Monday, August 20, 2018

8/20 GBH, chinook closure, feeding salmon, saving whales, Tokitae, Longview coal, bug book, Theler wetlands, pipe protest, Acid Ball, saving oil, clean sand

Great Blue Heron, Squamish Harbor [Donna Fabian]
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
The Great Blue Heron is the largest of the North American herons with long legs, a sinuous neck, and thick, daggerlike bill.... Hunting Great Blue Herons wade slowly or stand statue-like, stalking fish and other prey in shallow water or open fields. Watch for the lightning-fast thrust of the neck and head as they stab with their strong bills. Their very slow wingbeats, tucked-in neck and trailing legs create an unmistakable image in flight. (All About Birds)

Environmental groups call for closure of chinook fisheries to preserve endangered southern resident orcas
The growing realization that southern resident orcas are starving to death has led green groups to urge stronger measures to save them. The David Suzuki Foundation and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation have called for an immediate closure of fishing for chinook salmon on B.C.'s coast. Orcas rely on chinook to survive and it's their preferred prey.... Under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, up to two million chinook are caught each year on both sides of the border. According to the environmental groups, the southern resident orca population requires about 1,400 chinook each day to remain alive. Charlie Smith reports. (Georgia Straight)

Dosed salmon, clipped fins, a 'dinner bell': How far is too far in helping starving orca? 
An emergency plan aims to medicate and feed J50, a struggling young southern resident killer whale scientists fear may not have long to live. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)  See also: Researchers say parasite may have caused orca's illness  (CBC)

Impassioned task force faces the challenge of saving endangered orcas
Passion for saving Puget Sound’s killer whales is driving an exhaustive search for ways to restore the whales to health and rebuild their population, but hard science must contribute to the search for workable answers. Chris Dunagan writes. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Flowers for Tokitae: Remembering Puget Sound’s captured orcas
Activists vow to bring the last surviving killer whale of the Southern Resident captures home. Patricia Guthrie reports. (Everett Herald)


Board Upholds Water Quality Permit Denial For Longview Coal Terminal
A state board upheld the denial of a key water quality permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project — a proposed $680 million facility in Longview, Washington, that would be the largest coal shipping terminal in North America. Senior Vice President of External Affairs Wendy Hutchinson said Wednesday Millennium plans to appeal the decision, The Daily News reported . (Associated Press)

What just crawled, waddled or flew by? WWU professor has your answer.
Have you ever watched a bug scuttle, crawl or fly by and wondered “what was that!?” Merrill Peterson’s new book, “Pacific Northwest Insects,” might help you identify it. It took Peterson, a professor in the Biology Department at Western Washington University, more than a decade to research, write and photograph the insects for his book. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

State, North Mason School District discuss transfer of Theler wetlands ownership
The North Mason School District is engaged in serious conversations with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to transfer ownership of the Theler wetlands from the district to the state agency.... For decades, the district leased the property to a nonprofit to manage a community center on site and the trails, but mismanagement led the district to take back control of the property in 2014. Arla Shephard Bull reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before week-long jail sentence ends
Several pipeline protesters were released from a British Columbia jail on Sunday, a few days before their week-long sentences were set to end. Seven protesters in all were sentenced to a week in jail term on Aug. 15, after pleading guilty to contempt charges in B.C. Supreme Court. Five who were released on Sunday issued a joint statement, saying they were imprisoned because of their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (CBC)

Marine mammals from distant places visit Puget Sound
The reasons for the surprise visits are unknown, but changes in environmental conditions here or elsewhere are one possibility. Chris Dunagan reports. (SalishSea Currents)

So, the Acid Ball has moved and Waypoint Park is open — what’s next on the waterfront?
On Aug. 14 the Port of Bellingham’s director of environmental programs, Brian Gouran, briefed the Port Commission on what’s happened and what’s on tap. That includes some changes, including a shift in priorities in what is being developed by Harcourt as well as timing on construction. Gouran touched on a variety of developments around the waterfront district, formerly home to Georgia-Pacific’s pulp and tissue mill operations near the downtown district. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative 
Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs. The position was outlined in a memo released last month in support of the administration’s proposal to relax fuel mileage standards. The government released the memo online this month without fanfare. Ellen Knickmeyer reports. (Associated Press)

The Trump administration keeps losing environmental court cases
It turns out that unraveling Barack Obama’s environmental agenda is harder than it looks. Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration three times in the last three days, arguing that the administration short-circuited the regulatory process in its push to reverse policies on water protections, chemical plant safety operations and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. In each instance, the courts either reinstated the existing rule or delayed the administration’s proposal from taking effect. Juliet Ellperin reports. (Washington Post)

How To Clean Sand: Volunteers Take On Microplastics At Oregon Coast
With the guidance of Seaside-based conservation group Sea Turtles Forever, about 50 volunteers gathered to clean the sand near Haystack Rock using unique screen filtration systems. Developed by Sea Turtles Forever founder Marc W. Ward, the systems look like a cross between a medical stretcher and a flour sifter. Dirty sand is piled on a sheet of fine mesh stretched between two long poles, and the mesh catches plastic and other foreign material while allowing the sand to fall through. According to Ward, a static charge in the mesh can catch plastic particles as small as 100 micrometers across. Jack Fisher reports. (OPB/EarthFix)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Mon Aug 20 2018   

TODAY  Variable wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W  swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. Smoky. 

TONIGHT  Variable wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. Smoky.

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