Friday, January 18, 2019

1/18 Teal, salmon dollars, Navy hazardous dumping, BC oil pipe, 100 percent clean energy, orca rescue, whale age

Green-winged teal [All About Birds]
Green-winged teal Anas carolinensis
The green-winged teal (Anas carolinensis or Anas crecca carolinensis) is a common and widespread duck that breeds in the northern areas of North America except on the Aleutian Islands... This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters far south of its breeding range. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. In flight, the fast, twisting flocks resemble waders. This is the smallest North American dabbling duck. (Wikipedia)

After 20 years and $1 billion spent on Washington state salmon programs, fish still declining, new report says
After 20 years and nearly $1 billion spent on Washington state salmon recovery programs, most salmon are still in decline, a state report has found. The 2018 State of the Salmon report by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office is a sobering read: Across the state, and in its jewel, Puget Sound, salmon are struggling to survive despite efforts of every kind to prevent extinction. The news isn’t all bad: some runs, such as summer chum on the Hood Canal and fall chinook in the Snake River are doing better and near their recovery goals. And habitat restoration, from taking out dikes to fixing highway culverts that block salmon migration boosts salmon populations, the report found. The problem is that more habitat is being destroyed, more quickly than it can be fixed as the state continues a turbocharged growth spurt that is chewing up salmon habitat with roads, pavement, housing and commercial development. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Navy dumps hazardous substances including copper, zinc into Puget Sound, Washington state AG says
The U.S. Navy dumped the equivalent of 50 dump truck loads of solid material, including copper and zinc, into Puget Sound and must be stopped before it does so again, according to Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Navy provides dock space at Naval Base Kitsap for decommissioned, nonoperational vessels to be dismantled, recycled and disposed of. While cleaning the ship Independence at the yard in January 2017 before shipment to Texas for disposal, the Navy dumped the scraped-off paint into Sinclair Inlet, in violation of state and federal laws, according to a news release issued by Ferguson....Ferguson’s office notified the Navy on Thursday of the state’s intent to join a suit in federal court to ask the Navy to clean up the mess and to require the Navy to stop scraping ships at Navy Base Kitsap and dumping the material in Sinclair Inlet. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

National Energy Board rejects Burnaby's bid to stop work at Trans Mountain pipeline terminal
The National Energy Board has rejected a request by Burnaby, B.C., that it rescind orders allowing the company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to conduct work at the city's terminal. The Metro Vancouver city had asked that the board cancel the orders after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed government approval for the expansion project. Burnaby had argued the terminal work was primarily related to the project, but the board said in a written decision Thursday that it's upholding the orders, allowing Trans Mountain Corp. to do infrastructure work at the Burnaby Terminal. (Canadian Press)

State senator puts Inslee's clean energy bill on fast track 
Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing to get Washington state to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. And he's not alone. Dozens of environmental groups, labor organizations, local governments and clean energy businesses also support the idea.  The 100 percent clean energy bill would phase out all coal from the state’s grid by 2025. It would set interim targets for 2030, and increase investments in renewable sources and energy efficiency to get to carbon-free electricity by 2045. The Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee held its first hearing on the measure (Senate Bill 5116) Thursday morning. As he opened up public testimony, Democratic Sen. Reuven Carlyle, the committee's chairman, said he's aiming for a vote on the bill next week. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Tribe calls for NOAA to help rescue two ailing orcas, but scientists sent home during government shutdown
The Lummi Nation urged federal officials Wednesday to launch an emergency response to help two ailing southern-resident killer whales — but how do you call for help? The unprecedented government shutdown, continuing into its fourth week, has stymied any attempt by the tribe or veterinarians ready to help killer whales K25 and J17, among the 75 remaining southern residents that frequent Puget Sound. The policy makers and scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who would approve and coordinate any such response, such as for the emergency rescue plan for J50 last summer, are unavailable during the shutdown. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse: How To See It In Puget Sound 
A supermoon and total lunar eclipse will coincide Jan. 20-21 in a rare celestial occurrence that will be visible across North America. Whether you'll be able to see this event — also known for reasons we'll get into later as a "blood moon" and a "wolf moon" — in the Seattle area is dependent on the weather, of course. Can you guess what our forecast calls for this weekend? From the National Weather Service: Sunday Night: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. Monday Night: Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Neal McNamara reports. (Patch)

Thar She Grows: A New Way to Tell a Gray Whale’s Age
If you see a gray whale cruising offshore, it’s fairly easy to guess, based on little more than its size, whether it’s an adult or a juvenile. But without digging through a dead whale’s earwax or examining its ovaries, determining age is surprisingly difficult. A Canadian researcher has now discovered a novel method to eyeball a gray whale’s age that is much less invasive than existing techniques. By analyzing the relationship between whales’ sizes and their ages, Selina Agbayani, a master’s student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, has plotted growth curves that describe in detail how gray whales change in length and weight as they age. Larry Pynn reports (Hakai Magazine)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
240 AM PST Fri Jan 18 2019   
 S wind 20 to 30 kt becoming E 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. SW swell 13 ft at 13 seconds. A  chance of showers in the morning then rain likely in the  afternoon. 
 E wind 20 to 30 kt becoming S after midnight. Wind  waves 3 to 5 ft. SW swell 10 ft at 12 seconds. Rain. 
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 12 ft  at 11 seconds building to W at 13 seconds in the afternoon.  Showers likely in the morning then a chance of showers in the  afternoon. 
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 16 ft at 13 seconds subsiding to 14 ft at  12 seconds after midnight. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 11 ft  at 12 seconds subsiding to 9 ft at 11 seconds in the afternoon.

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