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' after...you 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!): http://cs.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=6phGJ "

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   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING   

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.


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