Thursday, August 2, 2018

8/2 Water strider, orca calf, killing sea lions, beach closures, mountain goats, science advisor, car rules

Water strider [Dan Logan]
Common Water Strider Aquarius remigis (formerly Gerris remigis)
The common water strider is found throughout North America/ They normally continue to move to avoid being eaten by predators. It has good vision, and can row quickly over the surface of the water. It uses its front legs to seize its prey.This predatory species feeds on mosquito larvae living under the surface, and dead insects on the surface, and other insects that accidentally land on the water. (iNaturalist, Wikipedia)

Orca carries dead calf – now decomposing – for ‘unprecedented’ ninth straight day
Researchers are calling it a “tour of grief.” They’re also calling it unprecedented. The female southern resident orca known as J35 was spotted Wednesday carrying her dead calf in an apparent sign of grieving, marking the ninth straight day she has done so. Researchers said rough seas Tuesday and Wednesday made it hard to confirm whether or not she was carrying her dead offspring. But around 2:45 p.m., J35 was spotted with the neonatal calf carcass. The calf’s body is decomposing and has lost its rigidity, said Taylor Shedd of Soundwatch. In his more than four decades studying whales, Ken Balcomb, the founder of the Center for Whale research, said he’s never thing anything like this. Brett Cihon reports. (KIRO)

Congress Voting To Let More Sea Lions Be Killed To Protect Salmon
n a clash of protected species, Pacific Northwest members of Congress are coming down in favor of salmon. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday morning to make it easier to kill sea lions who feast on Columbia and Willamette River salmon and steelhead. A wide majority of the U.S. House has already voted to raise the limit for how many sea lions can be killed below Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls. Now a companion bill in the Senate is gaining steam. It's very similar in giving state and tribal wildlife agents more latitude to kill the nuisance predators in the river system. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Idaho Republican Jim Risch and Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network) See also: Taking out our failures on things down the food chain   Danny Westneat writes. (Seattle Times) And also: Congress must choose threatened salmon over sea lions  (Seattle Times editorial)

Warnings posted at Ambleside, Whytecliff, Sandy Cove, Kits and Sunset beaches
Three more Vancouver-area beaches have been closed to swimmers due to high E. coli counts. Ambleside Park, Whytecliff Park and Sandy Cove beaches in West Vancouver were closed Tuesday to swimmers, joining Kits Beach and Sunset Beach. A reason for the spike isn't known, but Vancouver Coastal Health Authority health says possible causes include sewage discharge from land or boats, increased numbers of people, animals or waterfowl on the beach, or hot weather speeding up the growth of fecal bacteria in the water. (CBC)

Mountain goats coming to North Cascades in September
Federal agencies will begin moving mountain goats from the Olympic Mountains to the North Cascades in September. From Sept. 10-21, mountain goats will be captured in areas near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park and released in the North Cascades. Where exactly they will be released is unclear. As of press time Wednesday, the U.S. Forest Service had not responded to a request for that information. The environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the mountain goat relocation project includes 12 possible release sites within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests, three of which are in Skagit County. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Trump Finally Picks a Science Adviser. And Scientists? They Seem Relieved.
President Trump will nominate Kelvin Droegemeier, a well-regarded meteorologist who studies severe storms, to be director of the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy. The director acts as the president’s chief adviser on science. The post has been vacant since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, by far the longest the office has been without a director since the position was created in 1976. Carl Zimmer reports. (NY Times)

Trump Unveils His Plan to Weaken Car Pollution Rules
The Trump administration on Thursday formally announced its long-awaited proposal to dramatically weaken an Obama-era regulation on planet-warming vehicle tailpipe pollution. The publication of the proposal sets up a race among opponents of the change — an unusual mix of environmentalists, automakers, consumer groups and states — to temper the plan before it is finalized this year. The proposal would freeze rules requiring automakers to build cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars, including hybrids and electric vehicles, and unravel one of President Barack Obama’s signature policies to combat global warming. It would also challenge the right of states to set their own, more stringent tailpipe pollution standards, setting the stage for a legal clash that could ultimately split the nation’s auto market in two. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  308 AM PDT Thu Aug 2 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 12 seconds. Areas of drizzle in the morning. A chance of  showers in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 11 seconds. A chance of showers.
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