A sea creature normally found in the tropics has suddenly exploded in the ocean off the Oregon coast. Scientists are baffled by this massive bloom of pickle-shaped pyrosomes that are clogging the nets of researchers and fishermen. No one knows exactly why they’re here, but many suspect it has something to do with a blob of warm water that’s been hanging out off the West Coast for the past several years. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB)
Report reveals struggles and strategies to recover Puget Sound ecosystem
As always, the biennial State of the Sound report (PDF 60.2 mb), issued this week by the Puget Sound Partnership, reveals mixed results for efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound. It’s been 10 years since the Washington Legislature created the Partnership with an urgent mission to restore Puget Sound to a healthy condition by the year 2020. That 2020 deadline, which was the idea of then-Governor Chris Gregoire, has always been a double-edged sword. The clear time frame has created a sense of urgency — which was Gregoire’s goal. But now, with 2020 looming just three years away, the second edge of the sword threatens to create a sense of failure. Chris Dunagan writes. (Watching Our Water Ways) See also: Little Progress Made Towards A Puget Sound "Fishable, Swimmable, Diggable," Says Partnership After 10 Years
Lawsuit Challenges EPA’S Two-Year Stall of Deschutes River Clean-Up Plan
NWEA has challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s unlawful stalling of Washington’s Deschutes River clean-up plan. NWEA filed the lawsuit because EPA has failed for nearly two years to approve or disapprove the Deschutes Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) clean-up plan even though the Clean Water Act requires EPA to act within 30 days of a state’s submission. The Washington Department of Ecology submitted the TMDL to EPA for approval nearly two years ago, in December 2015. The Deschutes River is a tributary to Puget Sound, discharging to Capitol Lake and then the marine waters of Budd Inlet in Olympia. Rivers and streams in the Deschutes watershed violate state water quality standards for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, fine sediment, fecal coliform, and bacteria. Budd Inlet has suffered for decades from low levels of dissolved oxygen and Capitol Lake is filled with algae from nutrient pollution. (NW Environmental Advocates)
Change should mean fewer Samish Bay closures
Shellfish farms in Samish Bay should now face fewer closures thanks to a change that took effect Wednesday. The state Department of Health recently changed the Samish River flow thresholds for closing shellfish harvesting in the bay. Scott Berbells, the agency’s shellfish growing area section manager, said the change was made due to progress reducing bacterial pollution in the watershed…. The bay has been closed to harvesting for 16 days in 2017 during which growers, including Taylor Shellfish Farms and Blau Oyster Co., were unable to harvest their products even though pollution did not reach the state’s limit of 4.7 trillion bacteria entering the bay per day…. The recent change has doubled the threshold for flows in the months of December, January, February and April…. Monitoring on Friday showed that the amount of fecal coliform bacteria entering the bay exceeded the state’s limit... Samish Bay was closed to shellfish harvest and has not yet reopened. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Return To The Salish Sea: Tom Wooten, Chairman, Samish Indian Nation
The culture of the Samish Indian Nation aligns closely with the Salish Sea. Its headquarters are on Fidalgo Island, near Anacortes, and its people are scattered throughout the area, on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Canada. Historically, they lived on five islands in the central Salish Sea: Fidalgo, Guemes, Lopez, San Juan, and Samish. Due to a clerical error, the Samish tribe lost federal recognition in 1969 and only regained it in 1996, but they have been rebuilding. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)
Squamish Nation challenging B.C.'s approval of Kinder Morgan project in court
The Squamish Nation says it was not given adequate information about the safety risks associated with Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain expansion project. It's taking that argument to the B.C. Supreme Court this week in hopes of stopping the expansion. The court is holding a provincial judicial review of the B.C. government's decision to approve the project. (CBC)
Whale-watching industry endorses new viewing distances
The Pacific Whale Watching Association has endorsed the federal government’s intention to keep boats farther from whales. The industry group represents 32 ecotourism operators in the Pacific Northwest, including many whale watching companies. A statement forwarded to the Peninsula News Review said that “in the spirit of being precautionary and proactive the PWWA is updating its comprehensive operational guidelines to immediately reflect a 200-metre approach distance to SRKWs in the Canadian portion of the Salish Sea.” Hugo Wong reports. (Victoria News)
'Extremely close to being gone forever': B.C. fisheries manager says feds failing Interior steelhead
An iconic fish could soon disappear from British Columbian waters, according to the province's fisheries manager, who worries Thompson River steelhead may be on the brink of collapse. Mike Ramsay, assistant director of B.C's Fish and Game branch, said if management practices in the federally regulated commercial salmon fishery don't change, Thompson steelhead may not be able to recover from low returns. Officials estimate a record low number of steelhead — just 290 — will return from the ocean to the Fraser River and eventually into the Thompson watershed this year. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)
'They have to be magnificent animals to put up with what we throw at them': Chinook return to West Vancouver
Streamkeepers in West Vancouver are rejoicing at a "magical story" happening in their backyard — chinook salmon have found their a way up a local creek they don't usually use for spawning. Streamkeepers say the arrival of the fish is a glimmer of hope after a season of record-low salmon returns in a number of fisheries. Chinook are not native to Brothers Creek but Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been trying to introduce a self-sustaining chinook sport fishery in that area. According to the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society (WVSS), the chinook likely originated from the federally-run Capilano River Hatchery. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)
His Fellow Conservatives Call Him A ‘Green Decoy’
Ty Stubblefield self-identifies as a “red blooded conservative,” but he’s also an avid hunter who is frustrated with the Republican party’s efforts to transfer public lands out of federal control. So, he’s fighting back. Stubblefield grew up in a logging town in southwestern Oregon, the kind of place where the government is viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion. When he started hunting as a kid, politics were far from his mind, but as the years went by and his obsession and devotion to hunting — bow hunting elk in particular — grew, he realized that the public lands where he hunted were increasingly at risk of being sold off. Stephanie Joyce reports. (Terrestrial)
Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca- 241 AM PST Tue Nov 7 2017
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING
GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING
TODAY SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 3 ft at 10 seconds.
TONIGHT SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming E 20 to 30 kt after midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 5 ft at 11 seconds building to 8 ft at 12 seconds after midnight. A chance of rain after midnight.
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