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   
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 2 ft at 7 seconds. 
 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.

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