Monday, October 8, 2018

10/8 Brittle star, climate, Pt Wells, Pierce Co salmon, Elwha chinook, Maplewood Flats, green crab, orca future, Hood Canal, BC LNG, Ocean Cleanup, big 'shroom

Daisy brittle star [N. Elder]
Daisy Brittle Star Ophiopholis aculeata
Ophiopholis aculeata feeds on detritus and small organisms that it traps with its tube feet and with mucus secreted by glands on its arms. It is generally found on rocky substrates where it has a tendency to hide inside shells, in hollows and crevices. It is preyed on by fish and birds. In the Pacific Ocean, its range stretches from Japan and the Bering Sea southwards to California. It is generally found on rocky substrates where it has a tendency to hide inside shells, in hollows and crevices. It generally occurs at depths less than 300 m (1,000 ft) but has been found as deep as 1,880 m (6,200 ft). (Wikipedia)

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.” The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times) See also: Why Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal   Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich reports. (NY Times)

Snohomish County Council poised to uphold Point Wells denial
A developer seeking to build more than 3,000 condos along Puget Sound in south Snohomish County is on the verge of losing a key appeal. The County Council is preparing to vote Monday to uphold a hearing examiner decision to deny the high-rise project. The council last week considered testimony from an attorney for developer BSRE Point Wells. About 20 neighbors and city officials from Woodway and Shoreline spoke against the project. Jack Malek, a real-estate broker in Shoreline’s Richmond Beach neighborhood, likened the project to “a Wall Street-inspired pump-and-dump scheme” and alleged that BSRE has misused a land-use doctrine known as vesting. If approved, BSRE’s plans call for 46 buildings at Point Wells, which has been in industrial use for more than a century. Almost half of the proposed buildings would exceed 90 feet, with the tallest reaching 180 feet. Construction would take place in phases, over a couple of decades, after an extensive environmental cleanup. The unincorporated parcel covers 60 acres. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Pierce County salmon restoration work good news for endangered orcas
.... The orcas’ dire situation was a source of painful and blunt conversation last week in a van filled with people affiliated with the Floodplains for the Future partnership, a multi-agency effort that focuses on recovering flood plains along the Puyallup, Carbon and White Rivers. “The orca population has been struggling. We saw a calf that was born die 30 minutes later. Another young orca died because it was malnourished — they don’t have enough food,” said Jordan Rash from the back of the van. Rash is the conservation director for Forterra, a nonprofit land conservation and urban design organization that’s involved in the Floodplains for the Future partnership. Matt Driscoll reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Scientists optimistic about return of chinook to Elwha River
Chinook salmon are now returning to the Elwha River in droves and the scientists who study them are excited about what they may learn this season. Scientists now are collecting data that will determine what percentage of the chinook spawning in the Elwha were actually born in the river after the removal of two dams in 2014. This is potentially the first year since the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams that they could see an increase in chinook salmon born in the Elwha River returning from sea to spawn, but scientists tracking that data said they want to see the data first before reaching any conclusions. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Project looks to restore North Vancouver mudflats where First Nations once harvested seafood
A restoration project in North Vancouver is looking to clean up the area to bring back marine life after decades of industry logging and dredging put an end to the bounty. The waterfront at Maplewood Flats, east of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, was once a key place for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation to harvest shellfish and salmon, but years of industrial use took a heavy toll on the area. "The Burrard Inlet once provided over 90 per cent of the food that Tsleil-Waututh community members ate," said John Konovsky, a senior advisor on environmental issues for the Tsleil-Waututh. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

European green crab’s reach stretches across North Olympic Peninsula
The European green crab now spans the North Olympic Peninsula, having been found among fallen trees in the Tsoo-Yess River in Neah Bay, in the muddy canals of Graveyard Spit in Dungeness and in the waters of Kala Point near Port Townsend. Its reach concerns resource managers because scientists list the crab as one of the world’s most invasive species and blame it for damaging the U.S. East Coast’s clamming industry. The green crab, distinctive for its five spines on the side of each eye, competes with such native species as Dungeness crab. Matthew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Are we watching a real-time extinction of southern resident killer whales?
Images of the orca J35 Tahlequah carrying her dead newborn for a heartbreaking 17 days over 1,600 kilometres were seen around the world. Canadian and American veterinarians and biologists then joined forces in dramatic fashion to diagnose and treat the ailing three-year-old J50 Scarlet from the same pod, but failed to save her life. Three deaths this summer — including the young male L92 Crewser, which disappeared in June — have focused the world’s attention on the difficulties facing southern resident killer whales like never before. Now, the world will watch as we bring the 74 remaining community members back from the brink, or witness their extinction. Biologists and conservationists hope the celebrity of the Salish Sea’s orcas can be used to save them. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Hood Canal avoids a major fish kill following unwelcome conditions
Southern Hood Canal avoided a major fish kill this year, but for a few days in September it looked like conditions were set for low-oxygen waters to rise to the surface, leaving fish in a critical state with no place to go, experts say. Seth Book, a biologist with the Skokomish Tribe, has been keeping a close watch on a monitoring buoy at Hoodsport. Dissolved oxygen in deep waters reached a very low concentration near the end of September, raising concerns that if these waters were to rise to the surface they could suddenly lead to a deadly low-oxygen condition. This typically happens when south winds blow the surface waters to the north. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Expansion of LNG production in B.C.’s climate plan could prove tricky
Amid the celebrations this week over B.C. getting its first major LNG project, provincial officials indicated that LNG Canada might also be the last of its kind. The obstacle to further expansion is one that critics said should frustrate the development of even one LNG terminal: meeting the province’s legislated targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The New Democrats are struggling mightily to reconcile the emissions from LNG Canada with the province’s legislated target for reducing B.C.’s overall emissions to 40 per cent below the year 2015 benchmark by 2030. A revised climate plan, due later this fall, is supposed to get the province 75 per cent of the way to the target. A second-phase plan, to be worked on next year, will have to map the way to closing the remaining 25 per cent. Both phases of the plan will take into account the additional emissions associated with LNG Canada, reckoned to be 3.45 million tonnes per year or almost 10 per cent of the total amount of emissions to be reduced. Vaughn Palmer writes. (Vancouver Sun)

Plastic Waste Cleanup System Heads for Pacific Garbage Patch 
The project to remove plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has received the green light to deploy after successful round of testing off the coast of California. In a social media post Tuesday, environmental NGO The Ocean Cleanup reported that it has "a go" to move forward with the project. Tests conducted with the help of a Maersk Supply Service offshore tug were successful, fulfilling key requirements for the snake-shaped system, like its u-shaped formation; its speed through the water; its ability to reorient itself when wind and wave directions change; and its resistance to damage in the harsh Pacific Ocean environment. (Marine Executive)

Mammoth mushroom find thrills Vancouver couple
Mushroom pickers are known for being secretive when foraging for their favourite fungi, but Olya Kutsiuruba said her husband, David Swab, was anything but quiet when he came upon their latest find Thursday....The mushroom clocks in at 2,922 grams (almost 7 pounds) and is roughly the size of a basketball... While fall is typically the busy season for mushroom pickers, mushroom expert  Paul Kroeger, a past president of the Vancouver Mycological Society, says this year has been particularly favourable.... Kroeger says the King Bolete mushroom of the size found by Kutsiuruba and Swab does occur periodically, although the tastier specimens are usually smaller, roughly the size of a billiard ball. Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Mon Oct 8 2018   

TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  7 ft at 15 seconds. Rain likely in the morning then a chance of  rain in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 13 seconds. A chance of  showers.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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