Wednesday, August 2, 2017

8/2 Kelp, heat & smoke, Gordon Wilson, Doug Ericksen, border wall, free humpback, bat disease

Bull kelp [NOAA]
Kelp
Kelps are large seaweeds in the order Laminariales that form dense canopies in temperate rocky intertidal and subtidal habitats less than 30 m in depth. The kelp flora of the Pacific Northwest is one of the most diverse in the world (Druehl 1969). Kelps are characterized by a highly dimorphic lifecycle consisting of a large diploid sporophytic (bed-forming) phase and a microscopic haploid gametophytic phase. In the Puget Sound region, bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) occurs throughout Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, while the distribution of giant kelp (Macrocystis integrifolia) is restricted to the Strait of Fuca (Berry et al. 2005, Mumford 2007). Both form conspicuous floating canopies, or kelp beds. (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound)

Heat wave and smoke bring increased danger to B.C.’s south coast  Jennifer Saltman reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: As BC wildfires spread, Puget Sound air quality dips  Paige Gross reports. (Seattle Times)

NDP fires B.C. LNG advocate Gordon Wilson from $150K job
Former B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Wilson has been fired from his post as the province's LNG advocate. Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston says the NDP government reviewed Wilson's position and couldn't find any evidence of written reports submitted by him, rather they concluded that he had only made oral briefings. Cory Correia reports. (CBC)

Ethics complaints against Ericksen for temporary EPA job dismissed
The Washington state Legislative Ethics Board has dismissed complaints filed against Sen. Doug Ericksen for taking a temporary, paid job with President Donald Trump’s transition team while continuing to work as a state legislator. The decision was released in late July with the board saying, essentially, that it was up to the voters to decide just how concerned they were about the Ferndale Republican’s dual roles. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Homeland Security To Waive Environmental Rules On Border Wall Projects
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it will use its authority to bypass environmental laws and other regulations to “ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads” near the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego…. The waiver, which focuses on 15 miles of contiguous land stretching eastward from the Pacific Ocean, would make it easier for the agency to embark on those “infrastructure projects” — which include building several prototypes of the border wall President Trump called for in a January executive action. The agency also plans to replace some sections of the fence that currently stands in the area. Colin Dwyer reports. (NPR)

'Happiest news possible' as humpback in B.C. slips free of fishing gear
A humpback whale that was the subject of a public alert on the weekend has survived his second potentially deadly encounter with marine equipment. The whale, identified as KC, had been reported to a whale-entanglement hotline with a green line around his head and a black fishing float trailing behind him in the waters around B.C.'s Discovery Islands, near Campbell River. Researchers were concerned well-meaning members of the public might endanger themselves or the whale by trying to free it  themselves. Deborah Wilson reports. (CBC)

Scientists On Case Of Deadly Bat Disease Discover New Clues
A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds that the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats can be spread much more readily than previously thought.  White nose syndrome has decimated bat populations east of the Mississippi River, but only last year appeared in the Pacific Northwest. The research suggests people and equipment can become contaminated with the fungus no matter what time of year they enter caves…. This discovery provides insight into how and when the fungus can be spread. Jess Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Wed Aug 2 2017  
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming E 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. Smoke.
TONIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 8 seconds.

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