Wednesday, August 10, 2016

8/10 Cherry Pt. fuel, fish farm conflict of interest, hidden pollution, green crab, summer heat

Spotted ratfish (Puget Sound Wikia)
Rise of the Ratfish in Puget Sound
From the August 14, 2010 Seattle Times:  Ask a Northwesterner to pick the creature that epitomizes Puget Sound, and odds are the answer will be orcas or salmon. Ask Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Wayne Palsson, and he’ll tell you the ugly truth: Ratfish rule. Pound-for-pound, the green-eyed bottom feeders dominate the Sound’s ecosystem like Doug fir dominates the forests. Heap all the fish from the main basin on a scale, and nearly 70 percent of the flopping mass would be what fisheries veterans call “rats.” Sandi Doughton reported. (Seattle Times)

Whatcom County puts new unrefined fossil fuel exports on hold
No new applications to ship unrefined fossil fuel through Cherry Point can be approved for at least the next two months after Whatcom County Council passed an emergency moratorium Tuesday night, Aug. 9. The council unanimously passed the moratorium to address concerns about potential public health and safety risks that could come with the increased transportation of unrefined fossil fuels, such as crude oil traveling by rail through the county to two refineries at Cherry Point. The moratorium does not impact the current refining and shipment of products through the BP Cherry Point and Phillips 66 refineries. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

DFO not in conflict of interest for promoting salmon farming: LeBlanc
Canada’s fisheries minister is dismissing concerns from stakeholder groups over suggestions the government agency tasked with conserving wild fish stocks is in a conflict of interest by also being in charge of championing the salmon-farming industry. Removing industry advocacy from the purview of Fisheries and Oceans Canada was one of the key recommendations from a 2012 report by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen into the 2009 collapse of sockeye salmon in British Columbia’s Fraser River. The public mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the minister of fisheries and oceans, a portfolio Dominic LeBlanc took over in June, directed him to “act on recommendations of the Cohen commission on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River.” However, Mr. LeBlanc said the ministry’s mandate to preserve fisheries is fundamental to its responsibility to promote a viable, long-term salmon-farming industry. Geordon Omand reports. (Canadian Press)

Study Maps Hidden Coastal Pollution in the U.S.
Researchers have uncovered previously hidden sources of ocean pollution along more than 20 percent of America’s coastlines. The study, published online August 4 in the journal Science, offers the first-ever map of underground drainage systems that connect fresh groundwater and seawater, and also pinpoints sites where drinking water is most vulnerable to saltwater intrusion now and in the future. Audrey Sawyer, assistant professor of earth sciences at The Ohio State University and leader of the study, said that while scientists have long known that freshwater and seawater mix unseen below ground, until now they hadn’t been able to pinpoint exactly where it was happening, or how much, except in limited locations. (Marine Executive)

Where's the hot Seattle summer weather?
People may wonder when Seattle will get the 90 degrees days that were common over the last couple summers. Where's that hot weather? The first weeks of August are typically the hottest all year in Seattle. But the clouds above will tell you, we're not breaking any records this week. The fact is, these cooler temperatures are normal for this time of year. The last two summers were the anomaly. The state faced major drought and historic wildfires in 2014 and 2015.  Paige Browning reports. (KPLU)

Coast is clear: European green crabs absent from Strait of Juan de Fuca — so far
Scientists have called on the public to help monitor shorelines for an invasive species of crab over the summer. Teams of citizen scientists have searched the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca for European green crabs and so far the results are good. “So far no green crabs have been found,” said MaryAnn Wagner, spokesperson for Washington Sea Grant, the organization leading the effort…. This is the second year of the project, which is monitoring for the small but highly efficient and adaptable predator. The European green crab has been blamed for the collapse of the soft-shell clam industry in parts of Maine; some are concerned it might likewise affect native and commercial species in Puget Sound, Wagner said. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT WED AUG 10 2016  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR  LESS. W SWELL 2 TO 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5  FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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"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.

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