Thursday, July 28, 2016

7/28 Hood Canal bloom, cow poop rules, scanned fish, marmots, the 'Raven' whale

Phytoplankton bloom, Hood Canal 7/24/16 (NASA)
Huge Hood Canal phytoplankton bloom visible from space
The phytoplankton are out in full force along the Hood Canal -- so much so, it's visible from space! NASA's Aqua satellite snapped this photo of the phytoplankton bloom in Hood Canal, taken on Sunday. Jan Newton, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, told Katrhyn Hansen with NASA's Earth Observatory Program that Hood Canal can be quite a productive area. Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO)

Dairy farmers tell state its rules on cow manure are too costly
Dairy farmers and environmentalists are criticizing new manure-control rules the state Department of Ecology plans to finalize early next year. The Capital Press reported that at a public hearing on Tuesday, July 26, farmers said dairies already are heavily regulated and that Ecology’s new layer of mandates would be unnecessary and expensive…. After Tuesday’s hearing, Ecology’s special assistant on water policy, Kelly Susewind, said the department may consider redrawing the line and exempting more dairies…. Environmentalists testified that the department should require dairies to line lagoons with synthetic fabric to prevent leaks and to install wells to monitor groundwater. (Associated Press)

Washington scientist launches effort to digitize all fish with CT scanner 
University of Washington biology professor Adam Summers no longer has to coax hospital staff to use their CT scanners so he can visualize the inner structures of stingray and other fish. Last fall, he installed a small computed tomography, or CT, scanner at the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island and launched an ambitious project to scan and digitize all of more than 25,000 species in the world. The idea is to have one clearinghouse of CT scan data freely available to researchers anywhere to analyze the morphology, or structure, of particular species. So far, he and others have digitized images of more than 500 species, from poachers to sculpins, from museum collections around the globe. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Species steps back from edge of extinction with help from Calgary Zoo breeding program
Twelve years ago, the population of Vancouver Island Marmots had dwindled to about 40 in the wild, putting them on the list of critically endangered species. Fast forward to 2016 and the number has grown to approximately 300, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Calgary Zoo, one of two facilities running captive breeding programs and reintroducing the animals into the wild. Just this past birthing season, four pups were welcomed at the zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre, and are being touted by the zoo as playing “a vital role in the survival of the species.” Clara Ho reports. (Calgary Herald)

Mysterious And Known As The 'Raven': Scientists Identify New Whale Species
For decades, Japanese fishermen have told stories about the existence of a dark, rare beaked whale that they called karasu — the "raven." But now, scientists say they have genetic proof to back up these tales. Long mistaken for its relative, the Baird's beaked whale, scientists say it represents an entirely new species. "There have been a lot of people out there surveying whales for a long time and never come across this in scientific research," Phillip Morin, research molecular geneticist at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, tells The Two-Way. "So it is a huge thing to discover this; it's kind of baffling that we haven't seen it before." The team's research was published Tuesday in Marine Mammal Science. Merrit Kennedy reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT THU JUL 28 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. 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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