Thursday, December 22, 2016

12/22 Dead orca, Fed action plan, pipe protest, backyard salmon, wetland garden, Samish Bay, boat woes

(Mike Hamilton/BirdNote)
Hawk on a light pole? Could be a Red-tail!
Driving the freeway or a narrow country road, you may glance up at a light pole where a large hawk sits in plain view. If it's brown and somewhat mottled, and its small head and short tail make it appear football-shaped, it's probably a Red-tailed Hawk. During winter, many Red-tailed Hawks move south, joining year-round residents. (BirdNote)

Dead orca found off B.C.'s Sunshine Coast 
A deceased adult Orca was found floating off the shore of Sechelt, B.C., on Wednesday. The Vancouver Aquarium confirmed that members with its Marine Mammal Research Program are en route to Sechelt to work with the DFO in performing a necropsy…. The whale was originally spotted on Tuesday night, said Cottrell, but it wasn't until this afternoon that it could be safely secured and brought to shore. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Federal Action Plan coming together for Puget Sound
A draft of a Federal Action Plan to protect and restore Puget Sound is scheduled for completion before Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20, according to officials involved in developing the plan. The plan will help demonstrate that Washington state and nine federal agencies are aligned in their efforts to recover one of the most important waterways in the nation, according to leaders involved in a new Federal Puget Sound Task Force. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Trudeau cautions B.C. critics to keep pipeline protests legal
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in B.C. on Tuesday for the first time since approving a new $6.8-billion heavy oil pipeline to Burnaby, said he respects the rights of opponents to vigorously protest the project. But Trudeau also cautioned critics — some of whom, including Green party leader Elizabeth May, have threatened to engage in civil disobedience — to keep their protests within the parameters of Canadian law. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

One back yard at a time, students work to save salmon
Every year, Ruth Blaikie waits for the visitors to return to Shell Creek. “Like clockwork, they come — between Halloween and Thanksgiving,” she said. “When the salmon return, they spawn in our back yard.” The creek has a natural run of chum salmon, and coho have been seen there, too. Members of the Students Saving Salmon club at Edmonds-Woodway High School wanted to know more about the creek’s salmon runs and began their work in the fall. Some of it involved going door to door to 28 homes, talking to Blaikie and her neighbors about the types of fish that could be seen in the creek. Sharon Salyer reports. (Herald of Everett)

Study explores how ancient First Nations gardened the ocean on B.C.'s coast 
An ancient wetland-gardening site unearthed during a road-building project in British Columbia is as culturally important as any other wonder of the world, says a member of the indigenous group who directed the excavation project. A study published Wednesday found that as early as 1,800 BC, ancestors of the Katzie First Nation in B.C.'s Lower Mainland were engineering the wetland environment to increase the yield of a valuable, semi-aquatic plant known as a wapato. The report describes the finding as the first direct archeological evidence  the cultivation of wild plants in the Pacific Northwest. Geordon Omand reports. (Canadian Press)

Samish Bay Pollution Impedes Tribal Harvest
Despite the efforts of the Clean Samish Initiative formed in 2009, tribal treaty rights to harvest shellfish in Samish Bay continue to be threatened by poor water quality, as documented in the treaty tribes’ State of Our Watershed Report. Five different tribes have reserved rights to collect fish and shellfish from the bay. Conditions have improved somewhat, but high counts of fecal coliform bacteria continue to keep most of Samish Bay’s commercial shellfish areas either conditionally approved (closed during high rain events) or prohibited (closed year-round) to shellfish growing. Only a small section in the north of Samish Bay is approved (open year-round) for shellfish growing and harvest. (Northwest Treaty Tribes)

Rash of derelict boats in South Sound strains response resources
When a boat is left neglected in Washington waters — tied up or anchored down for weeks — the way things are supposed to work is straightforward. The official or private citizen who spots the boat reports it to the state Department of Natural Resources to investigate and look for the owner. Eventually, the boat is either claimed or removed. Under state law, this policy governs boats in Puget Sound and inland lakes and rivers. It has led to the removal of about 600 boats in its 15 years.But over the past few months, a watchdog agency for Commencement Bay says the program hasn’t been effective at managing the derelict boats in Sound waters near Tacoma. Officials from the nonprofit Citizens for a Healthy Bay said they have watched and reported five boats since the beginning of October. Three of them either sank or ran aground before the state agency intervened. Derrick Nunnally reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST THU DEC 22 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE
 TONIGHT  
TODAY
 SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT  AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF  RAIN.

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