Thursday, June 21, 2018

6/21 Solstice, BC First Nations, Nautilus, right whale, James Hansen, Asarco cleanup, water supply, squirrels

Lapland Larkspur [BirdNote]
The Longest Day of the Year
On the summer solstice, birds nesting near Juneau, Alaska take advantage of almost 18 1/2 hours between sunrise and sunset. This day in south Texas is considerably shorter, so the Altamira Oriole has only 14 hours to sing. Seattle's Song Sparrows see 16 hours of daylight; Sacramento's only 15. Birds nesting north of the Arctic Circle have six weeks with almost 24 hours of daylight every day. So this Lapland Longspur has a work-day that's about as long as it gets. (BirdNote)

Dzawada'enuxw First Nation to push for removal of fish farms
A coastal First Nation in B.C. is vowing to challenge the B.C. government's new approach to fish farm tenures, which would give First Nations a say over where these operations can set up on the West Coast. The province announced Wednesday that starting in 2022, fish farms will need First Nations approval to renew their tenures. ​That's not soon enough as far as the Dzawada̱╩╝enux̱w First Nation is concerned. Chantelle Bellrichard reports. (CBC) See also:  Trudeau's talk of nationalizing pipeline frustrates some Cheam First Nation members  Angela Sterritt reports. (CBC)

Nautilus submarine ‘can send your soul to the bottom’ — Bob Ballard
Exploration Vessel Nautilus, with its remotely operated submarines Hercules and Argus, has been exploring deep-sea vents off Oregon the past few days, marking the beginning of a six-month expedition along the West Coast and around Hawaii. The ROVs were launched Sunday as the weather allowed, and the mother ship is now moving up the coast. [Watch at Nautilus Live] Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Coast guard crew makes rare sighting of right whale off Haida Gwaii
For the third time this decade, one of the world's rarest whales has been spotted off the B.C. coast, but scientists say it's too early to know if the species is recovering from being hunted to near extinction. The crew aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vector caught sight of the young North Pacific right whale while doing a shellfish survey west of Haida Gwaii earlier this month, according to whale biologist John Ford of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

Listening to James Hansen on Climate Change, Thirty Years Ago and Now
Thirty years ago, James Hansen, a scientist at NASA, issued a warning about the dangers of climate change. The predictions he and other scientists made at the time have proved spectacularly accurate. Elizabeth Kolbert reports. (New Yorker)

Hundreds of yards polluted by Asarco smelter still need cleanup. Here's this year's plan
Remember the Asarco Smelter and the toxic plume of arsenic and lead emittedfrom its smokestack that settled onto and polluted thousands of yards in Ruston, Tacoma and on Vashon Island? The state Department of Ecology is still working to clean up those yards. This year, thanks to the state Legislature's passage of a capital budget in January, the department can get back to a more aggressive schedule for doing so. "We are breaking ground, removing dirt and moving forward on cleanup of 39 yards in north Tacoma and 16 yards on Vashon-Maury Island," the department announced this week. Candice Ruud reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Water fuels Seattle’s growth. But in North Bend, activists say water could be running out
Seattle is surrounded by water. It’s one of the reasons why people move here. But even in rainy, water-abundant Seattle, the region’s astronomical growth has given rise to new conflicts over water rights for people and salmon.  One of the most visible signs of that growth is a 212-unit apartment building to be built on the banks of the Snoqualmie River. And local environmental activists are demanding to know whether that building would put new strain on an already-overburdened waterway. Joshua McNichols reports. (KUOW)

Drowning squirrels is cruel, an animal control officer says, so here's what she's doing
A Whatcom County animal control officer is suing to stop people from drowning squirrels that are nuisances and to bar the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from telling people they can do so on residential property. Rebecca Crowley's lawsuit said drowning squirrels was an "indisputably cruel method." Bellingham attorney Adam Karp, who specializes in animal law, filed the lawsuit in Whatcom County Superior Court. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  222 AM PDT Thu Jun 21 2018   

TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 10 seconds. Occasional drizzle in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. A slight chance  of showers after midnight.


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