Thursday, October 19, 2017

10/19 Squirrel, coho killer, sunken homes, heritage site, Pt Hudson plan, marine reserves, lost insects

Douglas squirrel [Wikipedia]

    
Douglas squirrel Tamiasciurus douglasii
Douglas squirrel is a pine squirrel found in the Pacific coastal states and provinces of North America…. Adults are about 33 cm in length (including its tail, which is about 13 cm long), and weigh between 150 and 300 grams. Their appearance varies according to the season. In the summer, they are a grayish or almost greenish brown on their backs, and pale orange on the chest and belly, while legs and feet appear brown. In the winter, the coat is browner and the underside is grayer; also, the ears appear even tuftier than they do in summer. Like many squirrels, Douglas squirrels have a white eye ring. (Wikipedia)

Stormwater pollution in Puget Sound streams killing coho before they can spawn 
The sweet seep of autumn rain is bringing coho salmon back home to their natal streams all over the Puget Sound basin — where too often they encounter a bitter truth: pollution in a shocking 40 percent of their home range so bad it can inflict a swift death. The culprit is stormwater, and it is causing death rates so high, some populations of wild coho are at risk of local extinction, researchers found. Yet there also are surprisingly simple and cheap solutions at hand, the researchers wrote in their paper, published today by the Ecological Society of America in the scientific journal Ecological Applications. Researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle worked with collaborators, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy, to survey 51 sites from 2000 to 2011 in streams all over the Puget Sound basin. They used the survey data with a new computer model to map predicted coho death rates. The results show that in an estimated 40 percent of their range in the Puget Sound Basin, 10 to 40 percent of coho salmon die before they can even spawn because of pollution. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Report shows 5,000 homes would be underwater across Puget Sound if sea levels rise 6 feet
A new report by Zillow shows how 1.9 million homes nationwide would be underwater if sea levels rise by 6 feet over the next 100 years. Locally, the prediction would be for 5,000 underwater homes across Puget Sound. “Outside the climate community there's not necessarily that awareness,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas told KIRO 7 on Wednesday.  “So one of our aspirations is to bring awareness of the risk of climate change to the real estate community and to homebuyers.” John Knicely reports. (KIRO)

Parks Canada considers Salish Sea as heritage site
Organizers of a campaign are increasing their efforts to have the Salish Sea added to Canada’s list of potential United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage sites. As part of celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation, Parks Canada is just weeks away from announcing which of the country’s most exceptional places will be added to the country’s tentative list for world heritage sites. For the past year, Salish Sea Trust, a coalition of volunteers led by Nanaimo-based Laurie Gourlay, has been working on a campaign to advocate for the Salish Sea to top that list. Chris Bolster reports. (Powell River Peak)

Open house today to gather comment on Point Hudson plan
Port of Port Townsend officials, who are seeking public input on a long-term plan for Point Hudson, plan an open house today. The open house will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Marina Room at Point Hudson, 103 Hudson St. It will be open to the community, and public comment will be accepted. The goal of the project is to make Point Hudson financially sustainable while also providing public access, protecting the ecosystem along the shoreline and preserving the historic maritime character of the small marina, according to Maul Foster & Alongi (MFA), an environmental engineering and consulting firm, and port representatives. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Marine reserve boosts snapper outside borders
 Marine reserves don't just benefit sea creatures living within them, but those beyond their borders as well, Kiwi researchers have suggested. University of Auckland scientists have observed a higher proportion of young snapper in fishing areas north of Auckland were related to adult snapper from the Goat Island marine reserve - tens of kilometres away. While it's been hotly debated whether marine reserves have benefits outside their bounds, the new evidence appeared to confirm these ocean havens can serve as local fish nurseries. The study [http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1865/20171300] was the first time scientists have found evidence outside the tropics of a direct parental link between adults in a marine protected area to juveniles outside. Jamie Morton reports. (New Zealand Herald)

Alarm over decline in flying insects
It's known as the windscreen phenomenon. When you stop your car after a drive, there seem to be far fewer squashed insects than there used to be. Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this. Research at more than 60 protected areas in Germany suggests flying insects have declined by more than 75% over almost 30 years. And the causes are unknown. Helen Briggs reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PDT Thu Oct 19 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM PDT THIS MORNING
 
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt late in the  morning. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less late in  the morning. W swell 13 ft at 12 seconds building to 18 ft at 15  seconds in the afternoon. Showers.
TONIGHT
 SW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  19 ft at 17 seconds subsiding to 17 ft at 17 seconds after  midnight. Showers likely.

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