Monday, February 12, 2018

2/12 Sucia 'shroom, fish plant audits, marbled murrelts, hummers, Beaver Cr, Illabot Cr, mining St. Helens

Sucia Island 'mushroom' [George Mustoe]
Sucia Island 'mushrooms'
Mushroom shaped rocks are common along Sucia Island coasts…. a type of tafoni, the overhanging caps are evidence of “case hardening”, a phenomenon that occurs when chemical weathering causes certain rocks become more durable instead of weaker. This hardening results when elements such as iron or calcium are dissolved from the interior of the outcrop and precipitated near the surface, providing additional strength. George Mustoe, WWU (Sucia Island: The Geologic Story)

Government to audit fish processing plants that release bloody waste water
The B.C. government will audit 28 fish processing plants after tests confirmed the presence of a contagious fish virus in the bloody waste water released into the ocean by at least two plants. The audit, which should be completed by the start of summer, will include inspection of the 28 facilities to ensure they are using the “best available technology” to deal with effluent. It will also review whether permits contain strong enough environmental protection provisions, according to a recent Ministry of Environment release. The audit comes after underwater photographer Tavish Campbell filmed a cloud of blood being released into the ocean from two pipes, one near Campbell River and another near Tofino. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Oregon Elevates Threatened Marbled Murrelet To Endangered Status
After a deadlocked 3-3 vote, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 Friday to elevate the marbled murrelet from a “threatened” species to “endangered.” The marbled murrelet is a seabird that nests in older coastal forests, and its population has been in a long-term decline in large part because of the loss of old growth trees to logging. Several environmental groups petitioned the state to change the status of the bird. They told commissioners the bird’s decline and ongoing loss of older forestland, together with other threats such as climate change and poor ocean conditions, will eventually lead to extinction. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Flight of the hummingbird: How size and wing shape forge fantastic flyers
A group of biologists from the University of B.C. braved army ants and driving rain to answer one simple question: What makes hummingbirds such nimble flyers? Their research, published in the journal Science this week, examines the ways that body size, wing size and wing shape affect how the birds accelerate and decelerate, rotate in the air and make complex turns. The deciding factor for species with the most agile manoeuvres is the capacity of their muscles to produce a lot of power, according to biologist Douglas Altshuler, who was senior author on the paper. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

Students bid farewell as salmon hatchlings are released into Navy's Beaver Creek
Three students from the fish club at South Kitsap's Discovery Alternative High School released 20,000 tiny, wriggling, silver coho salmon fry they'd raised from eggs into Beaver Creek behind the fenceline of the Navy's Manchester Fuel Depot on Thursday…. The students hefted two water coolers they'd filled with the tiny little fry down to the creek and tipped them over so the fish could swim out with the rushing water. Once the salmon splashed into the creek, they quickly swam away, testing the boundaries of their newfound freedom. In the past three years, the fish club has raised and released almost 300,000 of the little hatchlings into the creek — some 60,000 coho fry and more than 200,000 chum fry. Julianne Stanford reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Illabot Creek restoration project set to begin
A project to restore fish habitat in Illabot Creek east of Rockport is set to begin this month. The Skagit River System Cooperative and Skagit County, which are partners on the project, have set a public meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park clubhouse in Rockport, 52804 Rockport Park Road…. The project will restore habitat in Illabot Creek for several species, including threatened chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Exploratory Mining Plan Near Mount St. Helens Moves Forward
The Forest Service has given its consent for exploratory mining on public land near Mount St. Helens.  The Canadian mining company Ascot USA wants to take 63 rock-core samples in Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which involves creating 2-3 inch boreholes down into the earth. The company is testing for valuable mineral deposits – including copper and gold….  The total area of the project is about 900 acres, but the drill sites would disturb less than a quarter acre. The approval applies only to the exploratory drilling. If the company finds minerals, it will then be required to apply for another permit before any mining can go forward. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PST Mon Feb 12 2018  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt, easing to 5 to 15 kt by noon. Wind  waves 2 to 4 ft, subsiding to 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 11  seconds.
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 4 ft at  10 seconds, building to 6 ft at 14 seconds.

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