Monday, February 19, 2018

2/20 Midshipman, BC pipe, Ryan Zinke, Tarboo Cr planting, seismic surveys, ocean plastics, invasive mussels

Plainfin midshipman [USGS/Watching Our Water Ways]
The secret to the midshipman’s song
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "Among the wonders of nature in Puget Sound is a chunky little fish with bulging eyes called a plainfin midshipman. The species includes two very different types of males, and one type tries to attract a mate by emitting a continuous humming sound for up to an hour before stopping. An hour-long mating call is rather remarkable, considering that most animals use short intermittent bursts of sound followed by periods of rest. Until recently, scientists were not sure how the midshipman could keep its call going so long…."

'Science is being ignored': prominent Alberta professor sides with B.C. on pipeline
Despite the tough stance from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley about Kinder Morgan Canada's pipeline expansion, a prominent Alberta academic is taking British Columbia's side in the dispute. David Schindler, professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Alberta, says he thinks B.C.'s concerns about the Trans Mountain pipeline are legitimate. The issue is one of science and not politics, he argues. "Somehow, science is being ignored in all this," he told CBC Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. "I think the questions [about spills] are very legitimate." Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

Turmoil Marks Ryan Zinke's 1st Year In Charge Of Interior Department
A year of upheaval at the U.S. Interior Department has seen dozens of senior staff members reassigned and key leadership positions left unfilled, rules considered burdensome to industry shelved, and a sweeping reorganization proposed for its 70,000 employees. The evolving status quo at the agency responsible for more than 780,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) of public lands, mostly in the American West, has led to praise from energy and mining companies and Republicans, who welcomed the departure from perceived heavy-handed regulation under President Barack Obama. But the changes have drawn increasingly sharp criticism from conservationists, Democrats and some agency employees. Under President Donald Trump, the critics say, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has curbed outside input into how the land is used and elevated corporate interests above the duty to safeguard treasured sites. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Thousands more trees planted on Tarboo Creek during Plant-A-Thon
In one day, 180 volunteers planted 4,300 native trees and shrubs along Tarboo Creek. The Northwest Watershed Institute’s Plant-A-Thon, an annual event since 2005, was held this year on Feb. 4. Volunteers from area schools worked to restore salmon and wildlife habitat, as well as reduce climate change impacts, by planting 2,300 native trees, and installing 2,000 live stakes of willow and other native shrubs along Tarboo Creek, said Jude Rubin, director of stewardship and public involvement for Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI). The Plant-A-Thon has become the largest environmental service project in East Jefferson County, Rubin said. (Peninsula Daily News)

Seismic Surveys Planned Off U.S. Coast Pose Risk To Marine Life
Animals that live in the ocean communicate with sound — humpback whales, for example. But these voices could soon be drowned out by powerful sonic booms from vessels searching for oil and gas. President Trump is opening up the Atlantic Coast to companies to explore for fresh reserves. And to explore, they will be making some of the loudest sounds ever heard in the ocean — sounds that, according to recent research, could harm marine animals from whales to plankton. Five companies are currently applying for permits to use seismic air guns to survey thousands of miles of the seabed along the Atlantic Coast. If they get the permits, they could start later this year. Christopher Joyce reports. (NPR)

Ocean plastic tide 'violates the law'
The global tide of ocean plastic pollution is a clear violation of international law, campaigners say. They have been urging for a new global treaty to tackle the problem. But a new report - to be presented to a Royal Geographical Society conference on Tuesday - says littering the sea with plastics is already prohibited under existing agreements. The report urges those governments that are trying to tackle the issue to put legal pressure on those that are not. Roger Harrabin reports. (BBC)

US scientists try crowdsourcing to stop invasive mussels
The invasive quagga and zebra mussels have a $100,000 bounty on their "heads." The U.S. government is offering the six-figure prize for the best suggestion on how to stop their relentless and destructive spread because scientists say they are stumped. "We might as well give it a try," said Sherri Pucherelli, a biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. "Open water. That's really where the challenge is. Nothing has been developed right now that causes complete eradication in a large water body." Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  835 PM PST Mon Feb 19 2018    

TUE  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming E 15 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 4 ft at 16 seconds. A slight chance of snow in  the afternoon.  
TUE NIGHT  E wind 15 to 20 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 14 seconds.

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