Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3/15 Grizzlies, flood insurance, 'whale wave,' poop spill, Great Blue Herons

[PHOTO: Dan Streiffert/BirdNote]
Why Birds Sing
Why do birds sing? Ornithologists have learned that the longer hours of light that come with spring trigger the release of hormones in birds. These hormones prompt the enlargement of the birds' gonads which, in turn, stimulate male birds to sing. Male birds - like this Black-headed Grosbeak - can then attract mates and fulfill nature's imperative to engender new life. Spring. Song. Romance! (BirdNote)

Comment period for grizzly restoration extended
he public has another 45 days to comment on the options being considered for grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service announced Monday that comments will be accepted through April 28. The federal agencies are taking comment on a draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, for restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Border-crossing bears? U.S. proposal to transplant B.C. grizzlies gets huge response  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

As FEMA maps show rising base flood elevation, cost of flood insurance is spiking for coastal homeowners
When Julia Lundblad lies in bed at night in her Titlow Beach home, she can hear the water sloshing up under her house. It took some getting used to, but she loves it. And she said her neighbors are used to a little water flooding into their kitchens when conditions are right…. Because the small community lies in such intimate proximity to the Puget Sound, homeowners with mortgages have to carry flood insurance. But the cost of that insurance, if you can get it, can be exorbitant. Some homeowners said they’ve been told to expect their monthly premiums to see huge spikes over the next several years. Also recently, flood maps that FEMA uses to determine flood risk — and help inform insurance rates — have changed in Tacoma’s coastal areas, with base flood elevation levels rising up to several feet. FEMA’s new flood maps went into effect in Tacoma earlier this month. Candace Ruud reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Mysterious 'whale wave' observed in humpbacks on B.C. Coast
A decade of observation in a fjord on B.C.'s North Coast has uncovered an intriguing pattern among the thriving humpback whales that feed there each summer. Researchers call it a "whale wave," in a peer-reviewed study published this week in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. Each year, as hundreds of humpbacks arrive in the Kitimat fjord system, near Hartley Bay, B.C., they follow a seasonal pattern, as observed in visual surveys by the Gitga'at First Nation and North Coast Cetacean Society. The whales start in outer waters and move into the inlet and Douglas Channel — but it's not clear why. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Sewage spill closes Port Orchard waterfront, Ross Creek
Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory Tuesday for the Port Orchard waterfront and Ross Creek following a sewage spill. The city reported the spill occurred Tuesday morning at a lift station off Old Clifton Road, near the Highway 16 interchange, according to a news release. The spill was estimated at 27,500 gallons. The seven-day advisory covers the shore of Sinclair Inlet, from Anderson Creek to the end of Rockwell Street in downtown, and Ross Creek from Old Clifton Road north. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Pacific great blue herons return to nest in Stanley Park
The heron cam at Vancouver's Stanley Park is buzzing with activity as the park's majestic Pacific great blue herons have come back to nest for the summer. The birds have claimed nests in their chosen spot above the parking lot at 2099 Beach Avenue. This year. the herons arrived March 11, three weeks later than last year. Greg Hart, a biologist with the Stanley Park Ecological Society, says that's largely due to the colder weather. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PDT WED MAR 15 2017

TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

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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 (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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