Thursday, September 13, 2018

9/13 Plumose anemone, saving J50, drought, WA ferries plan, Clallam harvest closures

Giant plumose anemone [Ryan Murphy]
Giant Plumose Anemone Metridium farcimen (giganteum)
The Giant Plumose Anemone is a fairly large anemone of typically white, cream, tan, orange or brown colourations. Subtidal animals can often reach 25cm in crown diameter and 50cm in height. However larger specimens have been reported around 75cm in height. Found in both subtidal and low intertidal zones, including jetties, wharfs, harbours, breakwaters and floats. When found on wharfs, anemone communities of dense distribution are common. Larger specimens are often found solitarily in the subtidal. The Plumose Anemone ranges from Alaska to southern California and along both sides of America. (Race Rocks Ecological Reserve)

NOAA lays plan to capture ailing orca J50, announces public meetings
Plans are being laid to capture J50, the ailing young orca, as efforts to help her in the wild have failed and her condition continues to decline. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is in charge of recovery of the critically endangered population of southern resident killer whales, has been quietly laying plans for capture of the whale for weeks.... The agency said further intervention to help J50 will depend on avoiding harm to the rest of her family in J pod and the southern resident population.... The first public hearings on the controversial plan have been scheduled with just a few days’ notice: 7 p.m. Saturday at Friday Harbor High School in Friday Harbor, and 1 p.m. Sunday at the University of Washington Haggett Hall Cascade Room in Seattle. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Capture and treatment being considered for young emaciated orca  Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Summer drought deals ‘devastating loss’ to western red cedar, B.C.’s official tree
Parksville is dealing with the “devastating loss of cedar trees in our parks” and is pinning the blame on summer droughts. Dry weather does not agree with western red cedars, B.C.’s official tree. They fare best in cool, wet environments.  That is why we are seeing dead and stressed trees on southern Vancouver Island and the east side of the Island, where moisture has been in short supply this summer. “At this time, cedar trees look quite ugly as the dead brown scale-like leaves hang on the trees,” a City of Parksville statement said. “The leaves will soon fall, leaving the silver ghosts to populate our forests.” Carla Wilson reports (Times Colonist)

Driest summer in a century offers taste of Seattle's future
You can only get to the lush rainforest of the Queets Valley on the rare occasions when it hasn’t rained recently and the Queets River isn’t too deep to wade across without being swept away. But after western Washington’s driest summer in at least half a century, the river ran unusually low, and Olympic National Park's Queets Trail was easily approached: The river’s green water only reached this reporter’s shins as he waded across its slippery cobbles over Labor Day weekend under cloudless skies. The U.S. Geological Survey’s river gauge showed the Queets flowing at about half its average levels in August, the lowest in 63 years of record keeping. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Ferries floats new vessels, bigger fleet, system tweaks in 2040 proposal
Washington State Ferries is floating a proposal to commission 16 new ferries, grow its fleet by four boats, shift vessels to hybrid-electric power and make improvements to ferry terminals as part of $7.6 billion of capital projects around Puget Sound over the next two decades. In a draft of its long-range plan released this week, WSF said the lion’s share of that funding ($5.5 billion) would be dedicated to new vessel construction and preservation of existing vessels. Work on ferry terminals over that period account for about $1.8 billion. The plan identifies $6.7 billion of projected capital and operating costs that don’t have funding yet. Historically that shortfall has been covered through appropriations made by the Legislature, the report said. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

More Peninsula beaches closed to shellfish harvest
The state has closed Clallam County’s Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches from the Lyre River east to the Jefferson County line to recreational shellfish harvest because of a high level of toxins, it was announced Wednesday. That means that most areas on the North Olympic Peninsula are closed for recreational harvest. Shellfish harvested commercially are tested for toxin prior to distribution and should be safe to eat, the state said. All beaches are closed for all species except for Discovery Bay and Port Ludlow, including Mats Mats Bay, which are closed only for harvesting of butter clams and varnish clams. (Peninsula Daily News)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Thu Sep 13 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8  seconds. A slight chance of showers. 

TONIGHT  NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W after midnight. Wind waves

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