Friday, July 6, 2018

7/6 Oenothera, Scott Pruitt, BC Ferries, Bay View bacteria, microplastics, RR bridge, Rob Wielgus

"Evening primrose" [Laurie MacBride]
The Misnamed Beauty
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I think whoever gave the name “Evening primrose” to the Oenothera genus of plants made a bit of a blooper. If the ones that volunteer in our garden are any indication, they neither look like a primrose, nor bloom in the evening. The flowers on these large, upright plants open first thing in the morning (the photo above was taken at 5:38 am). Although each individual flower lasts only a day, the plants bloom all summer, bringing so much light and colour that we welcome them, despite the space they take up among the fruit and veggies. By afternoon, though, their beautiful yellow flowers are limp and droopy, and by evening they’re completely done in. Kind of like me, come to think of it."

Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Pruitt resigns
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday amid ethics investigations of outsized security spending, first-class flights and a sweetheart condo lease. With Pruitt’s departure, President Donald Trump loses an administrator many conservatives regarded as one of the more effective members of his Cabinet. But Pruitt had also been dogged for months by a seemingly unending string of ethics scandals that spawned more than a dozen federal and congressional investigations.... Trump said in a tweet Thursday that Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry executive, will assume the acting administrator position Monday. Zeke Miller, Ellen Knickmeyer and Michael Biesecker report. (Associated Press) See also: How Andrew Wheeler, the New Acting E.P.A. Chief, Differs From Scott Pruitt  .... Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

B.C. Ferries, premier want smaller ships built locally
B.C. Ferries has announced plans to have up to five new smaller ferries built to serve inter-island routes. The company is also speaking in favour of B.C. shipyards bidding for the work. “We want to build locally in British Columbia,” Mark Wilson, B.C. Ferries vice-president of strategy and community engagement, said in an interview Wednesday.  “We are doing a tremendous amount of work with local industry. We own the design rights to these existing classes of ships, so the design work will be done. Industry doesn’t have to invest in the design component.” The procurement process will be open and transparent, he said. “We are doing everything that we can to create the conditions for local industry to bid and submit the best that they can on this.” Carla Wilson reports. (Times Colonist) See also: Vaughn Palmer: Desire to have ships built in B.C. could sink goal of affordable fares  (Vancouver Sun)

Bacteria advisory in effect for Bay View beach
An advisory against swimming is in effect for the beach at Bay View State Park. The state BEACH Program — operated by the Department of Ecology and Department of Health — issued the advisory Tuesday after finding high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the water at the park's beach, according to an email notice. Fecal coliform bacteria is associated with sewage, manure and other sources of animal feces, such as from dogs and wildlife. Contact with contaminated water can cause skin irritation and a variety of illnesses. The water at Bay View State Park is being resampled today and results are expected Friday, BEACH Program Coordinator Julianne Ruffner said. If the bacteria levels have decreased to safe levels, the swimming advisory will be lifted. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Study finds Vancouver-area laundry microplastics are filtering into ocean
Microplastics from Metro Vancouver's laundered clothes are ending up in water treatment plants and filtering into the ocean, says a study published in the science journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. The study by the ocean-protection group Ocean Wise and the Metro Vancouver regional district found that while up to 99 per cent of the particles were filtered out, a significant amount still made it into the ocean. The study, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, found Vancouver-area treatment plants remove about 1.8 trillion plastic particles in waste water each year, but 30 billion particles are still released into the ocean. Peter Ross, the study's principal investigator and vice-president of research at Ocean Wise, said many of the microplastics are in the form of fibres from polyester and rayon clothing. (Canadian Press)

Railroad bridge would help fish habitat — but at a high cost
Snohomish County’s parks director calls it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. BNSF Railway considers it a victory for its business and the public. Together, they’re trying to drum up support for a project to remake the railroad tracks that since the late 19th century have largely cut off the mouth of a salmon-spawning stream from Puget Sound. By building a new five-span railroad bridge along the shore at Meadowdale Beach Park, they hope to return Lund’s Gulch Creek to something resembling its natural state.... The work would aim to create a more free-flowing estuary at the county park just north of Edmonds. A 90-foot-wide opening under the bridge would replace the existing hobbit-size tunnel that’s often closed off during the rainy season. That could open up salmon runs — and provide year-round access to the beach for all patrons. That includes people with disabilities who might find the current tunnel impossible to navigate, even under the best of conditions. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?
Rob Wielgus was one of America’s pre-eminent experts on large carnivores. Then he ran afoul of the enemies of the wolf. Christopher Solomon reports. (NY Times)



Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  228 AM PDT Fri Jul 6 2018   

TODAY  SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft  at 16 seconds. A chance of showers in the morning then showers  likely in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  4 ft at 9 seconds. Showers. 

SAT  Variable wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. SW swell  3 ft at 12 seconds. Showers likely in the morning then a chance of  showers in the afternoon. 

SAT NIGHT  NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW  swell 3 ft at 14 seconds. 

SUN  NW wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon.  SW swell 3 ft at 13 seconds.


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