Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2/16 Sea wolf, mussels, Vic sewer overflow, Rubio's Vancouver, Skagit SMP, NW power, fish and fat

Sea wolf (PHOTO: Ian McAllister/Vancouver Sun)
B.C. photographer’s shot of sea wolf named one of National Geographic’s favourites of 2015
Ian McAllister — photographer, environmentalist and scuba diver — was busy documenting the seasonal herring spawn on B.C.’s central coast when he spotted a couple of wolves on the shoreline north of Bella Bella. Wearing a dry suit in the cold clear waters, he swam towards the predators and positioned his Nikon D4 camera with underwater housing to obtain a split image of sea and sky. As McAllister emerged all black and slippery at the surface, the wolves immediately thought dinner — and not those little eggs squeezed from a female herring…. The photograph has earned McAllister a coveted spot among National Geographic’s favourite 20 photos of 2015. The image also appeared in the magazine’s October 2015 feature, In Search of the Elusive Sea Wolf Along Canada’s Rugged Coast. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Puget Sound's health filters through mussels
It's so dark that Maradel Gale and her team of Bainbridge Beach Naturalists don't see Manzanita Bay until their boots squish into its low tidelands. With only a few house lights along its rim and no sounds but lapping waves, the bay doesn't seem like the best place to be poking around for pollution. But for Gale, the proof is in the mussels. She shines her headlamp on a few dozen black-shelled bivalves, neatly arrayed in mesh bags and locked in a steel cage. She placed the farm-raised mussels here three months ago to soak, and now it's time to send them to the lab. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Heavy rain prompts health advisories at capital’s outfalls
Health advisory warnings were posted on local beaches around outfalls throughout Greater Victoria on Monday morning as stormwater and sewage overflowed into the ocean due to heavy rain. The affected areas extended from Finnerty Cove near Queenswood Drive in Saanich to Clover Point on Dallas Road in Victoria, and McLoughlin Point, east of Saxe Point, in Esquimalt. The sewage is some areas is unscreened and there’s the potential for “floatables” including plastics washing up on local beaches, said Ted Robbins, general manager for CRD integrated water services The Capital Regional District posted the signs between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and issued a public service announcement advising residents to avoid wading in the waters along these shorelines, “as the wastewater may pose a health risk.” Cindy Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

Marco Rubio team accidentally slips Vancouver into Republican leadership campaign ad 
Marco Rubio, currently running third in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, must be hoping that scenic Vancouver can give him a push past frontrunners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The Florida senator’s latest campaign ad, titled Morning Again in America, opens with three seconds of beautiful stock footage featuring our skyline and harbour. “It’s morning again in America,” says the narrator as a tugboat zips through the water in front of familiar Vancouver landmarks like the Harbour Centre, One Wall Centre and Port Metro Vancouver cranes. It’s unmistakably Vancouver. (Postmedia News)

County to update Shoreline Master Program
Skagit County is accepting public comment on a proposed update to the Shoreline Master Program, which sets rules for development in shoreline areas. Skagit County Planning and Development Services will take written comments on the draft update until 4:30 p.m. April 4. The Skagit County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. March 15. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Conservation, not new plants, can meet most NW power needs, council says
The electricity needs of Northwest states can be met in the next 20 years mostly through conservation efforts, with little need to construct new power plants, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council predicted. The Portland-based council recently issued its 20-year plan for meeting the energy needs of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana…. However, some utilities might have to build new power plants to help integrate inconsistent natural resources such as wind power into the grid, the council said. Nicholas Geranios reports. (Associated Press)

In pregnancy, eating too much fish can raise a child’s obesity risk, study says
Newborns whose mothers ate fish more than three times a week during pregnancy grew faster in their first two years of life and were more likely to be overweight or obese at 4 and 6 years old than were babies born to mothers who ate little to no fish during pregnancy, a new study says. In a large study conducted across several countries, researchers found that the weight-related effects of a mother’s high fish consumption was more pronounced when the offspring was female. Researchers suggested two explanations for their finding: that the Omega-3 fatty acids found plentifully in fish might predispose fetal stem cells to differentiate into fat cells, or that pollutants found in fish disrupt fetal hormones related to metabolism and prompt greater fat storage. But they acknowledged that the possibility that contaminants are to blame for the effect is “speculative,” since the study’s authors had no measure of the persistent organic pollutants in the fish the women ate. (Tribune News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  259 AM PST TUE FEB 16 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE
 TONIGHT  

TODAY
 SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN  LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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