Monday, September 9, 2019

9/9 Elk, McKenna security, Navy Growlers, salmon viruses, beavers, Fraser slide, whale-friendly tanker, Victoria bird survey

Elk [Ginger Holser]
Elk Cervus elaphus
Elk are members of the deer family and share many physical traits with deer, moose, and caribou. They are much larger than deer, but not as large as a moose...Adult elk weigh 600 to 800 pounds, and adult cows typically weigh 400 to 500 pounds. With thick bodies, short tails, and long legs, adult elk stand 4.5 to 5 feet high at the shoulder... Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) are found in the coastal ranges of the Olympic peninsula and western slopes of the cascade range... Rocky mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) are found primarily in the mountain ranges and shrubsteppe of eastern Washington, with small herds being established or reestablished  through the Pacific Northwest. (WDFW)

Catherine McKenna: Canada environment minister given extra security
Canada's environment minister says she has been assigned a security detail because of abuse she has received both online and in person. Catherine McKenna said in one recent incident a man in a car pulled up alongside her and her children, swore and called her a "climate Barbie". In Canada, government ministers rarely need high levels of protection. The move comes as environmental campaigners, particularly women, report increasing levels of abuse. (BBC)

Feds give new scrutiny to clash between Whidbey Island Navy jets and endangered seabirds
What happens when a reclusive seabird is spooked by a close encounter with a low-flying Navy Growler jet? The Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), under pressure from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, will take another look at the effects on the marbled murrelet of an increasing number of  EA18-G Growler training flights out of Air Station Whidbey Island. Under a March decision by the Navy, those flights are authorized to increase by a third, to 97,500 annually, as the Growler fleet expands from 82 jets to as many as 118. But Ferguson’s office, along with a citizens group, has challenged the adequacy of an environmental impact study regarding marbled murrelets, birds listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and listed as endangered by the state of Washington. Their population has declined by 44%, to about 7,500 birds, in Washington since 2001. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations
Three new viruses—including one from a group of viruses never before shown to infect fish—have been discovered in endangered Chinook and sockeye salmon populations. While the impact of the viruses on salmon health isn’t yet known, all three are related to viruses that cause serious disease in other species... UBC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers used DNA sequencing followed by tests specific to each virus  to screen more than 6,000 salmon from along the B.C. coast, including wild, hatchery and aquaculture fish. (UBC Science)

Wood chips fly at Elwha River as beavers make a comeback
Beavers are back. It’s not hard to tell. The signs are everywhere: felled trees and branches, with telltale tooth marks. Soft sedge meadows dimpled with belly tracks from beavers hustling to and fro. And in thickets of young alder and willow  — a 24/7 beaver cafe — multiple dams, built in a side channel of this reborn river....Created in the making of their dams, too, is a boost for salmon: These pools are perfect spots for juvenile salmon to rest and feed. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Tulalip Tribes banking on beavers to bolster Snohomish River  ....Since 2014, biologists (Molly) Alves and David Bailey have spent their summers moving beavers from areas where they’re considered nuisances to new homesteads in the forest. With a warming climate, tribal leaders hope the crafty rodents will play an important role in sustaining water availability and preserving aquatic species, like salmon. Scientists predict the future will bring new hardships to riverine ecosystems. Warmer stream temperatures could negatively impact fish. And more precipitation in the winter and less in the summer, combined with eroding banks and less snowpack, will lead to less water storage. Zachariah Bryan reports. (Everett Herald)

Slide poses big engineering challenge for B.C. crews working to get fish moving
Experts say crews working to create a passage for migrating salmon following a rock slide on the Fraser River in British Columbia are dealing with some of the most difficult engineering challenges since a similar incident in the province over a century ago. Corino Salomi, the environmental lead on the project involving provincial, federal and First Nations officials, says a slide in the Hell's Gate area of the river during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1914 posed similar problems to the one discovered in June near Big Bar. He says engineers have reached out to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for advice and the army confirmed the team is "doing the right thing" in dealing with a slide that is much larger than others. (Canadian Press)

Canada Plans Whale-Friendly Tanker
The government of Canada is funding the design of an LNG-fueled tanker that will be up to 90 percent quieter than traditional tankers. The move is recognition that marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, are impacted by underwater vessel noise. Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate and communicate with each other, while also creating stress. The Quiet Vessel Initiative is expected to therefore help in the recovery of Canada's whale populations. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced a commitment of up to $30 million for the design to be developed with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping (Canada).  (Marine Executive)

Victoria to conduct 2-year survey of region's harbour birds
Vancouver Island's Capital Regional District is about to conduct a two-year survey of migratory birds in the region — the first study of its kind in more than 20 years.  The CRD recently issued a request for proposals to study the birds along the Esquimalt and Victoria harbours, the Gorge Waterway, the Portage Inlet and the Esquimalt Lagoon. Glenn Harris, the CRD's senior manager of environmental protection, says he expects to see a few significant changes from the last time the birds were surveyed. Maryse Zeidler reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  307 AM PDT Mon Sep 9 2019   
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. A chance of showers. A slight chance of  tstms in the afternoon. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. A slight  chance of showers in the evening.

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