Monday, January 9, 2017

1/9 J2, Tilikum, WA salmon, cedar die 0ff, stormwater rule, eelgrass, coal dock and much more

'Granny,' J2 (Traci Walter/Orca Network)
Catching up to the news after spending a week in a place where the weather suited my clothes…

105-year-old Puget Sound orca, 'Granny,' missing, considered dead
The oldest member of the small population of endangered Puget Sound orcas has been missing for months and is now likely dead, bringing the toll of dead or missing whales to seven in 2016, researchers reported. (Associated Press) J2 In Memoriam  (Center for Whale Research)

Killer whale Tilikum, linked to 3 human deaths, has died
Tilikum the orca has died after more than two decades at SeaWorld Orlando, where he gained notoriety for killing a trainer in 2010 and was later profiled in a documentary that helped sway popular opinion against keeping killer whales in captivity. (Associated Press)

Governor's report: Salmon remain in trouble in Washington
A new state report finds that salmon throughout Washington remain in trouble with many species not recovering and fishing harvests declining in recent decades. (Kitsap Sun)

Yellow cedar dying off
A type of tree that thrives in soggy soil from Alaska to Northern California and is valued for its commercial and cultural uses could become a noticeable casualty of climate warming over the next 50 years, an independent study has concluded. (Associated Press)

State Supreme Court upholds stormwater rules
A state Supreme Court decision has upheld stricter stormwater rules for building projects…. In last Thursday’s ruling, all nine Supreme Court justices agreed that projects predating mid-2015 would not be protected indefinitely under older, less-strict rules. That reversed an earlier appellate court decision. (Associated Press)

A bright spot in Puget Sound: Sealife-nurturing eelgrass beds are holding steady
A 40-year data trove shows the aquatic meadows that nurture baby salmon and herring have fluctuated in many bays, but haven’t declined overall. (Seattle Times)

DNR boss rejects Longview coal-export loading dock sublease
As he wraps up his final days in office, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Peter Goldmark has delivered a blow to a Longview coal-export terminal by rejecting a tidal-lands sublease needed for a loading dock. (Seattle Times)



If you have a dock, then add another, can you get more oil? BP study still unfinished
More than 15 years ago, BP Cherry Point refinery added a second wing to its oil transfer dock so it could receive more ships…. a dozen years after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with [Fred] Felleman and others that the second wing needed to have an environmental evaluation before it was built, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still has not completed the court-ordered study, and there’s no indication when it will be finished. (Bellingham Herald)
 


Anderson Island property acquired by Forterra in keystone move for preservation
Nearly 18 acres of Anderson Island coastline have been purchased, creating the largest protected marine park in South Puget Sound for salmon, wildlife and public access. (Seattle Times)

Vancouver in its longest cold snap in over 30 years
We're at 33 days and counting — but there's a way to go before the record is broken (CBC)

BC Hydro facing federal order, heavy fines for Site C sediment and erosion problems
BC Hydro is facing a federal order as early as Friday and potential fines of up to $400,000 due to erosion and sediment problems at the $9-billion Site C dam project in the province’s northeast. (Vancouver Sun)

Lummis, dairy farmers agree on first steps to clean up Portage Bay
Seven dairy farms in Whatcom County have reached an agreement with Lummi Nation to keep their cows’ manure out of Portage Bay and to compensate the tribe’s shellfish harvesters for the loss of their ability to harvest because of fecal coliform pollution there. (Bellingham Herald)

Seattle Times to cut newsroom jobs 
The state’s largest newsroom, facing falling ad revenue, will be reduced by almost two dozen positions, even as it plans to restructure how it publishes in print and online. (Seattle Times) KOMO cuts positions in newsroom The job cuts, which include the TV station’s investigative reporting team, are believed to part of layoffs that KOMO’s owner, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, is instituting at its stations. (Seattle Times)

Supreme Court won't hear water rights case
The state Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will not hear the water rights case brought by Richard and Marnie Fox…. The couple has been trying for years to get a building permit for property they own between Hamilton and Lyman, but Skagit County will not grant a permit for fear of violating the state Department of Ecology’s instream flow rule. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Study mulls costs of building ferries out of state
A new study tackles a nagging question of whether it’s cheaper for Washington State Ferries to have vessels built at shipyards in other states. And it found the state could pay less in construction costs but endure a short-term hit to its economy. (The Herald of Everett)

Five oil spill-response bases eagerly awaited on Vancouver Island 
While opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is widespread on Vancouver Island, some communities are looking forward to promised new oil spill response bases. (Times Colonist)

West Coast Lawmakers Seek Ban On Offshore Drilling
West Coast lawmakers are seeking a permanent ban on offshore drilling along the coast of Washington, Oregon and California. Democrat-sponsored bills have been introduced into both the Senate and House of Representatives. (OPB/EarthFix)

NOAA plans to open federal waters in Pacific to fish farming
As traditional commercial fishing is threatening fish populations worldwide, U.S. officials are working on a plan to expand fish farming into federal waters around the Pacific Ocean. (Associated Press)

DNR cuts chances of Cherry Point pier, honors Lummi Nation request to protect land
A marine area once set aside for a proposed fourth shipping pier at Cherry Point will be included in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and likely protected from development. (Bellingham Herald)

Coho salmon rescuers between a rock and a hard place
The fate of a wild salmon run on the Seymour River hangs on a giant rock the size of a bus. The rock is barring the way to spawning grounds for 40,000 coho — the biggest wild run of its kind on the North Shore. (Vancouver Sun)

Sewage controversy in Greater Victoria finally circled the drain in 2016
It took residents, politicians and even Americans living across the Juan de Fuca Strait raising a stink, but 2016 was the year the Greater Victoria region finally settled on a plan to stop dumping raw sewage into the ocean. (CBC)

Ecology report recommends state adopt stricter emission limits
A new state Department of Ecology report says deeper cuts in carbon emissions are required in the next 35 years to help Washington defend against damaging effects of climate change. The study quietly released earlier this month recommends adopting emission limits imposed in California and several other states that are nearly twice as stringent as existing Washington law. (Herald of Everett)

Fishing Rule Aims To Do For All Marine Mammals What It Did For The Dolphin
… (A) new rule that takes effect this week seeks to protect marine mammals from becoming bycatch. The rule requires foreign fisheries exporting seafood to the U.S. to ensure that they don't hurt or kill marine mammals. (NPR)

Media mogul David Black makes another pitch for his northern refinery
Media mogul David Black says Canada is ignoring the potential for refining oil here on the West Coast to its peril, and adds that his own oil refinery proposal could present the solution. (CBC)

AltaGas planning to build B.C.'s first propane export terminal
A Calgary energy company says it plans to build the first propane export terminal on Canada's West Coast, after receiving approval from federal regulators earlier last year. AltaGas announced Tuesday it plans to start construction on the roughly $475-million Ridley Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C., with the goal of exporting propane by early 2019. (CBC)

Five-year clamming closure lifted at Kalaloch
For the first time in nearly five years, a section of Olympic National Park coastline will open for clamming. Kalaloch Beach will host 10 razor clamming dates spread over four months this year. The two January days are set for Sunday and Monday. (Kitsap Sun)

Stream restoration helps salmon return to Pacific Rim National Park
Parks Canada says salmon have returned to spawn in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino, B.C., thanks to a restoration project in one of the largest creeks in the area. (CBC)

New Life Along Washington State’s Elwha River
It’s been only two years since the removal of the last of the dams that obstructed the Elwha River, in Washington State, but already species are returning. (The New Yorker)


Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  238 AM PST MON JAN 9 2017  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH LATE TUESDAY
 NIGHT  
TODAY
 SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING S 5 TO 15 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. S SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.  SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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