Thursday, April 30, 2020

4/30 Forestsnail, reopening rec areas, silent seas, whale carbon, pipe permit appeal, Pebble Mine, emission decline, Ecotrust

Oregon forestsnail [Jon Anderson]
Oregon forestsnail Allogona townsendiana
Oregon forestsnail occurs in the western Cascade Range, Puget Trough, and eastern lowlands of the Olympic Peninsula in the United States north into extreme southwestern BC. Oregon forestsnail occupies mixed-wood and deciduous forest habitat, typically dominated by bigleaf maple, balsam poplar and scattered western redcedar.  (COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Locals only, please. Reopening of some Washington state parks greeted by concern
Outdoor enthusiasts in Washington may be looking forward to the reopening of many shuttered state parks and public lands next week. But a few of Washington's most popular state parks could stay closed because the surrounding communities are worried about crowds and renewed disease spread. Washington's Pacific Coast, the Columbia River Gorge and the San Juan Islands are home to some of the jewels of the state park system...San Juan County Councilmember Bill Watson expects the state parks in the islands to open next week, but said they should be for locals only. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise
Curtailing of shipping due to coronavirus allows scientists to study effects of quieter oceans on marine wildlife. Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships. Karen McVeigh reports.(The Guardian)

The Surprising Role of Whales in Ocean Carbon Capture
Saving the whales may be more important than planting trees when it comes to tackling climate change and keeping our oceans healthy. The world’s biggest animals play a crucial role, helping fertilise the phytoplankton that absorbs 40% of the world’s CO2. They also capture vast amounts of carbon in their bodies before sinking to the bottom of the ocean when they die and locking it away, sometimes for centuries. Last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) valued the role of whales in carbon sequestration and healthy ocean functions at more than US$1 trillion. It estimated a single great whale to be worth more than US$2 million, based on its contribution to carbon capture, fisheries enhancement and tourism. Jessica Aldred reports. (Marine Executive)

Court To Hear Appeal Over Federal Pipeline Permitting Decision
A federal judge in Montana will hear an appeal from U.S. attorneys on his decision to block a federal pipeline permitting program. Great Falls Federal Judge Brian Morris Tuesday granted the government’s request for an expedited appeal but kept in place a hold on projects using Nationwide Permit 12. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking Morris to reverse the cancellation of the permitting program used to approve oil and gas pipelines and other utility work through wetlands and streams across the nation. Kayla Desroches reports. (Montana Public Radio)

Pebble Mine’s “Woefully Inadequate” Plan to Compensate for Destroying Salmon Habitat
For any infrastructure project in the United States that would affect wetlands—from building roads to mining gold—the Clean Water Act requires two things: avoid or minimize damage to the aquatic environment, and, where that fails, provide what’s known as compensatory mitigation. In the case of the proposed Pebble Mine, scientists and former regulators say the compensatory mitigation plan put forth by the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP)—which involves projects such as improving wastewater treatment in nearby towns and cleaning debris from beaches—falls far from offsetting the damage that would be caused by the mine. They say that PLP’s plan lacks in its scientific justification. Ashley Braun reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News
Global greenhouse gas emissions are on track to plunge nearly 8 percent this year, the largest drop ever recorded, as worldwide lockdowns to fight the coronavirus have triggered an “unprecedented” decline in the use of fossil fuels, the International Energy Agency said in a new report on Thursday. But experts cautioned that the drop should not be seen as good news for efforts to tackle climate change. When the pandemic subsides and nations take steps to restart their economies, emissions could easily soar again unless governments make concerted efforts to shift to cleaner energy as part of their recovery efforts. Brad Plumer reports. (NY Times)

Oregon Reaches $4.4 Million Settlement With Environmental Nonprofit Ecotrust
A Portland-based environmental nonprofit reached a $4.4 million settlement Wednesday with the state of Oregon, after an investigation found it had falsely inflated costs of two developmental projects. Ecotrust and its for-profit affiliate, Ecotrust Forest Management, struck the no-fault settlement, after a two-year Oregon Department of Justice investigation found the organization had submitted a tax credit application that improperly inflated and overstated the budgets of two developmental projects. Monica Samoyoa reports. (OPB)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Thu Apr 30 2020   
TODAY
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of rain. 
TONIGHT
 Light wind becoming S to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of rain  in the evening.




--
"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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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

4/29 Sparrow, Nisqually seals, Alaska trollers, rec travel, Mali the bear, Seattle cruise terminal

White-crowned sparrow [Heather Roskelley]
White-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
In most parts of the West, the smartly patterned White-crown is very common at one season or another: summering in the mountains and the north, wintering in the southwestern lowlands, present all year along the coast. Winter birds usually live in flocks, rummaging on the ground near brushy thickets, perching in the tops of bushes when a birder approaches too closely. Different populations of White-crowns often have local "dialects" in their songs, and these have been intensively studied by scientists in some regions. (Audubon)



*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Study: Seals Nab 16 Percent of Steelhead in Nisqually Estuary
A recent study on the Nisqually estuary showed that about 16 percent of a steelhead population migrating from the Nisqually River to the Puget Sound ended up in the stomachs of a growing population of harbor seals.  The study, conducted by NOAA fisheries research biologist Megan Moore and her colleagues, is part of a larger examination of recovering populations of steelhead trout, which for the past three decades have largely been on the decline throughout the region. In a research analysis posted in conjunction with Long Live the Kings, a sustainable fishing nonprofit based in Seattle, Moore says that the study began with releasing acoustic telemetry-tagged fish 12 miles up the Nisqually River. Eric Rosane reports. (Nisqually Valley News)

Washington lawsuit targets Alaska trollers
Nearly 1,600 trollers who fish for king salmon in Southeast Alaska could be beached this summer over a lawsuit to protect killer whales — in Washington’s Puget Sound. On April 16 the Wild Fish Conservancy filed an injunction against NMFS to block the summer king salmon season set to open July 1 until the lawsuit is resolved. KCAW in Sitka reported the Conservancy claims NOAA has failed to allow enough king salmon to return to Puget Sound to feed endangered resident killer whales. Their lawsuit says that 97 percent of the kings caught in Southeast’s troll fishery are from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Alaska data show catches range from 30 to 80 percent, depending on the year. Laine Welch reports. (National Fisherman)

‘We don’t understand’: B.C. coastal communities brace for tourists as province opens hunting, fishing season
As the province adds activities to a growing list of ‘essential services,’ remote communities are fighting back against a tide of city-weary tourists who threaten to spread coronavirus as they travel for recreation. Natalia Balcerzak reports. (The Narwhal)

Mali the bear and an Indigenous approach are changing the outlook for West Coast grizzlies 
When Mali woke late last month from his long, winter’s nap, he did what all sleepy, young grizzlies do after exiting their snowy dens: He set off immediately to find something to eat. So began an incredible journey that took the bruin all the way from B.C.’s central mainland to the coast of Vancouver Island, and back again. Although it would earn the big, brawny bear a place in the province’s history, it ended in a way that few who got to know him saw coming. Provincial officials believe that what officers chose to do with the bear could provide a blueprint for a new, Indigenous-led approach to grizzly-bear management in the province. In 2017, Victoria summarily ended the grizzly-bear trophy hunt, sparing 300 animals a year. Mali could end the shooting of these bears altogether in B.C. Nancy Macdonald reports. (Globe and Mail)

Port of Seattle delays controversial new cruise terminal as it pares spending due to coronavirus
The Port of Seattle Commission took initial steps Tuesday to scale down spending through the rest of 2020, while backing measures to protect laid-off workers and small businesses at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Acknowledging that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on projected revenue, commissioners shaved nearly $70 million from the Port’s 2020 budget, including by postponing the controversial $100 million redevelopment of a downtown pier into a cruise terminal while the industry is in turmoil.  Katherine Khashimova Long reports. (Seattle Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  253 AM PDT Wed Apr 29 2020   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds building to  9 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A chance of rain in the  morning then rain in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  9 ft at 13 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 (@) 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, April 28, 2020

4/28 Peonies, opening WA, 'fish cannon,' listen to orcas, Port of Seattle emissions, Alberta oil gas, squid spawn, Roberts Bank

Peonies about to open [Laurie MacBride]
From 100 to Zero
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Little did we know back in February, when we hung the 24 prints in my latest solo show, that the world as we knew it was about to change so abruptly for people all over the world. 'The 100-Mile Photo Diet' was intended to convey my belief that places relatively close to home can provide beauty, adventure and creative inspiration, with the added value of keeping our carbon footprint low...I’m offering The 100-Mile Photo Diet in virtual form.  I invite you to have a look, and welcome your comments and feedback. And please – continue to stay home as much as possible, be safe, and be healthy…"


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Washington state parks, recreational fishing, golf courses to reopen May 5, amid coronavirus outbreak
Washington will partially reopen outdoor recreation activities May 5, including many previously shuttered state parks, public lands and boat ramps as well as recreational hunting and fishing, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday. David Gutmam reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Vancouver to open 2 of 3 civic golf courses May 1  (CBC)

'Salmon cannon' coming to help threatened Fraser River fish bypass rock slide
Spawning salmon will be shot through a 160 metre-long pneumatic tube running over the Big Bar slide. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Program listens in on lives of Salish Sea orcas
Researchers can now better listen in on at-risk whales and their environment thanks to funding for the acquisition of a mobile self-contained hydrophone buoy by the Victoria Foundation. Straitwatch is a stewardship program operated by the Cetus Research and Conservation Society. The initiative monitors endangered southern resident killer whales and collects data on physical and acoustic vessel traffic disturbances. The program operates in the Salish Sea, primarily off Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands. Pedro Arrais reports. (Times Colonist)

Port of Seattle set to meet emissions reduction target 10 years early
The Port of Seattle will meet its goal of halving some of its climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions a decade ahead of schedule. The progress comes from an innovative contract to heat the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and power its bus fleet with renewable natural gas — not a reduction in emissions from planes or ground transportation at the airport that constitute the bulk of the Port’s climate footprint. While the new contract is a step in the right direction, the focus of the Port’s clean energy efforts should be on cutting those emissions from planes and cars, climate activists say. Katherine Khashimova Long reports. (Seattle Times)

8 environmental responsibilities Alberta’s oil and gas companies can skip because of coronavirus
Experts say COVID-19 is being used as an opportunity to grant companies carte blanche waivers on ‘routine’ reporting for everything from sulphur dioxide emissions to water withdrawals for fracking to how much wastewater is being added to tailings ponds. Sharon J. Riley reports. (The Narwhal)

If you like to watch: The Spawning Squid Samba
A frenzy of flashing tentacles tornadoes next to the Calvert Island dock as tens of thousands of squid put on a sensual performance. So dim the lights and join us for Squid Sex 101. (Hakai Magazine)

Opinion: Roberts Bank: Ottawa should reject a terminal expansion that puts human and environmental health at risk
A massive container terminal proposed for British Columbia’s Fraser River Delta is set to be a litmus test for the federal government’s commitment to tackling the unfolding biodiversity crisis. Silke Nebel, VP conservation and science, Birds Canada, and Gauri Sreenivasan, director of policy, Nature Canada, write. (The Narwhal)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Tue Apr 28 2020   
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of rain  in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 11 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 (@) 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

Monday, April 27, 2020

4/27 Elephant seal, 'blobs,' seafood relief, BC pipes, Elwha love, warming globe, boats stay home, trash, BC tourism, big old trees

Elephant seals [National Geographic]
Elephant seals making Fidalgo, Whidbey islands home
A growing family of Northern elephant seals is making parts of Fidalgo and Whidbey islands home — an unusual development that may indicate more of the species will be moving in as the global climate and waters of the Pacific Ocean warm. Representatives from the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said about 10 years ago a female elephant seal came ashore on southern Whidbey Island and gave birth to a pup. That pup is now a large male — with the inflatable nose that earned the species its name — and continues to spend time each year on Whidbey Island beaches. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)



*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Warm-water ‘blobs’ significantly diminish salmon, other fish populations, study says
It’s no secret that salmon and other Northwest fish populations are expected to shrink as a result of a warming Pacific Ocean. But a new study suggests that the resulting decline in commercial fishing by 2050 could be twice as great as previously estimated by climate scientists. The higher estimates of population declines were calculated by researchers at the University of British Columbia, who took into account occasional “marine heat waves” that can play havoc with the ecosystem. A recent example is the warm-water event known as the “blob,” which included ocean temperatures up to 7 degrees above average (Fahrenheit) during a two-year period beginning in 2014. Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

Trudeau pledges $62.5M for fish and seafood sector amid mounting food supply concerns
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $62.5 million for Canada's fish and seafood sector amid mounting concerns over the state of the country's food supply. Seafood processors, fisheries and harvesters are worried about whether they'll have the labour they need — including enough temporary foreign workers — to fill out their workforce, while others have called for delays to the spring season as they work to establish proper safety protocols. The prime minister said the funds will go toward protecting workers and putting in place recommended health guidelines within the industry. Raisa Patel reports. (CBC)

Trans Mountain, LNG Canada say they are on track despite pandemic
Energy projects like an LNG Canada export terminal and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may face short-term setbacks but the pandemic and oil price crash shouldn't threaten their long-term viability, economists say. Andrew Leach, an energy economist at the University of Alberta, said the long-term forecast for both natural gas and oil remains steady, even as some companies scale back workforces to meet safety protocols. (CBC)

The Lab That Discovered Global Warming Has Good News and Bad News
The good news is that the pandemic shows “science works.” The bad news? Global warming may be far more dangerous than a pandemic. Richard Shiffman reports. (NY Times)

If you like to watch: Rising from the Ashes  (9:25)
Less than six years ago, the second of two dams on the Elwha River, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, was taken out to provide access for fish to the upper river located in the Olympic National Park. Since then, we have witnessed a remarkable transformation of the river – and of the wildlife that depend on it. (Trout Unlimited and Northfork Studio)

Canadian Coast Guard asks B.C. mariners to stay home to prevent spread of COVID-19
B.C. mariners are being asked to think twice about heading out on the water during the COVID-19 pandemic. With parks closed and physical distancing restrictions in place for other outdoor activities, a day on the water may be a tempting idea. But Canadian Coast Guard assistant commissioner Roger Girouard is asking mariners to avoid non-essential trips. (CBC) See also: R2AK, Wooden Boat Festival canceled   June’s Race to Alaska has been canceled for this year, as has been September’s Wooden Boat Festival — unless the fall celebration of boats is conducted online. Also canceled is the SEVENTY48 race in June; and the Salish 100, Pocket Yacht Palooza and the Palooza Crooza in July. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

With recycling's dirty truths exposed, Washington works toward a cleaner, more sustainable system 
.... For more than two decades, China eagerly sought out the world’s paper and plastic waste and paid handsomely for it. Then, in 2018, the Asian nation slammed the door, fed up with shipments so filthy with garbage and debris, they couldn’t be recycled and were a nightmare to dispose of. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times) See: Metro Vancouver reports big drop in garbage during pandemic  Metro Vancouver says it has seen about 10 per cent less waste so far this April, compared to the same time last year. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)  And: The Trash That Fuels Oahu’s Power Plant Is Vanishing As Fast As The Tourists Since the coronavirus crisis hit, Oahu’s visitor count has plummeted. So has the trash that comes with their stay. The total tons of opala — or garbage — sent to the island’s H-Power waste-to-energy plant has dropped 15% since early March, the city’s Department of Environmental Services reports Marcel Honore reports. (Civil Beat)

B.C.'s tourism industry prepares for a bleak summer
This month was supposed to be the start of the busiest cruise season in Metro Vancouver history, but the cruise industry — and the province's tourism industry as a whole — is looking at a much more subdued season altogether due to COVID-19...According to the task force, in 2018, B.C.'s tourism industry brought in $20.5 billion in revenue, and contributed 161,500 jobs to the economy. (CBC)

Human Elements: Preserving 600-year-old giants
Ken Wu is searching for the ancient giants in British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. He climbs over mossy logs and supersized ferns in search of trees so tall you have to crane your neck. As the executive director of Endangered Ecosystems Alliance, Wu uses science to inform protection of these forests. He catalogs and measures British Columbia’s biggest trees, some of them on the order of 600 years old. According to satellite mapping, only 3% of these giant trees remain. Wu’s hope is that showing the diversity of these ecosystems will instill a sense of wonder in people and encourage protection of these forests. Sarah Hoffman reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  627 AM PDT Mon Apr 27 2020   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft building to 2 to 4 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 11 ft at 12 seconds. Rain likely. 
TONIGHT
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft after midnight.  W swell 9 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of rain in the evening.




--
"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

Friday, April 24, 2020

4/24 Octopus, #SSEC2020, clean water win, Earth Day justice, lockdown, Van Aquarium, wolf pack, data loss, 'Thin Green Line,' urban wildlife, river campaign, happy birthday Hubble

Giant Pacific Octopus [National Geographic]
If you like to watch: Salish Sea Wild: Shaking Hands With the World’s Biggest Octopus
Team SeaDoc heads deep into Hood Canal under the cover of night to encounter one of the Salish Sea’s largest and most cunning carnivores, the Giant Pacific Octopus.


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
 

Endangered orcas prominent part of annual conference
Though they are at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers who study the Salish Sea that connects Washington and British Columbia convened online this week to discuss their latest work. The 2020 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, held Tuesday and Wednesday, marked the biennial event’s first time behind held through webinars. Hundreds tuned in to each session to hear about the most recent studies, findings and concerns of those working on issues that include protecting the Southern Resident orcas from extinction. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

US Supreme Court Rules Against Maui In Major Clean Water Case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Maui County can’t skirt the Clean Water Act by merely pumping its sewage into groundwater before discharging it into the ocean. In a 6-3 opinion written by Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, the majority ruled that Maui County, like other municipalities and businesses dumping pollutants into the nation’s rivers, lakes and oceans, must have a permit to do so. The ruling is both a rebuke of Maui County and the Trump administration, which had joined the county in arguing that the Clean Water Act should only cover waste that was discharged directly into navigable waters, and not pollutants that were first filtered through groundwater before reaching their final destination. Nick Grube reports. (Civil Beat)

On Earth Day, activists call for environmental justice in the face of the coronavirus pandemic
Washington’s broadest coalition of climate activists is using the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to call for a just recovery from COVID-19. Like climate pollution, the new coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and people of color. Washington’s Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy says as the state and the country come out of the public health crisis, emergency justice is needed to ensure a safer, more equitable future for all. The list of calls to action is as long and diverse as the coalition putting it forward. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Poll: Most WA voters wary of reopening economy too soon
A new Crosscut/Elway Poll finds 76% of voters believe the pandemic restrictions are working, and 61% are concerned about lifting them too soon. Donna Gordon Blankinship reports. (Crosscut) See: 8 In 10 Americans Support COVID-19 Shutdown, Kaiser Health Poll Finds  80% of Americans also say they can follow the restrictions for at least one more month. Bill Chappell reports. (NPR)

Donations give Vancouver Aquarium about 2 more weeks of life
The Vancouver Aquarium has received a flood of support from the public since it announced its precarious financial situation last week, but according to the CEO of the non-profit that operates the 64-year-old attraction, it won't be enough to keep the aquarium afloat. Lasse Gustavsson, CEO of Ocean Wise, said about $600,000 in donations has come in, but depending on the generosity of the public isn't sustainable. Without a support package from provincial or federal governments, the institution will have to close permanently, likely sometime in June. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

State report: No more Diobsud wolf pack
A pair of wolves in Skagit County were deemed the first pack of the recovering species west of the Cascade Mountains a year ago, but without enough information to verify more than one wolf remains in the area, the state has scratched the Diobsud Creek Pack off of its annual list. In the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report released Monday, the name for the short-lived Diobsud Pack was typed in strike-through text. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

The great data freeze: How the pandemic will set back environmental science
AS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC takes tens of thousands of human lives, grinds society to a halt and tears a hole in its financial and social safety nets, the natural world continues to persevere around us. But with the majority of environment-focused scientists, natural resource managers and field technicians who study and maintain the natural world working remotely to flatten the curve, the flow of crucial data yielded by fieldwork has essentially been frozen. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut/High Country News)

The Making of the ‘Thin Green Line’
How a disparate group of activists in the Pacific Northwest took on the fossil fuel industry — and won. Marlene Cimmons reports. (Nexus Media)

Is This Plague for the Birds?
And how are raccoons and other critters getting by? An urban wildlife check-in. Steve Burgess reports. (The Tree)

Campaign continues to keep river information flowing
Transportation advocates are backing a campaign to ensure information about the Columbia-Snake River system continues to reach Pacific Northwest residents and decision makers. “Opinion research consistently shows that the more people know about the Columbia-Snake River system, the more they approve of it and the more they support it,” said Scott Clemans, communications director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. “Unfortunately, the conversation has tended to be dominated by very large, but not necessarily representative voices, including some voices that aren’t from the Pacific Northwest at all.” Members asked the association to create the River Values campaign to highlight the roles and benefits of the river system. The campaign includes digital advertising, social media, member opinion pieces, stories and letters to the editor in local media. Matthew Weaver reports. (Capital Press)

Hubble telescope delivers stunning 30th birthday picture
It's 30 years ago to the day that the Hubble telescope was launched - and to celebrate its birthday, the veteran observatory has produced another astonishing image of the cosmos. Jonathan Amos reports. (BBC)



Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  240 AM PDT Fri Apr 24 2020   
TODAY
 E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 13 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind to 10 kt becoming E after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft at 15 seconds. A chance of rain after  midnight. 
SAT
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 5 ft at 15 seconds building to 7 ft at  9 seconds in the afternoon. Rain in the morning then rain likely  in the afternoon. 
SAT NIGHT
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding  to 1 ft or less after midnight. W swell 7 ft at 9 seconds 
SUN
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 10 seconds.




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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter. 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, April 23, 2020

4/23 Blackbird, Intalco closed, Crab Team awarded, hatchery hassle, restoring coast wetlands

Red-winged blackbird [Phil Kahler]
Red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Look for Red-winged Blackbirds in fresh and saltwater marshes, along watercourses, water hazards on golf courses, and wet roadsides, as well as drier meadows and old fields. In winter, you can find them at crop fields, feedlots, and pastures. Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests. In winter Red-winged Blackbirds gather in huge flocks to eat grains with other blackbird species and starlings. (All About Birds)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the Peninsula Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
 

Alcoa to close Intalco Works smelter near Ferndale, lays off around 700 employees
Alcoa Corporation announced that it will close its Intalco Works smelter near Ferndale amid declining market conditions, laying off around 700 employees. The curtailment is expected to be complete by the end of July 2020. The announcement was made in a news release on Wednesday afternoon, April 22. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

SeaDoc Awards Salish Sea Science Prize to Crab Team 
The European green crab is a damaging invasive species that has wreaked havoc on ecosystems around the world, and recently they’ve found their way into the Salish Sea. Thanks to Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team, major scientifically based efforts are being made to stop its spread before it starts. For this use of science to improve the health of the Salish Sea, this Earth Day they have been announced as winners of the SeaDoc Society’s 2020 Salish Sea Science Prize, which comes with a $2,000 no-strings-attached cash award.

The Hatchery Hassle
A look at the role of hatcheries in salmon stock enhancement, the Lummi Nation’s Skookum Creek Hatchery in Acme, Washington, and the issues raised by a proposal to build a private nonprofit hatchery modeled after the Douglas Island Pink and Chum Hatchery (DIPAC) in Alaska. Laurel Messenger reports. (The Planet Magazine)

Ecology: Saving Dynamic Coastal Wetland Habitat
The Washington State Department of Ecology has secured seven National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants worth more than $5 million. The 2020 federal grants will help local partners restore and enhance nearly 500 acres of coastal wetlands and 17,500 feet of marine shoreline in Jefferson, Kitsap, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. (Dredging Today)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  240 AM PDT Thu Apr 23 2020   
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 5 ft at 15 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt becoming SW after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft. W swell 6 ft at 14 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, April 22, 2020

4/22 Earth Day at 50, Trump's clean water, warm earth, oil glut, Deepwater Horizon, BC ferries

[Paul Schmid/Seattle Times]
Art for Earth Day: Seattle Times artists past and present share their views of our world
The Seattle Times presents a fresh look at Earth Day through the eyes of current and former Seattle Times artists. David Miller writes. See also: 50 Years of Earth Day: What’s Better Today, and What’s Worse  Brad Plumer and John Schwartz report. (NY Times)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the Peninsula Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



EPA Finalizes Rollback of Water Pollution Safeguards
Pulling the plug on the eve of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency eliminated critical pollution rules from the Obama era that had safeguarded at-risk ecosystems and drinking water across the country. The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule has been in the works since President Donald Trump’s inauguration but appeared in the Federal Register for the first time Tuesday. Whereas the Clean Water Act of 1972 had previously included protections for wetlands, artificial lakes and ponds and ephemeral streams — critical waterways that carry stormwater runoff — the Environmental Protection Agency now calls the smaller bodies “nonjurisdictional” waters, following an 2017 executive order by Trump. Megan Mineiro reports. (Courthouse News) See: Federal rollbacks mean protecting water quality in wetlands falls to state  (WA Dept of Ecology)

This year is on track to be Earth’s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says
There is a 75 percent chance 2020 will set a record for the warmest year since instrument records began in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is projecting, beating out 2016 for the distinction. This is somewhat unexpected, since there is no declared El NiƱo event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which tends to provide a natural boost to global temperatures that are already elevated due to the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Andrew Freedman reports. (Washington Post)

‘I’m Just Living a Nightmare’: Oil Industry Braces for Devastation
Across the United States, companies are laying off workers, shutting down wells and preparing for a prolonged slump as oil prices tumble. Clifford Krauss reports. (NY Times)

Ten Years after Deepwater Horizon, Worries Remain
Efforts to clean up the lingering effects of the oil spill are well underway, but secrecy and deregulation have returned to the Gulf, raising the specter of a repeat. Boyce Upholt reports. (Hakai Magazine) Watch: Surviving the BP Oil Spill  (Part 1) A four-part series presented by Dr. Riki Ott and theALERTproject on the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

As it loses $1M a day, B.C. Ferries has few options
B.C. Ferries is losing more than $1 million a day and is trying to negotiate a way around a sticking point that could prevent the company from being eligible for federal aid. Qualifying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy could mean millions in federal help for the company and employees affected by the drastic service curtailments brought on by plummeting ridership. But one of the requirements is that corporations applying have to be taxable. Public bodies and Crown corporations can’t apply for the relief. Les Leyne reports. (Times Colonist)



Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Wed Apr 22 2020   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 13 seconds. Rain. 
TONIGHT
 E wind to 10 kt becoming W after midnight. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 5 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 (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

4/21 Cowbird, oil price, Trump's reg reform, Denis Hayes, ocean listening, gray wolves, otoliths

Brwon-headed cowbird [Dan Kolsky]
Brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater
The Brown-headed Cowbird is a stocky blackbird with a fascinating approach to raising its young. Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods. (All About Birds)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.


Oil price at 18-year low as turmoil persists
The price of a barrel of Brent Crude - the UK benchmark for oil - has slipped below $20, its lowest level since 2002. The close to 20% slump follows negative prices being recorded for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil. Negative oil prices on Monday were a "quirk", says one market expert. The price of US oil - which slumped to minus $37 a barrel at one point - was produced by a trading deadline and is now back to a positive figure. (BBC)


White House readies push to slash regulations as major part of its coronavirus economic recovery plan
Senior White House and Trump administration officials are planning to launch a sweeping effort in the coming days to repeal or suspend federal regulations affecting businesses, with the expected executive action seen by advisers as a way to boost an economy facing its worst shock in generations, two people familiar with the internal planning said. The White House-driven initiative is expected to center on suspending federal regulations for small businesses and expanding an existing administration program that requires agencies to revoke two regulations for every new one they issue, the two people said. Jeff Stein and Robert Costa report. (Washington Post)

The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer
Denis Hayes, Earth Day, climate change, renewable energy and the challenges ahead. John Schwartz reports. (NY Times)

‘An important time to listen’: ocean scientists race to hear the effects of coronavirus under water
The pandemic offers a temporary reprieve from the clamour of ocean noise — which can affect how whales and other species communicate, navigate and feed — and an opportunity to reflect on the consequences of human activity for marine life. Jimmy Thomson reports. (The Narwhal)

If you like to watch: Gray Wolves of Calvert Island
The coastal wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest are distinct from their mainland cousins. The Calvert Island pack has found a veritable smorgasbord this spring—an all-you-can-eat buffet of squid and whale. (Hakai Institute)

Ucluelet researcher scouring region for fish ears
Micah Quindazzi is asking West Coast fishers and ocean observers to lend him their ears. Quindazzi is scouring the peninsula for fish ears, called otoliths, in an effort to create a catalogue that he believes could unveil a treasure trove of information about sea life. “In 1899, scientists discovered ring like structures in the otoliths, similar to tree rings, that can age a fish,” he wrote in an email to the Westerly News. “Since then, otoliths have been used to identify fish species, determine the length of a fish, distinguish populations from each other, and even track the migration routes fish undertake.” In order to complete his catalog, Quindazzi is asking West Coasters to assist by donating any fish heads they acquire. Andrew Bailey reports. (Alberni Valley News)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  239 AM PDT Tue Apr 21 2020   
TODAY
 S wind to 10 kt becoming SE in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 15 seconds. A slight chance of rain  in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 14 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 (@) 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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Monday, April 20, 2020

4/20 Swallow, Deepwater Horizon, border closure, Earth Day 50, Trump's mercury, white orca, Salish Sea of old, derelict vessels

Violet green swallow [Ken Cole Schneider]
Violet green swallow Tachycineta thalassina
A small swallow of the west, nesting from Alaska to central Mexico. Similar to the Tree Swallow in appearance and also in behavior, nesting in tree cavities and in birdhouses; it also will nest in rock crevices of cliffs in rugged terrain. Flocks are often seen flying high over mountain pine forests or over steep canyons. Migrates in flocks. (Audubon)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the Peninsula Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Report: Wildlife Impacts Persist a Decade after Deepwater Horizon
The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010 releasing 210 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days. Oil slicks from the blowout covered an estimated area of 57,000 square miles (149,000 square kilometers). A National Wildlife Federation report: 10 Species, 10 Years Later: A Look at Gulf Restoration after the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, summarizes the latest information available about 10 wildlife species that were affected by the spill as well as the restoration efforts underway. (Marine Executive) See also: Oil dispersant chemicals are causing concerns ten years after the BP oil spill  Lynn Oldshue reports. (Alabama Public Radio) And: Deepwater Horizon Ten Years On  Members of the bipartisan commission created to investigate the spill say Congress and the Trump administration have failed to take safety seriously. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Canadian Border Restrictions Have Been Extended For Another 30 Days
The United States and Canada have agreed to keep their shared border closed for nonessential travel for another 30 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the extension during a briefing Saturday in Ottawa. The restrictions on the world's longest frontier took effect on March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. The partial ban was to expire soon, but the neighboring countries have decided it is not safe to allow traffic to fully resume. (NPR)

What coronavirus tells us about climate change on Earth Day's 50th anniversary
The Seattle Times headline on Seattle’s first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was prescient. So much so, it could have been written on this year’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day. “Pollution to Overheat Earth, Says Expert” was the headline stripped across the top of Page One. “The release of increasing quantities of carbon dioxide and thermal pollution into the atmosphere threatens to change global weather and melt the Antarctic ice cap, flooding wide areas,” the story reported. Fifty years later, the pace toward warming predicted in the story by the late climatologist J. Murray Mitchell continues unchecked. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Earth Day events go online because of virus
Canceled! Canceled! Canceled! Participants in this year’s Earth Day activities won’t be rallying in large groups, participating in environmental festivals or coming together to clean up the Earth. On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — Wednesday of next week — the environmental movement will be uniquely digital, with many people celebrating from their home computers. Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury
The Trump administration on Thursday  weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic. Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport report. (NY Times)

Rare white orca spotted in Puget Sound waters. Just don't call it albino. 
An orca pale in color as a winter moon has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound. Not truly an albino, as social media has dubbed it, the orca is actually gray, rather than the typically deep, dashing orca black. But the whale is a thriller nonetheless, aglow through the green waters of Puget Sound. The whale is a male and a member of the transient orca ecotype. Meat eaters, rather than fish eaters, transient orcas — not really whales at all but the world’s largest dolphins — are seen from Alaska to California and all over Puget Sound, hunting seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Salish Sea basin was one of continent's most densely populated areas when Europeans arrived
Vancouver has the highest population density among Canadian municipalities, according to the 2016 census, and New Westminster, the City of North Vancouver, Victoria and White Rock all make the top 10. It was like that, too, before the first Europeans arrived in the 1700s, according to a study published in the Journal of Northwest Anthropology that was co-written by Richard M. Hutchings of the Institute for Critical Heritage and Tourism. The Salish Sea Basin was one of the “most densely populated” pre-contact geographical areas, Hutchings said from his home on Gabriola Island, which is home to 98 of the pre-contact sites the study counted. Immediately after contact, indigenous populations began crashing, he said. The arrival of diseases such as measles and smallpox carried by Europeans was primarily responsible. Gordon McIntyre reports. (The Province)

Inslee signs bill to strengthen derelict vessel prevention program
The state Department of Natural Resources will receive additional funding to address derelict vessels under a measure signed by Gov. Jay Inslee this week. Senate Bill 6528, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), will strengthen the program addressing the problem of sunken or neglected boats in Washington’s waters. (San Juan Islander)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  232 AM PDT Mon Apr 20 2020   
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 17 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 16 seconds.




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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 17, 2020

4/17 Gartersnake, Roberts Bank, KeystoneXL, Navy jet noise, research freeze, Chehalis dam, seismic survey permit, sturgeon, megadrought, The Stranger, marine pandemics

Puget Sound Gartersnake
Puget Sound Gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis
In Washington, two subspecies can be found. The Puget Sound Gartersnake can be found near water—marshes, ponds, streams, and other moderately moist habitats with tall grasses. It is the only animal known to be capable of harboring resistance to tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin produced by the rough skinned newt and Japanese pufferfish. Frequency of TTX resistance in gartersnake populations is often proportional to the toxicity levels of rough skinned newt populations in the same area. (Burke Museum]


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the Peninsula Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.



Expanding Canada’s Biggest Port Will Be a Blow to Wildlife
The long-awaited federal assessment of the contentious Terminal 2 expansion of the Roberts Bank shipping terminal, 30 kilometers south of Vancouver, British Columbia, is finally ready, and it cites a daunting list of problems, including the potential for serious harm to the region’s killer whales and salmon. Amorina Kingdon reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Federal judge cancels Keystone pipeline permit
A federal judge has canceled a key permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline, stating it was issued without proper assessment of the project's environmental impact. U.S. Chief District Judge Brian Morris ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to properly analyze the project's effects on endangered species when it approved a key water crossing permit for TC Energy's 1,210-mile tar sands pipeline that is to run from Steele City, Neb., into the Canadian province of Alberta. Darryl Coote reports. (UPI)

Navy plans to monitor jet noise
The Navy submitted a plan to Congress in March to monitor jet noise around Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and a base in California. That plan, submitted March 19, outlines general terms for the monitoring, including using guidance from the American National Standards Institute and the Acoustical Society of America, and using 10 or more sound level monitors in the vicinity of usual flight paths...When monitoring is complete, the Navy will submit a report to Congress including the results, comparisons of the results to previous noise modeling, and any changes to operations being considered because of the analysis.. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Coronavirus freezes scientific research, threatening endangered species
As the coronavirus pandemic takes tens of thousands of human lives, grinds society to a halt and tears a hole in its financial and social safety nets, the natural world continues to persevere around us. But with the majority of environment-focused scientists, natural resource managers and field technicians who study and maintain the natural world working remotely to flatten the curve, the flow of crucial data yielded by fieldwork has essentially been frozen. Hannah Weinberger reports. (Crosscut)

Quinault Indian Nation opposes new dam on Chehalis, seeks alternatives
The Quinault Indian Nation on Thursday came out in opposition to a proposed dam on the Chehalis River, citing findings by the state Department of Ecology that the project would significantly harm salmon, including spring and fall chinook...The dam is proposed in the Upper Chehalis River near the town of Pe Ell in Lewis County. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the Northeast Pacific Ocean
Public comment is being taken through May 7 by the National Marine Fisheries Service for a permit to conduct a high-energy seismic survey in the northeast Pacific Ocean beginning in June 2020. The seismic survey would be conducted at the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. The survey would use a 36-airgun towed array as an acoustic source, acquiring return signals using both a towed streamer as well as ocean bottom seismometers and ocean bottom nodes. The study would investigate the Cascadia Subduction Zone and collect data that would provide essential constraints for earthquake and tsunami hazard assessment in this heavily populated region of the Pacific Northwest. The permit assesses the potential effects of the survey on marine mammal species, their activities and their habitats as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. (Federal Register)

Saving a Prehistoric Fish
What tracking the 300 million-year-old sturgeon through the Fraser can teach us about the ocean — and ourselves. An excerpt from The Imperilled Ocean: Human Stories from a Changing Sea by Laura Trethewey. (The Tree)

The western U.S. is locked in the grips of the first human-caused megadrought, study finds
A vast region of the western United States, extending from California, Arizona and New Mexico north to Oregon and Idaho, is in the grips of the first climate change-induced megadrought observed in the past 1,200 years, a study shows. The finding means the phenomenon is no longer a threat for millions to worry about in the future, but is already here. Andrew Freedman and Darryl Fears report. (Washington Post)

For ‘Seattle’s Only Newspaper,’ glimmers of hope in more than strange times
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on many businesses: restaurants, retail and the service industry as a whole. It has also had a major impact on journalism, especially smaller newspapers like The Stranger here in Seattle, which laid off 18 employees back in March. Here's an interview with Tim Keck, is president of Index Newspapers, the parent company of The Stranger and The Portland Mercury. Kim Malcomb and Andy Hurst report. (KUOW)

How Starfish, Snails and Salmon Fight Pandemics
They are resilient and immunologically cunning in ways we’re continuing to discover. C. Drew Harvell writes. (NY Times)



Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  203 AM PDT Fri Apr 17 2020   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 16 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 14 seconds. 
SAT
 Light wind becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 5 ft at 13 seconds. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 13 seconds. 
SUN
 SW wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 16 seconds.




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

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

4/16 Salamander, Trump's air, oil prices, Van Aquarium, digital Earth Day, WA drought law, border virus, bear season, Frognal property

Giant Pacific Salamander [Jeffrey Marsten]
Pacific Giant Salamander Dicamptodon tenebrosus
This salamander is the largest terrestrial salamander in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in the world. They are found from extreme SW British Columbia to northern Sonoma County in California. Adults inhabit damp, dense forests (esp. Coastal Redwood and Douglas Fir), usually in the vicinity of streams or seepages. Adults are remarkable for salamanders in their voracious feeding habits. Small rodents such as shrews and mice are regular prey, as are other amphibians, insects, snails, and slugs. Garter snakes are common predators of Dicamptodon. (AmphibiaWeb)


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Access updates on the COVID-19 virus at national and regional print publications like the CBC, the Seattle Times, the Peninsula Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
 

EPA to leave pollution standards unchanged, against recommendations of its own scientists
The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a proposal to retain, without changes, standards for particulate matter pollution, going against the recommendations of the agency's own scientists. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to periodically review air quality standards for particulate matter to ensure public health and welfare...The agency's decision has been met with harsh criticism from environmental groups, who believe the standards are not strict enough to protect human health, especially when considering the coronavirus pandemic the country is currently facing. Brandon Miller reports. (CNN)

Oil Prices Keep Slipping As Demand Drops By Record Amounts
The global oil industry is about to test just how much crude oil it can transport and store, according to an intergovernmental agency, as disappearing oil demand creates an unprecedented glut of crude oil. The imbalance is keeping prices extraordinarily low. The price of West Texas Intermediate, a benchmark for American crude, has plunged to below $20 from around $60 per barrel at the start of the year. The International Energy Agency sees oil demand falling by a record amount this year thanks to pandemic-induced lockdowns around the world. In April alone, it says demand will be down 29 million barrels per day from a year ago. That's a huge drop: Last year, the world consumed an average 100 million barrels per day. Camila Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Vancouver Aquarium losing millions, could close permanently
The Vancouver Aquarium will close permanently within two months unless it receives immediate financial support, Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson acknowledged Wednesday. The aquarium was temporarily shuttered on Mar. 17, the same day B.C. health officials declared a provincial emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One socially distant month later, the Stanley Park attraction has lost over $3 million. If this continues, Stanley Park will lose the attraction. Harrison Mooney reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Earth Day going digital in Skagit County and beyond
Fifty years ago, millions of Americans took to the streets to protest smog in the air and toxic waste in rivers, marking the start of the annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970. While marches and beach cleanups can’t be held on the milestone anniversary this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations ranging from the international Earth Day Network to local groups working to conserve land, salmon and other natural resources in Skagit County encourage joining the still-growing environmental movement from home. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also:  Orca Network wants to track, celebrate whales — safely  The thousands of people who gather on Whidbey Island for Orca Network’s Welcome the Whales events will have to stay home this weekend, but the nonprofit says they can still celebrate the return of gray whales and help keep an eye on them, too. Trevor Pyle reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

A state drought law is passed
A bill initiated by the state Department of Ecology to deal with drought, ESB 1622, passed the state legislature in March and was signed by Gov. Inslee on March 27. The new law streamlines the state's response to drought emergencies. It facilitates interagency cooperation, eases the flow of money from the legislature to the Department of Ecology so it can help alleviate drought-related hardships, and expands the types of projects funded during a drought emergency. The new law also authorizes issuing a “drought advisory warning” ahead of an emergency. (Dept of Ecology)

B.C. implements new COVID-19 border checkpoints
New, secondary checkpoints have been established on the Canadian side of the northern border in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone now entering Canada is legally obligated to provide a plan and to self-isolate under Canada’s federal Quarantine Act. Exempt individuals include air and transportation crews; armed forces personnel; asymptomatic people who provide essential services such as trucking and health care; and others...On April 14, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada-U.S. border restrictions won’t be relaxed in the near term. He said Canada was still in the “control-and-contain” phase of the pandemic and would not consider “even a partial return to normality for several more weeks,” including re-opening the northern border to non-essential travel. Jami Makan reports. (The Northern Light) However: Restrictions at Canada-U.S. border could soon be eased, Trump suggests The two countries negotiated a mutual ban on non-essential travel that's currently due to expire early next week. James McCarten reports. (Canadian Press)

'Take the earbuds out': It's time to be on high alert for hungry black bears in B.C.
Black bears are starting to emerge from their dens and, as many housebound humans escape the indoors with walks in the woods, there are bound to be some animal encounters this spring. Dave Bakker, president of the Northern Bear Awareness Society in Prince George, B.C., said there have already been a few bruin sightings as the animals wake up from hibernation and start searching for food. Bakker said it is critical at this time of year for people to be aware of their surroundings and lock up anything at home that could attract a hungry bear. (CBC)

Frognal property up for auction over debt? Developer says no
A public notice at the Frognal Estates has sparked confusion about the future of the controversial housing project, now 15 years in the making. The notice says the 22-acre property near Picnic Point Road — now strewn with tree stumps, where a forest once stood — will be auctioned from the steps of the Snohomish County Courthouse on July 24, if the developer fails to pay nearly $10 million in debt by then. It’s a routine step in the commercial loan foreclosure process outlined by state law. Rachel Riley reports. (Everett Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  223 AM PDT Thu Apr 16 2020   
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 11 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 4 ft at  17 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