|Nibblet at work (Laurie MacBride)|
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I like to think that everyone who lives here at our place contributes, doing their part of the considerable work needed to keep the homestead running…. And now that Nibblet’s tall enough to reach the Oceanspray, he’s hard at work as well – doing his very best to keep the forest of wild shrubbery that surrounds our yard from crowding out the foxgloves and other cultivated plants…"
Gov. Inslee calls second special session: Legislature confronts budget deadline and U.S. Open
Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday called the Washington Legislature into its second special session, citing lawmakers’ failure to agree on and approve new operating and capital budgets for the upcoming 2015-17 biennium. The latest 30-day special session starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday…. The Legislature faces two deadlines. The official deadline, noted in the governor’s proclamation, is July 1. It’s the start of the new biennium…. The second deadline is posed by the U.S. Open golf tournament, slated for Chambers Bay the week of June 15-21. The prestigious golf event has booked hundreds of hotel rooms in the south Puget Sound area, creating a question: Where will the 147 members of the House and Senate sleep if they are called back that week to complete budget deliberations? Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com) See also: Senate GOP releases latest budget offer to spur talks Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)
More than 100,000 sign petition opposed to expansion of B.C. salmon farming
A petition signed by more than 100,000 people opposed to expansion of B.C.'s salmon farming industry has been presented to the legislature in Victoria. More than 100 conservation groups, industry organizations, and business owners also supported the petition. Concerns relate to the potential for disease transfer and lice outbreaks to impact wild salmon. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Researchers cautious about slow sea star recovery on North Olympic Peninsula while hundreds of new juveniles crop up elsewhere
The North Olympic Peninsula's remaining sea stars may be holding their own, but there is no evidence yet of a remarkable recovery of young sea stars seen elsewhere along the Pacific coast, researchers say. With nearly all of the mature sea stars dead and gone, rarely seen juvenile sea stars — popularly known as starfish — have been seen emerging by the hundreds at locations previously devastated by a malady known as sea star wasting syndrome during the past 18 months. Two surveys near Everett found a total of about 600 juvenile ochre stars — one of the hardest-hit species. Five other Puget Sound surveys found hundreds more. However, sea star colonies on rocky outcroppings along North Olympic Peninsula shorelines not are part of that good news, researchers in Clallam and Jefferson counties say. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Kaleidoscopic jellyfish display ready for its Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium debut
Like many other beautiful creatures, jellyfish can be high-maintenance. They need the water temperature just right. Their tanks require creative construction so they don’t get suctioned into the vent or stuck to the bottom. Their behavior changes depending on light and food sources and how many other jellies are swimming nearby. The tiniest scratch on their thin skin can lead to infection or death…. The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium opens its “Jammin’ with Jellies” exhibit Friday, which it claims is the most “flexible” exhibit of its kind worldwide. Stacia Glenn reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Much of Hood Canal closed to shellfish harvesting
Much of Hood Canal and part of Whatcom County’s shoreline have been closed to shellfish harvesting because of high levels of marine toxins. Public health officials say concerns about “red tide,” which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, have led to the closure of Hood Canal from the Bangor naval station to Sisters Point in Mason County. The tip of Hood Canal in the Belfair area remains open. Meanwhile, Whatcom County has closed its shoreline from Birch Point to Sandy Point, northwest of Bellingham. (Associated Press)
NTSB Faults Shell's Risk-Taking in Arctic Oil Rig Wreck
A new report from The National Transportation Safety Board says poor planning and risk assessment by Shell Oil led to the wreck of the Kulluk oil rig off the coast of Alaska in December 2012. The NTSB report comes out as Shell is gearing up to hunt for oil again this summer in the Arctic Ocean. The report says it wasn't a single error or equipment failure that caused the wreck: It was the company's failure to leave a margin of safety when planning a risky midwinter trip across the Gulf of Alaska. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)
EPA clarifies federal jurisdiction over streams and wetlands of the U.S.
Enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act has been stuck in a state of confusion since 2006, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers was overreaching by requiring permits for all sorts of waterways beyond the agency’s jurisdiction…. The EPA requisitioned a scientific report about hydraulic connectivity, concluding that even small streams can affect downstream waters. The final language in the rule, designed to reduce judgment calls by federal regulators, says tributaries would come under federal jurisdiction only if capable of delivering significant pollution downstream. Such tributaries would need to have flowing water or related features — such as a streambed, bank or high-water mark. The rule has worried farmers, who want to make sure the federal government does not try to regulate ditches designed for irrigation and drainage. Language in the final rule says ditches will not be regulated unless they are shown to be a remnant of a natural stream that has been diverted or altered. Christopher Dunagan explains. (Watching Our Water Ways)
Ontario Killer Whale Ban Passes
Ontario has passed a bill that prohibits the breeding and acquisition of killer whales as well as other animal protection rules. The bill, named the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, also includes rules that require animal welfare committees at any facility that has marine mammals. The bill also includes a requirement for marine parks — there is only one in Ontario — to have qualified veterinarians with marine mammal expertise to oversee preventive and clinical care. (Canadian Press)
Have your say at sewage workshops this weekend
Sites for sewage-treatment facilities are on the agenda this weekend at a pair of workshops covering the eastern part of the region — Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria. Feedback can also be given by completing an online survey. The survey will be available starting on Monday. The workshops, run by the Eastside Select Committee, are set for Saturday at the University of Victoria’s Cadboro Commons Building and Sunday at the Victoria Conference Centre, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. (Times Colonist)
$5,000 Offered For Info In String Of Sea Lion Shootings
Federal wildlife officials are investigating a string of sea lion shootings on the Oregon Coast. The Humane Society of the U.S. and another group are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible for the shootings. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says ten California sea lions and one harbor seal were shot and killed during the months of April and May. Killing a sea lion is a federal offense under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. (Associated Press)
Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 225 AM PDT FRI MAY 29 2015
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
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