Friday, June 16, 2017

6/16 Sea lice, DNR plan, whale talk, Scott Pruitt, climate action, shooting birds, big duck, Iceberg Pt

Oceanspray [WSU]
Oceanspray, Creambush
Oceanspray Holodiscus discolor is commonly called 'ironwood,' a name reflecting the hardness and strength of its wood. The wood is made even harder by heating it over a fire; if was then usually polished with horsetail stems. It was used to make digging sticks, spear and harpoon shafts, bows and arrow shafts by virtually all coastal native groups. The Saanich, Stl'atl'imx and other groups steeped the brownish fruiting clusters of oceanspray in boiling water to make an infusion that was drunk for diarrhea, especially in children. This solution was also drunk for measles and chickenpox, and as a blood tonic. Before the use of nails, oceanspray pegs were used in construction. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Salmon farms should be more worried about a 2nd species of sea lice, researcher says
Migrating young sockeye salmon that are highly infected with parasitic sea lice grow more slowly, according to a new study from Simon Fraser University researchers. That matters, the experts said, because growing quickly can be the difference between life and death for vulnerable juvenile salmon…. Salmon farms do have measures to monitor and control one species of sea louse, but nearly all the lice found on this study's juvenile salmon were a different species — which isn't targeted in current measures.  Rhianna Schmunk reports. (CBC)

DNR boss to appoint forest panel; focus on marbled murrelet, 10-year sustainable harvest
The state Department of Natural Resources will assemble a panel of experts to help plan for the future of state forests, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. Franz, who was elected as DNR’s top official last November, will appoint representatives of the forest industry, environmental community, trust beneficiaries and others to help address social, economic and environmental impacts of the final Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the marbled murrelet, agency officials said. That will affect the 10-year sustainable harvest calculation.  Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Vancouver Aquarium launches legal challenge of cetacean ban
The Vancouver Aquarium has launched a legal challenge to overturn the Vancouver Park Board's recent ban on cetaceans. In a statement issued Wednesday the aquarium said it has applied to the B.C. Supreme Court for a judicial review of the bylaw amendment banning dolphins and whales from the Stanley Park facility. The aquarium is challenging several aspects of the ban, including the park board's statutory power to enact the ban with a bylaw amendment. It also challenges the board's refusal to hear aquarium representatives concerning the amendment, the "vague" language of the amendment, its impact on the aquarium's $100 million expansion plan and its impact on the aquarium's marine mammal rescue program. (CBC)

County officials discuss how to protect orcas
San Juan County officials are brainstorming local ways to protect Southern resident killer whales. Suggestions at the June 6 council meeting ranged from more enforcement of current state boating regulations to a 10-year moratorium on catching Chinook salmon in the county. “If we keep doing things the same way, we’ll get the same result,” said Kendra Smith, manager of the San Juan County Environmental Resources Department about orca conservation efforts. “It’s important for us to look at ourselves and ask ‘What have we done so far?’ and ‘What do we think is working?’” Haley Day reports. (San Juan Journal)

Grant program supports orca projects
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is taking proposals for grant funding to support orca whale conservation through its Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program. Since its start in 2015, the program has invested about $1.9 million in orca conservation, primarily through research and restoration to help the endangered southern resident orcas that live in the Salish Sea. The grant program supports work to increase food for the orcas — primarily chinook salmon — as well as improve habitat and fill research gaps. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Emails reiterate EPA chief's ties to fossil fuel interests
Newly obtained emails underscore just how closely Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt coordinated with fossil fuel companies while serving as Oklahoma’s state attorney general, a position in which he frequently sued to block federal efforts to curb planet-warming carbon emissions. The latest batch of Pruitt’s emails, provided to The Associated Press on Thursday, runs more than 4,000 pages. They include schedules and lists of speaking engagements from the years before Pruitt became the nation’s top environmental watchdog, recounting dozens of meetings between Pruitt, members of his staff, and executives and lobbyists from the coal, oil and gas industries. Many of the calendar entries were blacked out, making it impossible for the public to know precisely where Pruitt traveled or with whom he met. Michael Biesecker and Adam Kealoha Causey report. (Associated Press)

Canada's climate leader no more: how B.C. fell from the top
2007 was supposed to be the green turning point in British Columbia. That year, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a memorandum of understanding on climate change and pledged to lead the West Coast into a brave new green world…. Fast forward ten years and California — with some of the strictest climate regulations in the United States — continues to forge ahead…. In the meantime, B.C.'s ambitious carbon tax plan stalled.  Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Polls show support for state action on climate change — near and far
If the U.S. government fails to take action on climate change, a majority of Americans would like their states to pick up the ball and run with it. Some 66 percent of those participating in a national survey agreed with the statement: “If the federal government fails to address the issue of global warming, it is my state’s responsibility to address the problem.” Residents of Washington state appear to feel even stronger about the need for state action, according to a survey by The Nature Conservancy, which is preparing for a statewide initiative to be placed on the 2018 general election ballot. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Seabirds Disappear In The Midst Of Plans To Shoot Them
For the second year in a row, thousands of cormorants have vacated their nesting grounds at the mouth of the Columbia River, derailing a plan to shoot and kill the seabirds to protect fish. East Sand Island is usually packed with around 15,000 nesting cormorants this time of year; but right now there are none – just a handful of abandoned nests and broken eggs. As managers watch for the missing birds, advocates with the Portland Audubon Society are calling for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revoke the permits that allowed officials to shoot the birds in the first place. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shot and killed 248 double-crested cormorants in April as part of a plan to cut the size of the seabird colony by more than half and reduce its impact on imperiled salmon and steelhead. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Tacoma’s gigantic rubber ducky is ruffling feathers in Canada
The gigantic rubber duck plying the waters of Tacoma for the Festival of Sail is bird non grata in Canada…. The controversy started when the Liberal Party government in Ontario announced that it granted $120,000 (about $90,000 U.S.) to rent the duck from Festival of Sail organizer Craig Samborski. The idea is to use it to celebrate Canada 150 — the country’s 150th anniversary in late June and early July. The opposition Conservative Party saw a lame duck and took aim. Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

San Juan Islands archaeological dig postponed after islanders have their say
The Bureau of Land Management will not allow an archaeological dig at Iceberg Point in the San Juan Islands this summer after officials got an earful from residents concerned about possible impacts to the popular area. The federal agency announced Wednesday that it needs more time to evaluate the 80 or more substantive comments it received in May on a proposed archaeological field school at the southernmost point of Lopez Island. For the past four years, Iceberg Point, a coastal hiking spot with sweeping views of Puget Sound, has been part of the San Juan Islands National Monument. The BLM has called it an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” since 1990. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Starting July 12, you’ll need to bring your own bags to stores in Tacoma
Tacoma’s idea of BYOB will kick in next month. Starting July 12, you’ll need to bring your own bags when you shop anywhere in the city limits. The City Council passed the Bring Your Own Bag ordinance July 12, 2016. Debbie Cockrell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Fri Jun 16 2017  
TODAY
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 7 ft  at 9 seconds. A chance of showers in the morning.
TONIGHT
 NW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming W to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. SW swell 6 ft at 9 seconds.
SAT
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds.
SAT NIGHT
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming NE to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.
SUN
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.

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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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