Tuesday, May 15, 2018

5/15 Ripple Rock, Tacoma LNG, Ship Point, gray whales, wolf researcher, debris art, snail memory, Site C

Ripple Rock [Bill Roozeboom]
Ripple Rock
Ripple Rock is an underwater mountain that had two peaks (9 feet and 21 feet below the surface) in the Seymour Narrows of the Discovery Passage in British Columbia, near the town of Campbell River.... It was a marine hazard in what the explorer George Vancouver described as "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world."... Its top was removed by a planned explosion on 5 April 1958. (Wikipedia)

Tacoma LNG plant has 'potentially significant' permitting issues. Opening could be delayed
Puget Sound Energy's plan to open its Tacoma liquefied natural gas plant in 2019 could be in jeopardy. An additional environmental review of the plant ordered in January by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has led TOTE Maritime, which would be the plant's main customer, to delay the conversion of its ships' engines to run on LNG fuel. Permitting delays and the extra review also have caused a state commission to cast some doubt on the project. Port of Tacoma commissioner Dick Marzano said this week the additional reviews probably have the parties holding their breath. Candace Ruud reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

City unveils new plans for Ship Point as waterfront park, festival site
Ship Point could become the people’s park. In the coming years, the parking lot with some of the best views in the city could be transformed into a beautiful, well-designed public waterfront park and festival site. Last week, the City of Victoria unveiled a detailed design concept of its master plan for Ship Point. On Tuesday, the public is invited to an information session from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the City Hall antechamber. A draft plan is expected to be brought before council in June. Louise Dickson reports. (Times Colonist)

Gray whale deaths could be above normal this year
There may be more gray whale deaths and more whales in poor condition this year than normal, according to an Olympia-based research group. Cascadia Research Collective came to that conclusion based on above normal reports of gray whale strandings, entanglements, and sightings of whales in poor body condition. At least five gray whales have been stranded this year, most of which showed signs of nutritional stress. That number is not unusual for an entire year, but it is high for a five-month period, according to Cascadia Research Collective. Peak stranding season runs from April through June. Allison Sundell reports. (KING)

Wolf researcher who accused WSU of silencing him gets $300K to settle lawsuit and go away
A leading wolf researcher has agreed to leave Washington State University at the end of the spring term in return for $300,000 to settle a suit he brought over infringement of his academic freedom. Robert Wielgus, director of the Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, pioneered research of wolf behavior in cattle country as the predators began their return to Washington. Wielgus tracked the behavior of wolves and cattle and learned that the state’s policy of killing wolves that had preyed on cattle was likely to lead to more cattle predation, not less, because it destabilized the structure of wolf packs. The research was unpopular with ranchers, who complained to lawmakers in the Washington State Legislature, who, in turn, cut Wielgus’ funding and removed him as principal investigator on his ongoing work, passing the funds through another researcher. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Students reflect on impact of marine debris in annual art contest
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "NOAA’s annual Marine Debris Art Contest continues to attract creative students able to spread the message about how loose trash can escape into the ocean and harm sea creatures.... More than 450 entries were submitted to the national contest this year. The 13 winning entries will become part of a 2019 Marine Debris Calendar, with artwork adorning the cover and representing each month. The calendar will be available for download later this year."

'Memory transplant' achieved in snails
Memory transfer has been at the heart of science fiction for decades, but it's becoming more like science fact. A team successfully transplanted memories by transferring a form of genetic information called RNA from one snail into another. The snails were trained to develop a defensive reaction. When the RNA was inserted into snails that had not undergone this process, they behaved just as if they had been sensitised. The research, published in the journal eNeuro, could provide new clues in the search for the physical basis of memory. Shivani Dave reports. (BBC)

Ottawa won't oppose halt to Site C work pending treaty rights challenge
The federal government is not going to argue against halting construction of the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam in British Columbia while a B.C. court decides if the project violates constitutionally protected treaty rights. However a spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Monday the government will continue to defend the federal approval given for the project in December 2014, even though that approval was given using an environmental review process McKenna herself has said is fundamentally flawed. The Site C project is an 1,100-megawatt dam and generating station on the Peace River in northern B.C. that will flood parts of the traditional territory of the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations. Mia Rabson reports. (Canadian Press)

 
Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  225 AM PDT Tue May 15 2018    
TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 11 seconds. Patchy fog in  the morning.  
TONIGHT  NW wind 15 to 25 kt becoming W to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.
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