|Song Sparrow (Eugene Beckes/BirdNote)|
If you watch backyard birds, you will likely see some characteristic behaviors. One example is "foraging" styles — the behaviors that a bird uses to find food. Some birds, such as sparrows, are famous for their "double-scratch" behavior. The bird jumps forward and back, quite quickly...twice. In each forward jump, the bird lightly hooks leaf litter with its toes. Each return jump pulls the litter aside to expose the food underneath. Other species of birds, like robins, use their bills to simply grab leaf litter and toss it aside. Two strategies, one goal: expose and grab that food! (BirdNote)
New blog: Why “Tug Weather" And Tugs?
A reader of this Salish Sea News and Weather news blog this past weekend asked why the news clippings end with report of the “tug weather” forecast for the west end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. To explain: The daily “tug weather” report keeps our focus on one of the most vulnerable places in our Sound and Straits where large vessel mishaps would prove disastrous….
Kinder Morgan says pipeline plan isn’t dead, despite provincial opposition
Kinder Morgan maintains its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion isn’t dead yet, despite the B.C. government announcing that it would oppose the $6.8-billion plan because it does not meet the province’s five conditions. The province laid out five conditions in 2012 that it said all oil pipeline projects would have to meet before they would be allowed in B.C., which included requirements for a “world-leading” prevention and response plans if a pipeline fails on land or if oil is spilled into any rivers, lakes or the ocean. The B.C. government said in a submission to the National Energy Board on Monday that it didn’t believe Kinder Morgan had provided evidence that it had met those goals. But Ian Anderson, Kinder Morgan Canada president, said the company expects it will be able to satisfy the province’s demands by this August, with hopes of an order-in-council from the federal government by this fall. Kelly Sinoski reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Burnaby mayor asks Trudeau to halt Trans Mountain pipeline hearings Brent Jang and Jeffrey Jones report. (Globe and Mail)
Navy Uses US Citizens as Pawns in Domestic War Games
Beginning in mid-January, Navy SEALs will be practicing unannounced and clandestine combat beach landings across Washington State's Puget Sound and many other coastal areas of that state. The simulated combat exercises, which will include the use of mini-submarines and other landing craft, will deposit Navy SEALs carrying "simulated weapons" on 68 beach and state park areas in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Washington's west coast, unbeknownst to most of the relevant government agencies tasked with overseeing these areas. Internal Navy emails, two slide shows [http://truthoutdocs.cloudaccess.net/documents/1_US-Navy-Seals-training-NSWG3-Training-REQs_FINAL_19AUG15-MP.pdf and http://truthoutdocs.cloudaccess.net/documents/2_US-Navy-Seals-training-NSWG3-Training-REQs_CATEX-FY-16NW-Finals.pdf] and other documents obtained exclusively by Truthout reveal the vast extent of the operations. They also reveal the fact that the Navy labeled the relevant files as "For Official Use Only" and emails as "Attorney-Client privilege," a move that exempts such documents from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Dahr Jamail reports. (Truthout) See also: Navy considering SEAL training at Point Defiance, state parks Adam Ashton reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Thornton Creek gets a makeover from the ground up
Seattle Public Utilities is taking a new and experimental approach to improving the health of Seattle’s biggest urban stream…. The land, surface waters and in-stream and subsurface flows all are connected. So as Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) works to restore Thornton Creek, the city’s largest urban stream, a new idea has been in the works: Why not start at the bottom, and — with a little help from the healthy Cedar River — reassemble and reconnect all the pieces of the watershed, and see what happens? Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)
Orca calf found dead on Vancouver Island beach from Alaska, says Vancouver Aquarium
An orca calf found dead on a beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island has been identified through DNA as a member of the Gulf of Alaska's transient population. The Vancouver Aquarium compared a tissue sample from the female with other samples from the Alaskan population to make the link. Less is know about the Gulf of Alaska killer whales than the resident orcas that inhabit the waters off British Columbia, but the whales are known to spend time off the province's coast. (CBC)
Revisit building sewage plant in Esquimalt, Oak Bay mayor urges
Arguing there are potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to be had, Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen says the Capital Regional District should revisit the idea of locating a regional sewage treatment plant in Esquimalt…. Jensen has given notice that he wants the CRD’s sewage technical oversight panel and CRD staff to examine the feasibility of locating a single treatment plant — within existing zoning — at either McLoughlin Point or Macaulay Point in Esquimalt. If the panel concludes more land is needed, inquiries would be made with the federal government about acquiring needed land from the Department of National Defence, Jensen’s motion says. The motion will be debated by the core area liquid waste committee in two weeks. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)
Pacific shellfish set for price hike as ocean acidity keeps rising
B.C. shellfish producers and restaurant owners are bracing themselves for another price hike for the Pacific delicacies as ocean acidification makes it more difficult for oysters, mussels and scallops to survive. Shawn Chesney, owner of Oyster Express Restaurant, noted that the prices of shellfish have gone up 20 per cent to 30 per cent in the past three years. It’s expected to jump again this year, although by how much is not yet clear. Daisy Xiong reports. (Globe and Mail)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE JAN 12 2016
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT E WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
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