Friday, August 10, 2018

8/10 Pickleweed, J50 & J35, Fraser sockeye, EPA's pesticide ban, BC pipe, Kukutali Beach, WSF ferries

Pickleweed [Alchetron]
Pickleweed Salicornia virginica
"Some of the large bays of our area are bordered by extensive salt marshes. Such marshes, inundated only by the highest tides, are typically rather flat, except for shallow pools and tidal channels. They are characterized principally by a very distinctive flowering plant, Salicornia. Actually, there are two species of Salicornia in our coastal marshes: S. virginica, a perennial state forms spreading mats; and S. europaea, an annual that tends to be more compact. These odd plants, known by a number of common names such as pickle weed and saltwort, bellowing to the goosefoot-saltbush-tumbleweed family, many members of which are associated with saline situations inland. (Seashore Life of Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the San Juan Archipelago.)

Team Gives Medication To Sick Orca At Sea
A team of whale experts has injected an ailing orca with antibiotics in a rare emergency effort to save her. NOAA Fisheries says the international team reached 3½-year-old orca known as J50 Thursday in the waters near Washington state’s San Juan Island. A veterinarian examined the orca. The team of experts gave her a dose of antibiotics through a dart and took a breath sample to help assess whether she has an infection. NOAA says on Facebook that the team will decide next whether to feed the free-swimming whale live salmon from a boat. If things go well, the whale may then be given live salmon dosed with medication. (Associated Press)

Researchers won’t take dead orca calf away from mother as she carries it into a 17th day
As Tahlequah carries her deceased calf for a 17th straight day, and concerns mount about her health, taking the calf away is not an option because of the tight bond between Tahlequah and the rest of the pod to her baby — dead or alive, experts say. “These are very intelligent animals, and the loss of this animal is quite profound for the matriline and everyone who witnesses it,” said Sheila Thornton, lead killer-whale scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She saw Tahlequah continuing to carry the calf Tuesday as J pod traveled south to the outer coast of Cape Flattery, Wash. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research on Thursday saw Tahlequah still continuing to carry the calf, born July 24, for the 17th straight day. He estimated she has carried the calf more than 1,000 miles. The carcass is starting to come apart; the calf’s insides were visible atop Tahlequah’s head Thursday morning. Yet still she clings to the body of her baby. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

'Gorgeous fish': Steveston fishery workers haul in sockeye salmon bounty
Trung Nguyen, selling sockeye off his boat at the Steveston Pier for $8 a pound, has been waiting four years for this moment. Nguyen and other commercial fishery workers returned to the Richmond harbour Thursday with coolers full of salmon after being allowed out on the Fraser River Wednesday to catch salmon. The 2018 run is expected to be the biggest since 2014 and fishery workers had 24 hours to take advantage of the bounty. Strong runs come in four-year cycles and this year's could eclipse 20 million fish. (CBC) See also: They’re big, they’re fat and thankfully there are finally a whole lot of ‘em  (Bellingham Herald)

U.S. appeals court orders EPA to ban pesticide said to harm children
A divided federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely-used pesticide that critics say can endanger children and farmers. The 2-1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle overturned former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 denial of a petition by environmental groups to halt the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts.... Pruitt’s ruling, one of many by the administration to reduce federal regulatory oversight, had reversed a 2015 Obama administration recommendation to extend to food a 2000 ban on chlorpyrifos that covered most household settings. (Reuters) See also: E.P.A. Staff Objected to Agency’s New Rules on Asbestos Use, Internal Emails Show  (NY Times)

Bankers bullish on Trans Mountain despite uncertainties
Bankers for Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. said the pipeline expansion project will still be profitable, even if the costs rise by 25 per cent – to more than $9-billion – and the completion is delayed by a year. In a shareholders' circular released on Tuesday, the company includes a “fairness report” from TD Securities Inc. on the $4.5-billion deal in which the federal government will purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta and Vancouver, as well as the expansion project. In the circular posted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, TD noted that Kinder Morgan had a project outlook in January that forecast the capital cost at $7.4-billion, up from the company’s original estimate of $4.1-billion. However, given the uncertainty around British Columbia’s efforts to block the pipeline and the company’s effort to offload it, it provided no more recent update.  Shawn McCarthy and Kelly Cryderman report. (Globe and Mail)

Work underway to restore Kukutali Preserve beach
Work is underway to remove a road and reveal the beach that was buried beneath it at the Kukutali Preserve on the west side of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation. With the removal of boulders that lined the road and a section of the road dug away, high tide began to creep over the exposed beach Wednesday.... When complete, a tombolo — a long, sandy mound stretching from the mainland to the island — will again connect Kiket Island to the mainland, instead of the road built about 100 years ago to provide access to a home on the island. The tombolo beach will allow water to move between Similk Bay and Kiket Bay and provide habitat where forage fish could lay their eggs. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Plan to replace Washington State Ferries' aging vessels remains unclear
The state's newest ferry, the Suquamish, will start transporting passengers across the Puget Sound this fall. It marks the end of the Olympic class ferry project that's been underway for 11 years. Washington State Ferries is now recommending that more Olympic class vessels be built....The life span of a state ferry is 60 years. Right now, five ferries are more than 50 years old. In a preliminary recommendation, WSF is suggesting a minimum of five additional Olympic class vessels be built under the exiting contract with Vigor Shipyard.  Kara Kostanich reports. (KOMO)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  230 AM PDT Fri Aug 10 2018   

TODAY  W 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. W  swell 3 ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming E to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. A chance of showers. 

SAT  SE wind to 10 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. Showers likely. A  slight chance of tstms in the afternoon. 

SAT NIGHT  SW wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds. 

SUN  Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 9 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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