Friday, July 22, 2016

7/22 Boat poop, pregnant orcas, Fraser salmon, pipe consults, kayak paddle, quake sensor, otter madness, Endridge, BC mines, oil trains

Lion's Mane Jellyfish Cyanea capillata
World's largest jellyfish and by far the largest locally. Arctic specimens reach 8 feet in diameter; local ones may reach 24 inches. Muscular bell is transparent. Huge, frilly manubrium beneath bell is usually tawny, hence "lion's mane"; larger specimens tend toward purplish red. Eight groups of tentacles hanging from margin; extend they can trail 6 feet below bell. Often seen in large numbers in late summer; many end up stranded on beaches. Even when beached, tentacles can deliver nasty sting, hence the other common name "sea nettle." Heads of quiet bays sometimes fill with invisible stinging tentacles. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Plan would ban boats from releasing sewage into Puget Sound
Boaters and vessel operators would not be able to release sewage, treated or untreated, into Puget Sound under a proposal by Washington state regulators. The Department of Ecology said Thursday it and other state agencies petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the waters of Puget Sound a “no discharge zone” to improve water quality and protect shellfish beds and swimming beaches from harmful bacteria. If approved, the zone would cover waters from near Sequim to south Puget Sound to the Canadian border, and includes Lake Washington and Lake Union. There are dozens of no-discharge zones in the country, but this would be the first in the Pacific Northwest. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Killer whale miscarriages linked to low food supply
Pregnancy is an uphill battle for fish-eating killer whales of the Salish Sea, according to new hormonal studies, which show a high miscarriage rate among expectant orca moms. In addition to the new and intriguing hormonal studies, researchers taking photos from unmanned aircraft have been able to monitor changing body conditions of the killer whales — including females as they progress through pregnancy. Among the Southern Residents of the Salish Sea, about 65 percent of the pregnancies are ending early with miscarriages, according to research led by Sam Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington. And of those miscarriages, nearly one-third take place during the last stage of pregnancy. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

First Nations ask Ottawa to overturn Fraser River fishing restrictions
Three First Nations are taking the federal government to court because they say fishing restrictions on the Fraser River are causing cultural harm by making it difficult for them to harvest salmon for funeral feasts and other ceremonies. The Katzie, Kwantlen and Seabird Island bands, which are all located on the lower Fraser River, are asking the Federal Court to quash management decisions made by the department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), which restrict aboriginal fishing for early runs of chinook salmon. If the application is granted, it could lead to a closure of a popular sport fishery at the south end of Vancouver Island in Juan de Fuca Strait. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Meaningfulness of Trans Mountain pipeline consultations questioned by First Nations chief
A federal panel on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is holding public consultations in Chilliwack Thursday, as part of an attempt to rebuild public trust in the federal review process. The controversial project was approved in May with 157 conditions to be met before moving forward, and the three-person panel will be consulting communities and First Nations along the route of the pipeline. Questions have been raised by some local First Nations as to whether the new federal panel is really doing any better at offering meaningful consultation, especially given the two-month time frame. Cheam First Nation Chief  Ernie Crey says he was emailed an invitation to the event 10 days ago and feels that he was not given enough notice or information to properly prepare. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Flotilla of kayakers to paddle Salish Sea this weekend
A flotilla of 80 kayaks will make its way around the Salish Sea beginning Friday. Organizers hope the five-day journey, called Turning the Tide, will raise awareness of social and ecological issues, as well as build community among coastal residents. The event, in its third year, started as a protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipeline projects, said organizer Sasha Kvakic. “Now it’s expanded to be a celebration of our coast and doing what it takes to protect it.” (Times Colonist)

First B.C. offshore earthquake sensor up and running
Scientists in Victoria have successfully placed the first offshore earthquake sensor along the seabed off Vancouver Island.  It will be part of a network of seismic sensors at the Cascadian subduction zone, a fault that is expected to produce a severely damaging earthquake within the next 50 years…. During a recent expedition, scientists installed three underwater sensors along the fault at depths of more than 800 metres. One was hooked up to start providing data. The network will eventually include eight sensors offshore, along with many more sensors on land on Vancouver Island. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Sea otter madness close to Hoh Head
The calls poured in. To the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, to the National Parks Service and to the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary. Have you seen all those sea otters? What visitors were spying off the Pacific Ocean coastline, a raft of hundreds upon hundreds of sea otters, was unusual in both scope and location. “They just look like a dark brown carpet when they are going up and down on the swell,” said Steve Jeffries, a research scientist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's Marine Mammal Investigations unit. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

U.S., Enbridge Reach $177 Million Pipeline Spill Settlement
Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc has agreed to pay $177 million in penalties and improved safety measures in a settlement with the U.S. government tied to one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history. The settlement, announced on Wednesday by Enbridge, the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, resolves Clean Water Act violations stemming from the 2010 failure of Enbridge's Line 6B near Marshall, Michigan, which spilled some 20,000 barrels of oil into a branch of the Kalamazoo River. It also resolves a second spill that same year in Illinois and commits the company to spend at least $110 million to prevent future spills and improve operations on its pipeline system that extends through seven U.S. states in the Great Lakes region. (Reuters)

B.C. mining code strengthened to prevent disasters like Mount Polley
Changes to B.C.'s mining code will prevent another disaster like the Mount Polley tailings pond collapse, British Columbia's Mines Minister Bill Bennett is promising. In August 2014, a massive tailings dam failed at the mine in B.C.'s Cariboo region, sending 24 million cubic metres of mine waste and water into nearby waterways. Critics called it one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern Canadian history, and still warn the recent changes still do not go after companies responsible. But Bennett said the latest revision to the mining code should put many concerns about tailings dams to rest.  Dirk Meissner, (Canadian Press)

BNSF Railway responds to oil protest in Burlington
n response to a anti-oil train demonstration held July 9, a BNSF Railway representative said the Skagit River railroad bridge will remain safe even if the number of trains using the bridge increases. Bridge safety came up during the protest in response to the proposed oil-by-rail expansion project at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, which would increase the number of oil trains passing through Mount Vernon and Burlington from 16 to 22 a week. The plan is being reviewed this fall. Brenna Visser reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT FRI JUL 22 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT  AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS THROUGH THE DAY.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL  3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SAT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT  AT 11 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
 LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.
 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

No comments:

Post a Comment