Wednesday, July 27, 2016

7/27 Canoe journey, Hood Canal easement, dead birds, hatchery Chinook, oil trains, fish gear, bats

Canoe Journey 2016
As many as 20,000 people expected for arrival of tribal canoes
Out of the woods, a temporary city has begun to take shape on the Nisqually reservation near Yelm. Crews are building nearly a dozen white tents — some as large as 50 by 125 feet — on a nearly 40-acre site where the weeklong Canoe Journey 2016 Paddle to Nisqually “protocol” celebration will take place. Tribal officials estimate the event, a week after the Canoe Journey’s landing ceremony in Olympia, will attract as many as 10,000 people to the reservation. Many are expected to camp out and stay in the area for the duration of the culturally rich event. Lisa Pemberton reports. (Olympian) See also: More than 5,000 visitors at Suquamish | 2016 Canoe Journey  Richard Walker reports. (North Kitsap Herald)

Appeals court upholds Hood Canal land deal
The Washington State Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld an agreement for a Hood Canal easement made between the U.S. Navy and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In 2014, DNR accepted a $720,000 offer from the Navy for 50-year control of 4,804 acres of Hood Canal seafloor. A previous state-approved appraisal valued the lease at $1.68 million; the lower figure allowed the Navy to avoid congressional scrutiny of the agreement. Thorndyke Resource, a company developing a pier project on the canal’s western shoreline, sued the state and the Navy to overturn the easement agreement, which halted the pier project. Tuesday’s court decision upholds a Jefferson County Superior Court ruling that DNR “had the authority to grant the easement to the United States Navy,” according to a DNR news statement. A challenge to the easement in federal court was dismissed last September. Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Scientists look for answers as hundreds of dead birds wash ashore along Strait of Juan de Fuca
Scientists are trying to figure out why hundreds of dead seabirds have washed ashore in the eastern part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. About 300 rhinoceros auklets, seabirds closely related to puffins, have washed ashore dead since May, and there isn't a clear reason why, said Julia Parrish, executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)…. Dead birds have been found at Discovery Bay, Dungeness Spit near Sequim and across the Strait near Victoria. At this point, scientists are trying to rule out possible causes. Parrish said it seems unlikely that a lack of food supply could be the cause of the deaths. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

North Puget Sound hatchery king quota could be achieved before this weekend
After just a handful of days into the hatchery chinook salmon fishing on northern Puget Sound it appears that half the catch quota was gobbled up, and more catch damage was done over the weekend. “We ran some numbers, we are not looking pretty for Area 9 (referred to as northern Puget Sound),” said Ryan Lothrop, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon manager. “We are getting together (Tuesday afternoon) to see what, when, and if and how we want to proceed with what is left in the catch quota.” Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

Where have all the Salmon gone
Once tipping the scales at over 120 pounds, Chinook salmon have always been the staple of Southern resident orca whales, according to Deborah Giles, research director and projects manager for the Center of Whale Research…. According to Giles, these salmon eaters pretty much stick to Chinook…. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website lists many salmon species, including Chinook, as threatened and endangered. As a major source of the residents' diet, this does not bode well.  Heather Spaulding reports. (San Juan Journal)

Ballot Initiative Could Make Oil Trains Illegal In Spokane
Spokane’s City Council Monday voted on a November ballot initiative that would make the shipment of oil or coal by rail through the city a civil infraction. If it passes, every rail car carrying oil or uncovered coal will generate a $261 fine. The ballot initiative is in response to at least a dozen train derailments in the U.S. and Canada over the last six years. Federal law has protected railways from other local regulations, but initiative backers believe trains passing through the city pose specific health and safety hazards that they are allowed to regulate. Emily Schwing reports. (NW News Network)

Fishing gear abandoned in ocean being collected in B.C. town for recycling
Massive bags of nylon – stripped from old fishing nets – are being collected in Steveston, B.C., in an attempt to put a dent in the tonnes of gear lost and discarded in the world’s oceans every year that clog up harbours and endanger marine life. Eventually, the material will be shipped to Europe, melted down and recycled to make products ranging from swimwear to carpet tile. Megan Dolski reports. (Globe and Mail)

Summer season, urban sprawl putting more bats in local backyards
Naturalists say bats are out and about like never before in the Puget Sound region, partly due to their active summer season and recent urban sprawl. Inside her Bothell home, bat caregiver Barb Ogaard has bat decorations on her walls and windows, but there are a precious few she devotes most of her days to. An assortment of bats, brought in from all over, in need of serious TLC…. Ogaard is one of several bat specialists helping PAWS Animal Shelter during one of their busiest seasons. The last week of July, they took in 14 baby bats at once, all found on the ground after someone pressure washed a building. Morgan Chesky reports. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  249 AM PDT WED JUL 27 2016  

TODAY
 SW WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 7 SECONDS.

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