Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12/9 Seal call, flooding, Canadian dollar, Sound recovery, shoreline restoration, BC carbon tax

Harbor seal (Marine Mammal Center)
Seals prefer quite times for the call of the wild, study suggests
Marine scientists call it a roar, though it sounds more like someone breathing heavily on the other end of the phone. It’s the underwater mating call of a male harbour seal and it could be at risk of being drowned out by the din of motor vessels. The first study of its kind has found that male seals in the Strait of Georgia are choosing evening times to vocalize when underwater noise from vessel engines, especially pleasure craft and commercial fishing boats, is lowest. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Major flooding expected on Skagit River
In preparation for what may be the largest Skagit River flood since 2006, some upriver communities began voluntary evacuations Tuesday. The river was expected to reach flood stage near Concrete on Tuesday night, and high water is forecast to make its way through the Skagit Valley on Wednesday and Thursday. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Massive flooding threatens communities as rain, snowmelt continue  Jack Broom and Jessica Lee report. (Seattle Times)

Weak Canadian dollar sets new 11-year low
The tumble of oil and other commodity prices continues to weaken the Canadian dollar, which posted a new 11-year low on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The Canadian dollar finished the trading day at 73.6 cents compared to the U.S. dollar, its lowest level since June 2004. With oil prices bouncing around just under $40 a barrel and a strengthening U.S. dollar, the loonie continues to be hit hard, dropping 14 cents in the past year when compared to the American currency. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Guest blog: Salish Sea Protection and Improvement: Cases for Patience … And a Little Optimism
"I read the recent State of the Sound report produced by the Puget Sound Partnership and I was conflicted.  There is a lot of so-so news, too much not-so-good news, and not much good news…. But I think there are reasons for hope and here are a few:…" Pete Haase writes. See also: Puget Sound Action Agenda up for renewal  Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Twelve Washington projects receive state grants to restore shorelines
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has begun distributing $8.2 million in funding for 12 local projects designed to protect and restore the natural shorelines around Puget Sound…. [Projects include:] Jefferson Co. Discovery Bay Restoration ($257,862), Kilisut Harbor Restoration ($2,000,000), West Dabob Bay Restoration ($527,000); King Co. Maury Island Restoration ($1,586,712 – Federal EPA grant funds and ESRP state capital funding provided); Mason Co. Beard's Cove Restoration ($409,000 – Funded with federal EPA grant dollars), Skokomish Delta Restoration ($1,231,929); Kitsap Co. Teekalet and Port Gamble Restoration ($1,500,000); Snohomish Co. Railroad Grade Beach Nourishment ($99,010); Thurston Co. Bulkhead Removal Planning ($86,684); Thurston/Pierce Cos. Restoring Sediment Supply to Sustain Delta Marsh ($350,000); Puget Sound-Wide: Prioritization for Bluffline Structure Protection ($149,621), Identifying Target Beaches for Restoration and Protection ($34,685 partial funding)…. Funding distributed by WDFW through those programs comes from a combination of state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (Maple Valley Reporter)

Carbon tax increase would jeopardize LNG economy, says industry
The premier of B.C. has said the provincial government will not implement a carbon tax increase without further consultation with the public and industry, but the LNG Alliance is already firm on its position against the increase. A climate change leadership team, composed of businesses, First Nations, local governments, academia, and environmental groups, put forward a report recommending a $10 carbon tax increase in 2018 and a one percent decrease in the provincial sales tax. The report was commissioned by the B.C. government. The LNG Alliance participated in the climate leadership talks and it says there was consensus on all points except one — a rise in the carbon tax. Premier Christy Clark froze the carbon tax in 2012. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 234 AM PST WED DEC 9 2015
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 13 TO 16 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING E 25 TO 35 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 14 TO 15 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 14 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
--
"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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