Friday, February 8, 2019

2/8 Periwinkle, snow storm, MV Marathassa, BC pipe, PRV risk, Skookum Cr., Green New Deal, saving whales, shooting sea lions, SeaDoc film

Sitka periwinkle [Jenn Burt]
Periwinkles Family Littorinidae
Strictly high intertidal. Can survive long periods out of water and are thought to be ancestors of most land snails. Like land snails, they exude slime to help in gliding over rough surfaces. Periwinkles have fat shells with rounded openings. Good eyes and large tentacles. Sexes separate; male has large penis to the right of head. Use long radula, with up to 300 rows of minute teeth, to scrape microscopic algae off rocks. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

'Absolutely classic' winter storm predicted to hit Puget Sound region Friday
Forecasts show a major winter storm heading for the Puget Sound, just days after a less severe one disrupted traffic, schools and other day-to-day activities Monday. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass predicts the latest system will be “absolutely classic,” with likely extraordinary snowfall. “There is going to be a major snow event over much of the Pacific Northwest starting late Friday and continuing into the weekend,” he said in a blog post Wednesday, adding that regional snowfall could range from 8 inches to more than a foot in some areas. “We are talking over a foot of snow in central Puget Sound. Two feet in some of the foothills locations. Unbelievable.” Kari Plog reports. (KNKX) See also: Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley prepping for snow, 'bitterly cold' winds  (CBC)

Cargo ship acquitted of all charges relating to 2015 oil spill
The cargo ship MV Marathassa has been acquitted of the last charges it faced relating to the April 8, 2015, spill that saw 2,700 litres of bunker fuel dumped into Vancouver's English Bay. On Thursday, Judge Kathryn Denhoff acquitted the ship of charges under the Canada Shipping Act, ruling that while the ship discharged a pollutant, she accepted the ship's defence that it used due diligence in the case. She found that the discharge came from shipbuilder defects which neither the owner nor crew could have discovered beforehand on the brand new vessel.  Tina Lovgreen and Paisley Woodward report. (CBC)

Governor says Washington will try to influence Trans Mountain 'every way' it can
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the state shares concerns with British Columbia about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and will try to influence the project every way it can under Canadian law. Inslee made the comments at a joint news conference in Seattle today with B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is visiting the state to discuss partnerships on endangered killer whales, clean energy and high-speed transportation. Inslee says Washington's Department of Ecology has made a vigorous, robust statement about its concerns about the pipeline project and he has exercised his right to speak publicly about his objections. (Canadian Press)

Scientific experts say fish virus poses low risk to Fraser River sockeye
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the risk to British Columbia's Fraser River sockeye salmon posed by a potentially lethal virus is minimal, but there's still more to learn so the department will remain vigilant. Federal scientists were among 33 members of a peer review panel that looked at the data and risk assessment of piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV. Gilles Olivier, who co-chaired the review, says some knowledge gaps about the virus include how long it survives and its concentration in the water. He says while the virus is causing mortality in fish in Norway, it's not killing British Columbia's sockeye or Atlantic salmon even when it is injected in high doses. (Canadian Press)

Whatcom Land Trust spends $4 million to protect this wild Whatcom habitat for the future
Thousands of acres of forest and salmon habitat in Whatcom County will be protected through the Whatcom Land Trust’s $4 million purchase of what’s being called the Skookum Creek Conservation Corridor. The land trust announced the sale this week, saying it was one of the largest community campaigns in the land trust’s 35-year history. Nearly all of the money for the acquisition came from private sources, specifically more than 600 community members. Weyerhaeuser Co. sold the timberland to the land trust, making possible the permanent protection of 1,400 acres of riparian forest, land that’s adjacent to a river or other type of flowing water, and uplands, according to a news release that the land trust issued on Wednesday. The purchase includes 2.3 miles of the creek, which is the largest tributary of the South Fork of the Nooksack River. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Liberal Democrats Formally Call for a Green New Deal, Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry
Liberal Democrats put flesh on their “Green New Deal” slogan on Thursday with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change by calling for the United States to eliminate additional emissions of carbon by 2030. The measure, drafted by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, is intended to answer the demand, by the party’s restive base, for a grand strategy that combats climate change, creates jobs and offers an affirmative response to the challenge to core party values posed by President Trump. The resolution has more breadth than detail and is so ambitious that Republicans greeted it with derision. Its legislative prospects are bleak in the foreseeable future; Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has no plan to bring it to the floor for a vote, according to a Democratic leadership aide with direct knowledge of her plans. But as a blueprint for liberal ambition, it was breathtaking. Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush report. (NY Times)

Wildlife rescues may inform orca strategies
Among all the endangered Great Apes in the world, only the mountain gorillas of Africa are in the midst of a population increase, and success has been largely attributed to a close connection with humans — allowing medical intervention when necessary. How gorillas were rescued from extinction could provide some ideas for saving the southern resident killer whales, according to Joe Gaydos, a veterinarian with the SeaDoc Society and a leader in the effort to develop medical records for the 75 endangered orcas. Chris Dunagan reports in Part 2 of the series. (Salish Sea Currents)

$20,000 reward offered for information about Puget Sound sea lion shootings
NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement is offering up to a $20,000 reward for information after more than 12 sea lions were found shot around West Seattle since September.... Anyone with information is asked to call 206-526-4300, or the 24/7 hotline for reporting marine resource violations at 1-800-853-1964. Sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Act. The fine for killing a sea lion can be up to a year in prison and penalties of up to $28,520. The illegal killings often have no witnesses, so it's rare anyone is prosecuted for the crime. (KING)

If you like to watch: Voyage to the Bottom of the Salish Sea
In this episode, Joe Gaydos and Team SeaDoc embark on a week of deep-sea exploration in the Salish Sea where they break a world record and make observations never before recorded by scientists. (Salish Sea Wild)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  317 AM PST Fri Feb 8 2019   
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming E 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of snow in the  morning then snow in the afternoon. 
 E wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 5 to 8 ft with a dominant period of  17 seconds. A chance of snow. 
 NE wind 25 to 35 kt becoming 30 to 40 kt in the afternoon.  Combined seas 8 to 9 ft with a dominant period of 19 seconds. A  chance of snow in the morning. 
 NE wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 7 to 8 ft with a  dominant period of 19 seconds. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 5 ft at  17 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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