Tuesday, October 16, 2018

10/16 Cockles, dam removal, Longview coal, military bases for fuel,Karen Budd-Falen, Site C, Herschel

Cockles
Cockles Clinocardium nuttallii
Cockles are found from the Bering Sea to California.... Cockles have short siphons and, therefore, are rarely buried more than an inch or two in the substrate. Shallowly buried, they are easily harvested by sport diggers at low tide who pick them from the surface by hand or with a garden rake.... The cockle has a powerful muscular foot, which gives it a high degree of mobility. They have been observed moving along the bottom by springing with the foot. Each hop can cover two to three feet. They frequently enter the commercial harvest with butter and littleneck clams but are not important commercially. They spawn in the summer. (WDFW)

Orca survival may be impossible without Lower Snake River dam removal, scientists say
Leading killer-whale scientists and researchers are calling for removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River and a boost of water over the dams to save southern resident killer whales from extinction. The scientists sent a letter Monday to Gov. Jay Inslee and co-chairs of a governor’s task force on orca recovery. The whales need chinook — their primary prey — year round, scientists state in their letter, and the spring chinook runs in particular returning to the Columbia and Snake are among the most important. That is because of the size, fat content and timing of those fish, making them critical for the whales to carry them over from the lean months of winter to the summer runs in the Fraser River, the scientists wrote. The need for Columbia and Snake river fish is so acute, “we believe that restoration measures in this watershed are an essential piece of a larger orca conservation strategy. Indeed, we believe that southern resident orca survival and recovery may be impossible to achieve without it.” Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Corps of Engineers moving forward with review of Longview coal terminal despite state objections
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will move forward with an environmental review of a proposed Longview coal-export terminal that already has been rejected by the state Department of Ecology for failing to meet water-quality standards. The Corps’ continued involvement has been sought by developers who want the Trump administration to help keep alive the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, which would offer a new outlet to export up to 48 1/2 million tons of western coal to Asian markets.  The Corps plans to oversee the preparation of a final environmental-impact statement by a yet-to-be-selected independent contractor, according to a statement released Monday by the Corps’ Seattle district office. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

US eyes military bases for coal, gas exports 
The Trump administration is considering using West Coast military installations or other federal properties to open the way for more U.S. fossil fuel exports to Asia in the name of national security and despite opposition from coastal states. The proposal was described to The Associated Press by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and two Republican lawmakers. “I respect the state of Washington and Oregon and California,” Zinke said in an interview with AP. “But also, it’s in our interest for national security and our allies to make sure that they have access to affordable energy commodities.” Accomplishing that, Zinke said, may require the use of “some of our naval facilities, some of our federal facilities on the West Coast.” He only identified one prospect, a mostly abandoned Alaska military base. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Critic Of Federal Public Lands Management To Join Department Of The Interior
A Wyoming property rights attorney who’s long criticized what she calls federal overreach over public land management will take a position as one of the U.S. Department of Interior’s top litigators. The DOI confirmed in an email Monday that Karen Budd-Falen will join the agency as deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife. Despite being a vocal opponent of federal lands policy, she told The Fence Post magazine she believes there are a lot of “good people” in Washington and she hopes she’ll be able to bring the perspective of the West to the agency. “I think unless you’ve lived out here and tried to make a living on the land and really worked with people out here, I think you don’t have the perspective,” she said.  Kirk Siegler reports. (NPR)

BC Hydro says Site C dam safe from landslides, but engineer calls for review
BC Hydro says the Site C megaproject construction site in northeastern B.C. is safe from a landslide despite calls for an independent safety review from a retired engineer who helped design the area's three dams.  Up to 200 people from the community of Old Fort four kilometres from Site C could be out of their homes for the entire winter while emergency officials wait for a landslide first reported on Sept. 30 to stop moving. The Peace River Regional District has deemed the area south of Fort St. John unsafe to enter, Andrew Watson, the director of design engineering for Site C,  says BC Hydro is aware the area is prone to landslides and has designed the project with those risks in mind. "We don't have any concerns," said Watson.  Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)


Herschel, the Very Hungry Sea Lion
It’s dangerous to blame the decline of one species on a single predator. We humans like to do it anyway. Katharine Gammon reports. (Hakai Magazine)



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  259 AM PDT Tue Oct 16 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PDT TODAY   

TODAY  E wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 to 2 ft in the  afternoon. SW swell 4 ft at 13 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 19 seconds.


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