Thursday, December 3, 2015

12/3 Boating with orcas, June Burn, seabird poop, rising waters, BNSF crossing, media merge, climate

(Photo: Candice Emmons/NOAA)
Want To Help Endangered Orcas? Slow Down Your Boat
Boat speed is a big problem for Puget Sound’s endangered killer whales, according to new research published Wednesday.  The number of whale-watching vessels in Washington and British Columbia has more than quadrupled since the 1980s. At times, killer whales, or orcas, will be tailed by more than 20 boats when they enter Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. “Of all the characteristics that we examined, vessel speed was the most important factor for how loud it was for the whales,” said Juliana Houghton, lead author of the paper, which was just published in the journal PLOS One. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

The High Life
June and Farrar Burn were the last homesteaders in the San Juan Islands of Washington, settling in 1919 on Sentinel Island – a lovely, lonely dot of 15 acres. Their first chilly night on Sentinel’s peak, gazing over Puget Sound, they lay side by side on “our island. Our world,” as June later wrote. “We had pulled the ladder up and nobody would come… Farrar said, ‘We’re happy now. This is what it’s all about. This is what we were born for.’” Lorraine McConaghy reports. (Crosscut)

Seabirds Are Dumping Pollution-Laden Poop Back on Land
Chemicals we've poured into the ocean are coming back to sting us thanks to seabirds defecating in their onshore colonies. Joshua Rapp Learn reports. (Smithsonian.Com)

Facing Rising Waters, A Native Tribe Takes Its Plea To Paris Climate Talks
International leaders gathering in Paris to address global warming face increasing pressure to tackle the issue of "climate refugees." Some island nations are already looking to move their people to higher ground, even purchasing land elsewhere in preparation. In the U.S. Northwest, sea-level rise is forcing a Native American tribe to consider abandoning lands it has inhabited for thousands of years. The Quinault Indian Nation, whose small village lies at the mouth of the Quinault River on the outer coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, now relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall to protect it from the encroaching Pacific Ocean. Ashley Ahearn report. (NPR)

BNSF request to close road at crossing in Whatcom questioned
BNSF railroad wants to close a Custer-area road so it can move trains to a siding off the main track as needed, but residents and county officials are questioning the railroad’s explanation of why it’s needed. More than a dozen Whatcom County residents spoke out against the BNSF proposal to close Valley View Road at the crossing at a public hearing with state regulators from the Utilities and Transportation Commission Tuesday, Dec. 1. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

An Exciting New Chapter for Northwest Public Media
Crosscut and KCTS 9 Public Television have wed to bed "under the umbrella of a larger, multi-platform nonprofit organization that will be called Cascade Public Media." Greg Hanscom and Tamara Power-Drutis announce. (Crosscut)

New Puget Sound climate study: Older projections coming true, more changes ahead
Closer to home than the thousands of world leaders in Paris to discuss how to limit the scale of human-caused global warming, the consequences of climate change underway around Puget Sound have been detailed in an in-depth scientific study. The report, issued in November by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, found projections in a 2005 study on potential warming effects have come to pass, its authors said. The consequences threaten cornerstones of South Sound life from worsening floods and droughts to diminishing salmon stocks and snowpacks. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

B.C. fishing guide, client fined for stabbing a swimming deer off B.C.'s coast
A B.C. fishing guide and his client have been fined thousands of dollars for stabbing a swimming deer in the neck with a hook and trying to bring the animal onto their boat last spring. Andreas Handl of Kingfish Westcoast Adventures and Portuguese client Rodolfo Martins Lopes have both been convicted of harassing wildlife for the incident in Douglas Channel near Kitimat, according to the Conservation Officer Service. Handl was also convicted for illegally hunting big game. Bethany Lindsay reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 252 AM PST THU DEC 3 2015
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 30 TO 40 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 12 TO 13 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 16 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT WITH A FEW GUSTS TO NEAR 50 KT... BECOMING SW 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 16 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN 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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