|Canis latrans (Nature Pics)|
Coyotes are distinguished from domesticated dogs by their pointed, erect ears and drooping tail, which they hold below their back when running. The coloration of coyotes varies from grayish brown to a yellowish gray on the upper parts. The throat and belly are white. The long tail, which is half the body length, is bottle shaped with a black tip…. Coyotes are present and common in most of Washington except the islands, and has been seen recently on Bainbridge and Whidbey. Prefers open habitat and forest edges and readily uses open forests and extensive burned or clear cut areas. Found in agricultural lands, and at the edges, and sometimes well into developed areas including cities. (Nature Mapping Foundation) Listen up: Coyote Calls into the Night Along the Puget Sound
Let it snow? Cold snap to arrive in Metro Vancouver this weekend
A rainy November in Metro Vancouver could turn into a snowy December — at least over the next week or so. The first Arctic outbreak of the season is set to hit the region on Sunday, bringing with it below-freezing temperatures to much of the Lower Mainland. "A big high-pressure system over Yukon will help push that cold air across the province," said CBC senior meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC) See also: Snow is on way to Western Washington lowlands, weather service says Exactly where and how much? It’s too early to tell, but cold air and moisture is expected late Sunday and into Monday. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)
After two decades, 810 acres in Drayton Harbor reopened to winter shellfish harvest
Winter shellfish harvesting is once again allowed on 810 acres in the southwest part of Drayton Harbor after more than two decades of work to clean up the water. The Washington State Department of Health’s shellfish program lifted the seasonal ban Thursday, after tests showed that water quality had improved. The decision affects recreational and commercial harvesters. Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm has a commercial operation there. The harbor also is a harvest area for the Lummi and Nooksack tribes. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)
EPA bashes early environmental study of Longview coal terminal
An Army Corps of Engineers draft report failed to adequately address diesel pollution, rail congestion, greenhouse-gas emissions and other significant environmental impacts of a proposed coal-export terminal in Longview, according to a harsh critique from the Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator. In a Nov. 29 letter, the EPA’s Dennis McLerran said the Army Corps’ review is so flawed it failed to meet federal requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act — and should be substantially revised. The proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals would be the largest in the nation, capable of exporting up to 44 million metric tons annually of western Powder River Basin coal to Asia. The project has faced tough environmental opposition in Washington, and struggled amid a downturn in coal markets that has eroded the economics of shipping U.S. coal to Asia. (Seattle Times)
Sequim laboratory combating oil spills with wood shavings
Stopping an oil spill could be as simple as the shake of a bottle and lighting a match thanks to some local scientists. A team with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory near Sequim, sponsored by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, continues to fine-tune a product that pulls and holds an oil spill together so it can burn, specifically in low temperature areas such as the Arctic. Two scientists in the Richland facility are working with them. George Bonheyo, senior research scientist for the laboratory and a research professor of biotechnology for Washington State University in Pullman, leads the team and said the product could be a year away from going to market and made available to agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Matthhew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Can Canada increase oil capacity and still meet its Paris commitments?
When a newly-elected Justin Trudeau took to the international stage at the COP 21 climate talks in Paris last November, he cheerfully proclaimed "Canada is back!" The prime minister made an impassioned speech in support of decisive action on climate change, underscoring the "opportunity to make history" with an agreement to limit global temperature increases to 2 C below pre-industrial levels. This week, in announcing the approval of the tripling in capacity of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, Trudeau's take was decidedly different. "There isn't a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground, while there is a market for it," he said. How can Canada be an oil sands producer and climate leader at the same time? And more importantly, how can it meet its commitments on both climate change and oil production? Jeremy Allingham reports. (CBC)
New toxic chemical law begins to review most-dangerous compounds
The first 10 toxic chemicals to be reviewed under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act were announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency. After review, these chemicals could be banned or significantly restricted in their use. As specified by law, the first 10 chemicals were chosen from 90 listed in the TSCA Work Plan, based on their high hazard and the likelihood of human and environmental exposure. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)
Obama stays busy on environmental front in final weeks
Citing fears of a Donald Trump presidency, environmental groups are urging President Barack Obama to stay busy in his final weeks. He is listening. With his days in office numbered, Obama has pushed ahead with several executive actions aimed at protecting the nation’s land, air and water, even as he acknowledges his successor may try to undo the work before the ink is dry. The president has been cheered on by environmental groups and advocates braced for a new uphill fight in the next administration, and criticized by those who say an outgoing president shouldn’t use his final days to stop what they say is the responsible development of the country’s natural resources. Kevin Freking reports. (Associated Press)
Richmond compost odours no health hazard: chief medical health officer
The terrible smells coming from a Richmond composting operation are not considered a health hazard, according to Vancouver Coastal Health’s chief medical health officer. However, Dr. Patricia Daly said in a letter to the City of Richmond that the odours are affecting area residents’ quality of life, and even causing some physical discomfort. Harvest Power runs a composting and biofuel facility in east Richmond that has been the subject of numerous odour complaints to Metro Vancouver, the regional body that regulates air quality. Richmond Public Health has also received complaints, Daly said in her letter. Environmental health officers have spoken to 30 people so far in 2016, compared to six in 2015. Jennifer Saltman reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Mapping Washington's Landslides
The last few weeks of heavy rains in Western Washington means the possibility of landslides in certain areas is higher. But this is only the beginning of the rainy season. If you look at Seattle’s landslide maps, you can pinpoint thousands of properties that are prone to sliding…. Seattle is unique in that it has paper records dating back to the late 1800s documenting landslides. So far this season, only three shallow slides have been reported. Beyond Seattle, the state is working with counties like Pierce to improve landslide maps using light detecting and ranging or lidar. Lidar is a technology that shoots a laser from the air and takes three-dimensional pictures of the terrain below. Monica Spain reports. (KNKX)
Skull found off Washington coast is 2,300 years old
A human skull that was found in a crab pot off the Washington coast is about 2,300 years old and could be released to a Native American tribe. The Daily World in Aberdeen reported that the skull was discovered by fishermen in February 2014 about 3 miles offshore near Westport and was turned over to the FBI. This week, Grays Harbor County Coroner Lane Youmans confirmed the results of a lab analysis, which showed the skull’s DNA profile came from a female who lived around 360 to 400 B.C. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)
Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 252 AM PST FRI DEC 2 2016
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 14 FT AT 18 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
SAT W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 15 FT AT 16 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY.
SAT NIGHT W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
SUN NW WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
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