Monday, June 3, 2019

6/3 Rose, orca calf, pinto abalone, fish highway, hemlock blight, green crab, refinery safety, BC pipe, grey whale deaths, Fraser in Surrey, Kimberly-Clarke, deBolt lobbying

Nootka rose [Wikipedia]
Nootka rose Rosa nutkana
The Nootka rose, bristly rose, or wild rose is a 2–10 feet tall perennial shrub in the rose family. The species name nootka comes from the Nootka Sound of Vancouver Island, where the plant was first described. This plant is native to Western North America. (Wikipedia)

New orca calf reported in southern resident J pod
A new calf has been born to J pod. John Forde was out on the water near Tofino, B.C., when he spotted a baby orca alongside its mother, possibly J31. “It looked like it’s doing really well, fingers crossed,” Forde said of the baby, which he saw a little after 11 a.m. Thursday. Forde owns whale-watch company The Whale Centre, but he was out on the water on his research permit doing photo identification, not on a tour, when he saw the baby. This is the second calf born to the endangered southern residents since January. With the new calf the southern resident population now numbers 76 whales. Lynda Makes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Newborn baby orca spotted swimming with J pod  Karin Larsen reports. (CBC(

Marine snail gains state endangered species listing
The marine snails that have been the focus of restoration efforts in Skagit County and surrounding areas for years are officially endangered. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife Commission made the decision Friday to officially list the pinto abalone as a state endangered species. Fish & Wildlife Research scientist Hank Carson said during the commission meeting that the listing has support from Skagit, Jefferson, Island and San Juan county officials as well as area conservation organizations. The state-level determination means illegally harvesting the species — prized for its meat and shiny shell — will be a gross misdemeanor for first-time offenders and a felony for repeat offenders. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Skagit County at center of restoration effort for marine snail  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Salmon are swimming past downtown along Seattle's new 'highway' for fish
Next time you’re visiting Seattle’s downtown waterfront and gazing out across Elliott Bay toward the majestic Olympic Mountains, look down. You might see a shoal of silvery baby salmon, each about 3 inches long. You might also see a snorkeler counting fish, because University of Washington researchers are studying habitat improvements built along the city’s $410 million new seawall, which stretches 3,100 feet between the Seattle Aquarium and the Colman Dock ferry terminal. Their observations are preliminary — yet promising. Since the wall was completed in 2017, the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences researchers have repeatedly witnessed juvenile salmon swimming under the wooden piers that extend out over the waterfront, where they almost never ventured before. Daniel Beekman reports. (Seattle Times)

Blight ravages the western hemlock, Washington’s state tree
There’s a killer out there. It’s stalking forests, searching for its preferred prey: western hemlocks. When it strikes, as it has with increasing frequency, the tree’s demise can be swift. The needles typically die off in a certain sequence. Jim and Judy Davis have seen the blight hit the 25 acres of forest they own in the Granite Falls area. Jim, a semi-retired executive coach, and Judy, a sculptor, have witnessed big changes since they moved there about two and a half years ago. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

European green crab in Puget Sound
An invasive crab species is starting to appear across the Salish Sea. Learn how a broad collaboration of volunteers, agencies, and tribes is working together to keep the crabs at bay in Washington State. (Sea Grant Crab Team)

State working to update oil refinery safety rules
For the first time since 1992, the state is revising safety rules that aim to prevent fires, explosions and releases of toxic chemicals at the state’s five oil refineries. Representatives from labor and environmental groups say stronger safety rules will better protect workers and the communities and environment near refineries. Community members filled a room at the Burlington Senior Center on May 2 to learn about the rules update. The meeting was hosted by United Steelworkers Local 12-591, BlueGreen Alliance, a labor/environmental group, and environmental groups Evergreen Islands and RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. A public comment period on the proposed changes is set to begin this summer. Jacqueline Allison reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Burnaby mayor wants more action on pipeline after meeting with Trudeau
The mayor of Burnaby, B.C., says he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss his concerns about the risk of a fire at a tank farm in his city, which would be the terminus of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline. Mike Hurley said he told Trudeau on Saturday that the facility on Burnaby Mountain is within five kilometres of forests and a residential area that would put thousands of lives in danger. Camille Bains reports. (Canadian Press)

Scientists investigate spike in grey whale deaths on West Coast
U.S. government biologists have launched a special investigation into the deaths of at least 70 grey whales washed ashore in recent months along the U.S. and Canadian West Coast, from California to British Columbia to Alaska, many of them emaciated, officials said on Friday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the whale die-off an "unusual mortality event," a designation that triggers greater scrutiny and allocation of more resources to determine the cause. So far this year, 37 dead grey whales have turned up in California waters, three in Oregon, 25 in Washington state and five in Alaska, say officials of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service. Five more were found in British Columbia. (Reuters)

Surrey event will focus on untapped potential of Fraser River
Where the Fraser River runs through Surrey, its shores are mostly given over to industry, from rail and ports, to forest products and metal recycling. It’s an area that the Surrey Board of Trade thinks isn’t being used to its full potential. “On the Surrey side we have been so behind in terms of creating good opportunities, whether it’s from an industrial focus or even a tourism focus,” said Anita Huberman, the board of trade’s chief executive officer. That’s why the organization is hosting a discussion June 4 about how Surrey’s side of the Fraser River — from Port Kells to Delta — can be diversified, what barriers there are to growing the area, which businesses can thrive in the market and what benefits can come from diversification. Jennifer Saltman reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Waterfront faceoff: ‘This doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game’
Port of Everett officials say they can turn an ongoing fight for ownership of the Kimberly-Clark paper mill site into a positive outcome for all — but only if they take control of the property. The private maritime companies on the other side of the tussle say that’s just not realistic. They’d like to bring a big piece of Ballard’s fishing fleet to Everett. They’re not about to pour $100 million or more into redeveloping the mill site, they said, if they don’t own it. The matter could come to a head Tuesday, when Everett port commissioners are expected to consider condemning the coveted slice of industrial waterfront for public use.... The property has sat vacant since 2012, when Kimberly-Clark closed the mill that had been operating there since the early 20th century. About 700 people lost jobs with the shutdown. All but one large building was demolished. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

As controversial Washington methanol plant moves along, opposing group criticizes one lawmaker's role
State Rep. Richard DeBolt says a proposed $2 billion methanol-production facility in his Southwest Washington district could simultaneously cut global greenhouse-gas emissions and create good jobs in a region largely locked out of the Puget Sound’s economic boom. DeBolt, a Republican from Chehalis first elected in 1996, has met in recent years with state officials to promote the Kalama, Cowlitz County, project. The plant would use natural gas to make methanol, which DeBolt and others say would be exported and turned into plastics. But when DeBolt has discussed the project with the state Department of Ecology or the office of Gov. Jay Inslee, it hasn’t been as a representative of his district. For three years, DeBolt has held a job as director of external relations with Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), a Chinese-backed company shepherding the proposal through a maze of local, state and federal permits. He earns at least $120,000 annually in the role, according to state financial-disclosure records. It’s a perfectly legal situation in Washington’s part-time Legislature, where public service and private jobs often co-exist. Some lawmakers are farmers, others are lawyers and nurses. Some own businesses. One state senator is a registered foreign agent for the Cambodian government. Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PDT Mon Jun 3 2019   
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 15 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds. 
 W wind 15 to 20 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 10 seconds.

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