Friday, December 6, 2019

12/6 Saltery Bay, Canada carbon tax, Port Moody sea lions, underwater robot, hermit crab deaths

Saltery Bay
Saltery Bay Provincial Park
Saltery Bay Provincial Parkwas established in 1962 to provide ocean access on the Sunshine Coast of Georgia Strait....Lush forests with large, old trees create a quiet setting for the campground at Mermaid Cove. At low tide, the rocky shoreline often has tidal pools with starfish, sea urchins, small fish and crabs. Scuba diving provides a close-up look at the abundant marine life and a 3-metre bronze mermaid statue. The Emerald Princess statue and wheelchair access ramp were placed in the park through efforts of local scuba enthusiasts. From the shore, killer whales and sea lions can sometimes be seen. Mounds of seashells called “middens” indicate that this was a traditional gathering area for First Nations. Scuba divers will find a 9 ft. bronze mermaid at 10 fathoms in front of Mermaid Cove. (BC Parks)

B.C. municipalities join federal government's side in carbon tax court fight
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted intervener status to six B.C. municipalities in the federal government's carbon pricing court case. Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Squamish, Nelson and Rossland have joined the federal government's side in a court case expected to be heard by the Supreme Court in March 2020. At issue is whether the federal government can impose a carbon tax on provinces that have chosen not to implement one. The province of Saskatchewan lost its initial lawsuit against the tax in June but has appealed.  Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

As Port Moody sea lion facility prepares to close, supporters look to an expanded future
A sea lion research station on the Port Moody waterfront that has struggled to secure funding will shut down before the end of the year, an event that will trigger the return of the four resident Steller sea lions to captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium.  But while the transfer of the four pinnipeds into full-blown captivity marks a turning point for the one-of-a-kind research facility, a community of supporters has sprung up in defence of the Open Water Research Station after  The Tri-City News in September first reported revelations of its likely demise. The sea lions have spent the last 16 years at the centre of the facility’s open-water research program, one that has played a pivotal role in conservation efforts as far away as Alaska. But Ocean Wise Conservation Association recently pulled its share of the funding — the Vancouver Aquarium program has long paid trainer salaries, vet bills and the cost of fish at the research station — and the facility had no choice but to close, said director Andrew Trites. Stefan Labbe reports. (Tai-City News)

'Sneaky' underwater robot spent 18 days recording sea creatures -- and noisy humans, too
For 18 days, an underwater robot dived and surfaced and dived and surfaced — some 402 times in all — listening to the ocean’s depths as it traveled hundreds of miles along the continental shelf off the Washington and Oregon coastline. The torpedo-shaped robot, called a glider, captured the percussive roar of a research ship’s air gun, which reverberated like a muffled bass drum. It listened to what sounded like the churn of a wobbly washing machine, which indicated the presence of a ship passing nearby. The 120-pound robot even caught the delightful, baritone whining of humpback whales. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

What happens when hermit crabs confuse plastic trash for shells? An ‘avalanche’ of death.
A study that called attention to a remote cluster of islands off Australia’s coast was met with international concern when it published in May. In a harrowing account of their trip to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands two years prior, researchers recalled seeing beaches that were “literally drowning in plastic.” An estimated 414 million pieces of it, to be exact. But Jennifer Lavers and her research team now say they made another startling observation while digging through copious amounts of litter on that 2017 trip: Many of the bottles, cans and containers were not empty. Scores of hermit crabs, mostly dead, were trapped inside. Michael Brice-Saddler reports. (Washington Post)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  216 AM PST Fri Dec 6 2019   
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 15 seconds. A chance of showers in the morning then showers  likely in the afternoon. 
 E wind to 10 kt becoming SE after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. SW swell 6 ft at 12 seconds. Rain in the evening  then rain likely after midnight. 
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. SW swell 7 ft at  10 seconds. Showers likely. 
 W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. SW swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. 
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. SW swell 6 ft at  10 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

12/5 Black pine algae, State of the Sound, Fraser salmon, King County pollution, shrinking birds, Raquel Momtoya-Lewis, Port Moody rail, BC Skagit logging

Black pine [Mary Jo Adams]
Black pine Neorhodomela larix
Black pine is a species of red algae native to coastal areas of the North Pacific, from Mexico to the Bering Sea to Japan. It forms dense mats on semi-exposed rocks in intertidal areas. The thallus is dark brown to black in color with whorled branches resembling a bottlebrush. (Wikipedia)

Puget Sound was supposed to be healthy by now. It's not
Puget Sound was supposed to be healthy by now. Fifteen years ago, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire made it the state’s aim to clean up Puget Sound by 2020. But a new report from the agency she created to accomplish that goal shows that with one month to go, we are nowhere close. Almost all the indicators that the Puget Sound Partnership uses to gauge the health of the sound are off the mark. Those include dozens of measures of pollution, habitat and aquatic life in Washington’s inland sea and the lands that drain into it. In the new State of the Sound report, partnership executive director Laura Blackmore says Puget Sound is “in grave trouble.” John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Low water flows key to next phase in Fraser River salmon rescue: DFO
Government officials say there is a “high risk” they won’t be fully successful in rescuing salmon threatened by a massive landslide on the Fraser River. The landslide at Big Bar northwest of Kamloops was discovered in June and the government has said several species are at risk of being wiped out. In a progress update Wednesday, Sarah Murdoch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says water levels are beginning to drop on the river, presenting the only opportunity to remove enormous amounts of rock blocking salmon migration routes before spring and summer runs arrive next year. She says there will likely only be a window open until mid-March when the flow is low, but officials are also facing difficult winter conditions in the remote area. (Canadian Press)

King County cites soaring costs, climate change in bid to redo water-pollution agreement with state and feds 
King County wants to renegotiate a high-stakes court settlement to curb discharges of untreated storm and wastewater that may overflow sewers during heavy rainfall, citing challenges ranging from soaring construction costs to climate change. The county expects to spend some $1.9 billion on this work during the next decade. But county officials now want regulators with the state Ecology Department and federal Environmental Protection Agency to give them more time to complete some projects, and agree to a broad review of how the money should best be spent....A 2018 county technical memorandum that analyzed stormwater runoff found that that the untreated discharges from the combined sewer-storm system totals about 595 million gallons. In contrast, the county estimates that 118 billion gallons of untreated stormwater flows from a separate network of ditches and pipes that enter the region’s streams, rivers and estuaries and can carry chemicals, oil, lubricants, animal waste, copper and other contaminants that can harm aquatic life. The current county spending is guided by a 2013 consent decree filed in U.S. District Court. The 72-page settlement lays out a series of timelines stretching to 2030 for improvements in the network of sewers that carries a combination of human waste and stormwater. Hal Bernton and David Gutman report. (Seattle Times)

Climate change is causing birds to shrink, study says
As the climate warms, birds are shrinking and their wingspans are growing, according to a new study. Researchers analysed 70,716 specimens from 52 North American migratory bird species collected over 40 years. The birds had died after colliding with buildings in Chicago, Illinois. The authors say the study is the largest of its kind and that the findings are important to understanding how animals will adapt to climate change. Kelsey Vlamis reports. (BBC)

Inslee appoints Raquel Montoya-Lewis as first Native American to sit on Washington Supreme Court 
Gov. Jay Inslee appointed a Whatcom County Superior Court judge Wednesday to the Washington State Supreme Court, making her the first Native American justice in the institution’s history. Raquel Montoya-Lewis, 51,  is from the Pueblo of Laguna Indian and Pueblo of Isleta tribes in New Mexico. A former professor at Western Washington University, she has also served as chief judge for three Native American tribes  in Washington — the Nooksack, Skagit and Lummi tribes. With her appointment to the nine-member court, Montoya-Lewis will be on the ballot in next fall’s election. Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

$31-million Port Moody rail project worries environmentalists
A $31-million rail expansion project to add a third track between Port Moody and Burnaby’s Suncor terminal is set to begin construction amid rising concerns over the project’s impact on the surrounding freshwater and marine environments. The Cascade Capacity Expansion Project involves extending the shoreline embankment in several locations along more than a kilometre of waterfront running west of Port Moody's Reed Point Marina to make room for a parallel track...A spokesperson for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority — the agency responsible for overseeing the project and environmental review process — said it will make a final decision on the project and environmental review application before the end of the year. But the review process and project itself have raised environmental red flags, both among local eco advocates and from the city of Port Moody, which in a Sept. 10 letter to the port laid out 30 concerns with the project in its current form.  Stefan Labbe reports. (Tai-City News)

British Columbia says it will no longer log in Skagit headwaters key to Puget Sound 
Amid an international dispute, British Columbia’s government announced Wednesday that it will no longer allow timber sales in the Skagit River’s headwaters. The decision could intensify pressure over a Canadian company’s pending permit to begin exploratory mining in the area, which conservationists view as a bigger threat to the river’s ecology. Last year, loggers built roads and clear-cut several large swaths of forest in the headwaters, which drain into the Skagit River and eventually flow through Washington state to Puget Sound. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  228 AM PST Thu Dec 5 2019   
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 12 seconds. A chance of showers. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of showers.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

12/4 Dwarf mistletoe, climate change, State of the Sound, Maia Bellon, tribal leadership, Andrerson Cr spill, harvesting seaweed, whale sanctuary, wild turkeys

Western dwarf mistletoe [USDA]
Western dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium campylopodum
Parasite on a wide range of conifers in our region, most commonly on western hemlock; common but often overlooked because it usually occurs high up in the host tree. Mistletoe causes 'witch's broom,' a disorganized growth of the tree. Mistletoe infestations can cause significant reductions in the growth of conifer hosts. The species name campylopodum means 'bent, curved' (campylobacter) 'foot, stalk' (podium), presumably in reference to the flower stalks. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Climate Change Is Accelerating: ‘Things Are Getting Worse’
More devastating fires in California. Persistent drought in the Southwest. Record flooding in Europe and Africa. A heat wave, of all things, in Greenland. Climate change and its effects are accelerating, with climate related disasters piling up, season after season. “Things are getting worse,” said Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, which on Tuesday issued its annual state of the global climate report, concluding a decade of what it called exceptional global heat. “It’s more urgent than ever to proceed with mitigation.” Henry Fountain reports. (NY Times)

2019 State of the Sound
"The Report is clear that Puget Sound remains in grave trouble...Sufficient funding for the priorities described in the Action Agenda for Puget Sound remains the biggest barrier to recovery. However, the Report’s Call to Action outlines many activities that governments and a range of other partners can do now, without additional funding...The Vital Sign indicators show that progress has been reported for 10 of the 52 indicators; however, only 4 indicators are currently meeting their 2020 targets. (Partnership news release, 12/3/19)

Ecology director resigning
Washington Ecology Director Maia Bellon will resign at the end of the year, she announced Monday. Bellon, 50, is one of Gov. Jay Inslee’s longest serving cabinet members, appointed in February 2013 to manage the agency of more than 1,600 employees who enforce the state’s environmental regulations and monitor pollution. (Spokesman Review)

Tribes lead the way to revive regional salmon runs
We are all salmon people, and we know what we need to do. Such was the message of this year’s Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit, a day-long gathering focused on achieving consensus for immediate and bold action to restore the Pacific region’s diminishing salmon runs. The summit, hosted by Squaxin Island Tribe on November 5 in Shelton, Wash., was a follow-up to last year’s inaugural convening of a broad coalition of groups working toward a consensus to accelerate salmon recovery in the region.  Despite a 20-year, billion dollar effort to restore salmon runs in Washington State, most salmon remain in decline. Puget Sound Chinook salmon are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act; the 22 remaining populations are dangerously below federal recovery goals, according to the Puget Sound Partnership. Unsurprisingly, the consensus among summit attendees is the status-quo approach of the past two decades isn’t working. George Thomas Jr. writes. (UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs)

Feds: Bellingham farm’s waste flowed into creek, killed fish
A Bellingham farmer has agreed to pay $6,750 to settle a federal complaint that he discharged animal waste into a restored creek, killing about 300 fish — including threatened steelhead. NOAA Fisheries said Tuesday that Harold Carbee discharged waste into Anderson Creek during a period of at least 12 hours in May 2018. A local resident noticed the discharge and called authorities. A NOAA spokesman says the discharge happened because of equipment failure and heavy rains. About $9 million has been spent in restoration funding for Anderson Creek, for two new bridge crossings that improve passage for threatened Puget Sound steelhead. The creek flows into the Nooksack River, a drinking water source for the city of Lynden. The investigation found at least 300 dead fish, including 89 threatened steelhead smolts, coho salmon and other species. (Associated Press)

Could seaweed be Washington's next cash crop?
With Washington's natural kelp beds declining, some scientists think seaweed aquaculture could fill an ecological niche and serve an emergent market. But the barriers to entry remain high. Hannah Weinberge reports. (Crosscut)

Captive orcas could retire in Northwest, but some worry about harm to endangered whales 
....a new nonprofit group is making the case that no cetaceans should be held captive and forced to perform for food. It’s called The Whale Sanctuary Project. It would be a $15 million facility where roughly a half dozen captive orcas could safely retire. The group’s extensive roster includes dozens of scientists and trainers — some who once worked in the captive industry. They want to put their first facility in the Pacific Northwest. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Too much turkey: Wild birds invade B.C. neighbourhood, make 'a fine mess'
A group of rogue turkeys that has taken up residence in a Vancouver Island subdivision better smarten up before they end up on the Christmas dinner table. Residents in Mill Bay, B.C., north of Victoria, have spotted almost a dozen of the birds hanging out in the neighbourhood, roosting on cars and riling up local dogs. They appeared without explanation and residents say they are causing a bit of chaos in the community. Marie Adam has lived in the area for 45 years and was surprised to find about nine members of the fowl gang in her yard recently. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  218 AM PST Wed Dec 4 2019   
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 13 seconds. A chance of rain in the  morning then a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 15 to 20 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft at 13 seconds. A  slight chance of rain after midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

12/3 Noble fir, BC pipe, net-pen settlement, Fraser river salmon, Roberts Bank project, octopus, wildfire tax

Noble fir
Noble fir Abies procera
The noble fir, also called red fir and Christmastree, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington.

Trans Mountain to start construction on pipeline expansion
Trans Mountain Corp. is preparing to officially start construction on its pipeline expansion after years of delay. On Tuesday, Trans Mountain president and CEO Ian Anderson, federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan, provincial Energy Minister Sonya Savage, as well as representatives from local governments and the Enoch Cree Nation will officially mark the start of construction at an event near Acheson, Alta., west of Edmonton. The Crown corporation that owns the project has already mobilized its workforce and restarted some work at the pipeline's terminals, since the federal Liberal government approved the $7.4-billion expansion for the second time earlier this year.  The Federal Court of Appeal is currently reviewing an appeal by Indigenous groups of that second approval. Sarah Rieger reports. (CBC)

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $2.75M to settle lawsuit over salmon net-pen collapse
Cooke Aquaculture has reached a settlement to pay $2.75 million in legal fees and to fund Puget Sound restoration projects, putting an end to a Clean Water Act lawsuit that followed the 2017 collapse of one of the fish-farming company’s net-pen structures. The nonprofit Wild Fish Conservancy, an advocacy group that opposes fish farming in open water, initiated its lawsuit against Cooke in August 2017, about a week after a Cooke net pen near Cypress Island collapsed. State regulators would later say the company’s negligence led to the collapse and determined that as many as 263,000 Atlantic salmon escaped the floating cage structure and into Puget Sound. Fears did not materialize that the escaped salmon would survive and spread in Washington waters long-term. Some were concerned they could be a threat to native salmon. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Fraser River most critically endangered river in B.C: Outdoor council
The combined impacts of habitat destruction, fisheries management and climate change on the Fraser River are at their most damaging point since the Outdoor Recreation Council began compiling data 40 years ago. Steelhead runs in the largest tributaries of the Fraser are on the brink of extinction. The spawning population in the Thompson watershed is estimated to be 86 fish, according to a recent update from the ministry of forests, lands and natural resources. The Chilcotin watershed has only 39 steelhead likely to spawn. Non-selective net fishing for salmon is undercutting conservation and habitat restoration efforts intended to save the Fraser River steelhead from blinking out of existence, said Mark Angelo, chairman of the 100,000-member ORC. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Biologist 'gobsmacked' the salmon sperm he helped freeze 20 years ago may now boost a dwindling stock
After a particularly bad year for salmon returns because of a landslide near Big Bar, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council partnered with the Spruce City Wildlife Association in Prince George, to use salmon sperm they cryogenically froze 20 years ago, to try to replenish a Chinook salmon stock. Dustin Snyder, a spokesperson for the Spruce City Wildlife Association, said that 1,600 out of the 2,000 eggs they fertilized in September have survived. This is lower than what they usually see when using fresh salmon sperm, or milt, but they are excited to be reintroducing genetic diversity that has likely been lost. Biologist Brian Harvey helped the Carrier Sekani collect the milt 20 years ago in the Endako River and was "gobsmacked" when he heard they're now successfully using it. Dominika Lirette reports. (CBC)

Field Studies Continue for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is continuing field studies in December 2019 as part of ongoing environmental and technical work for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. Since 2011, the Port Authority has been conducting field studies at Roberts Bank and the surrounding areas that build on previous scientific work as well as address existing information gaps. According to the Port, the purpose of these studies is to determine the physical conditions (e.g., temperature and salinity) influencing biofilm presence and distribution at Roberts Bank. The Roberts Bank study area is located in the upper and mid intertidal zones north of the Roberts Bank causeway. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed new three-berth marine container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia, approximately 35 km south of Vancouver. (DredgingToday)

The Octopus from Outer Space
Seattle’s most beguiling sea creatures were once feared and hunted—and even wrestled—for sport. But new research and a few surprising encounters are changing how we view them. A story in eight parts.  James Ross Gardner writes. (SeattleMet)

New tax proposed to protect Washington from looming wildfire crisis
State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says a new tax is needed to help protect Washington during the upcoming wildfire season. But the plan is getting a cold reception from Republicans at the state Legislature...Franz is proposing a new way to bring in money each year for firefighting and fire prevention -- a tax. Her plan would hike Washington residents' insurance tax rate for property and casualty by $1 each month for the average household. It is estimated to generate $63 million annually.   Keith Eldridge reports. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  213 AM PST Tue Dec 3 2019   
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds  building to 6 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A chance of rain  in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 14 seconds. Rain.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

12/2 Snow geese, BC salmon, water temp, 'salmon cannon,' First Nation solar, coastal sea rise, Stanwood berm, owl hits, marbled murrelet economics, gypsy moth spray

Snow geese [Mike Hamilton/BirdNote]
Snow Geese: Too Much of a Good Thing
Large migrant flocks of Snow Geese descend on the Lower 48 states in October and November, returning from their summer breeding grounds in the Arctic. The geese are an entrancing natural spectacle in sparkling white — but there is a problem. “Conservation” usually means protecting declining species and critical habitats. But what happens when a species’ population swells beyond the capacity of its habitat? How should we handle it? Too much of a good thing — that is the Snow Goose conundrum. Snow Geese numbers have ballooned, from fewer than a million in the 1960s to perhaps 15 million today. The geese overwhelm the Arctic tundra where they nest, degrading breeding areas they share with nesting sandpipers and other birds. (BirdNote)

Some B.C. salmon runs face 'meaningful chance of extinction' after landslide, despite rescue mission
Scientists fear that some Fraser River salmon populations could be wiped out completely following a landslide that has blocked part of the critical B.C. migration route for the last year. Federal government scientists told the Pacific Salmon Commission there is a "meaningful chance of extinction" for three salmon runs after the Big Bar landslide, according to a copy of a PowerPoint presentation, dated  Oct. 16, obtained by CBC News. That includes the Early Stuart sockeye and the Mid-Fraser and Upper Fraser Spring 1.3 chinook populations. The landslide prompted officials at multiple levels of government to organize a rescue mission that saw thousands of salmon, which are very vulnerable to stress, lifted by helicopter across the rocks that blocked their migration route. But despite that effort, prospects are dismal for the salmon in the upper reaches of the river, according to Dean Werk, president of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

East Vancouver's urban salmon stream sees no returning fish in 3 years
Biologists are sounding the alarm over the lack of fish in one of Vancouver's few salmon-bearing streams. Nestled in an industrial corner of East Vancouver, Still Creek is one of a handful of places in the city where salmon come to spawn. After 80 dormant years, the salmon returned in 2012 following a city restoration of the creek. Hundreds of chum salmon have been through since then. But biologist and volunteer stream keeper David Scott says there haven't been any salmon in three years. (CBC)

Water temperature problem in local creeks regains attention
The state Department of Ecology is refocusing on a water quality problem in the Skagit River watershed that’s gotten little attention over the past decade. The problem has to do with high water temperatures during the summer in some tributaries to the river in the lower watershed, from Hansen Creek in the Sedro-Woolley area to Fisher Creek south of Mount Vernon. Sections of those and six other tributaries to the lower Skagit River were listed in 1998 under the federal Clean Water Act as having impaired water quality due to the high temperatures — an issue of particular concern for the region’s salmon, which need cold water. A July 2008 report from Ecology set the goal of planting trees along the banks of the eight creeks as well as a ninth in the area by 2020 in order to bring water temperatures to acceptable levels by 2080. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

BTC students work with famous ‘Salmon Cannon’ that could help local salmon runs
Bellingham Technical College students used Whooshh Innovations’ famous “Salmon Cannon” to aid salmon migration to the Whatcom Creek Hatchery at Maritime Heritage Park. The Seattle-based company’s fish transport system has achieved stardom over the last five years, even making an appearance on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The system can be used to help migrating salmon — and other fish — pass by human-made obstacles, such as dams. In its second year, the collaboration between Whooshh Innovations and BTC is an example of how the college is helping students “work really closely with industry,” said Brittany Palm-Flawd, hatchery manager and BTC faculty member. It also gave students an opportunity to work with emerging technology in their industry. Warren Sterling reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Community prepares to throw switch on solar farm 100% owned and operated by First Nation
The chief of a small First Nations community in British Columbia's Interior says he expects the power to go on any day now for what will be among the first solar farms 100 per cent owned and operated by a First Nation in the province. Chief Russell Myers Ross of the Yunesit'in in the Chilcotin region west of Williams Lake says the 1.25-megawatt hours per year project is also among the largest operational solar farms in the province. (Canadian Press)

If you like to watch: Crosscut Documentaries presents: The Rising
Climate change is quickly altering the shape of the Northwest — its ecosystems, its coastlines and the ways of life of the humans who live on it. This is perhaps felt most acutely by several tribes on the Pacific Coast, where declining salmon stocks and an ocean in revolt are forcing them to confront the reality of moving from the place they’ve inhabited since time immemorial. In the Quinault Indian Nation, plans are underway for relocating the villages of Taholah and Queets, where over a thousand people face increased tsunami risk as the sea rises inch by inch, year by year. Severe floods already breach the sea walls meant to protect Taholah, and the mouth of the Queets River has transformed into a funnel for surging waves. (25:10)      Sarah Hoffman and Ted Alvarez report. (Crosscut)

Climate change: COP25 island nation in 'fight to death'
The president of an island nation on the frontline of climate change says it is in a "fight to the death" after freak waves inundated the capital. Powerful swells averaging 5m (16ft) washed across the capital of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, last week. But President Hilda Heine said the Pacific nation had been fighting rising tides even before last week's disaster. Political leaders and climate diplomats are meeting in Madrid for two weeks of talks amid a growing sense of crisis. Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

New berm will offer flood protection, views in Stanwood
A quarter-mile berm will soon protect a historic business district in downtown Stanwood from the flood-prone Stillaguamish River. Atop the berm, which will be between between Marine Drive and 92nd Avenue Northwest, a 10-foot-wide paved trail will connect bicyclists and pedestrians to the 88th Street park and ride. The trail will offer views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Bids go out Dec. 11 for the million-dollar project. Construction is set to begin in early 2020, and will take about six months, according to city engineer Shawn Smith. The Stillaguamish River has flooded downtown Stanwood somewhere in the company of three times in the past decade, Smith said. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Everett Herald)

Owl collisions with vehicles on seasonal rise
With more hours of darkness, and more rain and fog that can obscure vision this time of year, area wildlife rehabilitation facilities are seeing an increase in owls being hit by vehicles. “It’s becoming dark earlier, and then these owls are out hunting and there’s trash and things on the sides of roads, and that attracts rodents ... so that’s where they hunt and then they get clipped by cars,” Sarvey Wildlife Center Executive Director Suzanne West said. This increase is something Sarvey in Arlington and Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on San Juan Island see each fall. Both centers treat wildlife from Skagit County, and each have recently received several owls injured along roadsides here. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Marbled murrelet plan to have huge impact on junior taxing districts, Forks official says
The financial impact that the state’s preferred alternative for the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy would have on West End junior taxing districts could be significantly greater than officials have said previously, according to Rod Fleck, Forks city attorney and planner. An analysis by Fleck shows that West End districts that have trust lands comprised largely of 50-year-old trees or older would see significant impacts over the next two decades. “Looking through the pages for Clallam County … the actual impacts are much higher than clearly stated [in the final Environmental Impact Statement,]” Fleck said in an email...The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the plan to protect the threatened seabird was released in September and has been criticized by local officials for lacking adequate financial analysis. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Washington plans to spray 1,300 acres for gypsy moths
About 1,300 acres in northwest Washington likely will be sprayed with an insecticide next spring to stop an outbreak of gypsy moths, including a type native to Asia never before detected in the U.S. The Washington State Department of Agriculture said it tentatively plans to release Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki over Woodway, a small city on Puget Sound, and Boulevard Bluffs, an Everett neighborhood. Both places are in Snohomish County. Don Jenkins reports. (Capitol Press)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  201 AM PST Mon Dec 2 2019   
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  6 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of rain in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 10 seconds. A slight chance of rain in the evening. A  chance of rain after midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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