Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3/17 Rain, sewage overflow, rain gardens, eulachon, 'humane' fishing, Samish cleanup, Shell fumes, US-CA traffic

L121 and mother L94 (Candice Emmons,
NWFSC, NOAA Research Permit #16163)
2015 Killer Whale Research Survey, presentation by Brad Hanson
Last month NOAA researchers were the first to spot new orca calf L121 during a research cruise on the Northwest coast. Join The Whale Trail at 7 pm on March 26 at C&P Coffee in West Seattle to hear about the cruise from lead researcher Brad Hanson. Get tickets early - this will sell out!

Deluge and Divine Intervention
On Friday, Governor Inslee declared a drought emergency.   He is obviously a favorite of the weather gods...they have answered his plea.   Deluge. You can tell that divine intervention was involved because the actual weather deviated greatly from the consensus of many of our best forecast models.  This is very unusual at such a short range.   A relief to forecasters, such as myself, who had worried that they had missed something. Cliff Mass writes. (Weather Blog) See also: Sunday’s soaking sets rainfall records, stops train service  Lynn Thompson reports. (Seattle Times)

Rainfall pushes 7 million gallons of diluted sewage into Port Angeles Harbor; health officials urge that people stay out of water
Stay out of Port Angeles Harbor for the next week, Clallam County public health officials advised today after heavy rainfall on Sunday pushed 7 million gallons of diluted sewage into the water. The advisory will remain in effect until next Monday, March 23. The environmental health section of county Health and Human Services said that contact with fecal-contaminated water can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. The overflow contained heavily diluted raw sewage but was mostly rainwater, city Engineer Mike Puntenney said Monday. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Seattle helping pay for rain gardens
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and King County on Monday invited 14,000 more Seattle residents to get thousands in rebates for installing rain gardens in their yards. SPU said there are now a total of 55,000 homes eligible for the Rain Wise rebates. Contractors direct roof drains to the gardens, which are holes filled with drainage friendly plants and soils. Many residents use them as colorful features to their yards. SPU said currently there are 600 homes participating; combined they reduce annual runoff by 9 million gallons. Gary Chittim reports. (KING)

Eulachon fish run draws crowds along B.C.'s Skeena River
The eulachon fish —  not totally understood by science or capitalism — is suddenly a star, as spectators gather in droves to watch the oily, shiny fish make their run down B.C.'s Skeena River…. The run is drawing spectators, not fishermen, because of the show that comes with it — when sea lions, eagles and other wildlife chase after the fish. The eulachon — also known as the oolichan, hooligan, ooligan, candlefish or Pacific Smelt — has no market value and isn't eaten widely in Canada by non-aboriginal people. Due to the fact that Fisheries and Oceans Canada doesn't consider it economically viable, it's often ignored by scientific research. (CBC)

Blue North Fisheries CEO works towards a ‘humane harvest’
echnology to stun cod as they are brought out of the water could improve the fish’s last moments as well as its taste and shelf life, says CEO Kenny Down. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Samish River cleanup effort gets a 90-day jolt
In an effort to expedite a shellfish harvest upgrade for Samish Bay, Clean Samish Initiative partners have launched a new 90-day plan with ambitious goals for the watershed…. Due to high river flows Sunday, Samish Bay was closed to shellfish harvest. The Office of Shellfish and Water Protection expects water sampling results Tuesday afternoon, according to Scott Berbells, state Department of Health growing section supervisor. If bacteria levels are high, the bay will remain closed. Clean Samish Initiative partners hope to achieve an upgrade for Samish Bay from the state’s characterization as conditionally approved to approved. Under conditionally approved regulations, harvest is closed whenever river flow exceeds a certain threshold, whether bacteria is confirmed present or not. Under approved status, the bay is only closed if bacteria is actually found in water samples. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Study Finds Some Fish Can Live In Low-Oxygen Dead Zones
Concerned that low-oxygen dead zones in the Pacific off the West Coast are getting more common as the climate changes, scientists are looking at how commercially valuable fish are reacting. A study published in the journal Fisheries Oceanography found overall numbers and diversity of fish declined as oxygen levels dropped in deep waters, but some fish remained, able to ride it out. (Associated Press)

CSIS helped government prepare for expected Northern Gateway protests
Canada's spy agency helped senior federal officials figure out how to deal with protests expected last summer in response to resource and energy development issues — including a pivotal decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service prepared advice and briefing material for two June meetings of the deputy ministers' committee on resources and energy, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show. Jim Bronskill reports. (Canadian Press)

La Conner files fumes complaint about Shell emission
La Conner Mayor Ramon Hayes has filed a complaint with the Northwest Clean Air Agency against Shell Puget Sound Refinery for its Feb. 20 discharge of fumes. Several La Conner residents had headaches, coughs and watery eyes due to the fumes, and Hayes wants to get to the bottom of the cause of the odor, he said. The city wants a detailed investigation into what happened and why, as well as a breakdown of exactly what was released, said Town Administrator John Doyle. Shannen Kuest reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New U.S., Canada border deal geared to improving traffic flow
A new preclearance agreement between the U.S. and Canada could make it easier for private companies to move people across the border. The agreement, signed Monday, March 16, by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, would allow for some inspections to take place prior to arriving at the border, potentially reducing congestion and delays. Both countries must enact legislation for the agreement to be implemented. This should be good news for ferry, bus and small airplane companies that take people into either country, said Laurie Trautman, associate director at the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE MAR 17 2015
TODAY
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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"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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