Monday, November 23, 2015

11/23 Jellies, humpbacks, crabs, Dungeness Bay, climate, coal, LNG, Alaska drill, Gulf dolphins, salty sewer

Lion’s mane jellyfish (Alexander Semenov/Daily Mail)
Pull, not push, propels jellyfish and lampreys, according to new study
Jellyfish suck, but that’s not what most people believe about their method of locomotion. It seems more likely that jellyfish thrust themselves through the water by pushing the water behind them. But complex experiments in fluid dynamics suggest that jellyfish, as well as eel-like lampreys, actually pull themselves forward by creating a low-pressure region ahead…. The new findings were published this month in Nature Communications. Christopher Dunagan reports. (Saving Our Water Ways)

Humpback comeback: They're ‘popping up everywhere’
The influx of whales in waters near Victoria is being hailed as a “humpback comeback,” as it represents one of the biggest upticks in cetacean activity in recent years. Researchers, marine scientists and whale-watching guides who cover the water between Victoria and Seattle have all reported significant humpback activity as the species begins to repopulate the Salish Sea, which includes the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound. Mike Devlin reports. (Times Colonist)

Oregon and Washington delay crab season because of toxin
Oregon and Washington have joined California in delaying the start of their commercial crab seasons after dangerous toxin levels were found in the crabs. Officials say elevated levels of domoic acid were found in crabs in all three states. The toxin is naturally produced by microscopic algae in the Pacific Ocean, but the massive bloom of algae caused by warming ocean conditions this year has led to more toxins produced and consumed by shellfish. California had already delayed the Nov. 15 start of its season after finding dangerous levels of the toxin. (Associated Press)

Agencies honored for cleanup of Dungeness Bay, upgrading of shellfish beds
Collaboration among many agencies improved shellfish harvesting in Dungeness Bay, said the director of the Puget Sound Partnership at a ceremony honoring those who worked to clean up the bay. Members of the Sequim-Dungeness Clean Water Work Group were recognized Friday afternoon for their work to upgrade 728 acres of harvestable shellfish beds in Dungeness Bay. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

King County judge denies kids’ petition on climate change
A judge has denied an appeal by eight young activists who petitioned Washington state to adopt stricter science-based regulations to protect them against climate change. King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill affirmed some of the children’s arguments, saying the state has a duty to protect natural resources for future generations. But she said the Washington Department of Ecology is already working on meeting that obligation by writing new rules for greenhouse-gas emissions ordered by Gov. Jay Inslee. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Coal export terminals: A source of jobs, or coal dust and climate change?
Two proposed coal export terminals in Washington are now undergoing environmental reviews. During an Oct. 19, 2015, visit to the proposed terminal site in Longview, a local resident explains why she opposes the coal terminal being built. Meanwhile, lawmakers from Washington, Wyoming and Montana told reporters at a press conference at the site that they need the jobs and economic boost the coal terminal would bring. Melissa Santos reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Coal not going away anytime soon despite renewables push
Coal: Can’t live with it and can’t live without it, at least not yet. It is the biggest source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that negotiators around the world hope to limit in an agreement soon to be thrashed out in Paris. Demand for coal is leveling off, but it will remain a key energy source for decades, no matter how many billions of dollars of investment go into cleaner energy like wind and solar. Too much of the world depends on it for heating and power generation to suddenly live without it. Louise Watt reports. (Associated Press)

Analysis: Pressure to cut climate gases poses challenges for LNG
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal government and Christy Clark’s B.C. government get more serious about reducing carbon emissions, the nascent liquefied natural gas sector could face new challenges. Trudeau is meeting with premiers Monday to discuss the country’s strategy at climate talks in Paris next month, where countries will set new emissions targets. He has said his government will put a price on carbon, set emission-reduction targets and adopt tougher environmental reviews for energy projects. Gordon Hoekstra writes. (Vancouver Sun)

ConocoPhillips approves $900 million project in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
ConocoPhillips has approved funding for its Greater Mooses Tooth development on Alaska's North Slope, a $900 million project expected to yield 30,000 barrels of oil daily at its peak. Production is expected to begin in 2018 at the field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an Indiana-sized Arctic reserve. Production at the field would be the first time oil has flowed from federal lands on the reserve. Oil also recently began flowing from the oil company's CD5 project within the reserve boundaries, but that was on land owned by Alaska Native corporations. Alex DeMarban reports. (Alaska Dispatch News)

Births Down and Deaths Up in Gulf Dolphins Affected by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
…. This trend of reproductive failure and death in Gulf dolphins over five years of monitoring after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is outlined in a November 2015 study led by NOAA and published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society. Of the 10 Barataria Bay dolphins confirmed to be pregnant during the 2011 health assessment, only two successfully gave birth to calves that have survived. This unusually low rate of reproductive success—only 20%—stands in contrast to the 83% success rate in the generally healthier dolphins being studied in Florida's Sarasota Bay, an area not affected by Deepwater Horizon oil. (NOAA)

Costco says it won’t sell genetically modified salmon
Costco said Friday it does not intend to sell genetically modified salmon at this time, joining a list of retailers that say they will not sell the fish despite the approval Thursday by the federal Food and Drug Administration of such fish for human consumption. “Although the FDA has approved the sale of GM salmon, Costco has not sold and does not intend to sell GM salmon at this time,” the warehouse store chain said in a statement Friday. (Seattle Times, Associated Press)

Shell fined $77,000 for incident that caused odor
Shell Puget Sound Refinery was fined $77,000 on Nov. 10 for a February incident that brought numerous complaints of an odor. The state Department of Labor & Industries fined the refinery for two violations relating to improper operation of a flare, a gas combustion device that burns off substances that shouldn’t go airborne. The flare also prevents fires or explosions. The more serious violation alleges the refinery skipped decontamination steps when shutting down a flare for maintenance. Skipping those steps exposed workers to toxic substances, according to Labor & Industries. Aaron Weinberg reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Metro composting company seeks permit for higher emissions
Organics composter Harvest Power is seeking an air quality permit to increase its “authorized emissions” after significantly exceeding air and odour emissions for the past two years. The Richmond-based company, which composts most of Metro Vancouver’s food scraps, has asked the regional district to approve a permit based on “characterization studies” over the past two years that show emissions were more significant than expected, in some cases 11 times higher for certain compounds. Kelly Sinoski reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Bremerton: Sewer saltwater coming from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
More saltwater is flowing into city sewers from the Navy’s home base, putting the city’s sewers at risk, the Kitsap Sun reported. While saltwater is not unusual in a sewer system surrounded by Puget Sound, the increased amount of saltwater could increase corrosion, rust and increase odors in the city’s system, the paper reported. The saltwater amounts are double their usual levels, Pat Coxon, the city’s wastewater treatment manager told the Sun. City and Navy officials have not been able to solve the problem, the Sun reported. John White reports. (KCPQ)

Feiro Marine Life Center preparing to say goodbye to Ursula the octopus as time for her release nears
Ursula, a giant Pacific octopus has been living at the Feiro Marine Life Center for over a year and a half, but now it’s time to go. Ursula has been living at the center on City Pier since February 2014 when she was caught at Freshwater Bay. Mark Swanson reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Anacortes fifth-graders help restore Bowman Bay
Bracing against the wind at Deception Pass State Park’s Bowman Bay, 10-year-old EmmaLee Grove put the force of her entire body into digging a hole on the beach’s newly restored shoreline. When the hole was sufficiently deep, EmmaLee and her best friend Kadence Yonkman placed the roots of a small, leafless tree — which they had named Wilbur — into it, then covered the roots with rich, dark gray mud. Kera Wanielista reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 232 AM PST MON NOV 23 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT THIS AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN
 THE MORNING...THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 10 FT AT
 11 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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"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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