Thursday, October 6, 2016

10/6 Why L95 died, orcas not OK, Great Bear award, crow feeding, Cherry Pt. reserve, bag ban

(from Larisson, Mammals of the Pacific NW)
River Otter (Lutra canadensis)
People who see otters in saltwater areas, such as the Puget Sound, often think they’ve seen a sea otter when in fact they’ve seen a river otter.  Sea otters can be seen along rocky coves at the ocean, but not in inland waters such as Puget Sound.  River otters are long and slender, with pointed tails, and never swim on their back, while sea otters are much stockier and spend most of their time floating on their backs.  The river otter is almost entirely aquatic, but, unlike the sea otter, it dens on land and sometimes forages along the shore. (West Sound Wildlife Shelter)

Experts: Dirty tracking tag likely caused orca's death
An endangered orca was likely killed by tagging when a scientist failed to adequately sterilize the tag that was shot into its body, a panel of experts has found. The killer whale, L-95, was found dead in Canadian waters off Vancouver Island in March. It was a member of the endangered southern resident killer whale population that frequents Puget Sound. There are only 82 whales in the J, K, and L pods today. NOAA Fisheries was dismayed that the work of one of its scientists with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center may have been at the root of the whale’s death, said Richard Merrick, NOAA Fisheries chief scientist in a telephone news conference Wednesday. The tag that may have killed the whale was shot at it unsuccessfully once and dropped into the sea. It was shot again at the whale, sticking in this time, after it fell in the water without being cleaned with bleach first, Merrick said.  Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Editorial Note: Several readers took strong exception to the article, "PNWWA reports Southern Resident calves still surviving" and one reader shared the following comment: "PWWA [Pacific Whale Watch Association] does not have the expertise to evaluate or assess the health of whales, and it is not their role. For news about SRKW [Southern Resident Killer Whale] health reporters should go to the Center for Whale Research or NOAA Fisheries. The reality is that the long term trends are dire for So. Residents. The deficit of salmon has fractured the social cohesion of the community, impaired their reproductive capacity and killed many orcas. J28 Polaris is near death, meaning her 8-month old calf J54 likely won't survive. L95 Nigel died from an infection from a satellite tag, and J14 Samish died this year at just over 40 years old."

Great Bear Rainforest project earns environmental group $100,000 U.S. Award
Three groups that were once labelled enemies of the province by a British Columbia premier have been given an international award for their work in helping to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. The Rainforest Solutions project, a collective effort of Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Stand.earth, has received the $100,000 Buckminster Fuller Design Award for a decades-long effort to safeguard the forest. In 1996, during the peak of the so-called War in the Woods to save B.C.'s old-growth forest, then-premier Glen Clark called the environmental groups enemies of British Columbia. (Canadian Press)

DNR to consider adding former Gateway Pacific site to aquatic reserve
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is considering a change to the boundaries of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. It would incorporate a “cutout” area left for the then-proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal into the reserve in response to a request from the Lummi Nation. Earlier this year, DNR denied a lease application from SSA Marine to build the terminal. That decision followed a determination by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that construction of the terminal would negatively impact the treaty-protected fishing rights of the Lummi Nation, and the Corps denied the project its permits…. DNR will convene a committee of technical experts to review and evaluate the boundary change. Such a change would then have to undergo public review through the State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA. Commissioner Goldmark has the final decision on formalizing any boundary change. (Lynden Tribune)

Lawsuit against Seattle's famous crow-feeding family dismissed
At age 8, Gabi Mann became known the world over for forging a friendship with the crows in Seattle’s well-heeled Portage Bay neighborhood. The crows she fed brought Gabi “gifts” – bits of trash mostly – in thanks for the food she and her mother Lisa Mann gave them. A report by Seattle journalist Katy Sewall sent the internet swooning. Then, in August 2015, Gabi’s neighbors sued. In their lawsuit, two neighbors – Matt Ashbach and Christine Yokan – claimed the Manns’ bird feeders were drawing rats and flocks of birds to the East Shelby Street home. They demanded $200,000 in compensation for damage they claimed had been done by the birds, and a court order preventing the Manns from setting out more than a quarter-pound of animal food each day. Attorney Anna Johnsen said Tuesday that the Manns agreed to pay her clients "a sum of money" … to restrict the bird feeding for eight years. Levi Pulkkinen reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Seattle, can you tell the difference between these bags? (Apparently not)
Seattle will be the first city in the nation to take a citywide plastic ban ban to another level, and ban plastic bags in the produce aisle. Seattle leaders want to help people who are composting wrong to finally get it right. People have been throwing plastic produce bags in their compost, since they resemble the green/brown biodegradable bags meant for compost bins. Plastic bags jam up the city's composting machines, which are costly for the city to fix. To prevent the problem, the City Council has unanimously approved a plan that requires grocery stores to replace their plastic produce bags with biodegradable ones. It also makes the five-cent fee for paper bags permanent. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  245 AM PDT THU OCT 6 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM LATE THIS AFTERNOON
 THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON  

TODAY
 S WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS...  BUILDING TO SW 6 FT AT 7 SECONDS. RAIN.

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2 comments:

  1. Re sea otters not in Puget Sound...I've read recently that sea otters have been randomly spotted in the Sound in the last few years. Can't remember where I read this though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sea otters, listed as a state endangered species since 1981, have been documented in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca and anecdotally noted in the San Juan Islands. The Seattle Aquarium participates in the sea otter survey, http://blog.seattleaquarium.org/conservation/recovery-for-sea-otters/

    ReplyDelete