Friday, September 7, 2018

9/7 Boa kelp, g'bye summer, BC spill response, J50 worms, plastic bans, bird treaty, GOP greens, WSF, coastal cleanup

Feather boa kelp [UBC]
Feather boa kelp Egregia menziesii
Egregia menziesii is one of the longest intertidal algae in the Pacific Northwest of North America. This species is characterized by long fronds (more than 2 m in length) that are similar in appearance to feather boas (hence the common name, the feather boa kelp). One individual can have many of these fronds originating at a single holdfast....  Egregia is limited to high energy rocky shores in the Northeast Pacific Ocean... On San Juan Island, Egregia can be found on the west side of the island, with large populations at Cattle Point and Eagle Cove. Overall, E. menziesii ranges from Baja California, Mexico to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. (Marine Algae of San Juan Island, WA, USA)

Sudden Autumn In Puget Sound This Weekend
Temperatures will struggle to hit 70 and, yes, we're expecting rain. Neal McNamara reports. (Patch) Vancouverites wave goodbye to summer as cold, wet weather moves in  Summer might not officially be over, but a cold weather system is expected to bring fall weather earlier than usual. (CBC)

$150M spill-response boost for B.C. coast on hold after Trans Mountain ruling
New oil spill-response bases planned for Vancouver Island have been thrown into limbo by the Federal Court of Appeal decision that halted construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, which is responsible for cleaning up oil spills on B.C.'s South Coast, has been moving forward with a $150-million plan to enhance spill-response times and capability, in preparation for the pipeline project.That plan includes a $10-million hub and training facility in Nanaimo, along with more vessels and several other response bases on Vancouver Island. Expanded resources are also planned in Vancouver and along the Fraser River. But the court ruling last week that stopped construction of the pipeline expansion means the industry-funded corporation has hit pause on spill-response improvements. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Not just tankers at fault: Federal oceans minister defends whale protection strategy
The Canadian government is under the spotlight for its handling of B.C.'s endangered southern resident killer whales, but the federal minister responsible for oceans says environmentalists are missing the big picture when it comes to protecting the species.... "It's simply not true that there has not been action," said Jonathan Wilkinson, the minister of fisheries and oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

Ailing killer whale swimming off B.C., Washington diagnosed with parasitic worms
Scientists say an emaciated and endangered killer whale that's been swimming in waters off the west coast has parasitic worms. Michael Milstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in an email that biologists are standing by to deliver a dart with deworming medication to J50. The administration's Facebook page says genetic analysis of some results of fecal and breath samples the team collected shows the evidence of parasitic worms. (Canadian Press)


City of Victoria pushing for B.C.-wide ban on disposable plastic packaging
Victoria is asking the province for a provincewide ban on disposable plastic packaging.... The city’s resolution on plastic packaging is one of seven Victoria has put to the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities conference, which begins in Whistler on Sept. 10.... The single-use plastics resolution asks the province to work with local governments and retailers, noting Victoria worked with industry for two years before the introduction of its bylaw. “Unrestricted use of disposable plastic packaging is inconsistent with the values of British Columbia residents,” says the resolution, which cites any type of disposable single-use plastic packaging. which cites any type of disposable single-use plastic packaging. Cindy E. Harnett reports. (Times-Colonist)

Eight states are fighting Trump’s attempt to declaw the Migratory Bird Treaty
Eight state attorneys general filed a legal challenge Wednesday to the Trump administration's bid to dramatically weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a century-old law established to protect birds. The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, and supported by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, California and New Mexico, is an effort to stop the Interior Department from fully implementing a directive to its law enforcement division to forgive mass bird kills, even when the animals are threatened or endangered. In accordance with a new interpretation of the act issued in April, the department informed its wildlife police that the slaughter "of birds resulting from an activity is not prohibited . . . when the underlying purpose of that activity is not to take birds.” For example, the guidance said, a person who destroys a structure such as a barn knowing that it is full of baby owls in nests is not liable for killing them. “All that is relevant is that the landowner undertook an action that did not have the killing of barn owls as its purpose,” the opinion said. Darryl Fears reports. (Washington Post)

These Republicans say they’re green. Can they bridge the environmental divide?
Republicans who care about the environment in Washington State say they find themselves stuck in an uncomfortable spot. Their politics exist between two distant poles: President Trump’s pro-coal proposals and environmental groups historically aligned with Democrats. Now, some influential Republicans are trying to help conservative college students chart a different course. Amy Radil reports. (KUOW)

Washington State Ferries works on problem of aging fleet 
Though the state ferry system has been plagued by breakdowns this summer, new vessels are on the way. A new Olympic Class vessel with a price tag of about $122 million is expected to be put into service this fall, and Washington State Ferries is developing a long-range plan that will recommend new vessels to replace the oldest ferries, Deputy Director of Communications Dana Warr said in an email. The plan will be delivered to the state Legislature in January, Warr said. Over the past few weeks, bent propellers, motor issues and docked ferries caused some serious delays and interruptions in service at the Anacortes terminal, which serves the San Juan Islands and the route to Sidney, British Columbia. (Skagit Valley Herald)

International Coastal Cleanup, September 15
The International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago when communities rallied together with the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline. Locally, Washington CoastSavers  is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris through coordinated beach cleanups, education and prevention. This past Earth Day, Washington CoastSavers' 1,295 volunteers participated all along Washington’s coast and collected around 18.8 tons (37,541 pounds) of garbage. To volunteer locally on September 15, click here .

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  301 AM PDT Fri Sep 7 2018   

TODAY  S wind to 10 kt becoming SE in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 2 ft at 5 seconds. A chance of rain in the  morning then rain likely in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 2 ft  at 7 seconds building to 4 ft at 7 seconds after midnight. Rain  likely in the evening then a chance of showers after midnight. 

SAT  S wind to 10 kt becoming SE in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. A chance of showers. 

SAT NIGHT  SW wind to 10 kt becoming E after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 8 seconds.

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