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   
 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. 
 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.

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