|(PHOTO: NOAA Fisheries)|
Check out this seven-minute piece from NOAA about what scientists have discovered after 10 years of studying the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.
Despite decade of protection, resident orcas still in trouble
n the decade since Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales were protected under the Endangered Species Act, scientists have figured out where they go in winter, learned that they eat mostly chinook and have documented the many ways orcas shift their behavior in response to noise from boats. Despite that vast increase in knowledge since the cetaceans were listed as endangered in 2005, the region’s orca population — already a fraction of what it was in the 1960s — still is not growing, according to a new synopsis of research on the troubled whales by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Craig Welch reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Years of Research Reveal More About Iconic Orcas (Time/Associated Press) See also: Key To Saving Endangered Orcas: Chinook Salmon, Says Local Expert Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU) Read the complete report (PDF).
Supreme Court’s land-rights ruling could imperil Northern Gateway pipeline
The right of aboriginal groups to control vast swaths of land, and gain new leverage over lucrative development projects, will be at stake when the Supreme Court of Canada rules Thursday in a case pitting the small Tsilhqot’in Nation, a group of 3,000 people, against the government of British Columbia.... At issue is the concept of aboriginal title to land. In 1997, the Supreme Court said in a case known as Delgamuukw v. British Columbia that there is such a thing as aboriginal title – the right to possession of ancestral lands. It goes beyond the right to hunt and fish, and includes the right to benefit economically from the trees, minerals and oil and gas on, or under, the land. But its actual existence on a particular piece of land has never been recognized anywhere in Canada outside of reserves, and the rights it gives the aboriginals who hold it have never been spelled out. Sean Fine reports. (Globe and Mail)
Hood Canal 'pit-to-pier' draft environmental impact statement is released
One of the most controversial land-use applications in modern Jefferson County history is back on the front burner. The Jefferson County Department of Community Development (DCD) has released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Thorndyke Resource Central Conveyor and Pier project, commonly referred to as “pit-to-pier.” The proposed pier site is five miles south of the Hood Canal Bridge and northwest across the canal from the U.S. Navy submarine base at Bangor. Details are now available to the public, in advance of an "open house" meeting Aug. 4 in Port Ludlow and an official public comment period ending Aug. 11. (Port Townsend Leader)
6-month ban on new construction near Oso slide OK’d
The Snohomish County Council imposed a six-month ban Wednesday on new construction in the immediate area of the Oso mudslide and areas to the east where flood dangers are thought to have increased. The emergency ordinances were the county’s first major changes in land-use policy since the March 22 slide, which covered a square mile in dirt and debris, killing 43 people. The council did not even discuss some of the more controversial ideas, which faced opposition from builders and realtors. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald) See also: One bend of the Stillaguamish River is a known danger for slides Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)
Annual report highlights Bay View beach pollution
Bay View State Park placed second on a top-five list for the state’s public beaches, and it’s not a good review. The park’s beach, which was closed to swimming Friday due to high concentrations of bacteria associated with fecal matter, has had pollution issues since 2011, BEACH Program Manager Debby Sargeant said. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Sewage spill closes access to Port Ludlow Bay waters
Stay out of the water at Port Ludlow Bay. That’s the advice from the Jefferson County Public Health Department, which issued a no-contact order Wednesday after a sewage spill earlier in the week.... A mechanical failure on an access timer caused the spill, which resulted in partially treated effluent being pumped into the bay from about 4 p.m. Monday to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Olympic Water and Sewer, a division of Port Ludlow Associates that handles the water and sewer for the Port Ludlow resort area. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Report: Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed
In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert. It then took the Chemical Safety Board another three and a half years to issue recommendations for making the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes safer. Those are some of the scathing conclusions of a Congressional inquiry into mismanagement at the Chemical Safety Board. John Ryan reports. (EarthFix)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 256 AM PDT THU JUN 26 2014
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT AFTER NOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT
AT 9 SECONDS.
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING VARIABLE TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 3 FT AT
9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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