Monday, November 4, 2019

11/4 Loon, B'ham hatchery, Cyrpess sanctuary, Rayonier cleanup, Sound eco-riddles, Snoqualmie Tribe, Duwamish people, murmuration, Bering Sea starvation

Common loon [Andrew Reding/BirdNote]
If you like to listen: The Haunting Voice of the Common Loon
The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes. A "yodel" call is given by a male on his breeding territory. With his neck outstretched, the male waves his head from side to side, sending his eerie calls across forests and open water. The yodel entices females and asserts a claim of territory. Nothing common about this bird! (BirdNote)

This Bellingham waterfront proposal could help save the orca population
In an attempt to bring salmon numbers back to 1985 levels, ultimately helping the local orca population, plans are in the works to bring a large fish hatchery to Bellingham’s waterfront. A nonprofit organization called the San Juan AREA Sea Life is working to gather local support before looking for funding. If it gets the support it needs, the waters around Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands could start seeing more salmon in the next five or six years, said Doug Thomas, chairman of the organization. For Thomas, who is also president of Bellingham Cold Storage, it’s about creating a community legacy centered around restoring the salmon and the whales in this area. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Cypress Island eyed as potential site for whale sanctuary
An international nonprofit with the goal of establishing the first whale sanctuary in the world is eyeing a location in Skagit County. Here, in Deepwater Bay on the east side of Cypress Island, Whale Sanctuary Project partners envision building a sanctuary for orca whales released from entertainment facilities...The idea is to enclose about 100 acres of Deepwater Bay in two sets of mesh netting anchored to the bottom and attached to buoys at the top. That space would be expected to accommodate up to six released orcas permanently, as well as have space that could be used to rehabilitate wild Southern Resident orcas. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

State agrees to extend comment period on Rayonier site cleanup
The state Department of Ecology has agreed to extend the comment period on a proposed $24 million cleanup plan for the long-dormant Rayonier pulp mill site at the urging of an environmental activist, an Ecology official said last week. Rebecca Lawson, the agency’s southwest region manager, said the comment period was extended from Monday to Nov. 26 at the request of Sequim resident and cleanup-plan critic Darlene Schanfald of the Olympic Environmental Council Coalition. Lawson said that as of last week, only about 12 comments had been received on the proposal, available for review at, where people can also post comments. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

From climate mysteries to dead zones, an evolving computer model tackles Puget Sound’s eco-riddles
Puget Sound — Washington’s inland sea — is a mysterious place. It’s the southern-most fjord in the lower 48 states. It’s fed by rivers that create shallow, mucky tideflats. In other spots it plunges more than 900 feet deep, giving it oceanic traits, but it doesn’t flow freely in and out of the Pacific Ocean. The main entrance and exit into the Sound is relatively narrow and shallow, creating a sort of bathtub that curtails the exchange of seawater and wildlife. The Sound is facing serious challenges. The beloved local orcas are in alarming decline, the human population and its polluting cars, roadways and buildings is growing, and the damaging effects of climate change loom large. But scientists are employing a sophisticated computer modeling tool to unravel some of the Puget Sound’s complex puzzles and trigger actions that can help safeguard the iconic Northwest waterway. Lisa Stiffler reports. (GeekWire)

Snoqualmie Tribe buys land around Snoqualmie Falls for $125M
The Snoqualmie Tribe announced Friday that it has purchased the land surrounding Snoqualmie Falls, its traditional territory. The tribe made the purchase — which includes the surrounding land and nearby hotel —from the Muckleshoot Tribe for $125 million. The falls are sacred to the Snoqualmie people, and their traditional burial site is right above the falls. The Snoqualmie lost their land in the 1800s, when white settlers moved in and took over Snoqualmie lands. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Duwamish people get a little overdue respect from Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board
Nearly hidden among sword ferns, vine maples and poplars off a quiet residential street in North Seattle is a small clearing, and nestled within is a circular ring filled with spring water and a spout draining red ochre mud in the ground below. To the original inhabitants of our land, it’s a sacred place. This site, called líq’tәd (pronounced LEE’kteed) in the Lushootseed language of the Coast Salish people, is part of líq’tәd (Licton) Springs Park, Seattle’s newest designated city landmark. A sacred site for the Duwamish people for thousands of years, líq’tәd has served as a place for indigenous ceremonies, healing, prayer and for its namesake red iron oxide. The landmark designation — which was the culmination of a multiyear, hard fought, grassroots effort — raises important questions about what we value as a city, what deserves protection and why. Naomi Ishisaka reports. (Seattle Times)

Starlings' 'murmuration' is a delight in the sky over Bremerton's Warren Avenue Bridge
John Farley writes in the Kitsap Sun: "Life, like the traffic that streams across the Warren Avenue Bridge, moves pretty fast. And — as pointed out by Ferris Bueller, that famous truant played by Matthew Broderick in that 1986 movie — if you don’t look around once in a while, you might miss it.  As I walked across the bridge this past week, it was my intention to look around. After all, this fall has brought some beautiful weather to go with the bright colors of autumn. But I was not prepared for the show I was just about to see right at sunset, as cars continued to whoosh by. With a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, packs of small birds began flying in unison, altogether, in zigzagging patterns as one force. There must have been thousands of them. I was transfixed." (Kitsap Sun)

Why are birds and seals starving in a Bering Sea full of fish?
The shipment arrived airfreight: 47 seabird carcasses collected by the Bering Strait villagers of Shishmaref. Marine biologist Gay Sheffield drove to the airport on an August day to pick up the grisly cargo and bring it back to a laboratory just off the main street of this northwest Alaska town. Inside a cardboard box, Sheffield found mostly shearwaters, slender birds with narrow wings — also kittiwakes, crested auklets, thick-billed murres, a cormorant and a horned puffin. Most were painfully skinny, bones protruding like knife-edged ridges. “They starved to death,” Sheffield said. “Why?” Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  213 AM PST Mon Nov 4 2019   
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 11 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning. 
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 3 ft at  10 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

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