Monday, January 14, 2019

1/14 Tiger rockfish, new orca calf, feeding whales, orca protection, Ranker resigns, BC sea lions, sick smells, Birch Bay, "Mossome' grove, plastic ban, Peninsula news, evolving beauty

Tiger rockfish [Adam Harding]
Tiger rockfish Sebastes nigrocinctus
The tiger rockfish is striped like a tiger, feature shades of pink, grey or rose, with five black or red bars radiating backwards from the eyes.... Tiger rockfish reach lengths of 35 cm by 17 years of age; their maximum size is reportedly 61 cm.... They occur from shallow water to 305 m. They are generally found in waters less than 30 m in Puget Sound. Off Oregon, the species is usually found at depths of 64-305 m. In the northeastern Strait of Georgia, tiger rockfish are generally captured in 21-140 m of water. (Race Rocks Taxonomy)

New orca calf seen among Puget Sound's critically endangered killer whales
A new calf has been born to the critically endangered southern resident killer whales, researchers confirmed. The calf was born to L77, said Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research. He confirmed the birth in a text to The Seattle Times on Friday. He estimated the calf is several weeks old. The calf, which Balcomb named Lucky, is designated L124. The whale’s sex is not yet confirmed. Center staff first saw the calf Friday morning at the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. “It’s great news,” Balcomb said, adding the calf looks healthy. It is the first known birth to the southern residents since Tahlequah, or J35, gave birth to a calf in July that lived only a half-hour. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Salmon treaty designed to boost spawning count and feed the orcas
Allowable fishing for chinook salmon in the waters of Canada and Southeast Alaska will be cut back significantly this year as a result of a revised 10-year Pacific Salmon Treaty between the United States and Canada.The goal of the updated treaty is to increase the number of adult chinook returning to Washington and Oregon waters, where they will be available to feed a declining population of endangered orcas while increasing the number of fish spawning in the streams, according to Phil Anderson, a U.S. negotiator on the Pacific Salmon Commission. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Marine protection plan for Trans Mountain pipeline fails: enviro group
The National Energy Board’s draft recommendations for its reconsideration of the $9.3-billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion falls short of protecting killer whales and Canada’s climate goals, says the environmental group Stand.earth. Announced late last week, the National Energy Board would require the creation of a marine mammal protection program for the Trans Mountain pipeline in a series of draft conditions it has laid out before it considers the project.... “The board’s bias toward the oil industry is on full display with its proposed new restrictions on whale watching and ferries, while at same time continuing to allow a massive sevenfold increase in oil tanker traffic in critical orca habitat in the Salish Sea,” said Steven Biggs, a climate and energy campaigner for Stand.earth. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

State Sen. Kevin Ranker resigns amidst workplace conduct investigation
Washington state Sen. Kevin Ranker, an Orcas Island Democrat, has resigned his seat in the midst of a workplace conduct investigation. In a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee dated Friday, Ranker, who served in the Senate for a decade, said his resignation was effective immediately. The state's 105 day legislative session starts Monday. The resignation came just days after Senate Democrats announced that Ranker had stepped down from his leadership roles on two Senate committees. In an emailed statement to supporters Saturday afternoon, Ranker apologized to his former employee, Ann Larson, whose allegations triggered the ongoing investigation. "I am deeply sorry for any stress I caused her and I sincerely apologize," Ranker said. "I wish her peace."  Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network)

Loud, smelly and 'spellbinding' — hundreds of huge sea lions converge on Powell Rive
Hundreds of sea lions have converged on a beach in Powell River, B.C., as photographers and nature lovers arrive to take in the sight. Powell River resident Lesley Armstrong says the sea lions started arriving around Christmas and their numbers have been growing to the point where the animals are covering nearly every inch of the barges, beach and breakwater at Second Beach. Maryse Zeidler reports. (CBC)

Ever wonder if your neighborhood is making you sick? Use this new tool to find out
A new mapping tool can help you learn more about the state of environmental health, wherever you live in Washington. The new Washington environmental health disparities map is the first to rank neighborhoods by all the environmental and socioeconomic factors that affect people’s health. People of color and low-income communities are far more likely to live near contaminated sites and sources of toxic pollution. These factors – race, income, and proximity to hazardous pollution – combine to make some communities more susceptible to health problems, like cardiovascular disease and asthma, than others. The new map shows how those multiple factors interact with one another and compound to create vulnerable communities. Kamna Shastri reports. (KUOW)

Birch Bay repairs could help beachfront weather big storms
Repairs are slated this summer for storm-battered Birch Bay Drive, where wind and waves from a furious Dec. 20 gale tore the asphalt to shreds, battered a seaside restaurant and flooded businesses across the two-lane coastal road. Whatcom County officials said that work to stabilize the shoreline as part of a project already planned in the area might have prevented the kind of damage that occurred when a seasonal high tide and fierce winds combined in a perfect storm of devastation. A key feature of the planned summer project is a berm that slopes gently up from the water, replacing the decades-old riprap, seawalls and concrete strips called “groins” that have failed to prevent beach erosion and road damage from storms. Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Heald)

B.C. ancient tree lovers unveil 'Mossome' grove as part of bid for new protections
Conservationists on Vancouver Island have documented a unique grove of ancient trees which it wants protected from logging due to its ecological value. "This is perhaps the most magnificent and stunningly beautiful old-growth forest I've ever seen," said Ken Wu, executive director of the conservation group, Endangered Ecosystems Alliance. Wu, 44, has been exploring forests on Vancouver Island to campaign for their protection for the past 28 years. he latest find, a 13-hectare parcel on public land, is located near Port Renfrew along the San Juan River and within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Proposed ban on non-compostable food containers before Edmonds City Council Jan. 15
A public hearing and possible action on a proposal to ban non-compostable food service containers in Edmonds is on the Edmonds City Council agenda Tuesday night, Jan. 15 The proposed ordinance, introduced by Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, notes that non-compostable food service containers “break down into smaller pieces but do not fully biodegrade, and are polluting the Puget Sound and other area waterways.” As proposed, the ordinance would take effect in 2020, which would allow time for business owners to use up their supply of non-compostable containers.

History of news: Peninsula journalists take stock during panel on new book 
A panel of journalists reflected on the history of the local news media and made predictions about the future of the industry last week. Bill Lindstrom, author of the book “Strait Press: A History Of News Media On The North Olympic Peninsula,” was featured with other veteran journalists in two panel discussions at Peninsula College on Thursday. More than 100 students and community members attended the first presentation in the college’s Little Theater. Twenty-eight witnessed the evening talk, part of the Peninsula College Studium Generale series. The well-researched, 617-page book explains how the news media covered the events that shaped the region. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution
The extravagant splendor of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone — so how did it come to be? Ferris Jabr reports. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  826 PM PST Sun Jan 13 2019   
MON
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 17 seconds. 
MON NIGHT
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 16 seconds.


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