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   
 Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 2 ft at 15 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  3 ft at 14 seconds.

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