Friday, August 16, 2019

8/16 Gambier Is, BC grey water, warming Lk Washiington, Frasier slide, Puyallup salmon, Haida Gwaii cedars, Trump ESA, cyanide bombs

Gambier Island [Future of Howe Sound]
Gambier Island
Gambier Island is an island located in Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia. Squamish people called the island Cha7élkwnech, in reference to its deep protected bays. The island was named by Captain Richards in 1860 for James Gambier, Admiral of the Fleet who had a distinguished career in the British navy, was a Governor of Newfoundland and served as a negotiator of the Treaty of Ghent ending The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States. There are around 125 long-term residents on Gambier, but the population swells to more than 600 in the summertime due to the island's summer holiday homes. (Wikipedia)

Cruise Ships Dump 90% Of Grey Water In BC
1.54 billion liters of grey water were generated by ships off the British Columbia coast in 2017 - the equivalent of more than 600 Olympic-size swimming pools, said a study. World Wildlife Fund Canada says cruise ships traveling between Washington state and Alaska are responsible for dumping "the vast majority" of the potentially toxic grey water that ends up off the B.C. coast each year. Cruise ships accounted for 1.37 billion (almost 90%) of the 1.54 billion liters of grey water generated off the B.C. coast in 2017, the study revealed. Shailaja A. Lakshmi reports. (Marine Link)

Lake Washington is heating up because of climate change
Average annual temperatures in Lake Washington, which sits between Seattle and the Eastside, continue to rise. Scientists say Lake Washington is already starting to show effects from climate change. Last year the average annual temperature was just over 51 degrees Fahrenheit, up from 47.9 degrees in 1963, according to data collected by University of Washington scientists. Anna Boiko-Weyrauch reports. (KUOW)

No end date in sight for crews working at Big Bar landslide in B.C. 
Officials working at a landslide northwest of Kamloops say they don't know how long efforts to rescue spawning salmon will take on the Fraser River... The slide in late June at Big Bar created a five-metre waterfall and is blocking the majority of hundreds of thousands of chinook salmon from migrating upstream to spawn. Corino Salomi, the environmental unit lead for the federal government, says crews are moving rocks and boulders to create passageways for the fish. He says they are using portable hydraulic rams and airbags, chippers, drills and small, low velocity explosives to further break the rocks and create the passageways. Salomi says the team is also considering building a road around the slide so fish can be transported in trucks. So far, the fish have primarily been transported by helicopters with more than 14,000 fish moved. (Canadian Press)

Salmon at ‘scary’ low levels in area rivers as fishing season opens on the Puyallup
... Tara Livingood, the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s area biologist for Pierce County, is less positive about the salmon forecast. Around 1,800 wild chinook are expected to come back to the Puyallup this year, along with 13,000 hatchery chinook. The forecast for pink salmon, she said, is especially low this year. “We’ve projected around 48,000,” she said, but added that the number could go up to about 100,000. She said it’s concerning to see numbers that low, especially when several years ago, around 380,000 pink salmon were predicted to return to the Puyallup River. Kate IIda reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

The battle for Haida Gwaii’s cedars
On islands renowned for their towering trees, the cedars that define Haida culture are being cut down, triggering renewed opposition to logging on the archipelago — where some of the most important battles for Indigenous rights and forest protection were first fought. Ben Parfitt reports. (The Narwhal)

How rollbacks to the U.S. Endangered Species Act could impact conservation in Canada
... On Monday, the Trump administration made some of the most significant changes to the act in decades, ending automatic protections for threatened species and removing directives that basically put wildlife conservation ahead of economic development. "The timing of this decision is completely off," said James Snider, vice-president of science, research and innovation at WWF Canada. "It's a move in the wrong direction, in stark contrast in terms of what wildlife and, arguably, nature and people need at this time." And, as with many actions taken south of the border, Canadians who work in conservation say the changes will have an impact here. Stephanie Hogan reports. (CBC)

E.P.A. Backtracks on Use of ‘Cyanide Bombs’ to Kill Wild Animals
The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday withdrew its support for the continued use of so-called cyanide bombs to protect livestock from predators, reversing course amid strong opposition to the practice. The E.P.A. administrator, Andrew R. Wheeler, said he was withdrawing an interim reauthorization for the use of M-44 devices, which are used to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals that prey on livestock. The agency, he added, would re-evaluate the highly criticized practice.  Neil Vigdor reports. (NY Times)


Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PDT Fri Aug 16 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 16 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 15 seconds. 
SAT
 S wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 15 seconds. 
SUN
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, August 15, 2019

8/15 Thistle, orca babies, humpbacks, PSP, sockeye disaster, Rayonier cleanup; Salish Sea resilience

Canadian thistle [Greg Jordan]
Canadian thistle Cirsium arvense
The thistle (probably not this species) is the national flower of Scotland, adopted as far back as the 8th century AD. Legend has it that an invading Danish army was creeping, barefoot, towards a Scottish encampment when a soldier stepped on a thistle. He yelled so loud that the Scots awoke and defeated the Danes. The thistle was thereafter considered to be the guardian of Scotland and acquired the motto nemo me impune lacessit ('no one shall provoke me with impunity,' or in Scottish 'wha duar meddle wi me') as the emblem of that dour land. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Both orca babies alive, all 3 southern resident pods seen in Canadian waters
Researchers documented this week that both babies in the southern resident killer whale pods are still alive. That was welcome news for the population of endangered orcas that dropped to just 73 this month, with three adults missing and presumed dead: J17, K25 and L84. The southern resident population has been in steady decline and is the lowest since the end of the live capture era in Washington waters in 1976. On Sunday, researchers with the Center for Whale Research, which tracks the southern resident population, photographed both babies, alive and seemingly well. Orca calves have a 50 percent chance of surviving their first year of life in the best of circumstances. So the persistence of the babies — J31’s new calf, J56, and L124, the calf born to L77 in January — is encouraging. Researchers have confirmed J56 is female. The gender of L124 is not yet known. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

12-year old Washington girl fights to save endangered orcas
Alison Morrow at KING reports: "While covering the Southern Resident orcas, I've met a lot of passionate people. Among all the adults, I regularly run into a 12-year-old girl who refuses to give up. London Fletcher has dedicated her young life to saving the whales. 'We can't lose such an important part of Washington, of our life, we just can't let them go without a fight,' Fletcher said."

'Humpback comeback' delights whale watchers as researchers study surge and warn of risks
Humpback whales were once so numerous in the coastal and inland waters of the Pacific Northwest, there were whaling stations near Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Grays Harbor, Washington. These closed by 1925, after the regional population of humpback whales had been largely wiped out. A century later, humpbacks are resurfacing in big numbers in the Salish Sea, the Columbia River mouth and the Northwest coast. Along with excitement over the humpbacks' return comes concern about ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. The resurgence even has a catchy moniker: the "humpback comeback." When I booked a whale watching tour from Port Angeles earlier this month, Island Adventures lead naturalist Erin Gless said I'd have a 92 percent chance of seeing these large whales. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Meets Its Match
As climate change brings more red tides, a protein from the American bullfrog might provide protection from paralytic shellfish poisoning. Casey Rentz reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Disastrous year for sockeye predicted
Fishermen of all stripes – commercial, First Nations and recreational – should brace themselves for what could be an epic bad year for sockeye. The combination of closures on chinook, a major landslide on the Fraser River that is blocking the passage of returning chinook and sockeye and drastically lower than expected returns of sockeye are building up to what could be year of idle fishing boats. This year’s sockeye return is a sub-dominant year, so it was expected to be lower than last year’s dominant year returns. But in-season forecasts, based on test fisheries, are now suggesting that Fraser River sockeye returns will be so poor this year that a full closure can be expected. That includes First Nations food, social and ceremonial (FSC) fishing. Nelson Bennett reports. (Business In Vancouver)

Heavy equipment crews to dig test pits for soil samples
Crews will begin field surveys this month at the long-dormant Rayonier mill site for the eventual removal of the dock and jetty there and a cleanup of contaminated sediment in Port Angeles Harbor, state officials said. Rebecca Lawson, a toxics cleanup manager for the state Department of Ecology, said crews with heavy equipment will dig test pits to evaluate the subsurface conditions along the shoreline at the mill site east of downtown Port Angeles... Cleanup of the former Rayonier Inc. pulp mill site began in 2000. Rayonier operated a plant at the foot of Ennis Street from 1930 to 1997.  Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Study tests resilience of the Salish Sea to climate change impacts
What will the ecology of the Salish Sea look like in the year 2095? It's an important question for millions of people who live along and near the shores of this intricate, interconnected network of coastal waterways, inlets, bays, and estuaries that encompasses Puget Sound in Washington state and the deep waters of southwest British Columbia. A research team from PNNL found that the inner Salish Sea is resilient, and that future response to climate change—while significant—will be less severe than the open ocean. Mike Wasem writes. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  256 AM PDT Thu Aug 15 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 16 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 16 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

8/14 Tick, extreme climate, Trump's clean power, RCMP spying, Skagit mining, ocean garbage, Kitsap plastic ban

Western black-legged tick [NW News Network]
Tick Ixodes pacificus
Ticks are small blood-feeding parasites that can transmit diseases to people. Some types of ticks perch on the edge of low-lying vegetation and grab onto animals, and people, as they brush past. Other ticks are associated with rodents and their nests and may only come out at night to feed. Once aboard, ticks crawl until they find a good spot to feed, then burrow their mouthparts into the skin for a blood meal. Their bodies slowly enlarge to accommodate the amount of blood ingested. Ticks feed anywhere from several minutes to several days depending on their species, life stage, and type of host. (WA Dept of Health)

2°C: Beyond the limit Extreme climate change has reached the United States: Here are America’s fastest-warming places
.... Over the past two decades, the 2 degrees Celsius number has emerged as a critical threshold for global warming. In the 2015 Paris accord, international leaders agreed that the world should act urgently to keep the Earth’s average temperature increases “well below” 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 to avoid a host of catastrophic changes. The potential consequences are daunting. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that if Earth heats up by an average of 2 degrees Celsius, virtually all the world’s coral reefs will die; retreating ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could unleash massive sea level rise; and summertime Arctic sea ice, a shield against further warming, would begin to disappear. But global warming does not heat the world evenly.  Steven Mufson , Chris Mooney , Juliet Eilperin and John Muyskens report. (Washington Post)

States Sue Trump Administration Over Rollback of Obama-Era Climate Rule
A coalition of 29 states and cities on Tuesday sued to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The lawsuit, led by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, argued the Environmental Protection Agency had no basis for weakening an Obama-era regulation that set the first-ever national limits on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. That rule, the Clean Power Plan, required states to implement plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2022, and encouraged that to happen by closing heavily-polluting plants and replacing those energy sources with natural gas or renewable energy. Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is a major contributor to global warming because it traps the sun’s heat. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

RCMP 'sitting on' watchdog report into alleged spying on anti-oil protesters: B.C. civil liberties group
The RCMP has been sitting for two years on a watchdog report into alleged Mountie surveillance of anti-oil protesters, a civil liberties group charges. In a letter this month to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association laments the "inordinate delay" that has effectively obstructed the report's release. The association lodged a complaint in February 2014 with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. It alleged the national police force improperly collected and shared information about people and groups who peacefully opposed the planned Northern Gateway pipeline project and attended National Energy Board meetings. Jim Bronskill reports. (Canadian Press)

Groups oppose proposed mining
Twenty-nine conservation, recreation, wildlife organizations and businesses voiced their opposition Tuesday to proposed exploratory mining for gold and copper in the headwaters of the Skagit River in British Columbia. Together, they signed a letter sent to the chief inspector of mines for British Columbia’s Ministry of Energy Mines & Petroleum Resources... The letter by the Canadian and Alaska groups comes several months after others expressed opposition. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Ocean-surface garbage bins come to B.C.'s West Coast
It's a whole new kind of garbage bin. One that Brook Castelsky, chief operating officer of the Greater Victoria's Oak Bay Marine Group, says will make a significant step toward cleaning the area's ocean marinas of surface pollution. Last week, the company installed British Columbia's first ocean-floating trash bin at the North Saanich Marina on Vancouver Island. Called a Seabin by its manufacturers, it floats on the water's surface and gently pumps water into a catchment bin, filtering out pollutants like petroleum-based oils, plastics, and Styrofoam before pumping the water back into the ocean. Adam van der Zwan reports. (CBC)

Kitsap County next to ban single-use plastic shopping bags
Kitsap County is joining in on a world-wide effort to curb the consumption of single-use plastics by cutting its ties with plastic shopping bags. Kitsap County commissioners on Monday unanimously passed an ordinance to limit the distribution of thin, film-like plastic bags. The county will join the city of Bremerton in outlawing plastic bags beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Plastic bags have been the target of an environmental movement to reduce the pollution that single-use plastics have caused around the globe. Bans on single-use plastic bags are already in place in several jurisdictions, from countries like Madagascar and France, to the states of Hawaii and California, to cities like Seattle and Bainbridge Island. Jessie Darland reports. (Kitsap Sun)



Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  247 AM PDT Wed Aug 14 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon.  SW swell 3 ft at 15 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 16 seconds.




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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

8/13 Wild carrot, Trump's ESA, blue whale, soft shores, salmon travels, pink threat, Snake dams, whale poop, sewage woes

Wild carrot [WikiMedia]
Wild carrot Daucus carota
The Wild Carrot (a.k.a.Queen Anne's Lace) is thought to have originated on the Iranian Plateau (an area which now includes Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran).  It is abundant in temperate regions across the globe, particularly Western Asia and Europe, and is widely distributed across much of the United States where it is often found along roadsides, abandoned fields, and pastures. ...  The main identifier is the hairy stem of the wild carrot; not to be confused with poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) which, when ingested, can cause rashes, rapid heartbeat, nausea, paralysis of the central nervous system and death.

New Trump rules weaken wildlife protections
The Trump administration took its final step Monday to weaken the Endangered Species Act, a bedrock law that brought the bald eagle, the American alligator, the California condor, the humpback whale and the grizzly bear back from the brink of extinction. New rules published in the Federal Register will allow the administration to reduce the amount of habitat set aside for wildlife and remove tools that officials use to predict future harm to species as a result of climate change. It would also reveal for the first time in the law’s 45-year history the financial costs of protecting them. The long-anticipated changes, jointly announced by the Interior and Commerce departments, were undertaken as part of President Trump’s mandate to scale back government regulations on corporations, including the oil and gas industry, that want to drill on protected land.  Darryl Fears reports. (Washington Post) See also: Trump's New Endangered Species Act Rules Threaten Wildlife, Northwest Conservation Groups Contend  Jes Burns reports. (OPB)

Biggest animal on earth spotted off Washington and Oregon coasts
A whale expert is reporting a rare sighting of blue whales off the Washington state coast. The largest animals on the planet have also been sighted in unusual numbers offshore of Oregon this summer. Biologists John Calambokides and Kiirsten Flynn of the Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia had set out from Westport, Washington, in late July to survey for humpback and gray whales when a very tall spout caught their eye. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

New app shows the softer side of Puget Sound
The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) is using a new app to show Puget Sound shoreline home and property owners how to protect their property without causing undue damage to the shoreline environment. The shores of Puget Sound stretch to approximately 2,600 miles, 700 of which are armored by bulkheads and other structures. These bulkheads are walls built by shoreline home and property owners to stabilize and armor the areas where land and water meet. Bulkheads are commonly made from concrete, rock and strategically placed logs. Ken Park reports. (Kitsap Daily News)

Do Salmon Make Decisions as a Group?
A series of studies suggests migrating salmon work together to find their way home—and get lost when there aren’t enough of them to make a decision. Nancy Averett reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Pink salmon numbers might threaten other North Pacific species
Biological oceanographer Sonia Batten experienced her lightbulb moment on the perils of too many salmon three years ago as she prepared a talk on the most important North Pacific seafood you’ll never see on a plate — zooplankton. Zooplanktons nourish everything from juvenile salmon to seabirds to giant whales. But as Batten examined 15 years of data collected by instruments on container ships near the Aleutian Islands, she noticed a trend: zooplankton was abundant in even-number years and less abundant in odd-number years. Something was stripping a basic building block in the food web every other year. And just one predator fit that profile. Dan Joling reports. (Associated Press)

A new film argues Lower Snake dams make life worse for salmon, orcas and everyone in the PNW
As the documentary Dammed to Extinction tours the Northwest, its filmmakers argue time isn't up for orcas or salmon if we act now. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

Whale poop analyzed to help save endangered orcas
The majority of Southern Resident killer whale pregnancies end in miscarriage. Scientists are studying their scat to figure out why. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach closed to swimming due to E. coli
Vancouver Coastal Health is warning the public to stay out of the water at the popular Kitsilano Beach because of E. coli pollution. Coastal Health, which regularly tests water off the region’s beaches, says a single reading of 400 E. coli in 100 mL of water can lead to an advisory that the water is not suitable for swimming. On Monday, a water sample from Kitsilano Beach registered 1,723 E. coli per 100 mL. E. coli bacteria in the water is caused by fecal contamination. (Vancouver Sun)

Sewage pipeline in Fraser River could burst, says Mission mayor
The District of Mission is lobbying for federal money to fix an aging sewage pipeline the mayor says could cause an environmental disaster if left unchecked. Mayor Pam Alexis said the 36-year-old pressurized pipe, which runs under the Fraser River bed and carries all of the district's sewage to a treatment plant on the south side of the river in Abbotsford, is at capacity and could burst at any moment. She said the line needs to be twinned and the municipality is short about $22 million to pay for the project, which Alexis said will cost approximately $32 million... A report presented to district council  Aug. 6 says a pipe failure would result in 11 million litres of untreated raw residential and industrial wastewater discharging into the river daily until contained. Bridgette Watson reports. (CBC) 



Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PDT Tue Aug 13 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 2 ft at 15 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  3 ft at 14 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, August 12, 2019

8/12 Mosquito, BC pipe, orcas eating, Ballard Locks sockeye, PWS oil spill lessons, Trump's environment, island marble butterfly, humpback rescue

Mosquito [CDC]
Mosquitoes
Not only a nuisance, mosquitoes can pose a serious health threat to people. Disease can be spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Over 40 different mosquito species can be found in Washington, and many are vectors for diseases, such as West Nile virus, western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis. In the past, sporadic outbreaks of western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis had occurred in Washington afflicting hundreds of people. These mosquito-borne disease outbreaks prompted the development of many mosquito control districts in our state. Today, with the emergence of West Nile virus, mosquito control and bite prevention remain key in protecting public health. (WA Dept of Health) See also: West Nile virus risk increased in August, according to Interior Health  British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority has issued a warning that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are at their worst during August. David Carrigg reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Liberals launch next phase of engagement with Indigenous groups over Trans Mountain pipeline
The federal government has launched a new phase of engagement with Indigenous groups on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. In a news release Friday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the process will tap potential Indigenous groups interested in participating economically on the project. He also announced that Linda Coady, former chief sustainability officer for Enbridge, will will chair an advisory committee of experts. "The Trans Mountain Expansion Project presents a real economic opportunity for Canadians and for Indigenous communities," Morneau said in a statement.  (CBC)

Are the orcas starving? Scientists say it’s not that simple
The reported deaths this week of three more southern resident orcas has brought renewed urgency to efforts to save the critically endangered population of whales. Many scientists and policymakers are focusing on the orcas’ access to their main source of food, the Chinook salmon. Members of the orca population are appearing dangerously thin and malnourished. But is the drop in their numbers the result of a lack of Chinook? It is an increasing matter of debate among scientists. Jeff Rice reports. (Puget Sound Institute) See also: Orcas hunting for salmon: Not worth the effort in Puget Sound?  Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Slowly slipping away.’ Fewest Sockeye salmon ever counted at Ballard Locks
Sockeye salmon are returning to Lake Washington in the smallest numbers since record-keeping started. As of early August, 17,000 Sockeye had returned from the ocean, compared to hundreds of thousands at their peak. Visitors to the Ballard locks shouldn’t expect to see many Sockeye swimming through those fish windows. Anna Boiko-Weyrauch reports. (KUOW)

Lessons from Alaska: How an oil spill decimated a once thriving orca population
Thirty years ago, the tanker ship Exxon Valdez spilled thousands of metric tons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, and the local killer whale population was literally swimming in the thick of it.  The AB pod was a group of 35 orcas before the spill and afterwards it lost 14 whales in the space of two years. Three decades later, the population is still struggling to recover, as many of the whales who died were breeding matriarchs. It is a situation opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with its subsequent tanker traffic increase, fear could happen to the already struggling southern resident orcas in British Columbia. (CBC)

Changing Life on a Rocky Shore in Prince William Sound: A 30-Year Time Series
Early morning on Thursday July 4, during a minus tide, Skipper David Janka (Auklet Charters, Cordova, Alaska) stepped ashore at a cove on Knight Island in Prince William Sound and took the 30th annual photograph of a scene known as “Mearns Rock”. NOAA’s retired Emergency Response Division Scientist Emeritus, Dr. Alan Mearns, received the photo that evening and compared it to all previous 29 annual photos of the same scene. The entire 30-year collection of annual photos reveals dramatic year-to-year changes in the abundance of conspicuous rocky shore marine life not only at this site but also at six other locations in western Prince William Sound. (NOAA)

EPA Won’t Approve Labels That Say Roundup Chemical Causes Cancer
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will not approve labels on products containing glyphosate that link the chemical to cancer. The move is directed at California. In 2017, the state declared the chemical, which is the main active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, a carcinogen. Roundup producer Monsanto challenged the ruling in federal court, and a judge has temporarily blocked the state from requiring the labels as the lawsuit continues. Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder reports. (US News) See also: Report: EPA Excels at Trump’s Deregulatory Agenda  The Environmental Protection Agency has gone above and beyond in response to President Donald Trump’s ‘two-for-one’ executive order, according to an inspector general report. Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder reports. (US News)

Landowners asked to help conserve rare butterfly
In the latest step toward protecting the rare island marble butterfly now only found on San Juan Island, wildlife agencies are asking landowners for help. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to list the species as endangered is pending, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is opening a voluntary program for landowners interested in helping to save the green and white butterfly. The state agency has opened enrollment for landowners on San Juan Island and Lopez Island, where the island marble butterfly was previously found, to participate in a Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances program to help save the butterfly, according to a news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Rescuers Free Humpback Whale From Fishing Gear Off Washington Coast
A badly entangled whale is swimming free again after a dramatic rescue off the Washington coast on Thursday evening. The 35-foot long humpback whale calmly allowed responders to cut it free of fishing gear, according to witnesses. When responders arrived on scene near Cape Flattery, they found a young adult whale at the surface more or less “hogtied.” “This whale had line through its mouth and down both sides of its body to its tail flukes and then wrapped around several times and something heavy weighting it underneath,” said Doug Sandilands, an entanglement response specialist with the group SR3. “That’s a challenging configuration.” Sandilands guessed the whale probably swam into crab or shrimp pot lines. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  253 AM PDT Mon Aug 12 2019   
TODAY
 E wind to 10 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. SW swell 2 ft at 17 seconds. A chance of  showers. 
TONIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 2 ft  at 16 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, August 9, 2019

8/9 Pickleweed, Fraser R slide, Ericksen on dams, Balcomb on orcas, Rainier slide, heat-killed coral

Pickleweed [Mary Jo Adams]
Pickleweed  Salicornia virginica
This species can be found in salt marshes and beaches with low wave energy along the Pacific Coast of the United States and British Columbia, on the American East Coast, and also in Western Europe.  It is a common and easily recognized perennial with fleshy stems, leaves reduced to scales, and tiny yellow flowers that bloom in July and August.  This plant belongs to the goosefoot family.  Other common names for it include saltwort, sea asparagus, and American glasswort.  A similar but less common species, Salicornia maritima tends to take on a bright red hue in the fall. (Mary Jo Adams/Sound Water Stewards)

First Nations assembly wants Fraser River salmon fishing stopped due to landslide
The B.C. Assembly of First Nations is calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to prohibit all marine and recreational salmon fishing in the Fraser River due to the Big Bar landslide near Lillooet. The landslide, which was discovered in the remote area in June, created a massive obstruction for migrating salmon returning to their spawning grounds in the Fraser, one of the largest salmon-producing rivers in the world. Millions of fish are expected to reach the site to spawn in the coming weeks, and authorities say 40,000 fish have already arrived. (CBC)

Sen. Ericksen tells Seattle to tear down its dams and to imagine the consequences
Sen. Doug Ericksen has proposed a study of breaching the Ballard Locks, removing Seattle City Light dams from the Skagit River and restoring Seattle’s lakes — Lake Union, Lake Washington and Green Lake — to historic water levels. The proposal is in response to a recent Seattle-based study that valued the noneconomic — or public goodwill — benefits to taking out the four Lower Snake River hydropower dams in Eastern Washington at nearly $11 billion. That dam removal study was done by ECONorthwest for Seattle-based Vulcan Inc., which oversees the business and philanthropic interest of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Annette Cary reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Biologist warns it's 'past the time' to act for Southern resident killer whales
Many called it a "tour of grief" when orca J35 or “Tahlequah” captivated the world by pushing her dead calf for a thousand miles over 17 days around the Salish Sea. A year later, biologist Ken Balcomb said nothing significant has changed to keep the endangered Southern resident killer whales from disappearing forever. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)


Massive boulders, floodwater rush down Mount Rainier after glacial outburst
The Pacific Northwest’s landscape is precarious and ever-shifting. Mount Rainier provides no shortage of proof. A glacial outburst at about 6:50 p.m. Monday at the mountain’s South Tahoma Glacier sent debris and boulders as big as pickup trucks flowing down the mountain, said Mount Rainier National Park geologist Scott Beason. The debris flow registered on seismic monitors and ran for more than 8 miles, Beason said. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Climate change: Marine heatwaves kill coral instantly
Increasingly frequent marine heatwaves can lead to the almost instant death of corals, scientists working on the Great Barrier Reef have found. These episodes of unusually high water temperatures are - like heatwaves on land - associated with climate change. Scientists studying coral after a heat event discovered that extreme temperature rises decayed reefs much more rapidly than previously thought. They published their findings in the journal Current Biology. Duncan Mascarenhas reports. (BBC)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Fri Aug 9 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. N  swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. A slight chance of drizzle in the  morning. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. N swell 3 ft at 15 seconds. 
SAT
 W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. N swell 2 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance  of rain. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. N swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. 
SUN
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. N swell 2 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 (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, August 8, 2019

8/8 'Little Treasure,' orca diet, managing wolves, OR murrelets, Denman Is plastic, Jumbo Glacier Resort, last presidential salmon, sword ferns

'Little Treasure' [Laurie MacBride]
A Little Treasure Close to Home
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "We’ve dropped our hook in bays, coves and inlets all over the coast of BC, but one of the prettiest overnight anchorages we’ve found is just a stones-throw away from home... The little island is privately owned so we can’t go ashore, but that’s fine with us. It’s perfectly lovely to watch from our boat, witnessing the play of light on the shoreline and seeing the textures and colours unfold as the evening comes on. And all within a couple of miles of home!..."

New diet unlikely to save Southern Resident orcas, experts say
Orcas could possibly adapt to rely on other food sources beyond Chinook salmon, but it's unlikely, experts say. "(Chinook salmon) are the largest, fattiest and most caloric, dense fish out there, so of course they’re going to prefer that,” said Dr. Dawn Noren, a biologist with NOAA Fishery. “They’re large animals and they’re going to get a lot of energy from those fish.” But in the Puget Sound, the salmon population has plummeted by nearly a third over the last twenty years. And while these orcas have been known to eat coho and chum salmon, the calves aren’t taught to prefer it. Abby Acone reports. (KOMO)

State begins work on wolf management plan
With a decade of growth in the state’s wolf population, including a pack identified in Skagit County last year, the state is preparing a plan for post-recovery management of the species. The state lists wolves as endangered throughout the state, and the federal government lists them as endangered in the western two-thirds of Washington. While it may be years before wolves are removed from endangered lists, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife is preparing a management plan for when delisting comes, according to a news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Oregon Judge Dings Wildlife Commission For Changing Direction On Murrelet Protections
A Lane County circuit court judge says the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission violated state rules when it voted not to list a rare seabird as endangered. Early last year, fish and wildlife commission members voted to change the status of the marbled murrelet from threatened to endangered under Oregon law. The change would have triggered the creation of conservation measures to protect the state-owned coastal old growth forest the seabird relies on for nesting. But it wouldn’t last. A few months later, after a push from the timber industry and coastal lawmakers, commissioners reversed their decision. Jes Burns reports. (OPB)

B.C. Ferries sends robot to find plastic pollution from cable ferry
B.C. Ferries is using an underwater robot on its Denman Island route this week to determine how much plastic its new cable ferry has littered into the ocean. Local residents say they’ve collected more than two wheelbarrows worth of plastic strips from the MV Baynes Sound Connector that have washed up on beaches. The plastic coating wraps around three underwater cables that guide the ferry from Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island to Denman. Why it is peeling away remains a mystery to ferry engineers. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. court deals blow to Jumbo resort, rules environmental certificate invalid
A controversial ski resort proposed in southeastern British Columbia is facing a new challenge after the province's highest court ruled its environmental assessment certificate is invalid. The B.C. Court of Appeal says the environment minister reasonably concluded that the provincial certificate expired after 10 years because work on the Jumbo Glacier Resort had not "substantially started." (Canadian Press)

The Last Presidential Salmon
For almost a century, the first Atlantic salmon caught each season was delivered to the President of the United States. The first of these fish, an eleven-pound silver, was sent by Karl Andersen, a Norwegian house painter in Bangor, Maine, to President William Howard Taft, in 1912.... In 1992, the final Presidential salmon, weighing nine and a half pounds, was caught by Claude Z. Westfall, a sixty-four-year-old fisherman, in the Penobscot River... [President George H.W.] Bush was the last person to receive a Presidential fish. Eight years later, in 2000, Atlantic salmon were listed as endangered. Caroline Lester reports. (New Yorker)

Citizen Scientists Struggle to Save Sword Ferns
When scientists pursue research that requires massive amounts of field data, especially collected over a large geographic area — think of Audubon’s annual bird count and monarch butterfly migration monitoring — they often call on citizen scientists. But when a volunteer group of park stewards in Seattle discovered that native sword ferns were mysteriously dying, they turned the narrative around, driving the scientific process, developing experiments, and even finding funding for more rigorous tests. The evergreen western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is one of the most abundant species in its native habitat. But that habitat is mostly limited to the Pacific coast from Southeastern Alaska to Southern California. Because the plants have little economic value, their biology has not been closely studied. “These plants are charismatic in a lot of ways,” says Tim Billo, a lecturer at the University of Washington. Sword ferns dominate the understory of Pacific Northwest forests, where they help prevent erosion. They comprise a major part of the winter diet for mountain beavers, a small, burrowing rodent endemic to the lowland forests of the Northwest. “An individual fern lives basically forever, just adding to their rhizome every year. The ones in Seward Park could be as old as the oldest trees there — between 300 and 500 years old. Imagine if all of the oldest trees started dying,” says Billo. That’s what happened to sword ferns in Seward Park in 2013. That fall, Catherine Alexander noticed that many of the sword ferns in the Seattle park didn’t look healthy, and alerted the volunteer group Friends of Seward Park. The next spring, many of the ferns failed to grow. Today, the dead-fern zone covers 20 acres. Gemma Alexander reports. (Earth911)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Thu Aug 8 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. N  swell 3 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance of drizzle in the  morning. A slight chance of light rain in the morning. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. N swell 3 ft  at 15 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

8/7 Pigeon, 3 orcas dead, Fraser R slide

Pigeon [Wikipedia]
Domestic pigeon Columba livia
The domestic pigeon (also called the rock dove or city pigeon) was originally found in Europe, Northern Africa, and India. Early settlers introduced it into the eastern United States as a domestic bird in the 1600s. Since then, it has expanded throughout the United States to Alaska, across southern Canada, and south into South America... Two native birds, the band-tailed pigeon (Columba fasciata) and the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) are sometimes confused with domestic pigeons. Band-tailed pigeons are similar in size but have a purplish head and breast, a dark-tipped yellow bill, yellow feet, and a small white crescent on top of the neck. Mourning doves are smaller than domestic pigeons, have a long, pointed tail, large dark eyes, a dark bill, and a mournful who-ooh, who-who-who call. (Seattle Audubon)

Three more orca deaths takes census count down to 73 Southern Residents
Four orca deaths and two births over the past year brings the official population of southern resident killer whales to 73 — the lowest number since the annual census was launched in 1976. This evening, the keeper of the census — Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research — sadly announced the deaths of three orcas who have not been seen for several months. (Declared dead are J-17, Princess Angeline; K-25, Scoter; and L-84, Nyssa. J-50, Scarlet, died earlier.) Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways) See also: 3 southern resident killer whales presumed dead after being missing over summer  (CBC) and Orca population drops as 3 more killer whales presumed dead John Ryan and Isolde Raftery report. (KUOW)

Time of essence as Fraser River slide blocks spawning salmon
Time is critical to find a solution to a massive obstruction in British Columbia’s Fraser River as 90,000 salmon wait downstream and an estimated two million more sockeye are about to arrive, federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Tuesday. The minister said dozens of people are working against the clock looking for ways to clear a path that allows salmon to get through the area where a massive rockslide came down in the river northwest of Kamloops. The slide was discovered in June and has created a five-metre waterfall nearly impassable for the salmon. (Canadian Press)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  310 AM PDT Wed Aug 7 2019   
TODAY
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 2 ft at 17 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 3  ft at 16 seconds. A slight chance of drizzle after midnight.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

8/6 Hermit crab, salmon & orcas, BC pipe protest, Kitsap streams, Cooke Aqua, global water crisis

Black-eyed hermit crab [Dan Hershmann]
Black-eyed hermit crab Pagurus armatus
The black-eyed hermit inhabits sandy, mud, shell and gravel-bottomed habitats from the intertidal to about 150 m deep. It is found along sheltered shorelines from Unalaska, Alaska to San Diego, California. It is one of the more common hermit crabs in the Pacific Northwest. (Biodiversity of the Central Coast)

Where are the salmon and the orcas? Tribe, scientists grapple with unprecedented disappearance in Washington waters
The tote was loaded and full of water, the cedar boughs cut and stacked on deck. But as Lummi tribal members headed out on their traditional waters to offer a ceremonial feeding of live chinook salmon to the endangered southern-resident killer whales, neither whale nor fish was anywhere to be found. In this historic summer of unthinkables, day after day is passing without the orcas and fish that normally enliven the waters of the inland Salish Sea. Tuesday marks a month since the southern residents were last seen in their usual home waters in and around the San Juan Islands. Usually present nearly every day at this time of year, the orcas have shown up only a handful of times this year, and then, only for brief visits before quickly leaving again for waters of the outer coast. Lynda Makes reports. (Seattle Times)

Peaceful pipeline protesters return to Burnaby Mountain on B.C. Day
Activists spent B.C. Day up on Burnaby Mountain protesting the Kinder Morgan Expansion. Construction on the $7.5-billion project has been given the go-ahead from the National Energy Board and is expected to resume soon. It was halted last year after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled the federal government had not properly consulted with First Nations. However there are still Indigenous leaders, community groups and environmentalists like Elan Gibson with Burnaby Residents Against Kinder Morgan Expansion who aren't giving up on stopping the project. (CBC)

Help coming to make Central Kitsap streams friendlier to fish
The Kitsap Conservation District and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will work to remove barriers to fish migration and re-establish natural creek channels and floodplains with two projects in Central Kitsap. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife awarded Kitsap County $2.5 million for two projects: removing a Seabeck Creek culvert under Seabeck Holly Road Northwest and taking out structures preventing passage at Dickerson Creek. Kitsap Conservation District’s Dickerson Creek project requires renovation of nearly 750 feet of creek channels and 2.5 acres of floodplain on four privately owned properties. Isabela Breda reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Still recovering from escaped Atlantic salmon, Cooke Aquaculture now wants to farm steelhead
After nearly a quarter million escaped fish resulted in a ban on Atlantic salmon farming in Washington, Cooke Aquaculture is attempting to transition to native steelhead. Environmental advocates are concerned. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises
Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday. Many are arid countries to begin with; some are squandering what water they have. Several are relying too heavily on groundwater, which instead they should be replenishing and saving for times of drought. Somini Sengupta and Weiyi Cai report. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  620 AM PDT Tue Aug 6 2019   
TODAY
 NW wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. NW swell 3 ft  at 8 seconds. Patchy drizzle and fog in the morning. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. NW swell 3  ft at 8 seconds.




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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, August 5, 2019

8/5 Newt, Mt Polley mine, overfished list, Port Renfrew, Alcoa air, big melt, sewage woes

Rough-skin newt [UICN red list]
Rough-skin newt Taricha granulosa
The rough-skin newt is found along the Pacific coast of North America, with a range extending from Santa Cruz County, California, south of San Francisco Bay, into southeastern Alaska north to Juneau. Within this range, it is found at elevations from sea-level to 2743 m, or 9000 ft, and is found on many islands off the coast, including Vancouver Island... Little is known about the longevity of T. granulosa, but marked specimens have been recaptured after 17-18 years... Because of the extreme toxicity of rough-skinned newts, they have only one known predator, common garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis), which seem to be immune to tetrodotoxin. (Animal Diversity Web)

Mount Polley mine disaster five years later; emotions, accountability unresolved
People are swimming and fishing in Quesnel Lake five years after the largest environmental mining disaster in Canadian history, but residents of Likely, B.C., are still struggling with unresolved emotions about what happened and who will be held accountable for the dam collapse at the Mount Polley mine. A five-year deadline for federal Fisheries Act charges expired Sunday, while the possibility of other charges under the same act remains with no timeline for a decision. British Columbia missed the three-year deadline to proceed with charges under both the province's Environmental Management Act and Mines Act. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press)

NOAA adds to overfished list
Changes in the environment, including warming waters, are prompting the U.S. government to add eight populations of fish — including three populations of coho salmon in Washington state — to its federal overfished list, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries issued Friday said two populations of chinook salmon, including those in the Columbia River basin, and three populations of coho salmon — in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off the Washington coast near Queets and near Snohomish in Puget Sound — will be added to the list. The agency is also adding Atlantic big eye tuna, Atlantic mackerel of the Gulf of Maine and Cape Hatteras and blue king crab of Saint Matthew Island, Alaska, to the list.  (Associated Press)

Port Renfrew looks to reinvent itself in the wake of tough fishing restrictions
.... In April, after most spring and summer fishing charter and local accommodation bookings had been made, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced sweeping restrictions to commercial and recreational chinook salmon fisheries around B.C.’s south coast due to plummeting stocks...  The changes mean that chinook caught this summer must be released and the total annual limit has been reduced from 30 to 10 chinook per person. The commercial chinook fishery is also closed until Aug. 20. It typically opens in June. The restrictions are part of a federal government effort to reverse drastic declines in Fraser River chinook populations and make more fish available for endangered southern resident killer whales, whose preferred diet is chinook. But they have left Port Renfrew, a village of 150, struggling to reinvent itself after earning a reputation as the fishing capital of southern Vancouver Island, with “some of the best salmon and halibut fishing in North America,” according to the town’s website. Judith Lavoie reports. (The Narwhal)

Alcoa, Ecology agree on plan to comply with new air quality standards
Alcoa’s aluminum smelter near Ferndale is on track to install equipment that will meet tougher air quality standards by reducing sulfur dioxide releases by the end of 2022. Following a public comment period Intalco Works and the Washington State Department of Ecology signed off on a plan to install a wet scrubber to reduce emissions of the gas, which is known for a sharp smell and causing breathing and other health issues. According to the agreed order signed July 25, design work is scheduled to begin next year with construction starting in January 2022. It’s scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Greenland lost 11 billion tons of ice in one day. How does that melt compare to the past?
Greenland has been in the news a bit lately. From Huskies seemingly walking on water, to temperatures soaring to 20℃ above average for the time of year, to predictions of the vast ice sheet being lost entirely, what is going on? At its most simple: ice melts when it gets too warm. Of course, some ice melts every time summer rolls around, but the amount of Arctic ice that melts each summer is growing, and we’re waiting to see whether this turns out to be a record-breaking year for Greenland ice melt. No part of the planet is free from the impacts of human-caused climate change. But Greenland, and the Arctic more generally, is experiencing the impacts particularly severely. Temperatures in the planet’s extreme north are rising twice as fast as the global average. Nerilie Abram reports. (PBS) See also: Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing  Neil MacFarquhar reports. (NY Times)

Cumberland to appeal $85,000 fine for sewage troubles
 The Village of Cumberland is planning to appeal an $85,000 fine from the province for problems with its sewage-treatment system — the first fine of its kind for a municipality under the Environmental Management Act. The initial fine was for $185,000, but was pared down after the village noted that it had spent millions of dollars from grant programs to try to deal with the problems.  Sewage from the village is mechanically broken down and then further processed in a pair of sewage ponds before entering Maple Lake Creek. From there, the wastewater flows to the Trent River and then to Baynes Sound. Problems cited by the Ministry of Environment include exceeding maximum flows and not meeting water-quality standards. Too much phosphorous in the outflow is one of the concerns. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  259 AM PDT Mon Aug 5 2019   
TODAY
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 6 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 12 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, August 2, 2019

8/2 Bow WA, salal, hot July, rabbit disease, VanBC beaches, Ross Pt bulkhead, whale sanctuary, wolf kill, public lands

Samish River near Bow [i8Seattle/Flickr]
Bow WA
Originally known as Brownsville after William J. Brown, who homesteaded the townsite in 1869. Advent of the railroad resulted in a population boom and the end for a post office. In deference to the growth brought about by the railroad, Brown suggested the new name of Bow, after the large railway station in London, England-- which, in turn, was named for the bow or poplar tree. (Washington State Place Names)

Salal’s Worrisome Die-Off
British Columbia’s rugged and rain-drenched coast supports forests of western hemlock and red cedar, but it’s salal, a hardy evergreen shrub, that might be one of the region’s most important species. In the temperate coastal rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, the plant grows in thickets up to five meters high, forming dense walls that protect the coastal forest’s understory from the ocean’s punishing wind and salt spray. Deer, bears, and even wolves feast on salal’s sweet berries, as do Indigenous peoples, who, for thousands of years, have made the plant a central component of cooking and medicine. But in recent months, reports of dead and dying salal in British Columbia have accumulated. More troubling is that no one knows for sure what’s killing the plant. Some scientists theorize that a disease or fungus could be the culprit, while others point to this past winter’s unusually dry weather. Jess Mackie reports. (Hakai Magazine)

July was Earth’s hottest month on record, beating or tying July 2016
July was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, “on a par with, and possibly marginally higher” than the previous warmest month, which was July 2016, according to provisional data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This European climate agency will have a full report for all of July on Monday, but a spokesperson said enough data (through July 29) has already come in to make this declaration. Andrew Freedman reports. (Washington Post)

Here’s what the state is telling county fairs about this deadly rabbit disease
A deadly rabbit disease that was confirmed on Orcas Island in July has raised some concerns about rabbit exhibits at county fairs. Known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2, the highly contagious illness causes sudden death in rabbits. It can spread through contact with infected rabbits, their fur or meat, or things that come into contact with them, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. It isn’t dangerous to people or other livestock, but people and other animals can spread the disease. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

All but 1 Vancouver beach reopened to swimmers
One of Vancouver's biggest and most popular parks has just been reopened to swimmers, leaving only one remaining swim closure in Vancouver. "We're happy to say that now Trout Lake is safe for swimming and wading. The only Vancouver-area ocean beach still closed is Kitsilano Beach," said Vancouver Coastal Health's Tiffany Akins... Beginning in June, some beaches began to show higher levels of E. coli, leading to the closure of Sunset Beach. The West End beach had an elevated count of E. coli bacteria during one of Metro Vancouver's weekly water checks...E. coli, or Escherichia coli bacteria, normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, but certain strains can cause illness in people. Its presence in water is often associated with fecal contamination, which could come from humans, animals, waste dumped from boats and leaks in the sewage system. It can also be caused by heavy rain. (CBC)

Old bulkhead to be removed on Ross Point, a major surf smelt beach
Ross Point, the most popular fishing spot for surf smelt in Kitsap County, will become a little more friendly to the little fish following the removal of a concrete bulkhead along the shore of Sinclair Inlet. The bulkhead removal, scheduled to begin Aug. 12, will create more spawning area for surf smelt, an important food source for salmon and other fish. Smelt also are favored eating by some people, who typically catch them with dip nets.... Getting rid of this bulkhead can’t be considered a major restoration project, yet it is one more step in improving the critical shoreline habitat for marine species, according to Brittany Gordon, habitat biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Whale sanctuary project reveals two possible locations
n an effort to garner community input regarding a proposed whale sanctuary, three meetings were held in the San Juans about the project. “There are sanctuaries for other large mammals like elephants,” sanctuary board President Lori Marino said, adding that she sees no reason why the same couldn’t be done for marine mammals like orcas, dolphins and belugas.... According to project organizers, requirements for a whale sanctuary include access to 60-100 acres of water with a minimum depth of 50 feet in at least half of the sanctuary; protection from extreme weather; one free of sewage, pollutants and noise; a good flushing rate; minimal human activity or boat traffic; and a separate area for medical and other special care needs. One location the group has considered at is Deep Water Bay on Cypress Island. An area on Sucia Island is being considered as well, but has been less researched, Executive Director Charles Vinick said. There are other possible locations in Washington state, as well as British Columbia, Canada. An east coast location is also being considered for captive beluga whales. Heather Spalding reports. (San Juan Journal)

Lawsuit Seeks To Block Washington State From Killing Old Profanity Territory Pack Wolves
A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to prevent the state of Washington from killing more wolves from a pack that is preying on cattle. The Maryland-based Center for a Humane Economy filed the suit in King County Superior Court, contending too many wolves have been killed as a way to protect livestock at a single ranch in the Kettle River Range in Ferry County. The center and other conservation groups say it may be time to consider moving the cattle off Colville National Forest grazing lands that are also prime wolf habitat. Nicholas K. Geranios reports. (AP)

How Imperiled Are America's Public Lands?
The Bureau of Land Management oversees more than 10 percent of all the land in the United States—more than any other federal agency. So when Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed an order this week making a vocal opponent of public lands the acting head of the BLM, it raised a few eyebrows. William Perry Pendley, a Wyoming native, is a conservative lawyer and writer who worked in the Department of the Interior (DOI) during the Reagan administration and has since authored books about "government tyranny" in the West and the "oppression" of environmental regulation. In the debate over how federal lands in the West should be managed, Pendley doesn't mince his words: "The Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold," he wrote in 2016. Maxine Speier reports. (Pacific Standard)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  304 AM PDT Fri Aug 2 2019   
TODAY
 S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. A chance of showers  in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. A slight chance  of showers in the evening. 
SAT
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 6 seconds. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 3 seconds. 
SUN
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 7 seconds.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, August 1, 2019

8/1 Tubeworm, Fraser slide, fish barriers, Snake R dams, Bainbridge creosote, Laurie Jinkins, goat escape, BC coast cleanup

Red tubeworm
Red Tubeworm Serpula vermicularis
Attached to rocks, pilings, floats, and shells in protected harbors and tide pools, and on open shores, from low-tide line to water more than 30' deep. This species was named in 1767 by Carolus Linnaeus. Though he described it from specimens obtained in the North Atlantic, it does not occur on the eastern shores of the United States. (Audubon Nature Guides: Pacific Coast)

No timeline for opening of natural passage for salmon bottleneck on Fraser River 
Officials say they're working as quickly as possible but can't determine if they're on track to create a natural passage at the site of a Fraser River landslide that would allow salmon to reach their spawning grounds. The slide discovered last month created a five-metre waterfall in a narrow and remote portion of the river near Big Bar north of Lillooet, B.C. Al Magnan, environmental lead for the team working to help the fish pass, says conditions change every day so crews aren't working on a timeline. Millions of fish are expected to reach the site in the coming weeks and Magnan says 40,000 of primarily chinook and sockeye have already been recorded two kilometres downstream from the barrier. He says crews have transported 1,400 salmon by helicopter but few have been recorded passing the site on their own. If more fish don't begin making it past the slide site, officials say a fish ladder to help salmon move up the waterfall is ready for installation on the weekend or early next week. (Canadian Press)

Peninsula receives more than $1 million for fish barrier removal
Clallam and Jefferson counties have received $1.01 million in state funding for fish barrier removal projects, part of a $25 million investment that will provide more than 82 miles of new salmon habitat. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife announced last week new funding for 50 projects in 20 counties, including six projects on the North Olympic Peninsula, to remove fish passage barriers that block migrating fish from swimming upstream to spawning areas... The most common barriers to fish passage are culverts, or large pipes or other structures that carry streams under roads. Culverts can be too high for fish to reach, too small to handle high water flows or too steep for fish to navigate, Fish & Wildlife officials said. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Study: In breaching Snake River dams, benefits outweigh costs
A new study is further dividing Washington state after concluding the benefits of breaching four dams on the lower Snake River outweigh the costs, both physically and to communities. The future of the four dams in Central and Eastern Washington has been a hot topic for years and has only escalated as endangered southern resident orcas continue to struggle. People informed on the issue typically fall into two camps: Those who want to breach the dams to save threatened fish and orcas and those who insist the dams and its functions stay. The Vulcan, Inc.-funded study tasked ECONorthwest with looking at the issue through an economic lens. Project director Adam Domanski said he hopes the report will add value to the conversation around the dams' future, acknowledging that opinions are largely preformed.... After looking at all of the dams' uses, ECONorthwest concluded that not only do the benefits of breaching exceed the costs, but that, "society would likely be better off without the dams."... In a joint statement, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-4th District) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th District) said, "This privately-funded study is a slap in the face of our state's agricultural economy. It is another example of Seattle-based interests failing to understand our way of life in Central and Eastern Washington." Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd District) responded to a request from Q13 News, saying the study is pushing an anti-dam agenda. Domanski noted that the agricultural community does stand to lose but said the economic argument is not behind them. Simone Del Rosario reports. (KCPQ)

Cleanup on decades-old toxic Bainbridge Island site continues
There are hundreds of highly contaminated sites around the Northwest and one of the worst is on Bainbridge Island. The EPA has designated the area next to Pritchard Park, right on the shore of Puget Sound, as a "superfund site," which means it's so hazardous that it poses a risk to human health or the environment. “There is about 650,000 gallons of oily creosote waste in the soil and the groundwater behind the fence,” explained Helen Bottcher, who is managing the cleanup at the site. For 90 years, the Wycoff Company facility, located on Bainbridge Island, was one of the largest wood treating operations in the world. Creosote was used to preserve the wood from decay. Now, decades later, creosote is now a known dangerous pollutant. Allison Morrow reports. (KING)

Rep. Laurie Jinkins selected as first woman speaker in Washington history
Washington House Democrats have selected Rep. Laurie Jinkins to serve as the state's first woman speaker of the House.  The historic vote today in SeaTac ushers in a new era in Washington politics following a 20-year reign by Frank Chopp of Seattle, who was the state's longest serving speaker of the House. Chopp stepped down as speaker at the end of the 2019 legislative session. Jinkins, who also is openly gay, won the election in a four-way, all-women race that also featured Democratic state Reps. Gael Tarleton of Seattle, Monica Stonier of Vancouver, and June Robinson of Everett.  Austin Jenkins reports. (NW News Network)

If you like to watch: Hundreds of goats escape, tear through Issaquah neighborhood
About 200 bah-bah bandits took off on hoof and ran through the Issaquah Highlands Tuesday evening before they were corralled by a herder and a border collie named Nessie. The goats had spent about three weeks in the Issaquah Highlands eating vegetation on slopes that are difficult for machines to get to, said Craig Madsen, owner of Healing Hooves Natural Vegetation Management. Madsen thinks one goat hit another goat and knocked over a fence around 6 p.m. That set off the escape. And when one goat goes, he added, they all go. Paige Cornwall reports. (Seattle Times)

Vancouver Island man begins quest to clean B.C.'s coastline
Six weeks ago, Neil Sherwood began what he says is his "life's calling."  The 47-year-old Vancouver Island man quit his job as a fishing guide, and is now on a mission to rid the rugged B.C. coastline of garbage for as long as he can.  So far, he's doing it alone. Sherwood said that while tenting on the coastline for periods lasting between one to two weeks, he's managed to clear 16 kilometres of trash on the northwest side of Vancouver Island. This week, he finished clearing the small Catala Island, around 100 kilometres north of Tofino, and plans to head further north a few kilometres to Tatchu Point. Adam van der Zwan reports. (CBC)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  228 AM PDT Thu Aug 1 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 2 ft at 7 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 7 seconds  becoming NW 4 ft at 7 seconds after midnight. A chance of rain in  the evening then rain likely after midnight.



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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told