Friday, March 5, 2021

3/5 Anna's hummer, harbor expansion, Site C dam safety, zebra mussels, old snapper

 

Anna's Hummingbird [Kyle Blaney]


Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
Anna’s Hummingbirds are among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast, yet they're anything but common in appearance. With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, they are more like flying jewelry than birds. Though no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel, Anna’s Hummingbirds make a strong impression. In their thrilling courtship displays, males climb up to 130 feet into the air and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers. (All About Birds)

Seattle Harbor Expansion Would Push Out Endangered Whales, Conservation Group Says
The Trump administration rushed through a project to expand Seattle Harbor for ultra-large container ships that would further threaten endangered Southern Resident killer whales, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday...butt the Seattle Harbor project, approved in 2019, would worsen all three of the primary causes for the orcas’ decline: noise that drowns out the clicks and calls they use to echolocate their prey, toxic chemicals in the water that are absorbed by the fish the whales eat, and then into their fat stores, where they disrupt the whales’ endocrine function, reducing their ability to reproduce, and potentially harming the salmon whales depend on. Karina Brown reports. (Courthouse News)

‘Who would feel safe?’ Site C dam concerns build in downstream communities ‘Who would feel safe?’ Site C dam concerns build in downstream communities
Concerns about the safety of the Site C dam are mounting in some downstream communities along the Peace River, despite the B.C. government’s assurances that the project can be completed safely after two independent experts approved BC Hydro’s proposed fix for the dam’s weak foundation. The fix involves driving as many as 125 concrete-filled pipes 25 metres into the ground — the height of an eight-storey residential building — to extend the foundation of the dam, its powerhouse and spillways. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

Northwest wildlife agencies warn of invasive zebra mussels in retail marimo balls
Wildlife agencies in Oregon and Washington are urging pet stores to remove a popular aquarium product from shelves after discovering invasive zebra mussels inside them.mThese marauding mollusks breed quickly and can wreak havoc on natural waterways. Recent, unexpected sightings in Northwest pet stores have wildlife officials sounding the alarm. A PetCo employee in Seattle first found zebra mussels in “Betta Buddy Marimo Ball” products in early February. Bradley W. Parks reports. (OPB)

Scientists Discover an 81-Year-Old Snapper
The octogenarian snapper, the oldest tropical reef fish discovered to date, suggests reef fishes could grow to be even older—if we let them. Annie Roth reports. (Hakai Magazine)



Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  347 AM PST Fri Mar 5 2021   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
  
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 12 ft at 15 seconds.  Rain in the morning then showers and a slight chance of tstms in  the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  13 ft at 13 seconds building to 15 ft at 12 seconds after  midnight. Showers and a slight chance of tstms in the evening  then showers likely after midnight. 
SAT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 13 ft  at 11 seconds subsiding to 9 ft at 12 seconds in the afternoon. A  chance of showers. 
SAT NIGHT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds. 
SUN
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 10 seconds.


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

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

3/4 Jay, Chinook for orcas, gray whales, Canada geese, BC Ferries fare, Braided Warrior demo

Steller's Jay [Noel Reynolds]

 
Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
Drive into the mountains, and as soon as an evergreen canopy closes over your head you can start looking for Steller’s Jays or listening for their scratchy, scolding calls. Also keep an eye out around feeders, backyards, picnic tables, and campgrounds, where they are probably already watching you, sizing up their prospects for a handout. (All About Birds)

Winter supply of Chinook salmon critical to survival of orcas, says study
Endangered southern resident killer whales would have a much better chance of survival if chinook were in their hunting grounds during winter off the coast of British Columbia, a new study says. The whales expand their menu and the distance they travel as they forage for food from October to March in the waters off California up to Alaska, which leaves them with little energy, says the study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Plos One. Brad Hanson, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said this is the first study that looks at the diet requirements of killer whales from their perspective. Hina Alam reports. (National Post)

Gray whales return to region
A group of Pacific gray whales known as the Sounders because they stop over in Puget Sound during their coastal migration is beginning to arrive in the region.  As of Wednesday, at least four had been seen in the area, where scientists with the nonprofit Cascadia Research Collective have found they tend to congregate in waters off Whidbey Island and feed on ghost shrimp. Kimberly Cauvel reports.(Skgit Valley Herald)

Vancouver needs help keeping up with its Canada goose problem
In Vancouver, it's geese who reign over the green space in town.  Thousands of the birds — and counting — waddle as they please through the city's oceanfront parks, leaving an impressive trail of feathers and excrement in their wake. They foul public swimming pools, gobble young grass from freshly seeded fields, dig holes around water sprinklers and nip at passersby who get too close during mating season. The Vancouver Park Board, by its own admission, cannot keep up. (CBC)

B.C. Ferries unveils new fare options, including ‘saver fare’
A new “saver fare” — ranging from $49 to $73.70 for a car and driver — will be available on less busy sailings throughout the year between Swartz Bay and ­Tsawwassen, Duke Point and Tsawwassen, and Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay, the company said. Lindsay Kines reports. (Times Colonist)

Vancouver demonstration over jailing of pipeline protester ends with 4 arrests
Four people have been arrested after Indigenous youth temporarily blocked and forced the shutdown of a major Vancouver intersection to protest a 90-day jail sentence handed to an anti-pipeline protester. The protest, organized by a group called the Braided Warriors, began late Tuesday at Hastings Street and Clark Drive and ended Wednesday night, roughly 24 hours after it started. (CBC)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  345 AM PST Thu Mar 4 2021   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 9 ft at 16 seconds. Rain  in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming E 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 13 ft at 16 seconds.  Rain.



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

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

3/3 Robin, salmon forecast, killer whale deaths, marine mammal superbugs

American Robin [WikiCommons]

 
American Robin Turdus migratorius
The quintessential early bird, American Robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. Robins are popular birds for their warm orange breast, cheery song, and early appearance at the end of winter. Though they’re familiar town and city birds, American Robins are at home in wilder areas, too, including mountain forests and Alaskan wilderness. (All About Birds)

Salmon experts predict more wild coho but fewer Chinook in Puget Sound this year
Greater numbers of wild coho salmon are expected to return to Puget Sound later this year, according to forecasts released last week, but threatened Puget Sound Chinook stocks are likely to see another decline. The 2021 salmon forecasts were announced Friday during an online video conference with sport and commercial fishers and other interested people. The annual meeting serves to launch negotiations that, when completed in April, will prescribe fishing seasons for the coming summer and fall. Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

Killer Whale CSI
Collisions with boats and other interactions with humans are "significant" causes of death for killer whales in the northeastern Pacific, a recent study says. The findings come from one of the most comprehensive looks at killer whale pathology to date, but scientists say determining how a killer whale may have died is often notoriously difficult. Eric Wagner reports. (Salish Sea Currents Magazine)

Why Salish Sea researchers are targeting superbugs in marine mammals
Harbor seals and porpoises in the Salish Sea experience antibiotic-resistant bacteria differently, pointing to worrying implications for orcas. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  258 AM PST Wed Mar 3 2021   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH
 LATE THURSDAY NIGHT   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  7 ft at 12 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 S wind to 10 kt becoming SE after midnight. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 15 seconds.


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

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

3/2 Lark, Wild Olympics, SISȻENEM, no discharge, elusive waterbirds, Protection Is, Port of Vancouver cargo, black-browed babbler

 

Horned Lark [Suzanne Labbe]


Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
Horned Larks are small birds that live in large, empty fields—and they’re roughly the same color and size as a clod of dirt. To find them, look for the barest ground around and scan the ground carefully, watching for movement or for the birds to turn their black-and-yellow faces toward you. Also watch the air above open country for flocks of smaller birds flying in dense aggregations (sometimes numbering well into the hundreds, particularly in winter). From late winter into summer, listen for the high-pitched, thin, tinkling song, often given in flight display over suitable open habitats. (All About Birds)

U.S. House passes Wild Olympics bill with public-lands package
Now it’s up to the U.S. Senate. Congressman Derek Kilmer’s Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act has passed the House as part of a package that includes seven other bills. Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act package was approved by a vote of 227-200 on Friday, with eight Republicans and all but one Democratic lawmaker supporting it. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

‘Like going back in time’: W̱SÁNEĆ people to regain rightful ownership of abundant remote island
Abundant with meadows of colourful flowers and other pristine wildlife, a remote Salish Sea island is being returned to its rightful owners — the W̱SÁNEĆ people. The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) recently purchased SISȻENEM, a four-hectare island off the eastern side of Sidney Island, from a private owner for $1.55 million. On Friday, the charitable land trust signed an agreement with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council (WLC) to transfer title and to commit to shared management of the site, also known as Halibut Island. (Yahoo News)

No Discharge Zone continues to protect Puget Sound
EPA has completed their economic analysis of the No Discharge Zone and [concluded that] the cost of preventing vessels from dumping sewage in Puget Sound is well worth the benefits we gain in protecting and restoring Puget Sound. [Washington Department of Ecology blog]

Elusive Waterbirds
Reader Don Norman writes: "If readers are interested in helping survey for Elusive Waterbirds, the Puget Sound Bird Observatory is gearing up for its 5th year of the Wetland Secretive Bird Monitoring, which includes Virginia (and Sora) Rails, as well as Green Herons, American Bittern and other wetland birds. Survey sites are from Whatcom to Thurston Counties and volunteers are needed!  YOu can contact PSBO at https://www.pugetsoundbirds.org/contact This is a great project that is helping determine the population status of these elusive birds that are poorly surveyed by the regular methods of monitoring."

How Washington’s Protection Island Became a Haven for Wildlife — And One Man
The small island was supposed to be a vacation destination. Now it’s a refuge for birds, seals, and Marty Bluewater. Michelle Harris reports. (Atlas Obscura)

Port of Vancouver breaks records for grain, potash and containers despite COVID-19
The Port of Vancouver reported stellar trade numbers on Monday, with record shipments of grain, potash and containers — despite the global pandemic. The 2020 port figures showed a record in grain shipments for the fifth year in a row with 35.1 million tonnes handled — which is a 24 per cent jump over 2019. Overall, cargo was steady at 145.4 million tonnes. David Carrigg reports. (Vancouver Sun) The Cargo Statistics Report YTD Dec. 2020 vs Dec. 2019 shows petroleum products increased 18.3%, with crude petroleum increasing 84.1%. (Port of Vancouver)

This Bird Wasn’t Seen for 170 Years. Then It Appeared in an Indonesian Forest. h
What might be Asia’s longest-missing bird just came out of hiding. For the first time in 170 years, researchers reported last week that a black-browed babbler has been found in Indonesia. The discovery of the muted black, gray and chestnut-brown bird solves what an authoritative birding guide describes as “one of the great enigmas of Indonesian ornithology.” Rachel Nuwer reports. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  608 AM PST Tue Mar 2 2021   
TODAY
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  9 ft at 14 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 13 seconds.


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

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Monday, March 1, 2021

3/1 Virginia Rail, Site C dam, fish passage, salmon season, climate impacts, quake history, smolt remains, BC border, restoration $s

Virginia Rail [Evan Lipton]


Virgina Rail Rallus limicola
A secretive bird of freshwater marshes, the Virginia Rail often remains hidden in dense vegetation, but its loud grunting may give away its presence. As it slowly pokes its way through the marsh, you might get a glimpse of its reddish bill, black-and-white barred sides, and its twitching tail, showing off white tail feathers beneath. It possesses many adaptations for moving through its nearly impenetrable habitat, including a laterally compressed body, long toes, and flexible vertebrae. (All About Birds)

The most expensive dam in Canadian history: cost of B.C.’s Site C dam balloons to $16 billion
Premier John Horgan defends decision to push ahead with beleaguered BC Hydro project, which has nearly doubled in cost under NDP government as a result of escalating safety issues. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

State agency drafting fish passage rules
he state Department of Fish & Wildlife is drafting rules related to a state law that applies to fish passage in rivers, streams and lakes in an effort to make more clear how the law aids in the recovery of salmon and orca whales...The rule-making process began in 2019 at the direction of the state Legislature based on recommendations from the state’s orca recovery task force recommendations in 2018. The new rules are anticipated to take effect in 2022. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Forecasts released for 2021 as annual salmon season-setting process begins
Washington salmon seasons are likely to once again be limited by low returns with a few potential bright spots in 2021, state fishery managers announced Friday, February 26 at a meeting to present salmon forecasts for the coming year. Cooperatively developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and co-managers, the forecasts mark the jumping-off point for the annual “North of Falcon” process to shape Washington’s salmon-fishing seasons.  (San Juan Islander)

Digital maps show how climate change’s impact in WA isn’t equal
From floods to wildfires, mapping programs in Cascadia are showing scientists which communities face higher risk. Peter Fairley reports. (Crosscut)

Decoding earthquake history: How geologists find fossilized clues in sediment 
Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Salmon Smolts: Here Today, Guano Tomorrow
In British Columbia, great blue heron guano explains the mystery of the vanishing salmon smolts. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)

U.S. politicians push to revive Alaska cruises, with Victoria as 'technical' stop
Lawmakers in the U.S. are engaging in a full-court press to try to salvage the 2021 Alaska cruise season, including appeals to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and attempts to waive American legal restrictions on ship movement. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Republican Congressman Don Young, all from Alaska, have written to Trudeau asking him to work with the group on Canada’s cruise ship ban for 2021, enacted this month. Andrew Duffy reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Washington state is missing Canadian travellers and shoppers 
The WWU report on the impact of the shut border, which closed March 21, 2020, and remains closed until at least March 21, 2021, likely longer, reported these “key takeaways”: Whatcom County’s hospitality sector, the Bellingham airport, second-home ownership and “all cross-border leisure travel” have been hit hard. The report, published in the fall, estimated the county lost 506,000 tourists up to the end of September. It said Bellingham airport passenger numbers were down 70 per cent. It estimated seven per cent of the county’s homeowners are Canadians or dual citizens, and the border shutdown and 14-day quarantine requirements for returning Canadian travellers “limit access to Canadian-owned vacation homes or second homes.” The report found in 2019 that visitors spent $555 million in the area and that tourism supports five per cent of the county’s jobs. But the study couldn’t say how much of that economic activity came from Canadians.  Susan Lazaruk reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Estuary restoration planned for Skagit Wildlife Area's Island Unit
Two silt-edged islands connected by a bridge in the southern Skagit River delta may within a few years see the majority of the dikes that have long shielded them from the river and nearby Skagit Bay removed. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife announced this week that it plans to allow water onto this 270-acre property known as the Island Unit of the Skagit Wildlife Area. It’s a plan that will create more habitat for threatened Puget Sound chinook salmon and in turn benefit endangered Southern Resident orca whales that eat chinook, benefit other wildlife and potentially increase recreation opportunities. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Ecology secures $3.6 million to restore and preserve vital coastal wetlands  (Ecology News Release)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  234 AM PST Mon Mar 1 2021   
TODAY
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft  at 12 seconds. A chance of rain. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  9 ft at 13 seconds. A chance of rain in the evening.


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

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Friday, February 26, 2021

2/26 Retriever, BC spotted owls, Seattle sewage, shellfish farm permits, rare cardinal, newsroom union

Golden retriever [PetMD]


Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a medium-large gun dog that was bred to retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks and upland game birds, during hunting and shooting parties. The name "retriever" refers to the breed's ability to retrieve shot game undamaged due to their soft mouth. (Wikipedia)

‘This is something to celebrate’: B.C. defers logging in home of Canada’s last three wild spotted owls
In the absence of endangered species legislation in B.C., the provincial and federal governments have announced a new ‘nature agreement’ that includes pilot projects to protect at-risk species. It starts with logging deferrals in habitat where the existence of a pair of breeding spotted owls, thought extinct in Canada, was made public in 2020. Sarah Cox reports. (The Narwhal)

Executive Constantine requests $65 million and signs emergency declaration to protect West Point Treatment Plant from power disruptions
King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted legislation to the King County Council and signed an emergency declaration to provide West Point Treatment Plant with more reliable power in response to increasing power disruptions to the 1.45 million-square-foot facility. (King County News Release)

Scramble to re-issue permits for area shellfish farms underway following lawsuit
Shellfish farms in the state and the agencies that issue them operating permits are scrambling to complete farm-by-farm paperwork following litigation over whether a former permitting system ensured adequate protections for the marine environment...State Department of Ecology spokesperson Curt Hart said the agency has received 446 applications for shellfish farm permits and has issued public notices for decisions on about 150 of them under Clean Water Act requirements. A public notice was issued this week for one of 16 applications for shellfish growers in Skagit County. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Taylor Shellfish, Swinomish in midst of legal battle over shellfish permit
A legal battle is being waged over a national permit’s use for shellfish farming operations in Washington and whether it adequately considers the environmental impacts of those farms. Three cases brought against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing Nationwide Permit 48 are now bound together in the U.S. District Court of Western Washington in Seattle...The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat, the Center for Food Safety and the Swinomish each filed lawsuits against the Army Corps over the five-year permit, which was originally issued in 2007 and re-issued in 2012 and 2017. Taylor Shellfish Farms, which has operations in Samish Bay and other areas throughout Puget Sound, has sided with the Army Corps against vacating the permit, which would impact workers and come at an economic cost to the region. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Rare bird: 'Half-male, half-female' cardinal snapped in Pennsylvania
A bird that appears to be half-female and half-male has been photographed in Pennsylvania by a birder who rushed out with his camera when he heard a friend had spotted the northern cardinal. Though not unheard of, mixed sex birds are rare. Male cardinals are bright red but females are pale brown, suggesting this specimen may be a mix of the two sexes. Retired ornithologist Jamie Hill, 69, told the BBC it was a "once-in-a-lifetime, one-in-a-million encounter".  Georgina Rannard reports. (BBC)

McClatchy agrees to recognize union for journalists in four Washington state newsrooms
Journalists at four McClatchy-owned news organizations in Washington plan to form a union, and management agreed Thursday to recognize that effort. Eligible journalists at The News Tribune, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald and the Tri-City Herald have organized as the Washington State NewsGuild. The announcement comes one day after a National Labor Relations Board ruling that the four news organizations could organize as one guild. McClatchy had argued in January at a labor hearing that it was more appropriate for the employees to organize as four separate unions. (Bellingham Herald)


Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PST Fri Feb 26 2021   
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
  
TODAY
 W wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 19 to 20 ft with a  dominant period of 15 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 25 to 35 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 17 to 19 ft with a dominant period of 13  seconds subsiding to 15 to 16 ft with a dominant period of 12  seconds. 
SAT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 12 ft at  12 seconds subsiding to 10 ft at 12 seconds in the afternoon. 
SAT NIGHT
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 12 seconds. 
SUN
  SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds.


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

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

2/25 Marigold, Skeena sockeye, WA bag ban, Mukilteo research station, GBHs, OR kelp, 'dark vessels'

Marigold [Kurt Steuber/WikiMedia]

 
Mexican marigold Tagetes erecta
The Mexican marigold or Aztec marigold is a species of the genus Tagetes native to Mexico. In Mexico, this plant is found in the wild in the states of México, Michoacán, Puebla, and Veracruz. The Aztecs gathered the wild plant as well as cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. It is widely cultivated commercially with many cultivars in use as ornamental plants and for the cut-flower trade. (Wikipedia)

Unique Skeena sockeye populations at risk of dying out, threatening biodiversity: study
There’s an urgent need to increase the biodiversity of sockeye salmon stocks in the Skeena watershed if they are to adapt to challenges like climate change, according to a study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The Skeena River, Canada’s second-largest salmon-producing watershed, enters the Pacific just south of Prince Rupert. Its tributaries include major salmon-bearing watersheds like the Bulkley, Babine and Kispiox, which support commercial, Indigenous and sport fisheries.  Amanda Follett Hosgood reports. (The Narwhal/The Tyee)

Washington’s plastic bag ban on hold during COVID-19
On March 9, 2020, 33 state senators voted to pass Senate Bill 5323, making Washington the ninth state to ban single-use plastic bags. Two days later, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Along with in-person gatherings, the statewide plastic bag ban became an early victim of the pandemic. The new law, which was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021, isn’t dead, supporters say, but enforcement has been indefinitely postponed. Hannah Kreig reports. (Crosscut)

Oh, crab! NOAA’s Mukilteo waterfront fish lab won’t be rebuilt
Plans were scrapped when bids came in too high for a new Mukilteo Research Station to replace the weathered two-story hovel where scientists studied climate change effects, ocean acidification and impacts on fish health. “We sought contractor bids to rebuild the facility on-site. Unfortunately, the bids greatly exceeded the funds available for the project,” Michael Milstein, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Wednesday. He would not give any bid figures. The future of the 1.1-acre federal property on Front Street is uncertain. It could possibly end up in private hands and become condos or a parking lot. Andrea Brown reports. (Everett Herald)

Pacific Great Blue Herons return to Stanley Park for 21st year
THE Pacific Great Blue Herons are nesting again in Stanley Park for the 21st consecutive year! They began returning February 18 to a colony located at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation office on Beach Avenue. It’s one of North America’s largest urban heron colonies. (VoiceOnLine)

Can Oregon stem the loss of complex kelp ecosystems?
...Scientists suspect that if there’s less kelp, potentially there could be fewer shrimp, which could mean fewer gray whales will come here to find them. And these days there’s less kelp. In some places along the Pacific Coast, a lot less. One study shows more than 90% of a kelp forest in Northern California was depleted in 2014. Kate Kaye reports. (Jefferson Public Radio)

Canada launching $7M project to track international 'dark vessels' at sea 
A new Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) project is setting its sights on the people who sail the high seas, illegally cast their nets and pull fish from the ocean near places like Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.  The plan is to use satellites to detect and track so-called 'dark vessels' — ships that have switched off their location transmitters to evade authorities. Rafferty Baker reports. C
(CBC)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  258 AM PST Thu Feb 25 2021   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON
 
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH
 FRIDAY AFTERNOON   TODAY  W wind 20 to 30 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt in the  afternoon. Combined seas 9 to 10 ft with a dominant period of  8 seconds building to 14 to 15 ft with a dominant period of  11 seconds in the afternoon. A chance of showers. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 17 to 19 ft with a  dominant period of 14 seconds. A chance of showers.


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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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