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   
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft  at 10 seconds. A chance of showers. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming N in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds.

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