Monday, August 6, 2018

8/6 Bees, saving orcas, saving salmon, Fraser sockeye, bold smolts, BC pipe, oil spills, strait swims

Bee [Flickr/KUOW]
If you like to listen: Bees: The 'hippie wasps' we all need
Listen to Thor Hanson, an uber-biologist who seems to really love what he does. He’s also a fine and animated storyteller. His new book is “Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees.” In this Speakers Forum talk, he explains why he wrote a book about bees. It has something to do with misinformation he heard one day on the radio. But at heart, the reason is his fascination with and curiosity about bees. John O'Brien reports. (KUOW)

Will we now commit to saving the Northwest’s orcas? A task force meets Tuesday
Scientists say saving the southern resident orcas is going to take a variety of solutions, from quieting vessel noise to fishing cutbacks, to restraint on development in what habitat remains for salmon and even breaching the lower Snake River dams.... A task force on orca recovery, convened by Gov. Jay Inslee, will meet Tuesday in Wenatchee for the first time since the whales riveted the world’s attention, adding poignant urgency to the panel’s deliberations. It is charged with examining the threats and conditions that have depleted the southern-resident killer whales, and recommending a recovery program.... Jaime Smith, spokeswoman for the governor, said all options are open for consideration as the task force deliberates. The 45-member panel, plus two co-chairs, is composed of state, local and tribal government officials as well as representatives from nonprofits and industry trade associations. The panel is charged with delivering draft recommendations to the governor by Oct. 1, and a final report by Nov. 1. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: King County research vessel joins emergency orca recovery plan  King County Executive Dow Constantine has directed the county's marine research vessel, SoundGuardian, to join the state, federal, and tribal coalition that is working to rescue the endangered southern residents. Zosha Millman reports. (SeattlePI)

Lynda Mapes on Facebook, Sunday evening: "Update: for people interested in what is going on with the southern resident orca whales, J35 and J50...there has been no sign of J Pod in local San Juan Island, WA waters since Thursday, the pod is keeping to the outer coast and west end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and environs. So, we don't know how the ailing four year old orca, J50, is faring, nor whether J35, Tahlequah is still carrying her dead calf. As of Sunday night, the emergency feed for starving J50 is on for tomorrow, with the Lummi Nation ready to supply fresh chinook, served bright, alive and swimming. King County has provided the SoundGuardian, the county's new research boat with crew to help, and NOAA and the Vancouver (BC) Aquarium, and the UW are turning out biologists and veterinarians to do a health assessment of J50 tomorrow -- presuming the pod shows up -- to determine if trying to feed her makes sense. If so, the first attempt could come as soon as tomorrow afternoon. We'll see. Lots of moving parts, variables, unknowns, and questions. It's an unprecedented attempt to help the critically-endangered pod. Meanwhile people around the world are showing interest, care and concern. Whatever tomorrow brings, photographer Alan Berner and I will be on scene and reporting for the Seattle Times."


Salish Sea Communications blog: "June 1998: "Extinction of our wild salmon is not an option."
The 45-member Orca Recovery Task Force assembled by Governor Jay Inslee will meet Tuesday so we''ll keep this short. The quote, to refresh our memories, is from Governor Gary Locke 20 years ago this summer. The whole mouthful goes like this: "People need to know that we can win this struggle and that every fish in every stream counts. We cannot fail. Extinction of our wild salmon is not an option." (read more)

Fraser River is now so warm it may kill migrating sockeye salmon
Sockeye salmon are on a mission up B.C.'s Fraser River right now, swimming "a marathon a day" to reach the gravel beds where they'll lay eggs for the next generation. But the waters of the Fraser — historically one of the world's great salmon rivers — have been so warm this week, fisheries officials say the migrating sockeye are in danger of dying before they have a chance to spawn. (CBC) See also: Fraser River sockeye salmon fishing bonanza to start next week  The Fraser River will open next week for its first sockeye salmon run of the season, in a year that is expected to bring in millions of fish for the first time in four years. For local fishermen, it’s better than Christmas....The Pacific Salmon Commission announced the fresh water opening and a new salt water opening, to start on Monday one minute after midnight until further notice. Susan Lazaruk reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Antidepressants can make smolts 'bold,' less afraid of predators, says Seattle toxicologist
A Seattle expert in environmental contaminants who has linked sewage flushes into Washington state estuaries to higher juvenile chinook salmon death rates suspects human drugs found in fish put them at risk. James Meador of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) said he believes pharmaceuticals found in the contaminated water — such as amphetamines and antidepressants — are in part to blame. These drugs and chemicals pass through human digestive systems — and some are flushed directly down the toilet. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC)

Trudeau dogged by pipeline protesters as he visits B.C. forestry centre
Justin Trudeau mingled with hundreds of friendly people at two family-focused events on Vancouver Island, but the prime minister was also reminded of the strong opposition his government faces over its decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline. At an outdoor news conference Saturday at the Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan, B.C., Trudeau acknowledged there are people opposed to the government's decision to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan. However, he said it won't stop the project or Liberal plans to fight climate change. "There are people out there who think there is still a choice to be made between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy. I don't," he said. "I know the only way to build a strong economy, moving forward, is by protecting the environment, and ensuring we are protecting the environment for future generations is a deep priority of mine. Always has been." (CBC)

Looking Deeper at the Social Science Behind Marine Pollution
For many, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of oil spills is an image of great big oil sheens in the middle of the ocean, tarballs washing up on beaches, and photos of oiled wildlife on the internet. Marine pollution on the whole might also bring to mind an image of sandy beaches littered with plastic bottles and other marine debris — or perhaps even a “garbage island” floating out in open sea. Behind each of these images is a deeper level to the complexity of the issue of marine pollution — a social one. The effects of marine pollution go beyond environmental issues. They encompass a wide range of impacts, including economic, mental and physical health, cultural, social, and governmental. The human dimensions of oil spills are widespread. (NOAA)

After 25 hours of strong currents, strait swimmer lands victorious
Swimmer Jill Yoneda completed her double crossing of the Strait of Georgia on Saturday, emerging on Lasqueti Island just over 25 hours after she set out. Friend Mandy-Rae Krack, who accompanied Yoneda in a boat, said strong currents fought the swimmer much of the way and so the decision was made to land at Lasqueti instead of Nanaimo, still allowing her to claim what is believed to be the first double-crossing of the strait. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist) See also: Canadian swimmer sets new date for strait crossing; American to make attempt Monday  Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  307 AM PDT Mon Aug 6 2018   

TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt. wind waves 2 ft or less. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  3 ft at 9 seconds.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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