Thursday, November 30, 2017

11/30 ANWR drill, culverts, fish farming, 'blood water,' KM first aid, train protest, safe shellfishing, eagle watch

White sea cucumber [Dennis Paulson]
White Sea Cucumber Eupentacta quinquesemita
The White Sea Cucumber is a common species in rocky areas in the middle intertidal zone and below. Up to about 10 cm in length when relaxed, it is easily recognized by its whitish color and long oral tentacles. The animal is often partially hidden in a crevice with only the feeding apparatus sticking out. (University of Puget Sound)

Puget Sound Chums
Joe Deeny via Wendy Scherrer reports that the chums are at the daylighted Padden Creek in Bellingham. On Tuesday they started up the "new" art of the creek, below the Rotary Trailhead bridge. "Very big, quite a few… They are striped red and beige on the sides."

Conservationists Face Once-Remote Prospect in Arctic Drilling Fight: Defeat 
Carl Portman remembers watching, heartbroken, from Anchorage in 2005 as a Senate effort to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lost by two votes. Now, 12 years later, another effort to open up the reserve to oil and gas drilling is working its way through Congress. And this time, the political winds have shifted. Mr. Portman, now a top official of a pro-drilling group, has seen oil revenue improve the schools, roads and hospitals in Alaska, his home state. He said he was cautiously optimistic about the drilling measure, which is included in a sweeping bill to overhaul the tax code. Environmental activists and their allies in Congress, on the other hand, are on the cusp of forever losing the decades-long political battle over the refuge. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Feds, tribes say farm groups overreacting to culvert case
The U.S. Department of Justice and Puget Sound tribes filed briefs Nov. 27 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to not hear Washington state’s appeal of a court order to remove more than 800 fish-blocking culverts. Farms groups are urging the court to hear the appeal, arguing the order sets a precedent for restricting farming, removing dams and reordering water rights. Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice and Puget Sound tribes say Western farm groups are mistaken to think a court order directing Washington to replace fish-blocking culverts foreshadows trouble for agriculture. The department and tribes, in briefs filed Monday, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the order by the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, arguing that the directive isn’t a forerunner to restricting farming, removing dams or reordering water rights. “The court held only that the state cannot maintain culverts that block fish passage, a decision that has no implications for land use,” according to the brief filed on behalf of 20 tribes. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

Salmon Escape From Fish Farm Puts Spotlight On The 'Day In, Day Out Impact Of These Things'
The Hope Island Fish Farm floats in the middle of Puget Sound, about a 15-minute boat ride from Whidbey Island’s Deception Pass. Narrow metal walkways surround giant nets anchored to the bottom of the sound. Those nets hold thousands of Atlantic salmon--though it’s difficult to see them till they jump.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW) In The Future We Might Farm Fish on Land Instead Of In The Sea  Inside a chilly warehouse on the north end of Vancouver Island, eight giant tanks are lit with swimming pool lights. These are fish tanks — some of the biggest fish tanks around. Every so often the glistening back of a fish surfaces. This is Kuterra, an Atlantic salmon farm that operates on land. That land belongs to the Namgis First Nation.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Sample of B.C. farmed-salmon ‘blood water’ tests positive for virus
The video, recorded by photographer Tavish Campbell, shows red effluent going into the water near the Browns Bay Packing Company, which processes farmed Atlantic salmon, at its plant near Campbell River. Campbell said samples taken from the site were analyzed by the Atlantic Veterinary College and tested positive for piscine reovirus, or PRV, a highly contagious virus that most farmed salmon carry. The virus has been linked to a disease — heart and skeletal muscular disease — that makes fish lethargic and more vulnerable to predators. Environment Minister George Heyman said the province will send an inspector to visit the packing plant in the next few days. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

'It's a joke': Burnaby residents scoff at Kinder Morgan first-aid kits
Some Burnaby, B.C., residents are calling a free first-aid kit distributed by Kinder Morgan to thousands of people insulting.  "It's a joke," said resident Elan Gibson.  She feels the optics of the energy giant delivering iodine wipes, sterile gauze and antiseptic towelettes to people who live near the Trans Mountain pipeline are ironic at best.  Burnaby is the terminus for the pipeline, which carries crude oil from Alberta.  Kinder Morgan intends to triple that pipeline's capacity with its expansion project. (CBC)

Police clear anti-fracking protest camp from train tracks 
Anti-fracking protesters faced off with dozens of police in tactical gear during a predawn raid Wednesday at an encampment blocking railroad tracks in downtown Olympia. Police blocked streets in the area of Seventh Avenue and Jefferson Street where protesters had set up a blockade on Nov. 17 to oppose the Port of Olympia’s shipping of ceramic proppants, or fracking sand, which is used in the oil and natural gas extraction process. Abby Spegman reports. (Olympian)

Whatcom County beaches now safe for recreational shellfishing
Recreational shellfish harvesting in southern Whatcom County is safe once again because biotoxin levels have dropped, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. With that announcement, all Whatcom County beaches have been reopened to harvesting. The ban had been in place for molluscan shellfish including clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Winter eagle watching on local rivers
From late November to late January, thousands of bald eagles descend on local rivers and streams in search of chum salmon. Eagles arrive from as far as Montana, northern California and Alaska, just as salmon from the Salish Sea and beyond swim upstream to spawn and die. This dance makes for some spectacular eagle viewing right under our noses. During the annual chum feast, these majestic gobblers can be spotted all day long. If they’re not near the river, they’re likely perched in trees nearby. Cloudy days can be ideal for spectators, as eagles tend to stay closer to the river when it’s overcast. For best results, bring binoculars. Don’t disturb eagles by approaching and either leave pets at home or keep hem on a leash. Oliver Lazenby reports. (Northern Light)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Thu Nov 30 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft. W swell 12 ft at 14 seconds. Rain in the morning then  rain likely in the afternoon.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 12 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance of showers  in the evening then showers likely after midnight.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

11/29 Chum, WA oil port, BC oil & gas, Keystone, tree swallows, net pen ban, Bellingham ocean

Chum salmon [WDFW/Steve Schroeder]
Puget Sound Chum Salmon
Chum (dog) salmon are distributed throughout the river systems of the Puget Sound region, which includes the streams of north and south Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This region's chum stocks have been grouped into three run timings; summer (spawning in September and October), fall (spawning in November and December), and winter (spawning in January and February). The fall run is the largest segment of overall chum returns; typically making up 90% of the annual total number of chum salmon returning to Puget Sound. The summer and fall runs, although smaller, provide genetic diversity for the species and allow chum salmon to utilize a broad range of habitat types. Over the last three decades, the chum salmon populations of Puget Sound have increased to the point that they are now the most abundant salmon species in the region. (WDFW)

Washington Commission Turns Down Oil Terminal In Vancouver
The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down a controversial oil terminal planned for Vancouver, Washington. The council’s decision to not recommend the project is another key blow against the massive oil-by-rail facility proposed by Vancouver Energy. It’s also one of the last steps in a years-long permitting process to develop the oil terminal. The ultimate decision on whether the project goes forward will be up to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Molly Solomon reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

B.C. the worst destination in Canada for oil and gas investors: survey
A handful of years ago, British Columbia’s immense natural gas deposits caught the attention of top global investors eager to produce them and export liquefied natural gas to Asia. Now they’d rather put their cash almost anywhere else. According to the Fraser Institute’s Global Petroleum Survey 2017, oil and gas investor perception of British Columbia has plummeted since the election of an NDP/Green government last May and the province now ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in Canada, followed by Alberta. Claudia Cattaneo reports. (Financial Post)

TransCanada to restart Keystone pipeline on Tuesday
 The Keystone crude oil pipeline will restart at reduced pressure on Tuesday, TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) said, nearly two weeks after closing the line after it leaked 5,000 barrels of crude in rural South Dakota. Calgary-based TransCanada shut down the 590,000 barrel-per-day pipeline, one of Canada’s main crude export routes linking Alberta’s oil fields to U.S. refineries, on Nov. 16. The company is still cleaning up the spill and investigating the cause. Nia Williams reports. (Reuters)

Ecologists at Stanley Park call on public to build nest boxes, help save tree swallows
Some bird populations in Metro Vancouver are at risk of disappearing and a local ecology group in Stanley Park is asking the public to step in and help save them. The Stanley Park Ecology Society is holding a nest box building workshop on Tuesday as part of a Giving Tuesday initiative to encourage people to give time or money. The nest boxes house the park's tree swallows, a species under threat because of declining habitats and food sources. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

King County Executive Dow Constantine proposes Atlantic salmon net-pen ban
King County Executive Dow Constantine is calling for a six-month moratorium on Atlantic salmon net-pen aquaculture along the shores of unincorporated King County. Constantine said he is proposing the ban to the Metropolitan King County Council because of the spill at Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon net pen at Cypress Island last August, unleashing invasive, non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound. More than 105,000 of the 8-10-pound fish were never captured, and were reported by fishermen all over Puget Sound and beyond. By now the fish are presumed dead.  But concerns about the long-term effect of the spill remain. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Is Bellingham on an ocean or a bay? There’s a wave of disagreement
A recent Bellingham Herald story about a TV program showed there’s a tidal wave of discord over the proper term for that place where land meets water in Whatcom County. A promo for the Nov. 19 episode of HGTV’s “Beach Hunters” was titled “Washington Coast House Hunt” and said the prospective buyer “wants a house with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.” Some assert the word “coast” means only that part of the Evergreen State’s beachfront that faces the open ocean – not the Strait of Juan de Fuca, not Puget Sound, and certainly not Bellingham Bay. Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  253 AM PST Wed Nov 29 2017  
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  14 ft at 17 seconds. A chance of showers.
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft rising to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 12 ft at 15  seconds. Rain likely in the evening then rain after midnight.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

11/28 Old shark, oil barge, killer whales, Indian Island, Nordland II, Trans Ocean Seafoods, fish farm theft

Greenland shark [WaterFrame/Alamy]
The Strange and Gruesome Story of the Greenland Shark, the Longest-Living Vertebrate on Earth
Using carbon dating and a new method involving proteins in the lens of the eye, Danish scientists have unravelled the mystery of how long Greenland sharks live. M.R. O'Conner reports. (The New Yorker)

Stranded barge safe and under tow heading north from Bella Bella
A massive oil-loaded barge stranded near Bella Bella B.C., after it was hit by heavy seas, is now safe and under tow, says a captain in charge of the rescue. The incident, just a year after the Nathan E. Stewart fuel spill, has local First Nations renewing calls for a greater say in marine disaster response. The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria (JRCC) says the Zidell Marine 277 broke free from its tug, the Jake Shearer, around 3:45 p.m. PT Sunday. Yvette Brend report. (CBC) See also: Jack Knox: B.C. has never had an oil-tanker spill — but it only takes one  (Times Colonist)

The Hunger Games: Two Killer Whales, Same Sea, Different Diets
The Salish Sea’s resident killer whales are in trouble—and garnering all the headlines—but transient killer whales traveling the same waters seem to be doing fine. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Little-known island the 'logistics backbone' of Pacific Northwest Navy fleet
Tucked away off the forested Jefferson County coastline 20 miles north of the Hood Canal Bridge, there's a little-known Navy installation that serves as the "logistics backbone" for ships heading out to the Pacific Ocean. Naval Magazine Indian Island serves as the last stop for many ships where they load up on "fuel, food and munitions" before heading out to the open ocean, said Cmdr. Rocky Pulley, commanding officer of the installation. Julianne Stanford reports. (Kitsap Sun)

New landing craft ferry serves Washington out islands
Salish Sea islanders in Washington state have a new ride for their vehicles and heavy equipment deliveries, with the arrival of the landing craft ferry Nordland II. The ferry was built for San Juan Ferry & Barge in Friday Harbor, Wash., on San Juan Island. The 86’x25’ vessel delivered last week by Latitude Marine Services LLC, La Connor, Wash., features a 75’x23’ cargo deck open at the stern for cargo overhang. A high pilothouse offset to starboard gives Capt. Marty Starr excellent all-around visibility.
Kirk Moore writes. (Workboat)

Seafood company settles sexual harassment lawsuit
A Bellingham-based seafood company that harvests and processes shellfish in Skagit County has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by three female workers. Trans Ocean Seafoods Inc., which does business as New England Shellfish, agreed to pay $75,000 total to the three women, who worked as clam diggers in the company's south Skagit Bay location. Kera Wanielista reports. (Skagit Valley herald)

Puget Sound piracy: Thieves steal Atlantic salmon from floating farm 
Call it Puget Sound piracy. Thieves boarded a floating salmon farm a few saltwater miles from Anacortes on a Saturday night in September. In their wake, they left a trail of blood. Fish blood, that is. The thieves boated out to one of Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon farms, a grid of 40-foot-deep net-pens ringed by a floating walkway bigger than a football field. They hauled away an undisclosed number of fish from two of the 10 pens. They killed more by turning off the farm’s air hoses that help oxygenate the water where the domesticated salmon swim by the thousands. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
 West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Tue Nov 28 2017  

 S wind 25 to 35 kt becoming SW 15 to 25 kt during the  morning. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft subsiding to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10  ft at 9 seconds. Rain.
 W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 12 ft at 19 seconds building to 16 ft at 15 seconds after  midnight. Showers in the evening then showers likely after  midnight.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, November 27, 2017

11/27 BC barge, salmon status, fishing seasons, WA LNG, WA oil port, ANWR drill, rail protest, humpback feeding, Kelly's Pt, Mexico MPA, Dan O'Neal, Chester

Grunt sculpin [Hildering/Marine Detective]
Grunt Sculpin – Little Fish, BIG Attitude!
Meet the fish that so often has people exclaiming “It lives HERE?!” Yep, the tiny grunt sculpin [Rhamphocottus richardsonii] is a powerful ambassador for raising awareness about the depth of biodiversity hidden in the cold, dark, rich waters of the north east Pacific.  We are programmed to associate warm waters with exotic-looking fish species but read below for the Grunt Sculpin’s astounding adaptations and masterful mimicry. (The Marine Detective)

Fuel-laden barge stranded near Bella Bella, B.C
Maritime rescue officials say a U.S. barge with millions of litres of diesel fuel onboard has become stranded off the coast of Bella Bella, B.C. The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Victoria (JRCC) says the vessel Jake Shearer broke free from the tugboat which pushes it from behind around 3:45 p.m. PT Sunday. Crews have dropped the vessel's anchor and JRCC officials confirm it is not moving. The 128 metre Jake Shearer barge is located about 1.6 kilometres from the Goose group islands and 45 kilometres from Bella Bella. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

What would it take to restore the legendary Chinook salmon?
Giant Chinook salmon of 50 pounds or more have not yet faded into legend, as operators of a salmon hatchery in Central British Columbia, Canada, can tell you. The annual spawning effort at the Percy Walkus Hatchery on the Wannock River involves catching Chinook as they move upstream rather than waiting for them to arrive at the hatchery. This year, fishing crews brought home a remarkably large fish that has lived long and prospered. The progeny of this fish will be returned to the river from the hatchery to continue the succession of large Chinook. Chris Dunagan writes. (Watching Our Water Ways)

NOAA: Skagit, Stillaguamish coho at risk of being overfished
Skagit and Stillaguamish river coho salmon are among several marine fish populations that are at risk of being depleted due to overfishing. According to a notice published this week in the Federal Register, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has determined that not enough Skagit River coho are making it to their spawning grounds and Stillaguamish River coho are being fished at rates higher than are sustainable. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New Study Argues For More Precise Timing Of Fishing Seasons 
People who catch fish for sport or for a living often eagerly await the day when fishing season opens. But a new study from the University of Washington argues the timing of fishing seasons needs to be reevaluated, especially in light of climate change. For spawning salmon, timing is everything. The fish have a precise internal clock. They have a better chance of surviving the gauntlet of fishermen if they return either before fishing season starts or after it ends. Deborah Wang reports. (NW News Network)

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to hold informational meetings on LNG
Questions about the permits for Puget Sound Energy’s controversial liquefied natural-gas plant are expected to dominate a pair of informational meetings being held by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency this week. The two-hour meetings will take place on Monday, Nov. 27, and the other on Friday, Dec. 1. They will start with a brief presentation by the air-agency staff about the project and then will be opened up to the crowd for questions. Candace Ruud reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Final Report On Vancouver Oil Terminal Highlights Environmental Risks
A Washington energy council has released a massive environmental report that could decide the fate of a controversial $210 million oil terminal in Vancouver. The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, discussed findings from the Final Environmental Impact Statement Tuesday afternoon (Nov 21) at a special meeting in Olympia. The lengthy report, more than 1,200 pages, is one of the final steps in a regulatory process that’s spanned more than four years. The final review is an update to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that was released in November 2015. EFSEC staff say they received more than 250,000 comments on the draft through mail, email and public testimony. Molly Solomon reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Drilling for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is in the GOP tax plan. Can Maria Cantwell block the effort?
In 2005, a first-term Democratic senator from Washington came out on top in a bristling confrontation with Alaska’s senior Republican senator, then at the peak of his power and determined to fulfill his quest to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. It was a signature victory for Sen. Maria Cantwell, burnishing her green credentials, as she corralled enough votes to defeat efforts by the late Ted Stevens to attach a refuge oil-development measure to a military-spending measure. Twelve years later, Cantwell, now in her third term, faces a more difficult fight to block new legislation that would make petroleum production a purpose of the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain. Hal Bernton and Lynda Mapes report. (Seattle Times)

Even a tiny oil spill spells bad news for birds
Birds don’t need to be drenched in crude oil to be harmed by spills and leaks. Ingesting even small amounts of oil can interfere with the animals’ normal behavior, researchers reported November 15 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America. Birds can take in these smaller doses by preening slightly greasy feathers or eating contaminated food, for example. Laura Hamers reports. (Science News)

Railroad company urges Olympia police to take action against protesters
The president of a local railroad company, affected by an encampment of protesters on tracks it uses, has sent a letter to Mayor Cheryl Selby and Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts, urging that police take action against the protesters. Since Friday (Nov 17), the group has occupied a section of railroad tracks at Jefferson Street and Seventh Avenue Southeast to protest fracking sand cargo handled by the Port of Olympia. Port officials have said there is no rail shipment of such cargo scheduled. Rolf Boone and Amelia Dickson report. (Olympian)

New feeding behaviour adopted by humpback whales off Vancouver Island
Researchers off northeastern Vancouver Island have documented what they believe is a new and globally unique feeding behaviour for humpback whales. And while they’ve dubbed it “trap feeding,” it could just as easily be referred to as the “sneak attack” for the way it lures in unsuspecting prey. Christie McMillan, executive director of the Marine Education and Research Society, said a juvenile humpback was first observed employing trap feeding in 2011. Since then, the method spread to at least 16 whales by the end of 2015 in the waters near Telegraph Cove. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Effort underway to conserve Guemes Island's Kelly's Point
On the southern edge of Guemes Island, a beach with patches of pebbles and sand hugs the base of towering bluffs. The beach wraps around about a half-mile of the island’s shore. To the south is Anacortes, and to the west is densely forested Cypress Island. “Before the Guemes Mountain Trail, this is where people came for that unique Guemes Island experience,” island resident and Skagit Land Trust land steward Kit Harma said of the area, which is called Kelly’s Point. The family that owns 27 acres of property along Kelly’s Point and for years has allowed public access has put the property up for sale and received multiple offers, Skagit Land Trust Executive Director Molly Doran said. The land trust has until Jan. 28 to secure $1.4 million to buy the property. Another about $600,000 would be needed to manage the property. The land trust is working to ensure that the beach and bluffs at Kelly’s Point remain undeveloped and open to the public. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Mexico creates huge national park to protect marine life
The Mexican government has created a large marine reserve around a group of islands home to hundreds of species including rays, whales and sea turtles. The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a group of volcanic islands off the country's south-west coast. With a protection zone of 57,000 square miles (150,000km), it has become the largest ocean reserve in North America. The move will mean all fishing activity will be banned, and the area will be patrolled by the navy. (BBC)

Partnership overseeing environmental volunteer efforts comes to end
Volunteers and staff focused on the health of the marine environment in Skagit County are looking to regroup because the Coastal Volunteer Partnership has been disbanded. About 40 of them met Nov. 16 in Anacortes to discuss their path forward and to thank Coastal Volunteer Partnership Coordinator Samantha Russell for leading the way the past two years…. The Coastal Volunteer Partnership organized and led the Salish Sea Stewards program — an intensive, 10-week training for volunteers interested in citizen science opportunities — and connected volunteers, whether stewards or not, with programs in the area. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

O'Neal was champion of salmon, Hood Canal
Dan O’Neal valued truth, facts and science, especially when it came to his beloved Hood Canal. The former board member of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group died Oct. 10, surrounded by family while he gazed out at the Olympic Mountains and Hood Canal. He was 81. (Kitsap Sun)

Chester the false killer whale has died, Vancouver Aquarium says
Chester the false killer whale has died, according to the Vancouver Aquarium. Chester arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium in July 2014 after Tofino residents discovered the undernourished and dehydrated calf on nearby North Chesterman Beach. Upon rehabilitation he was deemed non-releasable into the wild by a panel of experts brought together by Fisheries and Oceans Canada…. Chester's death will add fuel to the debate that has raged for years over whether the Vancouver Aquarium should keep captive whales and dolphins (cetaceans). Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  239 AM PST Mon Nov 27 2017  

 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE in the afternoon then  rising to 15 to 25 kt late. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2  to 4 ft late. W swell 9 ft at 10 seconds. A chance of showers.
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SE 30 to 40 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 5 to 8 ft with a dominant period of  10 seconds. Showers likely 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 (@) 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, November 22, 2017

11/22 Rain, saving salmon and orcas, dye test, Tofino feed bags, necessity defense

PHOTO: Laurie MacBride
Their Time to Shine
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "On the west coast of BC we don’t experience that amazing palette of fall colours that you’ll see back east. But we do have our own special brand of autumn hues: mostly, many variations on a theme of yellow. On this typically rainy day in November, I’m thankful for the gold and amber hues of the willows, steeplebush, Bigleaf maples, grasses and bracken around our pond. They’re all native species, planted here by Mother Nature and requiring virtually no tending. They spend most of the year quietly in the background – then, at this wet, windy and dark time of year they step forward and begin to shine, brightening up our back yard, and my spirits."

Expect record-high temps, 'copious rain' in Seattle area as we head toward Thanksgiving
A tropical blast of warm air is starting to be pumped into the Puget Sound region, bringing loads of rain and enough heat to snap records. Christine Clarridge reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Metro Vancouver weather: Yes, it’s another rainfall warning  “A long episode of rain, at times heavy, is expected,” reads Environment Canada’s foreboding and soggy warning, which calls for prolonged periods of rain over the next two or three days. Scott Brown reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Grants awarded for projects to save salmon, orcas
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced $888,265 in grants to be used in the coming year to restore habitat for chinook salmon — the preferred food of orca whales — and to conduct research on what it will take to help the dwindling populations of both species. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Bodies of water near Shelton set to undergo dye test
Oakland Bay and Hammersley Inlet, both near Shelton, will be turned red as part of a study to identify areas where pollution may make shellfish unsafe to eat, according to the state Department of Health. The red dye test is scheduled for Dec. 1-4. The dye will be added to treated wastewater from Shelton’s main treatment plant. The dye is not harmful to people, marine life or the environment, according to DOH. Federal and other state agencies, as well as the city of Shelton and Squaxin Island Tribe, also are involved in the dye test. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)

Fish farm takes blame for feed bags on Tofino-area beaches
A Port Alberni-based fish farm has taken responsibility for the thousands of plastic feed bags that are fouling beaches in Pacific Rim National Park. Omega Pacific Sea Farms said in a statement this morning that the bags spilled into the water after a series of storms battered the barge connected to its Jane Bay farm in Barkley Sound. Katie Derosa reports. (Times Colonist)

Why Pipeline Activists On Trial Say, 'We Had To Do It' 
Last year, five activists from the Pacific Northwest shut off pipelines bringing oil into the US from Canada. All five were arrested and charged with various felonies and misdemeanors. Now, a development in one of their trials could set a new precedent for cases in which climate change activists have been arrested for acts of civil disobedience…. The case in Minnesota is the only one in which the judge has allowed this novel defense that the defendants want to use. It’s called the “necessity defense.” The “necessity defense” means that the defendants admit that they did something illegal, but they say that illegal action was necessary in order to prevent an even greater harm. In this case, the greater harm would be climate change along with the rising seas, more unpredictable and extreme weather, and other things climate change is bringing. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PST Wed Nov 22 2017  
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell  10 ft at 12 seconds easing to 9 ft at 12 seconds in the afternoon.  Rain.
 S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell  11 ft at 11 seconds. Rain.
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 10 ft at 11 seconds. Rain in the  morning then showers in the afternoon.
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 9 ft at 10 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11/21 Killdeer, Puget Sound 2020, Chris Luke Sr., no frack, BC pipe, spill response, Keystone XL, Skagit sockeye, crab weight

Killdeer [Teddy Llovet/BirdNote]
Where do Killdeer go in winter?
The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter conditions are more severe, migrate south to Mexico and Central America. Because the northern Killdeer fly south — right over the region where other Killdeer reside year-round — they are known as leap-frog migrants. (BirdNote)

New blog: Puget Sound 2020: Enforce the Law to Save the Whales
Guest blogger Amy Carey, executive director of Sound Action, writes that "the forage fish, the salmon and the orcas don’t need more studies. They need a top-down, boot-on-the-ground commitment to the immediate and consistent application of habitat protecting regulations. They need a little thing called Action." Read more...

Who decides the land is 'sacred'?
Ktunaxa elder Chris Luke Sr. lives in B.C.’s Purcell Mountains, about 600 kilometres east of Vancouver. He uses a translator to communicate in English and he knows how to keep his silence. Still, Luke is a powerful man. For eight years, the elder’s religious vision has seized the attention of Canada’s top courts, demanding the focus of hundreds of lawyers, judges, civil servants and politicians. Their work became necessary because Luke said he had an epiphany in 2004 — which he did not reveal to his people until 2009 ­— that the grizzly bears that inhabit a large chunk of public land in the Purcells are sacred, divine protectors. As a result, Luke’s small tribal group entered into years of hard political negotiations with the B.C. government, which turned into a precedent-setting court case against developers of a ski resort called Jumbo Glacier. Douglas Todd writes. (Vancouver Sun)

Anti-fracking group returns to block train tracks in Olympia
One year after an anti-fracking group set up an encampment to block trains leaving the Port of Olympia, protesters have again settled into a makeshift camp on downtown railroad tracks. Three of the protesters, who declined to give their names, said the group set up the camp at Seventh Avenue Southeast and Jefferson Street Southeast on Friday afternoon to block a shipment of ceramic proppants, or fracking sand, which they said was at the port and scheduled to leave Friday. Abby Spegman reports. (Olympian)

Inslee finds ally in Victoria premier against massive proposed oil pipeline  
A new British Columbia government has joined legal challenges to a giant, 890,000-barrels a day pipeline that would bring Alberta tar sands oil into a major B.C. population center, and then ship it out by tanker though international waters of the Salish Sea. Washington Governor Jay Inslee makes an official visit to Victoria on Tuesday. B.C. Premier John Horgan could find an ally, or at least a kindred spirit, in his next door neighbor from across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Inslee was critical of the Canadian pipeline last week in Bonn, Germany, where he was serving as co-chair of the U.S. Climate Alliance. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Nanaimo chosen as main response base for oil spills in the Salish Sea
The Harbour City has been chosen as the focus point of operations in case an oil spill taints B.C.'s coast. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, an industry-funded organization who clean up oil spills, want to build a hub in Nanaimo to coordinate all oil spill responses on Vancouver Island…. The push for a better response time was a safety requirement for the proposed TransMountain pipeline expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby. Federally approved but mired in court challenges, if the pipeline is built the oil spill response has to be in place six months before. (Nanaimo News Now)

Keystone XL pipeline gets Nebraska’s approval, clearing a key hurdle in 9-year effort and allowing Trump to claim a win
TransCanada’s $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline got the go-ahead from the Nebraska Public Service Commission on Monday, clearing the last regulatory hurdle in a nine-year effort to build a line to carry thick crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas gulf coast. But the five-member commission rejected TransCanada’s preferred route and voted to approve an alternative plan that would move the pipeline further east. The route of the new pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude, would circumvent more of the state’s ecologically delicate Sandhills region. The commission’s decision to back an alternative route could complicate TransCanada’s plans, forcing the pipeline company to arrange easements from different landowners. In its submissions, TransCanada had portrayed the alternative route as unworkable. Further litigation is likely. Steven Mufson reports. (Washington Post) See also: Keystone pipeline spill will take months to clean up: officials   Nia Williams and Kevin O’Hanlon report. (Globe and Mail)

Concerns raised over management of sockeye in Skagit, Skokomish rivers
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife is grappling with how to address the concerns of some nontribal fishermen who feel they are losing opportunities to fish for salmon in the region. From the Skagit River in north Puget Sound to the Skokomish River in south Puget Sound, nontribal fishermen have had doors close for several salmon fisheries and limits set for others that prevent them from reeling in the same number of fish as tribal fishermen. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Low crab weight delaying Dungeness harvest along Washington coast
The Washington coast commercial Dungeness crab harvest, once targeted for a Dec. 1 opening, will not start until at least mid-December to give more time for meat to form within shells. The meat is supposed to account for at least 23 percent of the crab by weight. But during a November test fishery, the samples averaged less than 21 percent, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife…. This year, crabbers have been relieved to find that the Dungeness off Washington have all tested at safe levels for domoic acid, a toxin that can be caused by a harmful algae bloom that was a problem in some years past. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PST Tue Nov 21 2017  
 E wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 6 to 7 ft with a  dominant period of 8 seconds building to 7 to 10 ft with a  dominant period of 8 seconds in the afternoon. Rain.
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 8 ft at 9 seconds  building to 10 ft at 11 seconds after midnight. Rain.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, November 20, 2017

11/20 Lidar, orca food, marbled murrelet, Nooksack poop, ocean acid, Site C, Dungeness crab

Landslides, Pierce Co [WDNR bare-earth lidar]
Washington’s geology like you’ve never seen it before
Washington, our Department of Natural Resources has made a very, very cool thing. “The Bare Earth” is a multimedia tour of Washington’s geologic features. It is simply beautiful. sing images made with laser mapping equipment, DNR geologists were able to peel back the Earth’s top layer with all its messy life and show what the geology that undergirds our state’s geography.  Levi Pulkkinen reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Orca quandary: Other protected species are eating their food in Puget Sound
Booming populations of seals, sea lions and other marine mammals are eating so much chinook salmon, they may pose a bigger challenge to the survival of hungry local orca whales than fishermen do, a new study has found. The findings also helped researchers quantify yet another pressure on protected chinook- salmon runs: the voracious appetites of recovering populations of predators. Consumption of chinook by protected marine mammals other than southern-resident killer whales jumped 150 percent from 1975 to 2015, researchers found. That’s such an increase that commercial and recreational fishermen, facing tighter and tighter catch limits, have watched their share of chinook crater by 41 percent during the same time period, while seals, sea lions and northern populations of killer whales feast. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Endangered orcas compete with seals, sea lions for salmon  Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

State: Plan could protect threatened bird and timber revenue
A plan taking shape to manage the state's coastal forests will protect a threatened bird species while also ensuring Skagit and other counties don't lose significant amounts of timber revenue, according to the state Board of Natural Resources. The board, which manages policy and transactions for forest lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources, recently recommended a plan for balancing marbled murrelet conservation and timber harvest on state trust lands.  The marbled murrelet is a small seabird that uses large trees along the West Coast for nesting and raising its young. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Cows may not be to blame for bacterial contamination in Bellingham Bay and Nooksack River
An Environmental Protection Agency and Lummi Nation report shows no evidence that cows are to blame for bacterial contamination in the Nooksack River and Bellingham Bay, Whatcom Family Farmers said in a news release. No fecal material from cattle was found in DNA testing of any of the water samples collected, the report indicated. The Whatcom County Health Department also reports significant improvements in water quality that could allow the Lummi’s Portage Bay shellfish beds to re-open for much of the year, according to the news release. The testing in Bellingham Bay and Nooksack River “showed low levels of DNA from ruminant and avian sources as well as undetermined sources,” according to the group’s website. Ruminant refers to animals that chew their cud, including sheep, goats and deer. Bellingham Herald)

Salmon Industry Wants To Prepare For More Acidic Oceans
Carbon emissions are making the oceans more acidic. That’s long been known to harm shellfish, but new research shows more acidic water could take a toll on salmon as well. “We want to have a future on the water, but we need our fish out there to do it,” says Amy Grondin, a commercial salmon fisher who trolls for chinook and coho off the coasts of Washington and southeast Alaska. That’s why Grondin is partnering with researchers to learn more about what more acidic oceans could mean for those species. “Fishermen really do know a lot,” she explains. “We’re on the water 24/7 observing.” So far, the news has not been good.  Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW/EarthFix)

B.C. Utilities Commission admits mistakes in Site C report but says conclusions still valid 
The B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) says it has discovered errors in some price forecast calculations made in its preliminary report on the Site C dam but maintains "the corrections do not change the panel's findings." The admission comes in response to a letter containing several questions sent Nov. 15 to the BCUC by the provincial deputy ministers responsible for energy and finance. The letter asks for information on the commission's findings alternative energy projects could be as good or better for B.C. ratepayers and that BC Hydro's projected energy needs are "excessively optimistic." Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Washington's Dungeness Crab Season Delayed By Algae Bloom
Officials in Washington state say they’re delaying the start of Dungeness crab season by two weeks because of harmful algae. KING-TV reports that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that the opening of the season on Washington’s coast is being moved from Dec. 1 to Dec. 16. Officials say the crabs contain domoic acid that can build up in crabs and is like poison for the brain for anyone who consumes the crabs. They say it can lead to short-term memory loss and even death. Officials also say the crabs are low in meat and need more time to grow. (Associated Press) See also: Toxic algae on the rise despite government spending   John Flesher And Angeliki Kastanis report. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  253 AM PST Mon Nov 20 2017  

TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  10 ft at 10 seconds subsiding to 8 ft at 10 seconds. A slight  chance of rain in the morning.
 S wind to 10 kt becoming E 15 to 25 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after midnight. SW  swell 7 ft at 9 seconds. A slight chance of rain after midnight.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, November 17, 2017

11/17 Dr. Kruckeberg, spill response, Keystone spill, ocean energy, Colstrip, monument docs, big king, Kevin Van De Wege, Bill Nye

Dr. Kruckeberg [Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens]
Dr. Arthur Rice Kruckeberg
Dr. Kruckeberg retired in 1989 from the University of Washington as Professor Emeritus of Botany. He authored six books, including Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest and The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. Dr. Kruckeberg and his wife Maureen S. Kruckeberg founded the Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens in Shoreline. Dr. Kruckeberg died in 2016 at the age of 96. (Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens)

B.C. First Nation says it has created world-class spill response plan
A British Columbia First Nation has released a plan it says will give it a leading role in oil spill prevention and response on the province's central coast. A report from the Heiltsuk Nation calls for the creation of an Indigenous Marine Response Centre capable of responding within five hours along a 350 kilometre stretch of the coast. The centre proposal follows what the report calls the "inadequate, slow and unsafe" response to the October 2016 grounding of the tug the Nathan E. Stewart that spilled about 110,000 litres of diesel and other contaminants…. The report says the proposed centre, on Denny Island across from Bella Bella, and satellite operations dotted along the central coast, would need a total investment of $111.5 million to be operational by next summer. (Canadian Press)

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210K Gallons Of Oil In South Dakota
TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday. Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated. Officials don’t believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems from the spill onto agricultural land, said Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which has dispatched a staff member to the site. (Associated Press)

Researchers hope to harness ocean's power to light remote B.C. communities 
Dozens of remote towns on the B.C. coast, including Indigenous communities, still rely on diesel generators for power. A group of researchers at the University of Victoria is hoping to change that by harnessing energy from wind, waves and tides. Their goal is to reduce the need for noisy, smelly, carbon-belching generators — as well as the fuel barges that supply them…. The federal government has invested $1.4 million to establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery at UVic. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC) See also: Oceans May Host Next Wave Of Renewable Energy   Jeff Brady reports. (NPR)

Activists, Officials Demand Colstrip Closure Date
Climate change activists and elected officials in Washington state are criticizing Puget Sound Energy's new long-range power generation plan. They say the utility isn't moving fast enough toward 100 percent renewable energy sources. That includes stating definitively that Puget Sound will shut down the Colstrip electricity plant in 2025. Nathanial Jones, the mayor pro tem of Olympia, Washington, says rising sea levels due to climate change threaten billions of dollars worth of development in his city…. Jones is part of a campaign to move one of the northwest's largest utilities, Puget Sound Energy, to 100 percent carbon free power sources. Puget Sound Energy is part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired electricity plant. Doug Howell with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign says getting a closure date for Colstrip is a top priority. Eric Whitney reports. (Montana Public Radio)

Justice Department Won't Release National Monument Documents 
Documents possibly outlining legal justifications for President Donald Trump to shrink national monuments don’t have to be provided to an Idaho environmental law firm because they’re protected communications, federal officials say. The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Advocates for the West seeking the information…. The environmental law firm filed a public records request for documents on the national monuments earlier this year, and the Justice Department released more than 60 pages in May. The agency withheld 12 pages, however, contending they are protected by attorney-client privilege and intra-agency communication rules, making them exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Check out this monster Chinook salmon just caught in B.C. 
Even in an area renowned as a mystical “lost world” of monster salmon — this salmon was particularly monstrous. When held aloft by Ted Walkus, a hereditary chief of the Wuikinuxv First Nation, its tail nearly brushed the ground. The animal’s jaws were large enough to encompass a human head. And it weighed in at 50 pounds (22.7 kg) — and that’s after two weeks of crash weight loss due to spawning. Tristin Hopper reports. (National Post)

Senator now chairs important natural resources committee
Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, was named the chair of Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks by fellow Democrats after a special election earlier this month that saw the Democrats pick up a seat and become the senate’s majority party. Many Fish and Wildlife bills get their start in this committee, and as chair, Van De Wege can hold hearings on legislation and determine (via committee vote) if they move forward. Van De Wege has sponsored bills that propose to regulate fishing guides, particularly out-of-state guides operating on steelhead and salmon rivers and streams. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Bill Nye isn't just some science guy anymore
Famed science guy Bill Nye is looking a bit like Spock these days, with his long face and thick eyebrows that leap up at the outer edges. And much like the science officer on the starship Enterprise, Nye has a habit of drawing his mouth into a flat line when faced with illogical statements. But in the new documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy, the science evangelist comes off as more human than ever. Seattleite audiences were the first to make Nye’s acquaintance, thanks to his early stint with locally produced comedy show Almost Live! As a regular guest, he performed kooky science experiments and also had a recurring bit as Speed Walker, a dogged superhero in shiny shorts. Before landing that gig, Nye had worked as a mechanical engineer at Boeing, spending his weekends at Pacific Science Center as a volunteer “science explainer” and nights doing open-mic comedy. Brangien Davis reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Fri Nov 17 2017  
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at  8 seconds. Scattered showers.
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. A chance of showers.
 S wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. A chance of rain.
 S wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 6 to 7 ft with a dominant period of 8  seconds building to 8 to 10 ft with a dominant period of 9 seconds.
 S wind 30 to 40 kt becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Combined seas 12 to 15 ft with a dominant period of 11 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11/16 Drayton Harbor, WA fish farm ban, BC fish farm protest, Return to Salish Sea, whale film clip

Drayton Harbor [Puget Sound Restoration Fund]
Drayton Harbor
Drayton Harbor is a sheltered bay in Whatcom County partially enclosed by Semiahmoo Spit on the west. The site also includes the channel connecting Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Bay, the associated mudflats, and shallow marine waters north of the channel…. The sheltered nature of Drayton Harbor… make it a major wintering and migration staging area for aquatic birds. The extensive intertidal mudflats and shallow waters provide foraging habitat for large numbers of shorebirds and dabbing ducks. (Important Birding Areas of Washington)

Washington state senator says he’ll file bill to ban Atlantic salmon farming
Under fire after a collapse and massive escape last summer, Atlantic salmon net-pen farming would be banned in Washington under legislation that will be filed by Sen. Kevin Ranker this coming session. The legislation would allow existing state leases for the eight Atlantic net-pen farms now operating in Washington to run out by 2025. No permits for new farms would be granted, and no renewals for existing leases would be allowed. The bill also would require state agencies that regulate net-pen farming to keep a tighter watch on operations. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Sun)

Court orders end to occupation of B.C. fish farm, pending hearing
First Nation demonstrators at a B.C. fish farm are leaving — at least for now. Several Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw and Namgis members have been occupying Marine Harvest Canada's aquaculture site on Midsummer Island for more than two months. The fish farm is one of several in the Broughton Archipelago, east of Port Hardy. The demonstrators say they are concerned fish farms are hurting wild salmon in the area. They also say the aquaculture operations do not have permission to operate in their traditional territory. Marine Harvest is seeking an injunction to remove the protesters, citing safety concerns. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Takeaways From 'Return To The Salish Sea'
Over the past three months, KNKX has hosted a series of weekly interviews about the iconic waterway that includes Puget Sound and extends into British Columbia. Return to the Salish Sea took listeners to locations all around the shores of this shared ecosystem to hear from people who are deeply connected to it and concerned about its future. Bellamy Pailthorp shares highlights. (KNKX)

Filmmaker wins bid to appeal aquarium injunction ordering removal of whale footage
The director of a film critical of the Vancouver Aquarium has been granted the right to appeal an earlier court decision alleging copyright infringement and breach of contract, and that ordered parts of the documentary cut from the finished edit. Gary Charbonneau's 61-minute film — Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered — was released in January of 2016. It examined the practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity and, in part, used footage he shot as part of a school group in 2015. At the time he was warned by aquarium staff not to use the video commercially. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Thu Nov 16 2017  
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 9  seconds becoming SW 6 ft at 9 seconds. Showers likely. A slight  chance of tstms in the afternoon.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 5 ft  at 8 seconds. A slight chance of tstms in the evening. Showers  likely.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

11/15 BC pipe, human warning, Ryan Calkins wins, Oly park, Blaine park, monarch b'fly, giant marlin age

English holly [King County]
English Holly 
English holly, Ilex aquifolium, is a broadleaf evergreen tree or shrub that is grown as a landscape plant in the northwestern United States and Canada but is also commonly found escaping into forests in this region. English holly's native range is the British Isles to southern and central Europe. It is grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest and commonly used in decorations and floral arrangements as well as in landscapes. In King County, English holly is classified as a Weed of Concern and its control is recommended in natural areas that are being restored to native vegetation and in protected forest lands. The City of Kirkland includes English holly on its list of prohibited plants that are prohibited from being planted on private property. (King County)

Editor's note: There has been quite a bit of spirited commentary following recent blogs by Pete Haase and Kathy Fletcher about Puget Sound recovery posted on Salish Sea Communications. Check them out and, if you have something to say, join the conversation.

Kinder Morgan appeals to energy regulator over Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
Kinder Morgan has appealed again to the country's energy regulator, asking it to set up a process to resolve potential disagreements with provincial or municipal governments over its planned Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project. The request was made Tuesday after the National Energy Board last week rejected a proposal to expedite an earlier appeal to obtain permits from the city of Burnaby in B.C.'s Lower Mainland. The company claims the lack of permits from the city adds expensive hurdles to the $7.4-billion construction project. The company also said it is also asking the NEB to set up a process to make an "expedited determination" for such cases in future. (Thomson Reuters)

Oregon State Professor Writes Updated 'Warning To Humanity'
In November of 1992, more than 1,500 scientists put their signatures on an extraordinary document titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” imploring global leaders to save the planet from environmental disaster. Now, 25 years later, more than 15,000 scientists have signed an updated version of that historic plea, saying “time is running out.” “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,” published Monday in the international journal BioScience, charts the progress — or lack thereof — on the issues highlighted in the original document and renews the call for urgent action. Bennett Hall reports. (Associated Press)

Port of Seattle commissioner John Creighton voted out after 11 years despite big fundraising advantage
John Creighton, the longest-serving Port of Seattle commissioner, has lost his re-election bid despite a huge fundraising advantage, as King County voters opted instead for progressive challenger Ryan Calkins. The latest ballot drop Tuesday left Creighton with 47.4 percent of the vote, trailing by more than 23,000 votes — a bigger margin than the number of ballots left to be counted. The result was somewhat surprising: Creighton, a Port commissioner for 11 years, won in a landslide four years ago. Four years before that, he didn’t even draw an opponent. Mike Rosenberg reports. (Seattle Times)

Olympia has 13 acres of undeveloped waterfront to play with. Any suggestions?
Imagine walking from West Bay Park in Olympia to Percival Landing without ever leaving a waterfront trail. It could happen, but it is still a few years away. The city bought 17 acres on the west side of West Bay back in 2007 from the Port of Olympia and BNSF Railway. Now officials want to hear from the community on what should happen there next. So far, 4 acres across from Brawne Avenue Northwest has been developed into West Bay Park in partnership with local Rotary clubs. Thirteen acres south of the park stretching down to the Fifth Avenue Bridge remain closed. There will be a public meeting on the project from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW. There also will be an online survey posted Wednesday through Nov. 30 at Abby Spegman reports. (Olympian)

Company that dumped acidic wastewater into Blaine’s sewer system pays for city park
An organic food producer that was fined thousands of dollars in November 2016 for disposing acidic wastewater into Blaine’s sewer treatment system will now help the city buy land to be used as a public park, and restore a streambank. Nature’s Path Foods, a Richmond B.C.-based company that produces organic granola, cookies and cereal, will spend approximately $29,800 on an environmental package that includes five projects to benefit the Cain Creek watershed. The environmental package settles Nature Path’s appeal of a 2016 Washington State Department of Ecology penalty for $22,000 and an order of compliance for the acidic wastewater that came from the company’s Blaine location, according to Ecology records. The settlement was reached in late October. Denver Pratt reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Decode monarch butterfly migration mysteries, and you could win $50,000
Monarch butterflies can mesmerize their audience. Just ask Eli Moreno, Tacoma entrepreneur and founder of startup co-working spaces Surge Tacoma and Union Club. Fifteen years ago, Moreno and his family were vacationing in Mexico. “We stopped by a monarch butterfly reserve where they spend winter, and we were just overwhelmed by the natural beauty,” Moreno said. “It was an incredible site, and we felt we were walking on sacred ground. We came back and decided as a family we personally wanted to help.” Moreno has been a board member with the Monarch Butterfly Fund for the past seven years. The fund has launched a contest that will award $50,000 to the winner of its international technology design challenge to find a tracking technology to aid in learning more about monarch butterfly migrations. Debbie Cockrell reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

The Odd Story Of How A NOAA Scientist Calculated A Giant Marlin's Age
For the first time, a scientist has been able to discern the age of a marlin by measuring radiocarbon levels stemming from nuclear bomb detonations in the mid-1950s. The 1,245-pound, 12-foot blue marlin caught in waters near Honolulu in 2009 was a peculiar find because most large marlins are caught around Kona, said Allen Andrews, a fisheries research biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries division. Courtney Teague reports. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Wed Nov 15 2017  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 11 ft  at 10 seconds. Rain in the morning then showers likely and a chance  of tstms in the afternoon.
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. SW swell 9 ft at 10  seconds. Showers and a chance of tstms.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

11/14 Orcas, storm salmon, suing fish farms, Tacoma Tideflats, blown up whale, flora climate, Trump's coal

Giant plumose anemone [Phil Edgell/Vancouver Aquarium]
Giant Plumose Anemone Metridium farcimen
You can often find this species attached to the sides of docks, floats, and pilings…. This large anemone can reach 1 m in height, and has more than 200 thin, relatively short tentacles.  It is usually white, but can also be brown, tan, or pinky-orange…. This species is reportedly the world's tallest polyp. Dense colonies defend their territory against each other and other anemone species with acontia. The acontia do not noticeably sting human skin, but do not let them near your eyes or mouth as these areas are more sensitive. This species is preyed upon by the shaggy mouse nudibranch and the leather star. (Biodiversity of the Central Coast)

Where have all Puget Sound's orcas gone?
Every day this summer, Jeanne Hyde scanned the waters off the west side of San Juan Island, hoping that the killer whales would show up. All night, she streamed the underwater sounds from microphones submerged along the shoreline, waiting for the whales’ distinctive trills, chirps and whistles to wake her up. Too often, she slept through the night. Allegra Abramo reports. (Crosscut)

If you like to watch: Salmon swim across flooded Washington state road
Almost every year, when rains are heavy, salmon cross the road in the Skokomish Valley on the Olympic Peninsula. This year’s spectacle did not disappoint. Mason County resident Alissa Joy Ewing captured a shoal of salmon churning floodwaters on the shoulder of road Sunday night, and again on Monday morning. Benjamin Woodard reports. (Seattle Times)

Suit filed over Atlantic salmon farm escape 
Atlantic salmon spilled into Puget Sound last summer appear to be gone — but the spill is far from forgotten as conservationists file suit. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Environmentalists cheering change that would limit growth of current Tideflats businesses
Proposed six-month land use restrictions for the Tideflats will be before the Tacoma City Council on Tuesday, and environmentalists as well as port of Tacoma businesses are expected to show up in force — again — to plead their case on either side. The latest draft of the interim regulations holds a significant change that environmental advocates are cheering and some businesses are decrying: Existing heavy industrial uses would be allowed, but instead of the potential for unlimited growth, they would only be allowed to expand by up to 10 percent of their storage, production, or distribution capacity during the interim period, and would need a conditional-use permit. Candice Ruud reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

If you like to watch: There Is Now Better Footage of That Time Oregon Blew Up a Whale With Dynamite
Reader Rick Haley pointed out that this past weekend was an anniversary of an epic day on the Oregon coast. We'll let Sophia June tell the story from a news article posted last year: "On November 12, 1970, the Oregon Department of Transportation blew up a dead whale that had washed up on a Florence beach. In what was called a "controlled explosion," they used a half-ton of dynamite. It didn't go well. Chunks of dead whale blubber ended up all over both bystanders and the beach, flying out as far as a nearby parking lot where the flying flesh severely damaged at least one car. The decision to publicly dynamite an enormous mammal has become one of Oregon's all-time most bizarre moments…" (Willamette Week)

UW Climate Change Study Shows Effect On Mount Rainier Wildflowers
If you trek to Mount Rainier National Park every summer to catch the spectacular display of wildflowers, take note: In the future, some flower species may bloom earlier while others could disappear altogether, according to a study from the University of Washington. The study shows climate change could have a dramatic affect on wildflowers and wildlife in the park. UW researchers report in a paper published online on Oct. 11 in the journal Ecology that they made their discovery because of the unusual weather in the Pacific Northwest in 2015. Paula Wissel reports. (KNKX)

Protesters Jeer as Trump Team Promotes Coal at U.N. Climate Talks
The Trump administration made its debut at a United Nations conference on climate change on Monday by giving a full-throated defense of fossil fuels and nuclear energy as answers to driving down global greenhouse gas emissions. The forum — the only official appearance by the United States delegation during the annual two-week climate gathering of nearly 200 nations — illustrated how sharply the administration’s views are at odds with those of many key participants in the climate negotiations. Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer report. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  642 AM PST Tue Nov 14 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 10 ft  at 10 seconds. Rain and isolated thunderstorms.
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming E 20 to 30 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. SW swell 10 ft at 9 seconds. Rain.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told