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   
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 Light wind becoming NE to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 16 seconds.

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