Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9/2 Orcas, 'Chester,' salmon health, sockeye, Burley Lagoon, trains, quakes, Swinomish, MPAs, Ohop Cr., Makah dock

To Readers: This month begins the fourth year of Salish Sea Communications and the news blog service Salish Sea News and Weather. The weekday news compilation is provided at no cost-- it's a community service that keeps me as well as you informed and engaged. Of course, if you need communications and/or public relations services, I'd be happy to consult with you. But in the meanwhile, enjoy the ride, thanks for reading, and please encourage others to subscribe to this free, weekday news service. Mike Sato.


Two deaths reduce orca population to lowest level in 30 years
The endangered killer whale population in Puget Sound continues to decline, with the confirmation of two new deaths this year. The number of whales in J, K and L pods has dropped to 78, a level not seen since 1985, according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research. Christopher Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Rescued false killer whale 'Chester' moves to bigger pool
Chester, the false killer whale calf  found stranded on a Tofino, B.C., beach in July, continues to show signs of improvement and has been moved to a larger pool at the Vancouver Aquarium. “Thursday was a big day for Chester," according to a statement from the Vancouver Aquarium. "Chester was moved to the larger pool at the Rescue Centre, facilitating his ability to swim faster and dive deeper, which are important activities for his muscle development." (CBC)

What is killing young salmon in Puget Sound?
Scientists say Puget Sound’s salmon are dying young and point to low growth rates in the marine environment as a possible cause. In Part 1 of this two-part series, scientists consider threats facing young salmon in the open waters of Puget Sound. Megsie Siple reports. (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound)

Parasitic lampreys feed on bumper sockeye run
The parasitic Pacific lamprey is taking a bite out of the estimated more than 21 million sockeye returning to the Fraser River this year — a bumper harvest but short of the unexpectedly high returns of 2010. The latest median return estimates released Friday by the Pacific Salmon Commission include runs of 1.9 million early-summer sockeye, seven million summer, and 12.73 million late-summer, including the Adams River run. The early Stuart run also yielded more than 200,000 sockeye. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Burley Lagoon residents fight proposed geoduck farm
Geoducks are one of the state's most iconic shellfish and worldwide demand is growing. However, people who live around Burley Lagoon, the perfect place for geoducks to thrive, aren't happy about one company's plan to expand there. The sights and sounds of Burley Lagoon have kept John and Karen McDonell happy in Purdy for 35 years…. The calm waters are at the heart of a turbulent battle. Taylor Shellfish Farms wants to turn 25 acres of the lagoon into a geoduck farm. If approved, it would be the company's largest geoduck operation - a concern for those like the McDonells. Janet Kim reports. (KING)

County assures Bellingham officials coal terminal's rail impacts to be studied
The environmental study of the impacts from a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point will include a thorough review of how - or whether - trains coming and going to the terminal will fit on the tracks in Whatcom County and elsewhere in the state. County Executive Jack Louws made this clear in a letter to Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and the City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 27. BNSF Railway also wrote the city to say Gateway Pacific Terminal would not require a second set of tracks along the existing line between Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham. The Aug. 25 letter from BNSF Director of Strategic Development F.E. Kalb, Jr. repeated statements BNSF had provided to The Bellingham Herald over the past two weeks. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Coastal quake risk: Japan on watch, Northwest ‘essentially blind’
The Cascadia Subduction Zone is as dangerous as offshore faults in Japan, but there’s a lack of earthquake-monitoring instruments on the ocean floor in the Pacific Northwest. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Deep mission: Japan takes aim at the source of megaquakes See also: Tectonic Plates in the Pacific Are Not So Rigid  Mike Williams reports. (Futurity)

Swinomish a national leader for local climate change research http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/swinomish-a-national-leader-for-local-climate-change-research/article_1f3ff673-fd65-58f3-9bd2-a529abf124c2.html
With 95 percent of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s reservation borders on the water, the tribe is concerned about the rise in sea level and storm surges expected as the planet warms. As sea level rise pushes high tides and winter storm surges farther inland, coastal tribes in the Northwest worry that their archaeological sites will be wiped out, Swinomish Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Larry Campbell said. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology, study finds http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828135847.htm
A new study reports that an expansion of marine protected areas is needed to protect fish species that perform key ecological functions. According to investigators, previous efforts at protecting fish have focused on saving the largest numbers of species, often at the expense of those species that provide key and difficult-to-replace ecological functions. (ScienceDaily)

Diesel spill fouls Salmon Bay
The Coast Guard responded after diesel spilled in Salmon Bay in Ballard. The Coast Guard said the spill was estimated to be 50 to 60 gallons of diesel and an oily mixture from inside a ship's hull. Officials said the spill was reported about 10:20 a.m. Monday. (KIRO) See also: Small fuel spill disrupts Edmonds-Kingston ferry  (Seattle Times)

Major phase of Ohop Creek restoration reaches important milestone
A sign at the entrance to Kjelstad Road East near Eatonville is covered with the logos of more than a dozen agencies and companies. It’s a visual snapshot of the comprehensive partnership that’s made the Ohop Creek restoration possible. The project is aimed at improving habitat for Puget Sound chinook salmon, which is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The overall goal is to restore as many as 6 miles of the creek, at an estimated cost of $8 million-$10 million. Ohop Creek is one of the three streams that support chinook in the Nisqually River watershed. The others are the Nisqually itself and the Mashel River. Kari Plog reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

$13.7 million dock project nears completion in Neah Bay
A state-of-the-art commercial dock is taking shape on the waterfront. The $13.7 million dock replaces a decrepit pier that was deemed unsafe. Makah tribe General Manager Meredith Parker said the new infrastructure will be significant for the tribe’s fishing fleet and Neah Bay at large. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PDT TUE SEP 2 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 RAIN THIS MORNING...THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 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.

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4 comments:

  1. How time flies - especially when the reading is so interesting! Congratulations, Mike, and thank you for all your great work on behalf of the Salish Sea.

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    1. Thanks! And thank you for your photos and blogs. M.

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  2. Our Man in Olympia writes: "Stories about disappearing Orca and diminished salmon are now 30 or 40 years old. We all know the reason. Puget Sound is dying. And the biggest killer is stormwater runoff (aka, development). And we also know the preventatives for continuing damage. They are (best) stop development in watersheds with remaining habitat, or (2nd best) adopt 65/0 standard for new development. Yet we do neither. Nor do we even discuss (anymore) the obvious. Sigh. I think that we are getting what we deserve."

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  3. Thanks for the hard work and enlightenment Mike. Hearing the stories about successes help keep us going.

    I hope the words from Olympia there are also to thrash us into continued efforts - maybe smarter - rather than to all give up!

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