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   
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming N in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. NW swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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.

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