Monday, October 26, 2015

10/26 J53, boat deaths, culvert fix, shellfish land, marine protection, port vote, divestment, BC LNG

J17 and calf J53 (Simon Pidcock of Ocean EcoVentures/Seattle Times)
Experts have high hopes for survival of latest baby orca
The sixth orca calf born since December — and the fourth born into J pod — was spotted off the west coast of San Juan Island on Saturday. Two years of robust chinook salmon runs are being credited for the baby boom…. First spotted off the west coast of San Juan Island, J53 was a bit of a surprise and is the fourth calf born to J17 — a 38-year-old whale who is a grandmother to other orcas, J46 and J47, [according to Michael Harris of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.] Sara Jean Green reports. (Seattle Times)

1 still missing, 5 dead after whale watching boat capsizes off Tofino, B.C.  
Five people are dead and the search continues for one other after a whale watching boat capsized Sunday off the west coast of Vancouver Island, triggering a rescue effort that saw 21 others who were on board the vessel brought ashore. Lt.-Cmdr. Desmond James of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said the search for the missing person was called off late Sunday night and the RCMP was handling it as a missing-person case. (Canadian Press)

To help salmon, fixing culverts is key-- but state must find them all first
State officials were ordered more than two years ago to replace old culverts that block fish migration in the Puget Sound region. While the state is appealing that decision, officials are also making preparations to comply. And they’re realizing all their work could be for naught if they don’t fix other fish barriers, too — even ones that aren’t covered by the 2013 court injunction. Culverts are typically large pipes that allow water to pass under roadways. But they often block salmon and steelhead from reaching spawning grounds. That’s where state officials run into a problem: They don’t know where all the fish-blocking culverts in the state are, particularly the ones owned by city and county governments. Melissa Santos reports. (Olympian)

Taylor Shellfish sells land to state for conservation
Fifteen acres of land near the Taylor Shellfish hatchery has been added to the state-managed Dabob Bay Natural Area, the Northwest Watershed Institute announced. Taylor Shellfish Company sold four parcels totaling 15 acres of forested shoreline along Dabob Bay near Quilcene to the state Department of Natural Resources for $440,000 last month, said Peter Bahls, director of the nonprofit institute, which helped coordinate the project. (Peninsula Daily News)

More of the planet was protected in 2015 than ever. Few noticed because it was underwater
The Pacific island nation of Palau’s announced Thursday that it is designating a 193,000-square-mile fully protected marine reserve that would be the sixth largest such area in the world and would help protect over a thousand species of fish and some 700 species of coral. The news is even more momentous given that plans to set aside over 1 million square miles of highly protected ocean have now been announced in 2015 alone, more than during any prior year, according to figures provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That is an area bigger than Alaska and Texas combined. Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin report. (Washington Post)

Port of Seattle candidates’ views similar, backgrounds differ
The Port of Seattle commission seat that drew nine candidates for the primary is now a battle between two candidates who want to create jobs and expand business, but in an environmentally positive way. While the two candidates have similar positions on Port politics, their backgrounds set them apart: Fred Felleman’s experience is in maritime while Marion Yoshino’s is in economic development in airport communities. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

‘Kayakctivists’ take their divestment cause to a famous Medina address
If Bill and Melinda had gazed out over Lake Washington from their home on Saturday afternoon, they would have been treated to Seattle area’s latest “Kayakctivist” demonstration, and the chant: “Be the leader, Be the best, Do the right thing, Gates divest.” Ex-Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and 34 other activists braved the weather — it often rains when McGinn does waterfront events — in hopes of persuading the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to jettison oil and coal stocks from its multi-billion-dollar portfolio. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

LNG line eyes new route over aboriginal concerns
TransCanada is making pipeline route changes to lock up First Nation support for a leading proposed liquefied natural gas mega-project on the northwest coast of B.C. The Calgary-based company has announced it will apply in November for an alternative route along a stretch of the pipeline on its $4.7-billion Coastal GasLink project that will supply the Shell-led LNG Canada export terminal with a price tag of $40 billion. TransCanada said it did so after “extensive” consultations with aboriginal groups in the area of the alternative route. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT SUN OCT 25 2015
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
MON
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING.

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