Thursday, February 21, 2019

2/21 Gooch Is., imidacloprid, 'underwater weather,' Trump's climate, salmon islands, fish season, toxic wood, good pollution

Gooch Island [Michael Paskevicius]
Isle-De-Lis Marine Park
Isle-De-Lis Marine Park is located on Rum Island, off Sidney at the east end of Gooch Island. Located less than a mile from the US/Canada border, rumrunners in the 1920s used the island as a base from which to smuggle prohibited spirits into Stuart Island, in the San Juan Islands group of the US during the prohibition era. (VancouverIsland.Com)

Oyster growers push for pesticide permits to control burrowing shrimp this summer
Oyster growers want to force the state Department of Ecology to allow the use of pesticides in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. A bill before the state Legislature would require the agency to grant permits to control burrowing shrimp. It also would transfer oversight and regulation of the pesticides to the state Department of Agriculture. Ecology rejected the permits for use of a controversial neurotoxin called imidacloprid last April, saying new science showed too much risk. Imidacloprid is widely used in land-based agriculture, but not in aquaculture and is part of a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids, which have been linked to bee colony collapse. It was recently banned in the European Union. Oyster growers appealed Ecology’s decision.  A hearing before the state pollution control board is set for this fall. But the growers say they need to spray this summer. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

How forecasting 'underwater weather' could save WA's shellfish
Washington is home to thousands of marine species. Salmon, crabs and bivalve shellfish like oysters and clams fuel both the aquatic food chain and human fisheries — and they thrive under stable levels of acidity, salinity and other marine growing conditions. But over the past few decades, climate change has acidified the world’s oceans at an unprecedented rate, threatening the biodiversity that defines our region and supports these fisheries.... Ultimately, stopping ocean acidification requires unprecedented international mobilization to reduce greenhouse gases. But if scientists and others could predict the complex undersea interactions that enable its worst effects, they could pull the trigger on short-term, local solutions that might help people and wildlife work around them. Researchers at the University of Washington have invented a computer model to do just that. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

White House Panel Will Study Whether Climate Change Is a National Security Threat. It Includes a Climate Denialist
President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, to include a White House adviser whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that human-caused global warming poses a threat to the nation’s economy, health and security. According to a White House memo dated Feb. 14, Mr. Trump’s staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member Presidential Committee on Climate Security that will advise Mr. Trump about “how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.” The memo was first reported by The Washington Post. The panel would include William Happer, a Princeton physicist who serves as Mr. Trump’s deputy assistant for emerging technologies. Dr. Happer has gained notoriety in the scientific community for his statements that carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gas that scientists say is trapping heat and warming the planet — is beneficial to humanity. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

The uncertain fate of the lower Fraser River’s last salmon island strongholds
Most of this iconic salmon river’s foreshore wetlands, marshes and islands have been logged, diked, drained and converted to farming. Only a handful of un-diked islands remain, but now three of them have been bought and logged by developers, while conservationists mount a last-minute attempt to buy them. Christopher Pollon reports. (The Narwhal)

Discussions to begin for setting 2019 salmon seasons
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife is inviting the public to help determine when salmon fishing seasons should be held this year. The state agency will launch the public participation process Wednesday at its annual statewide salmon forecasting meeting. The meeting will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Olympia at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE, where Fish & Wildlife will present initial salmon return forecasts compiled by state and tribal fish biologists. That meeting will be the first of several scheduled throughout the state. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Puget Sound toxic wood removal could take 10 years without more funding
If the half-dozen people working with the Department of Natural Resources to clean up creosote pilings from Puget Sound continued non-stop every day, it would take 10 years for them to remove it all.... The toxic pilings are a major challenge to salmon and killer whale recovery. Creosote was used decades ago to preserve wood but now it's contaminating Puget Sound. It kills salmon and forage fish and poisons marine mammals.... The Department of Natural Resources does not have enough crew members to clean it all up fast enough, [Public Lands Commissioner Hilary] Franz says.  Her current budget request asks for $90 million for salmon habitat, and some of that will go toward adding a full-time crew to remove all the contaminated wood. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Scientist says some pollution is good for you — a disputed claim Trump’s EPA has embraced
In early 2018, a deputy assistant administrator in the EPA, Clint Woods, reached out to a Massachusetts toxicologist best known for pushing a public health standard suggesting that low levels of toxic chemicals and radiation are good for people. “I wanted to check to see if you might have some time in the next couple of days for a quick call to discuss a couple items …,” Woods wrote to Ed Calabrese.  Less than two weeks later, Calabrese’s suggestions on how the EPA should assess toxic chemicals and radiation were introduced, nearly word for word, in the U.S. government’s official journal, the Federal Register. “This is a major big time victory,” Calabrese wrote in an email to Steve Milloy, a former coal and tobacco lobbyist who runs a website,, that seeks to discredit mainstream climate science. Susanne Rust reports. (LA Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  241 AM PST Thu Feb 21 2019   
 E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft  at 13 seconds. 
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 13 seconds. A slight  chance of rain in the evening then a chance of rain after  midnight.

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  1. I did an overnight kayak trip to Rum/Gooch Island about 20 years ago. Lovely spot, close to Stuart.We rolled our kayaks onto the ferry and walked from Swartz Bay.