Monday, August 14, 2017

8/14 Shellfish suit, Pruitt's EPA, pesticides, new park, Tokitae, humpback, Felicity Ann, cit sci, Wallie Funk

Those clever ravens! [Paul Lantz/BirdNote]
How Raven Made the Tide
Long ago the tide stayed close to shore. The people went hungry because the clams lay hidden under water. Then Raven had a plan. He put on his cloak and flew along the shore to the house of the old woman who held the tide-line firmly in her hand. Raven fooled her, and she let go of the tide-line, and the tide rushed out. All the people joined Raven to feast on clams. Finally the old woman promised to let go of the tide-line twice each day. And that is how Raven made the tides. (BirdNote)

Lawsuit targets federal oversight of shellfish farming
A national food group is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alleging it is allowing commercial shellfish aquaculture to expand in Washington state without adequate environmental scrutiny. The Center for Food Safety says the Corps violated federal laws when it approved a general permit in January for shellfish operations without fully considering cumulative environmental impacts of shellfish operations across the state. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Seattle.

Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say
When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance. Some employees say they are also told to leave behind their cellphones when they meet with Mr. Pruitt, and are sometimes told not to take notes. Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security. Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton report. (NY Times)

No end in sight for dispute over pesticide injury to salmon
It has been 15 years since a federal judge ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency and National Marine Fisheries Service must consider whether pesticides increase the risk of extinction for Northwest salmon populations. Since 2002, NMFS (also called NOAA Fisheries) has determined that some pesticides do indeed pose a significant risk to the ongoing existence of salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act. Yet, after all these years, permanent protective measures have not been imposed by the EPA, which is responsible for regulating pesticide use. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Neighborhood campaign creates 47-acre county park
One of Lou Ann Wood's favorite trails begins not far from her mailbox.  The path leads her through stands of maple, cedar and fir, and across hillsides blanketed in moss and sword ferns. Walking through the forest Thursday, Wood paused to soak in the silence…. And yet, up until recently, this 47-acre woodland in the heart of Silverdale's Olympic View neighborhood was on the chopping block. The state Department of Natural Resources, which owned the property, planned to log the trees. Dozens of Olympic View neighbors, including Wood, pushed back. Residents argued clear-cutting the land would generate stormwater runoff that could destabilize homes on the downhill bank separating the land from Hood Canal, while also decrying the loss of wildlife habitat and recreational space in the midst of their community. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Lummi Nation: Return Tokitae ‘to the place in her heart’
The new Coupeville whale bell tolled 40 times Tuesday, one for every orca captured or killed during the Puget Sound whale round-ups of the late 1960s and early 1970s. “We need to do something for these beautiful, spiritual creatures that sing these beautiful songs,” declared Douglas James Jr., one of a dozen Lummi Nation members who attended the annual event of remembrance and resolve sponsored by Orca Network. About 100 people heard updates about the plight of killer whales in captivity and those living in local waters. The day marked the 47th anniversary of a well-documented hunt in Penn Cove when seven young killer whales were taken and four babies, caught in herding nets, drowned. Patricia Guthrie reports. (Whidbey News-Times)

Humpback whale struck by boat spotted on a roll
A whale-watching company believes it has found the humpback whale struck by one of its Zodiacs near Race Rocks on Monday. Prince of Whales Capt. Mark Malleson returned Tuesday to the collision site and photographed a lone humpback that he is “fairly certain” is the whale that suddenly appeared and collided with the boat. “It looks as though it may have a minor scar on its left side ahead of its dorsal fin, which jives with the [Zodiac] master’s feeling that it was hit on its left side,” Malleson said in a statement. He said the animal was behaving normally. Katherine Dedyna reports. (Times Colonist)

New chapter for a famous boat: Felicity Ann to be used for maritime education
The Community Boat Project in Port Hadlock is taking over the restoration of the historic Felicity Ann, a vessel made famous by Ann Davison, the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic in 1953. The boat was donated to the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in 2003 and dozens of students and faculty worked to restore the 23-foot sloop. On Wednesday, the boat was handed off to the Community Boat Project, which will finish the restoration and the Felicity Ann will be added to the Community Boat Project’s fleet, used for maritime education programs. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Program takes citizen scientists out to sea
As waves rocked the boat, a group of citizen scientists watched lines take shape on a computer screen. The blue, red and black lines represented temperature, salinity and depth, which were measured by a device called a CTD as it was lowered into the water from the back of the boat. The group aboard Western Washington University’s research vessel Magister on Aug. 1 was getting a look at how scientists gather data used to study the marine environment. The day trip was an extended education opportunity the university is offering at its Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Hansville weather enthusiast shares his view of the sky with the world
Each morning Greg Johnson gets up, makes his coffee and pans for gold in the mudroom of his Hansville home. Sitting at his computer, he reviews what his ever-rolling webcams have captured in the overnight hours. For Johnson, the man behind the popular weather webcam, the gold pieces he’s looking for come in the form of a meteor, the Northern Lights, perhaps even an UFO: Interesting flashes in the night missed by most during sleeping hours. The array of cameras that power the website regularly capture the wide variety of both human and natural activity in Johnson’s backyard: Skunk Bay. With a little editing, he crunches the video into timelapses that tell stories. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Wallie V. Funk dies at age 95 
Wallie V. Funk Jr. of Anacortes, a longtime newspaperman, photographer and local historian, died Saturday. He was 95. Born and raised in Anacortes, Funk was a former co-owner of the Anacortes American and later the Whidbey News-Times and the South Whidbey Record in Island County. Known for his local photography and large collection of other photographers’ works, Funk’s collection of photos is housed at the Anacortes Museum, Island County Museum in Coupeville and at Western Washington University. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT MON Aug 14 2017  
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. Patchy fog in  the morning.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. NW swell 5 ft at 9 seconds.

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