Thursday, November 30, 2017

11/30 ANWR drill, culverts, fish farming, 'blood water,' KM first aid, train protest, safe shellfishing, eagle watch

White sea cucumber [Dennis Paulson]
White Sea Cucumber Eupentacta quinquesemita
The White Sea Cucumber is a common species in rocky areas in the middle intertidal zone and below. Up to about 10 cm in length when relaxed, it is easily recognized by its whitish color and long oral tentacles. The animal is often partially hidden in a crevice with only the feeding apparatus sticking out. (University of Puget Sound)

Puget Sound Chums
Joe Deeny via Wendy Scherrer reports that the chums are at the daylighted Padden Creek in Bellingham. On Tuesday they started up the "new" art of the creek, below the Rotary Trailhead bridge. "Very big, quite a few… They are striped red and beige on the sides."

Conservationists Face Once-Remote Prospect in Arctic Drilling Fight: Defeat 
Carl Portman remembers watching, heartbroken, from Anchorage in 2005 as a Senate effort to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lost by two votes. Now, 12 years later, another effort to open up the reserve to oil and gas drilling is working its way through Congress. And this time, the political winds have shifted. Mr. Portman, now a top official of a pro-drilling group, has seen oil revenue improve the schools, roads and hospitals in Alaska, his home state. He said he was cautiously optimistic about the drilling measure, which is included in a sweeping bill to overhaul the tax code. Environmental activists and their allies in Congress, on the other hand, are on the cusp of forever losing the decades-long political battle over the refuge. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Feds, tribes say farm groups overreacting to culvert case
The U.S. Department of Justice and Puget Sound tribes filed briefs Nov. 27 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to not hear Washington state’s appeal of a court order to remove more than 800 fish-blocking culverts. Farms groups are urging the court to hear the appeal, arguing the order sets a precedent for restricting farming, removing dams and reordering water rights. Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice and Puget Sound tribes say Western farm groups are mistaken to think a court order directing Washington to replace fish-blocking culverts foreshadows trouble for agriculture. The department and tribes, in briefs filed Monday, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the order by the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, arguing that the directive isn’t a forerunner to restricting farming, removing dams or reordering water rights. “The court held only that the state cannot maintain culverts that block fish passage, a decision that has no implications for land use,” according to the brief filed on behalf of 20 tribes. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

Salmon Escape From Fish Farm Puts Spotlight On The 'Day In, Day Out Impact Of These Things'
The Hope Island Fish Farm floats in the middle of Puget Sound, about a 15-minute boat ride from Whidbey Island’s Deception Pass. Narrow metal walkways surround giant nets anchored to the bottom of the sound. Those nets hold thousands of Atlantic salmon--though it’s difficult to see them till they jump.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW) In The Future We Might Farm Fish on Land Instead Of In The Sea  Inside a chilly warehouse on the north end of Vancouver Island, eight giant tanks are lit with swimming pool lights. These are fish tanks — some of the biggest fish tanks around. Every so often the glistening back of a fish surfaces. This is Kuterra, an Atlantic salmon farm that operates on land. That land belongs to the Namgis First Nation.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Sample of B.C. farmed-salmon ‘blood water’ tests positive for virus
The video, recorded by photographer Tavish Campbell, shows red effluent going into the water near the Browns Bay Packing Company, which processes farmed Atlantic salmon, at its plant near Campbell River. Campbell said samples taken from the site were analyzed by the Atlantic Veterinary College and tested positive for piscine reovirus, or PRV, a highly contagious virus that most farmed salmon carry. The virus has been linked to a disease — heart and skeletal muscular disease — that makes fish lethargic and more vulnerable to predators. Environment Minister George Heyman said the province will send an inspector to visit the packing plant in the next few days. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

'It's a joke': Burnaby residents scoff at Kinder Morgan first-aid kits
Some Burnaby, B.C., residents are calling a free first-aid kit distributed by Kinder Morgan to thousands of people insulting.  "It's a joke," said resident Elan Gibson.  She feels the optics of the energy giant delivering iodine wipes, sterile gauze and antiseptic towelettes to people who live near the Trans Mountain pipeline are ironic at best.  Burnaby is the terminus for the pipeline, which carries crude oil from Alberta.  Kinder Morgan intends to triple that pipeline's capacity with its expansion project. (CBC)

Police clear anti-fracking protest camp from train tracks 
Anti-fracking protesters faced off with dozens of police in tactical gear during a predawn raid Wednesday at an encampment blocking railroad tracks in downtown Olympia. Police blocked streets in the area of Seventh Avenue and Jefferson Street where protesters had set up a blockade on Nov. 17 to oppose the Port of Olympia’s shipping of ceramic proppants, or fracking sand, which is used in the oil and natural gas extraction process. Abby Spegman reports. (Olympian)

Whatcom County beaches now safe for recreational shellfishing
Recreational shellfish harvesting in southern Whatcom County is safe once again because biotoxin levels have dropped, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. With that announcement, all Whatcom County beaches have been reopened to harvesting. The ban had been in place for molluscan shellfish including clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Winter eagle watching on local rivers
From late November to late January, thousands of bald eagles descend on local rivers and streams in search of chum salmon. Eagles arrive from as far as Montana, northern California and Alaska, just as salmon from the Salish Sea and beyond swim upstream to spawn and die. This dance makes for some spectacular eagle viewing right under our noses. During the annual chum feast, these majestic gobblers can be spotted all day long. If they’re not near the river, they’re likely perched in trees nearby. Cloudy days can be ideal for spectators, as eagles tend to stay closer to the river when it’s overcast. For best results, bring binoculars. Don’t disturb eagles by approaching and either leave pets at home or keep hem on a leash. Oliver Lazenby reports. (Northern Light)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Thu Nov 30 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft. W swell 12 ft at 14 seconds. Rain in the morning then  rain likely in the afternoon.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 12 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance of showers  in the evening then showers likely after midnight.

"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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