Tuesday, April 19, 2016

4/19 Shore armor, manure runoff, sunk ship, oil pipe, hatchery steelhead, Brinnon resort

Pileated woodpecker (Laurie MacBride)
Hard at Work in the Forest
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Five species of woodpeckers inhabit the woods around our place. The largest, most colourful one is the Pileated woodpecker, who clearly resembles that crazy cartoon character we knew and loved as children. On rare occasions like the one in the photo above, Woody stops by our house for a treat of suet…."

First Salish Sea-wide shoreline armoring study shows cumulative effects on ecosystem
Bulkheads and seawalls along the shores of Puget Sound help ease erosion and stabilize bluffs to protect waterfront properties. But these walled structures also shrink beaches, reduce habitat for invertebrates and spawning fish and, indirectly, degrade conditions for iconic species like salmon and orcas. Many studies have shown this pattern at seawall sites around Puget Sound. A new University of Washington study shows that impacts at individual armored sites can scale up to have cumulative, large-scale effects on the characteristics of Salish Sea shorelines and the diversity of life they support. It is the first study to analyze sites broadly within Puget Sound and offers the most comprehensive look to date at the impacts of shoreline armoring on the Salish Sea ecosystem. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

Sumas berry farm fined $20,000 for manure runoff into Saar Creek
A berry farm in Sumas has been fined $20,000 for allowing water contaminated with manure to get into Saar Creek, a tributary of the Sumas River. Both bodies of water flow into British Columbia. The Washington State Department of Ecology fined Sarbanand Farms, 4625 Rock Road, for two incidents that occurred Nov. 17 and Dec. 9, 2015, according to an Ecology news release…. Sarbanand received a $4,000 fine for a similar incident from the same field in fall 2013. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Wreck of HMCS Annapolis showing signs of life, say divers
Just one year since the Canadian Navy destroyer HMCS Annapolis was sunk in Howe Sound divers are discovering plenty of new life around the old ship. The 51-year-old Annapolis was sunk in Halkett Bay Marine Park off Gambier Island in order to create B.C.'s eighth artificial reef. Before the sinking, there was a long legal battle over the toxicity of the paint and its impact on the water. Since the sinking, divers have been keeping a close eye on the wreck for signs of life, says Donna Gibbs, a taxonomist with the Vancouver Aquarium. Megan Batchelor and Mike Laanela report. (CBC)

Robertson rips pipeline over emissions
The Trudeau government’s method of assessing the climate impact of Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion Alberta-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion is inadequate, the City of Vancouver asserted in a letter Monday. The letter from a city official was released along with a much more political statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Hatchery steelhead to swim again
At the Wallace River Hatchery outside Sultan, the year-old early winter steelhead trout are getting antsy in their holding pen. It's smolting season, and the fish, about 8 or 10 inches long, leap out of the water, flashing silver in the sun…. The fish are looking for an exit their instincts tell them is there, but for the past two years hasn't been available to them. Fortunately for the fish, the word came down Monday that they can be released directly into the Wallace River.Five hatcheries on Puget Sound rivers, including Wallace River, Reiter Pond in Gold Bar and Whitehorse near Darrington, can release the fish under the permit issued by NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency whose mission includes protecting endangered fish species and marine habitat. Chris Winters reports. (Everett  Herald)

Tribe, Jefferson County, developer open channels over proposed Brinnon resort
A meeting Monday on a resort proposed in Brinnon accomplished its purpose of opening a clear channel of communication between the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe and the Jefferson County government, according to participants. The meeting, requested by the tribe, was meant to voice concerns about a proposed 252-acre master planned resort located near land granted to the tribe in the 1855 Treaty of Point No Point….. Statesman Group of Calgary, Alberta, Canada proposed the plan of constructing the resort in the Pleasant Harbor/Black Point area of Brinnon in 2006 and has sought a zoning change to allow its construction since that time. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Editor’s note: Regarding yesterday’s story about orca behavior [With killer whales, expect the unexpected], a reader writes: “I do not agree that we should ever be reluctant to apply descriptions of other vertebrate behavior in human terms.  If thoughtfully applied there are clear parallels in Orca motivation whether behavior of rage in a female protecting her calf from a marauding great white shark to the killing of competitive Dahl and harbor porpoise in the Sound.  I find the orca's killing and not eating these smaller fish eating marine mammals no different than the fishermen who I've watched gun down harbor seal and California sea lions from their moving boats believing that they compete with them for what little remains of our native fisheries.  I'm certain that, over the years no small few orcas have also been killed with a lead slug. As fish dependent feeders, the J Pod orcas are facing the constant stress of finding a sufficient food supply.   I have no doubt that the smaller marine mammals are considered competitors for what little food is available.  They are dispatching the competitors but don't eat something their palate is not accustomed to.   Does this echo other human behavior?”

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  305 AM PDT TUE APR 19 2016  

TODAY
 E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT  12 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 11 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG 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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