a serious threat to Puget Sound water quality

Natives in Tofino are outraged that the B.C. government has issued a mineral-exploration permit for an area of Clayoquot Sound in which they have declared a tribal park. The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is seeking a meeting with Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett to outline its opposition to Vancouver-based Selkirk Metals Corp., a subsidiary of Imperial Metals Corp., exploring for gold in the Tranquil Valley, about 20 kilometres northeast of Tofino. Larry Pynn reports. B.C. issues contentious mineral-exploration permit in Clayoquot Sound

Snohomish County should use $25 million in conservation grants to protect land near Meadowdale Beach Park, Japanese Gulch and the Port Susan estuary, an advisory board said Friday. The Conservation Futures Advisory Board's recommendations include $3.5 million to extend the Centennial Trail south from Snohomish to Woodinville. Other potential land purchases are sprinkled throughout the county. Noah Haglund reports. Mixed uses seen for $25M in conservation grants  

There are psychedelic colours, underwater chimneys, decaying bodies and strange, strange creatures under the ocean off the coast of Vancouver Island. Across the globe, scientists and students are watching as the watery world reveals some of its secrets. Judith Lavoie reports. What's at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Vancouver Island?

A court in Washington state has dismissed a lawsuit filed by commercial gill netting groups. The lawsuit challenged a new policy proposed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and adopted earlier this year by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The policy would eventually ban the use of non-tribal gill nets for salmon fishing on the main channel of Columbia River. It would still allow them in certain side channels. Cassandra Profitta reports. Wash. Court Dismisses Gillnetters’ Lawsuit

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE AUG 27 2013
TODAY
SE WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Monday, August 26, 2013

8/26 Orca Watcher, BC oil spills, Fraser poaching, Oly shores, Bainbridge land, Dungeness pollution, fishers, recognizing tribes

L79 south of Stuart (Erik Stockdale/WikiCommons)
Orca Watcher blogs: "No Southern Resident Killer Whales were seen from July 20 to August 7, an unusually lengthy absence during the summer months though not entirely unheard of (in 2000 they were gone for five weeks!) On August 7th a somewhat surprising group of whales returned to the westside of San Juan Island - the L54 matriline along with orphaned boys L88 Wavewalker and L84 Nyssa..."  An August Whale Update  

Officials in British Columbia privately warned the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and future oil traffic, and even a moderate spill would overwhelm their ability to respond, documents show. Ottawa's decision to deal with coastal oil spills from a base in Quebec would make it much harder to contain spills, and Transport Canada and the Coast Guard lack the needed "environmental expertise" to manage them, officials said the documents obtained by The Canadian Press under freedom of information laws. Stanley Tromp reports. B.C. worries oil spill would "overwhelm" resources  

Conservation officers have seized another five nets from poachers along the Fraser River despite a ban on fishing for all salmon species. DFO spokeswoman Nicole Gallant said the seizures happened Friday night and Saturday morning. Four nets were seized in the Fraser Canyon, while the other was found near the Port Mann Bridge.  5 nets seized on Fraser River despite salmon fishing ban  

The Olympia City Council is gearing up for a marathon session Tuesday, when it is scheduled to give final deliberations on the Shoreline Master Program. Council members will meet beginning at 5:30 p.m. instead of the regular 7 p.m. start time. Council meetings already often last more than three hours, so a four- or five-hour meeting wouldn’t be out of the question. By the end of Tuesday, the council could give its final recommendations to staff for the plan. The matter would hopefully come back to the council on Sept. 17, city planning director Keith Stahley said. After the council adopts a final ordinance, perhaps in October, staff would transmit it to the state Department of Ecology for final approval. That process could take up to a year. Matt Batcheldor reports. Key discussion on shoreline plan this week

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust has been awarded two grants that will help purchase and preserve 12.5 acres of intact shoreline and upland habitat along Agate Passage. “This exquisite piece of Bainbridge embraces ‘all the parts’ of nature’s design - and now they’re permanently protected for the future, too,” said Brenda Padgham, stewardship director for the land trust. The property includes 7.43 acres of mature, second-growth forest that rise above high sandbanks, or “feeder bluffs.”  Grants help finalize land trust purchase of land along Agate Passage

Several agencies are starting to develop a plan to identify and clean up sources of pollution in the Clean Water District of the Dungeness Valley.  They’re looking to model their plan on Kitsap County, where landowners who refuse to reduce runoff or other pollution are fined. What they currently lack, however, are the funds to monitor stream quality and enforce regulation, according to agency workers who spoke in Sequim recently.  The Clean Water District includes the Dungeness Valley, extending from the eastern Clallam County line to Bagley Creek west of Sequim. Joe Smillie reports. Dungeness pollution plan could include penalties

A predator that disappeared from Washington state two decades ago is in the midst of a comeback, and wildlife officials are looking to give the cat-sized carnivore known as the fisher some new help. Wildlife officials, who reintroduced 90 fishers to the Olympic Peninsula a few years ago, are now preparing a plan to reintroduce more of the weasel-like animals to Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks as early as 2015. Rachel La Corte reports. Small carnivore proposed for return to Cascades parks  

His tribe once controlled huge swaths of what is now New York and Connecticut, but the shrunken reservation presided over by Alan Russell today hosts little more than four mostly dilapidated homes and a pair of rattlesnake dens. The Schaghticoke Indian Tribe leader believes its fortunes may soon be improving. As the U.S. Interior Department overhauls its rules for recognizing American Indian tribes, a nod from the federal government appears within reach, potentially bolstering its claims to surrounding land and opening the door to a tribal-owned casino....The rules floated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, intended to streamline the approval process, are seen by some as lowering the bar through changes such as one requiring that tribes demonstrate political continuity since 1934 and not "first contact" with European settlers. Across the country, the push is setting up battles with host communities and already recognized tribes who fear upheaval. Michael Melia reports. U.S. overhauls process for recognizing Indian tribes  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON AUG 26 2013
TODAY
E WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

8/23 Carbon superhighway, Cornwall landfill, Fraser poachers, Peninsula restoration, compost odor, algae scum, SnoCo land

Banner by Shaun Hubbard
The cumulative effect of coal and oil export projects proposed on the U.S and Canadian sides of the Salish Sea will turn the area into a carbon superhighway, say environmental groups on both sides of the border. Proposals such as doubling the size of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which would equate to 400 extra tankers a year, as well as the proposed Fraser Surrey Docks coal terminal expansion and the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export facility, planned for Cherry Point, Wash., should be considered together rather than in isolation, said members of the Wilderness Committee and Georgia Strait Alliance, who held a town hall meeting at Arbutus Cove Wednesday. The meeting, which had scenic Haro Strait as a backdrop, was held simultaneously with a town-hall meeting on San Juan Island, organized by the Friends of the San Juans, and both groups then shared their concerns through a teleconference. Judith Lavoie reports. Projects threaten to turn Salish Sea into carbon superhighway, groups say

Proposed environmental cleanup strategies for the Cornwall Avenue landfill site are available for public review and comment now through Sept. 20, 2013. The 16-acre site is on Bellingham Bay between Boulevard Park and the former Georgia-Pacific pulp mill. It is a key parcel in city and Port of Bellingham plans for a revitalized waterfront. According to preliminary plans, most of the site eventually would be turned into a new city park with a walkway over the water to Boulevard Park. John Stark reports. Public invited to comment on Cornwall Avenue landfill cleanup

Conservation officials are warning poachers to get their nets out of the Fraser River. This year's disastrous sockeye salmon runs have prompted the closure of all commercial and recreational fisheries. But enforcement officials say they've pulled up dozens of illegal nets and seized several vessels in the last week alone. DFO targets salmon poachers on Fraser River

A $1.2 million restoration of a portion of Discovery Bay and a $261,963 cleanup in the area around the former 3 Crabs Restaurant near Sequim are among 20 projects in 10 counties to receive state funding to bring areas back to their natural states. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is distributing $12 million in state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to sponsor undertaking projects aimed at protecting and restoring shorelines around Puget Sound. The combined award in Jefferson and Clallam counties is $2,171,476. A total of $1,909,513 is going to four projects in Jefferson County, with the largest — $1,219,912 — to be used to remove a railroad grade and restore 16 acres of salt marsh and estuary near the Snow and Salmon creeks. State awards funds for habitat restoration in Jefferson, Clallam counties

The Capital Regional District faced both praise and criticism Wednesday for suspending the licence of a Central Saanich composting facility due to odour complaints. The lawyer for Foundation Organics Ltd. called the suspension “counterproductive” and warned that taxpayers could be on the hook for financial harm to the company. But Central Saanich residents, who have complained about strong smells emanating from the property, cheered the decision. Lindssay Kines reports. Compost-facility battle heats up after CRD suspends licence over foul odour http://www.timescolonist.com/news/compost-facility-battle-heats-up-after-crd-suspends-licence-over-foul-odour-1.597278

Algae scum is collecting on the north end of Black Lake, creating a smell but no toxins to date, according to the Thurston County Environmental Health Department. Severe algae bloom has been occurring on Black Lake, according to Sue Davis of the county environmental health division. As a result, algae scum has been pushed to the north end of the lake by wind and is decomposing. The Health Department takes samples weekly, but has not detected any toxins. Regardless, Davis urged those who frequent the lake to avoid swimming in areas where algae scum is on the surface or where there is so much algae in the water that they cannot see their feet while wading. Chelsea Krotzer reports. Black Lake algae scum smelly, nontoxic

A developer wants to build 70 houses on 13 acres now covered with cedar, fir and maple. For years, the neighbors have tried to have the area close to bustling Lynnwood annexed to Meadowdale County Park so it remains in its natural state. In Mukilteo, Stanwood and other cities, there are similar stories — large parcels of undeveloped property in urban-growth areas that are destined for development unless purchased as designated open space or a park. This week, the Snohomish County Conservation Futures advisory council began listening to $34 million in proposals from cities, the nonprofit conservation group Forterra, and the Snohomish County Parks Department, all competing for $25 million in public money. Nancy Bartley reports. Conservation panel hears plans to preserve Snohomish County land

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI AUG 23 2013
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT THIS MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF DRIZZLE THIS MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
SAT
SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

8/22 Salmon survival, bleeding herring, no pipe sign, San Juan MRC, Seahurst Beach, B'ham water, whale watch, Thurston bag ban

Quinault fishing (Edward Curtis 1913)
Leaders on salmon research and recovery from the U. S. and Canada came together in Seattle Wednesday to announce a new project. It’s called the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and it’s meant to address a major question: Why aren’t salmon and steelhead in Washington and Canadian waters recovering, despite the millions of dollars that have been spent on research and habitat restoration? “We have a fairly clear idea of what salmon need and what they’re doing in the freshwater environment. We know considerably less about the marine systems,” said Jacques White, executive director of Long Live The Kings. The Seattle-based non-profit is coordinating the effort along with the Pacific Salmon Foundation in B.C. Ashley Ahearn reports. Can-Am Leaders Launch Salmon Recovery Effort

If you like to watch: Bettina Hansen photographs Butterfly buoys float Duwamish

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has confirmed a report by independent researcher Alexandra Morton that there are diseased herring in Johnstone Strait, near the north end of Vancouver Island. But Arlene Tompkins, acting manager of salmon health for DFO, said it is too early to say what is causing the herring to hemorrhage or how serious the outbreak is. Mark Hume reports. Bleeding herring in Johnstone Strait tested for disease  

A controversial anti-pipeline sign on the side of a grocery store in Burns Lake, B.C., will be allowed to remain, the local village council has ruled. Last month, the billboard on the side of Gwyn's Green Grocer sparked a controversy with the message, "Pure water. Wild salmon. No Enbridge pipeline." The village council received some complaints about the sign being offensive, and launched a review. At a meeting last night, councillors decided the sign could stay. 'No Enbridge pipeline' sign stays, says B.C. town  

A newly established policy that ushered in term limits to San Juan County's numerous advisory committees could lead to a major overhaul of the MRC. Eight positions on the Marine Resources Committee will be appointed by the County Council in the coming weeks and a new MRC coordinator will soon be announced. On July 30, Philip Green, Robin Hirsch and Chuck Schietinger were appointed to MRC positions 2, 1 and 4, respectively. Steve Wehrly reports. Will term limits lead to MRC overhaul?

It was a busy morning along the north shore of Seahurst Beach park where naturalists from the Seattle Aquarium and other volunteers combed the beach trying to find various sea creatures that need to be relocated. Next month, the north wall will be torn down. Without help, the creatures that live here could be killed during the construction process. Cassie Campbell reports. At Seahurst Beach, volunteers get their hands in the sand where the critters live

The city (of Bellingham) is considering a new agreement that would enable it to pull water out of the Nooksack River in Lynden and Ferndale, instead of at the existing Middle Fork diversion site much farther upstream. The other parties to the deal would be the city of Lynden and the Whatcom County Public Utility District. Lynden and the PUD have existing river water intake facilities that the city could use. The Washington Department of Ecology also would have to give the new arrangement its blessing. The people involved say there is no actual water transfer deal in the works, but the new arrangement - if approved - could be one small step toward a solution of countywide water rights issues that have bedeviled local governments for many years. John Stark reports. Nooksack River deal could set stage for shift of Bellingham water supply

When you think of going whale watching, you probably envision taking a boat. But there’s a place on San Juan Island that’s considered one of the best places in the world to see killer whales from shore. Informally, the Lime Kiln Point State Park is called Whale Watch Park, and for good reason. Volunteer guide Patti Wickham with Friends of Lime Kiln says when the orcas come by, you can really see them. “I’ve watched people get totally soaked by the breaching and the splashing. It’s pretty cool,” Wickham said. Paula Wissel reports. San Juan Island Park Offers World-Class Whale Watching from Shore

A public hearing discussing the possible ban of plastic carryout bags in unincorporated Thurston County has been set for next month, according to a news release. The public hearing before the Thurston County Commissioners is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in Building One of the Thurston County Courthouse. The proposed ordinance referring to the ban was announced shortly after Thurston County waste and recycling provider LeMay Incorporated said they would discontinue collecting plastic carryout bags and other plastic film Oct. 1. Chelsea Krotzer reports. Thurston County to hold public hearing on plastic bag ban

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU AUG 22 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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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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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8/21 NOAA grants, coastal floods, McGinn's coal, B'ham waterfront, Heck & Kilmer, Wild Sky, sand dollar, salmon shark

Northern flicker (WikiCommons)
If you like to listen: Woodpeckers - including this Northern Flicker - are master carpenters of the bird world. They're called "keystone species" for their crucial role in creating habitat suited to other woodland wildlife. Abandoned woodpecker nest-holes become nests or roosts for small owls, cavity-nesting ducks, swifts, bluebirds, swallows, wrens, and other birds, as well as many small mammals. BirdNote: Woodpeckers as Keystone Species  

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced $3.7 million in grants Tuesday for fish-habitat restoration in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The largest grant, $1.4 million, goes for three projects to restore nearly 500 acres of flood-plain habitat on Puget Sound. An additional $1 million with Snohomish County will help restore nearly 330 acres of wetland in the Snohomish River estuary. $3.7M in NOAA fish-habitat grants awarded to 3 NW states

Coastal flooding caused by global warming could cost the global economy $1 trillion a year in coming decades and Vancouver is one of the cities most at risk for losses, says a new study. The article, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, is part of an ongoing project by the Organization for Economic Co-operation. "This work shows that flood risk is rising in coastal cities globally due to a range of factors, including sea-level rise," Robert Nicholls, a professor of coastal engineering at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and co-author of the study, said in a news release. Nicholls told CBC News that Vancouver is on the list of vulnerable cities because of its large population living along the coastal flood plain. Future flooding scenario shows Metro Vancouver at risk

Eric de Place at Sightline sets the record straight on what the Mayor McGinn's Seattle report on coal exports says and doesn't say-- and takes Fairview Fanny to task for missing the real story. What Coal Trains Would Cost Seattle

Concerned citizens packed the Port of Bellingham commissioners' room Tuesday, Aug. 20, to offer their critique of plans for redevelopment of 237 waterfront acres. It was the port commission's first hearing on the completed plans, which port and city of Bellingham officials hope to have complete by the end of 2013. Those plans call for conversion of some areas now zoned heavy industrial into new sites for residential buildings, shops, offices and new facilities for Western Washington University. Most of the comments repeated oft-stated public concerns that have been voiced at public meetings going back at least a decade as the current plans slowly emerged...  John Stark reports. Port commissioners get an earful on Bellingham waterfront plans

Freshmen U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck promised Tuesday that they’ll do their best to sustain former Congressman Norm Dicks’ drive to clean up Puget Sound. “Together our feet aren’t big enough to fill the shoes of Norm Dicks and what he has done to improve the health of Puget Sound,” said Heck, D-Olympia, “but we’re here to see how we can advance our movements forward.” At a field hearing held at Tacoma’s Center for Urban Waters, Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, called the restoration of Puget Sound “both a moral and an economic necessity.” Kilmer replaced Dicks, who retired in 2012 after representing the 6th Congressional District for nearly four decades.... During more than two hours of testimony Tuesday, the heads of federal and state environmental agencies and Indian tribes summarized achievements, which they said included the restoration of miles of wetlands and other shoreline habitat; improvements in the handling of stormwater runoff; and the removal of invasive species, creosoted docks and pilings, and derelict vessels. But they told the congressmen that continued vigilance, and a continued flow of federal money, is critical for success. Rob Carson reports. First-year congressmen vow to fight for Puget Sound health

Five years later, Wild Sky is still wild. This was precisely the goal of the people who pushed for the creation of the Wild Sky Wilderness area in the Cascade Mountains -- to set aside a wild area to make sure it stays that way. About 60 people gathered in Index on Tuesday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the designation of more than 106,000 acres near Index as off-limits to any kind of development. Bll Sheets reports. Those who pushed for Wild Sky Wilderness celebrate its 5-year mark

Eric Talaska enjoys beachcombing at low tide, and last week he found a treasure on Puget Sound’s Eld Inlet near Olympia: A sand dollar he believes could take over a world record... According to the Guinness World Records, August Balicki set the record for the largest sand dollar in 2011. It was found in Treasure Island, Fla., and measured 5.01 inches in diameter. Talaska’s sand dollar is about 4.7 inches across, but it’s a different species than the record holder. Lisa Pemberton reports. Sand dollar on Eld Inlet could be record size

A salmon shark spotted swimming in Bellingham's Squalicum Harbor on Tuesday morning, Aug. 20 has died. The shark appeared to be stranded and was not in good health, according to a spokesman for the Marine Life Center at the Port of Bellingham. When Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials went to the scene, the shark was near death. A necropsy is pending to determine the cause of death, port officials said. Jim Donaldson reports. Shark spotted in Bellingham's Squalicum Harbor dies

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 244 AM PDT WED AUG 21 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
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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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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20 McGinn's coal, BC salmon video, sea level rise, toxic algae, CATS, PSP, Gulf Spill sampling

Swallowtail (PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: “My days have been busy lately, now that the harvest is fully upon us. Summer is racing by, and already we’re starting to see the signs of approaching fall. But before this glorious season ends, I want to make sure I take time to appreciate some of the little things of summer, such as these butterflies..." The Little Things

New blog:  Remember Gary Locke? He gave a fine speech in 1998 as governor after our Puget Sound Chinook salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. He talked about the challenge facing us in recovering the species. He ended with the dramatic, “We cannot fail. Extinction is not an option.” Revisiting “Extinction Is Not An Option”

Mayor Mike McGinn called a news conference beneath Seattle’s Great Wheel in December to announce he would request a study into the economic impact of sending more coal trains through Seattle. But after the report was completed, the mayor waited for more than a month — and a public-records request — to quietly release the results on his blog Friday. McGinn, who opposes the proposal to expand coal exports, wrote in a blog post that the study by local research firm Community Attributes showed the plan would have “a number of significant and concerning impacts” on Seattle. But the plan’s supporters described the report as a win and accused the mayor of sitting on it because it did not say what he had hoped. Brian Rosenthal reports. McGinn didn’t release coal study’s findings for 5 weeks  

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it has launched a formal investigation after a video showing allegedly harmful salmon release practices was posted online last week. North Coast area director Mel Kotyk says the department found the video's images disturbing, and investigators will be speaking with companies and vessels to determine if fines or court action is necessary. Under federal regulations, fishermen are required to quickly sort through their catch and release any fish they weren't targeting with the least possible harm. Wild salmon fishery discard video sparks probe  

An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace. The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound. Justin Gillis reports. Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming  

Anderson Lake and its blue-green algae is getting widespread attention. A report from researchers at the University of Oregon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta — which is expected this fall at the earliest — could set the stage for a solution to the lake’s historically high level of anatoxin-a, a potent nerve toxin created by some types of blue-green algae.... Also, a paper about animal deaths and poisoning in proximity to lakes around the nation, which is now under review by the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, is expected to include data from Anderson Lake, where routine testing for toxins began after two dogs drank the water and died on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. Charlie Bermant reports. Something in the DNA? Anderson Lake’s continuing toxic algae problems gain national attention  

People can help clean up Whatcom County shorelines and Puget Sound through a new 12-week program launched by Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. Called the Citizen Action Training School, the program will focus on watershed and Puget Sound ecology, as well as civic engagement in legal and regulatory processes that affect the management of resources. That includes efforts in Whatcom County watersheds. Kie Relyea reports. NSEA launches new program to teach watershed ecology

Discovery Bay has been closed to all recreational harvest of shellfish after marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or PSP, were detected at high concentrations in samples, the Jefferson County Public Health Department said. The state Department of Health closed the beaches, said Michael Dawson, lead environmental health specialist for the county. Commercially harvested shellfish are tested for toxin prior to distribution and should be safe to eat. Discovery Bay beaches closed to recreational shellfishing because of PSP


An analysis of water, sediment and seafood samples taken in 2010 during and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found higher contamination levels in some cases than previous studies by federal agencies did, casting doubt on some of the earlier sampling methods. The lead author, Paul W. Sammarco of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said that dispersants used to break up the oil might have affected some of the samples. He said that the greater contamination called into question the timing of decisions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reopen gulf fisheries after the spill and that “it might be time to review the techniques that are used to determine” such reopenings. Henry Fountain reports. Gulf Spill Sampling Questioned  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 250 AM PDT TUE AUG 20 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, August 19, 2013

8/19 Saving Sam, Jewell James, saving bees, toxic shellfish, mill site cleanup, rising seas, CA sea urchins

Sam (PHOTO: Vancouver Aquarium)
Sam, a juvenile whale stranded for three weeks in Weetam Bay on B.C.'s central coast, had been plaintively calling for his mother right up until he was rescued Thursday. And it appears his cries were heard: as soon as he popped out of the bay’s narrow entrance, the transient killer whale hooked with another pod and was on his way home, said Lance Barrett-Lennard, a killer-whale scientist at Vancouver Aquarium. Kelly Sinoski reports. Young killer whale stranded on B.C.’s central coast rescued, on his way home  

Lummi master carver Jewell James is taking another ceremonial totem pole on a long trip, but this time it won’t be going as a healing pole — like those he carved for the three 9-11 sites — this pole is a political and cultural statement aimed at the export of coal from ports in the Pacific Northwest. The pole is taking shape only a few miles from the proposed site of the largest coal terminal in the region, at Cherry Point north of Bellingham on Georgia Strait. It’s a site that James and other Lummis regard as sacred; their ancestors lived, fished and died at Cherry Point through the centuries before white men discovered the area, imposed treaties on the natives and pushed them onto reservations. Floyd McKay reports. Coal port faces huge obstacle in Lummi opposition  

Northwest beekeepers are applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for requiring certain pesticides to carry a clearer warning label. The idea is to prevent home gardeners and farmers from inadvertently harming beneficial pollinators, like bees. The EPA directive applies to widely used bug killers, rose and flower treatments, and grub controls. Future labels will have to carry specific warnings under a picture of a bee.  Tom Banse reports. Controversial Insecticides to Carry Clearer Warnings to Protect Bees

Some oysters and clams recently harvested in two British Columbia inlets may contain paralytic shellfish toxins, and the lots have been voluntarily recalled by shellfish processors. A health hazard alert issued Friday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the shellfish were sold primarily to restaurants and other institutional-type businesses, but may also have been sold at retail seafood counters. The recall applies to clams and oysters harvested on Tuesday, Aug. 13, from Effingham Inlet and Useless Inlet in B.C., and were packaged or distributed by Albion Fisheries, Pacific Rim Shellfish, or Clear Bay Fisheries Inc. Raw oysters and clams from 2 B.C. inlets recalled  

Kimberly-Clark Corp. wants city planners to waive requirements to cover the site of its demolished waterfront mill with topsoil and grass. Those final steps are spelled out in Everett's demolition permit. The company, however, contends the land is best left blanketed under pulverized concrete -- until somebody builds something new there. Noah Haglund reports. Waiver sought for former K-C mill site

A presidential task force charged with developing a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy has issued a report recommending 69 policy initiatives, most focused on a simple warning: Plan for future storms in an age of climate change and rising sea levels. The report released Monday by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force says coastal communities should assume floods are going to happen more frequently and realize that spending more now on protective measures could save money later. It calls for development of a more advanced electrical grid less likely to be crippled in a crisis, and the creation of better planning tools and standards for communities rebuilding storm-damaged areas. David Caruso and Meghan Barr report. Task force: Coasts should prepare for rising seas    See also: Climate policy's twin challenges

Below the gently rolling waves off Palos Verdes Peninsula, a spiny purple menace is ravaging what should be a thriving kelp forest. Millions of sea urchins - scrawny, diseased and desperate for food - have overrun a band of the shallow seafloor, devouring kelp and crowding out most all other life at a time the giant green foliage is making a comeback elsewhere along the California coast. In an effort to remedy the situation, scientists and divers will spend the next five years culling the urchins from more than 152 acres of coastal waters degraded years ago by pollution. Once the purple, golf ball-size creatures are under control, young kelp should be able to take hold on the rocky seafloor and grow into the undulating canopies that sustain hundreds of species of marine life. Tony Barboza reports. Off California, purple sea urchins devouring kelp forest

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 245 AM PDT MON AUG 19 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, August 16, 2013

8/16 Totem pole, bleeding herring, salmon catch video, sea level rise, pond turtles, cattle fences

Gwaii Haanas legacy totem pole (CBC News)
The Gwaii Haanas legacy totem pole was raised in Windy Bay, B.C., on Lyell Island in Haida Gwaii on Thursday, August 15, 2013. The 13-metre totem is the first monumental pole to be raised in the area in 130 years. It was carved to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement, a document that allows the government of Canada and the Haida Nation to co-manage and protect the region. Raising a totem pole in Haida Gwaii  

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is trying to confirm reports from an independent biologist that herring around northern Vancouver Island have a disease that is causing bleeding from their gills, bellies and eyeballs. Alexandra Morton wrote to DFO asking for an investigation and viral testing of the fish after she pulled up a net of about 100 herring near Sointula and found they were all bleeding. “It was pretty shocking to see,” said Morton, who has seen herring suffering from viruses before, but never so sick. “These are very strong disease symptoms. These fish are in much worse condition.” Judith Lavoie reports. Fisheries and Oceans Canada looking into claims of sick herring  

The commercial fishing industry has long claimed it strives to ensure salmon that can’t be legally kept are released alive and well. But a video shot by a conservation group in British Columbia shows seine boat crews kicking salmon across decks, or waiting for fish to stop moving before picking them up and throwing them overboard. An industry spokesman has dismissed the video as misleading, however, and says fishing crews are “doing a good job” of ensuring the safe release of fish that are accidentally taken in a by-catch. Watch the video.  Mark Hume reports. Video proves unwanted salmon being left for dead on seiners, group alleges

The warming climate is causing sea levels to rise as oceans expand, and, combined with more frequent storms, the effects could be devastating. A new map shows more than 1,400 towns in the U.S., 30 in Washington state, where half the population will be displaced by the end of this century if current trends continue.... In Washington, the report says 30 communities along the coast, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River would be so inundated that more than half the population would have to move. That would be the worst-case scenario, says Washington state’s climatologist Nick Bond, but it also shows real and possible impacts of climate change. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Sea Level Rise Map Shows 30 Wash. Towns Inundated in 2100  

Last Friday morning, a team of individuals from the Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife met at a refuge site in Lakewood, Pierce County, to release 31 endangered juvenile western pond turtles. The 10-month- old turtles were hatched and raised at the Woodland Park Zoo as a part of the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project established in 1991. Twenty years ago, approximately 150 western pond turtles remained in the wild in Washington state. Predation by non-native bullfrogs as well as loss of habitat caused the only native western Washington turtle to become endangered. With the help of the recovery project, there are now between 1,200 and 1,500 turtles of this species found among six wetland sites, according to a press release by the Woodland Park Zoo. Jasmine Healy reports. Young endangered turtles released into wild  

Can regulators make a rancher fence in his land? The Washington Supreme Court Thursday said yes. The case pitted ranchers against environmentalists, with land rights and pollution enforcement at stake. Pataha Creek winds through Joe Lemire’s ranch in southeastern Washington. His 29 head of cattle regularly cross the creek to reach several pastures. Department of Ecology inspectors say trampled stream beds and cattle manure degrade water quality in this already unhealthy creek. Lemire refused to fence the creek and sued the department. Courtney Flatt reports. Washington Supreme Court: Rancher Must Fence In Land

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT FRI AUG 16 2013
TODAY
VARIABLE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG THIS MORNING. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

8/15 Victoria sewage, vibriosis, Dash Pt beach closure, BC coal

Bioluminescence
Long summer evenings make for great post-dinner strolls in broad daylight, but they’re hell if you want to watch Puget Sound and the Salish Sea glow and glitter. For that, you need pitch darkness. You need to wait hours after sunset. Tan Vinh reports. Take nighttime paddle to see glowing waters of Salish Sea  

Regional politicians have rejected an independent review of Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment megaproject, with a majority expressing confidence they are proceeding with the right plan. The Capital Regional District board resoundingly quashed a motion by Saanich Coun. Vic Derman to independently review the project, issue a new call for innovative ideas and seek a delay from the provincial and federal governments. Ten directors rejected Derman’s proposal, while four — Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, View Royal Mayor Graham Hill, Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton and Derman himself — voted for the review. Using the CRD’s weighted vote system, which assigns points by population, the proposal failed 41 to 14. Rob Shaw reports. CRD politicians reject call to delay Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment project

State and county health officials are advising seafood lovers to cook their oysters this summer. More than 40 people in the state have been sickened this year with vibriosis, including one from Thurston County who ate an oyster thought to have been harvested from the Brinnon area. Several parts of the Hood Canal are closed to commercial oyster harvesting, affecting 19 Jefferson County businesses, because of the vibriosis bacteria.  Rob Ollikainen reports. Closing oyster beds affects some 19 Jefferson County businesses

Health officials told beach-goers Wednesday to hold off visiting the waterfront at Dash Point Park until they investigate high bacteria counts measured that can indicate a sewage spill. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department closed the beach due to Entrococcus bacteria counts, which it said can increase the risk of gastrointestinal sickness, and were 10 times the level at which officials would usually close marine beaches. Alexis Krell reports. Dash Point Park beach closes due to bacteria

Anglo American PLC is expanding its northeastern B.C. mine, betting that the quality of the coal and the ease of transport to Asia will help the company win more contracts from steel makers in Japan, China and others in the region. London-based Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining companies, will make the expansion announcement Thursday at its operations near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., about 700 kilometres northeast of Vancouver. Brent Jang reports. Anglo American expands B.C. coal mine with eye on Asia  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT THU AUG 15 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

8/14 Victoria sewage, BC salmon, BC bottled water, cable ferry

Ander Monson in Orion Magazine writes: "Dear squash, as noun or food or racket game you lack appeal. Though, almost onomatopoeia, you’re a satisfying verb—sibilant, fibrous, quick, and harsh, interior made exterior by sudden pressure: you promise a gross explosion...." Wait, there’s more. Dear Squash

Greater Victoria’s troubled sewage treatment project will face its latest hurdle Wednesday as politicians vote, yet again, on whether to pause and review the plan. The Capital Regional District board will consider a motion by Saanich Coun. Vic Derman to launch an independent review of the $783-million sewage project, seek innovative new ideas and pursue a delay from the federal and provincial governments. Rob Shaw reports. Politicians face another vote on whether to put sewage plan on hold  

The captain of a seine boat that dumped pink salmon during an aboriginal fishery in Johnstone Strait said Tuesday he is the victim of federal policy and that he takes care not to waste salmon. “I’ve been doing this 15 years and we’ve been very efficient and very modernized in the way we handle our fish,” said Josh Duncan, a member of the Campbell River band and captain of the 25-metre Western King.... Duncan explained that during the two-week native fishery he kept almost 20,000 sockeye and 16,000 pinks. He also released 52,000 live pinks of which he estimated a mortality rate not greater than 15 per cent — which equates to just under 8,000 fish. Larry Pynn reports. Seine fisherman defends dumping of pink salmon during aboriginal fishery in Johnstone Strait  Also: Bounty of the Seas: Sockeye’s rare, but there are plenty of other salmon

The price of a litre of bottled water in B.C. is often higher than a litre of gasoline. However, the price paid by the world’s largest bottled water company for taking 265 million litres of fresh water every year from a well in the Fraser Valley — not a cent. Because of B.C.’s lack of groundwater regulation, Nestlé Waters Canada — a division of the multi-billion-dollar Switzerland-based Nestlé Group, the world’s largest food company — is not required to measure, report, or pay a penny for the millions of litres of water it draws from Hope and then sells across Western Canada. Dan Fumano reports. The ‘Wild West’ of groundwater: Billion-dollar Nestlé extracting B.C.’s drinking water for free

As British Columbia prepares to build the longest cable ferry in the world, residents of the two Gulf Islands it will serve are hoping to shame the provincial government into halting the project. “I’m going to try to publicly embarrass them,” said Peter Kimmerly, a former ferry and icebreaker captain who has led opposition to the new ferry plan for the route between Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island and Denman Island. The ferry would also be used by those crossing Denman to get to Hornby Island, home to about 1,000 permanent residents and up to 7,000 vacationers during the summer. The BC Ferries board approved the plan last November for the 1.9-kilometre ferry, which will save the corporation 50 per cent of its current labour costs and up to 55 per cent of its fuel costs – or about $2-million a year. Frances Bula reports. Cable-ferry plan draws protests from Gulf Islands  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 527 AM PDT WED AUG 14 2013
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
TONIGHT
NE WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/13 Skeena sockeye, herring disease, paralyzed birds, Clayouquot protest, Kitimat refinery

Sockeye salmon
Sockeye salmon returns have plunged to historic lows in the Skeena River system of northwestern British Columbia, forcing drastic, never-before-imposed fishing closures. Commercial and non-native recreational fisheries were shut down on the river last month, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a directive last week noting the fisheries are also closed on Babine Lake and Babine River. First Nations Skeena sockeye fishery shut for first time  

Independent fisheries scientist Alexandra Morton is raising concerns about a disease she says is spreading through Pacific herring causing fish to hemorrhage. Ms. Morton has called on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to investigate, saying it could cause large-scale herring kills and infect wild salmon, which feed heavily on herring.... Ms. Morton, a researcher and environmental advocate who campaigns against fish farms, said she caught some herring with similar symptoms in beach seine nets in 2011, but was unable to get DFO to investigate. Mark Hume reports. Disease killing Pacific herring threatens salmon, scientist warns

The mystery surrounding dozens of paralyzed birds that were discovered in B.C.'s northeast has deepened after veterinarians ruled out West Nile virus but found wing and leg fractures. Last month, dozens of paralyzed ravens and crows were dropped off at a Dawson Creek rehabilitation clinic, sparking concerns about West Nile, which can also affect humans. Despite efforts to save them, all 30 birds eventually died. Mystery of paralyzed birds deepens

Wilderness Committee, Georgia Strait Alliance and Friends of the San Juans are holding an international town hall meeting at noon on August 21, taking place simultaneously on either side of the Kinder Morgan tar sands tanker route through the Salish Sea near Victoria and the San Juan Islands. How to participate? Get more info at Save the Salish Sea and at Facebook event.  

It is the quiet amid the chaos just as the logging trucks and police rolled in that Tzeporah Berman remembers acutely about the War in the Woods, the fight by environmentalists 20 years ago over Clayoquot Sound that the now-seasoned campaigner says set the stage for today's battles over pipelines and other resource development issues.... Every day for almost three months during the summer of 1993, Berman and hundreds of other protesters stared down the logging trucks destined for some of Canada's most pristine old-growth forests on Vancouver Island, B.C. Kim Nursall reports.  War in the Woods: 20 years later, legacy of Vancouver Island protest lives on

A B.C. media mogul says he has found the $25 billion he needs to build a crude oil refinery in Kitimat, but he had to raise more than $6 billion in Canada after Chinese investors backpedalled on the deal.... The owner of Black Press Group would not say where the $6 billion was coming from. The plant, to be built north of Kitimat, would refine oil from the Alberta oilsands shipped either by pipeline or rail. David Black 'confident' money in place to build Kitimat refinery  

Farewell and congratulations: Kurt Hart, Communication Manager of Ecology's Spills/Shorelands/Puget Sound Initiative programs, writes: "Thursday, Aug. 15 will be my last day at Ecology. I’ve worked at the agency for 20 years. On Aug. 19, I’ll start my first day as Communications Director for the Washington Department of Enterprise Services." Good working with you, Kurt, and best wishes for the new job.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE AUG 13 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
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