Tuesday, June 14, 2016

6/14 Toxic algae, uncommon dolphins, Oly oyster, geoducks, Pt Wells, Evans Wilderness

Rufus hummingbird (Rick Leche/BirdNote)
Hummingbirds, By a Hair
In April 1778, the explorer James Cook and his crew spent most of the month at anchor in Nootka Sound, off present-day British Columbia. The native people were eager to trade with the Englishmen. According to the British ornithologist Thomas Pennant, Rufous Hummingbirds were among the commodities offered, and the natives delivered them to the crew, “alive, with a long hair fastened to one of their legs.” That detail was omitted from reports of Cook’s voyages. But it’s a striking image: little red birds surrounded by curious sailors, captive at the end of their tenuous tethers. (BirdNote)

2 Clayoquot Sound salmon farms hit by toxic algae
A type of toxic algae is killing off farmed salmon in a section of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Millar Channel and Ross Passage salmon farms, operated by the company Cermaq, have been affected by the harmful bloom over the past three weeks…. The hardest hit site has lost about 10 percent of its fish to the toxic algae, Cermaq said. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Spectacular dolphin sighting first of its kind in Salish Sea
Naturalists believe short-beaked common dolphins were frolicking in Salish Sea, which would make it the first sighting of the species this far north A spectacular sight in the waters near Victoria over the weekend was captured by a whale watching boat. The crew and naturalists on board spotted a school of ‘common dolphins‘ and it may well be the first-ever sighting of the species in the Salish Sea. The short-beaked common dolphins were spotted off Port Angeles on Saturday, milling for fish and while they may be called common, they certainly aren’t in these parts. Tess van Straaten reports. (CHEK)

Native Olympia Oysters Have Built-In Resistance To Ocean Acidification
Native Olympia oysters have a built-in resistance to ocean acidification, according to a newly published study in the Journal of Limnology and Oceanography. Native Olympia oysters are smaller than the larger, faster-growing Pacific oysters preferred by farmers. But a study by Oregon State University professor George Waldbusser has found Olympia oysters make their shells much more slowly. And that helps protect them from acidic water, “Having that trait identified might give opportunity to actually breed that trait into some of the other commercial species," he said. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports. (EarthFix)

Neighbors fight geoduck farm in Washington’s shellfish heartland
For more than a decade, several Thurston County residents have fought to protect a beach from one of the shellfish industry’s cash cows — or more specifically, cash clams. Known for their funny name and elephant trunk-like necks, the geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”) especially thrives along the South Puget Sound’s nutrient-rich shores. This bizarre bivalve mollusk is a popular delicacy in Asian nations such as China, where geoducks can fetch more than $125 per pound during peak demand. Some say the phallic clams are aphrodisiacs. Neighbors near Zangle Cove in the Boston Harbor area are more focused on the industrial farming practices — called geoduck aquaculture — that they say could threaten the health and public use of an otherwise open beach. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Point Wells project impact statement delayed again
Planning for the proposed Point Wells condominium project along Puget Sound in southwest Snohomish County has been delayed again. County planners now say that the draft environmental impact statement will come out in October rather than in July as reported earlier. That means that the 45-day period for comments about the draft statement has advanced from summer to late fall. The delay in the draft EIS came about because of errors by a contractor hired to write the section on traffic impacts, errors that forced the contractor to redo its work. (Everett Herald)

Senators, representatives introduce bills to change name of Olympic Wilderness Area
Bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness in honor of the former Washington governor and senator. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, and Patty Murray, D-Seattle, introduced S. 3028, while H.R. 5397 was sponsored by members of the Washington delegation in the House, including Derek Kilmer. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  256 AM PDT TUE JUN 14 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. ISOLATED TSTMS  IN THE MORNING. SHOWERS. A CHANCE OF TSTMS 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 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF  TSTMS IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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