Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12/16 Sea lion poison, Tswaout shellfish, salmon recovery, swan death rise

California sea lion (Reuters)
New study says shellfish poisoning is killing sea lions
The unprecedented algae bloom off the coast of the western United States, containing toxic domoic acid halting shellfish harvesting in broad regions, is so severe that three top scientists said Tuesday they are concerned it is causing brain damage or killing sea lions and other marine mammals, and may even find its way into humans. They warn hospitals are not equipped to test for, or diagnose, chronic low level domoic acid poisoning in human patients because, until recently, it has not been as big a threat. Jeff Burnside reports. (KOMO)

Tsawout First Nation welcomes help to restore traditional shellfish harvest
The Tsawout First Nation is welcoming a push to clean up the shore along the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria where contamination has ruined the traditional shellfish harvest. "I can remember when I was younger, all along this here was a real good place to dig clams," said elder Earl Claxton Jr, standing on the beach front earlier this week. "No matter how poor you were, you could still come down and dig clams and get crabs and feast like a king." But since then a number of factors have made the shellfish along the Saanich Peninsula inedible, including runoff, geese droppings, and a regional sewage treatment plant placed in the community years ago, said Claxton. The treatment plant is now operated by the Tsawout First Nation and Claxton said it is looking to improve what enters the ocean. Sewage treatment for other communities in the region is now provided at a different facility. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Salmon recovery projects awarded to King County and others 
The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership today announced the award of $44.3 million in grants to organizations around the state for projects that will restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas, all targeted at bringing salmon back from the brink of extinction. (Enumclaw Courier-Herald) See also: Fish projects get $5.4M in funding  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

State counties see alarming spike in trumpeter swan deaths
The trumpeter swans have returned to spend the winter there, but along with their recent arrival has come an alarming spike in the number of swans dying in power line strikes. It was a sad sight to watch wildlife biologist Martha Jordan deliver more than a half-dozen carcasses to a drop box in the community of Conway. "All them have died of power line collisions," said Jordan, executive director of the Northwest Swan Conservation Association. "They're big, beautiful birds and to keep losing them on these kinds of things...it never gets easier. I won't say you even get used to it." Jordan says our stormy weather is contributing to an increase in bird-wire fatalities. Mark Miller reports. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED DEC 16 2015  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
 

TODAY
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT  17 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 E WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 11 FT  AT 16 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN  AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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