Friday, July 28, 2017

7/28 Energy rules, logging Bowen Is., plastic patch, whale traffic, sword ferns, NW Straits, wasps

Pacific sanddab [Wikipedia]
Pacific Sanddab Citharichthys sordidus
Sanddabs are similar to flounders and soles and are also called lefty or left-sided flounders because their right eye migrates to the left side of their body. They are found on sandy bottoms below the 50-foot depth feeding on amphipods, mysids, shrimps and worms. They are an important sport fish and are found from the Bering Sea to southern Baja California. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia) See also: Kirkland man catches record Pacific sunddab  (Omak Chronicle)

The Energy Bill You've Probably Never Heard Of
Packaged in 890 pages of legislation, its little wonder that the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 has received little attention. But if you care where your energy comes from: oil and gas pipelines or their carbon and methane free counterparts, renewables, you may want to take notice. The bill was co-authored by Senators Maria Cantwell and Lisa Murkowski earlier this month and fast-tracked through committee by Mitch McConnell. Martha Baskin reports. (PRX)

What the Supreme Court rulings mean for pipeline proponents (it could be good news)
At first glance, the Supreme Court's recent rulings on energy infrastructure might seem like a blow to the pro-development forces in Canada aiming to tap the country's natural resources. After all, the top court quashed seismic testing in the North, seen by some as the next frontier for oil and gas extraction. However, a closer reading of both the Clyde River and Chippewas of the Thames decisions might give pipeline proponents in particular some solace. It's no secret building a crude oil pipeline — especially one headed for tidewater — has been an arduous task in recent years. But there is nothing investors love more than predictability, and now, with a court-approved constitutional checklist of sorts available to Indigenous Peoples, the National Energy Board and proponents, the approval process for projects is that much more clear. John Paul Tasker writes. (CBC) See also: 'Dithering' by B.C., Ottawa helped kill Pacific NorthWest LNG, energy CEO says  Kate MacNamara reports. (CBC)

No immediate plans to log Bowen Island
The fir, hemlock and cedar trees of Bowen Island are safe for now. A week after the mayor of the 50-square-kilometre island just off West Vancouver expressed surprise at discovering government plans to potentially log 30 per cent of the picturesque island, B.C. Timber Sales said the plans have been taken off the table. Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Plastic Garbage Patch Bigger Than Mexico Found in Pacific 
Water, water, everywhere—and most of it is filled with plastic. A new discovery of a massive amount of plastic floating in the South Pacific is yet another piece of bad news in the fight against ocean plastic pollution. This patch was recently discovered by Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Research Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to solving the issue of marine plastic pollution. Moore, who was the first one to discover the famed North Pacific garbage patch in 1997, estimates this zone of plastic pollution could be upwards of a million square miles in size. Shaena Montanari reports. (National Geographic)

Why Don’t Whales Get Out of the Way?
…. Ship strikes are a major cause of injury or death for whales. But why do they happen at all? The ocean is vast, and huge ships don’t exactly travel at freeway speeds—there should be enough noise, movement, and warning for a whale to get out of the way, right? Why whales may remain in dangerous proximity to ships is tough to study, but over the years, some clues have begun to emerge. One reason is that whales may not know ships are dangerous. After all, as the biggest animals in the ocean, whales may not understand that there are things in the ocean larger and more powerful than they are. Amorina Kingdon reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Sword Fern Mystery: Acres Of Dead Forest Plants Puzzle Scientists 
Ellie and Emma are toddlers. They spend a lot of time with their dad Tim Billo in Seward Park, a fragment of old-growth forest on the edge of Lake Washington. … The grove Billo and his daughters are exploring today used to have sword ferns that had grown taller than Ellie and Emma. But, now, the ground is bare and dusty. There are no plants growing beneath the towering trees. That’s because sword ferns made up the understory here--and those ferns have been dying in huge numbers in forests around Puget Sound. The problem is spreading and scientists are scrambling to figure out what’s killing the centuries-old plants.  EilĂ­s O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

If you like to watch: "Engaging Conservation Leaders"
Animator Andrea Love created a short stop-action film for the Northwest Straits Initiative to highlight how the Initiative’s work contributes to the goal of protecting and restoring our marine waters. The short film illustrates the partnership of scientists, locally-based advisory groups, and volunteers who all share the common goal of protecting local marine waters through programs such as the removal of derelict fishing gear and restoration of many shoreline sites.

Wasp Populations Low This Summer, But Don't Celebrate Yet
Normally by late June, wasps are a common nuisance at summer barbecues. But this year, entomologists have noticed a drop-off in Washington state and wasp populations are lower than usual. A cold and wet spring meant the insects had a hard time building nests and finding food. But don’t celebrate just yet. Peter Landolt, an entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that this situation is getting better for wasps. Esmy Jimenez reports. (NW News Network)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Fri Jul 28 2017  
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 3 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 7 seconds.
SAT
 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 in the afternoon. W  swell 2 ft at 7 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 7 seconds.
SUN
 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 in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 8 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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