Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10/31 KM pipe, imidacloprid, shoreline armor, Evergreen Park, boat blight, Pt Gamble, Trump's EPA

Jack O'Lanterns [Maurizio Cigognetti]
Jack O'Lanterns and The Tale Of Stingy Jack
The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow's Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits. (Pumpkin Nook)

Lengthy court battle ahead for Kinder Morgan, legal expert predicts
Kinder Morgan's appeal to the National Energy Board after failing to get the permits it needs from the City of Burnaby, B.C., is just the first of what will likely be many legal challenges facing its Trans Mountain pipeline project in the coming months, according to one legal expert. Jocelyn Stacey, an assistant law professor at the University of British Columbia, says an interprovincial pipeline like Trans Mountain falls under federal jurisdiction, and a project determined to be in the national interest would be subject to federal laws, overriding any contrary provincial or municipal laws. But even though the project has already been granted federal approval by the NEB, it still faces strong local opposition from municipalities, First Nations and activists. (CBC) See also: Just the beginning': anti-pipeline protesters vow 'rise of resistance'  (CBC) People who were arrested at a protest against energy giant Kinder Morgan are saying what happened this weekend is just the beginning of mass civil disobedience.  (CBC)

Questions Remain About Pesticide Proposal To Combat Burrowing Shrimp Infestation 
A proposal to spray a neurotoxic pesticide on oyster beds in Southwest Washington is back on the table. Growers in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor are looking for ways to address an infestation of burrowing shrimp. The state is taking comments on the controversial plan through Wednesday. Public outcry led the state Department of Ecology to withdraw the grower’s first plan to use the neonicotinoid imidacloprid in 2015. The new plan involves spraying a smaller acreage at first and doing it with ground equipment instead of helicopters. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Public Comment Period Opens for Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy
A new Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy that aims to reduce shoreline armoring in Puget Sound is ready for public review and input. The Habitat Strategic Initiative team developed the strategy in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Puget Sound Partnership, Puget Sound Institute, and an Interdisciplinary Team of experts…. The Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy draft will be available for public comment from Oct. 30 through Nov. 30. (Puget Sound Estuary Program)

Bremerton plans to remove artificial coastline, restore beach at Evergreen Park
Smith Cove, a small inlet surrounded by Evergreen-Rotary Park, was known on early city maps as a bay — until industrial development squeezed its waters and choked its soils.  But if city officials are successful in obtaining a $2 million grant, it might become a bay again. Plans are now complete for a project to rip away roughly 10,000 tons of artificial coastline — including crumbling concrete, decaying pilings and other contaminated materials — to resuscitate a natural beach buried for more than a century. Josh Farley reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Feds to ban 'blight' of abandoned boats, bring in penalties for owners
There will be no more free passes for boat owners who dump dirty, old hulks in Canadian harbours and waterways. Transport Minister Marc Garneau's new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, introduced Monday in the House of Commons, would make it illegal to abandon boats, while empowering the government to go after the owners of the 600 derelict vessels already polluting the country's waterways. Individuals who abandon a boat can face fines up to $300,000 and a six-month jail term, while corporations can be fined as much as $6 million. Mia Rabson reports. (Canadian Press)

Port Gamble Bay cleanup shifts to uplands
The cleanup of Port Gamble Bay is moving to shore. After completing the removal of polluted material from the harbor earlier this year, the state is shifting focus to the former sawmill site and surrounding areas along the west shore, where lingering contamination has been detected. The Department of Ecology published a draft agreed order in October that would require Pope Resources and its subsidiary Olympic Property Group to investigate pollution levels on the Port Gamble uplands and develop a cleanup plan, if necessary. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

EPA leader to drop scientists from advisory board 
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will replace them with voices from regulated industry, academics and environmental regulators from conservative states, and researchers who have critiqued tighter environmental regulations. Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney report. (Washington Post)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  258 AM PDT Tue Oct 31 2017  
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 12 seconds.  TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 3 to 5 ft after  midnight. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds building to 7 ft at 9 seconds  after midnight.

"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, October 30, 2017

10/30 Orcas, coal port, KM, 'Salish Sea Model,' Canada C3, snow geese, bats, monuments, beach trash, plastic bags

Divers in the Salish Sea [Tony Angell]
WINGS by Tony Angell
Tony Angell's solo show WINGS opens November 2nd at the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle.  The new sculptures convey not only the explicit beauty of his subjects, but the implicit spirit and dignity they possess as well.  His work is well known to represent the dynamic wild companions we share our Greater Puget Sound and Salish Sea region with. Their stories and forms remind us that such  diversity is integral to the health,  character and aesthetic richness we cherish here.  Angell will be in attendance for the opening Nov. 2nd from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  (Foster/White Gallery)

Orcas headed to extinction unless we get them more chinook and quieter waters, report says 
Orca whales are on a path to extinction within a century unless they get a big increase of chinook salmon to eat, and significantly quieter seas in which to find their food, a new study has found. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, evaluated the relative importance of known threats to the survival of southern-resident killer whales, the salmon-eating whales that frequent Puget Sound. An international team of scientists reviewed 40 years of data and the threats of lack of food, pollutants and excessive noise under different future scenarios. A clear finding emerged: lack of food, specifically chinook salmon, was the orcas’ biggest threat to long-term survival, so much so that a 30 percent increase in chinook above average levels is needed to recover the orca population. That increase could be cut to 15 percent if vessel noise also is reduced by half. Otherwise, the populations will continue to decline and there is a 25 percent chance the whales will be lost within 100 years, the scientists found. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Washington state must reconsider Longview coal-terminal lease
 Developers of a proposed coal-export terminal in Longview got a boost Friday from a Cowlitz County judge who ruled in their favor in a legal battle with Washington state. Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning ruled that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) improperly denied a tidelands sublease to operate docks at the facility along the Columbia River. That sublease was denied last January by outgoing Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, who found that the developer — Millennium Bulk Terminals — failed to provide enough financial information and details of how the sublease would be structured. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Kinder Morgan mischief: 5 arrested following protest
Five people were arrested on Saturday following a protest in the waters near Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s Westridge Marine terminal in Burnaby B.C. More than 60 boats linked together in front of the tanker route which runs from the terminal. First Nations along with environmentalists, local politicians and residents are continuing their protest of the company's expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC) See also: Burnaby mayor says Kinder Morgan's NEB appeal is 'insulting'   Tamara Rahmani reports. (CBC)

Return To The Salish Sea: Environmental Engineer Teizeen Mohamedali
The Salish Sea is a complex web of waterways that includes Puget Sound and the straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia. It also has inflows from 64 rivers and 99 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and Canada. Getting a handle on water quality in this unique geography is challenging. Washington’s Department of Ecology has collaborated with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to create the “Salish Sea Model.” It’s a mathematical tool to predict how human activity affects the health of the sea. “If you go to the doctor, they measure your blood pressure and your pulse. And that’s kind of what we do when we monitor water quality in Puget Sound,” says Teizeen Mohamedali, an environmental engineer working on the model for the Department of Ecology. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Canada C3 expedition looks to future at end of 150-day voyage along nation’s coastlines
In B.C., they walked amongst the ghostly teetering totems of Haida Gwaii, brushed shoulders with white Spirit Bears foraging for salmon on Gribbell Island, and worked with aboriginals to symbolically carve a western red cedar canoe in Powell River. Now, as Canada C3’s 72-metre icebreaker finishes its 150-day, 23,000-kilometre voyage around Canada’s Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coastlines, it’s time for participants to discern what it all meant and how to set a new course for the future. Expedition leader Geoff Green, founder of the Students on Ice Foundation that organized the epic voyage, said it started as a celebration of 150 years of Canadian confederation and a way to showcase a vast coastline, but became something much bigger. Larry Pynn reports.(Vancouver Sun)

It was a wet water year; it was a dry water year
Water Year 2017 was a crazy year for rainfall, with a precipitation pattern unlikely to repeat anytime soon, although forecasters say the coming year is somewhat likely to be wetter than normal. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Snow geese wreak havoc on Metro Vancouver farms
Metro Vancouver farmers say they are losing thousands of dollars each year because of the annual snow geese migration in October and November. Young snow geese cause problems for farmers by feeding on grass and eating crops, resulting in damaged fields. "It's insane," said third generation farmer John Van Keulen. "That crop that we lose out on would maybe be an $80,000 crop for us....They love lush green grass. They just slowly peck away at it." Van Keulen's family runs Donia Farms in South Surrey and the birds have become a major problem over the last decade. Bal Brach reports. (CBC)

The secrets of island bats
What do our Northwest bats eat? The simple answer to this question is insects, but that is about as useful as saying “animals.” There are more than a million species of insects on earth, and nearly 100,000 of them live in North America. Humans regard some insects as pests, some as beneficial, some (like many beetles and butterflies) as simply beautiful, and most of them as simply irrelevant. Most people assume that bats prefer to eat the most annoying insects, such as mosquitoes; but do bats share our perspective? Kwiaht explains. (Islands Sounder) See also: Bats And Tequila: A Once Boo-tiful Relationship Cursed By Growing Demands  Neda Ulaby reports. (NPR)

Funding announced to monitor white nose syndrome as bat disease reaches West Coast
B.C.'s Ministry of Environment wants to reduce the fear that bats induce, and instead encourage people to help protect the province's endangered bat population. In support of international bat week, which runs from Oct. 24-31, the provincial government is contributing more than $40,000 to fight white-nose syndrome (WNS). The funding, which was announced on Friday, will go towards monitoring bat populations and improving bat monitoring guidance. Cory Correia reports. (CBC)

Utah senator: Trump shrinking 2 national monuments in Utah
President Donald Trump is shrinking two national monuments in Utah, accepting the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents, a Republican senator said Friday. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said he was “incredibly grateful” that Trump called him on Friday to say he is approving Zinke’s proposal on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments. He and Trump “believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities,” but said there is “a better way to do it” by working with local officials and tribes, Hatch said. Hatch’s office said Trump called the senator and said, “I’m approving the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase recommendation for you, Orrin.” Matthew Daly reports. (Associated Press)

Ocean Legacy is making use of 99 per cent of beach trash
Volunteers are toiling in a Main Street warehouse sorting plastic debris painstakingly picked from B.C’s beaches and islands, some of it originating from as far away as Japan. Hundreds of bulging “super sack” refuse bags containing tonnes of garbage tower over the proceedings. In their shadow, plastic water bottles, buoys and thousands of less recognizable items are cleaned of barnacles and seaweed, sorted and bagged. “We get a lot of random, mysterious, hard, mixed plastics, it’s a huge percentage,” said Chloe Dubois, executive director of the non-profit Ocean Legacy Foundation, which is running the Upcycle Challenge Event. Hard and clear plastics find a new life in packaging, while Styrofoam can be repurposed into door mouldings and picture frames. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Public Shaming and Even Prison for Plastic Bag Use in Rwanda
They are sometimes tucked into bras, hidden in underwear or coiled tightly around a smuggler’s arms. They’re not narcotics or even the illegally mined gold and diamonds that frequently make it across the border into Rwanda. But they are, at least in the eyes of Egide Mberabagabo, a watchful border guard, every bit as nefarious. The offending contraband? Plastic bags. Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  220 AM PDT Mon Oct 30 2017  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 13 seconds.
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 or 2 ft. W  swell 4 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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Friday, October 27, 2017

10/27 Whale zone, threats & capture, Whale Trail, no permit, gov protest, BC pipe, gr crab, BC bat, Bigfoot

'The Big Dark' [NASA]
If you like to watch: 'Mesmerizing': Watch formation of 'The Big Dark,' a 5,000-mile river of storms over the Pacific
While stretches of weather systems that cross the North Pacific are not uncommon during the fall and winter, the atmospheric river that opened Seattle’s rainy season — dubbed “The Big Dark” by the National Weather Service in Seattle —  was notably long. At times, the flow of moisture extended about 5,000 miles from Japan to Washington, according to an item posted on NASA’s Earth Observatory site Thursday. Christine Clarridge reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. coast killer whales to get 200-metre protection zone from boats
Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc says Canada will move to match a U.S. requirement that all boats stay at least 200 metres away from southern resident killer whales. Leblanc told reporters outside the House of Commons he heard loud and clear from scientists at a symposium on the whales in British Columbia earlier this month that more needs to be done — not just to protect them but also to help recovery efforts to boost the population. There are only about 78 southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea, the series of waterways off the southern coast of B.C. and northern coast of Washington state that includes the straits of Georgia, Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. (Canadian Press)

Evaluating anthropogenic threats to endangered killer whales to inform effective recovery plans
….The population is fragile, with no growth projected under current conditions, and decline expected if new or increased threats are imposed. Improvements in fecundity and calf survival are needed to reach a conservation objective of 2.3% annual population growth. Prey limitation is the most important factor affecting population growth. However, to meet recovery targets through prey management alone, Chinook abundance would have to be sustained near the highest levels since the 1970s. The most optimistic mitigation of noise and contaminants would make the difference between a declining and increasing population, but would be insufficient to reach recovery targets. Reducing acoustic disturbance by 50% combined with increasing Chinook by 15% would allow the population to reach 2.3% growth. Authors: Robert C. Lacy, Rob Williams, Erin Ashe, Kenneth C. Balcomb III, Lauren J. N. Brent, Christopher W. Clark, Darren P. Croft, Deborah A. Giles, Misty MacDuffee & Paul C. Paquet (Nature)

Canada C3 expedition visits Saturna Island site of historic 1964 killer whale capture
More than half a century after the capture of the first killer whale in B.C. waters helped to change public perceptions forever, the Canada C3 expedition returned to Saturna Island on Wednesday to see how citizen science is trying to improve conditions for the species. “This is where everything shifted,” said C3 participant Mark Leiren-Young, the award-winning author of The Killer Whale Who Changed the World. “This is where we went from viewing them as monsters to loving them.” The Vancouver Aquarium had sought to kill and mount for public display a killer whale in 1964, but the male captured at East Point off Saturna Island survived for almost three months. During that brief time, the public got to see a different side of killer whales, which, at the time, were regularly shot because they were competitors for salmon. The captured whale became known as Moby Doll and helped to kickstart an era in which killer whales were captured for exhibit in aquariums. More recently, public sentiments have shifted again, this time against keeping killer whales in captivity at all. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Tacoma joining the Whale Trail worthy of some splash
With so many exciting projects on the near horizon at Point Defiance Park — the debut of the Pacific Seas Aquarium, and the opening of a pedestrian bridge to Ruston Way, among others — last weekend’s dedication of a modest new feature at Tacoma’s flagship park would be easy to overlook. As it happens, an overlook is exactly what we’re talking about: a whale-watching viewpoint, freshly identified and marked as a prime location to observe members of the Northwest’s majestic, mysterious and all-too-vulnerable cetacean population. Point Defiance now counts itself among 90 official spots on the Whale Trail, which hugs the Pacific coastline and inland waters from Southern California to northern British Columbia. An interpretive sign was unveiled in a ceremony last weekend. (News Tribune of Tacoma Editorial Board)

State reject lease plans related to coal-export terminal
A state agency has rejected a request to use state-owned aquatic lands for a major coal-export terminal along the Columbia River. The Department of Natural Resources nixed a proposal Wednesday by Northwest Alloys, which holds a lease with the state, to make construction changes related to the Millennium Bulk Terminal-Longview project in Longview. Northwest Alloys submitted the request in August months after DNR shot down its request to sublease the state's lands to Millennium. Northwest Alloys and Millennium have appealed that decision and a Cowlitz County judge is hearing arguments Friday. Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz told Northwest Alloys in a letter Wednesday that it is in the state's best interest to deny the request at this time. She cited several factors including that the state Department of Ecology's denied the project a water quality permit. (Associated Press)

Governor's town hall on climate change draws tribal protesters
Protesters at Gov. Jay Inslee’s town hall on climate change at the University of Washington in Seattle said the governor’s actions don’t live up to his stirring words. “I think that he knows how to sound pretty,” Pamela Chelalakem Bond of Bothell said. The Snohomish tribal member and other protesters in cedar hats and “No LNG in 253” T-shirts played Native drums and rattles before Inslee spoke and shouted back angrily at him as he did. Inslee called climate change an “existential threat to civilization as we know it.” Despite the Trump administration’s dismantling of federal action on climate change, the governor said he is optimistic. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Kinder Morgan Canada appeals to regulator after it fails to gain Burnaby, B.C., permits
Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. said Thursday that it has been unable to gain permits from the coastal city of Burnaby, B.C., for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appealing to the national regulator for construction approval. Burnaby has long opposed the expansion over environmental concerns, and the lack of permits from the city adds to the hurdles facing the $7.4-billion expansion, as North American energy projects face increasing opposition from activists. The company, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc., said in a statement it is also asking the National Energy Board (NEB) regulator to set up a process to make an "expedited determination" for future such cases. (Thomson Reuters)

Seasonal hunt ends; after finding 96 green crabs, trapping to resume in April
The hunt in Dungeness for the invasive European green crab is over for the season. Resource managers report that since April, they’ve caught 96 green crabs on the Dungeness Spit and one in Sequim Bay. Lorenz Sollmann, deputy project leader at the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, said researchers opted to extend the search for green crab after finding a few more of the invasive species, but in their last few days of trapping Oct. 16-18, no green crabs were caught. Matthew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Group finds more invasive green crabs over summer  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Abandoned, sunken ship in B.C. underscores need for updated law: MP
A New Democrat member of Parliament from British Columbia is criticizing the federal government for failing to act quickly enough to deal with derelict vessels. The complaints come days after the 27-meter Anapaya, a wooden fishing boat, sank in Ladysmith Harbour on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Nanaimo-Ladysmith New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson spoke during Question Period Tuesday calling the sinking the “latest example of the Liberal’s failed boat-by-boat approach on abandoned vessels.” Malcolmson says the boat was identified as a “vessel of concern” by Transport Canada in 2014. (Canadian Press)

Brazilian free-tailed bat discovered within Salt Spring Island nature reserve
Its name is reminiscent of steamy South American jungles. But through determination and an amazingly swift flight, the Brazilian free-tailed bat has made its way to Salt Spring Island — a Canadian first — and in doing so is also shedding light on climate change. Participants on the final leg of the Canada C3 150-day, 23,000-kilometre voyage around Canada’s three coastlines learned of the medium-sized bat during a series of presentations Thursday by Salt Spring islanders. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also:  Bob Weber reports. (Canadian Press) See also: Deadly bat fungus ‘within a couple hundred kilometres of Vancouver’  Canadian scientists are racing to test a remedy that they hope will save bats from a deadly fungus that has already killed millions of the winged mammals across the continent. “We are feeling a real sense of urgency because that fungus is within a couple hundred kilometres of Vancouver,” said Cori Lausen, a biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. “It’s very likely that that disease will show up there this spring.” Bob Weber reports. (Canadian Press)

Do sasquatch exist? Bigfoot believer takes B.C. government to court
A sasquatch tracker from Golden aims to take the provincial government to court to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt (or a guy in a gorilla suit) that the legendary creature roams the B.C. wilderness. In a civil lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Todd Standing accused the B.C. Ministry of Environment and B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch of “dereliction of duty pertaining to the interests of an indigenous wildlife species.” The Bigfoot researcher said he will provide physical evidence, video and eyewitness accounts to prove the hairy primate’s existence and asked the court to require a government biologist to accompany him into “known sasquatch habitat” for three months to further prove his claims. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  230 AM PDT Fri Oct 27 2017  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 13 seconds.
 E wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft at 20 seconds.  Patchy fog after midnight.
 E wind 5 to 15 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind  waves 2 ft or less in the morning becoming less than 1 ft. W  swell 8 ft at 18 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.
 Light wind becoming E to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 7 ft at 16 seconds.
 E wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 16 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

10/26 Gorge Creek, Atlantics survival, BC fish lab, park fee hike, water use fine, Leque Is wildlife

Lizardfish [Klaus M. Stiefel]
Living in the Sand
Coral reefs get all the press, but there are many creatures, such as this lizardfish, living in the sandy expanses surrounding the reefs. Their superpowers? Camouflage, toxins, ambush, and stealth. Photos and text by Klaus M. Stiefel (Hakai Magazine)

Source of Gorge Creek water contamination located
Investigators have determined the Gorge Creek contamination in Esquimalt, B.C., was caused by a cross contamination between sewer and storm water pipes. The contamination was first reported to the township on July 29, which forced organizers to cancel the sixth annual Gorge Swim Fest in early August. After three months of testing, a significant source of the contamination was traced back to wastewater entering storm drainpipes instead of the correct sewer pipes. The township is working with the property owner to repair the connection. Test results found E. Coli and a disinfecting chemical in the water, suggesting a septic tank cleaning truck may have been the culprit. (CBC)

Fugitive Fish Make Scientists Ask: Can Atlantic Salmon Survive In The Wild?
Atlantic salmon have been entering Pacific waters for decades. Most of them have died of starvation.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of colonizing the Northwest. Last summer’s escape of more than 100,000 Atlantic salmon from a fish farm in Puget Sound has renewed a debate among scientists about whether or not these fish can survive long term in the Pacific Northwest. John Volpe, a professor at the University of Victoria, says the odds have never been better for these fugitive fish. That’s because there aren’t as many steelhead to compete with. Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW/EarthFix)

Premier orders review of fish lab’s ‘integrity’
Premier John Horgan has asked his deputy minister to lead a review of the province’s animal health lab that has landed Agriculture Minister Lana Popham in hot water at the B.C. legislature. Horgan tasked Don Wright with sorting out whether allegations about the “integrity” of the lab’s science are founded…. The allegations come amid fish-farm protests and questions from the Opposition Liberals about the appropriateness of Popham’s political role in launching the review. The province says a scientist, Kristi Miller-Saunders, challenged the integrity of the lab’s research when interviewed for a report on the CTV program W5. Miller-Saunders is head of the molecular genetics program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. Amy Smart and Lindsary Kines report. (Times Colonist)

Washington Congressman Offers Alternative To National Park Visitor Fee Hikes
As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog. The National Park Service is taking public comment on possible visitor fee increases for the peak season at places such as Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Democratic U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, whose district includes Olympic National Park, is co-sponsoring a bill that would use revenue from oil and gas royalties to pay for park maintenance projects. He says parks face about $11 billion in repairs, from re-paving roads to fixing trails and visitor centers. Ashley Gross reports. (KNKX)

Whatcom berry farmer agrees to pay $80,000 fine for illegal water use
A Whatcom County farmer fined for illegally watering his raspberries and failing to submit records on water use has agreed to pay $80,000, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced Wednesday. Gurjant “George” Sandhu originally faced Ecology penalties totaling $102,000. He appealed to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board before reaching a settlement with Ecology that included the reduced fine. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Skagit Wildlife Area's Leque Island reopens to public
The fields of Leque Island are again open to the public for walking, bird-watching and waterfowl hunting. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife recently reopened the island just west of Stanwood following a three-month closure for restoration work, according to a news release. During the closure, several new channels were dug throughout the island, making way for more water to disperse and to create habitat for fish and birds…. Much of Leque Island was once saltwater marsh, which provided habitat for young salmon and other wildlife before dikes were built around it in the early 1900s to allow for farming, according to the release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  241 AM PDT Thu Oct 26 2017  
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 10 seconds.
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 4 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 (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10/25 Fish farms, Longview coal, Whatcom elections, Free Lolita

Atlantic salmon spread [WDFW/KUOW]
Atlantic salmon swim far and wide after fish farm collapse
Atlantic salmon have spread far and wide in Pacific Northwest waters since 160,000 of them escaped from a collapsed fish farm near Anacortes in August. The fishy fugitives have swum 130 miles south past Tacoma, 250 miles northwest past Tofino (most of the way up Vancouver Island) and up a half-dozen rivers around the region, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The escapees’ wide spread, despite efforts by tribes and others to reel them in, has raised fears they could harm the Northwest’s wild Pacific salmon. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Relocating fish farms a possible fix for standoff, B.C. minister says
British Columbia's Agriculture Minister says changes are needed to protect wild salmon stocks on the West Coast —  changes that may involve the relocation of fish farms from the Broughton Archipelago, where an occupation by Indigenous protesters nears its third month. Lana Popham, who is also the NDP MLA for Saanich South, was under fire from the Opposition Liberals in the B.C. legislature this week over a letter to Marine Harvest Canada. (CBC)

Backer of Longview coal-export terminal sues Washington state over permit denial
A company proposing to build a terminal in Washington state to export U.S. coal to Asia sued the state Tuesday, arguing regulators unfairly denied the project a key permit. Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview’s lawsuit claims the state Department of Ecology violated federal and state laws when it denied the project a water quality certification last month. The lawsuit filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court alleges the denial was based on “biased and prejudiced decision-making.” Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

New Districts In Whatcom County Could Mean Gradual Swing Toward The Right
Issues of growth, the environment and criminal justice are shaping local elections in Whatcom County. Voters in Western Washington’s northern-most communities are choosing candidates for four seats on the County Council, which has a new five-district system. The outcome could shape the future of fossil fuels and their role in the local economy. Keeping Whatcom County’s economy healthy is at the heart of the council races. One big issue is where new jobs will come from to support population growth. In some circles, there's a perception the current council’s progressive majority is limiting growth, especially in one key place. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Miami Beach Commission votes unanimously to free Lolita — but it’s not happening yet
The Miami Beach Commission is trying to put the pressure on the Miami Seaquarium to release its orca whale, Lolita, to a seaside sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest. The commission voted unanimously last week in favor of a resolution that urges the Seaquarium (operated by Palace Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Spain-based Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales) to retire Lolita and place her in the care of the Orca Network, a non-profit in Washington State that developed an extensive Lolita retirement plan in 1995. The resolution holds only symbolic significance, and can’t legally compel the Seaquarium to move Lolita. Chabeli Herrera reports. (Miami Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Wed Oct 25 2017  
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft  at 12 seconds. Rain in the morning.
TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 11 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, October 24, 2017

10/24 Canada C3, fossil-free street, Victoria Barrett, climate, BC LNG, saving seabirds, enviro justice

Pileated woodpecker [Diana Buckley/BirdNote]
Pileated Applepeckers
It's autumn, and apples have begun to fall, although many remain on the trees. In full view of its offspring, an adult Pileated Woodpecker stabs a tasty apple treat. After it feeds, it flies to a nearby tree. Alone now, the youngster repeats what it's seen, knocking apples to the ground until it finds one secure enough to withstand its hungry blows. It just learned something that will sustain it, once it's on its own. Hey, perhaps they should be called Pileated Applepeckers at this time of year! (BirdNote)

DNA tests on water samples provide glimpse into biodiversity on Canada’s coastline
DNA tests of water samples from Canada’s three coastlines is providing unique and fascinating insights into the nation’s marine biodiversity. Scientists aboard the Canada C3 expedition’s 67-meter icebreaker exploring the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coastlines over 150 days have collected water samples at 93 sites, and run the samples through a genetic sequencer to see what lives there. Preliminary results of the first 14 samples showed major signs of pink salmon — as well as their predators, grizzly and black bears and bald eagles — in Khutze Inlet in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, the only such discoveries to date. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

12 big cities sign 'fossil-fuel-free streets' declaration
Twelve major cities including London, Paris, Los Angeles and Cape Town promised on Monday to buy only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and to make major areas free of fossil fuel emissions by 2030 to protect the environment. The 12, with a combined population of almost 80 million, said they would promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport under a joint "fossil-fuel-free streets declaration." Many cities are setting tougher environmental goals than governments to limit air pollution and to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. (Thomson Reuters)

For this teenager, rebellion means suing the government over climate change
Scientists believe that for the planet to continue to safely support life, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should be kept as close to 350 parts per million as possible. We haven’t seen that level since the late 1980s - more than a decade before Victoria Barrett was born. Barrett is one of 21 young Americans — between the ages of 10 and 21 — who are suing the Trump Administration to compel action on climate change in a lawsuit known as Juliana v. United States. They claim the government is violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by supporting the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change. Ashley Ahearn reports. (Terrestrial)

With sea-level rise, waterfront owners confront their options
When John and Maia Vechey bought a waterfront house on Orcas Island six years ago, they immediately grappled with the idea of removing an old creosote bulkhead along the shore. The treated-wood structure was meant to protect the house from waves and erosion, but it was otherwise worthless. The bulkhead produced a horrible, pungent odor in hot weather, Vechey said. It also blocked easy access to the beach, and it did nothing to benefit the fish and wildlife that used the nearshore habitat. As the Vecheys pondered their options with the help of a landscape architect, concerns about sea-level rise came into play. Their final decision became fairly dramatic: Move the house back from the water, tear down the bulkhead, and restore the beach to a natural condition. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents) See also: Climate change already costing U.S. taxpayers billions each year, GAO says   Michael Biesecker reports. (Associated Press)

'Our blood is still on the land': Tsimshian raise totem pole declaring victory over B.C. LNG project
Members of the Tsimshian First Nation have raised a new totem pole on Lelu Island in northwest B.C. to assert their stewardship over the land and celebrate the cancelation of a controversial liquefied natural gas project. "[We] made a stand to show Canada that our blood is still on the land and that we are here forever," said Gwishawaal (Ken Lawson), a house leader of the Gitwilgyoots, one of the nine allied tribes of the coast Tsimshian.He made the declaration as the Prince Rupert Port Authority patrolled nearby waters monitoring the ceremony, a reminder that who the land belongs to remains a point of contention. Though Gwishawaal and other Tsimshian members say they hold decision-making authority over the island's future, the Prince Rupert Port Authority says that power belongs to them. Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Fishermen, Researchers Try To Outsmart Bait-Robbing Seabirds To Save Them
When commercial fishermen spool out long lines in pursuit of sablefish— better known to consumers as black cod—seabirds looking for an easy meal dive to steal the bait off the series of hooks. Some unlucky birds get hooked and drown as the line sinks to the deep. And when the drowned bird is an endangered species such as the short-tailed albatross, it triggers scrutiny. "Just one was all it took. Yeah, just one,” said Amanda Gladics, a coastal fisheries specialist with Oregon Sea Grant. "Because they are endangered there is a lot of scrutiny on every single time any of those albatrosses are caught in a fishery." Gladics and colleagues from Oregon and Washington went to sea to determine the best tactics to avoid bycatch and published those in the journal Fisheries Research. The paper recommends either fishing at night or deploying bird-scaring streamers on a line towed from a mast. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Sen. Cory Booker introduces environmental justice bill
U.S Sen. Cory Booker has introduced a bill that aims to protect low-income and minority communities from environmental problems. The New Jersey Democrat’s measure would require federal agencies to strengthen legal protections and to take action through the permitting process against what Booker calls environmental injustice. The bill would make the 1994 executive order on environmental justice law and expand its protections for minority and low-income communities. It would establish requirements for federal agencies to implement and update a strategy annually to address negative environmental health impacts. The measure also would make it easier to file lawsuits. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Tue Oct 24 2017  
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 13 seconds. Patchy fog in the  morning.
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of  showers after midnight.

"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, October 23, 2017

10/23 Chum, salmon sex, Kinder Morgan, EPA toxins, Diane Bernard, climate, BC crab & prawns, B'ham shore

Rains bring chum salmon back to their home streams
Salmon appear to be on the move in several local streams, thanks to the recent rains and increased streamflows. Wetter conditions no doubt triggered some of the migratory fish to head back to their spawning grounds…. It is still a little early in the season for coho and chum salmon to be fully involved in spawning activity, and there is plenty of time for people to get out and observe their amazing migration. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

How Salmon Sex Shapes Landscapes And Watersheds
It may have taken millions of years, but researchers have found that the way salmon reproduce has shaped our watersheds and landscapes. When salmon spawn, the female digs a big hole in the stream bed. She then swishes around — that movement can send fairly large pieces of gravel downstream. These tiny movements can add up to big changes. Courtney Flatt reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Vancouver officials to argue against Kinder Morgan in court Monday
Vancouver city officials will be in court Monday to push for a review of the $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, while a rally will be held outside the courthouse in support. The city will ask a judge to review the Environmental Assessment Certificate granted by the previous provincial government to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project. The request for a judicial review comes following a motion put forth by Coun. Adriane Carr and seconded by Coun. Andrea Reimer earlier this year. Carr had argued that the previous Liberal government helmed by former premier Christy Clark did not “adequately consult First Nations or the public, and failed to conduct scientific studies about the threat that spilled bitumen would pose to Vancouver’s environment and coastal waters.” Stephanie Ip reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots 

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems. So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it. The revision was among more than a dozen demanded by the appointee, Nancy B. Beck, after she joined the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit in May as a top deputy. For the previous five years, she had been an executive at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association. Eric Lipton reports. (NY Times) See also: The E.P.A.’s Top 10 Toxic Threats, and Industry’s Pushback  Eric Lipton reports. (NY Times)

Return To The Salish Sea: Seaflora CEO Diane Bernard, “The Seaweed Lady”
Beneath the surface of the Salish Sea, there are hundreds of species of seaweeds growing. They provide habitat and nutrition for many forms of marine life. In Sooke, just west of Victoria in British Columbia, one entrepreneur has developed a line of skin-care products made from foraged kelp.   “Poor seaweeds, they have such a PR problem!” exclaims Diane Bernard, the founder and CEO of Seaflora. “Part of my job is to really improve that and to have people understand this coastline,” she says as she stands in the tide pools on her local beach, surrounded by buckets of plant material in diverse colors and textures. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Climate scientists, La Conner officials discuss preparing for future flooding
Someday, the waterfront businesses along La Conner’s First Street may be raised to allow coastal floodwater to wash under them. A barrier along the east edge of the street could keep the water from pushing farther into town. That was an idea generated recently by town officials and Skagit Climate Science Consortium scientists who together brainstormed ways to handle the town’s flood risks, which are increasing as the global climate warms. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: EPA keeps scientists from speaking about report on climate   Michelle R. Smith reports. (Associated Press)

B.C. crab and prawn fishermen dispute Port of Vancouver no-go zones
Crab fisherman Stewart McDonald is steaming mad that he may soon be prevented by the Port of Vancouver from dropping crab traps around Vancouver's Burrard Inlet, where he's fished for more than two decades. "We fish there all the time," McDonald said from his home base in False Creek, where he has operated for the past 20 years. McDonald says the fishing grounds, especially the water to the west of the Lions Gate Bridge are fertile crab and prawn areas, representing tens of thousands of dollars worth of harvest for him a year…. On Friday, the Port of Vancouver, Canada's largest port, confirmed it has made changes to its information guide, which provides rules for where vessels — like McDonald's fishing boat — can travel. A port spokesman said the changes were needed because the waters were getting crowded with recreational boaters. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

So what do you think about the significant changes being proposed to the waterfront? 

(Bellingham) Many seemed intrigued, but not ready to render a strong opinion about the proposed changes to the Waterfront District. The Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington hosted an event this past Wednesday night at the nearly finished Granary Building. Part of the event was to kick off its Tech Summit festivities, but much of the discussion was around the waterfront as officials from Harcourt Developments, Port of Bellingham and the city answered questions about the former Georgia-Pacific property, which sits near the downtown core. More than 100 community members and technology company officials were at the event. The biggest changes, first presented at a Port of Bellingham commission meeting this past Tuesday, involves the park, known unofficially as Bay or Serpentine. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Mon Oct 23 2017  
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 12 ft at 13 seconds. Patchy fog  in the morning.
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 14 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

"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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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, October 20, 2017

10/20 Fly agaric, Atlantic salmon, Hirst water, ANWR drilling, pollutants, powerlines, fir tree killer

Amanita muscaria [Lino Mirgeler/DPA/NY Times]
A Mushroom Out of a Fairy Tale That You Might Find in the Forest
The fly agaric is the quintessential mushroom of fairy tales. Its big, bright fruiting bodies scatter in great numbers across mossy forests of North America and Europe. They emerge from the soil first like white eggs, abandoned by some mysterious creature of the woods. They can grow up to a foot tall, as warts appear on the cap. The mushroom often blushes red in the process. Finally, they crack open and flatten into a polka-dot disc that would make a gnome’s perfect dinner plate. Joanna Klein reports. (NY Times)

B.C. angler nets Washington Atlantic salmon escapee on Harrison River
Abbotsford angler Don Temple thought he had hooked into a native coho salmon while fishing the Harrison River on Oct. 8, but was surprised by the fish he saw when he reeled it in. “The way it was fighting, I though it was a coho or else a small spring (salmon),” Temple said. “But when I got it up, I couldn’t figure out what it was because I had not seen anything like it.” He had been spin casting from a boat on the river above Harrison Mills, about half way up the river from its confluence with the Fraser River, and “it didn’t come into my mind that it was an Atlantic until we Googled it,” Temple said.  Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Are farm-raised salmon a 'pollutant'?
If an Atlantic salmon swims free in the Pacific, is the fish itself a form of pollution? This little koan has a lot of legal and political resonance since the collapse of Cooke Aquaculture net pens in late August set a couple hundred thousand Atlantic salmon loose in Puget Sound. The Duvall-based environmental group Wild Fish Conservancy has a straight-forward answer to whether Atlantic salmon are pollution: yes. A day after the pen disaster near Cyrpess Island, the Fish Conservancy gave 60-day notice that it intends to sue Cooke under the federal Clean Water Act. Daniel Jack Chasan comments. (Crosscut)

Washington Ecology proposes response to Hirst
The Washington Department of Ecology proposes to assess water supplies in targeted watersheds, a first step in judging whether a state Supreme Court decision has truly closed rural areas to new household wells…. The assessments could be followed by conservation measures, storage projects or water-rights transfers to offset new wells. Ecology water resources manager Dave Christensen said Tuesday that the projects would probably take years to complete and that in some places water wouldn’t be found for new homes…. Ecology’s proposal focuses on watersheds in 14 counties with in-stream rules similar to Whatcom County, where the Hirst case originated…. Ecology has asked for $3 million for the assessments and $20 million for projects…. Ecology said it would focus on water projects in 14 counties: Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Okanogan, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane. Dan Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

U.S. Sen. Cantwell's amendment to protect ANWR from oil exploration fails 
The Senate on Thursday, in a 52-48 vote, rejected an amendment co-sponsored by Washington state U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell intended to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge closed to oil development. The refuge is both a prime oil prospect and a northern Alaska stronghold of caribou and hundreds of other wildlife species that conservationists for decades have sought to protect from oil development. The amendment — if passed — would have stripped out language in a budget resolution that instructs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to raise an additional $1 billion in revenue over a decade. That money is expected to be generated through removing restrictions on refuge exploration.  (Seattle Times)

Report: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined
Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet. The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought. Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease. Susan Brink reports. (NPR)

Kauai Powerlines Are Killing 1,800 Seabirds A Year
The Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian petrel seabirds, already on the brink of extinction, are dying by the hundreds in collisions with power lines on Kauai. A recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that as many as 1,800 of the indigenous seabirds are dying every year when they fly into power lines, a rate that is raising alarms for community members and conservationists. Both birds were provided special protection under the federal Endangered Species Act in the 1960s and ’70s as a result of numerous threats to their existence. In addition to the power line problem, invasive predator species and the degradation of the seabirds’ habitat have contributed to their endangered status. Olivia Peterkin reports. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Deadly Plant Disease In Southwest Oregon Fir Trees Confirmed As Northwest's First Outbreak
For the first time, scientists have found a deadly plant disease infecting fir trees in the Pacific Northwest. The so-called “European” strain of sudden oak death showed up in southwest Oregon a few years back. It was known to spread to fir trees in Europe, but that hadn’t been seen in the state. The European strain is different from the North American strain of sudden oak death. The latter has been killing tanoak throughout Curry County for years, but the European strain has forest managers particularly worried – because of its potential to infect the commercial timber base. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Fri Oct 20 2017  
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 15 ft at 15 seconds.  Showers.
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 13 ft at 14 seconds  subsiding to 11 ft at 14 seconds after midnight. Showers likely.
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon. W swell 9 ft at 13 seconds. Rain.
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds  building to SW 10 ft at 11 seconds after midnight.
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  12 ft at 11 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, October 19, 2017

10/19 Squirrel, coho killer, sunken homes, heritage site, Pt Hudson plan, marine reserves, lost insects

Douglas squirrel [Wikipedia]

Douglas squirrel Tamiasciurus douglasii
Douglas squirrel is a pine squirrel found in the Pacific coastal states and provinces of North America…. Adults are about 33 cm in length (including its tail, which is about 13 cm long), and weigh between 150 and 300 grams. Their appearance varies according to the season. In the summer, they are a grayish or almost greenish brown on their backs, and pale orange on the chest and belly, while legs and feet appear brown. In the winter, the coat is browner and the underside is grayer; also, the ears appear even tuftier than they do in summer. Like many squirrels, Douglas squirrels have a white eye ring. (Wikipedia)

Stormwater pollution in Puget Sound streams killing coho before they can spawn 
The sweet seep of autumn rain is bringing coho salmon back home to their natal streams all over the Puget Sound basin — where too often they encounter a bitter truth: pollution in a shocking 40 percent of their home range so bad it can inflict a swift death. The culprit is stormwater, and it is causing death rates so high, some populations of wild coho are at risk of local extinction, researchers found. Yet there also are surprisingly simple and cheap solutions at hand, the researchers wrote in their paper, published today by the Ecological Society of America in the scientific journal Ecological Applications. Researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle worked with collaborators, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy, to survey 51 sites from 2000 to 2011 in streams all over the Puget Sound basin. They used the survey data with a new computer model to map predicted coho death rates. The results show that in an estimated 40 percent of their range in the Puget Sound Basin, 10 to 40 percent of coho salmon die before they can even spawn because of pollution. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Report shows 5,000 homes would be underwater across Puget Sound if sea levels rise 6 feet
A new report by Zillow shows how 1.9 million homes nationwide would be underwater if sea levels rise by 6 feet over the next 100 years. Locally, the prediction would be for 5,000 underwater homes across Puget Sound. “Outside the climate community there's not necessarily that awareness,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas told KIRO 7 on Wednesday.  “So one of our aspirations is to bring awareness of the risk of climate change to the real estate community and to homebuyers.” John Knicely reports. (KIRO)

Parks Canada considers Salish Sea as heritage site
Organizers of a campaign are increasing their efforts to have the Salish Sea added to Canada’s list of potential United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage sites. As part of celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation, Parks Canada is just weeks away from announcing which of the country’s most exceptional places will be added to the country’s tentative list for world heritage sites. For the past year, Salish Sea Trust, a coalition of volunteers led by Nanaimo-based Laurie Gourlay, has been working on a campaign to advocate for the Salish Sea to top that list. Chris Bolster reports. (Powell River Peak)

Open house today to gather comment on Point Hudson plan
Port of Port Townsend officials, who are seeking public input on a long-term plan for Point Hudson, plan an open house today. The open house will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Marina Room at Point Hudson, 103 Hudson St. It will be open to the community, and public comment will be accepted. The goal of the project is to make Point Hudson financially sustainable while also providing public access, protecting the ecosystem along the shoreline and preserving the historic maritime character of the small marina, according to Maul Foster & Alongi (MFA), an environmental engineering and consulting firm, and port representatives. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Marine reserve boosts snapper outside borders
 Marine reserves don't just benefit sea creatures living within them, but those beyond their borders as well, Kiwi researchers have suggested. University of Auckland scientists have observed a higher proportion of young snapper in fishing areas north of Auckland were related to adult snapper from the Goat Island marine reserve - tens of kilometres away. While it's been hotly debated whether marine reserves have benefits outside their bounds, the new evidence appeared to confirm these ocean havens can serve as local fish nurseries. The study [http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1865/20171300] was the first time scientists have found evidence outside the tropics of a direct parental link between adults in a marine protected area to juveniles outside. Jamie Morton reports. (New Zealand Herald)

Alarm over decline in flying insects
It's known as the windscreen phenomenon. When you stop your car after a drive, there seem to be far fewer squashed insects than there used to be. Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this. Research at more than 60 protected areas in Germany suggests flying insects have declined by more than 75% over almost 30 years. And the causes are unknown. Helen Briggs reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PDT Thu Oct 19 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt late in the  morning. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less late in  the morning. W swell 13 ft at 12 seconds building to 18 ft at 15  seconds in the afternoon. Showers.
 SW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  19 ft at 17 seconds subsiding to 17 ft at 17 seconds after  midnight. Showers likely.

"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

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10/18 Salmon spawn, fish farm showdown, Lummi totem, culverts, Ostrich Bay, coal mine, Stand, shoreline appeal

Elwha 10/15/17 [Tom Roorda/Coastal Watershed Inst.]
Official complaint lodged against Trans Mountain biologist over unauthorized river work
A Fraser Valley-based conservation group has lodged a formal complaint with the College of Applied Biology over a Trans Mountain biologist’s role in the installation of matting to discourage salmon from spawning at stream sites where the company plans pipeline crossings. In the official written complaint, WaterWealth program director Ian Stephen quotes a Trans Mountain blog post of Sept. 12, 2017, that reads: “Trans Mountain fisheries biologist Calum Bonnington and his team are temporarily installing snow fencing flat down onto some sections of streambed that are intersected by the pipeline construction right-of-way and sections immediately downstream.” Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Salmon showdown: injunctions served at B.C. fish farm occupation
Late on Monday evening, community members occupying Marine Harvest operations in the coastal Broughton Archipelago were served notices of injunction by the RCMP that were filed by the company in response to the peaceful protest. As of Tuesday, the occupiers remained at their posts on Swanson Island, Midsummer Island and Port Elizabeth fish farm facilities, but are expected to appear in court on Wednesday. The notice of injunction comes just days after B.C. Premier John Horgan met with a newly unified alliance of eight First Nations, whose ultimate goal is to remove the open-net fish farms that they say severely threaten wild salmon populations and all associated ecosystems along the coast. Emilee Gilpin reports. (National Observer)

Another Lummi totem goes on tour, this time to highlight environmental threats
A totem pole carved and put on tour to bring attention to the potential risks fossil fuel pipelines and shipping terminal projects present to Native American communities, and how climate change threatens the world at large, made a stop in Vancouver, Washington on Monday night. The pole is a symbol of tribal resistance to the oil terminal project proposed at the Port of Vancouver, the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export proposal in Longview and the methanol refinery proposed for Kalama by Northwest Innovation Works, according to Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental organization that helped organize Monday’s event. Andy Matarrese reports. (Columbian)

A Northwest tribal sovereignty battle, centered on culverts 
Charlene Krise started fishing the waters of Puget Sound in 1975, after a court decision reaffirmed tribal rights to half the region’s salmon. Amid the hard work of hauling in beach seines and long hours on the water, Krise and fellow members of the Squaxin Island Tribe would hook their boats together and talk, sharing their knowledge of the nearby inlets, salmon smoking techniques and family connections. But in the ensuing decades, wild salmon numbers in the Pacific Northwest dropped. By 1999, they had disappeared from 40 percent of their historic range, due in part to environmental degradation caused by road infrastructure, dams and logging. Tribal members struggled to rely on fishing as a source of income or subsistence to support their families. In 2001, 21 tribes sued the state of Washington over roadway culverts that blocked hundreds of miles of salmon passages. Anna V. Smith reports. (High Country News)

Navy proposes munitions cleanup for Ostrich Bay
The Navy has proposed a plan to clean up long-lost munitions and explosives hidden for almost 60 years underneath the sediment in Ostrich Bay near Jackson Park. The housing complex near Naval Hospital Bremerton is the site of the former Naval Ammunition Depot Puget Sound, where munitions were manufactured, stored and demilitarized from 1904 to 1959. The depot's records indicate munitions unintentionally fell into the water during loading and unloading ships at two piers in Ostrich Bay, only one of which still exists today. Julianne Stanford reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Ship strike likely killed humpback whale found on B.C. shore, biologist says
Officials say a dead humpback whale that washed up near Ucluelet last week was likely hit by a large vessel. Scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada said the juvenile male had its lower jawbone dislocated after being hit with significant force. (CBC)

Reviving Black Diamond's Coal Mine In Seattle's Green Shadow
The Pacific Northwest was once a coal mining powerhouse. In the late 1800s, The area around Oregon’s Coos Bay had over 70 coal mines. Later, Washington’s biggest coal mine in Centralia supplied the Bonneville Power Administration with electricity. But the Coos Bay coal mines closed in the latter part of the 20th century; the Centralia Coal Mine closed in 2006. Today, both Washington and Oregon get their coal from Montana. But that might be about to change. Coal mining could be coming back — to an old coal mine in southeast King County. The John Henry Coal Mine, which is about 30 miles southeast of downtown Seattle, in Black Diamond, has been inactive for nearly two decades. But the Pacific Coast Coal Company has proposed reopening the mine. If permitted, the mine would produce 84,000 tons of coal every year for the next six years. Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Enbridge prompts raid on environmental group Stand’s Vancouver office
Staff at the environmental group Stand were facing down bailiffs Tuesday morning with orders to seize assets on behalf of pipeline giant Enbridge over unpaid court costs from a 2014 Federal Court action. By early afternoon, however, the company had reversed course, requesting that the bailiffs not seize anything and saying it wouldn’t be pursuing the matter further, according to a statement from spokesman Jesse Semko. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

State court declines David and Nancy Honeywells’ appeal
On Oct. 16, 2017, the Washington State Court of Appeals declined David and Nancy Honeywells’ case in Island County Superior Court. The Honeywells are infamous for the waterfront clearcut at the former Mar Vista Resort on San Juan Island in 2013…. This is not the first time the Honeywells’ appeal has been denied. In June of 2016, the Honeywells were denied their appeal over a shoreline penalty of $55,000 on June 1 in San Juan County Superior Court. The court did grant their appeal regarding a water quality violation penalty of $12,000. Cali Bagby reports. (San Juan Journal)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  248 AM PDT Wed Oct 18 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds building to SW 8 ft  at 8 seconds in the afternoon. Rain.
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 10 ft at 9 seconds. Rain  in the evening then showers after midnight.

"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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