Friday, November 16, 2018

11/16 Spaghetti worm, hungry salmon, orca sacrifice, Elwha, Maltby pipe, Orcasound, Fish First, new BC radar

Spaghetti worm [Madrona/Fisherman Bay Project]
Spaghetti worm Thelepus crispus
Long, exceedingly slender white tentacles spread out over rocks or mud; food particles stick to tentacles and are moved by tina cilia to mouth. Tentacles can be quickly retracted. Pinkish body with 3 pairs of red gills. To 6 inches. Abundant on rock or cobble beaches. Enclosed in long, sand-encrusted tubes; commonly found on the undersides of intertidal rocks. (Marine Life of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Why famished orcas may have to wait 90 years for more salmon
.... Large-scale marsh restoration has been under way at the mouth of the Skagit River, an hour north of Seattle, for some 15 years. Hundreds of acres of salt marsh that didn’t exist a decade ago now harbor young salmon and other fishes.  Eric Beamer, a biologist for the Swinomish and Sauk-Suiattle tribes nearby, looked out over one of the delta’s newest marshes on Fir Island, as snow geese circled overhead.   “There were a few hundred fish living here before restoration,” Beamer said. “After restoration, in 2017, we saw about 50,000 fish, juvenile chinook, living here.” The Skagit River produces most of the chinook in Puget Sound. Recovery of Puget Sound depends on recovery of the Skagit, Beamer said.  Most salt marshes along the Skagit River were converted to farmland long ago, leaving the river mouth a largely unfriendly habitat for young salmon. The push to get chinook off the endangered species list has centered on giving these little smolts marshes to swim in and hide before they head out to sea. The long-term goal: bring back one-tenth of the Skagit’s vanished marshes. For the past 20 years, scientists have headed out in boats around Skagit Bay to see if marsh restoration is making a difference for the fish.  The years of fieldwork show that chinook thrive in the new marshes. But it’s slow going. “At the pace we’re recovering estuaries, it will take 90 years to achieve the goals of the recovery plan,” Beamer said. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

To whale watch, we all must make sacrifices
.... As the midterm elections took place Nov. 6, Gov. Jay Inslee’s Orca Task Force was convened to finalize its report for delivery to the governor on Friday, in time to influence the 2019 Legislature.  Appropriately, the task force has already recommended a three- to five-year moratorium on whale watching operations targeting the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Community. But the whales’ survival ultimately will come down to their ability to eat salmon. Human impacts on orcas — such as through whale watching cruises — would be buffered if the whales weren’t starving. As the top predator of the sea, orcas can choose among all potential prey, but Washington's resident whales evolved to specialize on Chinook, or King, the largest and most threatened of the salmon. It’s our historic and ongoing failure to protect and restore salmon habitat that has resulted in this emergency situation. Immediacy must be the highest priority: We can’t assume the whales have even the three to five years it will take to produce an adult Chinook from a hatchery. Fred Felleman writes. (Crosscut)

Elwha nearshore 15 November 2018.
Anne Shaffer of the Coastal Watershed institute writes: "Coho, Chinook, steelhead, and bull trout in the Elwha nearshore today, which is reflecting our extremely mild fall. The dissolved oxygen at the south site next to the dike was the lowest we have ever recorded-the water was (very) cold which appears to mitigate the environmental stress. The river was clear again this month-we've never seen conditions this warm and calm in November. And any who have spent years on the delta note the lack salmon carcasses. In contrast, the beaver are back and now ambitiously dragging cuttings from the river to the lodge in the impounded west pond-they have to go across the dike. A very vulnerable place for them given dogs that transit there. So keep those dogs on leashes-it is making a positive difference! We assume the beaver are getting ready for the winter that must be coming. Thank you again to the good willed and hard working team of students volunteers and collaborators that made light work of a good day. Happy Thanksgiving."

Maltby gas pipeline on pause
Plans to enlarge a natural gas pipeline through Maltby are shifting as the county has withdrawn permit approval on the project due to environmental concerns.... The county last month had approved four permits and issued a decision that the project would not have a significant environmental impact. It withdrew that decision last week after environmental concerns were raised about one of the properties involved in the nearly 6-mile long pipeline widening project, according to an official familiar with the project. Williams presented the county with the new information, a county permit official said. The withdrawal coincidentally but separately came as environmental activists were mobilizing to appeal. Angela Cooper-McCorkle reports. (Snohomish Tribune)

You can now live stream whale calls from the sea using an app
Now, thanks to an extensive research project called Orcasound, you can tune into live streams of orca whales near Washington State and participate in a massive citizen science initiative. Orcasound is using advances in technology, streaming media, and algorithms to take citizen science to the next level and make it easier for people who are passionate about marine conservation and whales to access sounds and recordings typically reserved for field researchers.   Kay Vandette reports. (Earth.Com)

If you like to watch: Fish First - A Story about People and Salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska
Fish First is a celebration of the salmon and people of Bristol Bay, Alaska. This story explores what makes Bristol Bay the most productive and well managed fishery on earth. (23:01) [Thanks to Kathleen Grimbly for the heads up on this.]

New Canadian Coast Guard radar updates marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast
The federal government is adding to marine traffic monitoring with more radar coverage along the British Columbia coast in order to improve safety for ships travelling through narrow and challenging waterways. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says six new radar installations will fill in existing gaps in coverage for busy and risky stretches of water from the northern end of Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait and in the waters off Prince Rupert.  Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the new installations Thursday at the Canadian Coast Guard station in Richmond. A government news release says the expanded radar coverage is part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan designed to improve marine safety and safeguard Canada's marine environment and coastal communities. (Canadian Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  235 AM PST Fri Nov 16 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. 

SAT  E wind 15 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at  12 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell  6 ft at 13 seconds. 

SUN  SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds.

"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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Thursday, November 15, 2018

11/15 Rockweed, fish no fish, orca money, sea lions shot, Thornton Cr., better sewage, vital signs, otter recovery, BC species

Rockweed [Alchetron]
Rockweed Fucus distichus
Fucus distichus or rockweed is a species of brown alga in the family Fucaceae to be found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores in the Northern Hemisphere, mostly in rock pools. In Great Britain, rockweed is found on northern coasts of Scotland and the north and west coasts of Ireland where it is found on rock faces and in rock pools in the upper littoral zone. It also occurs on the eastern coast of North America. and on the west coast from Alaska to California.... It has been found that this species grows more abundantly on sloped than on vertical rock faces. Its presence increases species richness as it forms canopies in the mid to high intertidal zone that provide protection, shelter and food for a variety of small invertebrates including many gastropods and crustaceans. (Alchetron)

Stop fishing salmon, orca lovers say. You’re missing the point, Skagit tribe says
.... At meeting after public meeting over the past six months, orca lovers and orca experts have urged bold action: Everything from removing dams to restricting or banning activities that can harm the whales. Crazy or not, those are fighting words to people whose ancestors gave up their land to be able to keep fishing. “Humans are the problem, and it’s not fishermen,” commercial fisherman and Makah tribal chair Nate Tyler said at a task force meeting in Anacortes. “This task force isn’t going to stop me. It’s not in a position to stop me.” “That’s always being touted—cease fishing,” said Doreen Maloney, general manager of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe in Sedro-Woolley, in the foothills of the North Cascades. “People [who] say that don't have any clue of how to manage fish.” John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

National organization invests in Skagit County project for orca recovery
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation announced Wednesday $742,000 in grants for projects aimed at protecting and restoring the endangered Southern Resident orca population. Those grants, which include $144,000 for a project in Skagit County, will leverage $1.8 million toward orca recovery when combined with matches from project sponsors. Projects receiving grant funding include genetic research, habitat protection, salmon recovery and boater education. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Sea lions found shot near West Seattle
Nearly a half dozen California sea lions have washed ashore in the last six weeks near West Seattle, and at least two of them are confirmed to have been killed by gunshot wounds. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed they are investigating the deaths. One sea lion found Wednesday has suspicious wounds, but a necropsy has not yet been performed to find the cause of death. There are several others still under investigation as well. Alison Morrow reports. (KING) See also: Hundreds of noisy, smelly sea lions fill Cowichan Bay — to the delight of many Joel Ballard reports. (CBC)

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to help southern resident orcas
Perhaps the humpback whale felt snubbed or assumed its invitation got lost in the mail. It was Orca Recovery Day, after all, not a Humpback Appreciation Lunch, but that didn’t stop a representative from the latter group of large mammals from making its presence felt. “I wouldn’t have even dreamed it could have worked out so well,” said Pierce Conservation District spokesman Allan Warren of the unexpected visit, which occurred last Saturday, just offshore as the dozens of people assembled at Tacoma Narrows Park sat down for lunch. They were gathered for the Pierce Conservation’s Orca Recovery Day event, one of 10 such events organized by conservation districts across the region. Matt Driscoll writes. (Tacoma News Tribune)

For 1st time in years, chinook salmon return to rehabbed Seattle creek to spawn
Finally, a bit of good salmon news this week, courtesy Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). For the first time in eight years, chinook salmon have returned to Thornton Creek, in northeast Seattle, to spawn. The creek was the subject of an $8 million rehabilitation project in 2014, where SPU crews replaced 1,000 feet of a narrow, deep streambed with a wider, engineered streambed. This keeps high-quality gravel in place for spawning salmon, according to a release by SPU.Natalie Guevara reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Petition urges better technology to treat Puget Sound sewage
An environmental group is asking Washington state regulators to require municipalities to use the latest technology to treat sewage before it's released into Puget Sound. The petition filed Wednesday by Northwest Environmental Advocates urges the Department of Ecology to require an advanced level of wastewater treatment to better remove nutrient pollution and toxics, such as from personal care products. The group says such technology is being used in Spokane County and other cities nationwide and yet the state requires decades-old technology. The state requires plants to treat wastewater from toilets, sinks and other areas so it is clean enough to be released into waters. The group says updating standards to what's known as "tertiary treatment" would reduce toxic pollution and nutrient overloading. An Ecology spokeswoman says the agency is reviewing the request and will respond in the time allowed.(Associated Press)

Implementation Strategies will target Puget Sound ‘Vital Signs’
On the surface, Puget Sound seems like the picture of health. Its gorgeous blue waters and abundant wildlife draw tourists from around the world. And while the region's natural beauty is undeniable, it hides a disturbing truth. If Puget Sound were a patient, it would be pretty sick. That’s the general opinion of scientists and researchers who have been monitoring Puget Sound’s so-called Vital Signs — 25 indicators of ecosystem health ranging from water quality and shellfish harvests to Chinook salmon runs and human wellbeing. Creating these Vital Signs became an important step in Puget Sound recovery several years ago when they were established by the state as a way to gauge improvements or declines in the ecosystem. Scientists, like doctors, need some way to measure the health of the patient. But knowing how sick the patient is doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. You actually have to prescribe the correct treatment for a specific ailment and observe carefully to see if it is working. You adjust the treatment as needed. In a similar fashion, Puget Sound’s recovery docs are zeroing in on their patient’s problems. Implementation Strategies, a culmination of this process, are designed to target the Vital Signs in the most direct and coordinated way ever conducted for Puget Sound. If the treatment works, Puget Sound’s condition will improve. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Otter Fans Float Plan To Bring Sea Otters Back To Oregon Coast
It’s been more than a century since sea otters were hunted to near extinction along the U.S. West Coast. The cute animals were successfully reintroduced along the Washington, British Columbia and California coasts, but an attempt to bring them back to Oregon in the early 1970s failed. Now a new nonprofit has formed to try again. “For about 110 years now, there’s been a big hole in our environment,” said Peter Hatch, a Siletz tribal member living in Corvallis. “The sea otter has been is missing from the Oregon coast.”
Sponsor Hatch recently joined the board of a new nonprofit dedicated to bringing the sea otter back to Oregon waters. The group is named the Elakha Alliance — “elakha” is the Clatsop-Chinookan word for sea otter. Tom Banse reports. (NW Public Broadcasting)

Feds, B.C. expand protected habitat for 40 species at risk in B.C.'s Darkwoods 
A conservation area in British Columbia's southeast mountains is being expanded by almost 8,000 hectares with the help of federal and provincial government contributions totalling $14.6 million. The Darkwoods Conservation Area, located along Kootenay Lake between Nelson and Creston, provides habitat for 40 species at risk, including grizzly bear, wolverine, mountain caribou and whitebark pine trees. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman say the joint government investment reflects commitments to protect threatened species. (Canadian Press)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  232 AM PST Thu Nov 15 2018   


TODAY  S wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 10 ft  at 14 seconds. A slight chance of rain in the morning then rain  likely in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  SW wind 15 to 20 kt easing to 10 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 13 seconds. Rain  in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight.

"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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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

11/14 Desolation Sound, Kalama methanol, ocdan warming, shore flooding, marine trash, smoky air

Desolation Sound [Andrew Strain/Sunshine Coast Tourism]
Desolation Sound
Desolation Sound is a deep water sound at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada. Flanked by Cortes Island and West Redonda Island, its spectacular fjords, mountains and wildlife make it a global boating and sea kayaking destination. (Wikipedia)

Study Finds Kalama Methanol Plant Would Reduce Global Carbon Emissions
A new study finds a controversial fossil fuel refinery proposed at Washington’s Port of Kalama would actually reduce global carbon emissions. The study was commissioned by the port and Cowlitz County in response to a permit requirement by the state of Washington to report the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project. A California-based company called Life Cycle Associates tallied all the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the $1.8 billion methanol refinery proposed by developer NW Innovation Works. The plant would convert natural gas into methanol that would be shipped overseas and made into plastic. The study, part of a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the project, included the carbon emissions from the plant's construction and operation, its energy sources and shipping. It concluded that while the plant would generate carbon pollution, it would also displace dirtier methanol production overseas, resulting in a net reduction of global carbon emissions. Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming
Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are. Two weeks after the high-profile study was published in the journal Nature, its authors have submitted corrections to the publication. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, home to several of the researchers involved, also noted the problems in the scientists’ work and corrected a news release on its website, which previously had asserted that the study detailed how the Earth’s oceans “have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought.” Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

Ocean at the Door: New Homes and the Rising Sea
... In what we believe to be the first country-wide analysis of its kind, Climate Central and Zillow have isolated the number of new homes in low-lying coastal areas in all 24 coastal states, projecting how many will become exposed to chronic ocean flooding over the coming decades — depending on what choices the world makes around greenhouse-gas pollution today. The results are clear. If the world makes moderate cuts to greenhouse-gas pollution — roughly in line with the Paris agreement on climate, whose targets the international community is not on track to meet — some 10,000 existing homes built after 2009 will be at risk of flooding at least once per year, on average, by 2050. The figures for 2100 are about three times higher — and five times higher if pollution grows unchecked. (Zillow)

SLIDESHOW: 160,000 Pounds Of Marine Trash From Papahanaumokuakea
NOAA displayed tons of plastic and other debris collected in the remote Northwest Hawaii Islands, where the trash threatens wildlife and coral. Cory Lum reports. (Civil Beat)

Puget Sound skies see smoke from California’s deadly fires  (Tacoma News Tribune) Smoke from California reaches B.C. coastline  (Vancouver Sun)

 Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  816 AM PST Wed Nov 14 2018   


TODAY  SW wind 15 to 25 kt becoming W 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 10 seconds  building to 7 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. Rain. 

TONIGHT  S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft  at 11 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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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

11/13 Mushrooms, orca ideas, orca noise, Wiley Slough, Canada's Chinook, ancient trees

[PHOTO: Laurie MacBride]
Worth a Closer Look
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Fungi are flourishing here this fall. Each day brings unexpected appearances in places I don’t remember any having been the day before. Some new arrivals stick around for a few weeks while others are more ethereal, disappearing after only a day or two. I find myself constantly looking down as I walk our forest trails, to spot the latest pop-ups and check out the shape, size and colour variations of these mysterious life forms that are neither plant nor animal. The mushrooms are so profuse and ubiquitous that I can’t help but imagine vast, branching underground mycelia spanning the length and breadth or our property and beyond, spreading their filaments through the entire neighbourhood...."

Orca Task Force Ideas Include Temporary Ban On Whale Watching Tours, Readiness For Dam Removal
The state’s Orca Recovery Task Force will deliver its final recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday. Among the controversial items on the list is a last-minute proposal for a temporary ban on whale watching tours near the endangered Southern Resident orcas. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife suggested it as an alternative to a no-go zone west of San Juan Island. It’s proposed to last three to five years.   But some whale-watch companies are concerned it would create false impressions about their industry. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

For orcas, the ocean is like a super loud upstairs neighbor
Imagine you lived in an apartment where your upstairs neighbor blasted music 60 to 97 percent of the time, making it impossible for you to have a conversation, think, sleep, or listen to KUOW.  Southern resident killer whales live with this situation: Boat noise drowns out 60 to 97 percent of their attempts to communicate with each other and find food.  That’s because traffic isn't bad just on land in the Puget Sound area; it's bad at sea as well. Cargo ships, tankers, ferries, fishing boats, pleasure boats—they all make a lot of noise. Cargo ships and tankers are the worst offenders.   The governor's Orca Task Force is looking at slowing boats down to try to reduce the noise they make. But some scientists say that's not the best solution. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

WDFW seeks to save farmer support for fish projects
Farmer support for salmon recovery in north Puget Sound will be jeopardized if a troubled fish project isn’t fixed, according to the Department of Fish of Wildlife. The department and two tribes removed a section of a dike and let Wiley Slough flood 157 acres of farmland and hunting grounds in the Skagit River delta a decade ago. A new dike was built farther inland to protect other farmland on Fir Island. The dike, however, has proven too short. Water ran over the top during a storm in March 2016. The levee is damaged and saltwater seeps through. If not fixed, the dike eventually will fail, according to Fish and Wildlife. The failure would flood some of the best farmland in Washington and harm community support for estuary restoration, according to the department. “Wiley Slough is really about doing the right thing by farmers,” said Amy Windrope, Fish and Wildlife’s North Puget Sound director. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

Canada's salmon hold the key to saving its killer whales
Desperate efforts to save the whales – and the Chinook salmon on which they depend – risk fishing communities losing a way of life... The unfolding tragedy of the southern resident killer whales – and the government response – has exposed a complex ecosystem in crisis. Chinook salmon, the whale’s main prey, are also disappearing. In an area heavily reliant on tourism and fishing, an impending collapse of the two species has led to feuding over how to stave off an ecological disaster. (The Guardian)

Money trees
The struggle over what’s ancient, giant, valuable and dwindling in B.C.’s coastal forests. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  237 AM PST Tue Nov 13 2018   


TODAY  E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 3 ft  at 12 seconds. A chance of rain in the morning then rain likely in  the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft  at 11 seconds building to 7 ft at 10 seconds after midnight.  Rain.

"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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Monday, November 12, 2018

11/12 Puffin, orcas, sea stars, carbon pricing, Pt Wells, Ceph Rogen, squidders, ammonia kill, Marathon Oil, Deschutes R., old-growth logging

Horned puffins [Tom Blandford/All About Birds]
In Winter, Puffins Lead Very Different Lives
Every summer, puffins — like this Horned Puffin — grow blazingly colorful layers over the bases of their huge beaks. But in the winter, puffins lead very different lives, and they shed their bright ornamentation. Puffins in winter are largely solitary — and silent. They spend about seven months alone at sea, before returning once again to their colonies to breed. (BirdNote)

Orcas thrive in a land to the north. Why are Puget Sound's dying?
"Hostile Waters" is a special projects report examining the plight of the Southern Resident killer whales. In the weeks and months ahead, The Seattle Times’ “Hostile Waters” series will continue to explore and expose the plight of the southern resident killer whales, among the most-enduring symbols of our region and most-endangered animals. We’ll examine the role humans have played in their decline, what can be done about it and why it matters. Story by Lynda Mapes, photographs by Steve Ringman, videos by Ramon Dompor, and graphics by Emily M. Eng. (Seattle Times)

Microbiome implicated in sea star wasting disease 
The culprit might be many microbes. Since 2013, a gruesome and mysterious disease has killed millions of sea stars along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska--making the animals turn to goo, lose their legs, and pull their own bodies into pieces. For years, ocean scientists have searched in vain for the cause. Now a first-of-its-kind research study shows that the animals' microbiomes--the community of bacteria living in and on the sea stars--are critically important to the progression of the disease. "An imbalance of microbes might be leading to the disease," said Melissa Pespeni, a marine biologist at the University of Vermont, who co-led the new study published November 7 in Scientific Reports, an online journal from the publishers of Nature. (EurekaAlerts)

Pricing fossil-fuel pollution in Washington state faces an uncertain future after second election failure 
For the past four years, a big policy proposal has dominated the climate-change policy debate in Washington state: how to put a price on the state’s oil, natural gas and coal emissions that are helping to warm the world. The resounding defeat for Initiative 1631 in Tuesday’s election marks the latest failed effort to pass such a measure, and proponents are unsure of their strategy once the Legislative convenes next year. Bills to spur a transition to cleaner sources of energy are likely to be introduced, but putting a price on carbon – which generally means making fossil fuels more expensive to discourage their use – faces an uncertain future in Washington state. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Point Wells developer offers to reduce project's size
The developer might scale back plans for waterfront high-rises-- or sue if Woodway tries to annex. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Vancouver Aquarium names octopus 'Ceph Rogen' know who
Hollywood comedian and actor. Disembodied transit voice. Octopus. Seth Rogen has quite the résumé. The last gig he scored this week courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium, which named its newest Giant Pacific octopus...Ceph Rogen, a play on cephalopod. The moniker came after a week-long naming contest. The other contenders were Octavia, Luna and Houdini. Alex Migdal reports. (CBC)

The secret life of Seattle's squidders
On Friday afternoon, most Seattleites might be thinking about going out for happy hour after work. But not everybody. A few hardy folks will brave the elements to fish for squid.  Squid come out to feed at night and are attracted to lights. You don’t need special gear or a boat to catch squid. Just a fishing pole, a bright light, and some squid jig to lure them. I went to a popular squidding spot in West Seattle recently to see what the attraction is all about. Most fishermen are protective of their turf. The squidders I met were no different. Ruby de Luna reports. (KUOW)

Ice-making company fined $350,000 after fish killed in Surrey creek
An ice-making company in Surrey, B.C., has been fined $350,000 after an ammonia solution purged from its equipment ended up in the city’s storm sewer system that flows into a creek where fish were killed. Environment and Climate Change Canada says it received a report in April 2014 about dead fish in a creek near the Golden Ears Bridge and two enforcement officers with the department conducted an investigation. It says water samples taken near the Arctic Glacier Canada Inc. facility and the sewer system were found to be harmful to fish. The company has pleaded guilty in provincial court to violating the Fisheries Act. (Canadian Press)

Marathon Oil: Oil Spill Response Plan - COMMENTS DUE November 15
Safe Shippers writes: "Washington State requires refineries to have a state-approved oil spill response plan that ensures their ability to respond to major oil spills, and the public (that’s us!) has an opportunity to comment. Our Anacortes neighbor — the refinery that used to be called Tesoro, was then re-branded as Andeavor, and has now been bought by Marathon Oil — has a plan, but it’s not good enough. Marathon Oil’s plan for responding to oil spills, fires, explosions, and unsafe air quality does not go far enough to protect our communities, our waterways and wildlife, and all of us who live and work in this region. Please submit your comments by 5:00 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018 via the Department of Ecology’s commenting portal for the “Andeavor Anacortes Refinery Oil Spill Response Plan” (because even Ecology can’t keep up with this refinery’s name changes!): "

Stalled Plans for Deschutes River Clean-up Brings New Court Action
Taking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to court for a second time over stalled plans for cleaning up Washington’s Deschutes River, an environmental group criticized the agency’s foot-dragging in a lawsuit filed today.  The new suit asserts that EPA violated the Clean Water Act when it failed to issue a clean-up plan in July.... NWEA’s new lawsuit challenges EPA’s failure to issue a replacement science-based clean-up plan for the Deschutes watershed within 30 days of having rejected the Washington Department of Ecology’s plan in June.  The rejection came as the result of a court order in a case NWEA filed a year ago challenging EPA’s failure to act on the clean-up plan for which Ecology had sought approval two years before, in December 2015.  As a result of the earlier case, EPA partially disapproved Ecology’s clean-up plans intended to address unsafe levels of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, fine sediment, and bacteria.  The disapproval triggered EPA’s duty to replace those plans. (Northwest Environmental Advocates)

Old-growth logging threatens culture, says Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council says the provincial government needs to do more to protect B.C.'s remaining ancient forests for both cultural and environmental reasons. Nuu-chah-nulth territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island is home to some of the province's largest remaining old-growth trees. But tribal council president Judith Sayers says the province needs to stop — or at least slow down — the rate at which they are disappearing. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  234 AM PST Mon Nov 12 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. NW swell 2 ft  at 8 seconds becoming SW at 14 seconds in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 2 ft at 14 seconds.

"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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Friday, November 9, 2018

11/9 Madrone, Keystone XL blocked, BC pipe hearings, kids climate suit, IOSA, feed ponds rules, cruise ship port

Pacific madrone [Living Wild]
Pacific madrone Arbutus menziesii
Arbutus is a magnificent evergreen tree with white flowers in the spring and red fruit in the fall, and attractive reddish bark that peels off in large strips. Its berries sometimes persist on the trees until Christmas-time. Arbutus means "strawberry tree" in Latin, in reference to the bright-red fruits. It was called madrono (Spanish for 'strawberry tree') by Father Juan Crespi, the chronicler of the overland Portola expedition in 1769 to discover the 'lost bay' of Monterey. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Federal judge blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline
A federal judge in Montana has blocked construction of the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline to allow more time to study the project’s potential environmental impact. The Great Falls Tribune reports U.S. District Judge Brian Morris’ order on Thursday came as Calgary-based TransCanada was preparing to build the first stages of the oil pipeline in northern Montana. Environmental groups had sued TransCanada and The U.S. Department of State in federal court in Great Falls. Morris says the government’s analysis didn’t fully study the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of current oil prices on the pipeline’s viability or include updated modeling of potential oil spills. (Associated Press)

Limited public access to new hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline project
Members of the public will be turned away from hearings to reconsider approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project for security for security reasons, the National Energy Board says. The federal authorization for the project was quashed by the courts over inadequate consultation with Indigenous communities and failure to consider the impact of the project – now owned by Canadian taxpayers – on endangered killer whales in the Salish Sea. An NEB panel is scheduled to hear three weeks of Indigenous traditional testimony beginning on Nov. 19, with sessions in Calgary, Victoria and Nanaimo. “Experiences at previous board hearings, which have included physical and verbal threats against hearing attendees and participants requiring intervention by security and law enforcement staff, combined with security assessments for the upcoming oral hearing sessions, have given the board reason to limit access to the hearing room,” the NEB announced in a statement. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Appeals Court Puts Climate Change Lawsuit on Hold
A lawsuit by a group of young Americans against the U.S. government for being slow to address climate change is on hold again, after a federal appeals court granted the Trump administration's motion for a temporary stay. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in granting the temporary stay on Thursday, gave 15 days for the parties to respond to the administrations petition for a writ of mandamus - a rarely used judicial appeal that asks a higher court to overrule a lower one before the conclusion of a case. (Associated Press)

IOSA's future as PRC in the San Juan Islands in doubt 
Randall Waugh, president of the Board of Directors Islands Oil Spill Association, sent a letter to the state Department of Ecology and San Juan County Department of Emergency Management informing them of IOSA's financial straits. He also detailed some options regarding the future of the organization that has played a vital role in the San Juan Islands. [Read the letter here.] (San Juan Islander)

Earth911 Podcast, Nov. 9, 2018: Puget Sound Keepers Disputes Washington CAFO Waste Pond Ruling
The Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board disappointed environmental leaders in October when it allowed largely unregulated concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to continue operating in the state. CAFOs are giant cattle, pig, and other livestock operations that have manure waste ponds, like those that overflowed in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. Chris Wilke of Puget Sound Keepers talks to Earth911 about the ruling, its implications for public health. CAFOs pollute groundwater and the air, contributing to cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental problems, including blue baby syndrome. CAFO pollution is also implicated in cancer. Wilke, though disappointed, said the court battle is not over. The environmental coalition that asked for better regulation of CAFOs will appeal to the Washington Department of Ecology and higher courts for changes. (Earth911)

Port of Seattle Plans $340M Cruise Terminal Project 
The Port of Seattle, Washington is considering a $340 million plan to add a new cruise terminal and invest in other waterfront improvements.  The port welcomed 1.1 million cruise passengers last year, the second year in a row that it has surpassed the one-million-passenger mark, and it is looking for room to accommodate more growth. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the port has been in conversation with Seattle's mayor about renovating its existing cruise terminals, adding one more, and making improvements to the waterfront, a plan that it calls Waterfront 2040.  (Maritime Executive)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  238 AM PST Fri Nov 9 2018   

TODAY  E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W  swell 4 ft at 11 seconds. Rain in the morning then a chance of  rain in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming N to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds building to  6 ft at 11 seconds after midnight. 

SAT  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 6 ft at  10 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell  4 ft at 10 seconds. 

SUN  E wind 15 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at  9 seconds.

"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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Thursday, November 8, 2018

11/8 Shaggy mane, whale-watch ban, kids' climate case, reinvented toilet, climate change votes, Big Oil

Shaggy mane [Dick Culbertson/Wikimedia]
Shaggy Mane Coprinus comatus
Shaggy mane is found in spring or fall after rain in the open, on the ground, in gravel by roadsides, near garbage dumps or in decaying sawdust near old logging roads. It is a well-known, edible mushroom of good flavor and consistency when young. It is easily distinguished from other inky caps by its height and conspicuously scaly-cap. (The New Savory Wild Mushroom)

Washington task force calls for whale-watching boat tour ban
The Washington state task force on critically endangered Northwest orcas wants to temporarily ban commercial whale-watching boat tours. The group advising the governor voted Tuesday to recommend a three- to five-year moratorium in order to reduce boating traffic and help orcas hunting for food. Orcas have hit the lowest numbers in more than three decades, capturing global attention as starvation has caused their deaths. Just 74 animals remain in the area. Researchers say reducing boat traffic must be the first step to mitigating the problem because white noise makes it difficult for them to find salmon. Critics say the move doesn’t address their dwindling food supply, and that barge and commercial fishing boats are far louder. The task force previously considered creating a permit system for commercial whale-watching trips. (Associated Press) See also: Learning From Gorillas to Save Killer Whales  Kat Kerlin writes. (UC Davis)

Trump Administration Again Asks Court To Scrap Climate Change Case
For the fourth time, the Trump administration is asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to order dismissal of a youth-led climate case that could go to trial in Eugene. Government attorneys filed an emergency motion with the appeals court late Monday. A spokesman for the Department of Justice indicated to The Register-Guard last Friday that the government would continue trying to keep the case from going to trial. Jack Moran reports. (Eugene Register-Guard)

Sedron develops new toilet technology
Sedron Technologies — formerly Janicki Bioenergy — revealed this week a new self-sustaining toilet design at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing. The toilet, developed with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, operates without any plumbing, Sedron Technologies President Sara Van Tassel said. Once flushed, waste from the toilet is heated, evaporating the water and killing pathogens, Van Tassel said. The dried solids are then burned to create steam to generate electricity for the household and to power the toilet. The excess heat is used to dry incoming waste, while excess water is used to flush the toilet. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Efforts to Fight Climate Change Had a Tough Election Day
On Election Day, the House went to the Democrats, the Senate to the Republicans, and only two of seven climate-related measures on ballots across the country went in the planet’s favor. Floridians passed one of the strangest, Amendment 9, which bans both indoor vaping at work and offshore fossil-fuel drilling. Nevadans said yes to Question 6, which requires the state’s electricity providers to source half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030, but they also voted to allow utilities to retain their monopolies. In the rest of the country, the tens of millions of dollars that industry spent to protect the status quo prevailed. Carolyn Kormann reports. (New Yorker) See also: Up Against Big Oil in the Midterms  The election produced some wins for the climate, but also underscored the power of the fossil fuel industry. Bill McKibben writes. (NY Times)
Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  228 AM PST Thu Nov 8 2018   

TODAY  E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft  at 10 seconds. 

TONIGHT  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 or 2 ft. W swell 2 ft  at 12 seconds. A chance of rain after midnight.

"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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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

11/7 Beaver, carbon fees, aboriginal consults, Blanchard Mtn, salmon roads, orca recovery day, wood towers

Beaver statue [Kalberg Archives, 2007]
Beaver, Washington
Beaver is a logging community in Clallam County that takes its name form nearly Beaver Creek and lake which, in turn, were named for the proliferation of beaver in the area when it was sealed by Martin Kopanski in 1891. (Washington State Place Names)

Washington voters reject carbon fees for second time
For the second time in two years, Washington voters are rejecting an initiative to put a price on carbon emissions. In Tuesday night’s final statewide count, some 56 percent of Washington voters were saying no to Initiative 1631, which would have imposed a fee on carbon emissions to control climate change. Dana Bieber with the No on 1631 campaign called the results a “clear victory for Washington families and small businesses … as well as a victory for the environment.” The rejection followed a big money opposition campaign that portrayed the initiative as too expensive for consumers and small businesses, unfair and unlikely to produce significant results. Manola Secaira reports. (Crosscut) See also: Portlanders Pass Measure To Create Clean Energy Fund   Ericka Cruz Guevarra reports. (OPB)

B.C. adds aboriginal consultation to environment assessments
B.C.’s environment minister has unveiled a sweeping re-write of the province’s environmental assessment rules, building in for the first time specific references to consultation with First Nations. George Heyman said Monday his new legislation will refocus the environmental assessment process on Aboriginal consent, early engagement, clear timelines and the consideration of other issues related to climate change, pollution targets and the effects of projects on future generations.... The legislation does not make First Nations consent mandatory for a project like a mine or pipeline to be approved, unless there is a treaty or cabinet order that specifically sets consent as binding. Instead, the process would engage Aboriginal leaders early and often in the review process. If cabinet ministers proceed despite First Nations objections, they would have to provide written reasons and, prior to a final decision, sit down face-to-face with Aboriginal leaders to try and come to a consensus on a decision. Rob Shaw reports.
(Vancouver Sun)

DNR swaps 193 acres to save Blanchard ‘core’ from logging
he end is nearing for efforts to protect a 1,600-acre “core” of Blanchard Mountain from logging. On Tuesday, the state Board of Natural Resources gave the Washington State Department of Natural Resources the OK to buy about 193 acres of working forest next to Blanchard State Forest in Skagit County. It will help replace timber revenue that Skagit County once received from Blanchard that is being put into conservation status. The price was about $1.2 million, DNR said in a news release. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Salmon swim across road in Washington state
Travelers on a Washington state highway captured video of an unusual traffic hazard -- salmon swimming across the street. Terri Sue Potter recorded video Sunday showing multiple fish swimming across the shallow waters flooding a small section of U.S. Highway 101 in the Shelton area. Alexis Leonard, a fish hatchery specialist, also recorded video of the unusual phenomenon. Leonard said the fish come from the Skokomish River and sometimes end up on roads and other areas when the nearly creeks flood during the spawning season. Ben Hooper reports. (UPI)

‘Puget Sound Orca Recovery Day’ happening Nov. 10
Ten conservation districts across the Puget Sound will host restoration events that address two of the primary causes of orca whale decline: malnutrition due to salmon scarcity and increasing water pollution. Volunteer events will include salmon stream restoration plantings, rain garden installations, and marine shoreline restoration. Each event also will feature educational programming to inspire participants with ideas of what they can do every day to help orca recovery. These events are family-friendly and designed for everyday people to volunteer in their local community to address the known factors that directly impact the health of our local orca whale population. Details can be found at

Timber towers can make future friendlier to climate, conference hears
For Dutch architect Do Janne Vermeulen, the “space race” to build the world’s tallest timber-based building is no longer a matter of pride, but more of a sustainable imperative.... Vermeulen’s Amsterdam-based firm, Team V Architecture, is in that race with its design for Haut, a 73-metre (240-feet-tall) hybrid mass-timber residential building in a new, sustainability focused residential district of that city. And multiplying the numbers of buildings defined as sustainable, sequestering carbon in renewable wood construction materials, is becoming more important at a time when warnings about climate change are becoming more stark. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  227 AM PST Wed Nov 7 2018   

TODAY  NE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 11 seconds.

"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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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

11/6 Earthworms, Fawn Sharp, BC pipe, gas pipeline upgrade, orca talk, toilet tech, Russell Family Foundation

Earthworm [Dennis Paulson/Slater Museum]
Earthworm Lumbricus sp.
Although we can go long times without seeing one, earthworms are among the most common and widespread organisms. They are under our feet, ubiquitous in moist soils. Their abundance can be seen after a rain, when many of them come to the surface. Crawling above ground, some become stranded on sidewalks and streets. Earthworms look like a cylinder pointed at both ends, but in fact they are bilaterally symmetrical and with much the same organ systems as we have.... Earthworms are very efficient dirt-eaters. They take in bits of the soil through which they burrow and extract nutrients from the organic matter they digest. Their feces fertilize the soil even after they have extracted most nutrients, and their burrowing aerates the soil to the advantage of plant roots and the abundant soil fauna. (Slater Museum/University of Puget Sound)

Fawn Sharp wants Native voices to shake up politics
The Quinault president is rallying the Native vote to fight climate change in Washington state, but newfound tribal power could go beyond Tuesday. Manola Secaira reports. (Crosscut)

Minister already met with 22 bands in Trans Mountain consultation redo
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi has personally met with leaders of nearly two dozen Indigenous communities since the Federal Court of Appeal struck down the Canadian government's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in August. The court said the original consultations with Indigenous communities affected by the pipeline plans was insufficient so the government is planning another attempt. Sohi has already met with people from 22 communities, including most of those behind the successful court challenge, as he tries to set rules for a new round that he hopes will satisfy the court's conditions. (Canadian Press)

Upgrade to natural gas pipeline worries environmental groups
A coalition of environmental groups is airing concerns about a plan to upgrade nearly 6 miles of natural gas pipeline from east of Lynnwood through Clearview past Highway 9. A partial list of objections includes the wider pipeline’s potential to increase carbon emissions, encourage dirty fracking techniques and expand housing sprawl into rural areas. The pipeline company says the upgrade would improve safety and satisfy growing demand. Skeptics have scheduled a community meeting for Wednesday evening. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Event-- Family feast: Kin-directed prey sharing behavior in northern resident killer whales November 8
Whale scientist Brianna Wright on November 8 will discuss findings of a 12-year study examining patterns of prey sharing behavior among northern resident killer whales. Resident killer whales prey almost exclusively on salmon and depend particularly on Chinook (the least common species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest), which makes up the majority of their known diet. Despite the importance of Chinook to the survival of individual killer whales, they frequently choose to share this critical resource with family members. Presented by The Whale Trail at Dakota Place Park in Seattle, 7 PM, $10 adult, kids under 12 free. Brown Paper Tickets

Bill Gates brandishes poo to showcase reinvented toilet tech
Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates had his hands full on-stage in Beijing on Tuesday, showing a jar of human faeces. The stunt was part of his speech at the Reinvented Toilet Expo event - a showcase for new toilet technologies. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent more than $200m on researching the field across the last seven years. Twenty cutting-edge sanitation products were on display, intended to destroy harmful bacteria and prevent disease. (BBC) See also: Omni Processor heading to commercial market  Sedron Technologies, formerly Janicki Bioenergy, has received a license to take its Janicki Omni Processor — which turns sewage sludge into drinking water and electricity — to the commercial market. The license will allow Sedron Technologies to transition from a technology development role for the processor into business development, according to a company news release. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

The Russell Family Foundation moved most of its endowment to impact… and outperformed its benchmark
The Russell Family Foundation’s journey to align its $141 million endowment with its philanthropic mission began with a contradiction: Does an environmental foundation undermine its grants to improve water quality by investing in businesses that pollute local waterways? The inquiry jump-started a process that led the foundation to embrace a role as an investor, asset owner and shareholder seeking to protect the environment and empower local communities in the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound. As the foundation has achieved nearly 75% alignment over the last five years, the mission-aligned portfolio outperformed its benchmark by nearly 3%. Dennis Price writes. (Impact Alpha)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  202 AM PST Tue Nov 6 2018   


TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  11 ft at 13 seconds subsiding to 9 ft at 13 seconds in the  afternoon. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming NW after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds.

"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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Monday, November 5, 2018

11/5 Mandarin duck, no orca emergency, SJ monument, kids' climate, sea stars, Pilchuck dam, sea lice, orca mic, wilderness

Mandarin duck on Burnaby Lake [Irene Lau/CBC]
Before New York City's Mandarin duck, there was Burnaby's
Before a Mandarin duck in New York City gained international recognition this week, another duck of the same plumage had already made several low-key appearances in Burnaby over the past six months. Mandarin ducks are renowned for their dazzling multicoloured feathers and regarded by some as the world's most beautiful bird. They're also native to East Asia, which is why bird watchers were gobsmacked when one was spotted in Manhattan's Central Park in early October. Alex Migdal reports. (CBC) See also: A Mandarin Duck Mysteriously Appears in Central Park, to Birders’ Delight  Julie Jacobs reports. (NY Times)

Federal government rejects emergency order to protect killer whales
The federal government has declined to issue an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act that would further protect the endangered killer whales off British Columbia's coast. An order-in-council issued Thursday said the government has already taken several measures to ensure the recovery of the southern resident killer whales. Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement Friday that the government "carefully weighed various options" to protect the whales, and it does not believe an emergency order would be helpful. (Canadian Press)

Comment on the Draft Resource Management Plan for the San Juan Islands National Monument
The BLM is currently developing a Resource Management Plan for the Monument which will guide their stewardship of these lands for the next 15-20 years. You can provide input for that plan during a public comment period ending January 3rd, 2019. Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument has provided guides to help with key issues and comments for the Draft Plan. Public meeting are being held this week to kick off the process:
Nov 5 - 6:00-8:00 PM, Woodman Hall, 4102 Fisherman Bay Rd, Lopez Island
Nov 6 - 6:00-8:00 PM, San Juan Island Grange, 152 1st St N, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
Nov 7 - 6:00-8:00 PM, Orcas Island Library, 500 Rose St, Eastsound, Orcas Island
Nov 8 - 6:00-8:00 PM, Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 N Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham
Nov 9 - 6:00-8:00 PM, Anacortes Library, 1220 10th St, Anacortes.

Supreme Court won't block children's climate change lawsuit
The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration's request Friday to stop a lawsuit brought by youths who are seeking to hold the government accountable for failing to do enough to fight climate change. The administration had asked the court to halt the lawsuit, saying it was "misguided" and a "radical invasion of the separation of powers." In its unsigned order, the court said the administration had not reached the high bar necessary to halt the lawsuit for now. But the justices suggested that the government might be able to seek relief at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals at a later stage of the litigation. The vote total was not released, Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said they would have ruled in favor of the administration.... The challengers argued that by neglecting to properly address climate change, the government is depriving them of rights to life, liberty and property while also failing to protect essential resources. A district court had allowed the case to go to trial on October 29, but that date was put on hold after Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary stay. Lawyers for the youths originally brought the case under the Obama administration and are asking the court to order the executive branch to prepare a remedial plan to phase out fossil fuel emissions. Ariane de Vogue reports. (CNN)

Sea stars still wasting away in B.C. waters
Reports that the sea star population was rebounding after a bout of wasting disease appear to have been overly optimistic, says a new report from the Coastal Ocean Research Institute. The Vancouver Aquarium’s research group believes the wasting disease that first attacked the sea star population in 2013 is continuing, with several species still in decline. “The current status of sea stars varies widely by species and location,” writes report author Jessica Schultz. “Although there are anecdotal reports of recovery, the frequency of sea star sightings continues to decline for many species, and signs of wasting persist. At the same time, sea star distribution is increasingly patchy and abundance is quite variable.” The die-off, which might be the largest wildlife die-off event in recorded history according to the report, has hurt the health of other species. For example, in the absence of predator sea stars, sea urchins have been gobbling up the kelp beds that provide food, oxygen and cover for a host of other species, including fish and prawns. The report also mentions an “unusual boom” in juvenile sea stars of several species in 2014 and 2015. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Dam demolition would let Pilchuck River run free
A clear curtain of water falls onto river rock, dropping about the height of a one-story building. Few people know about this modest dam along the Pilchuck River, a few miles southeast of Granite Falls. Until early last year, it performed an important function: diverting drinking water for part of Snohomish. Since the city stopped using that water source, the dam no longer serves a practical purpose. Now, it just blocks fish from heading upstream and drains city money. If a project with the Tulalip Tribes moves forward, this century-old impediment won’t be around much longer. Plans call for demolishing the 60-foot-wide concrete dam by fall of 2020. That would reopen stretches of the Pilchuck and its tributaries to spawning fish, notably to steelhead and salmon species whose populations have dwindled. More fish could benefit Puget Sound’s endangered southern resident orcas. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

'A Perfect storm'
Unprecedented sea lice infestation could help answer question of risk to B.C.'s wild salmon Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

New device lets you listen to Puget Sound orcas in real time
A new device is allowing you to listen to southern resident orcas as they make their way back into Puget Sound. There isn't much activity right now, but the season is just beginning. The sound is coming from a new hydrophone the Orca Network just installed at Bush Point on the west side of Whidbey Island. In the fall and early winter, orcas spend a lot of their time feeding on salmon in Puget Sound. You can listen for yourself at  (KOMO)

Day of the Dead ~ 9th Annual Tribute
Monika Wieland Shields in Orca Watcher writes: "The Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about honoring those who have passed on - every year, I take a moment on this day to remember the Southern Residents we have lost in the previous year....Over the years these posts have gotten harder to write, as the population continues to decline. But now more than ever, as we continue to fight for the survival and recovery of the Southern Residents, it's important not to forget the stories of the whales we have lost along the way...."

Not-so-wild world: Canada one of five countries holding remaining majority of wilderness
The world is rapidly becoming less wild according to a groundbreaking study published this week, co-authored by a Prince George ecosystem professor. The Wildlife Conservation Society reported that 70 per cent of the world's wilderness is located in just five countries. Of those five, Canada holds the second-largest area of wilderness after Russia. According to the study published in Nature, Australia, the U.S., Brazil, Russia and Canada are the five countries that hold the majority of the world's remaining wilderness.  Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties
In the final months of the Obama administration, Walmart was under pressure from federal officials to pay nearly $1 billion and accept a guilty plea to resolve a foreign bribery investigation. Barclays faced demands that it pay nearly $7 billion to settle civil claims that it had sold toxic mortgage investments that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland was ensnared in a criminal investigation over its role in the crisis. The three corporate giants complained that the Obama administration was being unreasonable and stood their ground, according to people briefed on the investigations. After President Trump took office, they looked to his administration for a more sympathetic ear — and got one. Ben Protess, Robert Gebeloff and Danielle Ivory report. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Mon Nov 5 2018   


TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 10 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of  showers in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the  afternoon. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 10 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of  showers in the evening then a slight chance of showers after  midnight.

"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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Friday, November 2, 2018

11/2 Cabezon, voting, rising seas, toxic oysters, port biz, Nisqually shores, BC pipe, SJ Nat'l Monument, dicamba

Cabezon [Wikipedia]
Cabezon Scorpaenichthys marmoratus
Cabezon is the largest of the sculpin species found in Washington waters and reaches a length of over 30 inches and a weight of 15 pounds. It lives to at least 14 years. Cabezon are found in rocky areas, near wrecks and in kelp beds. Adults spawn during winter; red eggs (which are toxic) are laid in large masses on rocks or seaweed in the intertidal to the subtotal. Feeds on isopods, crustaceans, fishes and mollusks. Hunted by scuba divers and anglers. Ranges from Southeastern Alaska to Baja California. (WDFW/Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans and the Strait of Georgia)

Salish Sea Communications: I'm voting. Should you?
It's the last weekend before next Tuesday's election. If you and I stand together, vote. If not, don't.

B.C.'s plans for rising sea levels 'may not be enough,' report warns
The research arm of the Vancouver Aquarium is ringing alarm bells about the future of B.C.'s coastal waters, saying current plans for dealing with climate change and other human-caused disturbances fall short of what's needed. A new report from the Coastal Ocean Research Institute breaks down the current state of B.C.'s ocean waters. It finds that sea levels seem to be rising faster and higher than previous models predicted, while surface temperatures creep ever higher. The report also suggests, that despite anecdotal reports some sea star species are recovering from a devastating wasting disease, these important ocean creatures have shown no measurable signs of a rebound. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

Don't eat these oysters! They're for trapping pollutants
The Port of Seattle this week planted three tons of Olympia oysters on Seattle’s Elliott Bay. The oysters are not for eating, but to help clean our waters.  The oyster bed is part of the Port of Seattle’s pilot project to improve water quality. “In any urban environment you have storm water runoffs and it’s got the toxic cocktail of all of our urban sins,” said Port Commissioner Fred Felleman. That cocktail includes lawn fertilizers and chemicals used in daily life. Ruby de Luna reports. (KUOW)

The Port of Bellingham is about to get a lot busier
The Port of Bellingham announced in a press release Thursday that it has reached a new service contract with Ports America, the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the United States....According to the release, the three-year contract with Ports America, which has options for two additional three-year terms, will allow international cargo to begin regularly arriving at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. Under the terms of the contract, Ports America will have the exclusive stevedore rights for certain types of steel, as well as inbound international forest products, metal and aluminum ingots, modules, oversized and project cargoes. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Land Trust Projects Will Support Orca Recovery 
With “Puget Sound Orca Recovery Day” fast approaching, the Nisqually Land Trust announced three major projects designed to protect nearly two miles of Puget Sound and estuary shoreline. Protection of these sites will benefit many species listed by state and federal resource agencies as endangered, threatened or at risk, including orca, Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead trout and the Olympia oyster. The projects are the first launched under the Land Trust’s new Marine Conservation Initiative, a strategic approach to protecting high-value coastal habitats within the Nisqually Reach-South Sound marine environment. (Nisqually Valley News)

Trans Mountain files evidence for NEB reconsideration hearing
On 31 October 2018, Trans Mountain filed direct evidence with the National Energy Board (NEB), highlighting the company’s intensive examination of marine issues, risks and impacts relating to expanded tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, including potential marine mammal impacts and mitigation. The submission is part of the reconsideration hearing for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The hearing will consider any necessary changes or additions to the NEB’s May 2016 Recommendation Report, in light of the inclusion of project-related marine shipping between the Westridge Marine Terminal and the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit in the “designated project” under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). “Over the past six years we’ve taken great care to assess and include marine aspects in the project, and additional safety and environmental safeguards will be in place when the Project proceeds,” says Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation. Lydia Woellwarth reports. (World Pipelines)

Help the Bureau of Land Management plan for the San Juan Islands National Monument
There are upcoming meetings to learn and comment about the future of the San Juan Islands National Monument. The next meeting is from 6-8 p.m., Nov. 6 at the San Juan Island Grange. Marcia deChadenedes, monument manager, will also be available from 3-5 p.m., Nov. 12 and 1-3 p.m., Dec. 10 at the San Juan Island Library to answer questions about the plan. The San Juan Islands National Monument was designated in 2013 in response to interest from islanders to ensure protection and restoration of the 76 locations that the Bureau of Land Management oversees in the San Juans.... For more info, contact 360-298-4302 or View the planning documents at (San Juan Journal)

The EPA Says Farmers Can Keep Using Weedkiller Blamed For Vast Crop Damage
For months, farmers from Mississippi to Minnesota have been waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to make up its mind about a controversial weedkiller called dicamba. Some farmers love the chemical; other farmers, along with some environmentalists, consider it a menace, because it’s prone to drifting in the wind, damaging nearby crops and wild vegetation. This week, on Halloween evening, the EPA finally announced its decision. Calling dicamba “a valuable pest control tool,” it gave farmers a green light to keep spraying the chemical on new varieties of soybeans and cotton that have been genetically modified to tolerate dicamba. Dan Charles reports. (NPR)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Fri Nov 2 2018   


TODAY  W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10 ft at  11 seconds. A chance showers. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 11 seconds. A slight chance of  showers in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. 

SAT  S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft at 11  seconds. Rain likely. 

SAT NIGHT  SE wind 20 to 30 kt becoming SW 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 5 ft. W swell 7 ft at 9 seconds. 

SUN  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 11 seconds.

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