Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/16 Springer, transients, cetacean ban, RAC ban, BNSF coal appeal, Inslee's oyster, Pacific plastic

Creeping buttercup
Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens
Creeping buttercup is a low-growing, perennial species of buttercup originally from Europe and now found throughout North America and many other parts of the world. This competitive plant spreads by stolons and forms thick carpets on wet, poorly drained soils everywhere from farms to city gardens to natural wetlands. Creeping buttercup is not on the Washington State Noxious Weed List. However, in King County, this non-native invasive buttercup species is classified as a Weed of Concern. (King County Environmental Services)

Springer, an Orca Success Story
The rescue of an orphaned orca was the first time a baby orca had been returned to its family in the wild. Nicknamed Springer, the orca's rescue from Puget Sound to her family off northern Vancouver Island, became an overnight success story. 15 years later it remains a good news story for a whale species that's endangered in the US and threatened in Canada. Martha Baskin has the story. (Green Currents Radio)

West Coast Transient Orcas Are Booming While Resident Orcas In Salish Sea Struggle
New research shows some of the orca populations that visit the Salish Sea are booming while the orcas who spend most of their time there are suffering. It comes down to what the different orcas eat. Orcas known as southern residents spend most of their time in the Salish Sea — Washington’s Puget Sound, British Columbia’s Georgia Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca separating the U.S. and Canada. Resident orcas in this inland sea only eat salmon. And, since salmon populations are declining, those orcas are starving. Other orcas travel up and down the West Coast. They eat seals and sea lions, and their numbers have been increasing. Gary Wiles, a researcher for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife who wrote a report about the status of the orcas of the Salish Sea, says that’s thanks to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  EilĂ­s O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Vancouver Park Board officially ends display of new cetaceans at aquarium
The Vancouver Park Board has approved bylaw amendments officially banning the Vancouver Aquarium from bringing in new dolphins, whales and narwhals. Commissioners approved changes to the Parks Control bylaw that would prevent the aquarium from bringing in the animals known as cetaceans — a group that includes narwhals, dolphins, porpoises, killer whales and beluga whales — and bans "a show, performance or other form of entertainment, which includes one or more cetaceans." Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Citizen Advisory Groups React To Trump Administration Suspension
President Donald Trump’s administration has signaled it wants local residents to have more say in decisions about public lands in their backyard. But earlier this month the Interior Department canceled upcoming meetings of local citizen groups that give input to the Bureau of Land Management on how to manage public lands. Most people have never heard of these groups because much of their work is done behind the scenes. They’re called Regional Advisory Councils — or RACS. The volunteer groups meet a few times a year to discuss how the BLM manages public lands, and they then make recommendations to the agency about best practices. They provide input on everything from how to deal with invasive weeds on rangeland to how to manage overpopulated wild horses to how much the BLM should charge rafters to float Hell’s Canyon. The RACS are made up of people who are invested in public lands, including ranchers, environmentalists, tribal leaders and county administrators. Amanda Peacher reports. (OPB)

BNSF appeals review of Longview coal-terminal project 
BNSF Railway has appealed an environmental review of a coal-export terminal in Washington state, arguing it miscalculated or overstated the risk of cancer for some residents. Millennium Bulk Terminal-Longview has long wanted to build a facility along the Columbia River near the city of Longview to handle up to 44 million tons of coal a year. Trains would carry the coal from Montana, Wyoming and other states, which would be loaded onto ships headed to Asia. The environmental study by the state Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County found diesel particulate emissions from trains serving the terminal would cause “an unavoidable increase” in the cancer-risk rate for residents in one neighborhood… (Associated Press)

Gov. Inslee tours Samish Bay shellfish farm
Eating raw oysters comes with a risk, but that didn't stop Gov. Jay Inslee from enjoying one Monday fresh from the mudflats of Samish Bay at Taylor Shellfish Farm. Inslee, farm spokesman Bill Dewey and Skagit County officials gathered at the farm to discuss ongoing efforts to reduce fecal coliform bacteria in the Samish River and Samish Bay. When eaten raw, oysters contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria — which is associated with human and animal feces — can cause illness. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic Are Piling Up On An Otherwise Pristine Pacific Island
More than 37 million pieces of plastic debris have accumulated on a remote island in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from the nearest city, according to estimates from researchers who documented the accumulating trash. Turtles get tangled in fishing line, and hermit crabs make their homes in plastic containers. The high-tide line is demarcated by litter. Small scraps of plastic are buried inches deep into the sandy beaches. It's the highest density of debris reported anywhere in the world, scientists say. Their research on trash accumulated at Henderson Island, largest of the the Pitcairn Islands, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   Camila Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  302 AM PDT TUE MAY 16 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS IN THE  AFTERNOON. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING  THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS  IN THE EVENING.

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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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