Friday, April 12, 2024

Salish Sea Mews Week in Review April 12 2024


Aloha Yuri Gagarin Friday!
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut who, aboard the first successful crewed spaceflight, became the first human to journey into outer space. Travelling on Vostok 1, Gagarin completed one orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961, with his flight taking 108 minutes. (Wikipedia)

May startup of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion surprises analysts
Trans Mountain's announcement that its expanded oil pipeline would start commercial operations on May 1 has surprised analysts with an earlier-than-expected commencement on the long-delayed $34 billion project.

Feds deny Washington’s request for stricter PCB standards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied a request from the Washington Department of Ecology to set tighter limits for harmful chemicals used in manufacturing that find their way into the state’s waterways.
Puget Sound Energy facility has violated air permit over a dozen times
The 2-year old liquified natural gas plant on the Tacoma Tideflats has been issued more than a dozen violations of the facility’s air permit by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Rare sea turtle discovered dead on North Island
Another loggerhead sea turtle has surfaced on Vancouver Island, hundreds of kilometres north of its natural range in the open Pacific Ocean. The turtle was found dead on Friday by hikers at Nels Bight near Cape Scott on the North Island.

National limit for PFAS in drinking water affects all public wells in WA
The Environmental Protection Agency announced the first national drinking water standard for so-called “forever chemicals” Wednesday that will require testing of thousands of drinking water systems across Washington.

Surge in electricity demand spells trouble for PNW, forecasts show
Power planning forecasts in the Northwest show trouble ahead, in spiking demand for energy, transmission worries and no quick or cheap answers.



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 5, 2024

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 5 2024

 

Aloha Dandelion Friday!
The time of year has arrived when dandelions are sprouting up all over lawns, and with it has come National Dandelion Day. Blooming from early spring into autumn, dandelions take their name from the French phrase dent de lion, meaning "lion's tooth," which refers to the jagged, teeth-like shape of the plant's leaves. The plant's scientific name is taraxacum officinale. The dandelion is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow almost anywhere—not just on lawns, but between cracks, and even in gravel and cement. Considered by many to be a weed, all parts of the plant are edible and have medicinal properties.

Fires from 2023 still smouldering under snow reveal B.C.'s dangerous new reality
B.C. had 90 zombie blazes burning as of mid-March, holdovers from last year’s record fire season, while Alberta started the year with 64. 

 For the first time, U.S. dairy cows have tested positive for bird flu
Livestock at multiple dairy farms across the U.S. have tested positive for bird flu — also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI — in an outbreak that's likely spread to at least five states.

New count of gray whales along West Coast suggests rebound
A new count of the gray whale population along the West Coast shows “signs of recovery” five years after hundreds of them washed ashore and the population began declining, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. 

Western honeybee colonies at risk of collapse, WSU study finds
One of nature’s most important keystone species is working itself to death. Colonies of honeybees — crucial pollinators for a wide variety of plants and cash crops — are at risk of collapse because of climate change, a recent study by scientists at Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture found. 

Extinction risk to southern resident orcas accelerating as researchers raise alarm
New research published Tuesday https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-024-01327-5 inidcates that the endangered southern resident killer whales that frequent Puget Sound are facing an accelerating risk of extinction.

Rescuers plan helicopter airlift of orca calf stranded in B.C. lagoon
Plans are now underway to airlift a stranded killer whale calf out of a remote tidal lagoon off northern Vancouver Island in an effort to reunite the young orca with its extended family. 


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, March 29, 2024

Salish Sea Mews Week in Review March 29 2024


March: In like a lion, out like a lamb?
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the weather folklore stems from ancestral beliefs in balance, meaning if the weather at the start of March was bad, the month should end with good weather. The Paris Review outlines a few origin theories for the March folklore, including an astronomical connection. In March, the Leo zodiac is the rising sign and when we reach April, it is a ram. Another theory gives the saying a biblical origin. Check with your local weather team for the latest.(Nexstar Media Wire)
Beached orca in B.C. dies despite life-saving efforts
A female killer whale that beached on northern Vancouver Island died on Saturday despite efforts by the community to push the mammal back into the water.

Orca calf rescue team considers changing tactics to save stranded B.C. whale: DFO
A rescue team working to coax a stranded killer whale calf from a lagoon off northern Vancouver Island is prepared to change tactics to save its life, including the possibility of lifting the orca out to the open ocean.

Estimated cost for North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant balloons to almost $4B
Construction on the long-awaited North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant will soon begin again, according to Metro Vancouver, but it now comes with a much more expensive price tag of $3.86 billion.

How the drought hit WA’s farms, forests, fisheries and drinking water
Virtually every aspect of life in Washington suffered during last year’s drought. Groundwater wells ran dry, fields produced fewer crops, trees died in greater numbers, fish faced disease and famine.

As WA tackles PFAS pollution, some worry about ‘piecemeal’ approach
State-mandated testing revealed a San Juan Island community was drinking toxic water. But who is responsible for paying for a new water source? The question is one public officials are grappling with as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are found in drinking water sources and watersheds across the state.

Rising temperatures from climate change depleting oxygen in coastal waters, threatening marine life
During the summer of 2021, half of coastal waters from northern California to the Canadian border had oxygen levels too low to support marine life.

Under a new proposal, our local orcas — resident and Bigg’s killer whales — would each become a new species
This single-species convention could soon undergo a decisive change, thanks to advanced genetic techniques used to discern evolutionary patterns. Following years of study and consideration, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have proposed two new species of killer whales, Orcinus ater for residents and Orcinus rectipinnus for Bigg’s.

Baltimore bridge crash puts new focus on role of ship pilots
The tragedy has put focus on the people who pilot ships in ports, a job that is little known outside the maritime industry but is extremely important.

EPA sets strict emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses in bid to fight climate change
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday set strict emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks, buses and other large vehicles, an action that officials said will help clean up some of the nation’s largest sources of planet-warming greenhouse gases.



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, March 22, 2024

Salish Sea News Week in Review March 22 2024


Aloha Seal Friday!
Pinnipeds, commonly known as seals, are a widely distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic, mostly marine mammals. They comprise the extant families Odobenidae, Otariidae, and Phocidae, with 34 extant species and more than 50 extinct species described from fossils. (Wikipedia)

Alaska lawsuit claims feds owe state $700B for quashing mine
A complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is part of a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn the EPA decision barring development of the controversial mine.

How one river in south Puget Sound tells the story of salmon’s plight
Carving his boat through the the river, Willie Frank III, chairman of the Nisqually Tribe, called out nearby bald eagles over the roar of the motor. “My grandfather Willie Frank Sr. used to say the Nisqually Indians lived in paradise before the white man came,” he said Thursday morning. “We still live in paradise. We’ve just got to protect it, restore it and bring it back to life.”

Orcas seen attacking other whales may be new population, according to UBC researchers
After observing a group of killer whales hunting other marine mammals off the coastline in California and Oregon, UBC researchers think that a new population of orcas may exist.

B.C. officials warn of early, 'challenging' wildfire season
Government and wildfire officials in British Columbia are warning that the province could see an early and active spring wildfire season due to persistent drought conditions that have left soil parched and snowpack levels low.

Herring fishery is wrapping up around Vancouver Island
The annual herring spawn is wrapping up this year and it appears “pretty encouraging” on the west coast of Vancouver Island and in the Strait of Georgia. This year’s total catch for herring for the entire coast has been set at 9,251 tonnes, up somewhat from the previous year. Carla Wilson reports.

Salmon-spilling company ends fight to resume farming at Puget Sound sites
The company behind a massive spill of Atlantic salmon in 2017 has thrown in the towel on its efforts to keep farming fish at two sites in Puget Sound. Cooke Aquaculture withdrew its appeal Friday of a 2022 Washington Department of Natural Resources order to shut down its floating farms off Bainbridge Island, just west of Seattle, and Hope Island in Skagit County.

$34B Trans Mountain expansion pipeline begins filling with oil with first shipments before Canada Day
The odyssey of developing and building the Trans Mountain expansion project in Western Canada is finally nearing the finishing line as sections of the pipeline begin filling with oil. The project will transport oil from Alberta to the West Coast and triple the amount of crude that is shipped on an existing pipeline, from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 bpd.

Climate change is bringing earlier springs, but it's wreaking havoc on animals
With Canada coming out of its warmest winter on record, some may be enjoying the signs of spring that are showing up much earlier this year: plants beginning to pop up out of the ground, the earlier calls of robins or migrating birds or even just the warmer and sunnier days. But this isn't good news for the natural world.

Agencies release final environmental impact statement evaluating options for restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades
The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced a preferred alternative that would restore grizzlies to their historic homelands, where they are functionally extinct.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Salish Sea News Week in Review March 15 2024


Aloha Ides of March Friday
The Roman calendar, which dates back to 753 BCE, had three fixed points throughout the month: Nones, Ides, and Kalends. Ides took place around the midpoint of each month, occurring on the 13th or 15th. In March it took place on the 15th. The Ides of March is most remembered as being the anniversary of the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated, in 44 BCE. It is believed that a seer had warned Caesar that harm would come to him on the Ides of March. In William Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, the seer has ascribed the phrase "Beware the Ides of March." Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate at the Theatre of Pompey.


Removing WA salmon barriers surges to $1M a day, but results are murky
Washington, rushing to meet a court deadline in a tribal fishing rights lawsuit, spends billions on construction, but some of it may be useless for salmon today.

Sea otter's return opened path to restore West Coast salt marsh
The multi-decadal study, carried out in central California, could hold lessons for British Columbia, whose sea otter population was nearly exterminated through decades of poaching.

Flurry of mini earthquakes off Vancouver Island hints at undersea expansion
Swarms of mini earthquakes along tectonic plates five kilometres underwater on the Pacific Ocean floor off the coast of Vancouver Island have caught the attention of ocean scientists because they point to an “impending magmatic rupture” on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, 240 km from Vancouver Island.

Companies to pay for Duwamish salmon, wildlife habitat restoration
Several industrial businesses have agreed to pay for the harm they caused to natural resources in the lower Duwamish River as part of two proposed settlements announced in recent days.

As the Northwest spring arrives, so do anxieties over water for farming, and summer wildfires
Across the Northwest, federal, state and regional officials are in general accord, there isn’t enough snow and with the start of spring just days away, the next couple of weeks will determine just how challenging it could get this summer for agricultural irrigators, fish and wildfires.

A New Surge in Power Use Is Threatening U.S. Climate Goals
Over the past year, electric utilities have nearly doubled their forecasts of how much additional power they’ll need by 2028 as they confront an unexpected explosion in the number of data centers, an abrupt resurgence in manufacturing driven by new federal laws, and millions of electric vehicles being plugged in.

Province seeks input on plan to protect Clayoquot Sound
The province is seeking public input on proposals to establish 77,000 hectares of protected, old-growth forest around Clayoquot Sound — about 70 per cent of which is more than 250 years old.

The world’s largest ‘dark sky sanctuary’ is now in Oregon
A section of southeastern Oregon is now home to the largest “dark sky sanctuary” in the world. The area spans 2.5 million acres of Lake County. It was certified this month by DarkSky International, a U.S.-based nonprofit that aims to reduce light pollution.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, March 8, 2024

Salish Sea Mews Week in Review March 8 2024


Aloha International Women's Day!
International Women's Day commemorates the movement for women's rights and celebrates the political, cultural, social, and economic achievements of women. It is also a day to continue fighting for gender equality: for equal pay and work opportunities for women, and for equality in access to education and healthcare worldwide. It is also a day to work to eradicate violence against women. It is celebrated around the world and supported by various groups. Small and large gatherings and conferences take place. It is a day of celebration, but also a day of taking new initiatives and action.

Washington’s first state park in nearly 40 years is closer to completion
The development of Nisqually State Park outside Eatonville has been in the works for nearly four decades and is expected to be fully completed by next summer. It’s the first time a local tribe, the Nisqually Tribe, has been made a serious partner in the development of a new park.

‘They’ve destroyed the land’: Illegal dumping on BC farmland
It’s against the law to dump construction material on land reserved for farming but its increasingly being used as a cheaper alternative to authorized sites, which can charge more than $1,000 a load.

Long-term forecast predicts increased forest fire activity in Oregon and Washington’s dampest areas
Hotter and more intense fires are likely coming to the Pacific Northwest’s cooler and wetter forests. That’s from new research led by an Oregon State University scientist.

Can Marine Mammals and Munitions Coexist?
As the humpback whale population rebounds in an area of the Salish Sea used for military weapons training, scientists raise concerns. andrea bennett reports.

B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman won't seek re-election
Heyman will endorse former Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer to seek NDP nomination.

Sanmar embarks on construction of world’s first methanol-fueled escort tugs
The new tugs will service Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), escorting tankers from the harbour limits of the Port of Vancouver to the open Pacific Ocean through the commercial shipping lanes of the Salish Sea.

U.S. hydropower output drops to 20-year low as Northwest snowpack shrinks
Washington hydropower fell 23% in “water year 2023”— the 12-month period from October 2022 to September 2023. In Oregon, the next-biggest hydro producer, it fell 22%. 



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, March 1, 2024

Salish Sea Mews Week in Review March 1 2024




Aloha Pig Friday!
National Pig Day honors the domesticated pig. According to Mary Lynne Rave, who started National Pig Day with her sister Ellen Stanley in 1972, the purpose of the day is "to accord to the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals."  Pigs are from the Suidae family of mammals; species include wild boars, warthogs, the pygmy hog, and the domesticated pig—the species focused on today. Pigs were one of the first domesticated animals, leaving their wild roots about 6,000 years ago in China. They were first brought to the New World by Hernando de Soto, in 1539.

New Columbia Basin plan promises $1B for fish restoration and a break from court cases
This agreement, combined with other funding, will bring more than $1 billion to wild fish restoration and a 10-year break from court cases, according to the Biden administration.

Chinook Indian Nation land claim settlement awarded, nation could be closer to federal recognition
The federal government awarded over half a million dollars to the Chinook Indian Nation to settle the nation’s long-running land claim.

BC Urged to ‘Completely Change Its Approach to Firefighting’
A 14-member government-appointed expert task force is expected to report soon with recommendations on improving emergency preparedness and response. Premier David Eby says the province is already acting on the task force’s preliminary recommendations.

New ferries will carry more people, use green technology
B.C. Ferries is unveiling plans for new major vessels that ­feature more space for ­passengers and vehicles and greener technology. Up to seven new major ­vessels will join the fleet, with the first set to arrive in 2029.

        

B.C. First Nation sues federal government over ban on herring spawn fishery
The Heiltsuk Nation claims the federal fisheries minister's decision to close the commercial harvest of herring spawn-on-kelp in the nation's territory was an infringement of its Aboriginal rights.

Trans Mountain's latest cost estimate climbs 10%, regulatory filing shows
According to a regulatory filing Trans Mountain Corp. provided to the Canada Energy Regulator on Monday, the company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion now estimates the project's costs will come in 10 per cent higher than its May 2023 estimate of $30.9 billion.

Gray whales return to Salish Sea as population struggles
Each year in the late winter, a small group of gray whales will detour from their usual 5,000-mile migration between the southern tip of California and the Bering Sea near Alaska to make a stop in the Salish Sea.

Oil spilled by Fraser River sturgeon habitat. Why did it take almost 3 months to start cleaning up?
A landslide in early December caused a spill that First Nations leaders say endangers prime sturgeon habitat in the Fraser River. They’re left wondering why it’s taken so long to address.

BC wildfire: Expect early, intense battle as drought lingers
A drought that has lingered across much of B.C. since the fall of 2022 could be a harbinger of a “grim” wildfire season.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips, send your name and email to mikesato772 at gmail.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told