Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6/21 Fir Island, Salish Eagle, military airstrips, Prince of Whales, saving orcas, port revenue

Deer mouse
Deer Mouse Peromyscus keeni
The northwestern deer mouse or Keen's mouse is a species of rodents in the family Cricetidae. It is found in British Columbia in Canada and in Alaska and Washington in the United States. It was named after the Rev. John Henry Keen in 1894. Deer mice may appear harmless, but they are known carriers of dangerous diseases such as hantavirus. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can develop from inhaling the virus when deer mouse urine or feces is disturbed. Utmost care should be employed when disposing of deer mouse droppings.

Tour held at Fir Island restoration site
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife gave a tour Tuesday of the restoration work that has been done at the Fire Island Farms Reserve Unit. The tour showcased the intertidal habitat that was opened about a year ago. The Fir Island Farms restoration project, done by Fish & Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy and other partners, moved back levees built decades earlier to protect farmland. Moving the levees has allowed saltwater to reach 131 acres of fields during high tides over the past year, creating salmon habitat and refuge for many types of birds. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New ferry to be launched on Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route
The Salish Eagle, the second of three new vessels joining the B.C. Ferries fleet this year, begins service Wednesday with a 9:10 a.m. sailing on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route. The Salish Orca was the first of the trio in service, starting in May on the Powell River-Comox route. The Salish Raven arrived in Victoria on June 7 and is due to start service in the fall, also in the Southern Gulf Islands. All three ferries are 107 metres long and can carry 145 vehicles and 600 passengers. They were built in Poland at an overall cost of $200 million and are all duel-fuel — able to run on natural gas or ultralow sulphur marine diesel. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Military Airstrips Are Poisoning People's Wells
…. [The Swanson family well on Whidbey Island is contaminated.] It has six times the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of what are called perfluorinated chemicals. These are chemicals that have been linked to cancer, thyroid and liver problems, and low birth weight and other developmental problems. A 2009 study by the Washington Department of Ecology found these chemicals in waterways and wildlife in the Pacific Northwest--but the state’s plan to deal with the problem is six years behind schedule…. The toxic chemicals made their way into the Swansons’ well from fire-fighting foams dumped on a naval airstrip less than three miles away. The Swansons and their neighbors aren’t the only ones to find their drinking water contaminated this way. Wells near Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma and Fairchild Air Force Base outside of Spokane have also been contaminated. The same thing happened to the water supply in Issaquah, which has a fire training facility nearby. And the EPA and military have identified other contaminated sites across the country. EilĂ­s O'Neill and Tony Schick report. (KUOW/EarthFix)

$3.5M whale-watching vessel launches for Victoria-Vancouver tours
Alan McGillivray has made a $3.5-million bet on Victoria and he may be considering a second one. The president of adventure-tour operator Prince of Whales said he believes in the city, its economy and its ability to draw millions of tourists each year, which is why he spent $3.5 million to design and build a new 95-passenger catamaran, the Salish Sea Dream. “I’m very bullish on Victoria. I grew up in Victoria and I have the ocean in my blood,” said McGillivray, who started his company in 1993 as a water taxi business in Sidney. Andrew A. Duffy reports. (Times Colonist)

Whales and Ships Shouldn't Mix
With more heavy vessel traffic going in and out of the Salish Sea, the greater likelihood of whales being hit. J34 was struck and killed late last year; an endangered fin whale was killed this Spring. Environmental engineer and project manager Krista Trounce discusses how the Vancouver BC Fraser Port Authority-led ECHO (Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation) Program is working to understand and manage the impact of shipping on Salish Sea whales. Certainly an important topic for ports, shippers and whale watchers. Krista speaks on June 22 at 7 pm at Dakota Park Place Building, 4303 Dakota Place SW, Seattle. Advance tickets at http://bpt.me/2974083 See also: Save the Whales Local efforts step up to protect Salish Sea orcas
Tim Johnson brings us up to date on local efforts. (Cascadia Weeekly)

New report says privatizing Canada's ports could generate significant revenue
A new report from the C.D. Howe Institute says changing the financial structure of Canada's major ports could raise much needed infrastructure money and benefit taxpayers. Canada's 18 ports are overseen by Canada Port Authorities, an arms-length organization overseen by the federal government. The port authorities manage safety and navigation services, permits, and leases for different terminal operators. In November, the federal government hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to review Canada's port system as part of a larger drive to increase private investment to raise money for infrastructure. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  321 AM PDT Wed Jun 21 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON PDT TODAY THROUGH
 THIS EVENING  
TODAY
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft. NW  swell 6 ft at 9 seconds.
TONIGHT
 W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. NW  swell 8 ft at 10 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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