Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8/15 Nudibranch, Fraser spill, shipyard sewage, native stewards, bad smoke, strong bees, BC pipe, oil-tanker spills, 'king-of-the-salmon,' bat kill

Opalescent nudibranch [Monterey Bay Aquarium]
Opalescent nudibranch Hermissenda crassicornis
Opalescent nudibranchs are one of the prettiest and most colorful species of nudibranchs. Though their colors vary, they always have bright orange areas on their backs and blue lines along each side. Cerrata (fingerlike projections) on their backs are brownish yellow, with white and gold tips. These "sea slugs" eat hydroids and anemones, which are armed with nematocysts (stinging capsules). These nematocysts don't harm the nudibranch; in fact, the animal transfers some of its prey's unfired nematocysts to the tips of its own cerrata, where they become part of the nudibranch's defense system. Some experts believe that nudibranchs' gaudy colors warn predators of these potent weapons. (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Crews plug vents, stop release of fuel from capsized tugboat in Fraser River
Crews have surveyed a capsized tug in the Fraser River, plugged its fuel vents and stopped the release of fuel from its tanks, according to Emergency Management B.C. The George H. Ledcor, a tugboat with the capacity to carry 22,000 litres of diesel on board capsized late Monday night near Vancouver's Deering Island, on the north arm of the Fraser River.  How much fuel has spilled still isn't known, however there was a sheen visible in the surrounding waters and the odour of diesel in the air, local residents say. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Health officials warn public to avoid contact with Sinclair Inlet after shipyard sewage spill
Health officials have warned the public to avoid contact with the water in Sinclair Inlet after 80,000 gallons of sewage from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard spilled during a two-week period. The spill occurred between July 30 and Aug. 14, according to a notice from the Kitsap Public Health District. The notice did not state the cause of the spill and Navy officials were unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon. Julianne Stanford reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Indigenous Stewardship Of The Salish Sea In the Spotlight At Seattle Public Library
Beyond the Frame – To Be Native is the name of a series of exhibits around the region, honoring the 150th birthday of Seattle photographer Edward S. Curtis. Curtis is a controversial figure. He sought to document Native American cultures, based on the belief that they would soon vanish.  This year’s exhibits are revisiting his iconic photographs by exploring contemporary native identity. The project is led by The Seattle Public Library, where a small exhibit focuses on indigenous stewardship of the Salish Sea. Protecting x̌ʷəlč (pronounced roughly "hull-ch") is the name of the exhibit, which is tucked between the stacks in a gallery on the library’s eighth floor.  x̌ʷəlč is the native Lushootseed word for saltwater, or the Salish Sea. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Breathing Wildfire Smoke Every Summer Could Have Long-Term Consequences
The skies across much of the Northwest are choked with smoke from wildfires. Air quality east of the Cascade Mountains has deteriorated as wildfires burn across Oregon and Washington. In Southern Oregon, the air is hazardous. In Central Washington, air quality is unhealthy for everyone.... While the air might be annoying on a day-to-day basis, doctors say chronic exposure to smoke, year-in and year-out can lead to long-term health problems, especially for people with underlying heart and lung problems, children and senior citizens. Courtney Flatt reports. (NWPB/EarthFix)

Only the strong survived: resilient bees to pass strong genes onto next generation
Last year's fire season was hard on honey bees, but for those that survived, one beekeeper wants to pass on their strong genes via artificial insemination. Diane Dunaway, an apiary inspector and beekeeper at Soda Creek's Bee Happy Honey, north of Williams Lake, said last year was the first time in 20 years that she was without a surplus of honey. The bees refused to fly in the heavily smoky conditions so they ate through a portion of their food supply leaving the colonies short on nutrients for winter, she said. Dunaway estimates she suffered about an 80 per cent loss of her colony last year, but the honey bees that survived are a hardy bunch with genes that are valuable to future generations. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Metis Nation of Alberta members vote to support expansion of Trans Mountain pipeline through B.C.
An organization that represents Metis in Alberta says it supports the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline through B.C. The Metis Nation of Alberta says members voted in favour of the resolution at a conference on Sunday. President Audrey Poitras says solid economic investment, including pipelines like the Trans Mountain, is the right way to go. (Canadian Press)

Human errors are behind most oil-tanker spills
In January, the oil tanker Sanchi collided with a cargo vessel in the East China Sea, 300 kilometres off Shanghai, China. The tanker caught fire, exploded and sank, killing all 32 members of its crew and spilling or burning more than 100,000 tonnes of petroleum products. In May, China’s Maritime Safety Administration gave its final verdict: both vessels had violated navigational protocols and watch-keeping codes.... Even as the quantity of oil and gas transported by sea has doubled since the 1970s, there have been fewer spills greater than 7 tonnes — down from roughly 80 per year to about 7 per year. Double hulls and fire-fighting systems that use inert gases have helped.Two trends in the past decade threaten those improvements. First, the accident rate for major tankers (those that carry more than 15,000 tonnes, with and without spills) almost tripled between 2008 and 2017: from 1 accident for every 40 tankers to 1 in every 15. Second, to cut costs, substandard ships with poor maintenance records and unqualified personnel are increasingly registered in countries that have lax regulation. The chance of a major spill occurring in a region that is unable to cope could rise, putting fragile coasts at risk. Zheng Wan and Jihong Chen report. (Nature Magazine)

Rare 'King-of-the-Salmon' fish washes up in Deception Pass
A Monroe couple was shocked to find a rare species of ribbon fish on Chris Leone and Kristin Baerg were walking on the beach near Deception Pass recently when something out of the ordinary caught their eye. “[It was] just a flash of silver,” Baerg said. “I didn’t know if it was a metal pan or what.” It turned out to be a 6-foot-long fish with an eye the size of a human fist. Leone’s first thought was, “That’s a freaky looking fish.” Its official name is Trachipterus altivelis, but most people know it as “King-of-the-Salmon.” According to Makah legend, the ribbon-like fish leads the salmon to their spawning grounds every year. It was forbidden to kill one for fear of disrupting the salmon run. Giuliana Viglione and Alison Morrow report. (KING)

Wind Farms Want Permission To Kill More Bats — A Lot More
Wind turbines are proving to be more of a menace than expected to opeapea — endangered Hawaiian hoary bats, the islands’ only native land mammal. As a result, three wind energy farms are requesting increases in the amount of bats they are allowed to “take.” “Take,” according to the Endangered Species Act, includes harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing or collecting the animals. In 2012, the farms received federal and state permits that allowed them to take a designated number of the bats. Two of permits were supposed to be in effect for 20 years, the third for 25. Combined, they were allowed to take 92 during those periods, but they have already exceeded that number.... Each wind energy project submitted its own take request, but if all are approved, the original limit of 92 would increase to 483. Madison Lee Choi reports. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  243 AM PDT Wed Aug 15 2018   

TODAY  SE wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds.  Haze. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds.

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