Friday, March 30, 2018

3/30 ASPIRATION, ecosystem conference, clam day, orca killing, BC pipe, auto rule rollback, Navy jets, recycling woes

ASPIRATION and Tony Angell [Photo: Bob Peterson]
ASPIRATION at Seattle University
Naturalist and artist Tony Angell reports: "Installed on March 28th on the campus of Seattle University, the monument is entitled ASPIRATION and represents their mascot, the Redhawk.  For me, this fictional bird is a powerful metaphor for what students come to the University to fulfill.  To a degree, like the hawk, we  bravely launch into a world of learning with hopes and expectations seeking to accomplish and soar.   The expanded skills and knowledge the University can provide may ultimately determine much of what we achieve in the future… The piece is eleven feet high at the wing tips and is placed atop a basalt column. I feel a bit sad but a bit glad that one of my progeny is off into the world hopefully to take the messages of Nature to share."

30th Anniversary Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference To Convene In Seattle
More than 1,300 scientists, policy makers and other interested parties are attending next week’s Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. The meeting happens every two years and alternates between the U.S. and Canada.  This year, the 30th anniversary since the first one took place in 1988, there’s an emphasis on ecosystem recovery across the international border. The biology and resources of the Salish Sea don’t abide by political borders, so those working to protect the ecosystem often look for ways to get past them too. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

National Clam Day 2018
March 31 is National Clam Day so here's a salute to our Washington state clams: manila clams, native littlenecks, butter clams, cockles, macoma clams, horse clams, Eastern soft-shell, varnish clams, geoduck clams and razor clams. Keep clam.

Killing of baby orca raises questions about whales’ social structure
By now, you may have heard about the male transient killer whale who attacked and killed a newborn orca while the baby was swimming next to its mother. Jared Towers, a researcher with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, witnessed the killing. He said he was both “horrified and fascinated” by the event, which he described as the first case of infanticide ever reported among killer whales. The incident took place in Canadian waters near the north end of Vancouver Island. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways) See also: 'Extremely rare' inshore sperm whale sighting caught on camera off Nanaimo  (CBC)

Saskatchewan issues threat of its own to B.C. as Trans Mountain pipeline battle escalates
Saskatchewan entered the trade war between Alberta and British Columbia, telling the coastal province Thursday it will consider limits on its out-of-province oil shipments if B.C. continues its efforts to delay the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. “We are giving warning to say we will do what it takes to ensure that this Trans Mountain pipeline that was approved by the federal government is built,” Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in an interview. Saskatchewan likely won’t be shipping oil on the proposed pipeline between Alberta and B.C., but is hurt by the project’s delay because the discount to Canadian oil relative to U.S. crude is costing the Saskatchewan government $150 million per year, Moe said. The pipeline is expected to reduce that discount. Geoffrey Morgan reports. (Financial Post)

E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient
The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide. The move — which undercuts one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change — would also propel the Trump administration toward a courtroom clash with California, which has vowed to stick with the stricter rules even if Washington rolls back federal standards. That fight could end up creating one set of rules for cars sold in California and the 12 states that follow its lead, and weaker rules for the rest of the states, in effect splitting the nation into two markets. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to frame the initiative as eliminating a regulatory burden on automakers that will result in more affordable trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles for buyers, according to people familiar with the plan. Coral Davenport and Hiroko Tabuchi report. (NY Times)

Veterans urge Navy to stop jet training over Olympic National Park
Army veteran Chuck Nelson served in the military for 12 years, fighting in the first Gulf War and later in Somalia. Today he lives right on the eastern border of Olympic National Park. He moved there for the solitude…. But that peace and quiet, he said, are getting harder to find. That’s because of what he hears on his daily walks: the scream of Boeing EA 18G Growlers. They're Navy fighter jets similar to the F/A-18 Hornets flown by the Blue Angels during Seafair. Casey Martin reports. (KUOW)

Some Seattle-area recycling dumped in landfills as China’s restrictions kick in
Yellowing newspapers, junk mail and scrap paper, bundled together in blocks as big as a compact car, are stacked three and four high in nearly every available corner of the largest recycling facility in Seattle. Rows of these mixed-paper bales also sit out in the rain and wind, sodden and sagging like their value now that China, which was by far the largest and most important market for this commodity, has shut its doors. Republic Services, which processes recycling from Seattle, Bellevue and other cities in King County, has sought permission to send some of this unmarketable paper, fast becoming mush, to regional landfills. The company cites safety and health risks as the bales pile up in the Sodo facility designed to send out as much as it takes in — about 750 tons — each day. Benjamin Romano reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Fri Mar 30 2018  
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 9 seconds. A chance of rain.
TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt easing late. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft  subsiding late. W swell 6 ft at 9 seconds.
 Light wind becoming W 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 3 ft or less.  W swell 4 to 5 ft at 8 seconds.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 8 seconds.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at  8 seconds, building to 5 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 (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

3/29 Race Rocks, "Big One," volcanic energy

Race Rocks Lighthouse []
Race Rocks Marine Protected Area
Race Rocks is an Ecological Reserve designated by the British Columbia Parks Ministry in the eastern entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Salish Sea, Canada. The reserve is also a designated Marine Protected Area and has been such since the first bid in 2000 was derailed by DFO in Ottawa. Started in 1978 as a marine science project by the students of Pearson College UWC under the supervision and guidance of their teachers, Garry Fletcher and Marks McAvity, in 1980 it became ecological reserve #97 under Provincial B.C. Parks protection. In 1998 it became a Canadian Marine Protected Area designate. It is managed by the staff and students at the college, and is available as a resource for research and education.(Wikipedia)

Here's how a 9.0 earthquake would affect Washington's coast
How fast do you think you could prepare if "The Big One" hits? How fast do you think you could clear out of a tsunami zone? The Washington Geological Survey recently published modeling of how Grays Harbor and Pacific County would be hit with a massive wave following a 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the fault line that runs about 600-miles along the West Coast, and an estimate of how much time residents would have to prepare for a massive wave. Their guess? About 15 to 20 minutes. Of course, that'd be following a mighty powerful earthquake as well. Zosha Millman reports. (SeattlePI)

Are Washington's volcanoes the next big energy source? 
Washington's volcanoes could one day join solar and wind as producers of renewable energy. The state Department of Natural Resources plans to tap into the idea this summer. Geologists think there could be pockets of geothermal resources throughout Washington state, but there's no clear data showing where. The state’s Department of Natural Resources wants to check for hot spots under the state's major volcanoes. DNR spokesperson Joe Smillie said this will be the first time the state has searched far below the volcanoes. They're getting ready to take action after the legislature passed a bill last year allowing deeper drilling for geothermal resources. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Thu Mar 29 2018  
TODAY  SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5  ft at 10 seconds. Rain likely.
TONIGHT  SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 10 seconds. Rain 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.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

3/28 Bioluminescence, BC pipe, electric ferry, climate-change liability, Skagit farms

Comb jelly [Aquarium of the Pacific]
Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow
According to NOAA Senior Scientist and Deep Sea Researcher Dr. Edie Widder, “Bioluminescence in the ocean is the rule rather than the exception.” First things first: what’s bioluminescence? It’s the production of light from a chemical reaction inside an organism, produced by animals for defense, attracting mates or finding food. Numerous deep sea creatures exhibit bioluminescence and more than a few light-producing organisms are found right here in Puget Sound—some of which are even housed at Seattle Aquarium. (Seattle Aquarium blog)

Burnaby mayor says threats to provincial autonomy over pipeline fight could provoke constitutional crisis
The City of Burnaby is taking its fight against construction of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to Canada's highest court, after lower courts and the National Energy Board rejected its challenge. Mayor Derek Corrigan also says he doesn't believe Burnaby should pay for the policing costs of the long-running protest against the project in his city — comments Alberta Premier Rachel Notley warned were "irresponsible." On Tuesday, Corrigan said the city intends to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear its challenge of a National Energy Board decision that came down in December. (CBC)

Electric-Powered Ferries Could Be Coming To Washington
Now that electric cars are a common sight on the nation’s highways, and prototypes exist for electric trucks and airplanes, could electric ferries be next? The 2018 state transportation budget signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday includes money to look at converting some of the state ferry fleet. The Legislature gave $600,000 to Washington State Ferries to explore how to convert three ferries from diesel to hybrid electric propulsion. Director of Vessels Matt von Ruden said the money will boost a nascent vessel electrification project. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

B.C. should copy Ontario's new climate-change liability bill, says environmental lawyer
A climate-change liability bill was introduced in the Ontario legislature this week and a Victoria-based environmental lawyer says British Columbia should follow suit. The Liability for Climate-Related Harms Act of 2018 bill is the first of its kind to hold fossil fuel corporations liable, without proof of fault, for climate impacts and to also allow people to sue companies for climate damages. Andrew Gage, a staff lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, says it shouldn't be up to individuals alone to combat climate change — industries that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions should be held responsible. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

Three main issues face Skagit County farmers
When it comes to the top issues facing Skagit County farmers in 2018, Washington State University Skagit County Extension Director Don McMoran says it can be narrowed down to three: water, labor and the economic viability of local farms. McMoran, a fourth-generation Skagit County farmer with a master’s degree in agriculture and education, has a firsthand and academic perspective on the county's agricultural issues. Julia-Grace Sanders reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  240 AM PDT Wed Mar 28 2018  
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 11 seconds.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. A slight  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 (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

3/27 Bird talk, BC LNG, fish farm restock, BC rivers, kids book campaign, Pruitt's EPA

Tweety (Warner Bros.)
Can Birds Really Talk?
Darvin Gebhart is a champion goose-caller. But there are also birds that use human language. Sparkie Williams was a famous parakeet, or budgerigar, that lived in England in the 1950s. He recorded commercials for bird seed and released his own hit single "Pretty Talk." Alex, the African Grey Parrot, was another notable talking bird, with amazing cognitive abilities.  Watch a video interview with Sparkie Williams and learn more about him at the British-Library.UK. (BirdNote)

Can B.C. grow LNG and meet the Greens' climate action ultimatum?
A thriving liquid natural gas industry in B.C. would require a 50-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from every other sector of the economy in order to meet the province’s 2030 climate goals, according to B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver. “Emissions would have to be cut, not just by industry, but in every part of the economy,” said Weaver in a radio interview. “I do not believe that is possible.” Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Radioactive water and 'fugitive' emissions: LNG project a risky investment, critic says  Malone Mulllin reports. (CBC)

Federal court dismisses B.C. First Nation's bid to block fish farm restocking
A B.C. First Nation has lost its court bid to prevent the restocking of an open-net salmon farm in its traditional territories off northern Vancouver Island. The 'Namgis First Nation had asked the Federal Court for an injunction against Marine Harvest that would have blocked the company from transferring up to one million juvenile Atlantic salmon, known as smolts, to its Swanson Island farm…. Justice Michael Manson issued a 41-page decision on Friday agreeing there is a "real and non-speculative likelihood of harm" to the 'Namgis way of life from fish-borne disease — but he rejected an injunction on the transfer of the smolts because of its timing. He found Marine Harvest had informed the 'Namgis on Dec. 21, 2017, that it intended to restock the Swanson Island farm in early spring. The application to halt the restocking was not filed until March 9, 2018, "mere days before the transfer was set to begin," Manson wrote. He said the late notice prevented the company from finding room for the smolts in any of its other B.C. fish farms. (Canadian Press)

Outdoor Recreation Council names B.C.’s most endangered rivers
The 100,000-member Outdoor Recreation Council has identified B.C.’s critical steelhead rivers and the Heart of the Fraser, from Hope to Mission, as the most endangered rivers in the province. The council’s list of endangered rivers, produced every two years and voted upon by members, warns that steelhead stocks have dipped to precarious levels on key rivers, including just 57 fish returning to the Chilcotin River and 177 to the Thompson River this past year. Members of the public and resource professionals also contribute to the list. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

SeaDoc Society: Book for Young Readers
Next month SeaDoc Society will publish a book for young readers titled Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids, written by SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos and board member Audrey Benedict. We're excited to announce that we just launched an Indiegogo campaign that empowers SeaDoc supporters like you to buy a copy of the book for a child in need! It takes just a few clicks and we’ll handle all distribution. Our goal is to make the book available to every 5th and 6th grader in the Salish Sea regardless of their ability to pay.

Scott Pruitt’s Dirty Politics
William Ruckelshaus, who ran the E.P.A. under Nixon and Reagan, said that Pruitt and his top staff “don’t fundamentally agree with the mission of the agency.” Margaret Talbot reports. (New Yorker) See also: The E.P.A. Says It Wants Research Transparency. Scientists See an Attack on Science.  Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  239 AM PDT Tue Mar 27 2018    

TODAY  W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt this morning.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 9 ft at 10 seconds. Rain in the  morning then rain likely in the afternoon.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 11 seconds. A slight chance  of showers.

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

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Monday, March 26, 2018

3/26 Water $, grizzlies, cholera, BC pipe, BC steelhead, net pen ban, Bainbridge codes, toxic mist, gun march, octo gopro

Brightly emerging [Laurie MacBride]
Emerging, Slowly 
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes:"Spring has been slow to arrive this year, but I think it’s finally here. Which means it’s time for me, like the crocuses, to emerge from my lengthy slumber. There’s much that needs to be done in our garden, a fact which seems daunting right now considering how sedentary I was over the fall and winter. I’ll pay for that indulgence in aches and pains galore, I know – but the aesthetic and edible rewards that lie ahead should make it all worthwhile."

Happy Birthday, San Juan Islands National Monument
On March 25, 2013 President Obama signed a proclamation creating the San Juan Islands National Monument to permanently protect the BLM Lands in the islands. National monument status permanently protects precious lands in the San Juan Islands. These sites, already managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), include recreational areas beloved by locals and visitors, cultural sites used by local tribes for thousands of years, historic lighthouses, disappearing habitat and much more. Islanders for the San Juan Island National Monument

Spending bill rejects Trump effort to gut water cleanups
President Donald Trump has gotten nowhere in his push to kill federal support for cleaning up some of the nation’s most prized waterways, as Congress voted to keep funding at current levels — and in some cases, boost it. A $1.3 trillion spending package approved Thursday by the House and early Friday by the Senate includes nearly $448 million for Environmental Protection Agency programs benefiting regional waters degraded by pollution, overdevelopment and exotic species invasions. That’s an increase from $436 million in the previous budget. John Flesher reports. (Associated Press)

Zinke gives support to grizzly bear restoration plan
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Friday his support for restoring grizzly bears in the North Cascades. “I’m in support of the great bear. I’m also in support of doing it right,” he said. “When done right by professional management, the grizzly can return harmony to the ecosystem.” Zinke visited Sedro-Woolley to announce his position on restoration and to provide an update on the status of the environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the restoration. He said he has directed the Interior to expedite the review process when the EIS is complete and issue a decision by the end of the year. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke throws support behind grizzly bear recovery in North Cascades  Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Avoid eating herring eggs on Vancouver Island — or risk getting cholera, health officials warn
Island Health and the First Nations Health Authority are warning people not to eat herring eggs after linking them to confirmed cases of cholera on Vancouver Island. The intestinal illness — which can cause nausea, vomiting and severe watery diarrhea — is most commonly found in travellers returning from endemic regions…. The advisory applies to herring eggs found on kelp, seaweed and other surfaces and harvested in the area from French Creek to Qualicum Bay. (CBC)

Remembering the Exxon Valdez Spill
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 24, 1989, when Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker owned by Exxon Shipping Company, bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef at 12:04 am local time and spilled 10.8 million US gallons (260,000 bbl; 41,000 m3) of crude oil over the next few days. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. The Valdez spill is the second largest in US waters, after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in terms of volume released. (Wikipedia)

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May arrested at anti-pipeline protest
Two federal politicians, including Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, have been arrested at a protest against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C. May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart joined demonstrations on Friday, opposing construction of the federally approved Trans Mountain expansion. (CBC) See also: Anti-pipeline protesters continue demonstrations at Burnaby terminal  (CBC) And also: Alberta premier calls B.C. complaints about high gas prices environmental hypocrisy  Bill Graveland reports. (CBC)

B.C. says federal court rejects appeal application for NEB ruling on Trans Mountain bylaw
The provincial government says the Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed its application to appeal a National Energy Board ruling that allows Kinder Morgan to bypass City of Burnaby bylaws during construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The NEB ruled in December that the company is not required to comply with two sections of the City of Burnaby's bylaws on land and tree clearances. (CBC)

Tsilhqot'in First Nation closes fishery, forgoes Aboriginal right to steelhead
The Tsilhqot'in National Government has closed its steelhead fishery and relinquished its Aboriginal right to fish local steelhead due to a low return in the Chilcotin River last fall. The Chilcotin River steelhead population has declined by 80 per cent over the past three generations — only 58 steelhead returned to the river last year…. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, B.C's fish and game branch, the Kamloops Fly Fishing Association and even actor and fishing enthusiast William Shatner have all spoken out about the dire situation for steelhead in the Thompson and Chilcotin rivers. Courtney Dickson reports. (CBC)

Tim Eyman withdraws referendums seeking vote on Atlantic salmon net-pen ban 
Tim Eyman, the anti-tax crusader and longtime initiative sponsor, has withdrawn his proposed referendums on the Atlantic salmon net-pen ban enacted by the Legislature. The law, signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, phases out open-water Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington by 2025. More than 12,000 people asked the Legislature and Inslee to support the ban, and the bill passed the Legislature by wide margins. Eyman on March 15 filed two referendum petitions that would have put all or part of HB 2957 to a public vote. He wrote the Secretary of State’s office Friday withdrawing both referendums, stopping what surely would have been an acrimonious campaign before it even started. Lynda Mapes reports.

City of Bainbridge Island sued over updates to environmental codes
The Kitsap County Association of Realtors is suing the city of Bainbridge Island, claiming updates to the city’s critical areas ordinances are onerous, infringe on property owners’ rights and conflict with state laws on growth. After months of hashing through complex updates to its critical areas ordinances – codes that regulate sensitive environmental areas – a divided Bainbridge Island City Council approved the regulations late last month. The contentious new codes limit development at sites on most of Bainbridge with the goal of protecting the island's aquifer recharge, according to the city. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Dispersants can turn oil spills into toxic mist, research shows
The dispersant chemicals used to clean up oil spills have the unintended effect of transforming crude oil into a toxic mist able to travel for miles and penetrate deep into human lungs, new research has found. A study by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore indicates that the dispersants used during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and other large spills breaks down oil into particles so small that they can easily take to the air. Just agitate the oil-dispersant mixture with a bit of wind, some waves – even raindrops – and the ultrafine particles go airborne, researchers said. (Times Picayune)

March For Our Lives
The kids are SHOUTING: 'This is just the start'
  (KUOW) Bellingham takes part in the March for Our Lives  (Bellingham Herald) Skagit County students march to end gun violence  (Skagit Valley Herald) Thousands in Marysville and Everett protest gun violence  (Everett Herald) Protesting gun violence, 'March for Our Lives' fills Tacoma streets  (Tacoma News Tribune) March for Our Lives rallies conducted on Peninsula  (Peninsula Daily News) Hundreds in Kitsap join national march against gun violence  (Kitsap Sun) At March For Our Lives Olympia, students call for action to stop school shootings  (Olympian) Several hundred at Vancouver March for Our Lives rally against gun violence   (Vancouver Sun) March For Our Lives: Six key takeaways from the US gun control rallies  (BBC)

Vancouver Aquarium gave their new octopus a GoPro – because why not?
Giant Pacific octopus have a lifespan of three to five years. So seeing that the young cephalopod at the Vancouver Aquarium is part of the ‘selfie generation,’ then why not hand her a GoPro? Heck, give her eight. Aquarium staff recently let their octopus experiment with cinematography in the Treasures of the B.C. Coast gallery. Give an infinite number of octopuses an infinite number of GoPros and they will produce Gone With the Wind — or at least Waterworld. Scott Brown reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Mon Mar 26 2018    SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING  
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. Rain.
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 7 seconds  building to 7 ft at 9 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.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

3/23 Flatworm, BC LNG, Puget Sound $, Van waterfront, fish farm ban, sea lion feast, place-base fishing, Rachel Carson, BC gas, population, Billy Frank Jr, garbage patch, birds

Flatworm [Mary Jo Adams]
Giant flatworm (Leaf worm) Kaburakia excelsa
Kaburakia excelsa
can grow to a length of at least 9 cm (3.5 in). It is flat and nearly as broad as it is long….This species has no suckers on the underside. It can be distinguished from other flatworms in the area by its much larger size, and is in fact one of the largest flatworms in the world…. This flatworm is native to the western seaboard of North America, its range extending from Sitka in Alaska to Newport Harbor in California. It is found on the lower shore and in the shallow sub-littoral zone, under rocks, on pilings, on the fouled hulls of boats and among mussels and rock-boring bivalves. (Wikipedia)

Premier Horgan offers tax breaks to LNG industry
Premier John Horgan offered billions of dollars worth of tax breaks to liquefied natural gas producers Thursday in a move to entice the construction of an export facility in Kitimat. Environmental groups called it a reckless abandonment of the NDP’s climate promises and Green Leader Andrew Weaver said he might withdraw his support of the minority NDP government. Horgan said he hopes the exemptions, which forgo up to $6 billion in potential government revenue over 40 years, would lure the Shell-led LNG Canada project to make a final go-ahead decision this year on its $40-billion LNG proposal for Kitimat and an associated gas pipeline. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Puget Sound cleanup survives Trump attempt to kill it
The Trump administration failed in its efforts to wipe out money to clean up Puget Sound and other waterways from Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes, as Congress has refused to dry up spending on water programs. Puget Sound gets $28 million as part of $8.08 billion in funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The Trump administration had wanted to slash EPA's budget to $5.7 billion, in real dollars its lowest spending in 40 years. The money is contained in a mammoth omnibus federal spending bill, passed Thursday by the House of Representatives and due for final action Friday in the Senate. [The bill passed the Senate and awaits the President's signature.] Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Vancouver’s waterfront stressed and needs cooperative relief: report
Vancouver’s waterfront is under stress on a lot of fronts, a new report led by the conservation group Georgia Strait Alliance has found, which will require more co-ordinated attention to help relieve it. The stress is from the loss of industrial land for residential use, from increasing numbers of people trying to squeeze into crowded beaches and natural spaces and the ever-present threat of rising sea levels due to climate change. “(Vancouver) is fantastic about talking about the green city, we need them to start talking about the ‘blue city,’” said Christianne Wilhelmson, executive director of the Georgia Strait Alliance. Derrick Penner reports. See also: What should Vancouver's waterfront look like in 30 years?  Jesse Johnston reports. (CBC)

Eyes Over Puget Sound
Surface Conditions Report, winter 2018. Up-to-date observations of water quality conditions in Puget Sound and coastal bays. (Washington Department of Ecology)

Atlantic salmon farms banned, 8 months after great fish escape
Atlantic salmon farming has been banned from Washington state waters. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the ban on non-native fish farms into law Thursday morning in Olympia…. The move comes eight months after an ill-fated fish farm near Anacortes started to come undone in a strong current on an otherwise calm summer day. The floating farm, owned by New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture, tore apart a month later, letting as many as 250,000 Atlantic salmon escape into Puget Sound. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Sea lions feast on fragile fish in US Northwest survival war
It's a frustrating dance between California sea lions and wildlife managers that's become all too familiar in recent months. The bizarre survival war has intensified recently as the sea lion population rebounds and fish populations decline in the Pacific Northwest Gillian Flaccus reports.(Associated Press)

New ways of fishing could better protect endangered salmon
Higher standards of “sustainability” for salmon — recently developed by the Wild Fish Conservancy — are designed to put salmon on people’s tables with virtually no impact on depleted salmon runs. The new standards, which could become part of a certification program, are built upon the concept that fishing should take place closer to streams with abundant runs of salmon. The standards call for fishing methods that can take a portion of the fish from the abundant runs while allowing fish from depleted runs to pass on by and spawn naturally. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson
Not until the end of her life did she write the work for which she is now known. Before then, she had always thought of herself as a poet of the sea. Jill Lepore reports. (New Yorker)

Prices at the pump will rise because of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
Gas prices around the Lower Mainland recently spiked to more than $1.50 a litre and a well-known economist says this is just the beginning. Robyn Allan, an independent economist and former president of ICBC, argues prices will go even higher with the completion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

New census numbers show just how crowded Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is becoming
Last year, enough people arrived in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties to fill Cheney Stadium nearly 10 times over. From April 2016 through April 2017, the population of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area grew by more than 64,000 people, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The three-county area was the sixth-fastest growing metro area in the country, topped only by Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., areas, the Census Bureau says…. The overall population rose to nearly 3.9 million residents for the three counties. Kate Martin And Debbie Cockrell report. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Billy Frank Jr. Honored With National Day of Recognition
Last Friday members of the Washington state Congressional delegation passed a resolution designating March 9, the day of Billy Frank Jr.’s birth, as an official national day of remembrance of his life, legacy and accomplishments. Also on Frank Jr.’s birthday on Friday was a dedication and blessing of a park and trail in Frank Jr.’s name by the Port of Olympia. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Patty Murray (D-Washington) and U.S. Representatives Denny Heck (D-Washington) and Derek Kilmer (D-Washington) introduced a resolution to honor Billy Frank Jr. (Nisqually Valley News)

Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 16 times bigger than previously estimated, study finds
A new study involving scientists from around the world suggests there are more than 79,000 tonnes of ocean plastic in a 1.6 million square kilometre area of the North Pacific Ocean, often referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That's 16 times more than previous estimates.  The Ocean Cleanup Foundation commissioned the expedition in 2015 to examine the eastern part of the patch. Using 30 vessels and a C-130 Hercules airplane, they catalogued a sample of more than one million pieces of plastic, mostly made up of microplastics that measure less than 0.5 centimetres in diameter. The study suggests the total amount of microplastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch totals more 1.8 trillion pieces, a number that far exceeds earlier estimates. Nicole Mortillaro reports. (CBC)

Study: National Park Bird Populations Likely To Change Because Of Climate Change
Scientists from the Audubon Society and the National Parks Service have teamed up to look at the effects of climate change on birds. The study predicts the behavior of 513 species across 274 national parks in summer and winter. The authors found on average nearly a quarter of the bird species found in popular park destinations could be completely different by mid-century.   The effects look less severe in Washington’s national parks, but still dozens of species are expected to move on as their habitat changes. Audubon has a slick new website where you can find data on that future. Three of the parks are in Washington state. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  223 AM PDT Fri Mar 23 2018  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft  at 11 seconds. A chance of showers. A slight chance of tstms in  the afternoon.
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 10 seconds. A slight  chance of tstms in the evening. A chance of showers.
 S wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 9 seconds. A chance of showers.
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds.
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

3/22 Flicker, BNSF derail, net-pen ban, BC pipe, toxin ban, marine protected areas, grizzlies, whale tales, port air, plastic bag ban

Northern flicker [Montana Fish & Game]
Northern flicker Colaptes auratus
The northern flicker is a medium-sized bird of the woodpecker family. It is native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, and is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate. (Wikipedia) Its ringing calls and short bursts of drumming can be heard in spring almost throughout North America. Two very different-looking forms -- Yellow-shafted Flicker in the east and north, and Red-shafted Flicker in the west -- were once considered separate species. They interbreed wherever their ranges come in contact. On the western Great Plains, there is a broad zone where all the flickers are intergrades between Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted. (Audubon Field Guide)

'The most important thing is nobody was injured and no product was released'
A string of three railroad cars derailed off an industrial track early Wednesday on the Ferndale Alcoa Intalco Works property, according to BNSF Railway director of public affairs Gus Melonas. "The most important thing is nobody was injured and no product was released," Melonas said. BNSF was pulling the string of cars at 3 mph on the customer's track at about 3 a.m. when the incident occurred, Melonas said, resulting in two cars ending up on their sides and the third leaning. By 8:30 a.m., crews were in place to pick up the cars, and Melonas said that process continued Wednesday afternoon. The derailment, which did damage the track, occurred approximately eight miles off the main line, and Melonas said it did not impact the average of 15 trains that travel through Whatcom County daily. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Eyman takes on Atlantic salmon net-pen ban, seeks referendum
Tim Eyman has filed documents with the Washington secretary of state calling for a public vote on legislation phasing out Atlantic salmon net-pen farming in Washington. Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to sign the bill into law Thursday. One referendum puts the entire bill, HB 2957, up for a public vote. Another would put on the ballot portions of the bill calling for a phaseout of the industry by 2025, and further study on environmental effects of Atlantic salmon net-pen farming. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Pipeline pressure: Experts divided on whether Trans Mountain expansion would lower gas prices
As Metro Vancouver gas prices approach record highs, protesters continue to be arrested for opposing the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby. But could that very pipeline be the solution to the Lower Mainland's chronically high prices at the pumps? It depends who you ask. Experts generally agree that expanding the pipeline would have some downward effect on regional gas prices. But Mark Jaccard, a sustainable energy economist at Simon Fraser University and former chair of the B.C. Utilities Commission, says it would be far from an overnight fix. Matt Meuse reports. (CBC)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Signs Nation's 1st Law Banning Certain Chemicals In Food Packaging
Washington will soon phase out nonstick chemicals in its food packaging. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Wednesday that will eventually restrict perfluorinated chemicals.Inslee said Washington is now the first state in the nation to ban these chemicals in food packaging…. Perfluorinated chemicals are used to make paper food packaging nonstick. They’re found in things like microwave popcorn bags, fast-food wrappers and pizza boxes. Rep. Joan McBride, D-Kirkland, sponsored the bill…. Scientists aren’t certain exactly how these chemicals may harm people. But they could be linked to certain cancers, thyroid problems and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Courtney Flatt reports. (NWPB/EarthFix)

Designing Marine Protected Areas in a Changing Climate
Climate change is throwing a wrench into conservation. In the ocean, water is warming and becoming more acidic. At the poles, sea ice is melting. And across the globe, currents are changing pace or direction…. Climate change is making the standard method of protecting vulnerable species—closing their critical habitat to destructive human activities such as fishing or oil drilling—much more complicated. Erica Gies reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Ryan Zinke Coming To Washington To Talk Grizzly Bear Recovery After Program's Suspension
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is heading to the North Cascades Friday to speak on reintroducing grizzly bears in that part of Washington. His agency had previously suspended controversial efforts to bolster the bears in the area. Scientists think there are fewer than 10 grizzly bears left in Washington’s North Cascades. The federal government looked at options to help the population. They’ve ranged from a do-nothing approach to reintroducing grizzlies to the area. The plans proved controversial. After public meetings across Washington, the government was in the midst of reviewing nearly 127,000 public comments. Then in December the Interior Department abruptly halted the program. The media advisory about Zinke’s visit to Washington did not elaborate on what he would announce, other than to say he will “provide remarks on the grizzly bear restoration efforts.” Courtney Flatt reports. (NWPB/EarthFix)

B.C. scientists 'horrified' as they watch 1st documented killer whale infanticide
Marine scientists in B.C. have for the first time seen a killer whale drown a baby of the same species. The researchers watched the orca infanticide as it unfolded off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island on Dec. 2, 2016, and published their findings in the journal Nature this week. Cetacean ecologist Jared Towers remembers heading out on the water with two colleagues after underwater microphones picked up some transient killer whale calls that seemed a bit strange. The researchers tracked down the whales, identified and photographed them and were about to leave when they noticed some splashing — it looked like the orcas might have found some prey. "That's when we realized that the calf — it was a brand-new calf in the group — it wasn't surfacing at all," Towers told CBC News. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC) See also: Gray Whale Sightings Up Off Northwest Coast  Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix) And WATCH: Sea lions ward off attacking orcas  (KING)

You can breathe cleaner around Puget Sound ports, report finds
The air is generally getting cleaner around Puget Sound ports, which over the decades have been a significant source of pollutants that increase the risk of respiratory problems and cancer. A new report finds that seven different air pollutants declined by amounts ranging from 9 to 97 percent in 2016 compared to 2011. The improvements result from a mix of voluntary investments in greening port operations and new regulations that require lower emissions and cleaner fuels, according to a report scheduled for release Thursday by the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum. But those efforts, over the past five years, didn’t do much to change greenhouse-gas emissions — mainly carbon dioxide. These fossil-fuel emissions, which scientists say are driving climate change, have declined by 1 percent since 2011. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Port Angeles council tables plastic bag ban
City lawmakers have tabled a proposal to ban single-use plastic bags in Port Angeles. The City Council was considering two versions of a plastic bag policy Tuesday, one of which would require grocery stores to charge customers at least a nickel for a recycled paper bag at checkout. Councilman Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin floated a third option Tuesday, a “fee/ban hybrid” that would include a 5 cent minimum fee for all carryout bags except thin plastic bags, which would be prohibited…. Later in the meeting, the council voted 7-0 to approve Schromen-Wawrin’s motion to table the plastic bag policy, add Version C to the council packet, send an email alert and extend a third public hearing to the next council meeting April 3. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  137 AM PDT Thu Mar 22 2018  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W  swell 5 ft at 11 seconds. Rain turning to showers.
 S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 or 2 ft building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 7 ft at 12 seconds. Showers.

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

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

3/21 Forsythia, warm ocean, save salmon, BC pipe, Howe Sound mine, toxic algae, ocean plastic, sea lion saved

Forsythia [Fast Growing Trees]
Forsythia Forsythia spp. and cvs.
is a genus of flowering plants in the olive family Oleaceae. There are about 11 species, mostly native to eastern Asia, but one native to southeastern Europe. Forsythia is also one of the plant's common names, along with Easter tree; the genus is named after William Forsyth. (Wikipedia)

Swordfish, loggerhead turtle spotted off coast are powerful evidence of ocean warming
Sightings along the B.C. coast of a swordfish and loggerhead turtle — species normally associated with warmer waters — are the latest startling evidence of local climate change. Both species were spotted by biologist Luke Halpin while travelling aboard the Canadian Coast Guard research vessel John P. Tully during pelagic seabird and marine mammal surveys on the west coast. His findings were recently published online in the journal BioOne. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Tribes Tap Late Leader’s Memory For Inspiration At First Salmon Summit
Local tribes are calling on the memory of legendary civil rights activist Billy Frank Jr. to rev up the fight for salmon recovery. They met in Tulalip Monday for what they dubbed a “first-annual” Pacific Salmon Summit, named in his honor. Frank, who died four years ago in May, organized “fish-ins” in the 1960s and 70s to assert tribal treaty rights. His activism ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s landmark Boldt decision protecting those rights. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Police officers injured while arresting demonstrators opposed to Trans Mountain pipeline
RCMP say three officers suffered minor injuries while making arrests Monday evening at demonstrations against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C. The Mounties say one officer suffered a head injury after being kicked, another suffered a knee injury and a third injured a hand. (Canadian Press) See also: Judge orders defiant Kinder Morgan protester to remain in jail  Keith Fraser reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Critics up in arms after Howe Sound gravel mine wins environmental certificate
Burnco Rock Products is a step closer to building a gravel mine at McNab Creek, on the western shore of Howe Sound, after the provincial environment ministry granted an environmental assessment certificate on Tuesday. George Heyman, environment minister, and Michelle Mungal, mining minister, both signed off on the decision. Patrick Johnston reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Blue-green algae warning issued for Kitsap Lake
People and pets are advised to avoid contact with Kitsap Lake after a cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, warning was issued there. The warning was issued by the Kitsap Public Health District on Tuesday. Toxic cyanobacteria can make people sick and can kill pets, fish, waterfowl and livestock. See also: Possibly toxic blue-green algae bloom reported at Black Lake   Lauren Smith reports. (Olympian)

Ocean plastic could treble in decade
The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to treble in a decade unless litter is curbed, a major report has warned. Plastics is just one issue facing the world's seas, along with rising sea levels, warming oceans, and pollution, it says. But the Foresight Future of the Sea Report for the UK government said there are also opportunities to cash in on the "ocean economy". They say this is predicted to double to $3 trillion (£2 trillion) by 2030. Roger Harrabin reports. (BBC)

Sea lion with nylon rope around its neck rescued by Vancouver Aquarium
A Steller sea lion that had a thick piece of braided plastic cutting deeply into its neck has been saved by the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. The aquarium says the team that saved the female sea lion on Saturday also tried to help a younger animal entangled in a plastic packing strap, but the animal was able to bite out a sedative-carrying dart and bolted into the ocean. The rescued female was full grown and estimated to weigh about 260 kilograms. (Canadian Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  234 AM PDT Wed Mar 21 2018
TODAY  SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 12 seconds. A chance of rain.  

TONIGHT  S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. SW swell  4 ft at 10 seconds. Rain.

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

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

3/20 Arrow worm, Salmon Summit, marine biology, BC pipe, gray wolves, BC solar farm, no coast drill, hunting $s

Arrow worm [Encyclopedia of Life]
Arrow Worms Chaetognatha
(commonly known as "arrow worms") are marine predators that typically locate their prey by detecting vibrations produced by copepods and other zooplankton, then use sharp hooks and teeth at the front of the body to grab their victims and immobilize them with neurotoxins. Chaetognaths, most of which are distinctly transparent, are important predators in many marine food webs. (Encyclopedia of Life)

Wash. tribes, First Nations unite to end Atlantic salmon net-pen fish farms across West Coast
Washington tribes on Monday joined with First Nations peoples in Canada in a declaration calling for a shutdown of Atlantic salmon net-pen farming along the West Coast of North America. The declaration was endorsed at the first of a planned annual Salmon Summit convened at Tulalip to bring together tribes, First Nations, government agencies, and conservationists to preserve Pacific salmon in the cross-boundary waters of the Salish Sea. “We congratulate you for the strong stand you have taken against this industry,” said Ernest Alfred, a traditional leader of the Namgis First Nation, which is seeking a shutdown of 20 Atlantic salmon net-pen fish farms in British Columbia, with leases that come up for renewal in June. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

‘Working together again like we did back then’ to save fish
The late Billy Frank Jr.’s spiritual and political authority echoed through a conference room Monday where tribal leaders and others issued a call to action to revive the region’s salmon runs. The summit named in Frank’s honor took place all day at the Tulalip Resort Casino. As Frank’s visage looked down from a screen for the welcoming ceremony, students from Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary School carried a banner with more than 600 paper fish — one for each student and staff member. Earlier this month, the school devoted a week to honoring Frank and his legacy. “We’re only as healthy as the salmon runs are,” said Shawn Yanity, the Stillaguamish tribal chairman. “So for us, extinction isn’t an option …” While Yanity was close to home, others attended the summit from up and down the Pacific Coast, from California to British Columbia. The Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit was organized by the Olympia-based nonprofit Salmon Defense. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Blog: Puget Sound Recovery—Tell the Truth
The first Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit was convened on Monday, March 19, at Tulalip Resort Casino. Read Kathy Fletcher's lunch time address about what's required to recover the health of Puget Sound.

High school at sea: Everett marine-biology school shines, but other districts aren't on board
On the bow of the research vessel Phocoena one crisp afternoon this fall, nine high-school students hauled up a water sample from the depths of Possession Sound and marveled at the tiny, almost transparent, creatures wriggling in the salty water. Using a zooplankton net, they’d captured the nearly-invisible bottom tier of the food chain: plankton, amphipods, krill, arrow worms and fish larvae, to name a few. Students at this public school — Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) — have been measuring the health of Possession Sound every month for nearly two decades. The subject of marine ecology forms the overarching theme of nearly every lesson, even in classes on writing, math and history. ORCA is not like any other school in Washington, or possibly the nation. Katherine Long reports. (Seattle Times)

Reefs, rockfish and pom-pom anemones: expedition shines new light on depths off B.C.'s Central Coast
A scientific expedition exploring the depths off B.C.'s Central Coast has returned with rare pictures of reefs, rockfish, corals, sponges and basket stars. More than a dozen researchers on board the Canadian Coast Guard ship CCGS Vector spent the past week in the waters off Klemtu and Bella Bella. The group — which featured Indigenous leaders, prominent scientists and Jacques Cousteau's filmmaker granddaughter — studied deep-sea fjords that had never been explored. (CBC)

15 arrested at Trans Mountain pipeline protest site in Burnaby, B.C.
A 70-year-old man who planned to spend several days 20 metres up a tree at Kinder Morgan's Burnaby, B.C., terminal was one of 15 people arrested Monday…. Terry Christenson, a senior from Ontario who described himself as an expert on climbing and using ropes, manufactured a hammock-like perch suspended between trees and planned to eat meal supplements sparingly to make the trip last as long as possible. But it was not to be. According to a spokesperson for the protesters, Christenson was arrested around 8 p.m. PT. RCMP said in a release that Christenson's behaviour put himself and officers at risk and he and others were arrested for violating an injunction order keeping them five metres away from Trans Mountain sites. Activists are planning a week of protests against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (CBC)

Twinning Kinder Morgan pipeline will lead to big drop in gas prices
Blame for near-record high gas prices in the Vancouver area rests with a chronic supply shortage made worse by concurrent maintenance work on a Burnaby refinery and gas infrastructure in Washington state, says one industry expert. Half of the region’s fuel supply comes from those sources, with the remainder making its way from Alberta through Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, said Dan McTeague of the online tech company GasBuddy. When asked what could be done to improve the region’s fuel supply, McTeague said twinning the controversial line could be the only viable option short of knocking on the doors of American suppliers. “I have no skin in the game,” McTeague said of the ongoing pipeline debate, noting that he lives in Ontario and is known for critical takes on the oil industry, including calling some of its plays “monopolistic.” Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Olympic National Park Is One Of The Best Places To Bring Back Gray Wolves
One of the most ideal places in the world to bring back gray wolves is right here in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new study. Researchers have found bringing the large carnivores back to the Olympic National Park in Washington could greatly help the ecosystem — and the predators. “Sometimes the carnivores can have very profound impacts on the environment — because they sit at the very top, or apex, of the food web, their effects can ripple down,” said William Ripple, an ecologist at Oregon State University and study co-author. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW PUblic Broadcasting/EarthFix) See also: 'Rewilding¹ Missing Carnivores May Help Restore Some Landscapes  (NY Times) For a complete take on the issue, read: Olympic Wolves?  Maggie Smith writes. (Writing Nature: Discourses of Ecology)

Massive solar farm planned near Merritt, B.C.
The Upper Nicola Band is hoping to build the largest solar farm in the province on its land in the southern Interior. The community has partnered with Fortis BC to build a $30-million, 403,000-panel solar farm on the Quilchena reserve, near Merritt, B.C. The proposed project will generate enough power for 5,000 homes and could earn between $3.5 and $4 million in revenue per year. The power will be sold into the provincial power grid. Jenifer Norwell reports. (CBC)

Back-door ban: States fight Trump drill plan with local bans
Some coastal states opposed to President Donald Trump's plan to allow oil and gas drilling off most of the nation's coastline are fighting back with proposed state laws designed to thwart the proposal. The drilling Trump proposes would take place in federal waters offshore in an area called the Outer Continental Shelf. But states control the 3 miles of ocean closest to shore and are proposing laws designed to make it difficult, or impossible, to bring the oil or gas ashore in their areas. Wayne Parry reports. (Associated Press)

Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation
…. A new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that today, only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That’s half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Meanwhile, other wildlife-centered activities, like birdwatching, hiking and photography, are rapidly growing, as American society and attitudes towards wildlife change. The shift is being welcomed by some who morally oppose the sport, but it’s also leading to a crisis. State wildlife agencies and the country’s wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding. Money generated from license fees and excise taxes on guns, ammunition and angling equipment provide about 60 percent of the funding for state wildlife agencies, which manage most of the wildlife in the U.S. Nathan Rott reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  222 AM PDT Tue Mar 20 2018  
TODAY  W wind to 10 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less in the morning becoming less than 1 ft. W  swell 4 ft at 13 seconds. A slight chance of showers.
 W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds. A slight chance  of rain in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight.

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

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Monday, March 19, 2018

3/19 Chinook, free Tokitae, BC pipe, kayaktivists, herring, Little Campbell R., PSE, offshore drilling, Poulsbo park, Pruitt's plan

Chinook salmon [Pacific NW National Lab]
Chinook (King) Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Chinook salmon are the largest of the Pacific salmon, with some individuals growing to more than 100 pounds. These huge fish are rare, as most mature chinook are under 50 pounds. Most chinook spawn in large rivers such as the Columbia and Snake, although they will also use smaller streams with sufficient water flow. They tend to spawn in the mainstem of streams, where the water flow is high. Because of their size they are able to spawn in larger gravel than most other salmon. Chinook spawn on both sides of the Cascade Range, and some fish travel hundreds of miles upstream before they reach their spawning grounds. Because of the distance, these fish enter streams early and comprise the spring and summer runs. Fall runs spawn closer to the ocean and more often use small coastal streams. All chinook reach their spawning grounds by fall, in time to spawn. (WDFW)

New blog: Can the Endangered Orca Whale Save the Sound? 
Washington Governor Jay Inslee this week directed state agencies to get serious about orca whale recovery: “The destiny of salmon and orca and we humans are intertwined... As the orca go, so go we." Will we rise to the challenge?

Lolita may never go free. And that could be what’s best for her, scientists say.
…. [O]ften lost in the well-meaning attempts to return Lolita home is one central question: Is freedom really what’s best for her? The orca, now about 50 years old, remains the last known survivor of the group of more than 50 whales captured 47 years ago. Since her mate died of a brain aneurysm in 1980, she has become the only solitary orca in captivity, where she lives in the smallest killer whale tank in the nation. As the years have passed, the likelihood of her return to the sea — and her ability to adjust to that change — has become less likely, said Russ Rector, a long-time marine mammal advocate. Lolita’s identity as a living being has been usurped, he said. Chabeli Herrera report. (Miami Herald)

Protesters arrested at Trans Mountain pipeline protest in Burnaby, B.C.
Police officers arrested a group of protesters who they said were violating the terms of an injunction recently granted to Kinder Morgan for its Trans Mountain pipeline work site in Burnaby, B.C. The protesters were at the project's Burnaby Terminal, where an indefinite injunction prohibits them from entering within five metres of the work site. A few dozen more protesters were there in support of those who willingly violated the injunction. According to protesters, about 30 people were arrested by Burnaby RCMP Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

Kayak activists in Seattle protest oil pipeline, tanker project
A flotilla of kayak activists took to the waters of Seattle's Elliott Bay Sunday, calling for better safety regulations of oil barges in the Salish Sea and to block the Kinder Morgan's Puget Sound oil pipeline through Washington state. About 30 "kayaktivists" with the group Mosquito Fleet surrounded a large oil barge near the Port of Seattle and held a large banner that read "Stop Kinder Morgan." (KING)

Saskatchewan would support Alberta's decision to turn off oil taps
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he'll stand by Alberta if the province decides to restrict oil exports to pressure British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Moe said he would "absolutely" encourage Rachel Notley, his Alberta counterpart, to cut off domestic exports of its oil…. Though Saskatchewan isn't connected to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, the delays in getting the $7.4 billion expansion completed are affecting rail shipments of grain and other products in and out of the province because a lot of oil is moving by train, Moe said.  Elise von Scheel reports. (CBC)

Huge False Creek herring spawn surprises conservationists
Six years ago, Jonn Matsen of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society and his group hung 2.8-square-metre, artificial spawning nets from Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek, after seeing dead herring eggs attached to the creosote-soaked pilings that had taken place of local eelgrass beds when the dock was built.  In January of this year, 300 million of the plankton-feeding fish hatched and in February, another 300 million hatched from a second wave of spawning. “We thought that would be the end of it, but we got 700 million eggs in March and there was still a school of herring looking to spawn yesterday,” said Matsen. Nick Eagland reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Development ‘threatens’ productive Little Campbell River in Surrey
The Little Campbell River is a hidden natural gem in a bursting metropolis of 2.5 million people. Every year, more than 5,000 salmon annually return to its waters, muscling their way up from the river mouth at Semiahmoo Bay near White Rock, surging beneath the bustling Highway 99 freeway, and splashing their way through a watershed spanning 72 square kilometres. For more than six decades, volunteer club members — 800, at last count — have lovingly cared for the Little Campbell under an omnipresent cloud of human encroachment…. Yet it could also be lost in a flash with rampant development, he warns. “This whole thing is at risk. We’re trying to hold our finger in the dam right now and stop it from being destroyed.” Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Community Group Opposes PSE’s ‘Energize Eastside’ Transmission Line Upgrade Project
A major upgrade to the electric grid along the eastern shores of Lake Washington is facing public opposition. Puget Sound Energy has plans to build a new substation and improve about 18 miles of existing transmission lines from Redmond to Renton. Cost estimates for the project range from $150-300 million. A community group says it’s expensive and unnecessary. Puget Sound Energy’s upgrade is called “Energize Eastside.” The utility says the population has grown 8-fold since the last major upgrade there more than 50 years ago.  Opponents have organized a group called CENSE, which stands for Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy. They say the costly upgrade would take out hundreds of mature trees to make room for the new lines. And they say it’s unnecessary because newer technologies such as batteries could be used instead to handle peak loads. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

TransAlta unveils plans for solar site south of Bucoda
The former site of a coal mine could be producing solar power by the end of 2020, according to plans unveiled Tuesday by electricity provider TransAlta. The Calgary-based company has owned the site just south of Bucoda since 2000. The mine shut down in 2006, with reclamation work beginning the following year to restore it to forest and pasture land. Now, TransAlta believes it’s a prime location for its solar project. The plan, if approved, would be the largest solar project in Washington, entailing 300 jobs during construction and creating four permanent solar technician jobs. It’s expected to generate 180 megawatts of electricity, a figure that could change as plans adapt. Alex Brown reports. (Centralia Chronicle)

Western U.S. states disregard Trump to form united front with B.C. in fight against climate change
Governments from western U.S. states have been meeting with B.C's provincial government for 10 years as part of an initiative called the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) — but this year the U.S. governors seem to be putting more value on this cross-border relationship. Following the leaders' meeting Friday morning, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was particularly vocal about the need for collaboration, given what he sees as a lack of leadership coming from the White House…. The Pacific Coast Collaborative is an agreement between B.C., the state of Washington, the state of Oregon, and the state of California to work together on protecting the environment, boosting their respective economies, and as of this year, responding to the overdose crisis. Natasha Frakes reports. (CBC)

Offshore Oil and Gas Operators Want Less Regulation, but Surprise Inspections Find Serious Safety Problems
Faced with questions about its commitment to safety, the Interior Department sent teams to the Gulf of Mexico last week to inspect giant cranes used in offshore oil and gas operations that are a significant source of accidents. More than 50 inspectors, traveling on helicopters, conducted surprise inspections on about 40 offshore platforms and drilling rigs, said Jason Mathews, the head of offshore safety management for the Gulf of Mexico at the department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The results were still being compiled, he said, but the inspectors found serious problems, including some that were potentially life threatening. “There are still some major incidents that are occurring, and we need to figure out why,” Mr. Mathews said on Friday. Eric Lipton reports. (NY Times)

Poulsbo eyes undeveloped property for new waterfront park
A tangled mess of vines and brush near the head of Liberty Bay could someday by the site of a new waterfront park. The city of Poulsbo accepted a $400,000 grant from the state’s Wildlife and Recreation Program this week, which when matched with $400,000 of the city’s own funds, will be used in an attempt to acquire the property – which sits off 5th Avenue NW, just east of the new Olmsted's Nursery location on Viking Avenue. The city hopes to turn the 3-acre property into a park with water access, play areas, green space and wetland areas, according to a conceptual design submitted to the state as part of the city’s grant application. Nathan Pilling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Rule-Cutting E.P.A. Chief, Plots His Political Future
The headline speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s annual showcase, the Ronald Reagan Dinner, have historically been rising stars in the Republican Party — firebrand pundits, prominent activists, future presidential candidates. Last month, it was Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the past year, Mr. Pruitt has emerged as a hero to President Trump’s supporters for his hand in rolling back environmental rules at an agency long disliked by farmers, the fossil fuel industry and the far right. And he has occasionally shocked his employees by criticizing the very agency he heads. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  231 AM PDT Mon Mar 19 2018  
 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3  ft at 11 seconds.

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