Wednesday, July 11, 2018

7/11 Robin, EPA awards NWIFC, rockfish, farmland solar, MV Sun Sea, forest protection

Baby robin [Carmen Elliott/BirdNote]
American Robin Babies Afoot
After hatching, baby robins spend up to 15 days in the nest. By July, many young American Robins have left the nest, or fledged. But they aren't ready to make it entirely on their own yet, and they follow their parents around, learning to fend for themselves. Outside of the breeding season, robins tend to form large flocks, often feeding on berries and fruits. (BirdNote)

EPA awards $350k to NW Indian Fisheries Commission for habitat projects
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission with a $350,000 Indian General Assistance Program Grant to assist western Washington tribes with habitat protection projects.... This award continues the EPA-NWIFC partnership that began in the early 1990s that has since evolved into the current Indian General Assistance Program, which is critical to the development, organization, and implementation of the Washington Coordinated Tribal Water Quality Program. This inter-governmental strategy was designed to build tribal capacity to monitor and evaluate environmental conditions, and to advance water quality protection and clean-up objectives important to tribal resources. (Tacoma Weekly)

After an epic ecological comeback, the local, versatile rockfish has become a restaurant rock star
Rockfish is appearing on Seattle-area menus in everything from ceviche to tacos. But new it is not. This lean, mild fish is nothing short of the best ecological comeback story on the West Coast in the past 50 years.... After years of conservation measures, natural rockfish stocks have recovered. Today, U.S.-sourced rockfish species are all “best choices” or “good alternatives” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. And several species are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Catherine M. Allchin reports. (Seattle Times) Meanwhile: Protecting Washington's Rockfish  Washington is home to many species of rockfish (family Sebastidae).  Populations of some species are healthy but others, such as yelloweye, canary and bocaccio, are suffering and have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (canary and yelloweye as Threatened, bocaccio as Endangered). Within Puget Sound, WDFW has implemented recreational depth and area restrictions, and closed commercial fisheries that target rockfish or have a high potential to encounter them as bycatch.  Other commercial fisheries off the Washington coast that tend to take rockfish as bycatch have also been limited in an effort to reduce rockfish mortality, but more can be done to protect vulnerable rockfish species. (WDFW)

Solar Plan Collides With Farm Tradition in Pacific Northwest
When a company from Seattle came calling, wanting to lease some land on Jeff and Jackie Brunson’s 1,000-acre hay and oat farm for a solar energy project, they jumped at the idea, and the prospect of receiving regular rent checks. They did not anticipate the blowback — snarky texts, phone calls from neighbors, and county meetings where support for solar was scant. Critics said the project would remove too much land from agricultural production in central Washington. If approved by regulators, it would be one of the biggest solar generators ever built in the state, with five large arrays spread around the county, covering around 250 acres with sun-sucking panels. Ms. Brunson said the critics should mind their own business and respect property rights. Kirk Johnson reports. (NY Times)

Ship that carried hundreds of migrants to Canada now a floating toxic stew
The MV Sun Sea carried nearly 500 Tamil migrants to Canada eight years ago, but now the rusting cargo ship sits forlornly on the B.C. coast — an unwanted vessel of toxins including asbestos, PCBs and mould, documents reveal. The federal government, which has been stuck with the rickety ship for years, is looking for an "environmentally sound" and cost-effective way of getting rid of it. The Public Services and Procurement Department recently issued a request for feedback from industry on how to dismantle and dispose of the 38-year-old steel ship with an infamous past. (CBC)

Conservationists move to protect more than 7,000 acres of Puget Sound forest
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, along with the Trust for Public Land and the Green Diamond Resource Company, announced they have moved to permanently protect more than 7,000 acres of forest at the southwestern end of Puget Sound. The land – 7,391 acres in total – is located on the Olympic Peninsula between Hood Canal and Case Inlet. The area will remain in active timber production, but water quality and wildlife habitat will be protected, and space will be available to the public for hiking, biking, and other recreation.... This area of land is part of a three-phase effort to protect 20,000 acres of this coastal forest from development. The plot protected Tuesday is part of phase two. Previously, 6,967 acres were protected in 2016, and $5.1 million was procured in the 2018 congressional budget for the third phase. (KIRO)


Now, your tug weather--



West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Wed Jul 11 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH  LATE TONIGHT   

TODAY  Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 3 ft at 11 seconds building to 5 ft at  7 seconds after midnight.

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