Thursday, November 19, 2015

11/19 Statoil drill, sea rise, BC scallops, greenhouse gas, San Juan ridge, derelict boats, Fort Nisqually

Great Gray Owl (BirdNote)
The Ears of an Owl
Exactly where are an owl's ears? Well, the eyes of this Great Gray Owl are set in a broad, dish-shaped face. Ridges of tiny hair-like feathers rim the owl's face, creating "facial disks." Just below the margins of the facial disks, concealed by feathers, are the openings to the owl's ears. The facial disk acts as a sound collector — like an old-fashioned ear trumpet — and guides sound to asymmetrically placed ears. There's always more to learn about owls' ears! (BirdNote)

Another big global oil company abandons plans for Arctic offshore drilling in Alaska
The government-owned Norwegian firm Statoil said Tuesday it is pulling out of oil leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, just two months after Shell Oil abandoned its $7 billion Arctic program after drilling an unsuccessful well…. The company cited “recent exploration results in neighboring leases,” a direct reference to Shell’s failure. Statoil is walking away from 16 leases along with 50 stakes in ConocoPhillips leases. The leases were due to expire in 2020. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

If you dare to watch: The Coming of Climate Change and Mass Inundation of the Puget Sound
The progressive change that sea level rise could have locally is obvious. Entire communities like low-laying Georgetown and South Park could be swept away. Pioneer Square could finally sink back into Elliott Bay. And even Seattle's industrial economic engines south of Downtown — as widespread as the Green River Valley — could be permanently submerged. Only the freeways of I-5 and I-405 that once served them would remain, and that's merely because they're on higher ground. Stephen Fesler reports. (The Urbanist)

The B.C. Scallop Farmer's Acid Test
Rob Saunders points a flashlight into the depths of an immense plastic tank at his hatchery, illuminating millions of scallop larvae as tiny as dust particles. "Think of these as canaries in a coal mine," says the marine biologist turned embattled shellfish farming CEO. It is here at Island Scallops' facility in Qualicum Beach, located just inland from British Columbia’s shellfish farming epicentre of Baynes Sound, that ocean acidification wreaked havoc. Beginning in 2011, the company's scallop brood stock (adult shellfish bred over 25 years to be disease-resistant and exceptionally meaty), began to die. Christopher Pollon reports. (The Tyee)

Washington State Plowing Ahead With Greenhouse Gas Limits
The administration of Washington Governor Jay Inslee is moving ahead with a plan to limit greenhouse gas pollution from the state's largest industrial sources. State regulators fielded dozens of questions Wednesday about the efficacy, design and compliance costs of the proposal to slow climate change…. In late summer, Governor Inslee asked the Ecology Department to develop quickly what he called a "cap and reduce program." The carbon pollution limit ratchets down over time. Tom Banse reports. (KUOW)

Another Mount Constitution? Islanders unite to preserve San Juan ridge for views, trails
Approached on a winding road that leads from Friday Harbor, squat Mount Grant is cloaked under a canopy of old-growth trees, shrouding it from islanders who live on the pastoral lands at its feet. Virtually unbeknown to neighbors, it has long held one of the island’s great secrets: the 740-foot ridge’s spectacular views, taking in postcard vistas of surrounding islands, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker, the Twin Sisters — and, on a clear day, Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak…. Mount Grant has the potential to be the Mount Constitution of San Juan Island, said San Juan Preservation Trust executive director Tim Seifert, referring to the famed viewpoint on neighboring Orcas Island. Tan Vinh reports. (Seattle Times)

Victoria won’t make waves on derelict boat problem
Victoria will take a “slow and steady” approach to clearing out derelicts and other boats moored in the Gorge waterway, says Mayor Lisa Helps…. The city has been working for about two years to find a way to deal with the boats, some derelict, anchored just northwest of the Selkirk Trestle off Banfield Park. In the summer of 2014, councillors adopted a bylaw to rezone the waterway for recreational use only. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Future of Fort Nisqually public input wanted
Metro Park Tacoma is looking for public input on the future of Fort Nisqually. The board recently approved the Point Defiance Park Master Plan, so the next phase is public meetings to help refine programs and improvements on several focus areas within in the park…. Stepping into Fort Nisqually is like stepping back in time and seeing what life was like pre-Civil War. Fort Nisqually first opened in 1833, even before Washington was a state. British-based Hudson's Bay Co. established the first non-native settlement in the Puget Sound Region. The living and walking museum runs some amazing programs, camps, and tours. Teresa Yuan reports. (KING)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 316 AM PST THU NOV 19 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
NE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
NE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING E AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
--
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