Friday, July 31, 2015

7/31 Warm waters, Shell drill, BC pipe, coal port, fuel cap, salmon plight, tribe fight, BC ferries, tangled whales

(San Juan Journal)
Storm drain mural highlights art and environmental issues
The sea creature glides over the pavement, its red and pink tentacles splayed out and reaching, one of its eight arms curling over the curb. An octopus on the run in Friday Harbor? Close, but not quite. Its a new painting of an octopus in the ocean, painted on a storm drain outside of the Whale Museum to remind passerby’s that the water running through there flows out into the ocean. Anna Smith reports. (San Juan Journal)

Salmon Losing, Jellyfish Winning
When Lewis and Clark were exploring the Pacific Northwest, they talked about salmon running so thick you could cross the river on their backs. You don’t see salmon like that around Puget Sound anymore. What you do see are jellyfish. Joshua McNichols reports. (KUOW)  See also: ‘The Blob’ may warm Puget Sound’s waters, hurt marine life  Scientists say they are concerned about the continued ecological effects of the unusually warm and dry conditions in the Puget Sound region this summer. Paige Cornwell and Sandi Doughton report. (Seattle Times)

Shell icebreaker slips by; authorities force protesters from Portland bridge
After law-enforcement officials removed three of 13 roped Greenpeace activists from a bridge, a Shell icebreaker early Thursday evening was able to begin its journey down the Willamette River en route to the Chukchi Sea. The MSV Fennica passed under the bridge shortly before 6 p.m., capping a tumultuous day of protest here by activists opposed to Shell’s efforts to explore for oil off Alaska’s North Slope. Hal Bernton and Evan Bush report. (Seattle Times)

 Kinder Morgan pipeline opponents furious about ‘chaotic’ review process
The National Energy Board is facing a fresh round of resistance to its embattled review of the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Three separate parties – British Columbia’s Opposition New Democrats, the City of Burnaby and the Sierra Club – all issued renewed challenges to the process on Thursday…. The strongly-worded letter from B.C.’s opposition party details four major concerns with the NEB process, including that it lacks the public’s confidence, doesn’t consider climate change, hasn’t required Kinder Morgan to disclose its emergency response plans and failed to ensure First Nations were on board. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

Montana scrambles, but Corps not close to coal port decision
A U.S. senator and representative from Montana hurriedly circulated petitions in their respective chambers to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not to kill the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. The 16 U.S. senators who signed their letter, including Montana Republican Steve Daines, were appealing to the Corps to not halt Gateway Pacific Terminal as requested in January by Lummi Nation until after a thorough environmental review is completed, with the release of a draft environmental impact statement. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Inslee says cap would hit largest carbon sources, including gas distributors
Not wanting to swallow a “poison pill” provision in the Legislature’s transportation package helped keep Gov. Jay Inslee from creating a clean-fuel standard targeting the tailpipes that are Washington’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. But Inslee told The News Tribune editorial board Wednesday that the regulations he is now pursuing would cover distributors of vehicle fuel. “Basically what this is about is breaking the monopoly and the stranglehold on Washingtonians of the oil and gas industry,” the Democratic governor said. Jordan Schrader reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

As salmon vanish in the dry Pacific Northwest, so does Native heritage
As a drought tightens its grip on the Pacific Northwest, burning away mountain snow and warming rivers, state officials and Native American tribes are becoming increasingly worried that one of the region’s most precious resources — wild salmon — might disappear. Native Americans, who for centuries have relied on salmon for food and ceremonial rituals, say the area’s five species of salmon have been declining for years, but the current threat is worse than anything they have seen. Darrly Fears reports. (Washington Post)

Lummi, S’Klallam Nations In Court Over 30-year-long Dispute Over Fishing Territory
The Lummi and S’Klallams were among the Indigenous Peoples who fished a vast inland sea off northwest Washington, bounded by Haro Strait to the west, Rosario Strait to the east, Georgia Strait to the north, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound to the south. In the middle are the San Juan Islands, which the Lummi believe is their place of origin. To the south is the Olympic Peninsula, the place of origin of the Elwha, Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam peoples…. Both sides are in U.S. District Court, in their third decade of legal battles to determine who has the treaty right to fish those waters. District and appellate court decisions have seesawed in favor of the S’Klallams and the Lummi Nation. Richard Walker reports. (Indian Country Today)

Willapa Bay plan cuts Chinook production by one-third
The production of hatchery Chinook in Willapa Bay will decrease by more than one-third as a result of a policy adopted recently by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The policy, adopted in June, also is likely to decrease the number of fish commercial fishermen can catch if the commission’s action survives a legal challenge. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have said that they needed to adopt the new policy to avoid having the Chinook listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. (Longview Daily News)

The secret scientific life of B.C.’s ferries
B.C. Ferries passengers may not know they’re also aboard a mobile ocean observatory. Three vessels that cross the Strait of Georgia have been outfitted with instruments for collecting ocean and atmospheric information, through a partnership with Ocean Networks Canada. Scientists are using the data to monitor the strait’s habitat health, which has implications for everything from micro-organisms to larger species such as salmon and orcas. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist) See also: Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels  Sam Sanders reports. (NPR)

If you like to watch: Storm on the Deschutes
DERT's Board member and historian Helen Wheatley put this video together after a early fall storm on the Deschutes a few years ago. Its the sentiments of sediment. See here.

Whale entanglements increasing off B.C. coast
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says four whales entangled in fishing gear have been rescued off the B.C. coast in the past five weeks. Entanglement can be a death sentence for whales if netting prevents them from breathing and feeding. But in some cases, whales can go on for months or even years dragging along the gear before someone spots them and calls for help. (CBC)

Illuminating the Plight of Endangered Species, at the Empire State Building
Travis Threlkel was standing on the roof of a building on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street looking uptown at his canvas. It’s hard to miss: It’s the Empire State Building, and on Saturday evening he and his collaborator, the filmmaker and photographer Louie Psihoyos, will project digital light images of endangered species onto the building in an art event meant to draw attention to the creatures’ plight and possibly provide footage for a coming documentary.… On Saturday, using 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors on the roof of a building on West 31st Street, Mr. Threlkel and Mr. Psihoyos, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” will be illuminating the night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. with a looping reel showing what Mr. Psihoyos calls a “Noah’s ark” of animals. A snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin and manta rays, along with snakes, birds and various mammals and sea creatures will be projected onto a space 375 feet tall and 186 feet wide covering 33 floors of the southern face of the Empire State Building — and beyond, thanks to cellphones and Internet connections. Tom Roston reports. (NYTimes)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI JUL 31 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT...BECOMING 1 TO 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W
 SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 7 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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