Wednesday, March 7, 2018

3/7 Kelp crab, BC pipe, Big One, bugs for salmon, black-footed albatross, blocked accesses

Northern kelp crab [Dave Cowles/Walla Walla U]
Northern Kelp Crab Pugettia producta
This crab’s shell roughly resembles a five-pointed sheriff’s badge, is smooth, and is longer than it is wide. The “points” of the shell have forward-curving hooks. The northern kelp crab’s legs are long and end in sharp points, which it uses to cling to surfaces. The dorsal (back) color of this crab ranges from yellow-green to red, and the ventral (underside) color is red or yellow. This species is commonly found in the intertidal zone on pilings and hidden within kelp beds, particularly bull kelp. Northern kelp crabs often use kelp beds for shelter from predators such as sea otters, as well as for food. While they generally do not decorate their shells, they will sometimes attach pieces of kelp to little hooks just behind their rostrum (the top point of the badge shape), saving them to eat later. While these long-legged crabs look delicate, they are actually very strong and a pinch from their claws can be painful. (South Sound Estuarium)

'Science Guy' Bill Nye prods Trudeau to explain rationale behind Kinder Morgan
Popular TV science personality Bill Nye put Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the spot Tuesday to explain Canada's approval of a controversial pipeline which, if built, will increase the flow of oil from Alberta to the Pacific coast. "Tell us about the Kinder Morgan pipeline," the American scientist asked Trudeau as they concluded a panel discussion on science and innovation in front of students at the University of Ottawa. (Canadian Press)

The Big One, Serialized
Do you have two weeks of food, water and other essentials to survive after a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster? Most Pacific Northwesterners mean well but aren't prepared. In Portland, on the Washington Coast, in British Columbia and now in Bellingham, writers tackled The Big One in serial form to motivate people into action. In the Bellingham case, a family foundation, a writer and a newspaper settled on fiction storytelling as the most effective format to break through complacency. The writer's name is John Stark. He stepped away from a long career as a newspaper reporter a few years ago. Stark was enjoying retirement in Bellingham when the phone rang last spring with a freelance offer. A local foundation wanted to commission a writer to imagine realistically what life would be like in Bellingham during and after The Big One—a roughly magnitude 9.0 earthquake arising from the offshore Cascadia fault zone. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

A 'Floating Fillet': Rice Farmers Grow Bugs To Replenish California's Salmon
Jacob Katz is on the hunt — not for geese or ducks. On a farm about 40 minutes north of Sacramento, he wades through a rice paddy with an aquarium net in hand. But he’s not fishing. “We’re going bug hunting,” Katz says. The senior scientist for California Trout, a conservation group with a focus on protecting wild fish, is at River Garden Farms. Founded in 1913, they typically grow things like corn, wheat and around 5,000 acres of rice — the kind local sushi restaurants use. But today, he’s working on a pilot project with UC Davis to create what they call “floodplain fatties” — a nickname for the well-fed baby salmon and smelt who will eat his bugs while swimming through the Sacramento River. Ezra David Romero reports. (NPR)

Black-Footed Albatross Chicks Take Refuge From Climate Change On Oahu
The chicks had a terrible case of bed head, but it wasn’t from the 1,300-mile boat ride they took last month to Oahu from deep within Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. That’s just how black-footed albatrosses look when they are about a month old, Kate Toniolo, the monument’s deputy superintendent, explained during a visit last week to James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. Federal officials, with help from scientists at the non-profit Pacific Rim Conservation, brought 19 chicks from Midway Atoll and four from Tern Island to live on 16 predator-proof acres near Kahuku Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. They are trying to establish a colony in the main Hawaiian Islands to help ensure the species’ survival against rising sea levels, storm surges and other effects of climate change. Nathan Eagle reports. (Civil Beat)

Unblock access to public waterway, groups tell local council
A Victoria community group says public access to a popular local waterway is being blocked by homeowners and private landowners. A survey by the Veins of Life Watershed Society and the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre identified about 87 public access points to the Gorge waterway that have been blocked, encroached upon or obscured from view. Deborah Wilson reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather---
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  204 AM PST Wed Mar 7 2018  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
 THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING  
TODAY
 E wind 15 to 20 kt rising to 20 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft at 18 seconds.
TONIGHT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming 15 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft at 16 seconds. Rain  likely after midnight.

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