Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7/31 Skeleton shrimp, heat wave, 'Climate Kids,' warm Arctic, king penguins, Rama DelaRosa, seal scapegoats, plastic plague

Skeleton shrimp [Monterey Bay Aquarium]
Skeleton shrimp Caprella spp
Skeleton shrimp look like, and are sometimes called, "praying mantises of the sea." They have two pairs of legs attached to the front end of their bodies, with three pairs of legs at the back end. The front legs form powerful "claws" for defense, grooming and capturing food. The rear legs have strong claws that grasp and hold on to algae or other surfaces. They use their antennae for filter feeding and swimming....Shrimp, sea anemones and surfperch prey on skeleton shrimp. The females of some skeleton shrimp species kill the male after mating. Skeleton shrimp use their front legs for locomotion. To move, they grasp first with those front legs and then with their back legs, in inchworm fashion. They swim by rapidly bending and straightening their bodies.  (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

B.C. heat wave day 8: It will get better  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC) Here's when our Puget Sound heatwave will end   The heatwave across Western Washington is coming to an end, with cooler and cleaner air on the way!281-578734509 Rich Marriott reports.(KING)

Supreme Court Declines To Suspend 'Climate Kids' Case 
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend proceedings in a potential landmark climate case that pits a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government. The court’s decision preserves the Oct. 29 start date for a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Eugene.... Solicitor General Noel Francisco earlier this month asked the court to stop the case from going forward. But the court said Monday in a written order that the government’s request is premature. Jack Moran reports. (Eugene Register-Guard)

Warming Arctic could be at heart of deadly July heatwave
It's been a hot July.... If we want to understand what's driving this heat wave — and if we should expect more of the same — we need to look northward, according to Dr. Jennifer Francis, research professor in Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Francis has been studying Arctic climate her entire career, and has authored and co-authored dozens of articles in peer-reviewed publications on the subject since the 1990s. "The basic story is that because the Arctic is warming so much faster than everywhere else, it's having an effect on mid-latitude weather," she told CBC. According to Francis, weather patterns can stall in certain areas — prolonging an intense heat wave, for example — if the jet stream gets too weak. (CBC)

Largest king penguin colony shrinks 90% in 30 years
The world's largest king penguin colony has shrunk nearly 90% since the 1980s, research suggests. Aerial and satellite images show breeding pair numbers have fallen 88% in the last three decades, an article in the journal Antarctic Science says. The colony lies on the France's uninhabited Île aux Cochons between Africa and Antarctica in the Indian Ocean. Researchers say there is no clear reason for the decline. (BBC)

Inspired by orcas, swimmer aims for another loop around Salt Spring 
A close encounter with an orca during a swim around Salt Spring Island last year was a magical experience for Rama DelaRosa, so she is back for more in 2018. DelaRosa, 36, was scheduled to set out on her second Salt Spring circumnavigation swim today at 6 a.m. from Vesuvius Bay. She will do the swim in increments, as before, and plans to finish Sunday at Vesuvius in the early evening. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Peter Ross and Lance Barrett-Lennard: Harbour seals are easy scapegoats in Chinook salmon decline
Explaining the declining numbers of iconic Chinook salmon is more complicated than one might think, and harbour seals have been increasingly put forth by some as the primary culprit. Sure, seals eat salmon. But food webs are complicated, and it is easy to gloss over the positive roles that predators play in contributing to healthy and productive coastal ecosystems. Declining salmon abundance is the result of a complex variety of factors, and cannot be solely attributed to harbour seals. In the case of declining numbers of vulnerable Chinook salmon, threats include warming ocean and freshwater temperatures, destruction and alteration of stream and estuary habitats, fishing pressures, pollution, and the salmon’s starring role as prey for other fishes, seals, sea lions, birds, bears, dolphins, porpoises, and whales — including critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Dr. Peter Row and Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard of Ocean Wise write. (Vancouver Sun)

The other plastic plague
Does plastic spread disease through the oceans? Research on 159 reefs round Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia has shown that when there was no plastic in contact with the coral, about 4 percent of it had one of six common diseases, including white syndrome- a collection of diseases that nearly always kill coral. But 89 percent of the coral that was in contact with plastic was diseased. Christina Reed reports. (New Scientist)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Tue Jul 31 2018   

TODAY  NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  9 seconds. A chance of drizzle in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 8 seconds. A chance of drizzle after midnight.

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

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Monday, July 30, 2018

7/30 Skunk, orca calf, orca task force, SeaWorld, dolphin, canoe journey, Skokomish Chinook, sea level rise, Colstrip, ESA, BC swimmers, Paul Brainerd

Striped skunk [Fort Hays State University]
Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis
Two skunk species live in Washington: The striped skunk is the size of a domestic cat, ranging in length from 22 to 32 inches, including its tail. Its fur is jet black except for two prominent white stripes running down its back. The striped skunk occurs throughout most lowland areas in Washington, preferring open fields, pastures, and croplands near brushy fencerows, rock outcroppings, and brushy draws. It is also seen—or its musky odor noticed—in some suburban and urban locations, particularly near sources of open water. The spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), also known as the polecat, ranges in length from 14 to 18 inches, including its tail. Its fur is a black or grayish black, with white stripes on its shoulders and sides, and white spots on its forehead, cheeks, and rump. The spotted skunk occurs throughout west and southeast Washington. The spotted skunk and striped skunk use similar types of habitat, although the spotted skunk is more likely to be seen in and around forests and woodlands, and is not as tolerant of human activity as the striped skunk. (WDFW)

Orca mother carries dead calf for sixth day as family stays close by
The orca whale J35 was seen Sunday morning still carrying her dead calf. “We had this sense of relief to see J35 and know she’s still alive and around, but also this wave of sorrow that she is still carrying the calf,” wrote Taylor Shedd of Soundwatch in an email. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Orca task force promises bold actions to save dying species, but will it deliver?
Some say a task force is all talk, but if action is not taken soon, this will be the last generation of southern resident killer whales. Nearly four dozen stakeholders make up Gov. Jay Inslee's orca task force. There are also three working groups to address three threats to whales: Vessels, prey and contaminants. The group has until Oct. 1 to give Inslee a draft report of its recommendations to save the species. Simone Del Rosario reports. (KCPQ) See also: Turning Heartbreak into Action  Monkia Wieland writes. (Orca Watcher)

Thomas Cook axes trips to SeaWorld over animal welfare concerns
Holiday giant Thomas Cook has announced it will stop selling trips to animal parks that keep killer whales. The firm said more than 90% of its customers were concerned about animal welfare. The two parks it will stop selling tickets to as a result are SeaWorld, in Florida, and Loro Parque in Tenerife. (BBC)

Exotic dolphin stranded on Vancouver Island beach dies despite rescue effort
A dolphin not often found in this part of the world that beached itself near Tofino has died after what rescuers are describing as an “unusual” stranding. A team from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and Parks Canada say in a news release they were unable to save what is believed to be a long-beaked common dolphin. Long-beaked common dolphins typically live in tropical or sub-tropical regions. Their range includes central California to central Mexico and areas around Japan, Korea and Taiwan. (Canadian Press)

Tribal canoes converge on Tacoma for songs, stories and renewal of culture
More than 120 tribal canoes rounded Brown’s Point on Saturday and pointed their bows at the mouth of Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway. Waiting on shore were members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and thousands of spectators. For the first time in 20 years, the Puyallups are hosting the Tribal Canoe Journey. The annual event takes place each summer in the waters of the Salish Sea: From Puget Sound to the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia. Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Spring Chinook return to the Skokomish River to start a new salmon run
For the first time in decades, an early run of Chinook salmon has returned to the Skokomish River in southern Hood Canal. These bright, torpedo-shaped hatchery fish are the first of what is expected to become an ongoing run of spring Chinook as part of a major salmon-restoration effort related to the Cushman Hydro Project. Eventually, the salmon run could provide fishing opportunities for humans and orcas. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

New Coastal Resilience Report Can Help Washington Prepare For Sea Level Rise
As the climate warms, oceans expand and polar ice caps melt. This means sea level rise is a reality that land owners and local governments must prepare for. It brings with it associated risks, such as flooding and erosion which can impact everything from sewage treatment plants to roads and bridges. A new report from Washington’s "Coastal Resilience Project" homes in on exactly how high the tides could rise in 171 different sites and communities based on the latest science. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

If you like to listen: A sailor's poetic primer on the science of tides
Jonathan White talks about his book, "Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean.” (KUOW)

Puget Sound Energy looks elsewhere for power as pollution-test failure idles most of Montana coal plant
A failure to meet air-pollution standards has largely shut down two of the four units of a Montana coal plant that generates power for Puget Sound Energy.... The idled units generate more than 70 percent of the plant’s electricity, much of which flows through power lines to homes and businesses in Western Washington served by Puget Sound Energy (PSE).... PSE, a part-owner in Colstrip, has been buying power on regional markets and drawing more electricity from its own gas, wind and hydroelectricity facilities. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

The Trump Administration Takes on the Endangered Species Act
....Last week, the Trump Administration proposed what the Times called “the most sweeping set of changes in decades” to the regulations used to enforce the Act. The changes would weaken protections for endangered species, while making it easier for companies to build roads, pipelines, or mines in crucial habitats. Under current regulations, government agencies are supposed to make decisions about what species need safeguarding “without reference to possible economic or other impacts.” The Administration wants to scratch that phrase. It also wants to scale back protections for threatened species—these are one notch down on the endangerment scale—and to make it easier to delist species that have been classified as endangered. Elizabeth Kolbert reports. (The New Yorker)

Two Victoria swimmers set to make two epic swims
Long distance swimmers Susan Simmons and Jill Yoneda make separate efforts this week to raise money for Canuck Place and to start a swim program for people with MS....[Simmons] is intent on crossing Juan de Fuca Strait two times during an upcoming long-distance swim [on Wednesday], which would make her the first swimmer from Victoria to Port Angeles and back in a continuous effort.... On Friday, Victoria’s Jill Yoneda, 43, will take on a similar challenge by attempting a two-way crossing of the Strait of Georgia, beginning at Nanaimo’s Neck Point and turning around near Sechelt. Jeff Bell reports. (Vancouver Sun)

How Paul Brainerd’s extraordinary career went from revolutionizing publishing to empowering enviros
The sale in 1994 of Seattle’s Aldus to Adobe for $525 million didn’t end Paul Brainerd’s entrepreneurial run. It just pointed it in a new direction. A personal windfall of roughly $120 million allowed Brainerd, whose PageMaker software revolutionized desktop publishing, to break from the business world and move to nonprofits. He spearheaded the launch of a series of organizations that sought innovative strategies for practicing philanthropy, education and saving the environment. Lisa Stiffler reports. (GeekWire)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Mon Jul 30 2018   


TODAY  NW wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 2 ft at 8  seconds. Patchy fog in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 7  seconds.

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

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Friday, July 27, 2018

7/27 Starry flounder, orca calf, grieving whales, red-brown algae, Elwha nearshore

Starry flounder [WikiMedia]
Starry Flounder Platichthys stellatus
Commonly caught off the outer Washington coast, and occasionally within Puget Sound, by recreational harvesters. This species belongs to the right-eyed flounder family, but can also be left-eyed... They range from the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk up to the Rom Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands south to Los Angeles Harbor, California. They are most commonly found on mud, sand, or gravel bottoms... [and] are usually found near shore and often enter brackish or fresh water. (WDFW)

For third day, grieving orca carries dead calf in water
A grieving mother orca was seen still carrying her dead calf Thursday evening, laboring to push it through a 4-knot current, and making deep dives to retrieve it each time it slipped off her head and sank. “It is just absolutely gut-wrenching to watch,” said Taylor Shedd, program coordinator of Soundwatch, who has followed the whale nearly continuously in daylight hours, keeping state and federal agencies updated and urging boaters to keep their distance.

On Grieving Whales 
Monika Wieland in Orca Watcher writes: "....  I’m sitting on the rocks at Lime Kiln watching members of J- and K-Pods go both north and south when the news hits, and my phone starts buzzing with notifications in my backpack. It’s almost not surprising anymore for this population that can’t seem to catch a break. This year it seems every time they return to inland waters after an absence there is another hit to take. L92 Crewser is deceased. J50 Scarlet is emaciated. Now J35 has lost a baby. We’re coming up on three years without a successful birth into this critically endangered population. The last calf born that is still alive is L123 Lazuli, first seen near the end of 2015. 2015 was a baby boom year, but only five of the eleven known calves born in that 13-month period are still alive. Prior to that, it had been another 2+ years without any successful births. Where is the hope?...."

Red-brown algae blooms spotted in Puget Sound
Large, red-brown algal blooms were spotted across Puget Sound last week, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. The department’s Marine Monitoring Unit saw the red-brown blooms near Bellingham and Samish Bays, East Sound, Marrowstone Island, Liberty Bay, and finger inlets in the South Sound. There were also large rafts of algae in the South and Central Sound near Carr Inlet, Commencement Bay, and Port Madison. The bloom is not harmful to swimmers, but the department says it’s “not pleasant.” Allison Sundell reports. (KING)

July 2018 in the nearshore
Anne Shaffer of Coastal Watershed Institute reports from the Elwha nearshore: "July is the month it all comes together. The nearshore is teeming with fish now and, by initial standards, we are seeing the most juvenile herring, smelt, and adult and juvenile salmon-primarily Chinook (look close-can you find them?) that we have ever seen in the Elwha nearshore. The herring appear to include two size classes. The vast majority of the smaller (young of the year) herring have parasitic copepods over at least 10 percent of their body. Four years after dam removal ended,   the evolution continues, and for fish in the nearshore, appears to be gaining steam. Or maybe just a good year after a few bad…"

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  157 AM PDT Fri Jul 27 2018   

TODAY  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SAT  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 8 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, July 26, 2018

7/26 Lamb's quarter, BC pipe, dead orca, toxic algae, Columbia R treaty, dam water, kelp forests, Green R.

Lamb's quarter [Brittanica]
Goosefoot genus Chenopodium
is a genus of several weedy salt-tolerant plants belonging to the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae), found in temperate regions around the world. Goosefoot plants are often rank-smelling, and a number of species have leaves that resemble the foot of a goose—hence their common name. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), native to the Andean region of South America, is the most economically significant goosefoot species and is grown commercially for its nutritious seeds. Lamb’s quarters, or pigweed (C. album), is a common weedy species found throughout the world. Its leaves and seeds are edible, and the plant is cultivated as a food crop in some places, particularly in India. (Brittanica)

Canada's purchase of Trans Mountain faces at least 1 more hurdle: Donald Trump
The federal government's plan to purchase Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline and related infrastructure still faces a potential spoiler in the form of a U.S. national security review — setting up the possibility that U.S. President Donald Trump could veto the deal. According to the purchase agreement, obtained by CBC News, the completion of the deal is contingent in part on getting clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, a U.S. inter-agency committee chaired by Trump's treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The purpose of the committee, also known as the CFIUS, is to review transactions that could have an effect on the national security of the United States. Brennan MacDonald and Vassy Kapelos report. (CBC)

A mother grieves: Orca whale continues to carry her dead calf into a second day    
For two days she has grieved, carrying her dead calf on her head, unwilling to let it go. J35, a member of the critically endangered southern resident family of orcas, gave birth to her calf Tuesday only to watch it die within half an hour. All day, and through the night, she carried the calf. She was seen still carrying the calf on Wednesday by Ken Balcomb, founder and principal investigator of the Center for Whale Research. “It is unbelievably sad,” said Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, who has witnessed other mother orcas do the same thing with calves that did not survive. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Report Algal Blooms And State Can Identify, Warn Of Toxicity
Lakes close because of toxic algae every year, especially as temperatures climb in summer. Pierce County’s Lake Tapps is the latest example. Authorities warned people not to swim in the northeast part of the lake last week. In King County, caution signs remain up at Mallard Lake in White Center, where a sample showed toxicity at levels higher than the state’s guidelines advise on July 10. Warmth, light and nutrients from runoff can cause growths of so-called cyanobacteria to flourish. It appears as blue-green scum in or on the water and can make people and animals sick if ingested. It has killed dogs in recent years. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Columbia River Treaty Negotiators Ask For Patience Ahead Of Further Talks
The U.S. and Canadian governments have scheduled a second and third round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty. The 54-year-old treaty provides flood protection to Portland and smoothes out Northwest hydropower production. The two nations laid out their broad goals at the formal opening of treaty modernization talks in Washington, D.C., in late May. Now the talks will come to the Northwest—to Nelson, British Columbia in mid-August and a third round in Portland in September. American chief negotiator Jill Smail of the U.S. State Department said the U.S wants to maximize "shared benefits" from transboundary coordination of water storage behind inland Northwest dams. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Releasing water over dams means higher electric bills in Mason County
Mason County ratepayers will see a surcharge in their electricity bills this summer as a result of the cost of a federal judge’s mandated fish spill over the Columbia and Snake river dams. For August, Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 customers, which include the majority of electricity ratepayers in Mason County, can expect their bill to rise $1.32. Bills for the next three months will be comparable, bringing the utility district’s total estimated share of the cost to $150,000 this year, said Joel Myer, public information officer for PUD No. 3. “This is another court-ordered change in how the Columbia River system is managed for fish, hydropower, irrigation, barge navigation and recreation,” Myer said. “It’s happening more often, without regard to the cost to electricity customers and without adequate scientific review.” aria Shephard Bull reports. (Mason County Life)

SFU researcher discovers unique relationship between sea stars and kelp forests
It’s like Joni Mitchell sang, Jenn Burt says: You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. The Simon Fraser University doctoral student had set out to study the effects of sea otters in areas off the B.C. coast — studying the seaweed and shellfish on rocky reefs with active sea otter populations, with no sea otters, and some reefs where sea otters had just arrived. “Instead, I essentially wrote a paper on sea stars,” Burt said after measuring how their disappearance can devastate a kelp forest. The paper was published Tuesday in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B. Gordon McIntyre reports. (Vancouver Sun)

County project to enhance salmon habitat along the Green River
To mitigate for tree removal that occurred along levees nearly a decade ago, King County will soon begin work to place a large wood structure in the lower Green River and plant more than 1,000 trees near the river that improves habitat for migrating juvenile salmon. The project, funded by the King County Flood Control District, is in Kent on the former Teufel Nursery site, now owned by the county. Construction of the 85-piece log structure will begin in late July, once nesting eagles at the site have fledged. If eaglets do not fledge by then, construction activities will adhere to an eagle management plan that outlines avoidance and mitigation activities to minimize impacts. Tree planting will begin in October. (Kent Reporter)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  157 AM PDT Thu Jul 26 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

7/25 Orca calf dies, orca food, "live-aboard' poop, sewage, BC pipe, undersea mtns., Cowichan wetlands

American Dipper [All About Birds]
American Dipper Cinclus mexicans
A chunky bird of western streams, the American Dipper is North America's only truly aquatic songbird. It catches all of its food underwater in swiftly flowing streams by swimming and walking on the stream bottom. (All About Birds)

Southern-resident killer whales lose newborn calf, and another youngster is ailing 
A new calf born to the critically endangered southern-resident killer whales Tuesday died within a half-hour of its birth. The loss of the calf reported by Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research continues the reproductive failure of the southern residents, which have not managed a successful pregnancy in three years. The calf’s mother, J35, was seen Tuesday carrying her dead calf as she swam, refusing to let her go, hour upon hour, Balcomb said....Meanwhile the health of another member of the pod, J50, is also raising concern. Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, was alongside the whale on Saturday with a petri dish on a 20-footlong pole, collecting droplets of her breath. “She is very thin, there is no question about her body condition, it is very emaciated,” Hanson said. “We are very, very concerned. It is hard to say at this point what her long-term likelihood of survivorship is.” Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Struggling orcas heavily rely on urban chinook from Seattle-area rivers, new analysis shows
Struggling orca whales need even urban chinook to survive, new findings show. A new look at just where orcas are eating big kings reveals the importance of rivers in north and south Puget Sound to the orcas’ survival. Even the Puyallup, Green and Duwamish rivers count for the top predators. The Nooksack, Elwha, Dungeness, Skagit, Stillaguamish and Snohomish to the north and Nisqually, Puyallup, Green, Duwamish, Deschutes and Hood Canal river systems to the south were among the rivers most important to the whales for providing the chinook that the critically endangered southern-resident killer whales eat, according to the analysis by NOAA Fisheries and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: What will become of orcas if the Endangered Species Act is gutted?  Noah Greenwald of Center for Biological Diversity opines. (Seattle Times)

Brentwood Bay Beach closure blamed on 'live-aboard' boat dwellers
The growing number of people living aboard boats in Brentwood Bay is being blamed for an increase in bacteria in the waters that has led to the closure of a popular swimming beach. Brentwood Bay Beach in Central Saanich, B.C., has been closed on and off since June due to high levels of enterococci, a bacteria found in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. The bacteria can also be caused by tide changes, heat and rainfall runoff. Michael Simmons, vice-president of the Saanich Inlet Protection Society, says the number of "live-aboards" who inhabit the bay has increased over the years and the bacteria is likely caused by them. Christine Coulter reports. (CBC)

Plan on track to stop Victoria’s pumping of sewage into Strait of Juan de Fuca
A wastewater treatment plant under construction in Victoria, B.C., will have a big impact on the Puget Sound, state Department of Ecology officials say. A $765 million treatment plant slated for McLoughlin Point  in Victoria is expected to be finished by 2020. Started in 2017, the plant will be the first  treatment plant for the greater Victoria area, which has a population of nearly 400,000. (KCPQ) And: King County sewer project failed soon after installation, costing millions to fix  The bill is rising for utility ratepayers in King County after a pipe in a pollution-prevention project broke months after it went online. This spring, crews completed replacing the pipe beneath Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood through a risky procedure called pipe bursting. The previous pipe failed in 2016, months after the combined sewer overflow project was completed. (KIRO)

Canadian Bailout Moves Forward After Trans Mountain Pipeline Sale Deadline Passes
The Canadian government has taken another step towards buying the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline. This is another move in a deal that would lead to a massive increase in oil tanker traffic through Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, made possible by the Canadian government. A key deadline passed on Sunday. After failing to find another buyer by then, a transaction has been set in motion that must be approved by Kinder Morgan shareholders. That will likely happen this fall. If so, the Canadian government becomes the sole owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Scientists discover 'wonderland' of life on deep-sea mountains off B.C. coast
Imagine floating down from above a mountain peak as high as the Rockies and passing by rugged slopes carpeted in ancient forests that are bursting with animal life. Now, imagine that instead of flying through the air, you're slowly sinking underwater. That peak is a previously undiscovered extinct volcano deep in the Pacific Ocean off B.C.'s Central Coast. Instead of trees, that ancient forest is made up of red tree corals, and the animals may include numerous species that, before now, have never been seen by humans. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

Rebuild it and they will come: Cowichan wetland project creates habitat for fish and fowl
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has broken ground on an ambitious project to restore close to two hectares of wetlands in the Cowichan Estuary. The wetlands are in the low-lying section of NCC’s Chase Woods Nature Preserve, at the base of Mount Tzouhalem. Before being drained and converted to agricultural use, these marsh wetlands connected to the Cowichan Estuary and provided important habitat for rearing salmon and for waterfowl in the winter. With approximately 60 per cent of shoreline marsh habitats in the Salish Sea having been lost, opportunities to restore these ecosystems are rare and important. The drained marshes on the Chase Woods Nature Preserve provide an exciting opportunity for coastal wetland habitat restoration. (Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  200 AM PDT Wed Jul 25 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. Patchy fog in  the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

7/24 Stonefly, Cowichan R., 'Zero-Hour," carbon tax, gutting ESA, Skagit derailment, Site C, canoe journey

Stonefly nymph [WikiMedia/Friedrich Bohringer]
Stoneflies order Plecoptera
Stonefly, freshwater aquatic insect, the larvae of which occur on rocks in streams. Stonefly larvae live in cold, gravelly or mucky stream bottoms and are a key food for trout and other fish. Approximately 1600 species of stoneflies are found throughout the world, and more than 450 species occur in North America....Adults of most stonefly species live from a few hours to several days and do not feed. After mating, females commonly drop their eggs during flight over water. Females of some species can deposit over 1000 eggs. The eggs of most stonefly species have a sticky coating or anchorlike projections that help keep the egg in its original position until the larvae, called nymphs, hatch. (About Everything)

Sunscreen a new suspect in slow dying of Cowichan River
On soft, early summer mornings, Joe Saysell would get himself a cup of tea, settle back in his deck chair outside the small house he built for his wife, Gail, and enjoy nature’s free light show. Shafts of sunlight, lancing through the numinous green beneath old growth cedars, Douglas fir and broad leaf maples arching over the Cowichan River, would glimmer on the wings of countless mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies. Each consecutive hatch of insects would struggle through the surface film on B.C.’s blue-ribbon heritage stream, flutter skyward, then drift upstream in gossamer clouds carried on the river of air that always runs counter to the current sweeping down through Willow Run about 50 kilometres upstream from the Island’s east coast. “Whenever there’s a hatch, it’s magic,” muses Saysell, a long-retired logger and fishing guide. “It’s like shimmering snow flurries. You watch the flies whirling above the river and up into the tree branches looking for mates.” But these mornings, he doesn’t watch. There’s no point. The insects have all but vanished. Hatches that once began in mid-April and continued into July, he says, are now finished in a scant two weeks. Stephen Hume reports. (Vancouver Sun)

The Teen-Agers Fighting for Climate Justice
On Saturday, hundreds of teen-agers—loud, pensive, stubbornly determined—marched through Manhattan. They represented a movement that other teen-agers had started, last year, called Zero Hour. They were gravely concerned about politicians doing almost nothing for climate justice, and they had created a list of demands—including, most importantly, achieving negative carbon emissions by 2030. All across the country, other kids were marching, too, with the biggest group in a rainy Washington, D.C., where the movement’s founders led the way down the National Mall, around the Capitol, before ending with a rally in Lincoln Park. In New York, the route wound through midtown, from Columbus Circle to the United Nations headquarters, below some of the luxury skyscrapers that account for only two per cent of New York’s nearly one million buildings but a full half of the city’s emissions. Carolyn Kormann reports. (The New Yorker) See also: Teens, Tweens And Their Supporters Gearing Up For 'The Zero Hour' Youth Climate March  Youth activists concerned about climate change are gearing up for protest marches worldwide this weekend. On Saturday, for the second year running, they’ll take part in an event called The Zero Hour that was conceived by a young woman from Seattle. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

B.C.'s carbon tax a real-life rebuttal to carbon pricing's political opponents, some experts say
.... This week, Saskatchewan and Ontario officially joined forces against the federal government's proposal for a national carbon pricing policy. Saskatchewan has been at the forefront of the anti-carbon pricing movement. Its premier, Scott Moe, called the carbon tax policy "flawed."...He found an ally in newly-elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has promised to get rid of Ontario's cap and trade carbon pricing system. Ford, speaking to reporters on July 13, called the carbon tax, "the worst tax that any government could put on businesses." But this political commentary is contrary to what many experts say — especially when it comes to B.C. Ten years ago, the province became the first jurisdiction in North America to implement a carbon tax. Since then, B.C.'s tax has attracted significant international media attention and academic scrutiny. The Economist noted B.C.'s economy had "kept pace with the rest of the country" since the introduction of the tax.  In 2016, The New York Times declared the tax "worked as advertised." Research by University of British Columbia professors Werner Antweiler and Sumeet Gulati also found the carbon tax policy to be beneficial. Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections. In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or voted on in Congress or proposed by the Trump administration. Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman report. (NY Times)

Roads reopen after train derailment 
Two roads that were blocked by a train derailment Sunday evening in Burlington have reopened. The six-car derailment caused Greenleaf Avenue and South Cherry Street to be closed on Sunday evening, said BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas. The cars, which Melonas said were wood chip and lumber cars, derailed at a low speed near the Burlington train yard. The tipped cars were pushed from the railway overnight, and the roads were reopened at 2 a.m., Melonas said. The cars will be removed and transported for assessment and repair, he said. The investigation into what caused the derailment is ongoing. (Skagit Valley Herald)

B.C. Supreme Court to decide whether to stop Site C dam work
A B.C. Supreme Court judge will hear arguments this week on an application to stop work on the Site C dam ahead of a trial to determine if the multi-billion dollar project violates First Nations treaty rights. The West Moberly First Nations are applying for an interim injunction that would either halt work altogether or suspend construction in so-called "critical areas" for the 18 months expected to hold an expedited trial. The hearing should be groundbreaking on several fronts — not least of all because a judge is allowing parts of the proceedings to be streamed online so members of the northeastern B.C. First Nation can participate. Jason Proctor reports. (CBC) See also: Vaughn Palmer: Stakes couldn't be higher in Site C injunction case  (Vancouver Sun)

Tribal elders see dreams coming true in canoe journey as pullers reach Port Townsend
The Tribal Canoe Journey means a lot to Howeeshata. “My grandmother envisioned this in the 70s and it was the grandkids that really carried out her dreams,” he said as canoes from several area tribes arrived at Fort Worden on Monday afternoon as part of the Power Paddle to Puyallup. Howeeshata, 64, has been the hereditary chief of the Quileute Tribe since 1957. His friend, Tom Jackson, 71, is from the Hoh Tribe.Jeannie McMacken reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Indigenous cultural exchange underway  Two members of an indigenous group from northern Russia are being immersed in the tribal culture of the Samish Indian Nation. Yulia Taleeva and Petr Ledkov, who are members of the Nenets indigenous group, on Monday joined a portion of the annual Canoe Journey during which coastal tribes from Washington and First Nations from British Columbia paddle from their traditional lands to a hosting tribe’s lands, according to the event website. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  140 AM PDT Tue Jul 24 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. Patchy fog in  the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds.

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

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

7/23 Seastars, orca ESA, fish farms, BC pipe, grizzlies, Howe Sound, gravel mine, hatchery, quake, Teddy Bear Cove, flinging fish, animal tale

Puget Sound seastars [WikiMedia/lumpytrout]
Starfish continue to baffle researchers with mysterious disease
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "Five years after a mysterious disease began killing millions of starfish and turning their tissues to mush, the decimated population has yet to recover. Meanwhile, researchers continue to struggle to identify a cause for the disease, which appears to have uncertain ties to viruses and possibly environmental conditions. In Puget Sound, it’s not as easy as it once was to find a diseased sea star, which seems to be a promising sign until you consider how many have died. As I learned last week during an outing to Lofall in North Kitsap, the total number of starfish remains low compared to four years ago, and recovery has been minimal, if at all..."

Orcas have returned to Puget Sound, and they've never faced a bigger menace
Our endangered killer whales have returned for the summer, with the pods limping into Puget Sound the smallest they’ve been in 34 years. The federal government has chosen this precarious moment to gut the law that protects them. Danny Westneat reports. (Seattle Times)

'They are still using the ocean as a toilet': NDP Fisheries critic proposes removing fish farms from oceans
The federal NDP critic for Fisheries and Oceans is proposing legislation that would overhaul fish farming by moving open-net fish farms from the ocean to land in an effort to stabilize and grow dwindling wild sockeye salmon numbers.... Reports have shown that wild sockeye salmon that come into contact with fish farms are more likely to be introduced to a number of problems, including parasitic sea lice — which attach themselves to the fish, weakening and sometimes killing them — and the piscine reovirus (PRV). PRV affects salmon's ability to swim upstream, which makes it harder for them to return to their spawning grounds. Joel Ballard reports. (CBC)

Ottawa fails to secure new buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline
The Canadian government is set to become the official owner of the Trans Mountain  pipeline expansion after failing to quickly flip the project to another private-sector buyer. Pipeline owner Kinder Morgan had been working with the government to identify another buyer before July 22. But with that date set to pass without a deal, it was expected the pipeline company will now take Ottawa's $4.5-billion offer to purchase the project to its shareholders. Pending their approval, the sale, which includes the existing pipeline, the pumping stations and rights of way, and the Westridge marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., will be approved sometime in August or September. Lee Berthiaume reports. (Canadian Press)

Burnaby plans to use courts, cops to raze anti-pipeline protest camp
The City of Burnaby plans to turn to the courts and police to dismantle an anti-pipeline protest camp on Burnaby Mountain, where protesters refused to obey a city eviction order Saturday. After the eviction order’s 72-hour deadline lapsed at 6 a.m. — with no police or city officials at Underhill Avenue and Shellmont Street to enforce it — protesters at “Camp Cloud” held a news conference where they reiterated their plan to stay put. On Wednesday, city officials ordered them to immediately remove all structures, trailers and vehicles, as well as put out fires, tear down a shower and leash their dogs. Nick Eagland reports. (Vancouver Sun)

House votes to block money to bring grizzlies back to North Cascades
The federal government would be barred from spending money to move grizzly bears into Washington’s North Cascades in the coming fiscal year, under an amendment approved Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has backed the effort to bring the bears back to the mountain range, saying in March they are “part of a healthy environment.” That gave new life to an Obama-era recovery study halted by the Trump administration. But the recovery effort in the North Cascades is opposed by Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Sunnyside, who inserted in a House appropriations bill the amendment banning federal money for reintroduction efforts. (Seattle Times)

Industry and conservationists square off over B.C.'s Howe Sound
In some parts of the world, the island-studded fiord called Howe Sound would have been locked up as a national park long ago, given its astounding natural beauty on the edge of a metropolis of more than 2.5-million people. It’s a special place where steep-sided mountains plunge almost 300 metres into glacier-fed waters that are home to a wide range of marine life, including salmon, herring, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and fragile glass-sponge reefs. But full protection is not what happened to Howe Sound. Industry indelibly made its mark on the shoreline in 1904, with the opening of the Britannia mine, toasted as the “largest copper mine in the British Commonwealth.” The mine closed in 1974. But it lives on today as a national historic site and tourist attraction clinging to a hillside and as a continuing source of so much pollution that a treatment facility had to be built in 2006, with a budget of $3 million a year to remove an average of 226,000 kilograms of heavy metal contaminants each year. Over the decades, industry continued to come and go in the sound, including the Western Forest Products Woodfibre pulp mill, closed in 2006, on the same site where B.C. Sulphite Fibre Company began operations in 1912. The place remains a contamination nightmare. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Gravel mine application stirs North Shore Road neighbors
A Belfair business wants to mine 49 acres along the north shore of Hood Canal for gravel and sand, much to the outrage of local residents. Grump Ventures, owned by Russell Scott, has applied for permits from Mason County and the state departments of Natural Resources and Ecology to operate on 66 acres on North Shore Road, about five miles southwest of Belfair across from a Port of Allyn dock. Mason County is the lead agency handling the environmental, or SEPA, review of the application and opened up a 30-day comment period that ends Monday, July 23. Aria Shephard Bull reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Renovations at Puyallup hatchery aim to bolster salmon population in Puget Sound
Construction of a $16.4 million project to renovate the Puyallup Fish Hatchery began this month after years of planning. The project benefits the Puyallup River basin and Puget Sound, according to Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials. “This (project) is critical for us in terms of providing harvest opportunity up and down the coast of Washington, and as we have that conversation about orca and our commitments to addressing the issues surrounding Puget Sound and meeting the needs of orca,” WDFW regional director Larry Phillips said earlier this month. Allison Needles reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Tremors shove Washington westward, offer clues into next big earthquake
Thousands of tiny tremors over the past few months have moved parts of Washington and Vancouver Island westward. It’s a near annual event that backs expectations by some scientists that a big earthquake may hit the Seattle area harder than their previous models suggested. This recent wave of activity began in May and appears to be dying off now, according to University of Washington earth-sciences professor Ken Creager. It’s a process, known as episodic tremor and slip, thought to increase stress on locked faults — areas where tectonic plates cannot move past each other. Earthquakes occur when the pressure on locked zones reaches the breaking point and the plates snap past each other. Scientists believe an episode of tremors could someday trigger a so-called megaquake on the offshore fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The 700-mile-long fault runs from Vancouver Island to northern California, and can unleash earthquakes of up to magnitude 9.0. It’s one of the biggest of faults in the U.S. Sarah Wu reports. (Seattle Times)

You can sunbathe, tidepool or enjoy views from a bluff here  — but not in the buff
Teddy Bear Cove, just south of Bellingham, is popular year-round. It’s ideal if you don’t have a lot of time but want to squeeze in a hike that’s more challenging than just a pretty amble. In summer, it’s a nice place to do a little bit of sun-lazing or tide-pool gazing during low tide. Plus, it’s a truly pretty piece of this corner of the world. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

'It's surreal': Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market sold to fish-throwing employees
The technique of flinging fish from the display cases of the nearly 90-year-old Pike Place Fish Market to the scales hasn't changed for Anders Miller, Samuel Samson, Jaison Scott and Ryan Reese — who together have worked at the Seattle landmark for decades — but now they're the owners and not just the hired hands. Christine Clarridge reports. (Seattle Times)

Oh deer: The surprising source of many of B.C.'s aggressive wildlife reports
.... it is deer that are responsible for the second-largest number of calls to conservation officers to report aggressive or threatening wildlife, after black bears, a CBC analysis has revealed. Tara Carman reports. (CBC) See also: B.C. Parks issues warning after seal attack near Canoe Islets  B.C. Parks has issued a warning about an aggressive habour seal in Broughton Archipelago Provincial Park, located on the west side of Queen Charlotte Strait near the north end of Vancouver Island. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  903 PM PDT Sun Jul 22 2018

MON  W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft at 12 seconds. Patchy fog  in the morning. 

MON NIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, July 20, 2018

7/20 Gaper clam, SRKWs, ESA rework, climate kids, Tacoma LNG, Navy Growlers, food web, Site C dam

Fat gaper clam [Dave Cowles]
Fat Gaper or Horse Clam Tresus capax
There are also two species of Gaper in Puget Sound.  Capax or fat gaper is more common, however a southern cousin, Tresus nuttalli or Pacific Gaper, can be present in the same bed.... The Gaper clam weighs in from one to four pounds and the shell can be up to 8 inches long.  The Gaper clam burrows as it grows reaching the surface with long siphons. However the Gaper only goes around 25 inches into the sediment.  At the surface the tips of the siphons can be used to distinguish between the Gaper clam and the Geoduck clam, the tip of the geoduck is fleshy while the Gaper has hard valves on each side of the siphon opening. These clams are attacked by crabs, moon snails and the giant pink sea star. (David W. Jamison]

July 12-17 with Js and Ks
Orca Watcher Monika Weiland writes: "After another nearly two week absence, some of the Southern Residents returned to the Salish Sea on the morning of July 12. It was all of J-Pod, and this time they brought K-Pod with them for their first visit to the Salish Sea since March! I saw a few Js in the morning head north then south off Land Bank..." Check out the photos and story.

Interior Department Proposes a Vast Reworking of the Endangered Species Act
The Interior Department on Thursday proposed the most sweeping set of changes in decades to the Endangered Species Act, the law that brought the bald eagle and the Yellowstone grizzly bear back from the edge of extinction but which Republicans say is cumbersome and restricts economic development. The proposed revisions have far-reaching implications, potentially making it easier for roads, pipelines and other construction projects to gain approvals than under current rules. One change, for instance, would eliminate longstanding language that prohibits considering economic factors when deciding whether or not a species should be protected. The agency also intends to make it more difficult to shield species like the Atlantic sturgeon that are considered “threatened,” which is the category one level beneath the most serious one, “endangered.” Lisa Friedman, Kendra Pierre-Louis and Livia Albeck-Ripka report. (NY Times)

'Climate change kids' make stand in federal courtroom in Oregon
Attorneys for 21 young activists suing the federal government over climate change urged a judge Wednesday to allow their case to go to trial while government lawyers argued that a court can't direct national energy policy. The youths -- from 10 states and ranging in age from 11 to 22 -- assert a constitutional right to a "climate system capable of sustaining human life.'' They contend the president and eight federal agencies have violated that right and the public's trust. They've asked the court to order the government to prepare a "national remedial plan'' to phase out fossil fuel emissions, draw down excess atmospheric carbon dioxide and then monitor compliance. Maxine Bernstein reports. Lawyers for the government argued that the federal court has no jurisdiction to prescribe what the president does in his official duties. Congress created the Administrative Procedure Act as the sole method to challenge actions taken by federal agencies, they said. (Oregonian)

PSE’s gas plant studies have ‘significant technical issues,’ Puyallup tribe’s experts allege
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians has asked Tacoma to re-examine whether a Tideflats liquified natural gas plant — now under construction — is really safe. The tribe is armed with two reviews of Puget Sound Energy’s own safety studies: one from a U.S. Department of Energy-funded research facility and another from a 30-year veteran of the field. Together, the reports say the city’s environmental analysis, informed partly by PSE-funded studies, is not thorough enough and does not consider a worst-case scenario — a catastrophic blast called a “boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion.” Kate Martin reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Navy releases favored plan to increase Whidbey Growlers
The U.S. Navy plans to increase jets at their Whidbey Island Naval station. How this affects San Juan islanders is still up in the air. The good news is that the majority of low-flying jet practices would be moved from the northern end of the Whidbey Island to about 10 miles south, which is farther from San Juan County. The bad news is, an increase in practices would take off and land at the northern end of Whidbey — closest to San Juan County — and 36 more jets, known as Growlers, would be added to the station, overall, totaling 118. “If … the 36 more Growlers are active, there will be more noise everywhere,” said Cynthia Dilling, a member of Quiet Skies Over San Juan County. “[However] if the preferred plan is accepted, there is a chance San Juan County could get slightly fewer [low-flying practices], which could make a difference.” Haley Day reports. (San Juan Journal)

Getting lost in the tangle of connections called the Puget Sound food web
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "...If you really want to learn about why a species is doing well or poorly, you need to look beyond prey availability for your species of interest and find out what the prey are eating as well. Healthy prey must be abundant for any species to do well, so the prey of the prey must also do well. When we combine features of this prey base with varying conditions among predators and competitors, we begin to build a model of the food web...."

B.C.'s Site C dam project behind schedule, plagued by problems, expert claims
B.C.'s mammoth Site C hydroelectric project is seriously behind schedule, plagued by quality problems and marked by secrecy, according to an assessment by an international dam expert. E. Harvey Elwin — hired by a First Nation asking for a court injunction to aspects of the dam's construction — expresses concern about work at the job site in his 196-page report citing internal BC Hydro and government documents, many of them previously confidential.... In a letter accompanying a progress report to the B.C. Utilities Commission dated July 11, BC Hydro president Chris O'Riley said the project remains "on time and within budget." (Canadian Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PDT Fri Jul 20 2018  


TODAY  W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 6 ft at 7 seconds. 

SAT  Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  Light wind becoming N to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

7/19 Rattlesnake-plantain, BC pipe, Jonathan Wilkinson, sport salmon, green social justice, Marriott straws

Rattlesnake-Plantain [Wikipedia]
Rattlesnake-Plantain Goodyera oblongifolia
Goodyera oblongifolia is a species of orchid... native to much of North America, particularly in the mountains of the western United States and Canada, from Alaska to northern Mexico, as well as in the Great Lakes region, Maine, Quebec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.... According to the "Doctrine of Signs," early settlers believed that because the markings on the leaves resembled snakeskin markings, this plant could be used in treatment of rattlesnake bites.... Some northwest coast peoples, such as the Saanich, used the plants as a good luck charm.... Goodyera is named for John Goodyear, a 17th century English botanist. (Wikipedia, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

City of Burnaby gives Kinder Morgan protesters 72-hour eviction notice
Pipeline protesters camping on Burnaby Mountain say they’re gearing up for a legal battle after being slapped with an eviction and bylaw notice Wednesday and given three days to leave. The City of Burnaby ordered the occupants of the “Camp Cloud” protest site at Underhill Avenue and Shellmont Street to immediately remove all structures, trailers and vehicles, as well as put out fires, tear down a shower and leash their dogs. Officials warned the protesters to cease their “unauthorized occupation and use” of city lands within 72 hours or face city action to remove the camp. The protest camp started last November with a single trailer parked at Kinder Morgan‘s Westridge Marine Terminal on Burrard Inlet, but was moved in December to the street outside the tank farm’s gates, where it has grown into dozens of tents, trailers and buildings, including a two-level wood structure. Nick Eagland & Patrick Johnston report. (Vancouver Sun)

No construction ramp-up on Trans Mountain since purchase deal with Ottawa
Construction spending on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline has been minimal since the Canadian government announced its $4.5-billion purchase of the expansion project and its existing assets from Kinder Morgan Canada. In a conference call Wednesday to discuss financial results, Kinder Morgan Canada revealed it had spent about $1.25 billion on the $7.4-billion expansion project to May 31, the date that Canada started picking up the construction tab after reaching a purchase agreement the day before. But only another $41 million was spent in June, said Kinder Morgan. There were no figures for July. Gordon Hoekstra report. (Vancouver Sun)

Trudeau names B.C. MP new minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson as his new minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Coast Guard Wednesday morning in a pre-election cabinet shuffle. The move places Wilkinson at the forefront of his government’s response to major environmental concerns in B.C. — the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and concerns about the risk of a major oil spill in the Salish Sea, as well as the impact of open-net pen salmon farms on wild salmon populations. Wilkinson, who was elected in 2015, has served as the parliamentary secretary to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. In that role, he has repeatedly defended the Trans Mountain pipeline, highlighting its potential for job creation and tax revenue. He’s also touted the investments his government has made in ocean protection, including investments to improve oil-spill response. Ainslie Cruickshank reports. (TheStar Vancouver)

'Everybody's scared,' Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce fears potential sport fishing restrictions
The potential for expanded fin-fishing bans in waters along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island has the sport fishing industry, a top economic performer for many towns, worried. "It's going to have a devastating effect," said Karl Ablack, the vice president of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce, to All Points West host Jason D'Souza. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) added waters from Port Renfrew to Tofino to its amended recovery strategy for the northern and southern resident killer whales, in order to find ways to protect dwindling chinook salmon stocks, the main source of food for the species. There are an estimated 75 southern resident killer whales left in Canada's waters. Joel Ballard reports. (CBC) See also: Bellingham fishing derby forced to evolve with increasing shortage of salmon  Katie Boer reports. (KCPQ)

Equity and social science integration at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Social science and equity are increasingly considered integral aspects of ecosystem restoration and reflect an expanding recognition that diverse approaches, tools, and voices matter in recovery efforts. A new study looks at social science and equity integration within the proceedings of the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. The study was produced by David Trimbach on behalf of the Puget Sound Partnership for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound and the Puget Sound Institute. (Puget Sound Institute)

Marriott Follows Starbucks In Dropping Plastic Straws
The days of plastic straws are drawing shorter. Marriott International on Wednesday became the latest big company to announce it will stop using plastic straws, saying it would remove them from its more than 6,500 properties by next July. The giant hotel chain said it will stop offering plastic stirrers, too. It said the environmentally friendly move could eliminate the use of more than 1 billion plastic straws and about 250 million stirrers per year. Marriott said its hotels will “offer alternative straws upon request.” Earlier this month, Starbucks said it would drop plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020. McDonald’s is phasing out plastic straws at about 1,300 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. And Alaska Air said in May that it’s replacing plastic straws on its flights with “sustainable, marine-friendly alternatives.” Avie Schneider reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PDT Thu Jul 19 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 7 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7/18 Birds of summer, Vancouver gas, goat relo, green WSF, 'death cap,' fish oil pills

Northern cardinal [Daniella Theoret]
Birds and Baseball
At the crack of the bat, a Blue Jay flies toward first and glides around the base. Deep in left field, an Oriole pounces on the ball. He wings the ball toward second, where a fellow Oriole snares it on a hop - just as the swift Blue Jay slides toward the base in a cloud of red dust. Ahh, summer baseball! (BirdNote)

Why Vancouver is getting utterly hosed on gas prices
The one pipeline is full, the only refinery is maxxed out and thousands of vehicles run on whatever fuel can be imported by truck or barge The next time you’re cringing at the pump, spare a thought for Vancouver. The West Coast metropolis is consistently slapped with the highest gasoline prices of any major city on the continent. As of press time, the lowest gas price in all of Vancouver was 148.9. In Toronto and Montreal, meanwhile, the cheapest gas was 124.9 and 135.9, respectively. Tristin Hopper reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Forest Service agrees with mountain goat relocation plan
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed authorizing the National Park Service and partner agencies to relocate mountain goats from the Olympics to the North Cascades. The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Olympic and Okanogan-Wenatchee national forests released Friday a draft record of decision regarding the state’s mountain goat populations. The Forest Service supports the proposal announced in June by the National Park Service, state Department of Fish & Wildlife and other agencies that have been working on plans to address problematic, nonnative mountain goats in the Olympics and to increase the number of mountain goats in the North Cascades, where they are native. The plan is to move about 50 percent of the goats in the Olympics — about 360 — and kill the rest, according to the environmental impact statement, or EIS, the agencies released in May. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Washington State Ferries Joins Green Marine
Washington State Ferries (WSF) has become the first U.S. ferry operator to join Green Marine, the globally-recognized environmental certification program for the North American maritime industry.  WSF is the largest ferry system in the U.S, serving nearly 25 million people a year. It is enrolling all of its operations in the Green Marine program, namely 22 vessels, 19 terminals and a maintenance facility, thereby showing its substantial commitment to sustainable operations. Green Marine is a voluntary industry-led sustainability initiative for ship owners, port authorities, terminal operators and shipyard managers. The certification program guides participants towards reducing their environmental footprint by setting various benchmarks that exceed regulatory compliance and foster a culture of continual improvement. (Marine Executive) See also: Survey: Riders rate state ferry system as OK overall - with lots of specific gripes  (KOMO)

Warning issued after toxic death cap mushrooms found in Greater Victoria
The highly toxic “death cap” mushroom, responsible for the death of a Victoria toddler in 2016, has already been found growing in Greater Victoria, much earlier than expected, Island Health warns. Amanita phalloides mushrooms can be found in both urban and rural areas under ornamental European hardwoods introduced here about 50 years ago and more recently under native oak trees. Cindy E. Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

Fish oil supplements for a healthy heart 'nonsense'
Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements is often touted as a simple way to protect your heart - but experts say the evidence that it does any good is flimsy at best. Cochrane researchers looked at trials in over 100,000 people and found little proof that it prevented heart disease. They say the chance of getting any meaningful benefit from taking omega-3 is one in 1,000. Eating oily fish, however, can still be recommended as part of a healthy diet. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  235 AM PDT Wed Jul 18 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming W 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W swell  5 ft at 7 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.

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