Friday, September 20, 2019

9/20 Deer, global climate strike, SRKW in PS, vanishing birds, marbled murrelet plan, Amazon carbon, BC fish farms, Skagit shellfish, Navy exemption, acid and coke, Roundup

Black-tail deer [NPS]
Columbian black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
Black-tail deer are the most common deer subspecies. They occur from the crest of the Cascades west to the ocean, preferring brushy, logged lands and coniferous forests. Many of the physical characteristics of black-tailed deer are similar to those of the larger mule deer. The tail is broader and the backside of the tail is covered with dark brown hair that grades to black near the tip. When alarmed or fleeing from danger, the tail may be raised, displaying the broad, white underside. Adult black-tailed deer bucks weigh 140 to 200 pounds and adult does weigh 90 to 130 pounds. (WDFW) See: Hunting seasons and regulations  Find out how and when to hunt legally in Washington State. (WDFW)

'We're Young, But We're Not Dumb': Millions March In Global Climate Strike
Tens of thousands of demonstrators, including many young activists, turned out for rallies across Australia Friday, kicking off what is expected to be a worldwide series of protests to demand action on climate change.More than 800 marches were planned on Friday in the United States, expected to draw on thousands of young people skipping school. Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the figurehead of the climate school strike movement, is expected to attend a rally in New York’s Thomas Paine Park. Scott Neuman reports. (NPR) See also: Young people across the Puget Sound region plan climate strikes to spur political action  Ashley Gross reports. (KNKX)

Southern resident orcas, including newest baby, visit Puget Sound 
J and K pod orcas visited local waters Thursday, including the newest baby born to the endangered southern residents. The littlest J pod whale wagged her tiny pectoral fins as her mother playfully pushed her through the waves near the south end of Whidbey Island. The whales spyhopped and leapt, looking playful and sleek, as the last rays of summer sun shone on their dorsal fins. Their puff and blow was primal, powerful, a sound like something from the beginning of time. It was a rare visit this year as the orcas have been spending most of their time on the outer coast of Washington, where the federal government has proposed expanding the whales’ critical habitat. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Southern resident orcas spotted in Puget Sound  Jessie Darland reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Birds Are Vanishing From North America
The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations. In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.” Carl Zimmer reports. (NY Times)

State's long-awaited conservation strategy for mysterious marbled murrelet moves forward
For more than 20 years, mysteries surrounding an endangered seabird have suspended logging activities on about 170,000 acres of state trust lands in Washington. Now, the state Department of Natural Resources says it’s learned enough about the marbled murrelet to protect its habitat and free up some of the lands that were previously tied up. The agency releases its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for a long-term conservation plan on Friday. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Bezos commits Amazon to rapidly cut fossil fuels, be carbon neutral by 2040 
Jeff Bezos committed his company to cut all its net greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040 — a goal that would appear to put Amazon in the vanguard of corporations reducing carbon pollution ahead of the schedule scientists say is necessary to stave off the worst impacts of global climate change. The company also announced it was ordering 100,000 electric-delivery vehicles, calling it the largest such order of its kind, and establishing a $100 million fund for reforestation projects in an effort to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The reductions described by Bezos will be an enormous challenge for a company whose main businesses are energy intensive – Amazon has fleets of trucks and jets, as well as a global network of data centers — and steadily growing. Amazon said its 2018 greenhouse gas emissions totaled 44.4 million metric tons in 2018, the first time it has disclosed its carbon footprint. Benjamin Romano reports. (Seattle Times)

Salmon farm decommission in B.C.'s Broughton on track, says premier
Premier John Horgan says industry, government and Indigenous nations on northern Vancouver Island are collaborating on a four-year program to transition away from marine-based salmon farms. Horgan says the health of British Columbia's wild salmon stocks depends on the joint work being done in the Broughton Archipelago to improve environmental conditions and move away from open-net farms. Three area First Nations, two aquaculture companies and the government reached an agreement earlier this year to establish Indigenous oversight of salmon farms in their traditional territories as they transition away from the open-net away pens. (Canadian Press)

Biotoxin, concern over bacteria impact harvesting of shellfish
While some commercial shellfish harvest restrictions remain in place in Samish Bay due to summer algae blooms, a surge in the flow of the Samish River on Sunday prompted a full closure for about 24 hours. The state Department of Health closes shellfish harvesting in the bay when the river’s flow increases a certain amount following rain. That’s because of a correlation between heavy rain and high concentrations of potentially harmful bacteria associated with human and animal feces. While the Samish River’s flow increased steadily last weekend, water samples did not show an increase in fecal coliform bacteria that would warranting a continued closure. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Navy range exempted from proposed orca protection measures
U.S. protections for the waters that a group of endangered orcas call home could soon expand beyond the Seattle area to encompass much of the West Coast, from the Canadian border to central California.... National security concerns exempt a large area in and around the U.S. Navy’s Quinault Underwater Tracking Range, which conducts underwater testing in western Washington. The potential protection zone also overlaps with tribal fishing rights in Washington state, but that area is not exempted, said [Lynne] Barre of NOAA Fisheries. Sally Ho reports. (Associated Press) [Usually shortened by NAVSEA to just the “Quinault Site,” the rectangle-shaped range lies off the Washington coast near Destruction Island and has been used for Navy testing since 1981. The shallow waters (less than 400 feet) helped researchers test and perfect the reverberation-tolerant SFSK (Space pulsed Frequency Shift Keying) tracking. It lies within the borders of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, but researchers avoid using explosives there. (Navy Times)]

Acid and Coke: A Dangerous Combo for Marine Life
Like the rivers of eastern England and the Mediterranean Sea near Greece, Brazil’s coast is contaminated with cocaine. Proven toxic to shellfish and other sensitive marine animals, the drug imperils species living close to shore where it’s highly concentrated. New research, led by Lorena da Silva Souza, a doctoral candidate in marine and coastal management at Spain’s University of Cadiz, shows for the first time that ocean acidification, another burgeoning coastal danger, threatens to amplify the effects of cocaine. Jess Mackie reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Banish Roundup From the Farm? It’ll Take More Than Lawsuits
From his farm in northwestern Wisconsin, Andy Bensend watched as first one jury, then another and another, delivered staggering multimillion-dollar verdicts to people who argued that their use of a weedkiller sold at nearly every hardware and home-improvement store had caused their cancer. Mr. Bensend has been using that product, Roundup, on his 5,000 acres for 40 years, but he said that those blockbuster awards would not alter his farm practices one whit. Neither would the 20,000 lawsuits still pending. “Roundup is still a fabulous tool,” said Mr. Bensend, who grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa. He relies on Roundup’s key ingredient — glyphosate — to easily kill weeds, helping increase his yields and reduce his costs. Patricia Cohen reports. (NY Times)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  301 AM PDT Fri Sep 20 2019   
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming N in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. NW swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds. 
SAT
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming N in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of rain. 
SAT NIGHT
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming E 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds. 
SUN
 E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 2 ft building to 2 to 4 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 7 ft at 11 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, September 19, 2019

9/19 Japanese eelgrass, orca protection, Thunberg tour, climate health, Trump's emissions, Canada election, ocean fish farms, Anacortes cleanup, mountain goats

Japanese eelgrass [Hyun-tae Kim]
Japanese eelgrass Zostera japonica
This species is occasionally seen in Southern British Columbia and Washington.  Also known as dwarf eelgrass and narrow-bladed eelgrass, Japanese eelgrass belongs to the family Zosteraceae.  It is nonnative to the West Coast of North America.  With a blade length not exceeding 8 inches (20 cm.) and blade width of only 1/8th inch (2-3 mm.), this species is smaller than the native Z. marina.  In addition, it grows in the mid intertidal zone while Z. marina is found in low intertidal and subtidal zones.  Like Zostera marina, it is found on beaches with a soft substrate, i.e. sand or mud.  Zostera japonica has also been known under the scientific names Z. nolti, Z. nana, and Z. americana. (Mary Jo Adams/Sound Water Stewards) See also: Washington Department of Ecology: Update to general permit that helps remove noxious weeds  Removing Zostera japonica from Willapa Bay Commercial Clam Beds (WA Ecology)

Feds seek expanded habitat protection as salmon, orcas battle climate change, habitat degradation
Most of the outer coast of Washington, Oregon and California would become protected habitat for southern resident orcas under a federal proposal released Wednesday. The new designation, if approved would greatly expand the area considered “critical” for the survival of the endangered orcas that frequent Puget Sound. Since 2006, the inland waters of the Salish Sea have been considered critical habitat for the southern residents. The designation requires review of federal actions within the areas that could affect southern resident killer whales, providing additional oversight by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Greta Thunberg, on Tour in America, Offers an Unvarnished View
These are some of the things that Greta Thunberg has learned on her American tour. New York City smells. People talk really loudly here, they blast air conditioning and they argue over whether or not they believe in climate change, while in her country, Sweden, they accept it as fact. Also, American lawmakers would do well to read the latest science on the threats posed by climate change. That’s what Ms. Thunberg, 16, told members of Congress on Wednesday, when she was asked to submit her testimony into the record. She submitted a report issued last October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spelling out the threats of global temperature rise. “I don’t want you to listen to me,” she said. “I want you to listen to the scientists.” Somini Sengupta reports. (NY Times)

How climate change threatens our health in the Pacific Northwest
Around this time last year, news outlets blared alarming headlines: Breathing the air outside was as bad as smoking several cigarettes. Wildfire haze blotted out the sun and turned the moon orange. Weather apps simply listed the forecast as “smoke.” Just because this summer has been clear, though, doesn’t mean that the environment is doing just fine. While smoke from wildfires might be climate change’s most obvious impact in Washington, other threats still loom. Ryan Blethen reports. (Seattle Times)

Washington lawmakers, environmental groups criticize Trump's car emissions rule 
Washington is one of 13 states that follow California's fuel economy standards. Clean air and environmental advocates say cars and trucks are a huge source of pollution in our state and we need to reduce that. They’re criticizing the Trump Administration's decision to block states and their ability to regulate more stringent vehicle emissions standards. Governor Jay Inslee responded in a statement saying Washington deserves better: “If the Administration refuses to accept the scientific reality of climate change, they need to get out of the way and let states like Washington lead on this issue. Washingtonians deserve better than Trump’s dangerous anti-environmental policy,” Inslee said. Suzanne Phan reports. (KOMO)

Most Canadians want a change in government: Poll 
If change becomes a driving force in this election, Justin Trudeau could be in trouble. Asked whether it is time for a change, almost twice as many Canadians say it is time to change the government compared to those who feel we should stay the course, according to a DART & Maru/Blue Voice Canada poll. The poll — conducted exclusively for the Toronto Sun — found a full 51% of Canadians said they believe it is time for a change in who leads the federal government, while just 27% say it is not time for a change. Those saying they did not know or were not sure came in at 22%. Brian Lilley reports. (Toronto Sun) See also: Justin Trudeau: Canada PM in 'brownface' 2001 yearbook photo  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologised for wearing "brownface" make-up at a gala at a private school where he taught nearly two decades ago. (BBC)

The Battle Over Fish Farming In The Open Ocean Heats Up, As EPA Permit Looms
Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish each year, and that number is growing. But how to meet our demand for fish is a controversial question, one that is entering a new chapter as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to approve the nation’s only aquaculture pen in federal waters. Fish farming has been positioned by its boosters as a sustainable alternative to wild-caught seafood and an economic driver that would put our oceans to work. So far, restrictions on where aquaculture operations can be located have kept the U.S. industry relatively small. In 2016, domestic aquaculture in state-controlled waters accounted for about $1.6 billion worth of seafood, or about 20 percent of the country’s seafood production...Now the tide could be turning. On Aug. 30, EPA issued a draft permit for a pilot aquaculture project in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The project, despite its small scale, would be a watershed moment in the debate surrounding ocean aquaculture, which has divided environmental groups and pitted fishermen who catch wild fish against those who farm. It is also the latest chapter in a long battle about which agency should regulate ocean aquaculture. Leah Douglas reports. (NPR)

Next Anacortes waterfront cleanup being planned
Plans are taking shape for the next waterfront cleanup in Anacortes, at a 0.8-acre property nestled between Commercial Avenue businesses and the waterfront along the northern tip of Fidalgo Island. That property, at 202 O Ave., is called Quiet Cove and has been owned by the Port of Anacortes since 2013. As the port prepares to clean up the site next summer, the state Department of Ecology is taking public comment on the port’s plan. The comment period runs through Oct. 11. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Second year of mountain goat relocations complete
After a second summer of mountain goat relocations, federal, state and tribal partners have successfully moved 275 of the animals from the Olympic Peninsula to the North Cascades. While 51 more didn’t make it to new homes in the North Cascades — some died in capture or transport and some were taken to zoos — wildlife managers are hoping those that did make it will fare better in the naturally saltier Cascades mountain range and help boost populations there. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  259 AM PDT Thu Sep 19 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 9 seconds. A slight chance of showers 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

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

9/18 Orange jelly 'shroom, Trump's emissions, BC pipe, dead trees, Chinook future, aquaculture future, Denman Is, Pt Hudson, Cokie Roberts

Orange jelly [Gary Emberger]
Orange jelly mushroom Dacrymyces palmatus
This is one of the Pacific Northwest's commonest jelly fungi, usually not appearing in abundance until the weather has become decidedly cool, in late fall. Only young specimens are firm enough to be considered for eating. [The New savory Wild Mushroom]

Trump administration to revoke California’s power to set stricter auto emissions standards The move sets up a major court fight with the nation’s most populous state.
The Trump administration plans this week to revoke California’s long-standing right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light trucks, the latest step in a broad campaign to undermine Obama-era policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, two senior administration officials said. The move threatens to set in motion a massive legal battle between California and the federal government, plunge automakers into a prolonged period of uncertainty and create turmoil in the nation’s auto market. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

Court of appeal tells B.C. to reconsider Trans Mountain environmental conditions
The B.C. Court of Appeal has instructed the province to reconsider its environmental assessment certificate and conditions issued for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. In their challenges, the Squamish Nation and the City of Vancouver argued the certificate should be quashed because it was based on a flawed report and approval from the National Energy Board that was later quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal. After the National Energy Board reviewed the project for a second time, the federal government again approved the $7.4-billion expansion of the pipeline that runs from Alberta to the B.C. coast.The B.C. Court of Appeal did not opt to quash the provincial certificate and instead said it's "remitting" it back to the province to reconsider, "in light of the changes in the National Energy Board's report." The court ruled against the parties on the other argument put forward regarding duty to consult. The court found that the province met its duty to consult with the Squamish Nation on the project. The question of consultation is still before the courts at the federal level and the legal actions include several B.C. First Nations. Chantelle Bellrichard reports. (CBC)

'Dead tree after dead tree.' The case of Washington's dying foliage
When Jim and Judy Davis moved to their property in Granite Falls two and a half years ago, the trees in their 25-acre forest were healthy. Then the hemlocks started to turn brown. Now, “if we were to walk this path completely -- it’s about a quarter of a mile -- this is what you would see,” Jim Davis said, “just dead tree after dead tree. “It’s just a feeling of sadness and helplessness." Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’
Warming waters and a series of dams are making the grueling migration of the Chinook salmon even more deadly — and threatening dozens of other species. Jim Robbins reports. (NY Times)

Aquaculture industry is headed for a sea change
Planning a salmon barbecue? Your options will be limited this year. With a complete 2019 closure on Fraser River sockeye, due to dismal returns, your options are to buy Alaska sockeye or farmed Atlantic salmon. And, as the world’s population grows, and wild-capture fisheries either are maxed out or declining, farmed seafood options will become an increasingly important source of animal protein, according to a new Nature Conservancy and Encourage Capital report. Towards a Blue Revolution is largely aimed at the investment community and lays out the opportunities and risks, noting that certain next-generation systems such as land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) or ocean-based fish farms will require impact investors to take the lead before more risk-averse investors follow. Nelson Bennett reports. (Times Colonist)

Annual Denman Island shoreline cleanup set to tackle growing debris
After 15 years of cleaning up the beaches of Denman Island, Liz Johnston knows the amount of plastic in Baynes Sound is not going away. That’s why the co-ordinator of the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards annual Denman Island Community Beach Cleanup is again looking for volunteers to assist in the annual cleanup from Sept. 21 to 28...Due to local winds and tides, a huge amount of shellfish growers’ gear and equipment is driven onto Denman Island’s western shores. This includes oyster trays, anti-predator netting, plastic fencing, plastic net bags, plastic floats, styrofoam floats for rafts as well as thousands of pieces of rope. Erin Haluschak reports. (Comox Valley Record)

Could Point Hudson be headquarters for Nat’l Heritage Area?
Cities across the Puget Sound are vying to become the headquarters of a new Maritime National Heritage Area, and Port Townsend is gearing up to join the battle. The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area Act was signed into federal law on March 12 as part of a larger public lands package that includes a number of public lands priorities across the nation. The bill, which was fostered by Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, seeks to highlight all maritime landmarks within one-quarter mile of the shoreline around the Puget Sound. The area spans 13 counties, including Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson, Clallam and Grays Harbor counties. It will include 19 Native American Tribes, 32 cities and 30 port districts, including the Port of Port Townsend. Lily Haight reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75
Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75. Roberts died Tuesday because of complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement. A bestselling author and Emmy Award winner, Roberts was one of NPR's most recognizable voices and is considered one of a handful of pioneering female journalists — along with Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg — who helped shape the public broadcaster's sound and culture at a time when few women held prominent roles in journalism. Bobby Allyn and Scott Neuman report. (NPR)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PDT Wed Sep 18 2019   
TODAY
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft  at 11 seconds. A slight chance of tstms. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 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, September 17, 2019

9/17 Jaegers, Growlers sued, SnoCo water, Hood Canal pollution, Covering Climate Now, shrub-steppe ecosystem

Jaeger in pursuit [Jeff Poklen]
Jaegers Give Chase in September
A tern or gull plunges headfirst into the water, then bounces aloft grasping a small fish in its bill. But before the bird can swallow its catch, a Parasitic Jaeger swoops in. The jaeger nips the bird's wing, and it drops its hard-won fish. The pirate catches the fish in mid-air and gulps it down. The jaeger (German for hunter) is built for sprinting speed and predatory feats. (BirdNote)

Whidbey Island residents sue over expansion of Navy training flights
When Marge Plecki and her husband built their retirement home on Whidbey Island in 2002, they were aware the Navy conducted training flights at a small airstrip nearby. The noise was bearable, though, and she planned around it by running errands or doing other chores while the jets roared. That changed dramatically in March, when the number of EA-18G Growlers in the skies vastly increased. The noise has sent Plecki and more than three dozen other residents of Whidbey Island's Admiral's Cove neighborhood to court, filing a lawsuit that seeks compensation for what they say is their inability to use their property. The neighborhood is a small enclave less than one mile from the end of the landing strip, just beneath the final approach and take-off path for the jets. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Residents asked: Is county water getting better or worse?
Of the 5,700 miles of rivers and streams in Snohomish County flowing to Puget Sound, 73% are in fair to poor condition, according to a new study. Released last week, data from the “State of Our Waters” program showed 27% of river and stream sites and 77% of lakes tested by Snohomish County Public Works are considered in good to excellent health. Some of the poorest water quality was found in Crystal Creek, McGovern Creek and a marshland stream east of Everett. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Everett Herald)

As Hood Canal pollution program progresses, leaders look for sustainable funding
A years-long pollution clean-up program around Hood Canal is starting to see the fruits of its labor: restored shellfish harvesting areas, some of which are starting to reopen. The Hood Canal Coordinating Council wrapped up the third phase of its Pollution Identification and Correction program last month. The regional program — started in 2012 — coordinates efforts between Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason counties and the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Skokomish tribes to find and correct fecal pollution sources in the Hood Canal region. In the past five years, the PIC team has surveyed more than 130 miles of shoreline, inspected 1,158 parcels and identified 131 sewage system failures, which can seep bacterial pollutants into surrounding waterways. A recently released report shows nearly 100 failed systems have been repaired. Austen Macalus reports. (Kitsap Sun)

A new beginning for climate reporting
....It is heartening...to report that the press may at last be waking up to the defining story of our time. At the end of April, the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation launched Covering Climate Now, a project aimed at encouraging news organizations, here and abroad, to raise their game when it comes to climate coverage. We weren’t going to tell people what to write or broadcast; we just wanted them to do more coverage, and to do it better. Close the gap, we urged them, between the size of the story and the ambition of your efforts. Try it for a week, then report back on what you learned...Our week of focused climate coverage began yesterday and will continue through next Monday, September 23, the day of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope write. (Columbia Journalism Review) Seattle's Jamie Margolin is 17 and a climate activist. On Wednesday she testifies before Congress.  Jim Brunner reports. (Seattle Times) Greta Thunberg To U.S.: 'You Have A Moral Responsibility' On Climate Change  Bill Chappell reports. (NPR) 'Americans are waking up.' Two-thirds say climate crisis must be addressed  Oliver Milman reports. (KUOW)

Saving the 'missing puzzle piece' to a world of biodiversity, hidden in grass and sagebrush
Once dominant on the landscape, Washington has lost most of its shrub-steppe ecosystem. But a new land acquisition could help the flora and fauna that rely on it survive. Emily McCarty reports. (Crosscut)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  249 AM PDT Tue Sep 17 2019   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds. Rain. Isolated tstms in the  afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  7 ft at 9 seconds. Showers likely and isolated tstms in the  evening then a chance of showers 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

Monday, September 16, 2019

9/16 Cauliflower 'shroom, saving salmon, Samish kelp, oil spill plan, Carpenter Cr, SF6, climate landscape, Franzen's climate, teen climate, Dan Pauly

Cauliflower mushroom [Daniel Winkler]
Cauliflower mushroom Sparassis crisps
This large, remarkable-looking mushroom growth is one of the best of the edible species. Cut the mushroom off at ground level; do not pull up. Cauliflower mushrooms will fruit for several years from the same base if the base is left in the ground. Found in the fall, in conifer forests, base often attached to the room of a tree. The western cauliflower mushroom has also been called Sparassis radicata. (The New Savory Wild Mushroom) See also: It's been the 'mushroom season of the century' in northern B.C.  Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

To save endangered salmon, scientists use 20-year-old frozen sperm
In an effort to restore dwindling salmon stock, the Spruce City Wildlife Association has partnered with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in Prince George to use 20-year-old cryogenically frozen salmon sperm to fertilize salmon eggs. To ensure it gets a wide range of genetic diversity, the wildlife association's hatchery is using a mix of the decades-old sperm, also called milt, and combining it with more recently collected milt, in hopes of bolstering the number of chinook in the Endako River...his is the first time that 20 year-old cryogenically frozen salmon sperm has been used in B.C., Maureen Ritter, managing director at Canada Cryogenetics Services, told CBC Radio West host Sarah Penton. It's quite common for cryopreservation to be used with new technology, but it's extremely rare for it to be used with 20-year-old materials, she added. Dominika Lirette reports. (CBC)

Samish tribe helping to study local kelp forests
From the water’s surface, bull kelp looks like strands of other-worldly hair swaying in the water. From below, it looks like a palm tree — or dense forest of palm trees. These underwater forests are important to many marine species and critical to endangered species such as Puget Sound rockfish and Southern Resident orca whales. These forests are also declining throughout the Salish Sea, prompting efforts to save them....The Samish Indian Nation is among those working to determine the cause of the decline of bull kelp and helping to plan how to restore these kelp forests. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Help shape state emergency plan for oil spills
The Department of Ecology will take comments on the Oil Spill Contingency Plan Tuesday in Everett...Ecology’s new Oil Spill Contingency Plan will require large commercial vessels, oil-handling facilities and pipelines to have detailed mandates for appropriate equipment and trained personnel to respond to spills, according to a council news release. Oil transported by train is addressed in another plan. A law passed in 2018 called for the update with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2019...The Department of Ecology will hold a hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott in Everett at 3003 Colby Ave. There will be a presentation and Q&A session followed by the hearing. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Everett Herald)

Fish project underway on Carpenter Creek
Work is being done to improve fish passage in a creek that runs underneath a private gravel driveway just east of Mount Vernon’s Little Mountain Park. This is one of the latest fish passage improvement projects in Skagit County aimed at eliminating barriers for salmon. Here, an undersized culvert is being replaced with a bridge to restore Carpenter Creek’s natural flow. The work is expected to allow threatened coho salmon, threatened steelhead trout and cutthroat trout to make it upstream to spawn. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming
t's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned. Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents. But leaks of the little-known gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road. Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom. Matt McGrath reports. (BBC) See: Overview of SF6 Emissions Sources and Reduction Options in Electric Power Systems The SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems is an innovative voluntary program developed jointly by the EPA and the electric power industry to improve equipment reliability while reducing emissions of SF6, a potent greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years. (US EPA)

Short winters, wildfires, altered landscapes: 
.... In Washington state, outdoor recreation is a way of life, a high-profile industry, and a major economic contributor. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Forest Service collected in a 2014 report, 1,038,229 people visited Mount Rainier in 2011 and spent more than $33 million within 100 kilometers of the park. “Access to national forests also provides significant economic benefit to the region,” states the report. “In the past decade, half of visitors live within 80 km, and average visitor spending is $13 billion per year in and near national forests nationwide.” This prominence and popularity make the industry’s vulnerabilities to climate change especially visible. Megan Burbank reports. (Seattle Times)

On Jonathan Franzen’s latest climate change piece in the New Yorker (and its pushback)
Carl Safina writes: "On September 8, the New Yorker published an article by Jonathan Franzen titled, “What if we stopped pretending?”  By September 11, various instant criticisms and rebuttals had been published including a Scientific American piece by Columbia University climate scientist Dr. Kate Marvel, titled, “Shut up, Franzen.” Basically, Franzen believes there is almost no chance that enough will be done to avert massive climate changes and consequent disruptions in coming decades. The critics find this defeatist, and they object. Thing is, I thought Franzen’s piece was the best thing I’ve ever read about climate change...."

Most American teens are frightened by climate change, poll finds, and about 1 in 4 are taking action
....A solid majority of American teenagers are convinced that humans are changing the Earth’s climate and believe that it will cause harm to them personally and to other members of their generation, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Roughly 1 in 4 have participated in a walkout, attended a rally or written to a public official to express their views on global warming — remarkable levels of activism for a group that has not yet reached voting age. Sarah Kaplan and
Emily Guskin report. (Washington Post)

The Odyssey of Daniel Pauly
The world’s top fishery scientist is no ‘gloomie.’ But his life and career taught him we won’t save our stocks without a fight. Andrew Nikiforuk writes. (The Tree)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  303 AM PDT Mon Sep 16 2019   
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft  at 11 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the morning then a  chance of showers and isolated tstms in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft after midnight. W  swell 5 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of showers in the evening then  rain 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

Friday, September 13, 2019

9/13 Cougar, Kalama methanol, Commencement Bay, Sound kelp

Cougar [Rich Beausoleil]
Cougar Puma concolor
Cougars (aka mountain lions) are the largest members of the cat family in Washington. Adult males average approximately 140 pounds but in rare cases may weigh 180 pounds and measure 7-8 feet long from nose to tip of tail. Adult males stand about 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Adult female cougars rarely exceed 110 pounds. Cougars vary in color from reddish-brown to tawny (deerlike) to gray, with a black tip on their long tail. Cougar kittens are spotted until they are 4-5 months old; after that, barring patterns may remain up to 14 months of age. (WDFW)

Cowlitz County Affirms Methanol Plant Following Environmental Study
Cowlitz County officials sent a letter Wednesday affirming their decision to approve permits for what would be the nation’s largest natural gas-to-methanol refinery. The decision followed an Aug. 30 environmental impact study by the Port of Kalama that determined the proposed southwest Washington facility would help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10 million metric tons per year. The company behind the project has said that’s roughly the equivalent of taking more than 2 million cars off the road... The Washington State Department of Ecology has 30 days to approve or deny those permits, or request additional information from the company. Ryan Haas and Molly Solomon report. (OPB)

Health of Commencement Bay has come a long way, but Tacoma still has more work to do
David Bean remembers when his family didn’t have enough room for all the salmon in their boat...The waters in and around Tacoma have changed since then. Still, efforts made in recent years have spurred progress. Melissa Malott, executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Bay, says there are currently 108 species of fish in the Foss Waterway, whales are coming by more regularly and a recent group of campers exploring tidepools even discovered oysters...Like many port cities on the West Coast, Tacoma is rethinking its relationship to the water, cleaning up decades of pollution to create an environment that’s healthy for marine life and inviting for people. Bellamy Pailthorp and Kari Plog report. (KNKX)

Another vital forest at risk: Scientists fear warming water could be killing off Puget Sound’s kelp beds 
Dozens of healthy bull kelp off Owen Beach stretched to the surface, trailing a moppish tangle of algae. It looked like overgrown clumps of pad thai had gone out to sunbathe. Each kelp featured a grenade-shaped bulb, filled with gas to keep it straining toward the sun for photosynthesis. Translucent ribbons that felt like a film negative covered in frog skin dangled with the current...Small fish, likely perch, darted through the underwater thicket. Several starfish curled up on the sea floor. Crabs clung to bull kelp stipes — stems — like sloths to a jungle vine. But, as the climate warms, this scene is becoming more rare. In portions of Puget Sound, these sunken canopies are vanishing, and scientists fear the consequences to local ecosystems. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  243 AM PDT Fri Sep 13 2019   
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft  at 10 seconds. A chance of showers. 
TONIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. A chance of  showers in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. 
SAT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. Rain  in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. 
SAT NIGHT
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 6 ft at 9 seconds. 
SUN
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming N in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 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, September 12, 2019

9/12 Vine maple, Trump's clean water, BC pipe, ALL IN climate, electric ferry, Marblemount mine, Asian hornets

Vine maple [Dana Bressette]
Vine Maple Acer circinatum
“Vine” Maple, although not really a vine, has very slender, often sprawling, branches. These branches often root to produce new trees, creating dense thickets underneath the shade of taller conifers.  It is a small, usually multi-stemmed tree or shrub.  Circinatum refers to the “rounded,” regularly lobed leaves. (Dana Bressette/Native Plants PNW)

Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections
The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. The rollback of the 2015 measure, known as the Waters of the United States rule, has been widely expected since the early days of the Trump administration, when President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin the work of repealing and replacing it. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times) See also: Administration finalizes repeal of 2015 water rule Trump called ‘destructive and horrible’  Thursday’s move will revert the nation to 1986 water pollution rule governing wetlands and small streams. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

B.C. landowners dig in heels over Trans Mountain pipeline construction
....Trans Mountain Corp. has not signed agreements with 33 per cent of landowners, no part of the detailed route has been approved, about half of the necessary permits are outstanding and it must meet dozens of conditions with the Canada Energy Regulator, formerly the National Energy Board. Further, it faces resistance in southwest B.C., where landowners are digging in their heels, Indigenous groups are filing legal challenges and protesters are planning to ramp up activity. The federal Liberal government bought the pipeline for $4.5 billion last year. The parliamentary budget officer has said that if the expansion is not complete by the end of 2021, it would be fair to conclude the government overpaid for the asset. The government now says the expanded pipeline will be operational by mid-2022. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

ALL IN for Climate Action Week
What is Bellingham's ALL IN for Climate Action Week?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ALL IN for Climate Action Week is a celebration of all the knowledge, progress and resources our community has to offer when looking for solutions to address global climate change at the local level. The week is scheduled to align with the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit and Climate Week NYC, September 23-29, 2019. Click here for a list of events. See also: COP26: Glasgow to host UN climate change summit in 2020 Up to 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the event at Glasgow's Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year. (BBC)

Washington state officially launches first new construction in effort to electrify ferries 
Washington’s ferry system runs on diesel fuel that causes more air pollution than anything else the state transportation department operates. That’s changing as the state Department of Transportation works to convert two of its Jumbo Mark 2 ferries to hybrid-electric propulsion. And now it has officially launched the first new construction of a hybrid ferry, amid much fanfare...The Legislature has so far authorized funding for only one new hybrid electric ferry, but transportation officials say they have up to five more in the pipeline. The cost will be roughly the same as for a traditional diesel Olympic Class vessel: $160 million dollars.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Marblemount mine project called off
The company seeking to establish a rock mine in the Marblemount area has called off the project. In a Sept. 6 letter to Skagit County Planning and Development Services, Kiewit Infrastructure Co. said it is withdrawing its applications for permits to establish a 79-acre mine to supply large rock for jetty stabilization at the mouth of the Columbia River. Kiewit’s withdrawal of permit applications follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aug. 30 decision to hire J.E. McAmis, Inc., of Chico, California, to supply the jetty rock for its project planned for 2019-2023. The withdrawal comes before Skagit County completed its evaluation of the project under the state Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, including a review of hundreds of public comments and deciding whether to require an environmental impact statement, or EIS, to review potential impacts of the project. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Honeybee-eating invasive hornets found in B.C. But they're still asleep — for now
An invasive species of hornets known to feed on honeybees has been found in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Tthree dead Asian giant hornets have been identified, marking the first time they've ever been seen on Vancouver Island. Asian giant hornets — the largest of all hornets — are currently dormant and aren't expected to make an appearance until spring, giving the Ministry of Agriculture time to develop surveillance and trapping equipment to help local beekeepers. Joel Ballard reports.


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  206 AM PDT Thu Sep 12 2019   
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming NE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft at 17 seconds  building to W 6 ft at 11 seconds in the afternoon. Showers likely  in the morning then showers in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 12 seconds. Showers likely.



--
"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, September 11, 2019

9/11 Sea squirt, Orca task force, Titlow Beach, green crab, Trump's hunt & fish, Canuck the crow, climate, Woodside at Kitimat

Sea squirt [Alchetron]
Tunicates
Commonly called sea squirts, tunicates are primitive animals that attach to docks, rocks and the undersides of boats. They can grow in huge masses covering and competing with other sea life for food and space. Three invasive tunicate species are present in Puget Sound. Styela clava, which are club shaped, have been found in Hood Canal, Elliott Bay and other locations. Didemnum vexillum, which form bloblike colonies, have been found on Maury Island and other locations. Ciona savignyi, which form transparent tubes, were seen in large numbers in Hood Canal, but the infestation later declined. Chris Dunagan reported. (Salish Sea Currents) See also: A Good Place to Be a Sea Squirt  A new paper highlights Calvert Island as a hotspot for ascidian diversity. Josh Silberg (Hakai Institute)

Orca task force hears about whale watching, dam breaching
A state orca task force debated whale watching operations and was urged to recommend the breaching of the lower Snake River dams. The Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force discussed its recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee in a day-long meeting Monday in Port Angeles. A final report to Inslee is due Nov. 8. Task force member Donna Sandstrom, founder and executive director of the Whale Trail, a Seattle nonprofit working to help the endangered Southern Resident orcas, suggested that the task force add its recommendation to suspend orca whale watching to an urgent list for legislative action. “We’re not hopeless, but we will be soon,” Sandstrom said of the J, K and L orca pods that hunt chinook salmon in the Salish Sea. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Metro Parks to demolish former clubhouse at Titlow, restore ‘natural beach’ for public
.... After three years of being barred to public access by a chain-link fence, part of Hidden Beach that’s only accessible by walking or biking will open anew to the public. Metro Parks awarded a $500,000 contract to demolish the former Tacoma Outboard Association (TOA) clubhouse, which has sat vacant since 2016 and has become a nuisance. What will be built in its place? Likely nothing — and that’s what the people want, said Metro Parks planning and development deputy director Marty Stump.... Metro Parks is still at least a year from the final design of the park, but ideas range from natural meadows and trails to an open pavilion available for rent. There’s also been discussion of making the site available for students learning about marine life. Allison Needles reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Volunteers trap European green crabs
The invasive European green crab continues to keep a presence on the North Olympic Peninsula. The highest Peninsula counts so far this season have been on the Makah reservation on the West End, where 988 green crabs have been found, and at the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, where volunteers have discovered 56, said marine ecologist Emily Grason, Crab Team program manager for Washington Sea Grant, last week. Those areas have had the largest totals for European green crab captures across the Salish Sea, she said. Matthew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Hunting And Fishing To Expand On 77 National Wildlife Refuges
The Trump administration is expanding hunting and fishing opportunities in 77 national wildlife refuges. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service eliminated or revised thousands of regulations to closely match state laws. The expansion added more than 1.4 million acres nationwide and more than doubled the acreage that has been opened or expanded in the last five years combined.... In Washington, San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Spring Creek, Leavenworth, Little White Salmon and Entiat national fish hatcheries will open to sport fishing for the first time. In addition, the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge will open more land to waterfowl hunting this season.  Molly Samayoa reports. (OPB)

Disappearance of Canuck the Crow sparks accusations of crow-napping
Vancouver's favourite crime scene-crashing, knife-stealing, SkyTrain-riding, feathered ambassador has been missing now for 12 days, leaving his many fans anxious and worried. But the concern for Canuck the Crow's whereabouts is nothing compared to the drama taking place behind the scenes and on social media, where accusations of crow-napping, harassment and intimidation are flying between people who feel they have the wild bird's best interest at heart. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

What If We Stopped Pretending?
The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it. Jonathan Franzen writes. (The New Yorker) See also: Climate change: 'Invest $1.8 trillion to adapt' Investing $1.8 trillion over the next decade - in measures to adapt to climate change - could produce net benefits worth more than $7 trillion. Victoria Gill reports. (BBC) And: Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world  Chris Mooney and John Muyskens report. (Washington Post)

Australia oil and gas giant plans to cut its 50% stake in Kitimat LNG project
Australian oil and gas producer Woodside is seeking to reduce its stakes in the Scarborough gas field at home and in Canada’s Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to cut its capital exposure, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday. The comments by CEO Peter Coleman came after speculation Saudi Aramco could be interested in Scarborough, a gas resource that, once developed, would feed into and expand Woodside’s Pluto LNG production and export facility. Woodside holds a 75 per cent stake in the Scarborough gas field and 50 per cent of the Kitimat project in Canada, which is operated by Chevron. Alexander Cornwell and Dmitry Zhdannikov report. (Reuters) See also: 'Really exciting': Canadian gas sector cheers Woodside's decision to sell partial Kitimat LNG stake  Geoffrey Morgan reports. (Financial Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  258 AM PDT Wed Sep 11 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 8 seconds. A slight chance of  showers in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind to 10 kt becoming E after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. A slight chance of rain.



--
"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, September 10, 2019

9/10 Lobster 'shroom, salmon disaster, seal cull, Camano park, Whatcom forest, murrelet plan, enviro heroes, BC carbon, Fukushima water, oily ship

Lobster mushroom [iNaturalist]
Lobster mushroom Hypomyces lactifluorum
The Lobster mushroom, Hypomyces lactifluorum, contrary to its common name, is not a mushroom, but rather a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on certain species of mushrooms, turning them a reddish orange color that resembles the outer shell of a cooked lobster. H. lactifluorum specifically attacks members of the genera Lactarius and Lactifluus, and Russula, such as Russula brevipes and Lactifluus piperatus in North America. At maturity, H. lactifluorum thoroughly covers its host, rendering it unidentifiable. Lobster mushrooms are widely eaten and enjoyed; they are commercially marketed and are commonly found in some large grocery stores. They have a seafood-like flavor and a firm, dense texture. (Wikipedia)

Advocates sound alarm on unfolding disaster in B.C. salmon fishing industry
First Nations and union leaders say there is a desperate need for relief for commercial salmon fishermen on British Columbia's coast. Advocates say the federal and provincial governments need to step in to help fishermen through the worst commercial fishing season in 50 years, as runs have plummeted for all species and in all regions. Joy Thorkelson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union, says at least 2,500 people have been affected by the downturn. (Canadian Press)

Could a seal cull in Canada help Salish salmon and Southern Resident orcas?
One of the biggest issues facing Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whales is a lack of Chinook salmon, their preferred food. A Seattle chef and the PCC Community Markets chain have stopped selling local Chinook, in an effort to help provide more for the orcas. But fisheries experts say people eating Chinook is not the problem. The mystery is what happens to them in their first year of life as they head out to sea, before humans would catch them. Some scientists think booming numbers of harbor seals are to blame – and that culling them could quickly make a difference. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Camano Island’s newest park offers expanded waterfront access
The forest was 30 minutes from becoming lots for shoreline homes in 2015, above the striking bluffs at Barnum Point. With no time to spare, the Whidbey Camano Land Trust swooped in with an emergency loan to secure the 35-acre property. Now, that area is part of a 167-acre Island County park, which opened to the public in late August. The park’s mile of beach access is a win for Camano Island, where 83 percent of the waterfront is privately owned.  There are also 2.5 miles of groomed trails through forest and meadows in the park. Julia Grace-Sanders reports. (Everett Herald)

Here’s what will benefit from the $250,000 grant the Whatcom Land Trust received
The Whatcom Land Trust has received a $250,000 grant for its effort to protect thousands of acres of forest and salmon habitat in Whatcom County. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust recently announced it was awarding the grant to the land trust for the preservation of what’s being called the Skookum Creek Conservation Corridor. In February, the nonprofit Whatcom Land Trust announced its deal to buy 1,400 acres of riparian forest, land that’s adjacent to a river or other type of flowing water, and uplands for $4 million. Kim Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Funds approved for economic study of murrelet plan
The Clallam County commissioners have agreed to give $7,500 to the Washington State Association of Counties to conduct an economic impact study of the Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the marbled murrelet and how it would affect junior taxing districts. The commissioners agreed to send a letter to the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) informing it of the county’s support Tuesday. WSAC sent a letter to the county in August requesting the funds so that it can conduct a detailed economic impact analysis on county taxing district revenues if the preferred alternative in the Department of Natural Resources’ Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Long-term Conservation Strategy for the marbled murrelet is implemented. Clallam County, which has 93,301 acres of county trust lands — more than any other county in the state — was asked to provide $7,500 for the study. As of Aug. 13, DNR had committed $20,000 toward the study. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Environmental Heroes: Community leaders who inspire labors of love
For more than a decade, the public advocacy group RE Sources has honored individuals who make a difference in this community. Some years, selections are driven by current events and leading headlines; other years are thematic. This year’s selection is a bit of both—focused on the fundamentals that nourish life in the Salish Sea. This year's heroes are Rosalinda Guillen, Farmworker justice leader and food system activist; Rachel Vasak, Salmon steward and community builder; and Steve Garey, Labor rights advocate and clean energy champion. Tim Johnson reports. (Cascadia Weekly)

B.C. carbon pollution rises 1.2 per cent in most recent report
B.C.’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade has been virtually wiped out due to large increases in carbon pollution the last two years, according to new government data released Monday. The province’s pollution levels reached almost 64.5 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent in 2017, according to the most recent figures from the new government inventory. That’s an increase of 1.2 per cent from 2016, mainly due to the then-booming residential construction sector, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation. B.C.’s GHG emissions have now increased in five of the last seven years. Carbon pollution is back up to the 2007 level of 64.8 million tonnes. That’s a key distinction because 2007 is the benchmark year the province uses to determine its progress in fighting pollution. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Fukushima: Radioactive water may be dumped in Pacific
Japan's environment minister says contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant may have to be released into the ocean because storage space will run out in 2022. More than a million tonnes of water that has been used to cool melted reactors is kept in giant tanks. Fisherman's groups are strongly opposed to the idea but many scientists say it would pose a low risk. The government said a final decision had not yet been taken. (BBC)

The Tale of Dirty, Old, Leaky Zalinski
A Second World War-era shipwreck is a haunting reminder that you can never fully clean up an oil spill. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PDT Tue Sep 10 2019   
TODAY
 NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 9 seconds. A chance of showers. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 9 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, September 9, 2019

9/9 Elk, McKenna security, Navy Growlers, salmon viruses, beavers, Fraser slide, whale-friendly tanker, Victoria bird survey

Elk [Ginger Holser]
Elk Cervus elaphus
Elk are members of the deer family and share many physical traits with deer, moose, and caribou. They are much larger than deer, but not as large as a moose...Adult elk weigh 600 to 800 pounds, and adult cows typically weigh 400 to 500 pounds. With thick bodies, short tails, and long legs, adult elk stand 4.5 to 5 feet high at the shoulder... Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) are found in the coastal ranges of the Olympic peninsula and western slopes of the cascade range... Rocky mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) are found primarily in the mountain ranges and shrubsteppe of eastern Washington, with small herds being established or reestablished  through the Pacific Northwest. (WDFW)

Catherine McKenna: Canada environment minister given extra security
Canada's environment minister says she has been assigned a security detail because of abuse she has received both online and in person. Catherine McKenna said in one recent incident a man in a car pulled up alongside her and her children, swore and called her a "climate Barbie". In Canada, government ministers rarely need high levels of protection. The move comes as environmental campaigners, particularly women, report increasing levels of abuse. (BBC)

Feds give new scrutiny to clash between Whidbey Island Navy jets and endangered seabirds
What happens when a reclusive seabird is spooked by a close encounter with a low-flying Navy Growler jet? The Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), under pressure from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, will take another look at the effects on the marbled murrelet of an increasing number of  EA18-G Growler training flights out of Air Station Whidbey Island. Under a March decision by the Navy, those flights are authorized to increase by a third, to 97,500 annually, as the Growler fleet expands from 82 jets to as many as 118. But Ferguson’s office, along with a citizens group, has challenged the adequacy of an environmental impact study regarding marbled murrelets, birds listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and listed as endangered by the state of Washington. Their population has declined by 44%, to about 7,500 birds, in Washington since 2001. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations
Three new viruses—including one from a group of viruses never before shown to infect fish—have been discovered in endangered Chinook and sockeye salmon populations. While the impact of the viruses on salmon health isn’t yet known, all three are related to viruses that cause serious disease in other species... UBC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers used DNA sequencing followed by tests specific to each virus  to screen more than 6,000 salmon from along the B.C. coast, including wild, hatchery and aquaculture fish. (UBC Science)

Wood chips fly at Elwha River as beavers make a comeback
Beavers are back. It’s not hard to tell. The signs are everywhere: felled trees and branches, with telltale tooth marks. Soft sedge meadows dimpled with belly tracks from beavers hustling to and fro. And in thickets of young alder and willow  — a 24/7 beaver cafe — multiple dams, built in a side channel of this reborn river....Created in the making of their dams, too, is a boost for salmon: These pools are perfect spots for juvenile salmon to rest and feed. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Tulalip Tribes banking on beavers to bolster Snohomish River  ....Since 2014, biologists (Molly) Alves and David Bailey have spent their summers moving beavers from areas where they’re considered nuisances to new homesteads in the forest. With a warming climate, tribal leaders hope the crafty rodents will play an important role in sustaining water availability and preserving aquatic species, like salmon. Scientists predict the future will bring new hardships to riverine ecosystems. Warmer stream temperatures could negatively impact fish. And more precipitation in the winter and less in the summer, combined with eroding banks and less snowpack, will lead to less water storage. Zachariah Bryan reports. (Everett Herald)

Slide poses big engineering challenge for B.C. crews working to get fish moving
Experts say crews working to create a passage for migrating salmon following a rock slide on the Fraser River in British Columbia are dealing with some of the most difficult engineering challenges since a similar incident in the province over a century ago. Corino Salomi, the environmental lead on the project involving provincial, federal and First Nations officials, says a slide in the Hell's Gate area of the river during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1914 posed similar problems to the one discovered in June near Big Bar. He says engineers have reached out to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for advice and the army confirmed the team is "doing the right thing" in dealing with a slide that is much larger than others. (Canadian Press)

Canada Plans Whale-Friendly Tanker
The government of Canada is funding the design of an LNG-fueled tanker that will be up to 90 percent quieter than traditional tankers. The move is recognition that marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, are impacted by underwater vessel noise. Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate and communicate with each other, while also creating stress. The Quiet Vessel Initiative is expected to therefore help in the recovery of Canada's whale populations. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced a commitment of up to $30 million for the design to be developed with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping (Canada).  (Marine Executive)

Victoria to conduct 2-year survey of region's harbour birds
Vancouver Island's Capital Regional District is about to conduct a two-year survey of migratory birds in the region — the first study of its kind in more than 20 years.  The CRD recently issued a request for proposals to study the birds along the Esquimalt and Victoria harbours, the Gorge Waterway, the Portage Inlet and the Esquimalt Lagoon. Glenn Harris, the CRD's senior manager of environmental protection, says he expects to see a few significant changes from the last time the birds were surveyed. Maryse Zeidler reports. (CBC)



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  307 AM PDT Mon Sep 9 2019   
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. A chance of showers. A slight chance of  tstms in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. A slight  chance of showers in the evening.



--
"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, September 6, 2019

9/6 Crystal jelly, new 'blob,' aboriginal rights, baby clam garden, Oly oyster, Trump's tailpipe, Skagit fish v farm, sixgill shark

Crystal jellyfish [Monterey Bay Aquarium]
Crystal jellyfish Aequorea victoria
Our largest hydrozoan jelly by far (to 5 inches in diameter). Transparent bell is thick and gelatinous; underparts are lined with 50 to 150 radial canals. An equal number of long, slender tentacles hang from margins of the bell. Perhaps the most luminescent of our larger jellyfish; glows in the dark when touched. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

New marine heat wave resembles killer 'Blob' that devastated sea life on West Coast, NOAA says
A new marine heat wave has formed off the West Coast that is similar to “The Blob” that devastated sea life and ravaged runs of Pacific salmon. Although the similarities are striking, whether the new system will cause the same havoc is yet to be seen. Like The Blob, which formed in 2014 and peaked in 2015, the new mass of warm water emerged over the course of a few months. A persistent weather pattern has becalmed winds that typically stir up the ocean’s surface to keep it cool. The heat wave is relatively new and right now mostly has affected the upper layers of the ocean. If weather patterns shift, it could break up rapidly, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Policy recognizing Aboriginal rights may accelerate BC treaty process
The federal and provincial governments along with the First Nations Summit have reached an agreement on a new policy approach that could accelerate the treaty-making process in British Columbia. Treaty negotiations in B.C. have been plodding along since the early 1990s, with 11 agreements reached and another 28 in advanced negotiation stages. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the changes mean First Nations will no longer have to give up their rights to self-government and negotiators will automatically recognize those rights. (Canadian Press)

A baby clam garden by the sea: A Northwest delicacy returns
....Clams were so important to the culture and food of the people of the Salish Sea that they dried them, strung them into necklaces, and ate them as a snack — or traded them inland. But, now, some clam beaches have tiny clams, or none at all. Julie Barber, a shellfish biologist for the Swinomish Tribe said that “native littlenecks have declined so much throughout Washington’s inland waters that they’re really difficult to find now.” Scientists are still trying to figure out all the reasons for that — but they’ve come up with a local stopgap solution: clam gardens. “What a clam garden can do is provide a place for the tribe to continue their practice of harvesting clams for subsistence,” Barber explained. A clam garden isn’t really a garden. It’s made of rocks. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Native Olympia oysters expected to gain a new foothold in Sinclair Inlet
A massive amount of oyster shell — some 1,500 cubic yards — will be dumped into Sinclair Inlet near Gorst next week to lay the groundwork for a healthy population of native Olympia oysters. Limited numbers of Olympia oysters have been growing in Sinclair Inlet, hanging on since long ago, said Betsy Peabody, executive director of Puget Sound Restoration Fund, which is managing the operation. Existing oysters probably just need the right substrate for their larvae to attach, grow and ultimately expand the native oyster population...The shells, which came from commercial oyster farms, will be washed off a 200-foot barge using a jet of water beginning Tuesday and taking up to four days, according to the current schedule. The shell will cover some 15 acres of tidelands toward the middle of the inlet where Highway 166 branches off Highway 16. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

White House Prepares to Revoke California’s Right to Set Tougher Pollution Rules
President Trump is strongly considering a plan to revoke California’s legal authority to set state tailpipe pollution standards that are stricter than federal regulations, according to three people familiar with the matter. The potential challenge to California’s authority, which would be a stinging broadside to the state’s governor and environmentalists, has been widely anticipated. But what’s notable is that the administration would be decoupling its challenge to California from its broader plan to weaken federal fuel economy standards, the latest sign that its plans for that rollback have fallen into disarray. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Debate over protecting fish habitat and farming on the Skagit River
The Skagit River is one of Puget Sound’s most important waterways for salmon, but there’s an ongoing debate about how to protect it. Over the last century, the tree cover along the river has disappeared due to development and farming. The lack of shade has contributed to an increase in water temperature, according to both the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Ecology...The Swinomish Tribe believes Ecology has a legal duty to prevent and control non-point source pollution, like temperature, and argue that voluntary programs have been insufficient. "There are some very, very successful programs out there that show that when they do plant these trees along these tributaries, it does, in fact, cool down the streams, so the salmon have a better chance of surviving," Cladoosby said. The challenge is that many of these tributaries run through farmland. Farmers are concerned a push for state land purchases puts them in an unfair situation, giving up tens of acres of land while other critical issues facing salmon could keep runs from recovering. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Scientists tag deep-sea shark hundreds of feet underwater—a first
To better study the bluntnose sixgill, scientists had to figure out how to fire a speargun from a submarine. Haley Cohen Gilliland reports. (National Geographic)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  309 AM PDT Fri Sep 6 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. 
SAT
 NW 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. W  swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 14 seconds. 
SUN
 Light wind becoming NE to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W 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