Monday, September 24, 2018

9/24 Coot, Fraser chinook, Snake dams, whale watching, BC pipe, baby salmon, Laurel Pt cleanup, forest fires, tyres

American Coot [Christoph Moning]
American Coot Fulica americana
Coots are tough, adaptable waterbirds. Although they are related to the secretive rails, they swim in the open like ducks and walk about on shore, making themselves at home on golf courses and city park ponds. Usually in flocks, they are aggressive and noisy, making a wide variety of calls by day or night. They have strong legs and big feet with lobed toes, and coots fighting over territorial boundaries will rear up and attack each other with their feet. Often seen walking on open ground near ponds. In taking flight they must patter across the water, flapping their wings furiously, before becoming airborne. (Audubon Field Guide)

Dismal returns for chinook salmon on B.C.’s Fraser River reveal latest threat to endangered orcas
A test fishery for chinook salmon on the Fraser River this year is reporting dismal returns, raising new concerns for the endangered southern resident killer whales who rely heavily on these fish for their survival. The federal government announced in May a reduction in harvest of chinook by roughly one-third and closures in some key whale foraging areas after declaring the southern resident killer whales are facing an imminent threat to their survival. The federal government acknowledges that lack of prey is one of the critical factors affecting the whales’ recovery. But Misty MacDuffee, wild salmon program director for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, said the daily results from the Albion test fishery on the Fraser had already demonstrated the need for a complete closure of both marine commercial and sport fisheries on chinook, in order to leave prey for the whales. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Controversy heats up over removal of Lower Snake River dams as orcas suffer losses 
Orca champions have joined forces with dam busters, bringing new energy to an old fight to take down the Lower Snake River dams. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Whale watching boats still disturbing endangered killer whales despite efforts  Simone Del Rosario and Brett Cihon report. (KCPQ) See also: One way to watch orcas without endangering them? On land  John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Cool reception from B.C. opponents on order to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline
The Trudeau government’s announcement on Friday that the National Energy Board will be reconsidering the Trans Mountain expansion project to take into account marine traffic and its effect on killer whales was met with both caution and outright hostility on Friday by B.C. First Nations and environmentalists.... Living Oceans executive director Karen Wristen said she saw no way the NEB would have a chance of mitigating the effects of the project on killer whales without hearing new evidence. And that process — for example, her organization hiring an expert to investigate and write a submission — would take longer than 22 weeks, said Wristen, whose organization was one of the federal court challengers.... The Tsleil-Waututh welcomed the federal government’s recognition of its position that marine shipping should have been included in the NEB’s assessment, but warned that additional review and two-way dialogue on these issues will take more than 22 weeks. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Baby salmon are afraid of the dark, so Seattle built glass sidewalks
From a kayak under Pier 66 in downtown Seattle, the new seawall and pier don't look like what you would expect. For one, it’s not dark under the pier. The sidewalk that covers Pier 66 is now made of opaque glass, and light floods down onto the water. The design is supposed to be friendlier for fish. Down here on the waterfront, the Alaska Way Viaduct is months from being torn down. The city is also redesigning this area for migrating salmon, making it more like the shoreline that was here before there was a city. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Former paint-factory site at Laurel Point to get $17-million cleanup
Transport Canada has awarded a more-than-$17-million contract to remove contaminated soil from Laurel Point Park, a former industrial site used to manufacture paint. QM/JJM Contracting JV will remove contaminants from the park and harbour, according to an announcement made Saturday by Joyce Murray, Liberal MP for Vancouver-Quadra, on behalf of Transport Minister Mark Garneau. The remediation work is expected to start in early October and take 12 to 18 months. In May, the City of Victoria announced it will contribute $3.1 million to Transport Canada’s planned cleanup of its lands that flank the park. The massive undertaking is estimated to cost $20 million to $25 million. Lousie Dickson reports. (Times Colonist)

B.C.'s 2018 wildfires fuelled by forests ravaged by pine beetles a decade ago
Clearing or burning beetle ravaged forests may be costly but could mitigate against the kind of massive wildfires that have been seen in British Columbia the last two summers, say researchers. They say a large proportion of the forests that burned this year were affected by the mountain pine beetle about a decade ago. The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres. By comparison, the wildfires burned about 12,000 square kilometres last year and 13,000 square kilometres this year. (Canadian Press)

France removes toxic tyres from failed reef project
Teams of divers are painstakingly lifting an artificial reef made of tens of thousands of old car tyres from the seafloor south of France, after it was found to spread pollution from toxic chemicals. The operation is costing well over a million euros ($1.1m; £898,000) and is part-funded by the tyre manufacturer Michelin as well as the French state. The divers are supported by a boat with lifting equipment. Fish had been avoiding the area. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  231 AM PDT Mon Sep 24 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 14 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt becoming SE after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 13 seconds.

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