Wednesday, July 19, 2017

7/19 New BC gov't, Seattle sewer, methanol, crab catch, sea stars, BC farmland, Swinomish border

Pacific hagfish [Wikipedia]
Pacific hagfish Eptatretus stoutii
The Pacific hagfish is a species of hagfish. It lives in the mesopelagic to abyssal Pacific ocean, near the ocean floor. It is a jawless fish, a throwback to the Paleozoic Era when fish evolved.... The hagfish is notorious for its slimy skin. When disturbed, it oozes proteins from slime glands in its skin that respond to water by becoming a slimy outer coating, expanding it into a huge mass of slime. (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound) Hagfish are not often eaten, owing to their repugnant looks and sliminess. However the inshore hagfish, found in the Northwest Pacific, is valued as food in Korea.... The inshore hagfish, known as kkomjangeo or meokjango in Korean and nuta-unagi in Japanese, is the only member of the hagfish family with a seasonal reproductive cycle. (Wikipedia)

B.C.'s new NDP government sworn into office
After a historic provincial election that took nearly two months to resolve, the B.C. NDP has officially taken power. John Horgan has been sworn in as British Columbia's 36th premier, along with his cabinet. Horgan, 57, replaces Christy Clark as premier and ends 16 years of Liberal rule in B.C.  Richard Zussman & Justin McElroy report. (CBC)

West Point treatment plant ill-prepared in growing Seattle region, contractor finds after flood
A contractor hired to investigate February’s catastrophic flood at the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle found inadequate training, lack of redundant treatment capacity and backup systems, and flaws in a new $40 million automated control system. Lynda V. Mapes and Christine Willmsen report. (Seattle Times)

Sierra Club Challenges Washington's Green Governor on Plans to Build Fracked- Gas-to-Methanol Refinery
Since the plan to build what would become the world's largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River was proposed, environmentalists and Governor Jay Inslee, considered one of the nation's greenest, have held opposing views. For Inslee the proposal by a subsidiary of the Chinese government, spells trade and “low-carbon energy”. But for the Sierra Club, 350 Seattle and others, the refinery, which would release methane, a powerful warming gas, is one they say neither the state or planet can afford. Martha Baskin reports.

Dungeness crab numbers decline in south sound
Islander John Cushing has gone crabbing for the Pacific Northwest’s famed Dungeness crab two times this year, and unlike in previous years when he quickly caught his limit, this year he has come away nearly empty handed — and concerned about the state of the fishery…. Don Velasquez, fish and wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) summed the situation up succinctly. “What you see is a big drop in the harvest,” he said recently. While the numbers of Dungeness crabs in the north sound were predicted to be high this season, the declining numbers are evident in this area of Puget Sound. In Marine Area 11 — Vashon waters — and Marine Area 13 — south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the harvest was predicted to be low before the season opened, based on early testing. In Marine Area 12, south of the Hood Canal bridge, the picture is mixed, Velazquez said, with the northerly portion showing higher harvest numbers and the southerly portion also showing a substantial decrease. Susan Riemer reports. (Vashon Beachcomber)

The wasting of the stars: A look into the largest ocean epidemic in recorded history
A look back on Sea Star Wasting Disease and where things now stand.  Peter Arcuni reports. (Peninsula Press)

Can you identify these marine mammals seen in South Puget Sound?
Who the heck are these guys featured in this video posted on Facebook by meteorologist Nick Allard of KIRO-7 TV? Pacific white-sided dolphins? Common dolphins? Dall’s porpoises? Harbor porpoises? Based on the conflicting comments on Nick’s Facebook page, as well comments on reposts, a lot of people are insisting that they know what these animals are. But even some longtime Puget Sound residents got it wrong. Annie Douglas of Cascadia Research took a look at the video, posted here with Nick’s permission. These creatures, she said, are long-beaked common dolphins. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Abbotsford eyes farmland for industrial growth
How much land can Abbotsford propose to remove from the Agricultural Land Reserve before its “city in the country” slogan no longer fits? In advance of a public hearing Monday night, opponents of a city-led proposal to remove 115 parcels from the ALR to make way for industrial growth are questioning council’s commitment to food security…. If passed, a proposal to remove 283 hectares (or 2.8 square kilometres) in two different parts of Abbotsford will go to the Agricultural Land Commission for approval. It’s not the first time the commission has been asked to weigh the value of agricultural land against industrial needs, and with a recent report showing Metro Vancouver has the lowest availability of industrial land in North America, it’s unlikely to be the last. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Feds’ assurances on Puget Sound tribe’s reach pleases farm group
A Washington farm group says it’s relieved federal officials have made clear that a north Puget Sound tribe’s new constitution doesn’t expand the tribe’s jurisdiction to privately owned farmland, a concern that the tribe’s chairman says was overblown. The Interior Department approved July 7 a proposal by the Swinomish Indian tribe to delete references in its constitution to reservation boundaries set in 1873. Instead, the constitution will more generally describe the tribe’s territory to include “accustomed fishing grounds.” Bureau of Indian Affairs Northwest director Stanley Speaks told the tribe in a letter that the constitutional amendment won’t expand the tribe’s territory. The letter responded to concerns of farmers, homeowners, businesses and Skagit County commissioners that the tribe would use the new description of its authority to gain control over land outside its 7,000-acre reservation. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  537 AM PDT Wed Jul 19 2017  
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 2 ft at 10 seconds.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. SW  swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the  evening then a chance of showers after midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


  1. a Korean Hagfish sandwich sounds like something I just might want to not try!

    The refinery is a scary possibility...

    Thanks for the update, Mike!

    1. As for eating strange things-- Hawaii comedian Frank DeLima used to do a routine listing all the 'stink food' each ethnic group brought to Hawaii and how that food was considered 'da best' and enjoyed accordingly. It doesn't have to smell bad, maybe just the idea of some foods. 'Just try,' my father used to say, and laugh. I've tried (and enjoyed) haggis, will keep my father in mind when I come across hakarl, and have known bacalhau for most of my eating life.

      Nothing to try or laugh about regarding the refinery. M.