Friday, February 14, 2014

2/14 Puffins, tribes pipe, Hastings, Navy spill, bag ban, Jill Hein, bird count, infected belugas

Tufted puffins (US Fish&Wildlife Service)
Group Seeks Endangered Species Act Protection For Puffins
The Natural Resources Defense Council wants the tufted puffin population in Oregon, Washington and California listed under the Endangered Species Act. The NRDC filed a petition Wednesday, Feb. 12, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to seek protection for the small, penguin-like seabird, known for its distinctive facial coloring and plumage during the breeding season. The NRDC estimates the West Coast population of tufted puffins has declined from more than 30,000 30 years ago to no more than 4,000 today.

Northwest tribes challenge Canadian oil pipeline
Tribes on both sides of the border are teaming up to oppose a major expansion of a Canadian oil pipeline. Kinder-Morgan, a Texas company, operates a current pipeline that transports 300,000 barrels of Alberta crude oil per day to Burnaby B.C. near Vancouver. The company has submitted plans to double that capacity to serve tankers ships that will ship the crude to markets in California and Asia. The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, Lummi Nation, and Suquamish Tribe in Washington state, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in British Columbia formally announced Thursday they will oppose that expansion on the grounds that it threatens their way of life. Gary Chittim reports. See also: First Nations sign up for Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing

Doc Hastings to step down after 20 years in Congress
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings will not run for re-election in November, concluding a 20-year career in Congress marked by zeal for conservative causes ranging from support for more energy development on federal lands to opposition to the Affordable Care Act. The Pasco Republican announced his retirement Thursday, saying it was time for a “new person with new energy” to represent Central Washington’s 4th District. Kyung M. Song reports.

Beaches appear clean after Bangor naval base spill of oil, water mixture; shellfish harvest still suspended
Officials with the Navy, the state Department of Ecology, the Coast Guard and Jefferson County Public Health continued Thursday to monitor the possible effects on wildlife of a 2,000-gallon spill earlier this week of an oil and water mixture at Bangor naval base.  “We haven’t yet seen any oil attached to birds or beaches,” said Lisa Copeland, Ecology spills manager. “But we are watching the situation very carefully and are most concerned with the spill’s effect on wildlife and the environment.” After the spill, the state Department of Health issued a shellfish advisory for Hood Canal from Brown Point on the Toandos Peninsula to the Hood Canal Bridge. Charlie Bermant reports.

Lacey City Council votes to ban plastic bags
The city of Lacey finally adopted its plastic bag ban ordinance Thursday night, the last major jurisdiction in the county to move forward with an ordinance that bans single-use, lightweight plastic bags typically found at grocery stores. The council voted 4-3 to pass the ordinance; the ordinance is set to take effect July 1. Rolf Boone reports.

Whidbey resident wins Coastal Volunteer of the Year award
Jill Hein is the newest recipient of the Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year award for 2014. The award honors the work of volunteers who protect and restore marine waters and coastal resources of Island County. She was presented the award Saturday, Feb. 1 at Oak Harbor High School. The namesake of the award, Jan Holmes, was an Island County resident and Washington State University Island County Beach Watcher known for her work as a marine scientist, educator and steward of the marine environment. The award is co-sponsored by the Island County Marine Recourses Committee and WSU Island County Extension. This is the fourth year the award has been given.

Global bird count event this weekend
Whether you are an experienced birder, or someone who prefers to watch through the window of your living room, all can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The 17th annual citizen science event runs Friday through Monday. Organizers expect people in more than 100 countries to take part in the count, gathering information that will help track the health of bird populations at a scale possible only with volunteer assistance. Also, participants can view real-time maps and charts on a website that shows what others are reporting during and after the count. Jeffrey P. Mayor reports.

UBC researchers blame infectious parasite found in Arctic belugas on melting ice
Researchers at the University of British Columbia warned scientists Thursday they had found evidence that an infectious form of a cat parasite had spread through Arctic waters and has begun to appear in Beluga whales.Michael Grigg and Stephen Raverty attribute the spread of the parasite to melting ice in the Arctic, according to a UBC news release.

Now, your Valentine weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI FEB 14 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT
TODAY
SW WIND 25 TO 35 KT EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS.
 SHOWERS AND A SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 9 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
SW WIND 30 TO 40 KT. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS BUILDING TO 11 TO 13 FT WITH A
 DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT BECOMING S 35 TO 45 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 13 TO 16 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS.
SUN NIGHT
SW WIND 20 TO 30 KT RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 15 TO 17 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12
 SECONDS.

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