Thursday, October 4, 2018

10/4 Lummi is., sapsuckers, train safety regs, BC LNG, BC pipe, salmon deaths, B'ham Bay mussels

Lummi Island [Simply San Juans]
Lummi Island, Whatcom County
Eliza called it Isla de Pacheco, a portion of the name of the viceroy of Mexico. Wilkes changed the name to McLoughlin Island to honor Dr. John McLoughlin, Hudson's Bay Co. factor at Fort Vancouver. In 1853 the U.S. Coast Survey adopted the present name "because inhabited by the tribe." The Indian name Lummi or Nah-lummi is applied to other geographic features in the area: Lummi Bay between the island and the mainland's Lummi Indian Reservation, through which flows and Lummi River. (Washington State Place Names)

Sapsuckers
Yesterday's posting on the red-breasted sapsucker brought a few comments. Reader Robert McFetridge wrote: "One of the most peculiar aspects regarding the red-breasted sapsucker is the absence of sexual dimorphism.  Juvenile sapsuckers are darker but adults are indistinguishable.  I have wondered about this but cannot explain why this might occur in such a brightly coloured bird where the cost of such colouration is potentially high." And reader Don Norman wrote: "As usual, Mike always has fun and interesting stories, and I thought I would add to the longevity aspect of the red-breasted sapsucker story.  Woodpeckers are rarely captured in the passive banding programs.  For example, of the 4300 net captures of birds over 22 years at the Forterra Morse Preserve in Graham, WA, by the Puget Sound Bird Observatory, only 31 have been woodpeckers (9 downies, 13 sapsuckers, 3 flickers and 2 pileated for you curious birders).  We have never had a recapture.  The two woodpeckers for which there has been directed research on their life histories, the Red-cockaded and the Acorn, their oldest aged birds are 16 and 17 years, respectively.  I would find no reason to suspect that some sapsuckers live that long."  Thanks for the comments!

Trump administration repeals train safety regulation, triggering new oil spill fears
The Trump administration has repealed a safety regulation governing trains that carry large quantities of oil, sparking new fears among Washington state officials and environmental activists that devastating oil spills could be more likely. The Department of Transportation announced last week that trains carrying flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol would no longer be required to install electronically controlled pneumatic braking systems, an Obama-era rule instituted to decrease the chance of train derailments. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, blasted the decision as a “reckless disregard for the life and property of all who live or work along the rail tracks” that transport oil. Kellen Browning reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

LNG Canada could be 'carbon bomb' that blows up B.C.'s climate goals, critic warns
The economic benefits of the now-approved LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C. are said to be massive, but environmental advocates and experts are concerned the climate change impacts could be just as large. "How are we going to meet our legislated greenhouse gas targets when this substantial increase in emissions is happening?" Ian Bruce, a director with the David Suzuki Foundation, asked Tuesday. "We don't have a credible climate change strategy that's been released by the province…. Moving forward at this stage is likely very irresponsible." The provincial government maintains that B.C. will meet its climate change targets, however, even with this project going ahead, and there will be a climate plan released soon. Liam Britten reports. (CBC)

B.C. to intervene in Trans Mountain pipeline review
The B.C. government has filed to register as an intervenor in the National Energy Board's reconsideration of aspects of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. But Environment Minister George Heyman questions whether the 22-week timeline set by the federal government is sufficient. "The courts found, as we had said, that the marine impacts haven't been properly considered, so of course we are going to intervene in the NEB process to ensure it's a robust process," he said. "The federal government should not have pre-determined the amount of time the NEB should take. It's important that the process is thorough." (CBC)

New tool lets citizens help reveal toxic cause of salmon death
Salmon exposed to toxic stormwater runoff can die in a matter of hours, and scientists are asking for Puget Sound area residents’ help in identifying affected streams to study the phenomenon. The Puget Sound Stormwater Science Team (PSSST) has been studying the effects of stormwater runoff on Pacific salmon species for almost two decades. That team is comprised of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) and Washington State University.Working to narrow down the toxic chemicals that are likely responsible, the team is unveiling a new interactive website that lets citizen volunteers help map salmon deaths. (WSU News)

Officials warn of potentially lethal levels of biotoxin in Bellingham Bay mussels
The Whatcom County Health Department is warning residents that a common biotoxin is now at potentially lethal levels in mussels harvested in Bellingham Bay. State officials have also expanded the shellfish closure list this week to include all beaches from Birch Point south to the Skagit County line, including Larrabee State Park. It is not uncommon for the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning biotoxin to reach elevated levels in this area, but testing showed higher levels than normally seen in Bellingham Bay, said Mark Raaka, a public health preparedness specialist for Whatcom County. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--



West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PDT Thu Oct 4 2018   

TODAY  W wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5  ft at 13 seconds. 

TONIGHT  Variable wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds. A slight chance of showers.


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