Wednesday, September 27, 2017

9/27 No coal permit, orca death, Trans Mountain, DNA tests, Kitsap logging, Oly goats, NAS base

Killdeer [Audubon]
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
The killdeer is a medium-sized plover…. Their name comes from their frequently heard call. These birds will frequently use a distraction display ("broken-wing act") to distract predators from their nests. This involves the bird walking away from its nesting area holding its wing in a position that simulates an injury and then flapping around on the ground emitting a distress call. The predators then think they have easy prey and are attracted to this seemingly injured bird and away from the nest. If the parent sees that a potential predator is not following them, they will move closer and get louder until they get the attention of the predator. This is repeated until the predator is far from the nest, and the killdeer suddenly "heals" and flies away. (Wikipedia)

Ecology denies coal terminal a key permit
In a potentially fatal blow to the Millennium Bulk Terminal's Longview coal export dock, the state Department of Ecology has denied the water quality permit for the project, concluding that it would cause unavoidable harm to the environment. The project would cause problems with air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources, and tribal resources, Ecology announced Tuesday morning. (Longview Daily News) See also: Washington Denies Longview Coal Water Quality Permit  Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix) And also: Coal Scorecard: Your Guide To Coal In The Northwest  (EarthFix)

Puget Sound's Southern Resident Orca Population Drops to 30-Year Low
Orca researchers and conservationists are urging more steps to protect Puget Sound's endangered southern resident killer whales. The push comes in the wake of the death of a 2-year-old male orca known as J52. The death, which researchers say was caused by malnutrition, brought the population to a 30-year low. J52 is the seventh orca to die this year. That’s the biggest year-to-year decline ever recorded. The decline comes less than two years after a killer whale baby boom had researchers feeling optimistic about orcas' prospects for survival in Puget Sound.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

NEB warns Trans Mountain pipeline builder to stop installing anti-spawning mats
The National Energy Board is issuing a stern warning to the company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for installing mats in streams to discourage fish from spawning where the pipeline is to be built. In a letter on its website, the regulator orders the company building the line from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., to stop installing the mats until it has obtained all approvals from the board to allow the start of construction in those areas…. In an email, Trans Mountain spokesman Ali Hounsell says the spawning deterrents were considered a "preventive measure" to minimize environmental impacts of construction, adding the company is working on a response to the NEB order. (Canadian Press)

Could DNA technology used to trace ancestry help pinpoint sources of bacterial pollution?
DNA technology used to catch rapists and track people’s ancestry could help pin down sources of the fecal coliform washing into the Nooksack River and downstream to Portage Bay, where the Lummi Nation has hundreds of acres of shellfish beds that have been partially closed because of the bacterial pollution. At least that’s the hope of the six Watershed Improvement Districts in Whatcom County paying $18,000 for a pilot project in which DNA sequencing is being used on a section of Scott Ditch. Farmers formed the districts in the northern part of the county to address water issues. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Pope Resources to begin harvesting trees in North Kitsap park
The dense forests of Kitsap’s largest park are typically quiet, secluded refuges for joggers, dog walkers, mountain bikers and wildlife. Over the next 25 years, a large chunk of the county-owned Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park will get quite a bit louder, as timber company Pope Resources begins to cut and harvest thousands of trees there. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Comment period extended for draft plan on Olympic National Park mountain goats
The public comment period on a draft Mountain Goat Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement has been extended to allow more time for comments from the area where park goats would be relocated under the draft plan. The comment period, originally set to end Tuesday, has been extended to Oct. 10. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

NAS Whidbey celebrates 75 years
When Bud Zylstra was 18 and building houses as a construction apprentice on what was then a small Navy base in Oak Harbor, he had no idea what the base would become. Zylstra, now 94 and a World War II veteran with the Army Air Corps, admires the changes Whidbey Island Naval Air Station has undergone over the years…. On Thursday, 75 years to the day after NAS Whidbey was commissioned, Zylstra visited the base he helped build in the town he has always called home. Kera Wanielista reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  247 AM PDT Wed Sep 27 2017  
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 9 seconds.
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 9 seconds.

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