Monday, October 30, 2017

10/30 Orcas, coal port, KM, 'Salish Sea Model,' Canada C3, snow geese, bats, monuments, beach trash, plastic bags

Divers in the Salish Sea [Tony Angell]
WINGS by Tony Angell
Tony Angell's solo show WINGS opens November 2nd at the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle.  The new sculptures convey not only the explicit beauty of his subjects, but the implicit spirit and dignity they possess as well.  His work is well known to represent the dynamic wild companions we share our Greater Puget Sound and Salish Sea region with. Their stories and forms remind us that such  diversity is integral to the health,  character and aesthetic richness we cherish here.  Angell will be in attendance for the opening Nov. 2nd from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  (Foster/White Gallery)

Orcas headed to extinction unless we get them more chinook and quieter waters, report says 
Orca whales are on a path to extinction within a century unless they get a big increase of chinook salmon to eat, and significantly quieter seas in which to find their food, a new study has found. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, evaluated the relative importance of known threats to the survival of southern-resident killer whales, the salmon-eating whales that frequent Puget Sound. An international team of scientists reviewed 40 years of data and the threats of lack of food, pollutants and excessive noise under different future scenarios. A clear finding emerged: lack of food, specifically chinook salmon, was the orcas’ biggest threat to long-term survival, so much so that a 30 percent increase in chinook above average levels is needed to recover the orca population. That increase could be cut to 15 percent if vessel noise also is reduced by half. Otherwise, the populations will continue to decline and there is a 25 percent chance the whales will be lost within 100 years, the scientists found. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Washington state must reconsider Longview coal-terminal lease
 Developers of a proposed coal-export terminal in Longview got a boost Friday from a Cowlitz County judge who ruled in their favor in a legal battle with Washington state. Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning ruled that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) improperly denied a tidelands sublease to operate docks at the facility along the Columbia River. That sublease was denied last January by outgoing Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, who found that the developer — Millennium Bulk Terminals — failed to provide enough financial information and details of how the sublease would be structured. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Kinder Morgan mischief: 5 arrested following protest
Five people were arrested on Saturday following a protest in the waters near Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s Westridge Marine terminal in Burnaby B.C. More than 60 boats linked together in front of the tanker route which runs from the terminal. First Nations along with environmentalists, local politicians and residents are continuing their protest of the company's expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC) See also: Burnaby mayor says Kinder Morgan's NEB appeal is 'insulting'   Tamara Rahmani reports. (CBC)

Return To The Salish Sea: Environmental Engineer Teizeen Mohamedali
The Salish Sea is a complex web of waterways that includes Puget Sound and the straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia. It also has inflows from 64 rivers and 99 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and Canada. Getting a handle on water quality in this unique geography is challenging. Washington’s Department of Ecology has collaborated with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to create the “Salish Sea Model.” It’s a mathematical tool to predict how human activity affects the health of the sea. “If you go to the doctor, they measure your blood pressure and your pulse. And that’s kind of what we do when we monitor water quality in Puget Sound,” says Teizeen Mohamedali, an environmental engineer working on the model for the Department of Ecology. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Canada C3 expedition looks to future at end of 150-day voyage along nation’s coastlines
In B.C., they walked amongst the ghostly teetering totems of Haida Gwaii, brushed shoulders with white Spirit Bears foraging for salmon on Gribbell Island, and worked with aboriginals to symbolically carve a western red cedar canoe in Powell River. Now, as Canada C3’s 72-metre icebreaker finishes its 150-day, 23,000-kilometre voyage around Canada’s Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coastlines, it’s time for participants to discern what it all meant and how to set a new course for the future. Expedition leader Geoff Green, founder of the Students on Ice Foundation that organized the epic voyage, said it started as a celebration of 150 years of Canadian confederation and a way to showcase a vast coastline, but became something much bigger. Larry Pynn reports.(Vancouver Sun)

It was a wet water year; it was a dry water year
Water Year 2017 was a crazy year for rainfall, with a precipitation pattern unlikely to repeat anytime soon, although forecasters say the coming year is somewhat likely to be wetter than normal. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Snow geese wreak havoc on Metro Vancouver farms
Metro Vancouver farmers say they are losing thousands of dollars each year because of the annual snow geese migration in October and November. Young snow geese cause problems for farmers by feeding on grass and eating crops, resulting in damaged fields. "It's insane," said third generation farmer John Van Keulen. "That crop that we lose out on would maybe be an $80,000 crop for us....They love lush green grass. They just slowly peck away at it." Van Keulen's family runs Donia Farms in South Surrey and the birds have become a major problem over the last decade. Bal Brach reports. (CBC)

The secrets of island bats
What do our Northwest bats eat? The simple answer to this question is insects, but that is about as useful as saying “animals.” There are more than a million species of insects on earth, and nearly 100,000 of them live in North America. Humans regard some insects as pests, some as beneficial, some (like many beetles and butterflies) as simply beautiful, and most of them as simply irrelevant. Most people assume that bats prefer to eat the most annoying insects, such as mosquitoes; but do bats share our perspective? Kwiaht explains. (Islands Sounder) See also: Bats And Tequila: A Once Boo-tiful Relationship Cursed By Growing Demands  Neda Ulaby reports. (NPR)

Funding announced to monitor white nose syndrome as bat disease reaches West Coast
B.C.'s Ministry of Environment wants to reduce the fear that bats induce, and instead encourage people to help protect the province's endangered bat population. In support of international bat week, which runs from Oct. 24-31, the provincial government is contributing more than $40,000 to fight white-nose syndrome (WNS). The funding, which was announced on Friday, will go towards monitoring bat populations and improving bat monitoring guidance. Cory Correia reports. (CBC)

Utah senator: Trump shrinking 2 national monuments in Utah
President Donald Trump is shrinking two national monuments in Utah, accepting the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents, a Republican senator said Friday. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said he was “incredibly grateful” that Trump called him on Friday to say he is approving Zinke’s proposal on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments. He and Trump “believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities,” but said there is “a better way to do it” by working with local officials and tribes, Hatch said. Hatch’s office said Trump called the senator and said, “I’m approving the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase recommendation for you, Orrin.” Matthew Daly reports. (Associated Press)

Ocean Legacy is making use of 99 per cent of beach trash
Volunteers are toiling in a Main Street warehouse sorting plastic debris painstakingly picked from B.C’s beaches and islands, some of it originating from as far away as Japan. Hundreds of bulging “super sack” refuse bags containing tonnes of garbage tower over the proceedings. In their shadow, plastic water bottles, buoys and thousands of less recognizable items are cleaned of barnacles and seaweed, sorted and bagged. “We get a lot of random, mysterious, hard, mixed plastics, it’s a huge percentage,” said Chloe Dubois, executive director of the non-profit Ocean Legacy Foundation, which is running the Upcycle Challenge Event. Hard and clear plastics find a new life in packaging, while Styrofoam can be repurposed into door mouldings and picture frames. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Public Shaming and Even Prison for Plastic Bag Use in Rwanda
They are sometimes tucked into bras, hidden in underwear or coiled tightly around a smuggler’s arms. They’re not narcotics or even the illegally mined gold and diamonds that frequently make it across the border into Rwanda. But they are, at least in the eyes of Egide Mberabagabo, a watchful border guard, every bit as nefarious. The offending contraband? Plastic bags. Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  220 AM PDT Mon Oct 30 2017  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 13 seconds.
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 or 2 ft. W  swell 4 ft at 12 seconds.
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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