Friday, November 30, 2018

11/30 Incrusting sponge, king tide, Elwha beach, Tahlequah witness, Woodfibre LNG, Hawaii carbon tax, Hatch Act, NZ whales

Incrusting sponge [Race Rocks Taxonomy]
Incrusting sponge Myxilla incrustans
This sponge can be found on rocky subtidal areas at Race Rocks  It commonly grows over the surface of swimming scallop shells. It is believed to form a mutualistic association with the swimming scallop, obtaining a moveable substrate while preventing predation of the scallop. Apparently the smell of the sponge deters the sea stars which may be intending to prey on the scallop. It is an extremely variable widely distributed species ranging from intertidal to 2540 m. (The Race Rocks Taxonomy)

King tide floods part of Vancouver's seawall, offering glimpse into city's future
Parts of Vancouver's seawall were submerged Thursday morning after a king tide lifted water levels in False Creek to 50 centimetres above normal. Angela Danyluk, a city sustainability specialist, trudged through the water wearing gum boots. She suspects designs for parts of the seawall weren't made with king tides in mind. "It looks like this was probably designed for the high tide from maybe the 70s or the 80s," she told CBC News while passersby snapped photos of the rare flooding. For researchers like Danyluk, the king tide is both spectacle and warning: the high waters will likely be the norm in decades to come, thanks to sea level rises.  Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

Beach restoration: Limited access provided for area east of the Elwha River mouth
A soft opening of the Beach Lake Conservation Area east of the Elwha River mouth is planned Saturday. Coastal Watershed Institute (CWI) officials will begin with a short presentation at 1 p.m. followed by an informal opening of the property for public use. The address is 2646 Lower Elwha Road. A short walk is required to access the beach from Lower Elwha Road. Guests are encouraged to carpool as parking is limited. Dogs and other pets are not allowed. CWI, which works to protect and restore ecosystems through scientific research and partnerships, secured state and federal funds for the conservation and restoration of the 26-acre Beach Lake parcel east of the Elwha River.  Rob Ollikainen

Mother orca who carried her dead calf at center of hearings over Trans Mountain pipeline
Orca mother Tahlequah carried her dead calf for 17 days in July, but her loss is living on among First Nations and Washington tribes that have presented her as a living witness. The whale and the loss of her calf were at the center of prayers, songs and testimony before Canada’s National Energy Board in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, as it continued hearings underway for three weeks as part of its reconsideration of a massive expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Suquamish, Swinomish, Lummi and Tulalip Nations traveled to Victoria to offer testimony to the board against the pipeline, and share cultural teachings about the importance of the orca, salmon and the tribes’ treaty-reserved fishing rights. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Squamish Nation reaches $1.1 billion Woodfibre LNG benefit agreement
It wasn’t an easy decision for the Squamish First Nation to approve the $1.6 billion Woodfibre LNG proposal, according to a spokesman, but it came with potential benefits amounting to $1.1 billion in land and cash. The Squamish First Nation council approved three economic benefit agreements last week — one each with Woodfibre, FortisBC and the province, but “contingent on the environmental conditions being met, according to a news release issued Thursday. Qualified with the term “if the project is built,” it talks about 40-year deals that include cash payments totalling $225.65 million, 1,600 short-term and 330 long-term jobs, business opportunities and land transfers of 422 hectares. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Hawaii Climate Commission Pushes For State Carbon Tax
The group of state and county officials said it’s the most effective method to reduce emissions from cars, trucks and buses. Nathan Eagle reports. (Civil Beat)

Federal Employees Are Warned Not to Discuss Trump ‘Resistance’ at Work
At workplaces across the United States, it is routine for Americans’ conversations to turn to President Trump — whether his policies are good, whether he should be impeached, what to think about the “resistance.” Some drink from MAGA mugs; others tape cartoons to their cubicle walls portraying Mr. Trump as a Russian quisling. But roughly two million people who work for the federal government have now been told that it may be illegal for them to participate in such discussions at work — a pronouncement that legal specialists say breaks new ground, and that some criticized as going too far. Generally, federal employees have been free to express opinions about policies and legislative activity at work as long as they do not advocate voting for or against particular candidates in partisan elections. But in a guidance document distributed on Wednesday, the independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act, a law that bars federal employees from taking part in partisan political campaigns at work or in an official capacity, warned that making or displaying statements at work about impeaching or resisting Mr. Trump is likely to amount to illegal political activity. Charles Savage reports. (NY Times)

Whales stranded in New Zealand: Another 50 pilot whales die
Fifty-one pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a beach on the Chatham Islands off New Zealand. The mass stranding means more than 200 whales have died in separate incidents over the past week in the region. New Zealand's Department of Conservation says between 80 and 90 whales were found to have become stranded in Hanson Bay on Thursday. Several dozen managed to refloat themselves but 50 were found dead and one had to be put down. (BBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  234 AM PST Fri Nov 30 2018   
 S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft  at 12 seconds. Showers likely in the morning then showers in the  afternoon. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  6 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of showers. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming NE in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 11 seconds. A slight chance of  showers in the morning. 
 Light wind becoming SE 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft at 12 seconds. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 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, November 29, 2018

11/29 Elwha, tribes on BC pipe, WA bag ban, Scott Hinch's salmon, Protection Is., Tennant Lk., Ranker rise, BC otters

Elwha nearshore [John Gussman/CWI]
King tides and 12,000 cfs at the Elwha nearshore 27 November 2018
Anne Shaffer of Coastal Watershed Institute writes: "Over the course of the summer we're often asked of the west delta: 'Does this area really connect to the river?' Here is the answer. With the season's first high river flows and the years highest tides the entire west delta is reactivated, allowing fish, including juvenile coho, Chinook, steelhead, and adult bull trout, cutthroat, and (hopefully) returning chum to move freely thru the reconnected side channels. Except of course west of the Place dike, which is instead teeming only with stickleback. The reconnected hydrodynamic sediment engine of the nearshore Elwha is complex, critically important, and visually spectacular. The resulting size of the area has gotten so big it's now almost impossible to capture in one frame."

‘Our way of life in its last hour,’ Tsawout tell pipeline hearings
A way of life is at risk if the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline goes ahead. That sentiment was made clear through what was an emotionally charged testimony provided to the National Energy Board by Indigenous leaders from the Saanich Peninsula Wednesday. “This is our last hour to say no to tanker traffic … our way of life is in its last hour,” an impassioned Chief Harvey Underwood of the Tsawout First Nation told the board. The board has been hearing oral traditional evidence from Indigenous groups in Victoria this week. As part of its new review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the board has been on the road for the past 10 days hearing oral traditional evidence. The hearings, which will shift to Nanaimo next week, are the result of the Federal Court of Appeal striking down approval of the pipeline expansion project, citing inadequate Indigenous consultation and the energy board’s failure to review the project's impacts on the marine environment. Andrew Duffy reports. (Times Colonist)

Washington tribes say Canadian pipeline will harm orcas, way of life
Several U.S. tribal leaders told Canadian energy regulators Wednesday that increased tanker traffic from a proposed pipeline expansion project would harm endangered orcas, natural resources and their cultural way of life. The contentious Trans Mountain project would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast, and increase tanker traffic from about 60 to more than 400 vessels annually through the Salish Sea — the inland waters of Canada and U.S. that are also critical feeding grounds for the endangered orcas. Leaders from four Native American tribes in Puget Sound, Washington, traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, to testify before Canada's National Energy Board as the panel reconsiders the impact of marine shipping from the pipeline project, as ordered by a Canadian court. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Washington state lawmakers propose ban on single-use plastic bags
Democratic lawmakers in Washington state said Wednesday that they plan to pursue legislation to ban single-use plastic bags, like the ones used in grocery and retail stores. The measure would eliminate all plastic bags used for purchases and levy a 10-cent fee on paper bags, backers of the bill — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds — announced in Seattle on Wednesday. They plan to introduce their bill in the Legislature’s next session that starts in January. The bill’s passage in Washington, where Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature as well as the governorship, would make the state second in the U.S., after California, to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. State politicians regularly boast of having some of the strictest environmental regulations in the nation, but they’ve also been criticized by environmental groups for not doing enough. Hannah Rodriguez reports. (Seattle Times) See also: State lawmakers want to ban plastic bags Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Vancouver salmon researcher receives national nod
The numbers floating around Scott Hinch’s mind are daunting, if not impossible, to fathom. Infrastructure costs that veer into seven digits. Thousands of kilometres of water. Tens of millions of fish.  A forestry professor with the University of B.C.’s Forest and Conservation Sciences department, Hinch is responsible for heading up first-of-its-kind research into salmon tracking and health monitoring.  His work was formally recognized on a global scale this week, having received the Exceptional Leadership – Professor designation from the national non-profit group Mitacs. The basis for Hinch’s award is rooted in a seven-year study he recently wrapped up that tracked the migration patterns and survival rates of millions of sockeye and steelhead spanning from the Interior of B.C., down the Fraser River and across Vancouver Island.  John Kurucz reports. (Vancouver Courier)

Volunteers complete study of Protection Island wildlife
Off the coast of Cape George is a 370-acre island, uninhabited by humankind, teeming with wildlife. It only takes a quick boat ride to get to Protection Island from the Cape George Marina, but no boats are allowed within 200 yards of the island’s shore, and kayakers are barred from landing on shore. Protection Island is the home of 70 percent of the Puget Sound’s nesting seabirds, and it’s one of the two places in the Puget Sound that supports nesting areas for rare tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets. To protect nature, the small piece of land was designated a Wildlife Refuge in 1982. Then, in 2010, the Department of Natural Resources designated 24,000 acres which surround the island as an Aquatic Reserve. Despite the lack of humans, there is still a lot of work that goes into preserving the refuge. Much of that work is done by volunteers who are part of the Protection Island Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, a group of citizen scientists who do everything from counting birds and marine mammals, to observing intertidal biota, to driving boats and writing down data. Lily Haight reports. (Port Townsend Leader) See also: Bird watchers’ paradise  Lily Haight reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Lake Love. Forty years and counting
The brochure for the Tennant Lake Interpretive Center’s boardwalk resembles a treasure map, but instead of leading its followers to a secret cache of gold coins or pirate’s booty, the colorful artwork by Margaret M. McCandless uncovers the riches of the natural world. The map posits that those who choose to follow the roundabout path from the historic Nielsen house on the outskirts of Ferndale through the lake’s swampland, marshes, wetlands and sloughs should be on the lookout for a variety of creatures—from bald eagles to yellow warblers, beavers, cedar waxwings, wood ducks, a couple of different species of frogs, meadow mice, dragonflies and great blue herons. While these seasonal sights will likely be hidden by darkness by the time the Friends of Tennant Lake and Hovander Park host a reception celebrating the center’s 40th anniversary on Fri., Nov. 30, those who’ve traversed the acreage during daylight hours are likely already aware of its status as a gem of Whatcom County. Amy Kepferle reports. (Cascadia Weekly)

Ranker chosen to chair new Senate Environment & Tourism Committee and lead on environmental budget
Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) was selected by his peers in the Senate Democratic Caucus to chair the new Environment & Tourism Committee in the 2019 Legislative Session.... Recognizing the incredible environmental opportunities before us, the Senate is restructuring environmental oversight by establishing a new committee with general oversight of environmental protection and policies. The committee members will also work to boost our state’s tourism industry. A 2015 study showed that Washington’s outdoor recreation industry generates more than $20 billion annually. (San Juan Islander)

River otters fatten up on bite-sized, at-risk sturgeon
A handful of hungry river otters have added juvenile sturgeon to their diet and it's directly impacting a Vanderhoof sturgeon recovery project. "Downtown Vanderhoof, we have the last three or four years had six or seven very healthy otters that seem to like Nechako white sturgeon as part of their dining habits," said Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative chair Wayne Salewksi. Salewski said the initiative is trying to help the fish avoid being eaten by predators that like small fry by growing the fish larger before releasing them. Audrey McKinnon reports. (CBC) See also: As koi fall victim to an otter, Chinese community sees loss of cultural symbol  Alex Migdal reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  248 AM PST Thu Nov 29 2018   

TODAY  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft  at 13 seconds. 

TONIGHT  Light wind becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 12 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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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

11/28 China rockfish, Fraser islands, Skagit stamp, imidacioprid, dusky gopher frog, orca welcome, fake news, Zatypota wasp, CO2 rise, Samish land

China rockfish [Central Coast Biodiversity]
China rockfish Sebastes nebulosus
China rockfish are found from Kechemak Bay, Cook Inlet, Alaska, to San Nicolas Island in southern California. They are found at water depths between 3 and 128 m (10-420 ft).  This is a solitary species inhabiting high-energy, high-relief rocky outcrops with numerous crevices.  They are very territorial and rarely move more than 10 m (33 ft) from their home site. Commonly caught by recreational harvesters off the northern Washington coast.  Recreational harvest within Puget Sound has been closed. (WDFW)

Fraser islands deforestation Canada’s most urgent rivers issue
Deforestation of three islands in the heart of the Fraser River is the most pressing rivers issue in the country for the coming year, according to the Outdoor Recreation Council. Herrling, Carey and Strawberry Islands — nestled mid-river between Hope and Mission — are all being cleared of trees to varying degrees, activity that could damage the most biologically productive part of the Fraser, said ORC rivers chair Mark Angelo. This stretch of river is a spawning site for threatened white sturgeon, a rearing area for chinook salmon and provides habitat for more than two dozen other finfish species. “It sustains our largest single spawning run of salmon, the millions upon millions of pink salmon that spawn right in the main stem every two years, right in and around those islands,” said Angelo, who has received the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada for his conservation work. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Skagit River picked to be on a stamp
The Skagit River will be featured in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Forever” stamp program thanks to its national recognition as a waterway that has wild and scenic values. The Postal Service announced Nov. 20 the Forever stamp lineup for 2019. The Skagit River will be one of 12 rivers included in a stamp book showcasing river segments with designations under the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Two weeks of testimony scheduled in oyster growers’ appeal for pesticide permit
Oyster growers on the Washington coast will have a chance to convince regulators to let them use a controversial pesticide to control native burrowing shrimp. The shrimp can infest oyster beds and turn them into quicksand. Members of the Willapa Bay Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association say they’ve lost hundreds of acres of tidelands to the problem. In 2015, the Department of Ecology approved conditional use of imidacloprid, a common agricultural insecticide that had never before been permitted for use in the water. A neurotoxin in the class known as neonicotinoids, it has been linked to bee colony collapse. It paralyzes the shrimp and causes them to suffocate. After much public outcry, the growers withdrew from their original permit and then came back with a scaled back permit application in 2017. This April, Ecology denied that permit. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

The Dusky Gopher Frog Loses a Round in the Supreme Court 
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that an appeals court must take a fresh look at whether the Fish and Wildlife Service had gone too far in its attempt to protect an endangered species, the dusky gopher frog. The species is in danger of extinction, and the only known remaining frogs live in the De Soto National Forest in Mississippi.... Chief Justice Roberts said the case turned on the meaning “critical habitat.” Adam Liptak reports. (NY Times)

SATURDAY: You’re invited to ‘Welcome the Orcas’!
The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters invite the public to an inspirational, educational, fun and family-friendly event on Saturday, December 1, to mark the annual return of the southern resident orcas to the inland waters of Puget Sound. At the event, members of the public can learn about the final recommendations put forth by Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force and have fun while learning about Seattle’s famous residents and the major threats to their survival.... The event begins with activities, games, and informational booths at 10, speakers at 11:30 am, Orca Parade at noon, 12:30-2 pm “light reception” mode. The Bathhouse is at the east end of the Alki boardwalk, 60th/Alki. (West Seattle Blog)

The godfather of fake news
Meet one of the world's most prolific writers of disinformation. Anisa Subedar reports. (BBC)

B.C. researchers discover parasitic wasps that hypnotize and feast on spiders
Philippe Fernandez-Fournier was in Ecuador studying "social" spiders that typically stay close to their colonies. So, when one wandered off alone and started spinning a thick, cocoon-like web, he noticed.... Those first notes led to the discovery of a new species of wasp that transforms the sociable spiders into lifeless drones that abandon their own colonies to obey the wasp instead. And, eventually, die to keep the wasp alive. The findings, published in Ecological Entomology this fall, detail the unusual parasite-host relationship between the Zatypota wasp and the spider. (CBC)

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years
Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. To meet the goals of the Paris climate pact, the study says it's crucial that global emissions peak by 2020. But the analysis says that this is now not likely even by 2030. Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

Feds approve Samish Tribe land application
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved a land application from the Samish Indian Nation that the tribe hopes will end years of struggle when it comes to its property rights. "It's a great Christmas present for the tribe," said Samish Chairman Tom Wooten.  The approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs gets the tribe one step closer to bringing a 6.7-acre plot of land into trust, which would give the tribe authority over how to develop and tax the land.  But more importantly, Wooten said, it demonstrates that the tribe is eligible to bring land into trust, something that has been uncertain until now. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  235 AM PST Wed Nov 28 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  13 ft at 16 seconds subsiding to 11 ft at 16 seconds in the  afternoon. Scattered showers. 

TONIGHT  SE wind to 10 kt becoming N 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 12 ft at 15 seconds subsiding to  10 ft at 14 seconds after midnight. Scattered showers in the  evening then isolated 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, November 27, 2018

11/27 Noble fir, #GivingTuesday, Insight, BC pipe, insects, super-bacteria, indigenous consultation, king tides, sea lion kills

Noble fir
Noble fir Abies procera
Abies procera, the noble fir, also called red fir and Christmastree, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States. It is a high-altitude tree, typically occurring at 300–1,500 m (980–4,920 ft) altitude, only rarely reaching the tree line. (Wikipedia)

Today is Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. (Wikipedia)

NASA’s InSight Mission Has Touched Down on Mars to Study the Red Planet’s Deep Secrets 
The InSight lander, NASA’s latest foray to the red planet, has landed. Cheers erupted on Monday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which operates the spacecraft, when InSight sent back acknowledgment of its safe arrival on Mars. That was the end of a journey of more than six months and 300 million miles. As InSight descended and each milestone of the landing process was called out, “the hairs on the back of my neck would start rising a little bit higher, a little bit higher,” Tom Hoffman, the project manager for the mission, said at a news conference after the landing. “And then when we finally got the confirmation of touchdown, it was completely amazing. The whole room went crazy. My inner four-year-old came out.” Kenneth Chang reports. (NY Times)

Trans Mountain pipeline: BC chief says his people responsible for land
Protection of salmon, animals and the land in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia is an eternal responsibility of First Nations and the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline poses risks that could harm the homes and culture of Aboriginal Peoples, the National Energy Board heard Monday. But Chief Tyrone McNeil of the Sto:lo Tribal Council and councillor Andrew Victor of the Cheam First Nation did not say they are completely opposed to the expansion project as the board began hearings in Victoria. Victor said the Sto:lo, which includes the Cheam First Nation, want to see grounds for the pipeline expansion project, including the completion of environmental assessments that examine the risks and impacts of a spill. The council also wants to be part of ongoing consultations and environmental assessments, he added. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press)

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here. What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?
Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing. It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs. Brooke Jarvis reports. (NY Times)

Super-bacteria showing up in Puget Sound wildlife – from orcas to otters
A leafy little tunnel runs through the undergrowth along the Black River in the Seattle suburb of Renton: an otter trail. It’s in hidey-holes like this that river otters leave detailed evidence of human misdeeds. Just downstream, in the Duwamish River, droppings left by river otters reveal toxic PCBs and other industrial waste. Here, in a woodsy city park where the Black River carries runoff from nearby subdivisions and business parks, otter droppings contain our antibiotics and the super-bacteria that they can generate. Bacteria that resist antibiotic drugs are becoming more widespread in our environment. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Victoria has to move beyond ‘duty to consult’ on indigenous issues
Lasting reconciliation in B.C. requires the provincial government to move beyond its current minimal “duty to consult” with Indigenous nations, according to a report being released Tuesday. The province should adopt a new approach that would lead to “obtaining free, prior and informed consent” from First Nations in anything to do with their title and rights, the report states. The report, released by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, stresses the importance of implementing the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a groundbreaking international agreement that establishes minimum standards for the survival of Indigenous people, such as individual and collective rights and the right to self-determination. The government of B.C. has said it is committed to adopting and implementing the declaration. Kevin Griffin reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Extreme high tides in Seattle this week
Every morning this week, Seattle will experience especially high tides. They’re called "king tides." They happen once or twice a year, when the moon comes closest to the earth. Scientists say king tides help us identify places vulnerable to rising sea levels, so we went to talk to people who live and work close to the water. Joshua Menashe grew up in a house right on Puget Sound in West Seattle. He’s back there helping his parents put up Christmas lights now. He remembers one time, a really high tide washed some sea lions into their backyard. “Right over here to the left – sitting right by the firepit!" he said. "They started barking and then hopped back into the water and were gone.” Monday’s king tide one was only twelve and a half feet. Joshua McNichols reports. (KUOW)

After six sea lions found shot, another seven found with ‘acute trauma’
Since September, six sea lions have died from gunshot wounds in central Puget Sound and Kitsap County. The Seattle Times reports that another seven are suspected to have died from "acute trauma" caused by humans, including a decomposed sea lion with its head sliced off found washed ashore Tuesday in a West Seattle cove. That's according to Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a group that responds to reports of stranded or dead sea lions. Michael Milstein, a NOAA Fisheries spokesman, has confirmed the deaths of five California sea lions in West Seattle, including four that died of gunshot wounds. NOAA Fisheries law-enforcement agents are investigating these crimes, which are prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PST Tue Nov 27 2018   


TODAY  S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 14 ft  at 15 seconds. Showers likely. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW after midnight. Wind  waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 14 ft at 17 seconds. Showers likely.

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

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Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, November 26, 2018

11/26 Ribbon worm, king tides, NW Straits report, climate change, Wally Skalij pix, NW climate, BC pipe, Kitsap salmon, pinto abalone, hand recounts, plastic ban, no-lead bullets, beavers & otter

Ribbon worm [North Island Explorer]
Red ribbon worm Tubulanus polymorphus
The bright red-orange color of this species makes it easy to spot on the beach.  Red ribbon worms do not commonly exceed a length of 2 feet (60 cm) but can reach 3 feet (90 cm) and when fully stretched out, large ones can measure 10 feet.  Their head is rounded and somewhat distinct from the body.  There are no eyes or markings on the head.  Look for this species in rocky areas and mussel beds.  It ranges from the intertidal zone to a depth of 165 feet (50 meters). Mary Jo Adams wrote. (Sound Water Stewards)

Year's highest tides on the way
The highest tides of the year, called king tides, are forecast to hit area shorelines Monday. King tides are extreme high tides that occur during the winter, when the moon is closest to Earth. They present an opportunity to preview what the state’s shoreline areas may look like in the future as sea level rises, according to the King Tides Program coordinated by the state Department of Ecology and Washington Sea Grant, which is a research and education program out of the University of Washington.... King tides are forecast for nine days: Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 23-25. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Salish Sea Communications: 20th Annual Northwest Straits Initiative/Marine Resources Committees Conference: A Brief Personal Review. Pete Haase guest blogs on the mid-November annual gathering.  And, if you like to listen: State Senator Kevin Ranker Keynote Speech to the NW Straits Annual Meeting  (30 minutes, 22 seconds)

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters
As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. The White House report quietly issued Friday also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The National Climate Assessment was written long before the deadly fires in California this month and before Hurricanes Florence and Michael raked the East Coast and Florida. It says warming-charged extremes “have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration.” The report notes the last few years have smashed U.S. records for damaging weather, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015. Seth Borenstein reports. (Associated Press) See also: Trump Administration’s Strategy on Climate: Try to Bury Its Own Scientific Report The Trump White House, which has defined itself by a willingness to dismiss scientific findings and propose its own facts, on Friday issued a scientific report that directly contradicts its own climate-change policies. That sets the stage for a remarkable split-screen political reality in coming years. The administration is widely expected to discount or ignore the report’s detailed findings of the economic strain caused by climate change, even as it continues to cut environmental regulations, while opponents use it to mount legal attacks against the very administration that issued the report. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

One Tiny Owl: Otherworldly Photos From California's Woolsey Fire
When Los Angeles Times photographer Wally Skalij photographed a tiny owl sitting on the beach in Malibu as the flames of the Woolsey Fire burned in the background, he had no idea how many people would connect with the image. Since the Times published the photo, it’s been shared thousands of times on social media. The owl and other photos Skalij made — three llamas tied to a lifeguard stand, a father and daughter sifting through the ashes of their home, a firefighter peering over a concrete wall as a torrent of flames rises in front of him — are eerie and otherworldly, capturing the surreal nature of a world consumed by fire. Ari Shapiro and Aubri Juhasz report. (NPR)

From skiing to salmon runs, the national climate report predicts a Northwest lifestyle in peril 
Climate change’s effects – among them, increasing wildfires, disease outbreak and drought – are taking a toll on the Northwest, and what’s to come will threaten and transform our way of life from the salmon streams to ski slopes, according to a new federal climate assessment released Friday. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Green hypocrisy? Washington state voters keep proving it's not easy being green  Danny Westneat writes. (Seattle Times)

Pipeline protesters convicted of civil contempt of court get 7 days jail  A priest and one of her parishioners, who were pursued in court by Trans Mountain after they had their criminal contempt charges dropped by the Crown, received jail time and an order to pay $2,000 in legal costs.  Keith Fraser reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Trans Mountain: The billion-dollar oil pipeline Canadians own and can’t build  Jessica Murphy reports. (BBC News)

Dry fall puts damper on Kitsap salmon returns
Rains sweeping across Kitsap last week may have arrived too late to help tens of thousands of salmon wriggling up streams to spawn. Late October and early November were marked by dry weather that settled in just as chum and coho were gathering at creek mouths around the peninsula. Suquamish Tribe fisheries biologist Jon Oleyar said water levels were "extremely low" in east Kitsap creeks and salmon have struggled to reach accustomed spawning grounds.... Stragglers could still benefit from the showers now arriving. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

State proposes listing marine snail as endangered
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife has proposed listing the pinto abalone, which is found in area marine waters, as endangered. The state agency is taking public input on the proposal and will hold a public meeting in December in Anacortes. The pinto abalone, which is a type of marine snail, is the only abalone species in the state and is prized for its meat and its shiny shells. While there has never been a commercial fishery in the state for pinto abalone and the recreational fishery was closed in 1994, the species has continued to decline, nearly disappearing from the San Juan Island region, according to a news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Race between McClendon, Randall among 3 headed for recounts in Washington 
Three legislative races in Washington state are heading to a hand recount after election results are certified next week. For the open Senate seat in the 26th District, Democrat Emily Randall is leading by 99 votes as of Friday over Republican Marty McClendon. The two are vying to replace Republican Sen. Jan Angel, who is retiring. In the 42nd District, Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen led Democratic challenger Pinky Vargas by just 45 votes. And Ericksen’s seatmate in the House, Republican Rep. Luanne Van Werven, led Democrat Justin Boneau by 80 votes. Rachel La Corte reports. (Associated Press)

Proposals to restrict single-use plastic items gaining steam in Gig Harbor
Support appears to be building for two ordinances that would restrict stores and restaurants in Gig Harbor from using certain products, including plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam. A majority of the people who spoke about the ordinances at the Nov. 14 City Council meeting said they support banning some kinds of plastics from the city. That included Holly Chisa of the Northwest Grocery Association, who told the council her group would abide by the ordinances if passed. “We are here today to let you know the ordinance in front of you today is one that we know, and if you choose to go this direction, we would support that decision,” Chisa said. Jake Gregg reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Poisoned Wildlife and Tainted Meat: Why Hunters Are Moving Away From Lead Bullets  
Many hunters are ditching traditional ammunition amid mounting evidence that it harms scavengers and pollutes the food people eat. Ian Urbina reports. (NY Times)

If you like to watch: To fix salmon streams, leave it to beavers 
Join us to watch how scientists trap, rehabilitate and relocate beavers from suburban pond to mountain stream — and discover the strange technique used to tell a male beaver from a female. Sarah Hoffman reports. (Crosscut/KCTS) See also: Chinatown koi evacuation begins as otter rampage claims 10th fatality  (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  211 AM PST Mon Nov 26 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. SW swell  10 ft at 10 seconds building to 15 ft at 11 seconds in the  afternoon. Rain. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 20 to 30 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 15 ft at 13 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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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

11/21 Octopus, zero-emission cars, ocean plastics, yelloweye detox, Stikine River

Giant Pacific octopus [Ratha Grimes/Flickr]
Searching for the World's Largest Octopus in the Waters of West Seattle
On a recent Sunday, two divers at a small cove in West Seattle pulled on their suits, air tanks, and masks. With their fins in their hands, they walked slowly toward the edge of Puget Sound, ready to descend dozens of feet into the water's foggy depths in search of the largest octopus in the world—the giant Pacific octopus. Jerry Dollar, a seasoned amateur diver who organized the expedition through the Emerald Sea Dive Club, offered Andrew Creighton and Mark Newland some last-minute advice. Keep an eye out for piles of clam and crab shells, because that may indicate you're next to their den, he told them. Look carefully through piles of rocks and in the Honey Bear, a shipwrecked boat about 35 feet under water. And don't skip the shallow areas. Hallie Golden reports. (Pacific Standard)

Every new car sold in 2040 will be zero-emission, B.C. government says
All new cars and trucks sold in B.C. in the year 2040 will have to be zero-emission vehicles, the premier promised Tuesday. John Horgan said the government is planning to introduce legislation in the spring to gradually phase in targets for the sale of electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and will take steps to make those vehicles cheaper. (CBC)

North Kitsap brothers plan an ocean-saving road trip down the Pacific Coast
For Hans Schippers, the jolting moment was paddling on a surfboard through a patch of floating plastics — a collection of fishing debris and other chunks — off Oahu. For his brother Nick, it was paddling past a Doritos bag floating in the surf at La Push. “It’s just crazy to see the amount of junk that’s in the water,” Nick said. “It’s not getting better, it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. It takes awareness to change that.” The Ocean Conservancy estimates that every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic go into oceans. The brothers have seen that plastics problem up close — while surfing off Hawaii, or on the Washington or Oregon coasts — and they've decided to do something about it.... Within the next few weeks, they’ll pack up, board their bus and rumble out of Poulsbo in pursuit of an ambitious goal: speaking to 10,000 kids in schools about how they use plastics and how those plastics can end up in oceans and hurt the world they live in. Nathan Piling reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Dead sperm whale found in Indonesia had ingested '6kg of plastic'
A dead sperm whale that washed ashore in a national park in Indonesia had nearly 6kg (13 lbs) of plastic waste in its stomach, park officials say. Items found included 115 drinking cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and two flip-flops. The carcass of the 9.5m (31ft) mammal was found in waters near Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park late on Monday. (BBC)

Fish can detox too -- but not so well, when it comes to mercury
By examining the tissues at a subcellular level, researchers discovered yelloweye rockfish were able to immobilize several potentially toxic elements within their liver tissues (cadmium, lead, and arsenic) thus preventing them from interacting with sensitive parts of the cell. But mercury was found in concentrations known to be toxic - and most of it was in sensitive sites, such as mitochondria and enzymes, within liver cells. (Science Daily)

Postcard from the boundary waters
The staggering wilderness at the mouth of the Stikine River just outside of Wrangell, Alaska, takes no time to announce itself. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  305 AM PST Wed Nov 21 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft subsiding late. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds, building to  8 ft at 9 seconds. Rain. 

TONIGHT  S wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of rain. 

THU  SE wind rising to 20 to 30 kt, and then easing and becoming  SW late. Wind waves building to 3 to 5 ft, and then subsiding late.  W swell 8 ft at 11 seconds. Rain. 

THU NIGHT  SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 9 seconds. 

FRI  SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 to  10 ft at 11 seconds. 

FRI NIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  9 ft at 11 seconds. 

SAT  SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 6 to 8  ft. 

SUN  E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft.

"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, November 20, 2018

11/20 Sculpin, WA budget $s, Wheeler EPA, CA air, green assessments, BC econ outlook, oil spill costs

Sailfish sculpin []
Sailfish sculpin Nautichthys oculofasciatus
The sail is a tall separate dorsal fin. The sailfish sculpin is common but primarily nocturnal; hides in crevices during the day. Seen at night over rocky and kelp-covered sandy bottoms. Undulates the long second dorsal fin while swimming. Ranges from Alaska to southern California. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia.)

Washington state asks lawmakers for $90 million to improve habitat for orcas, salmon
If approved, a $90 million budget request to the Washington state legislature could aggressively tackle what’s needed to help Puget Sound’s southern resident orcas survive. A request on Monday by Hilary Franz, the state’s Commissioner of Public Lands, would increases the money already being spent on restoring habitats for salmon, removing barriers that inhibit the fish from reaching their spawning ground; researching ocean acidification; and removing rundown vessels on waterways, according to an emailed statement from the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The department’s previous two-year budget for similar programs and efforts cost the agency $55.5 million, according to Franz’s  staff. The overall budget for the department last year was $351 million. Agueda Pacheco-Flores reports. (Seattle Times)

Trump Says He’ll Nominate Andrew Wheeler to Head the E.P.A.
President Trump on Friday said he intends to nominate Andrew R. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, to be the permanent administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The E.P.A. has been at the center of the Trump administration’s agenda to reduce the regulations on industry, and Mr. Wheeler has been instrumental in seeing through rollbacks of major environmental policies. The changes include proposals to weaken the Obama administration’s signature policies to combat climate change, including a sweeping regulation on emissions from coal-fired power plants and a rule reining in pollution from vehicle tailpipes. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Air Quality in California: Devastating Fires Lead to a New Danger 
The wildfires that have laid waste to vast parts of California are presenting residents with a new danger: air so thick with smoke it ranks among the dirtiest in the world. On Friday, residents of smog-choked Northern California woke to learn that their pollution levels now exceed those in cities in China and India that regularly rank among the worst. In the communities closest to the Paradise fire, an apocalyptic fog cloaked the roads, evacuees wandered in white masks and officials said respiratory hospitalizations had surged. Nearly 200 miles to the south, in San Francisco, the smoke was so thick that health warnings prompted widespread school closings. Even the city’s cable cars were yanked from the streets. Julie Turkewitz and Matt Richtel reports. (NY Times)

Proposed environmental assessment legislation needs integrity boost: scientists
Scientists from across Canada have signed their names to a letter urging the British Columbia government to tighten the wording of its proposed environmental assessment legislation. The open letter is signed by nearly 200 academics, researchers or officials from 15 Canadian post-secondary institutions and 13 environmental or scientific organizations.  It says Bill 51, which was introduced by the NDP government earlier this month, contains a number of positive reforms and important amendments that will change the way mines, dams and pipelines are reviewed and approved in B.C. But the letter says the proposed legislation continues to give priority to industry-generated evidence and does not require an independent peer review of that evidence, or that all records be made public. (Canadian Press)

LNG, pipeline star in B.C. economic outlook
Employment will accelerate in B.C.’s north over the next couple of years, with construction of liquefied natural gas infrastructure and pipelines fuelling a boom in jobs and residential and commercial construction, according to the B.C. Regional Economic Outlook report. Meanwhile, employment growth in Metro Vancouver and southwestern B.C. is predicted to slow to just over one per cent in 2019 and 2020, as labour shortages and a tight housing market continue to be friction points for businesses and workers, respectively. Overall, economic growth is expected to fall to between 2.5 and three per cent from 3.8 per cent in 2017. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Edmonds whale-watching group opposes proposed restrictions
A task force arranged by Gov. Jay Inslee in March has now recommended a partial ban on whale-watching tours in an attempt to save Washington state’s endangered southern resident killer whales from extinction. The task force wants to suspend whale-watching boat tours focused on southern residents for three to five years. That recommendation, one of 36 intended to increase the run of chinook salmon, another Pacific Northwest icon and which the southern resident orcas are largely dependent on for food, is misguided, says Puget Sound Express, a whale-watching operation with departures from Edmonds and Port Townsend. Brian Soergel reports. (Edmonds Beacon)

Apparently, No One Knows How Much an Oil Spill on Salish Sea Would Cost
There’s much ado about Canada’s insistence on building the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, a colossal delivery mechanism to bring tar sands fuel from Alberta. The project is unusually large but it’s of a piece with the oil industry’s decades of relentless expansion on the shores of the Salish Sea. Despite the industry’s assurances—to say nothing of the thousands of pages of environmental review, activism, and legal challenges—the price tag for a serious oil spill is anyone’s guess. That’s right: no one knows what an oil spill could cost us. It’s a colossal oversight for a region that says it values the fragile waters of its inland sea. Puget Sound is peppered with refineries, shipping terminals, pipelines, and oil train depots, and it is therefore exposed to constant threat of oil contamination. A tar sands spill, for example, could be devastating for the region’s ecology, but no one seems to know what the taxpayer bill might be. Eric de Place and John Abbotts write. (Sightline)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PST Tue Nov 20 2018   

TODAY  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 12 seconds. 

TONIGHT  E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of 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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Monday, November 19, 2018

11/19 Shoveler, saving orcas, orca show, dead orca, otter dance, diving orca, dead humpback, heron nests, Christine Rolfes, whale talk, Shannon Wright, Adventuress

Northern shoveler [Paul Heuber/All About Birds]
Northern shoveler Anas clypeata
The aptly named Northern Shoveler has a shovel-shaped bill that quickly sets it apart from other dabbling ducks. It is a medium-sized duck that tends to sit with its rear a bit higher out of the water almost like its bill is pulling its front half down. Northern Shovelers often have their heads down in shallow wetlands, busily sweeping their bills side to side, filtering out aquatic invertebrates and seeds from the water. Northern Shovelers forage in shallow wetlands, coastal marshes, rice fields, flooded fields, lakes, and sewage lagoons. They nest along the margins of wetlands or in neighboring grassy areas. (All About Birds)

Orca recovery task force urges partial moratorium on whale watching, study of dam removal
From dam teardowns to a temporary moratorium on whale watching of southern residents by any boat, a governor’s task force on orca recovery released its first round of recommendations Friday. Task-force members said at a news conference at the Seattle Aquarium that bold action is needed to save the critically endangered population of killer whales from extinction. Only 74 southern resident orcas remain. The recommendation will depend on significant new funding from the state Legislature as well as new legislation to take effect, so the wish list is a long way from becoming reality for the whales. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Whale-watch limits, seal kills, other bold steps needed to save orcas, panel tells Inslee  (KOMO) And also: Final Orca Recovery Recommendations Include Temporary Whale Watching Ban  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX) And also also: The Orca Task Force finally has a plan. Will it work?  Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

Puget Sound orcas are in town, chasing chum salmon and wowing ferry riders
Southern resident orcas are making waves all over Puget Sound, in a rare extended visit that began Nov. 4 that hasn’t let up yet. The orcas have been traveling the central Puget Sound waters, wowing ferry riders, shore-based whale watchers, and orca fans from Tacoma to Vashon Island to West Sound. About 40 J and K pod whales were cavorting all day long Thursday off the south end of Vashon, near the Tahlequah Ferry dock, the former Asarco Smelter site, and Commencement Bay, making their way back north toward Seattle by day’s end. After spending most of the day scattered in small groups, the pods gathered for a sunset finale, cruising right by Pt. Robinson Park on Maury Island, as islanders stood in astonishment on the beach to watch. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Dead newborn orca calf washes up near Vancouver Island
Officials say a dead newborn orca calf washed up on the shores of Nootka Island off Vancouver Island Friday. KCPQ-TV reports Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans is performing a necropsy to determine cause of death and also its ecotype, whether it's a southern resident, transient or other type of orca. Ken Balcomb, founder and principal investigator at the Center for Whale Research, told Q13 News he does not believe the dead newborn is from the endangered southern resident population. (Associated Press)

If you like to watch: Otter dances. Otter poops. Researchers dig in
Three otters gather on a patch of grass on the Green River in Kent.   They waddle. They sniff.  And then two of them do a poop dance.  “We have wonderful footage of what we call the scat dance,” said Michelle Wainstein, a wildlife biologist who studies the poop of otters along the Green and Duwamish Rivers. "They will do a little prancing with their back feet and lift their tail up a bit and do their thing.”  John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

A Record-Breaking Dive by a Hungry Killer Whale
Big factory ships arrive from around the world—Britain, Norway, Chile, New Zealand, Spain—in search of the Patagonian toothfish, the most lucrative catch in the storm-tossed southern Atlantic Ocean. Awaiting their arrival off South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are two pesky competitors—killer whales and sperm whales. The opportunistic hunters have learned to steal the fish off the fleet’s longlines, and they’ll go to great depths to do it. Researchers tracked one adult female killer whale to a world-record depth of 1,087 meters. That’s well beyond the previous best for a killer whale of 767 meters, set in 2013 off the Prince Edward Islands in the subantarctic Indian Ocean. “This killer whale just blew that record away,” says Jared Towers, lead author of the new study. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Killer whale thriller hits bookstands
Lost Frequency, A Novel of Sound, Speed, Power and Greed,” by Barry Swanson, features the endangered Southern resident killer whales. Swanson is a marine naturalist, a steward of the environment and a singer and songwriter. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest on the Salish Sea... A page-turning philosophical thriller, “Lost Frequency” confronts animal rights, human nature, artificial intelligence and the perils of technology turned loose. (Pendrell Sound Press)

Tsawwassen First Nation hold ceremony for dead humpback whale
Tsawwassen First Nation held a ceremony to honour a dead humpback whale that washed up on shore Friday. The whale, which appears to be juvenile, was towed away by the Coast Guard for a necropsy. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is investigating. It is unclear whether the whale, which washed up not far from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, was hit by a boat, or whether it died from an illness. Andrea Jacobs, executive council for the Tsawwassen First Nation, said about six members gathered on the beach to hold a traditional aboriginal ceremony to honour the young whale’s life. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Increase in heron nests seen at March Point
The 15.5 acres of protected great blue heron habitat on March Point is lush with ferns, moss and tall trees dotted with heron nests. In recent years, the number of nests has increased throughout that area called the March Point Heronry. The heronry is partially owned and partially held in conservation easements by the Skagit Land Trust. Land trust staff said they believe the increase in nests is due to herons moving into March Point as nesting habitat is lost in other areas. An annual nest count the land trust has done at March Point since 2002 has documented as few as 258 nests and as many as 757 — the tally reached this year. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

State Sen. Christine Rolfes sees ongoing need to tackle climate change
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "Climate change will likely emerge as one of the top five issues facing the Washington Legislature next year, predicts state Sen. Christine Rolfes of Bainbridge Island, a key leader in the state Senate. The issue is not going away, she told me, despite (or perhaps I because of) voter rejection of a billion-dollar climate change initiative on last week’s ballot. “If you are in elective office and you are aware of threats to the climate and the future of the state, there is a moral imperative to do something,” she said, “even though this particular proposal didn’t pass.” Still on the table are a multitude of ideas for clean power, cleaner transportation and greater energy efficiency, she explained as we sat down to coffee on Monday at a Bainbridge Island establishment...."

Pesticides and Orcas: Making the Connection Dec. 4
Lisa Hayward and Clement Furlong of the University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) will present the story of a surprise discovery in genomics that suggests marine mammals may be much more vulnerable to organophosphates like chlorpyrifos than previously recognized.Their talk will cover evidence both of orcas' vulnerability and also of their exposure in Puget Sound. Brought to you by The Whale Trail, the program begins at 7 pm at C&P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave SW. $5 suggested donation; kids under 12 get in free; Brown Paper Tickets

Shannon Wright Named Executive Director of RE Sources For Sustainable Communities
The Bellingham-based environmental group announced the hiring of Shannon Wright as its executive director this weekend. A 20-plus-year leader in the environmental movement, Shannon previously served as executive director of Communitywise Bellingham and worked to help defeat the coal terminal at Cherry Point.

Finishing touches: Adventuress in final phase of restoration in Port Townsend
Local marine tradespeople are in the process of the final stage of the restoration of Adventuress, the National Historic Landmark schooner based in Port Townsend that will enter her 106th year of service in 2019. The tall ship has undergone a decade-long restoration that cost more than $1.5 million. The Capstone Deck Project is the last piece to be completed. Jeannie McMacken reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PST Mon Nov 19 2018   

TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3  ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3  ft at 10 seconds.

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

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Friday, November 16, 2018

11/16 Spaghetti worm, hungry salmon, orca sacrifice, Elwha, Maltby pipe, Orcasound, Fish First, new BC radar

Spaghetti worm [Madrona/Fisherman Bay Project]
Spaghetti worm Thelepus crispus
Long, exceedingly slender white tentacles spread out over rocks or mud; food particles stick to tentacles and are moved by tina cilia to mouth. Tentacles can be quickly retracted. Pinkish body with 3 pairs of red gills. To 6 inches. Abundant on rock or cobble beaches. Enclosed in long, sand-encrusted tubes; commonly found on the undersides of intertidal rocks. (Marine Life of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Why famished orcas may have to wait 90 years for more salmon
.... Large-scale marsh restoration has been under way at the mouth of the Skagit River, an hour north of Seattle, for some 15 years. Hundreds of acres of salt marsh that didn’t exist a decade ago now harbor young salmon and other fishes.  Eric Beamer, a biologist for the Swinomish and Sauk-Suiattle tribes nearby, looked out over one of the delta’s newest marshes on Fir Island, as snow geese circled overhead.   “There were a few hundred fish living here before restoration,” Beamer said. “After restoration, in 2017, we saw about 50,000 fish, juvenile chinook, living here.” The Skagit River produces most of the chinook in Puget Sound. Recovery of Puget Sound depends on recovery of the Skagit, Beamer said.  Most salt marshes along the Skagit River were converted to farmland long ago, leaving the river mouth a largely unfriendly habitat for young salmon. The push to get chinook off the endangered species list has centered on giving these little smolts marshes to swim in and hide before they head out to sea. The long-term goal: bring back one-tenth of the Skagit’s vanished marshes. For the past 20 years, scientists have headed out in boats around Skagit Bay to see if marsh restoration is making a difference for the fish.  The years of fieldwork show that chinook thrive in the new marshes. But it’s slow going. “At the pace we’re recovering estuaries, it will take 90 years to achieve the goals of the recovery plan,” Beamer said. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

To whale watch, we all must make sacrifices
.... As the midterm elections took place Nov. 6, Gov. Jay Inslee’s Orca Task Force was convened to finalize its report for delivery to the governor on Friday, in time to influence the 2019 Legislature.  Appropriately, the task force has already recommended a three- to five-year moratorium on whale watching operations targeting the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Community. But the whales’ survival ultimately will come down to their ability to eat salmon. Human impacts on orcas — such as through whale watching cruises — would be buffered if the whales weren’t starving. As the top predator of the sea, orcas can choose among all potential prey, but Washington's resident whales evolved to specialize on Chinook, or King, the largest and most threatened of the salmon. It’s our historic and ongoing failure to protect and restore salmon habitat that has resulted in this emergency situation. Immediacy must be the highest priority: We can’t assume the whales have even the three to five years it will take to produce an adult Chinook from a hatchery. Fred Felleman writes. (Crosscut)

Elwha nearshore 15 November 2018.
Anne Shaffer of the Coastal Watershed institute writes: "Coho, Chinook, steelhead, and bull trout in the Elwha nearshore today, which is reflecting our extremely mild fall. The dissolved oxygen at the south site next to the dike was the lowest we have ever recorded-the water was (very) cold which appears to mitigate the environmental stress. The river was clear again this month-we've never seen conditions this warm and calm in November. And any who have spent years on the delta note the lack salmon carcasses. In contrast, the beaver are back and now ambitiously dragging cuttings from the river to the lodge in the impounded west pond-they have to go across the dike. A very vulnerable place for them given dogs that transit there. So keep those dogs on leashes-it is making a positive difference! We assume the beaver are getting ready for the winter that must be coming. Thank you again to the good willed and hard working team of students volunteers and collaborators that made light work of a good day. Happy Thanksgiving."

Maltby gas pipeline on pause
Plans to enlarge a natural gas pipeline through Maltby are shifting as the county has withdrawn permit approval on the project due to environmental concerns.... The county last month had approved four permits and issued a decision that the project would not have a significant environmental impact. It withdrew that decision last week after environmental concerns were raised about one of the properties involved in the nearly 6-mile long pipeline widening project, according to an official familiar with the project. Williams presented the county with the new information, a county permit official said. The withdrawal coincidentally but separately came as environmental activists were mobilizing to appeal. Angela Cooper-McCorkle reports. (Snohomish Tribune)

You can now live stream whale calls from the sea using an app
Now, thanks to an extensive research project called Orcasound, you can tune into live streams of orca whales near Washington State and participate in a massive citizen science initiative. Orcasound is using advances in technology, streaming media, and algorithms to take citizen science to the next level and make it easier for people who are passionate about marine conservation and whales to access sounds and recordings typically reserved for field researchers.   Kay Vandette reports. (Earth.Com)

If you like to watch: Fish First - A Story about People and Salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska
Fish First is a celebration of the salmon and people of Bristol Bay, Alaska. This story explores what makes Bristol Bay the most productive and well managed fishery on earth. (23:01) [Thanks to Kathleen Grimbly for the heads up on this.]

New Canadian Coast Guard radar updates marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast
The federal government is adding to marine traffic monitoring with more radar coverage along the British Columbia coast in order to improve safety for ships travelling through narrow and challenging waterways. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says six new radar installations will fill in existing gaps in coverage for busy and risky stretches of water from the northern end of Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait and in the waters off Prince Rupert.  Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the new installations Thursday at the Canadian Coast Guard station in Richmond. A government news release says the expanded radar coverage is part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan designed to improve marine safety and safeguard Canada's marine environment and coastal communities. (Canadian Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  235 AM PST Fri Nov 16 2018   


TODAY  SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 11 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. 

SAT  E wind 15 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at  12 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell  6 ft at 13 seconds. 

SUN  SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds.

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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

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