Thursday, November 1, 2018

11/1 Chestnut, heated ocean, orca sanctuaries, protect endangered species, BC pipe work, Hunter Pt bridge, quake, Tacoma LNG, Growlers, spider love, Zinke ethics, Roundup cancer

Castanea sativa [EBay]
Chestnut Castanea
Chestnut trees have been part of agriculture for centuries, native to Asia, North America, and Europe.  The American Chestnut trees dominated forests in the American Northeast and Appalachia, some eliciting the same sense of awe and wonder of the West coast's redwoods.  The trees were the keystone species, providing nuts for wildlife and humans.  Our generation does not remember them, because they were wiped out by chestnut blight during the first half of the 20th century.... In addition to the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) there are 8 or 9 species, including species from Europe (Castanea sativa), Japan and South Korea  (Castanea crenata), and several from China as well as other American species.  Only the Asian species, which evolved in association with chestnut blight, are widely resistant to the disease. Daniel Wachenheim writes. (Growing Greener in the Pacific Northwest)

Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming 
The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday. Over the past quarter century, the Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the startling study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The difference represents an enormous amount of additional energy, originating from the sun and trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere – more than 8 times the world’s energy consumption, year after year. Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney report. (Washington Post) See also: Climate change: Oceans 'soaking up more heat than estimated'  (BBC)

Federal government announces new measures for killer whale protection 
The federal government wants to create new ocean sanctuaries in British Columbia as part of an additional $61.5 million it is spending to protect endangered killer whales. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Wednesday the government also wants to create new areas of critical habitat off the west coast of Vancouver Island for southern resident killer whales. The protected areas of Swiftsure in the Juan de Fuca Strait between Vancouver Island and Washington state, and Le Perouse Banks off Tofino will be areas that the whales can call home, he said. “We are in the process of consulting on those new critical habitat areas and expect to be able to move forward on them in the next couple of months,” he said. “We are also talking about creation of killer whale sanctuaries, which essentially are within the areas of critical habitat … which means that we can prohibit a range of different activities, not simply fisheries, where you can regulate that ships cannot go.” The government previously announced $167.4 million would be spent to improve prey availability and reduce disturbances for whales. Hina Alam reports. (Canadian Press)   

B.C. should take ‘new approach’ to protecting endangered species: report
A group of conservationists and academics are calling on the B.C. government to uphold its promise of creating legislation to better protect the province’s 278 endangered species. Despite being home to more at-risk animals than any other province in the country, B.C. currently has no law designed to protect endangered species, according to a report released Tuesday by an 18-member panel of experts that includes professors from universities across B.C., Alberta, and the Yukon. “With the populations of wildlife species declining and accusations of negligence, B.C. needs to step up its game,” the report’s lead author, Alana Westwood, said in a news release. (Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News)

Rachel Notley warns B.C. steelworkers their jobs are at risk without Trans Mountain 
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says it's "just dumb" that the Canadian economy is losing millions of dollars a day because her province can't get its oil to world markets. Notley took her message on the importance of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to a steelworkers' meeting in Kamloops, B.C., Wednesday. She warned them that jobs across the country — including theirs — are at risk every day the Trans Mountain project doesn't go ahead. (Canadian Press)

New Hunter Point bridge gives salmon free passage up stream
Officials from Thurston County and the Squaxin Island Tribe celebrated the opening of a new prefabricated bridge on Hunter Point Road near Steamboat Island, one of five projects the county is tackling this year to remove culverts and other structures blocking fish passage up streams. Also on the list are installing bridges at Troy Drive Southeast and Flumerfelt Road Southeast and upgrading stream crossings with fish-passable structures at 26th Avenue Northeast and Waddell Creek Road Southwest. Officials say collectively the projects will provide salmon access to a 7-1/2 miles of stream that have been blocked for decades. About 50 people attended the ribbon cutting for the finished project Wednesday. (Olympian)

4.9 magnitude earthquake recorded southwest of Port Alice, B.C
A 4.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded 209 kilometres southwest of Port Alice, B.C. on Wednesday evening, according to Earthquakes Canada. There is no tsunami warning and no reports of damage, according to Natural Resources Canada. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was recorded 252 kilometres west of Tofino, at a depth of 10 kilometres. (CBC)

Tacoma and Tideflats’ future take center stage at LNG hearing, council meeting
Tacoma is fully engaged in its environmental future, if measured by turnout Tuesday at three sessions seeking public comment on two major issues. Two of the public meetings heard comments on an environmental review of Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas plant, under construction on the Tideflats. The first session alone had 130 people sign up to speak. After that, some of those who offered LNG comments were among the 20 people who signed up to weigh in before the City Council on interim regulations on what can be done on the Tideflats. Debbie Cockrell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)


Enbridge says repairs done on ruptured gas pipeline near Prince George 
Enbridge Inc. says it has successfully completed repairs on the section of a natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George, B.C., three weeks ago. The company says following a comprehensive integrity assessment, it expects to begin safely returning the repaired segment to service within the next two days. It says it will gradually increase flows of natural gas through the repaired segment until it reaches 80 per cent of its normal operating pressure. A smaller pipeline nearby returned to service two days after the explosion, also at 80 per cent of its normal pressure, which the company says helps ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of the system. (Financial Post)

Navy seeks comment on Growler effect on historic properties
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting comment on a draft memorandum of agreement that addresses the effects of increased Growler operations on historic properties in the region. The draft National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) says the Navy consulted with the city of Port Townsend, but the draft does not address mitigation for any historic districts or structures off Whidbey Island. The draft was released for comment before all the parties reached an agreement....The Navy is required to take into account the effect of its actions on properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and to allow the public to express ideas for how to resolve adverse effects, according to the Navy.  Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

The secret love lives of spiders: SFU researcher looks at what goes on behind the web
Ghosts and monsters might jump to mind as the scariest creatures on Halloween but, for some, it's more earthly, creepy-crawly creatures that give fright. Andreas Fischer, a Simon Fraser University graduate student studying spiders' pheromones and how they attract each other, agrees spiders can be scary — but says they also have a romantic side.... Fischer started out studying spiders because so many people fear them, he explained, and says his research on how spiders communicate is useful for pest control management.  Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

Ryan Zinke Faces Increased Ethics Scrutiny 
Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the Interior Department and a key figure in President Trump’s push to roll back environmental regulations and ramp up oil drilling, is facing increased scrutiny amid federal investigations into allegations that he abused travel spending and maintained close ties with industries he oversees. The criticism escalated sharply following reports this week that the Interior Department’s Inspector General had referred one of the inquiries to the Justice Department, a potential prelude to a criminal investigation. Coral Davenport and Steve Eder report. (NY Times)

Groundskeeper Accepts Reduced $78 Million In Monsanto Cancer Suit
The groundskeeper who won a massive civil suit against Bayer's Monsanto claiming that the weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer has agreed to accept $78 million, after a judge substantially reduced the jury's original $289 million award. Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, a Northern Californian groundskeeper and pest-control manager, was 42 when he developed a strange rash that would lead to a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in August 2014. His groundskeeper duties included mixing and spraying hundreds of gallons of Roundup, the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller product, court records say. Emily Sullivan reports. (NPR)

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



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Thu Nov 1 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM PDT THIS MORNING  THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING   

TODAY  SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 11  seconds. Rain. 

TONIGHT  SW wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 8 ft  at 8 seconds building to 10 ft at 10 seconds. Rain.


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