|Pinto abalone (Josh Bouma/PS Restoration Fund)|
The National Marine Fisheries Service has declined to list a prized 6-inch Pacific Ocean marine snail as an endangered or threatened species. The federal agency announced this week that its status review found the pinto abalone is not currently in danger of extinction and does not warrant federal protection under the Endangered Species Act at this time. Pinto abalone, valued for its delicate flavor and mother-of-pearl shell, are found from Alaska to Baja California. Two conservation groups petitioned the agency in July 2013 to conduct a status review for pinto abalone. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)
Proposal for Hood Canal geoduck farm dropped
A controversial proposal for a geoduck and oyster farm on Hood Canal is being pulled. The Kitsap Sun reported that according to Kitsap County planners, Scott Kimmel, the owner of New Day Fisheries, has decided not to pursue permit applications for the project. The Poulsbo fisherman had been seeking approval for a geoduck farm he installed without permits on private tidelands in 2013. Kimmel said he didn't know he needed permits to plant more than 9,000 geoduck seeds in plastic tubes embedded in the sand just north of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. (Associated Press)
Partnership perspectives on Puget Sound's future
The seven-member Leadership Council is the governing board for the Puget Sound Partnership, which is charged with restoring Puget Sound to health by the year 2020. Members were asked to provide brief written statements about their visions for the future. (Kitsap Sun)
Gulf Islands landowners retain natural sites, reap tax savings
The meadow down the steep side of Mount Elizabeth on Robert and Francis Rose’s North Pender Island property is one of their favourite places to spend time…. That meadow is now protected in perpetuity. In exchange for placing a covenant on their land, the Roses receive an annual 65 per cent property tax exemption through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP), administered by the Islands Trust Fund…. The Roses, who are in their mid-70s, are among 23 landowners who have joined the program since its launch in 2005, according to the Islands Trust Fund. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)
Race to build on Columbia River could block Pacific oil route
Some environmentalists are pushing a $1.3 billion real estate project along the Columbia River as a way to stop a proposed oil train plan. Kirk Johnson reports. (NY Times)
States, cities brace for global-warming fallout
Eroding beaches and the seawater that laps onto the Embarcadero waterfront during high tide - not to mention severe storm flooding - were sending a clear message to a city surrounded by water on three sides. San Francisco responded in September, when its Capital Planning Committee decreed that in all future construction projects, city and county agencies, including low-lying San Francisco International Airport, must acknowledge the rising sea level and come up with plans to adapt to. The sea level around San Francisco rose nearly 8 inches in the past century, and it is projected to rise by as much as 55 more inches by 2100. Rita Beamish report. (Stateline.org)
Ladner beats Victoria in annual Christmas count of bird species
Greater Victoria lost its title for finding most species in B.C.’s annual Christmas bird count by a single species. Bird watchers in Ladner, Victoria’s traditional rival, counted 141 species this year, compared with Greater Victoria’s 140…. The Christmas bird count is conducted on any one day from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 within a 24-kilometre diameter area that stays the same from year to year. There were 21 teams out in the radius centering on the Marigold area of Saanich this year, some of which had more than 15 members fanning out for the count. (Times Colonist) See also: A tally of tail feathers Bob Kuntz and Kraig Kemper stood behind their scopes Saturday morning at the bay shore near Bay View State Park. They were among more than 60 people who participated in the National Audubon Society’s 115th annual Christmas Bird Count at Padilla Bay. (Skagit Valley Herald)
A bird’s-eye view of bald eagles
So far this season, wildlife experts say the bald eagle population that winters on the upper Skagit River appears to have returned in even stronger numbers than seen last year. While the birds have been sweeping into the east Skagit Valley for more than a month, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and Eagle Watchers representatives say they expect plenty of people to flock there to see them in January. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
As Canada Goose Populations Recover, Northwest Farmers Pay The Price
Canada Geese have made a significant comeback in the West. But as the population increases, it’s farmers in Oregon and Washington who are paying the price for the recovery. Seven different subspecies of the Canada geese travel along a metaphorical superhighway, called the Pacific Flyway, from summer nesting grounds in Alaska down into Washington, Oregon and California. The cackling Canada goose is one them. In the 1980s there were only about 25,000 left. But now wildlife officials say the population is averaging more than a quarter million. Jes Burns reports. (EarthFix)
Discover Puget Sound’s past during Archeology Day
The history of humans living along Puget Sound during the past 500 years will be the focus of Archaeology Day Jan. 10 at the Burke Museum. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about recent archaeological discoveries, how archaeology is used to study the past and the present and see some of the research being done in local communities. (Bellingham Herald)
San Juan ferry reservations available now
Ferry officials hope a reservation system to begin serving the San Juan Islands will greatly reduce long waits and long lines at the ferry terminals, and encourage travelers to take off-peak runs. The “Save a Spot” system, years in the planning, will make reserved spots available on all westbound sailings from Anacortes, and eastbound sailings from Friday Harbor and Orcas Island. Jack Broom report. (Seattle Times)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON DEC 29 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS.
NE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS.
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