Monday, February 11, 2019

2/11 Hummingbirds, fishers, Whidbey water suit, Sound sewage, Sewell's Marina, wind turbines, declining insects

Anna's hummingbird [Mike Hamilton/BirdNote]
Anna's Hummingbirds Winter in the North
Most hummingbirds retreat south in autumn, but Anna's Hummingbirds are found in northern latitudes throughout the year. Since 1960, they've moved their year-round limit north from California to British Columbia. They're taking advantage of flowering plants and shrubs, as well as hummingbird feeders. But how do they survive the northern cold? They suspend their high rate of metabolism by entering a state of torpor – a sort of nightly hibernation, where heart rate and body temperature are reduced to a bare minimum. Many hummingbirds, including those in the high Andes, rely on the same strategy. (BirdNote) See also: The Hummingbird as Warrior: Evolution of a Fierce and Furious Beak  James Gorman reports. (NY Times)

More fishers released in North Cascades
Another six fishers scurried into the forest Wednesday near the base of the North Cascades east of Darrington after being released from wooden crates. The release brings the total number of fishers — carnivores related to weasels — released into the North Cascades region to 24 since the first group bounded into the woods near Newhalem on Dec. 5. Fourteen females and 10 males are now settling into area forests. The fishers were brought from Alberta, Canada, with help from the Calgary Zoo and were surgically implanted with radio transmitters to keep wildlife biologists apprised of their whereabouts. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Whidbey Island resident files lawsuit over water contamination
An Oak Harbor resident who says her well was contaminated with chemicals from firefighting foam used at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit accuses five companies involved in the manufacture, marketing, sales and delivery of the firefighting foam of knowingly putting the water — and therefore the environment and public health — at risk in areas around NAS Whidbey Island and hundreds of other military bases.... The lawsuit was filed Tuesday as a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Court Appeal Filed to Protect Puget Sound
NWEA [Northwest Environmental Advocates] sued the Washington Department of Ecology in Thurston County Superior Court today [2/8] in its bid to modernize pollution removal at Puget Sound sewage treatment plants.  The appeal challenges Ecology’s January refusal to update its rules that allow dischargers to use 100-year-old pollution control technology while Puget Sound faces emergency levels of toxic and nutrient pollution. (NWEA News Release)
Long cleanup expected as crews work to fix Horseshoe Bay marina
Crews are busy cleaning up in West Vancouver, B.C., after severe winds tore through a marina on Saturday and sunk a barge. The Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay is littered with debris and is being monitored for pollution. Some residents are calling the damage catastrophic....On Saturday, winds blew up to 90 km/h across the Howe Sound. Large waves crashed into Sewell's Marina, sinking an entire barge. Equipment and heavy machinery, including a forklift, tumbled into the water. (CBC)

Wind turbines to be running this year on Thurston county line
The energy company behind the 38-turbine wind energy project along the Lewis-Thurston county line is nearing the construction phase as the environmental permitting process wraps up. “As long as we can get the (final environmental impact statement) on the street, published by mid-next week, I think we’ll be OK,” said Sean Bell, senior development manager with RES-Americas. Bell said construction on the Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project is slated to begin in April, with the turbines up and running at the end of December. Those timelines remain on track, despite some frustrations with the permitting process. Alex Brown reports. (Centralia Chronicle)

Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests'
A scientific review of insect numbers suggests that 40% of species are undergoing "dramatic rates of decline" around the world. The study says that bees, ants and beetles are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles. But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom. The general insect decline is being caused by intensive agriculture, pesticides and climate change. Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PST Mon Feb 11 2019   
 E wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 6 ft at 9 seconds. A  slight chance of rain in the morning then snow likely in the  afternoon. 
 E wind 20 to 30 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. Snow  in the evening then rain after midnight.

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