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]
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   
 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. 
 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.

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