|Island marble butterfly (Susan Vernon/Skagit Herald)|
In the grasslands on south San Juan Island, several patches of bright yellow flowers are fenced off from the rest of the landscape. The flowering plants are considered weeds by many, but to the island marble butterfly, they're imperative to the species' survival. This landscape is the only place the shrinking island marble butterfly population is known to remain. "The populations have constricted pretty dramatically to the point that this is the only home of this butterfly on the Earth," Ted Thomas of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said while walking through the American Camp portion of San Juan Island National Historical Park. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Railroad says broken bolt caused Oregon oil-train derailment
At least one broken bolt holding the rail in place caused the fiery derailment of a Union Pacific train moving volatile crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon-Washington border, railroad officials say. Union Pacific spokesman Justin Jacobs said Saturday that the company filed a report Friday with the Federal Railroad Administration citing one or more broken bolts as the cause of the June 3 derailment. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press) See also: Firefighters association urges Gov. Inslee to halt oil-train transport
EJ Smith reports. (Seattle Times)
Explosive claims drive fight over proposed LNG terminal
In April, environmental activists helped cancel construction of the world’s largest methanol refinery, which was proposed for the Port of Tacoma. Now they’ve set their sights on another fossil fuel facility proposed for this location: a refueling and storage station for liquified natural gas (LNG). Their claim is the facility could one day explode and expose the surrounding area to fires or suffocating gas, potentially for miles. Chetanya Robinson reports. (Crosscut)
Shellfish unsafe from South King County beaches; harvests closed
Shellfish from a long stretch of South King County coastline are unsafe to eat, and harvests in that area have been closed, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison was detected at unsafe levels during routine sampling, the agency said. Mike Lindblom reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Toxin closes recreational shellfishing on south Whatcom beaches The state Department of Health has closed beaches in southern Whatcom County to recreational shellfish harvesting because tests showed unsafe levels of the biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Orcas are first non-humans whose evolution is driven by culture
You could call it a culture shock. Many researchers accept that cultural experiences have helped shape human evolution – and evidence has now emerged that the same may be true of killer whales. Human genomes have evolved in response to our cultural behaviours: a classic example is the way that some human populations gained genes for lactose tolerance following the onset of dairy farming. But whether genomes and culture co-evolve in other animal species has been unclear. Andrew Foote at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and his colleagues suspected that killer whales might follow a similar pattern to humans. Colin Barras reports. (New Scientist)
East Van rallies to save Crab Park from planned Port of Vancouver expansion
In 1989 Don Larson was part of the Crab Water for Life Society that lobbied to have Crab Park opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Now he's mobilising people again to save its integrity. "It's very special to me, my heart is here," he said on Saturday at a rally to oppose Port of Metro Vancouver's proposal to expand Centerm Terminal, the park's industrial neighbour. "It's sacred for some people. There's even whales that come in here from time to time." The port authority is proposing a $320-million expansion of the Centerm container terminal in Vancouver's inner harbour that would extend the terminal westward as well as reconfigure the terminal's road and rail access. The port says the proposed changes will boost terminal capacity by two-thirds but adds that nothing is final yet. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)
Upper Skokomish designated as ‘properly functioning’ watershed
More than 20 years of removing and reconstructing old logging roads in the Skokomish River watershed has finally paid off with measurable improvement to water quality and habitat, according to experts with Olympic National Forest where millions of dollars have been spent on restoration. The U.S. Forest Service this week declared that the upper South Fork of the Skokomish is now a “properly functioning” watershed, and the major road-restoration projects are complete. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 225 AM PDT MON JUN 13 2016
TODAY W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
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