Canada Day 2014: My Canada is...
Canada is many things: big, diverse, multilingual, beautiful, rich in resources, purveyor of outstanding maple syrup. On Tuesday, it's also 147 years old. But Canada is so much more than these things — and to celebrate Canada Day, we asked you to tell us about them. Andrea Lee-Greenberg reports. (CBC)
When the stars go out all along the coast
Sea stars, the original “keystone species,” are melting into mush even on local shores where they previously seemed safe, leaving scientists puzzled… and worried. Egic Scigliano reports. (Crosscut)
Resident orca whales suffer triple threat of pollution, noise and lack of food: U.S. study
Triple threats of pollution, vessel noise and the availability of food are making it hard for a group of orca whales that live along the continent's West Coast to increase beyond an estimated population of 80, says a decade-long U.S. study.... Lynne Barre, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Monday from Seattle, Wash., that experts don't consider the southern residents in recovery, so the animals will remain an endangered species.... There are estimates the southern resident population once numbered at least 140 animals, and was perhaps as high as 200, but that was before nearly 50 were removed from the population in the 1960s and '70s and placed into theme parks, Barre said. (CBC)
Sources of Samish pollution still a mystery
Skagit County Public Works’ use of Environmental Canine Services led county officials to several sites contaminated with human sewage, but did not provide conclusive results. The project was another Pollution Identification and Correction Program tool the county tried in an effort to locate sources of fecal coliform in the Samish watershed. Canine Services pup Crush and her handler, Aryn Hervel, visited Skagit County in late May. Over a two-day period, Crush detected human sewage in 12 of 33 water samples and at 11 of 22 sites at area streams and drainage ditches, according to a report the county released June 24. Crush sniffed out problems in parts of Willard, Thomas and Bob Smith creeks, Alice Bay ditches, the Samish River near Thomas Road and a drainage pipe near Swede Creek Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Washington population grows to nearly 7 million
The state says Washington’s population grew by almost 100,000 last year to nearly 7 million. The Office of Financial Management says the 85,800 increase in 2013 was the largest one-year gain since 2008, bringing the total to 6,968,200. The office says people migrating into the state accounted for 57 percent of the increase, with births (minus deaths) accounting for the other 43 percent. Nick Provenza reports. (Seattle Times)
Obama Signs Northwest Lawmaker’s Bill For Toxic Algae Research
A Northwest lawmaker’s battle against toxic algae blooms won the support of President Barack Obama Monday, when he signed into law a bill aimed at controlling such outbreaks. Oregon congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson co-sponsored the bill, which authorizes $82 million dollars for new research meant to control toxic algae blooms nationwide.... Northwest waters have been hit by a number of these outbreaks in recent years. Toxic algae has contaminated Washington’s Puget Sound and several lakes in Oregon, including Fern Ridge and Lost Creek reservoirs. David Steves reports. (EarthFix)
Two state lawmakers raise concerns over new ferry's design
Washington's newest ferry went into service Monday amid the concerns of two lawmakers that a flawed design is causing some vehicles to bottom out as they transition from ramps onto upper parking decks. Under a blanket of blue sky, the Tokitae sailed on its maiden voyage at noon from Clinton to Mukilteo, with no fanfare.... Reps. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, said senior ferry system managers told them in March at the shipyard that their worries were unwarranted. But ferry workers contacted them last week to say part of their training on the vessel involved learning how to keep cars with low clearances from going up the ramps. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)
Parks Canada researchers return from expedition off B.C.'s Haida Gwaii
Underwater archeologists with Parks Canada have returned from an expedition that took them below the surface off British Columbia's Haida Gwaii islands as they searched for remnants of life dating back hundreds of years. And while the researchers didn't find the bounty they were hoping for — a trio of ships that went down in the late 1700s and mid-1800s — they say the trip gave them a better idea of what other cultural artifacts might be waiting to be discovered on the ocean floor. James Keller reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Study: Plastic debris widespread on ocean surface
Plastic junk is floating widely on the world's oceans, but there's less of it than expected, a study says. Such ocean pollution has drawn attention in recent years because of its potential harm to fish and other wildlife. The new work drew on results from an around-the-world cruise by a research ship that towed a mesh net at 141 sites, as well as other studies. Researchers estimated the total amount of floating plastic debris in open ocean at 7,000 to 35,000 tons. Andres Cozar of the University of Cadiz in Spain, an author of the study, said that's a lot less than the 1 million tons he had extrapolated from data reaching back to the 1970s. Malcolm Ritter reports. (Associated Press)
Jetty Island, a true delight, opens July 5
Get ready for some fun in the sun – Jetty Island will officially open on July 5. Jetty Island, a manmade island located just west of the Port of Everett, features miles of shallow beaches and nature trails. It was created with sediment deposited by the Snohoimsh River. There is no plumbing or electricity on the island, making it seem untouched. Many birds roost on the island, and visitors enjoy learning about the local ecosystem and wildlife preservation. Natalie Covate reports. (Snohomish Tribune)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUL 1 2014
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING W AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER
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