Monday, August 13, 2018

8/13 Ketron Is., J35, BC pipe protest, Monsanto fined, Vancouver E coli, shellfish theft, Smith Is habitat, Bill McKibben

Ketron Island [Tacoma News Tribune]
Where is Ketron Island? Who lives there?
Ketron Island, the site of a crash of a hijacked Alaska Airlines plane taken from Sea-Tac Airport sits in the South Puget Sound. The privately owned island is reachable only by ferry and is served by the Anderson Island-Steilacoom ferry run by Pierce County. The population listed in the 2010 U.S. Census was all of 17 people. The 221-acre island was supposed to be named for William Kittson of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who supervised the construction of Fort Nisqually in 1833, according to the book Washington State Place Names. The name was bungled while transcribed to a map, giving the island its name. Kenny Ocker reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma]

After 17 days and 1,000 miles, mother orca Tahlequah drops her dead calf
Tahlequah the mother orca is no longer carrying her dead calf. “J35 frolicked past my window today with other J pod whales, and she looks vigorous and healthy,” Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research, wrote in an email to The Seattle Times. “The ordeal of her carrying a dead calf for at least seventeen days and 1,000 miles is now over, thank goodness.” J35, also known as Tahlequah, is part of the critically endangered southern-resident killer-whale population. Balcomb said J35 probably has lost two other offspring since giving birth to a male calf in 2010.... Another member of the population, a 4 ½ year-old known as J50, also is ailing. Biologists were working over the weekend to monitor her condition. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

An orca mom’s mourning adds new clue to another mysterious death
t has been heart-breaking to follow the story of the 20-year-old orca mom named Tahlequah (J-35), who has been carrying her dead newborn calf for nearly three weeks. But Tahlequah’s travails might add new insight into the mysterious death of a 3-year-old orca, who washed up on the Long Beach Peninsula in 2012. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Judge approves eviction of protesters from camp near pipeline construction site
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has granted the City of Burnaby an injunction forcing pipeline protesters to leave their camp outside a Kinder Morgan tank farm. Justice Geoffrey Gomery says all structures, shelters and vehicles must be removed from the site known as Camp Cloud within 48 hours of an order being issued, which could occur as early as today. The judge also ordered that a sacred fire burning under very dry conditions and near several large tanks containing petroleum products must be extinguished. However, the judge says peaceful protesting is still permitted and individuals are allowed on the site as long as they do not build more structures. (CBC)

US jury orders Monsanto to pay $290mn to cancer patient over weed killer
A California jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay nearly $290 million Friday for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer. Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto—which vowed to appeal—acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness. Following eight weeks of trial proceedings, the San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million. Johnson, a California groundskeeper diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—a cancer that affects white blood cells—says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in Benicia, California. Glenn Chapman reports. ( See also: Monsanto weedkiller case: Bayer shares tumble after payout  (BBC)

E. coli prompts no-swimming advisories at three more Vancouver beaches
Vancouver Coastal Health has issued three additional warnings for Vancouver beaches due to high levels of E. coli bacteria. As of Saturday, Aug. 12, English Bay, Jericho Beach and Sunset Beach have been added to the list of beaches where swimming and direct contact have been deemed unsafe. Stephanie Ip reports. (Vancouver Sun)

More enforcement coming to Sunshine Coast as region deals with complaints of illegal shellfish harvesting
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is sending another enforcement officer to its Sunshine Coast base after members of the public flooded the department with complaints about illegal shellfish harvesting in the area. It's a problem the region sees every summer, but officials and locals alike say this year has been particularly bad.... ​l​llegal harvesting happens when licensed fishermen either take too much shellfish, harvest in closed areas or use illegal gear. Others are simply unlicensed fisherman picking through the beach. DFO says harvesters are taking oysters and clams.

To expand salmon habitat, county floods farmland
Excavators chomped through the earthen berm at low tide. A few hours later, saltwater flowed from Union Slough to flood former farmland on Smith Island for the first time in 85 years. Friday’s breakthrough marked a major milestone toward restoring chinook salmon habitat in the Snohomish River delta. Snohomish County has been at it since 2002, when it started acquiring land in the area.... The Smith Island Restoration Project originated from the 1999 listing of Puget Sound chinook as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Somers, a fish biologist by training, worked on salmon recovery planning in the early 2000s. He helped set restoration goals that the county, the Tulalip Tribes and other governments are now starting to realize. The biggest need was restoring rearing habitat for juvenile salmon before they migrate out to Puget Sound. The county project, along with work by the city of Everett, will provide 377.5 acres of new habitat south of Union Slough and east of I-5. That’s about a third of the land they’re hoping to restore in the Snohomish estuary. Projects by the tribes, the city of Everett and the Port of Everett are meeting the rest of the target. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Sedro-Woolley, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group launch park project 
East of Sedro-Woolley’s dog park and fewer than 1,000 feet from the Skagit River sits about 12 acres of unused city-owned land — much of it overrun by blackberry brambles. Through a first-time partnership, the city and Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group have plans to transform 7 acres into an extension of the dog park and neighboring Riverfront Park. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

If you like to listen: A novel idea from an environmental activist: Secession 
Northwesterners and people around the world have been inspired by Bill McKibben’s prolific environmental activism.... McKibben was a staff writer for The New Yorker for several years before his move to more rural climes upstate. His first book, “The End of Nature,” introduced many people to the concept of climate change. He later started the mass environmental movement McKibben is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Lannan Literary Award and the Gandhi Peace Prize. He spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on November 20, 2017. John O'Brien reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  245 AM PDT Mon Aug 13 2018   

TODAY  E wind to 10 kt becoming NE in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. Haze and areas of smoke. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds becoming NW at  8 seconds after midnight. Haze and areas of smoke.

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