Thursday, April 26, 2018

4/26 Goldfinch, BirdNote, Snake dams, BC pipe, grizzlies, caribou, Chesapeake grass, sea tales, orca feed, Orca Talk

Willow (American) Goldfinch [Dan Dzurisin/Flickr]
Willow (American) goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Washington designated the willow goldfinch as the official state bird in 1951. Also called American goldfinch or wild canary, the male willow goldfinch has a bright yellow body with black wings and tail, and black on top of his head. The female's plumage is more muted with an olive-yellow body and dark brown tail and wings (the male goldfinch also displays this same dull plumage in the winter months). Active and acrobatic little birds, goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern The diet of the goldfinch consists mainly of seeds. (State Symbols USA)

BirdNote - Streamed Live!
On Thursday, April 26, 7:30-9:00 pm PDT, BirdNote will be live-streamed as a webcast by presenting partner Town Hall Seattle. Tune in for a fun evening of conversation about birds, celebrating the ways they connect us to nature and to each other — with special guests Dr. J. Drew Lanham and Barbara Earl Thomas-- and hosted by narrators Mary McCann and Michael Stein.

Bill Protecting Lower Snake River Dams Passes US House
The U.S. House approved a bill Wednesday that would circumvent a federal judge’s order for dams on the lower Snake River to spill more water and protect current dam operations through the next four years. The additional spilled water is meant to help migrating salmon, meaning it would not be available for generating electricity. H.R. 3144 aims to keep dams in place and prevent any changes in operation until 2022. It’s sponsored by Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse. Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Canada to Seattle Environmentalists: We Stand Behind the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Last Friday, Canadian diplomats met with a coalition of Seattle environmentalists to discuss their concerns about a tar sands pipeline expansion that has roiled politics north of the border, and will increase tanker traffic in the shared Salish Sea.... he project backers estimate that the project would add 348 tankers in the Salish Sea annually, and the Sightline Institute, a local environmental thinktank, believes that this would increase the risk of spills in local waters dramatically. Canadian consuls told to local activists on Friday that they dispute the idea the project will increase the risk of damage to local waters. When Kinder Morgan announced one week ago that it would stop nonessential pipeline spending in the face of opposition from the local British Columbian government (and unmentioned First Nations activism), the federal Canadian government announced it would be looking at funding the pipeline itself. Sydney Brownstone reports. (The Stranger)

Grizzly bears could make a return to WA — for real this time
He said it. He really did. To everyone's surprise, on March 23, at the North Cascades National Park headquarters in Sedro-Woolley, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke — the same Ryan Zinke who had recommended shrinking Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and who had announced last June that Yellowstone's grizzlies would be dropped from the endangered species list — declared that he was all for restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades.  Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

'Ecosystems are unravelling': Another B.C. caribou herd could be lost forever
Another caribou herd in British Columbia is on the edge of dying out and conservation groups are calling for more protections for the animals. The South Purcell herd, which ranges north of Kimberley, is down to four animals. Biologists flew over the herd last week and counted just three bulls and a cow. (CBC)

Scientists: Record abundance of underwater grasses shows Chesapeake Bay initiatives are working
Underwater grasses that provide vital places for fish and crabs to live and hide from predators covered more than 100,000 acres of the Chesapeake Bay in 2017 — the most ever recorded in a 34-year-old aerial survey, scientists said Tuesday. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science found 104,843 acres of grasses across the estuary, the first time since it began its survey in 1984 that vegetative coverage surpassed the 100,000-acre threshold. It was a third straight year that grass acreage grew, gaining by 5 percent from 2016 to 2017. Scott Dance reports. (Baltimore Sun)

Powerful Stories About Ocean Sustainability
When a northern Puget Sound fish farm sustained damage last August, more than 250,000 farmed Atlantic salmon spilled into the Salish Sea.  Lummi fishermen rushed to the area with nets, desperate to capture the farmed salmon before they mixed with the area’s wild salmon, their most precious resource. The Lummi fishermen’s story is one of many featured on Ocean Link Northwest, a website that sheds light on humans’ dependence on the ocean. The site was developed by students in the Communication Leadership program (Comm Lead), a professional master’s program in the Department of Communication, in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, an innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research group. Nancy Joseph reports. (Perspectives Newsletter/UW)

500K Chinook smolt released into Salish Sea to help feed killer whales 
Half a million healthy juvenile Chinook salmon were released into the Salish Sea as part of the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition (SVIAC) and the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA)'s "Feeding Our Endangered Orcas Initiative." The fish were delivered to Sooke, B.C.  This multi-year program is intended to significantly increase large adult Chinook salmon in the Juan de Fuca Strait during the key pre-winter feeding time of local killer whales. The Southern Resident Killer Whales - J, K and L pods are endangered. Lack of food is one of the issues believed responsible for their declining numbers. Pollutants and noise from vessels are other top reasons for their decline according to NOAA. Last year 225,000 healthy Chinook salmon smolts were successfully released from their temporary holding enclosure in the Sooke Basin and are expected to return as large adults in 2020.  (San Juan Islander)

Orca Talk: "Current Research to Support Recovery Actions for Southern Resident Killer Whales"
With just 76 orcas in J, K and L pods, the Southern Resident Killer Whale population is nearing its all time low of 71 individuals. Is the population still viable - can they be saved? What have we learned over the past year that will help these orcas recover, and what are the most pressing questions still to be addressed? NOAA's Brad Hansen talks about current research to support recovery actions for Southern Resident killer whales. May 1, 7 PM, C&P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave SW, Brown Paper Tickets. Presented by The Whale Trail.

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Thu Apr 26 2018   
 E wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 11  seconds. 
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft  at 13 seconds.

"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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