Monday, December 24, 2018

12/24 Mistletoe, Frognal, stormwater violations, Kalama methanol, littleneck clams, Canadian invasives, grizzlies, Salish mag

Mistletoe in winter [Wikipedia]
Mistletoe is the English common name for most obligate hemiparasitic plants in the order Santalales. They are attached to their host tree or shrub by a structure called the haustorium, through which they extract water and nutrients from the host plant. Their parasitic lifestyle have led to some dramatic changes in their metabolism.... Pre-Christian cultures regarded the white berries as symbols of male fertility, with the seeds resembling semen. The Celts, particularly, saw mistletoe as the semen of Taranis, while the Ancient Greeks referred to mistletoe as "oak sperm."(Wikipedia)

Opponents of the Frognal development drop their court battle
An environmental group abruptly dropped its court battle to overturn permits for the controversial Frognal Estates housing development, but said it won’t give up its scrutiny. The Sno-King Watershed Council entered a voluntary dismissal Monday in King County Superior Court. The move came a week after a judge denied the group’s request to halt logging until a February hearing. The petition focused on managing drainage on the steep, wooded terrain south of Mukilteo. “Given that they were entitled to proceed, all of this would have been academic,” said Jeffrey Eustis, an attorney representing the Watershed Council. Developer Integral Northwest secured permits from Snohomish County in August to log and grade the 22-acre site. Two months earlier, the Everett-based developer and the county had won a case in state appellate court against neighbors who sought to limit the proposal for 112 homes. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)d

'Numerous' stormwater violations reported at Port Orchard development
A Port Orchard development discharged sediment-laden water into a neighboring wetland last fall and retention ponds at the site were close to overflowing with rainwater this week, potentially endangering downhill properties, according to multiple agencies monitoring the project. The city of Port Orchard issued a stop work order for Stetson Heights on Oct. 26, halting construction at the Glenwood Road SW site, where more than 300 homes are planned. City community development director Nick Bond said the order was issued because the builder failed to adequately control erosion after clearing the property. On Thursday night, homeowners downhill from Stetson Heights received a letter from the Kitsap Department of Emergency Management notifying them that "retention ponds in the development near your home are near capacity and we have concern that with additional rain, the ponds might overflow and potentially impact your property." Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Port denied competitive federal grant for methanol plant dock, roads
The Port of Kalama did not receive federal grant funding it sought to help pay for the dock and roads needed for the proposed $2 billion methanol plant. The port applied for a $11.5 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant (or BUILD) earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced grant winners last week. Port Executive Director Mark Wilson said the program is competitive and only two projects in Washington were funded in 2018. Katie Fairbanks reports. (Longview Daily News)

Study finds littleneck clams declining in Salish Sea, West Coast
A recent study evaluating shellfish populations on area beaches found that native littleneck clams have declined over the past several decades, most likely due to ocean conditions rather than local impacts. Littleneck clams are one of several commercially and recreationally important species in the region. Pinpointing whether local impacts, such as harvesting and pollution, or large-scale ocean conditions are influencing area shellfish populations can help guide management of the species. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Spread of invasive species in Canada costs billions
For two decades experts have been carefully nursing a community of endangered northern leopard frogs in B.C.'s Kootenay region but invasive bullfrogs and fish threaten to muscle in, potentially swallowing years of work. Purnima Govindarajulu, a small mammal and herpetofauna specialist at B.C.'s Ministry of Environment, said disease and invasive fish already mean the endangered frogs aren't thriving as they should be in a wetland in Creston. More concerning to her is that a mass of bullfrog eggs was recently missed in a lake just 15 kilometres away, and Govindarajulu said teams in Canada and the United States are preparing to do battle with the voracious bullfrog to prevent its spread. (Canadian Press)

With Zinke Out, North Cascades Grizzly Reintroduction Plan Stalls
A controversial plan to reintroduce grizzly bears to Washington’s North Cascades will not be finished by the end of the year. Federal officials had pushed to bring grizzlies back to wilder parts of the state. Those efforts have stalled. Grizzlies in Washington are down to just a handful of bears. Biologists say if nothing is done to help them, they will disappear from the state for good. The 30-year effort to reintroduce bears into remote spots in the North Cascades has gone through fits and starts. But a decision seemed to be moving forward earlier this year after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made a surprise visit to the region in March. Zinke said he was “in support of the great bear.” Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Broadcasting)

New online magazine describes life in and around Puget Sound
John F. Williams, a Suquamish resident who has been creating dramatic underwater videos for years, recently launched a new online publication called Salish Magazine. Its goal is to help people to better understand the ecosystem in the Puget Sound region.... The new online publication shifts to the use of more words, along with photos and videos, to explain the connections among living things. The first issue includes extensive articles on sea anemones, barnacles, sea stars, mussels and glaciation, spiced up with art, poetry and personal stories. Download the magazine as a huge PDF (56.6 mb) file or open it in iBooks.

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  824 AM PST Mon Dec 24 2018   
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 9 ft at  12 seconds. A chance of showers. 
 NE wind to 10 kt becoming NW after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 14 seconds.

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