Tuesday, November 5, 2019

11/5 Sand worm, orca family life, BC fracking, WA electric ferries, industry lobbying

Sand worm
Sand Worm Nereis vexillosa
One of our largest worms (to 6 inches or more). Found on or just below surface of muddy beaches, or under rocks, or crawling through mussel beds. Jaws, when everted, are sharp, black pincers. Used for ripping seaweeds and for grabbing small creatures, including other worms. Periodically during summer, the sand worm's paddle like parapodia expand, and it swims to the surface at night to mate in huge swarms. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

New drone, underwater footage of orcas stuns researchers, gives intimate look at killer whales' family life 
Who knew orcas were so playful, so full of affection, so constantly touching one another? New footage taken by drone as well as underwater stunned researchers who spent two days with the southern resident orca J pod off the British Columbia coast, including with the newest baby, and more time with northern resident killer whales in B.C.’s Johnstone Strait. The footage taken during three weeks in August and early September was filmed in collaboration with the Hakai Institute, a science research nonprofit. “It took our breath away,” said Andrew Trites, professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Department of Zoology and director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Trites is co-lead researcher on a study that over five years is taking a close look at resident killer whales and their prey. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

'Highly stressed': Parts of B.C.'s gas fields may be more prone to fracking quakes, scientists finding
Scientists are delving four kilometres beneath the earth's surface to find out why hydraulic fracturing triggered a 4.5 magnitude earthquake in northeastern B.C in 2018. The quake was felt in 14 different places, including the construction site of the massive Site C dam, where B.C. Hydro temporarily halted work. There were no injuries and no damage, but fracking operations were also temporarily halted. Soon after, B.C.'s energy regulator determined the quake and several other smaller ones were induced after fracking fluid was injected into a Canadian Natural Resources well site, south of Fort St John. Betsy Trumpner reports. (CBC)

Washington State Ferries plans for an electric-hybrid flee
A quieter, cleaner ride may be in store for people and marine life as Washington State Ferries embarks on an experimental plan to transition the fleet from diesel to electric power. (Everett Herald)

Public officials faced ‘organized and sustained’ oil and gas lobbying on pipelines in recent years: study 
Oil and gas industry lobbying in recent years intensified when public servants and politicians were considering pipelines to pump fossil fuels from Alberta to B.C.’s coast, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Those projects included the since-scrapped Northern Gateway pipeline and the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a piece of infrastructure that Canada ultimately purchased from Kinder Morgan, according to the report, titled Big Oil’s Political Reach. The report looked at 11,452 lobbying efforts by 46 oil and gas companies and associations from 2011 to 2018 under prime ministers Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper. Its authors found that “strategic, organized and sustained lobbying” helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry.” Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  225 AM PST Tue Nov 5 2019   
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 3 ft at  12 seconds. Areas of fog in the morning. 
 Light wind becoming E to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  1 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 13 seconds.

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