Friday, September 21, 2018

9/21 Elwha, northern orcas, Big Oil $, BC pipe, tire chemicals, BC bird deaths, US ESA changes

Elwha nearshore 9/18/18 [Tom Roorda/CWI]
Elwha Nearshore, September 18, 2018
Anne Shaffer of Coastal Watershed Institute writes: "The Elwha is quiet and clear and we all wait for fall rains to bring in  coho, and later, chum. The outline of the new delta is a familiar site now, while the subtle, but critical, work of rebuilding the ecosystems of the sediment starved and degraded nearshore delta and shoreline continues. This is what hope looks like."

As southern resident killer whales dwindle, more food options mean northern population is thriving
As concern grows over the decline of the southern resident killer whale population following the presumed death of the young female J50, the story off B.C.'s north and central coast is much different. The most recent count of the northern resident group of orcas reported 309 whales, more than four times the number of southern residents. "The northern killer whale population is doing much better… [and] doesn't seem to be going through the same slow decline," said Lance Barrett-Lenard, head of the cetacean research program at the Vancouver Aquarium. Both populations feed on chinook salmon as their primary prey but Barrett-Lenard said the northern whales have less competition and more options to choose from, with fish returning to the Skeena River, Nass River and Owikeno Lake. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Oil company money keeps rolling in to campaign to defeat Washington state carbon fee
The oil company Phillips 66 has contributed an additional $3.5 million to defeat a statewide ballot measure, Initiative 1631, that would impose a carbon-pollution fee on fossil -fuel emissions. That brings the corporation’s total contributions to the opposition campaign to $7.2 million — almost half of the No on 1631 fundraising that on Wednesday totaled $16 million.... Other major contributors to the opposition campaign include Chevron, BP, Andeavor and the trade association American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, according to documents filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. (Seattle Times)

Ottawa gives pipeline regulator 22 weeks to review Trans Mountain expansion project
The Liberal government is instructing the federal pipeline regulator to review the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to consider the project's impact on the marine environment. Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Friday the National Energy Board will have 22 weeks to hear from Canadians.... The minister said the government will outline plans for further consultation with Indigenous people in due course.... Sohi said the review will consider the impact of increased tanker traffic on the resident killer whale population. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the government is committed to building the pipeline the "right way" to satisfy the court's demands. Kathleen Harris reports. (CBC)

Chemicals from automobile tires suspected in coho deaths
Chemicals linked to automobile tires have been found in stormwater associated with the widespread deaths of coho salmon in Puget Sound. The findings were presented this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and elevate tires as a suspect in “urban runoff mortality syndrome,” a condition that has been endangering coho salmon runs in the region.... While the authors caution that the findings do not show a definitive link between tires and coho deaths, they report that “the results indicate that [tire wear particles] are an under-appreciated contaminant source in urban watersheds.” They argue that the assessment of tires as a potential source of toxic contaminants should be a research priority. Jeff Rice reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

Dozens of birds fall out of the sky in mysterious 'mortality event'
The Canadian Wildlife Service is investigating a "mortality event" in which dozens of birds literally fell from the sky on a road near Tsawwassen, B.C. People were shocked to witness the birds, believed to be starlings, plunge to the ground near the BC Ferries terminal on Sept. 14. It is unclear whether they were dead before hitting the ground. Joan Marshall reports. (CBC)

Local Zoos Gathering Thousands Of Signatures In Defense Of U.S. Endangered Species Act
Monday is the deadline for comments on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act. Conservation advocates gathered Wednesday at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo to voice their concerns. They say the federal law is under attack and that the proposed changes would gut it.  Standing in front of the zoo’s lush Grizzly Bear exhibit, Woodland Park President and CEO Alejandro Grajal gave the example of possibly adding economic impact studies to the analysis required when listing species.  He said bringing these additional values into evaluations of proposed listings would be a mistake.... UW College of the Environment Dean and Woodland Park Zoo Board Member Lisa Graumlich joined him, voicing concern about a provision that would leave climate science out of the equation when listing new species for protection. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  329 AM PDT Fri Sep 21 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT   

TODAY  S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft  at 8 seconds. A chance of rain in the morning then rain in the  afternoon. 

TONIGHT  S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 8 seconds. Rain. 

SAT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft  at 9 seconds. A chance of showers. 

SAT NIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  Light wind. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at  8 seconds.


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