Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6 Smoky fires, Duwamish, Fraser salmon, culverts, manure rules, Lois Garlick, West Beach, Newporter Blog

Smoky Howe Sound (Tom Bray/Twitter/CBC)
Province-wide wildfires blanket B.C. communities in smoke
More than 50 new wildfires have sprung up across British Columbia over the weekend, putting people out of their homes or on evacuation alert, resulting in several communities declaring states of emergency. Smoke from the fires cast an early morning haze over Vancouver and an eerie pall over Victoria on Sunday. Ash was reported falling on buildings and cars in several areas from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver. (CBC) See also: Metro Vancouver issues air quality advisory due to smoke from wildfires  (CBC) And also: Smoky, choky day on North Olympic Peninsula to dissipate today, forecaster says  Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Duwamish Tribe denied federal recognition
The Duwamish Tribe’s decades-long quest to gain federal recognition hit a massive roadblock this week, as the U.S. Department of Interior issued its final decision denying such recognition to the tribe. In a letter to Cecile Hansen, tribal chairwoman, the department said it had determined the Duwamish “is not entitled to be acknowledged as an Indian tribe within the meaning of federal law,” and emphasized that the decision was final for the department. Janet Tu reports. (Seattle Times)

Tough days for salmon as Fraser River hotter, lower than expected
In the annals of climate change you can record another notable event. The Fraser River is running hotter and lower in the first week of July than it usually does in the dead of August. The water temperature is currently about 19 C, the level at which salmon start to show physiological stress, and the flow has dropped to extreme lows. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail) See also: B.C. seafood prices projected to increase
Prices for fresh local seafood will rise dramatically as catches decline over the next few decades, according to a report by researchers at the University of B.C. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

State money to fix salmon-blocking culverts falls far short http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/state-money-to-fix-salmon-blocking-culverts-falls-far-short/
Washington state is under a federal court order to fix hundreds of barriers built under state roads and highways that block access for migrating salmon and thus interfere with Washington tribes’ treaty-backed right to catch fish. But it’s not clear how the state is going to come up with the estimated $2.4 billion it will take to correct more than 825 culverts — concrete pipes or steel structures that allow streams to flow under state roads and highways. The state says it would need to fix an average 30 to 40 culverts a year by 2030, spending $310 million every biennium, to comply with the 2013 court injunction. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Update to water quality rules could affect county's farmers
State officials are rewriting water quality rules and the update could change how Snohomish County farmers use manure lagoons. The Department of Ecology is updating permits it issues for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Those are farms that discharge waste from animals confined for at least 45 days during the year in an area where they cannot graze. They can be dairy, beef, hog or poultry farms. The rewrite will clarify when a permit is required and also address groundwater-pollution concerns that were not part of permits in the past. No details have been finalized, said Jon Jennings, who is rewriting the permits for the ecology department. Amy Nile and Kari Bray report. (Everett Herald)

Lois Garlick, Whatcom environmental leader, dies at 95
A memorial service will be held Friday, July 10, for Lois Garlick, a much-honored activist in Whatcom County environmental issues. Garlick died at her Bellingham home Sunday, June 28. She was 95. Among her many activities, Garlick cared for wounded animals, especially injured and oil-soaked birds…. Garlick also was active in local and state land-use issues, including shoreline protection and Lake Whatcom water quality. Dean Kahn reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Coastal researchers launch blog to share findings about ocean
It’s an interesting time for researchers to begin writing a blog about ocean conditions off Oregon and Washington, an area undergoing some fascinating changes in oceanography and sealife. Scientists from NOAA Fisheries and Oregon State University launched their new website, “Newporter Blog,” last week. It’s named after the Newport Line, an area of study off the Oregon Coast where researchers have monitored changes for the past 20 years. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

West Beach Creek restoration project finished
A renewed marine legacy-in-the-making for Orcas  was celebrated on Thursday, June 18, at the site of a recently completed restoration project on West Beach Creek, just above where it empties into President Channel. Members of the Trudy Erwin family, representatives of the Northwest Straits Foundation and project partners gathered to commemorate removal of a fish passage barrier at the mouth of the creek and restoration of important habitat for salmon, forage fish and aquatic and marine species within the property area. (Islands Sounder)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 302 AM PDT MON JUL 6 2015
TODAY
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE
 MORNING.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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