Thursday, April 21, 2016

4/21 Sound salmon, #SSEC16, green justice, orca tag, green econ, port expansion, Tesoro, snow melt

(PHOTO: Dasha Gudalewicz/BirdNote)
Chickadees Fledge! 
Photographer and Seattle Audubon Master Birder Dasha Gudalewicz shares her back yard with the cutest toddlers: Black-capped Chickadee fledglings. (BirdNote)

New blog: What’s In A Name?
Referring to the inland waters of Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait as the “Salish Sea” makes a difference, I believe, as I wrote about last week in "The Salish Sea— What’s In A Name?" So, how about “Jap” and “Nigger” Islands?...

State, tribes pursue separate plans for Puget Sound salmon
State and tribal fishery officials are pursuing separate plans for salmon fishing in Puget Sound this year after failing to agree on a joint plan. The Department of Fish and Wildlife and Puget Sound tribes say they will seek separate federal approval for salmon fisheries after negotiations between the parties reached an impasse. The Seattle Times reports it’s unclear whether the state plan could gain approval in time for the new season, which begins May 1 and runs for 12 months for sport anglers and nontribal commercial fishermen. The tribe and state couldn’t agree over what harvest cuts or closures to make and by whom to protect the weak wild coho and chinook runs. The tribes said Wednesday they plan to limit fisheries this year to minimize impacts on record low returns of coho. (Associated Press)

Salish Sea Conference
More than 1100 scientists and policy experts, including presenters from Bowen Island, gathered in Vancouver last week for The Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. The event drew scientists from BC and the U.S., to discuss the latest scientific research on the state of the Salish ecosystem, and to guide future actions for protecting and restoring the ecosystem. The Bowen Island presenters were among scientists, First Nations and tribal government representatives, resource managers, community and business leaders, policy makers, and educators. Louise Loik reports. (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

Seattle may finally get its environmental justice act together
When Seattle was named the most sustainable city in the country in 2014, Mayor Ed Murray expressed delight, saying “This five-star rating is just the latest example of Seattle’s deep-seated environmental consciousness.” What went unsaid was that Seattle failed badly in the ratings by the Star Communities program when it comes to environmental justice, the concept that environmental protection should apply equally to everyone no matter their ethnic background, age, gender or station in life. The rating followed a report revealing that residents of the disproportionately minority and low-income Duwamish River Valley, between Beacon Hill and West Seattle, are subject to a high degree of environmental health threats and are likely to live sicker and die younger than residents of other Seattle neighborhoods. But the real reason Star Communities dinged Seattle in its rating wasn’t because of what’s actually happening to poor people on the ground in Seattle. No, it was because the city had never adopted a formal environmental justice plan aimed at reducing polluted and toxic environments in its jurisdiction. Ellis Conklin reports. (Investigate West)

Puget Sound orca tagging stops after dead animal is found with fragments in fin
Federal biologists have temporarily stopped tagging endangered orcas in the Puget Sound after a dead orca was found with pieces of a dart tag lodged in its dorsal fin. Researchers use a dart projector to fire the small satellite-linked transmitters into the animals to track where they go in the winter and how they find food. An initial exam of the 20-year-old orca found floating off Vancouver Island last month did not find a clear cause of death, but some advocates fear tagging injures the animals and say there are less invasive ways to monitor the small population of whales…. The researchers' federal permit requires dart tagging to stop if the devices break, and tagging can't resume until NOAA authorizes it. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

The Puget Sound region’s not-so-green economy
People of a certain age remember when Earth Day, coming up Friday, was a big deal. But who needs that for a news hook when Seattle is going through a record April heat wave? It’s going to take all our ingenuity and no small changes in our living arrangements to prevent planetary catastrophe from climate change, something barely imagined when the first Earth Day kicked off in 1970. At least the Northwest has a robust environmental ethic and even some helpful policies, from taking down dams to, in Washington and Oregon, having a semblance of urban growth boundaries to contain sprawl. But even a cursory look shows that the Puget Sound region’s economy doesn’t quite match our green aspirations: Jon Talton reports. (Seattle Times)

Nanaimo port expansion pitch worries Gulf Islanders
People on Gabriola Island are worried a proposal to expand the boundaries of the Nanaimo Port Authority will make it easier to turn the area into a freighter parking lot. Residents on Gabriola Island have been fighting a plan from the Pacific Pilotage Authority of Canada to put five freighter anchorages off the northeast end of the island.  They believe a push from the Nanaimo Port Authority to have jurisdiction over the area is another step towards ships anchoring next to the island. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

EPA files complaint against Tesoro Anacortes Refinery
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it has filed a complaint against the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery and has proposed $718,361 in fines for alleged failures to comply with federal safety regulations. According to the EPA news release, two inspections in 2011 revealed violations of federal chemical accident prevention and emergency planning rules. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Mountain Snowpack In Northwest Melting Fast This Spring
The early heat wave across most of the Northwest is forecast to start winding down Wednesday. It might have felt nice while it lasted, but the unusual warmth --record-setting, in some cases-- compounded the rapid melting of the Northwest's precious mountain snowpack. When winter officially ended last month, snow measurements showed near normal to above normal snowpack across the Northwest. In four short weeks though, the snowpack in Oregon, Washington and Idaho has significantly eroded. Tom Banse reports. (KPLU)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  253 AM PDT THU APR 21 2016  

TODAY
 NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5  FT AT 16 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 15 SECONDS. 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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