Thursday, July 20, 2017

7/20 WA budget, Fraser sockeye, Tesoro air, canoe journey, Navy jets, Springer!, Pressentin Park, plastics, Canuck, record kokanee

Tufted puffin [Gregg Thompson/BirdWeb]
Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata
Tufted Puffins are medium-sized, stocky seabirds with rounded heads. They are solid brown-black overall, except for distinctive facial coloration. The outer wings are wider than the inner wings, giving the outstretched wing a hand-like appearance. The feet and bill are orange…. The Tufted Puffin is one of the most abundant and conspicuous seabirds nesting in the north Pacific. Many California populations, however, have disappeared or significantly declined. In recent years, potentially serious declines have occurred in Washington as well. (BirdWeb)

No deal on well drilling, so no deal on capital budget
The University of Washington lost out on more than $130 million in state construction money Wednesday due to legislative Democrats and Republicans being unable to resolve an unrelated water rights dispute. The capital budget also includes more than $900 million for school construction projects and another $100 million for mental health facilities. Legislative bargaining went south Wednesday afternoon as the Legislature prepared to end its third special session of the year on Thursday. Unless there’s some last-minute reversal or Gov. Jay Inslee calls a new session, perhaps later in the year, projects may be put on long-term hold or only have partial funding, such as from local governments. John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

Warm temperatures, low water flow could hurt Fraser River sockeye run
Following a record-low year for the Fraser River salmon run in 2016, fisheries officials are keeping a close eye on returns in a season already showing some signs of trouble. Last summer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada suspended all sockeye fisheries along the river after forecasting returns of just 1.1 million fish — the lowest number on record. It's still early in the season, but the 2017 season isn't shaping up to be quite so disappointing, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission's chief biologist, Mike LaPointe. "This year's return is forecast to be significantly better. It's supposed to be in the four million, 4.2 million range," LaPointe said. (CBC) See also: Big harvest and a buck a pound, Bristol Bay’s 2017 should be huge  Dave Bendinger reports. (KDLG/Alaska Public Media)

Air agency issues permit for Tesoro refinery project
The Northwest Clean Air Agency on Tuesday issued a permit for the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery's proposed clean products upgrade project. The permit is one of 18 the refinery needs from local, state and federal agencies in order to move forward with the project. The project would involve upgrading and building new equipment to reduce sulfur emissions from fuels it produces at the refinery and to extract the chemical compound xylene during the refining process. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tribal canoe journey comes to Lopez, July 24
“To make a show of respect and peaceful intent when arriving by canoe, the crew executes a full counter-clockwise circle just in front of the hosts on shore. When the canoe is broadside, it is proper to go paddles-up, to lift paddles overhead with tips pointed skyward.” So says Lopezian Sam Barr, 27, of Samish descent, a member of the Samish Stewards Institute and co-founder with Erin Licata of the Coast Salish Stewardship Corps, as he describes traditional tribal protocols when arriving by canoe within the Salish Sea. Kai Sanburn writes. (Islands Weekly)

Ecology taking comment on NAS Whidbey jet proposal
The state Department of Ecology is taking public comment on a proposed increase in jet operations at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, according to a notice issued Wednesday. Ecology will take comments through Aug. 8. The Navy proposes increasing the number of EA-18G Growler jets at the base, increasing jet operations and bringing in more personnel. The goal is to expand NAS Whidbey’s electronic attack capabilities. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

"Celebrate Springer!"
The 15th anniversary of the orphan orca's rescue and recovery is celebrated this weekend at Telegraph Cove, BC. At 11 AM on July 22 visitors can hear “Springer’s Story,” a slide show narration by members of Springer’s rescue team, followed by a panel discussion. At 4 PM, the new Telegraph Cove Whale Trail sign will be dedicated and at 5:30 PM, the public is invited to join in for a salmon dinner on the Boardwalk. To top it all off-- celebrate the news of Springer's second calf.

EarthCorps crew preps Pressentin Park for project
An EarthCorps crew is battling invasive blackberry vines in Pressentin Park this week in preparation for a Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group restoration project. With the sun beating down and scratches accumulating on their arms, the crew worked Tuesday to remove the sprawling, thick-stemmed blackberry plants at the Skagit County park in Marblemount. The six-member EarthCorps crew is removing invasive blackberry from a section of the 55-acre park this week by cutting the plants back and digging up the roots. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn't The End Of It
Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It’s in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it. Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it’s literally almost everywhere. Roland Geyer, an industrial ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says no one had tallied how much plastic people have manufactured since its invention. When he did it, he was shocked at what he found. “Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That’s just really a staggering amount.” Christopher Joyce reports. (NPR)

Canuck the Crow’s fame grows as beloved bird stars in new documentary
Canuck the Crow has really padded his resume this summer. In addition to picking up a full-time job at the PNE, Vancouver’s unofficial official bird is now a full-fledged movie star after picking up his first film credit in the Telus original documentary, Canuck & I. The 20-minute short film is an in-depth look into Canuck’s life, as well as his unlikely friendship with East Vancouverite Shawn Bergman, who finds Canuck waiting at his front door every morning to accompany him to the bus stop.  Harrison Mooney reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. man caught world record fish with his bare hands before eating it
The world's largest recorded kokanee salmon was caught, smoked and eaten before anyone realized what a prize fish it was. Government biologists recently confirmed DNA testing that shows the 5.4-kilogram fish caught in British Columbia shatters the previous record (3.9 kilograms) held since 2010 by Oregon fisherman Ron Campbell. "We were thinking it was a big rainbow [trout]. We never even thought that it was a kokanee," said Denis Woodcox, who landed the beast with his bare hands. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  238 AM PDT Thu Jul 20 2017  
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft. SW  swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of showers.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less. SW swell 2 ft at  14 seconds.

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