Tuesday, April 25, 2017

4/25 Elwha fish, seagrass, Trump 100, nat'l monuments, methane cuts, Bill Nye, eating fish, oilsands air, safe water

Battering house finch at my window
American Robin, Valiant Challenger
What's that bird doing, banging on my window? The male American Robin - fiercely territorial - belts out its distinctive cheery song to defend its breeding territory from invasion by other robins. Sometimes, the robin sees its own reflection as an interloper and challenges the “invader” over and over, even to the point of exhaustion or injury. It's called the "battering robin syndrome," although cardinals, mockingbirds, juncos, and other birds do it, too. Closing the curtains or stenciling stars made with Bon Ami paste onto the windows can help. (BirdNote)

Court of Appeals supports hatchery fish in Elwha River in decision
Hatchery fish can continue playing their disputed role in the largest dam removal and salmonid recovery project in U.S. history, a federal court has decided. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week confirmed the continued use of hatchery-bred salmon to replenish a decimated Elwha River run being coaxed back to life following the historic removal of the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams, completed in 2014. In doing so the court rejected a 2015 appeal by the Wild Fish Conservancy, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee and Wild Salmon Rivers, doing business as Conservation Angler, upholding Judge Benjamin Settle’s U.S. District Court ruling. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Seagrass meadow research project aided by app launch
Marine conservationists have launched an app to encourage the public to identify and monitor underwater seagrass meadows. [Seagrass Spotter] Research by Project Seagrass, formed by scientists from Cardiff University and Swansea University, has shown the meadows are in a "perilous state". Seagrasses are plants that form dense underwater beds in shallow water. It is hoped people will use the app to help scientists with monitoring, conservation and education efforts. (BBC)

One Hundred Days.
The mess we're in; the challenge ahead. Comment by David Remnick on the first 100 days. (New Yorker)

Trump to sign orders on oil drilling, national monuments
President Donald Trump will sign executive orders this week aimed at expanding offshore oil drilling and reviewing national monument designations made by his predecessors, continuing the Republican’s assault on Democratic President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy. The orders could expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and upend public lands protections put in place in Utah, Maine and other states. The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the president to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value to be “national monuments” and restrict how the lands can be used. Matthew Daly and Jill Colvin report. (Associated Press)

Federal government seeks to push back methane reduction regulations by up to 3 years
The federal government wants to delay the implementation of its much-touted new methane regulations by up to three years. Documents obtained by CBC News show the initial federal plan was to phase in tough rules to control methane from the oil and gas industry starting in 2018, with all of the new regulations in place by 2020. But a revised federal timeline shows the regulations would be phased in starting in 2020 and wouldn't be fully implemented until 2023. The delay is in sharp contrast to the announcement made only a year ago by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who stood on the White House lawn with U.S. President Barack Obama and declared they would jointly tackle methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and reduce them by up to 45 per cent by 2025. Margo McDiarmid reports. (CBC)

In A New 'Anti-Science' Era, Bill Nye 'Saves The World' With Same Optimism
If you were a kid with a television in the mid-1990s, or you were raising one, Bill Nye probably needs no introduction. A theme song should do it. That’s because Bill Nye the Science Guy was appointment-viewing for kids back then — the highlight of science class for grade school students. Since his PBS show ended, he’s become a vocal champion of the value of science. On Saturday, he led scientists and supporters of the science community during the March for Science. And now he is back — with a new soundtrack — in the same lab coat and bow tie. He’s channeling the same love for showmanship and science, this time, into a new series out on Netflix on Friday: Bill Nye Saves the World. Michel Martin, Liz Baker and Emma Bowman report. (NPR)

What Fish Is Good For Me And The Planet? New Documentary Explores
Facts about the virtues of eating fish can be slippery. On the one hand, fish provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids, the substance in fish oil supplements, which is thought to boost cognitive health. Plus, unlike cows, fish don’t belch vast amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the air. So, fish should be good for your health and the environment. But the science of omega-3 benefits is far from settled, and as fish farming grows to keep up with global demand, the industry is raising new questions about environmental sustainability. New York Times bestselling author and avid fisherman Paul Greenberg wanted to learn more about how eating fish can change human health and the world’s marine environments. He ate fish every day for a year to see how it would affect his health and traveled around the world to learn more about the challenges of fish farming. His experience is captured in a FRONTLINE documentary called The Fish on My Plate airing Tuesday. (You can also watch it online.) Natalie Jacewicz reports. (NPR)

Scientists invent more accurate way to measure oilsands pollution
Federal government scientists say they have devised an accurate way to directly measure air pollutants from oilsands mines and suggest industry estimates for certain harmful emissions have been much too low. The research, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on volatile organic compounds, or VOCs — carbon-based substances that can be damaging to the environment and human health. Oilsands companies have indirect ways of calculating their mines' estimated VOC emissions. Methods include extrapolating from other substances they measure from smokestacks or from emissions associated with a specific activity, said lead author Shao-Meng Li, a senior research scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Li and his team set out to compare those figures against direct readings they took from the air above the mines. Their experiment took measurements from a plane flown at various altitudes in a box-like pattern above oilsands mines in northeastern Alberta.  (Canadian Press)

Chemicals at old Anacortes treatment plant didn't harm water, city says
Low levels of arsenic, lead and PCBs were discovered at the former Anacortes water treatment plant in January 2015, but those chemicals pose no risk to city drinking water or public health, the city announced Monday. The announcement came on the same day that the city filed a lengthy report with the state Department of Ecology requesting assistance in forming a safe strategy to demolish the building and clean up the former water treatment plant site. The plant was decommissioned in 2013. Aaron Weinberg reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  240 AM PDT TUE APR 25 2017  

TODAY
 S WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE THIS AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1  FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN THIS AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN.

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