Friday, October 22, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review October 22 2021

 


Aloha Wombat Friday!
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m in length with small, stubby tails and weigh between 20 and 35 kg. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae. (Wikipedia)

Spirit Bears Have a Special Power When Hunting
A UVic scientist has discovered the advantage their white fur gives them for catching dinner.

Sea otters' seemingly destructive digging is making eelgrass more resilient: study
Scientists in B.C. have shown how the seemingly harmful actions of one marine species are actually benefiting another. B

Lawsuit claims hatcheries harm wild fish, orcas
The latest lawsuit over fish in the state claims hatchery-raised salmon and steelhead may impact already-diminished wild populations and the orca whales that eat them.

Heat-loving bacteria kills thousands of Washington salmon
An estimated 2,500 Chinook salmon died before they could reach their spawning grounds in Whatcom County in September.

Metro Vancouver terminates contract of 'abandoned' North Shore wastewater treatment plant
Metro Vancouver is terminating its contract with the builder of a billion-dollar sewage treatment plant in North Vancouver after it missed key construction milestones and has appeared to have “abandoned” the project.

Will Florida orca Lolita be released? New management, damning report renew advocates' fervor
After a quarter-century of futility, advocates seeking the release of Lolita the Killer Whale have renewed fervor.

EPA unveils strategy to regulate toxic ‘forever chemicals’
The Biden administration is launching a wide-ranging strategy to regulate toxic industrial compounds used in products including cookware, carpets and firefighting foam.

Salmon Need Trees
A new study stands as a striking reminder that logging watersheds has an outsized impact on salmon and trout.

Urine trouble: High nitrogen levels in Puget Sound cause ecological worry
Among its many environmental challenges, Puget Sound has a water quality problem caused in part from too much pee from the 4.5 million people living in the region. This problem, known euphemistically as “nutrient waste,” has caused Puget Sound to run afoul of the federal Clean Water Act.

Two front-runners in reopening the Intalco facility offer jobs, cleaner operation
Negotiations to purchase the Intalco property at Cherry Point may bring aluminum production back to the facility or create a steel mill using recycled materials. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

How a deadly land fungus began killing marine mammals in the Salish Sea
In the early 2000s, a fungus infected hundreds of animals and people in British Columbia and Washington State. Scientists found that the disease also killed porpoises and dolphins in the Salish Sea—perhaps affecting cetaceans even earlier than people.


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, October 15, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review October 15 2021

 


Aloha Mushroom Friday!
National Mushroom Day celebrates edible mushrooms, which can be eaten plain, be stuffed, or be used in salads, soups, and sauces. Culinary mushrooms first began being cultivated in the early eighteenth century, in France. They were known as Parisian mushrooms by those outside of the country, and the English exported them to America by the end of the nineteenth century. It was mainly these white and brown Agaricus bisporus mushrooms that were cultivated and sold, none more so than cremini mushrooms. Beginning in the 1940s, many other types of mushrooms began being cultivated on a wider basis.


In search of Haida Gwaii’s forest-dwelling hawk, one of the most endangered species on the planet
With no provincial endangered species legislation to rely on, the race is on to find the nests of stads k’un, a genetically unique subspecies of the northern goshawk, before logging and habitat loss causes the brave little bird to vanish forever.

Alaska snow crab harvest slashed by nearly 90% after population crash in a warming Bering Sea 
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game set the 2022 snow crab harvest at the lowest level in more than 40 years, a move to protect populations that appear to have crashed during a period of higher temperatures in the Bering Sea.

Judge grants temporary injunction at Fairy Creek, citing economic harm to logging company
A B.C. Court of Appeal judge has granted a temporary injunction at a logging site on southern Vancouver Island, where protesters, police and loggers have been at odds for more than a year.

‘We are the land’: Indigenous Peoples’ Day gathering at Lummi Nation celebrates survival
From Canada to California and reservations in between, Native people gathered at the Wex’liem Community Building west of Bellingham both in person and virtually to talk about what it means to be Native.

FortisBC Wants to Expand an LNG Plant on Vancouver’s Doorstep. Opponents Say No
Tilbury Island is home to FortisBC’s Tilbury Island LNG facility, which the utility company is seeking to expand by adding additional LNG storage and a jetty where it could load tankers bound for international markets.

Study raises new questions about why southern resident killer whales are in decline
A team from the University of British Columbia says their new study suggests declining chinook stocks are only part of the problem facing the critically endangered orcas, and that researchers need to look beyond the Salish Sea for answers.

U.S. to reopen land border to fully vaccinated Canadians next month
Fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States at land and ferry border crossings starting in early November.

What’s killing the Northwest’s bigleaf maples? Scientists think they’ve found the answer
Climate change is the culprit behind the increasing deaths of bigleaf maples in Washington and across the Pacific Northwest.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center presents Stopps award
Connie Gallant has won the 2021 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award.


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, October 8, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review October 8 2021

 

 


Aloha Octopus Friday!
World Octopus Day is part of International Cephalopod Awareness Days, which take place from October 8–12 each year. Since octopuses have eight arms and squid have eight arms and two tentacles, the holiday week begins on the eighth day of the tenth month. The name "octopus" comes from the Greek word okt√≥pus, which means "eight foot." The animal is from the order Octopoda, of which there are 289 species. Octopus arms have clusters of neurons in them, which allow different arms to do different tasks at the same time. In fact, these neuron clusters may be considered to be brains. Thus, octopuses have nine brains, having a central one that controls their nervous system and one in each arm. If an octopus loses an arm, they are able to grow it back.


Federal regulators to limit hot water in Snake, Columbia rivers
Federal regulators starting this spring will require dam operators to limit hot water pollution caused by the four Lower Snake River dams.

Scientists Found a New Kind of Killer Whale
By analyzing more than 100,000 photographs of killer whales taken off the United States west coast, and assessing where each animal was seen and in whose company, a team of researchers has revealed that there are likely more branches on the killer whale family tree than previously thought.

Navy steams ahead with sonar testing despite state opposition, orca impacts
Over the objections of Washington state officials and orca advocates, the U.S. Navy is steaming ahead with a plan for seven more years of testing sonar and explosives in waters off the Northwest coast.

Climate change killed 14% of the world’s coral reefs in a decade, study finds
Climate change will kill even more coral reefs if oceans keep getting warmer, scientists warn in a far-reaching study.

Alaska’s vanishing salmon push Yukon River tribes to brink
Two salmon species have all but disappeared from Alaska’s Yukon River this year, prompting the state to shut down fishing in an effort to save them.

BP to more than double renewable diesel production at Cherry Point refinery
BP will spend $269 million at the Cherry Point refinery in Whatcom County to produce more renewable diesel, a biofuel, and make other improvements that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 7%, according to a corporate statement.

Mapping California’s Oil Spill: Aging Pipes Line the Coast
Ever since a pipeline failure caused at least 126,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean, threatening a fragile coastal ecosystem and forcing some of Southern California’s most popular beaches to close, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been scrutinizing satellite imagery to track the oil’s spread.

Wastewater project delay one of several billion-dollar questions facing Metro Vancouver
The final cost of an already delayed wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver is almost certain to rise from its $1 billion figure after Metro Vancouver said the contractor "abandoned" the project.

White House proposes restoring key parts of landmark environmental law, reversing Trump
The White House proposed restoring three core provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, reversing a significant rollback of President Donald Trump.

A beluga whale in Puget Sound? Rare visitor startles boaters in first sighting here since 1940
In a flash of white out of the blue, a beluga whale has been seen at least six times around Puget Sound since Sunday, the first such sightings since 1940.

Poll finds many Washington voters support removing Snake River dams
A new poll supported by environmental groups found Washington voters West and East of the Cascades support dam removal. Many Washington voters support a plan to remove four dams on the Lower Snake River, according to a survey conducted for a coalition of environmental groups.

Biden to restore protections for the Bears Ears monument after Trump downsized it
President Biden will restore the boundaries of Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments at a signing ceremony on Friday, the administration announced on Thursday evening.

Report identifies over 17 million gallons of untreated wastewater has been spilled into Puget Sound, Lake Washington in recent years
The King County Council’s Regional Water Quality Committee on Wednesday received a key report recommending electrical upgrades, strategies to adjust back-up power and more to prevent future wastewater spills like the failure that led to the spilling of millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Puget Sound and Lake Washington on January 13, 2021.

Some whale watchers ‘routinely’ too close to endangered resident orcas, report says
Environmental groups have issued a scathing review of some whale watchers and the lack of enforcement by Transport Canada to protect the endangered southern resident orcas.


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, October 1, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review October 1 2021


Aloha Model T Friday!

The Ford Model T was introduced to the public on Oct. 1 1908 and was the first car that was affordable and reliable for the ordinary citizen of the United States. Known as the "Tin Lizzie," it was the first car built using mass production methods and had seating for two people. When it was first introduced it cost $850. By the time it was discontinued in 1927, nearly 15,000,000 Model T's had been sold.


Makah whale hunt approval recommended by federal official 
A federal official has issued his recommendation regarding the Makah whale hunt. Judge George G. Jordan, administrative law judge with the U.S. Coast Guard, says he recommends granting the waiver the tribe has requested under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Legal battles unfold during Skagit River dam relicensing
From Whatcom County where Seattle City Light's three Skagit River dams are located to Seattle where the public utility is headquartered, lawsuits are stacking up as relicensing of the century-old hydroelectric project gets underway.

Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1 
Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, a statewide ban of single-use plastic bags will go into effect in Washington.

Low oxygen levels along Pacific Northwest coast a ‘silent’ climate change crisis
Nearly two decades ago, fishers discovered an odd occurrence off the coast of Oregon. They were pulling up pots of dead or lethargic crabs. At first they suspected a chemical spill or a red tide. But instead, they learned, dangerously low levels of dissolved oxygen in the ocean water were to blame.

Chinook salmon recovery efforts continue for Skagit River, Puget Sound populations
Attention to restoring the Puget Sound chinook salmon population, of which Skagit River fish are a major component, continues to grow. Despite billions of dollars invested in research and habitat restoration since Puget Sound chinook were listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1999, the population remains at concerning numbers.

More renewable energy, less energy efficiency in new power plan
The draft Northwest Power Plan is dramatically different from previous versions. People can comment on the plan through Nov. 19.

Delta wants more answers on LNG jetty project
The City of Delta is asking for further assessment on the application to build a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility adjacent to the FortisBC plant in Tilbury.

'Substantial infringement of civil liberties' cited as court ends injunction against Fairy Creek protests
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has denied an application to extend an injunction against old-growth logging blockades on southern Vancouver Island, writing that the actions of RCMP officers have put the court's reputation at risk.

Pollution is washing from boatyards into Puget Sound. Who’s responsible?
For about a decade, Washington has been attempting to figure out how to best regulate boatyards and their pollution.

BC lays out $260-million, five-year plan to move away from fossil fuels
B.C. Hydro and the provincial government have announced a new five-year plan for the Crown corporation that provides incentives for people to switch from fossil fuels to electricity to power their homes, businesses and vehicles.

Biden Administration Restores Bird Protections, Repealing Trump Rule
he Biden administration on Wednesday restored protections for migratory birds that were loosened under former President Donald J. Trump, a move celebrated by conservationists but expected to exacerbate tensions between the administration and the oil and gas industry.

Vancouverites come together for National Reconciliation Day
On a day of heavy rain and overcast skies, thousands of orange ribbons in the garden of the Vancouver Art Gallery, each representing a child who died at residential schools across the country, glowed like small, bright fla


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, September 24, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 24 2021

 


Aloha Happy Bluebird Friday!
Bluebirds are in the thrush family of birds, related to the American Robin. Native to North America, there are three types of bluebirds: eastern bluebird, western bluebird, and mountain bluebird. For thousands of years, they have been associated with happiness. Besides being known as both a harbinger and symbol of happiness, they are known as symbols of love, good health, cheerfulness, new births, and home. Today we celebrate them for all the joy and happiness they are associated with and bring.

At 50, Greenpeace is an environmental success story — with a daunting future
Today, the group with small beginnings in Vancouver has grown into one of the most recognizable environmental organizations in the world. Greenpeace has a presence in more than 55 countries, with nearly three million members globally.

The lessons for British Columbia in Alaska’s epic Bristol Bay sockeye
The world’s most abundant sockeye fishery is teeming with 10 million more fish than anticipated this year.

Sauk-Suiattle tribe sues Seattle City Light, demands it can’t call itself ‘green’
The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe took the city of Seattle to task in a class-action lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of its members and the public, stating the electric utility’s green power claims are misleading and hurting the tribe.

Fairy Creek’s old-growth logging protests injunction remains temporarily: judge
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge suggested Thursday he will consider new options to address the future of an injunction against blockades by people opposed to logging old-growth trees on part of Vancouver Island. He said he will not deliver a decision Friday on the company’s application and his ruling will come after Sept. 26.

Valuable crab populations are in a ‘very scary’ decline in warming Bering Sea
King and snow crab populations in the Bering Sea have plummeted ahead of the harvest season, some by 99% compared to previous years.

What Canada’s environment and climate policies will look like under a Liberal minority government  From eliminating fossil fuel subsidies to support for nature-based climate solutions and protected areas, here are some key things we can expect from the new federal government.

Swinomish tribal members say steelhead net pens violate fishing rights, add their voice to state Supreme Court case
The Swinomish Tribe has joined as a friend of the court in a lawsuit to block permits that allow steelhead farming in a commercial net pen just offshore near Hope Island.

Southern resident grandmother orca 'missing and likely dead'
The Center for Whale Research has declared mother and grandmother L47, or Marina, in one of the Puget Sound’s endangered southern resident killer whale pods “missing and likely dead.” 

Orca census shows some improvement, but many whales still die before their time
The annual census of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales reports that the number of whales in L pod now totals 33, J pod has 24, and K pod has 16.

EPA Moves To Sharply Limit Potent Gases Used In Refrigerators And Air Conditioners
In what officials call a key step to combat climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is sharply limiting domestic production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

Even a green city like Bellingham has learned it’s not easy to cap demand for fossil fuel
In late 2019, mere weeks before the first U.S. case of coronavirus case was detected 60 miles south, the city council of Bellingham, Washington, gathered for a presentation from its Climate Protection Action Plan Task Force: nine community members charged with drawing up a road map for Bellingham to achieve its goals for cutting carbon emissions. Ysabelle Kempe reports. (Investigate What/Grist)

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, September 17, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 17 2021

[Ben Nelms/CBC]

Aloha Fall Weather Friday!
The National Weather Service of Seattle is predicting winds of up to 50 mph Friday through Saturday. Also in the forecast: 10 times the precipitation Seattle had all summer over just three days.The B.C. South Coast can expect about 50 millimetres of rainfall by Friday evening, but Environment Canada believes there is a chance there will be more and some areas could see 10 millimeters of rain in one hour. Duck, goose and beaver weather.


Scorched Earth: Why Washington wildfires are getting bigger
The wildfire trends are unmistakable in Washington state and around the western United States. There are more wildfires, they are bigger and they are more and more devastating.

An iconic tree is dying off in Whatcom — what’s causing it and how can you help save it?
The grim reaper is coming for the region’s Western redcedar. Across the Pacific Northwest, a concerning number of the species are dying, forest health experts say.

No longer a rainforest: B.C.’s Sunshine Coast improvises to survive long-term drought
As the area’s reservoirs continue to shrink, residents are experimenting with new ways to manage their relationship with watersheds.

Flying by the Fat of the Sea
Scientists may have cracked an essential secret of shorebirds’ marathon migrations. 

Recovery effort aims to restore pinto abalone mollusks that once flourished in Salish Sea
These pinto abalone are being raised by the tens of thousands in dozens of 30-gallon tanks at the Seattle Aquarium. It’s a conservation venture to restore a native species at grave risk of extinction in the Salish Sea.

No federal party offers clear path on how to wind down fossil fuel production
When asked about new scientific research showing much of the country’s oil, gas and coal should stay in the ground so that Canada meets its climate targets, none of the major parties were able to say how they plan to achieve this.

Trans Mountain Loses 16th Insurer as Industry Giant Chubb Walks Away
The world’s biggest publicly-traded provider of property and casualty insurance, Chubb, has become the 16th insurer to declare that it won’t back the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, a coalition of climate and Indigenous campaigners announced yesterday.

Feds OK plan to cut salmon fishing when needed for orcas 
Federal officials have approved a plan that calls for cutting nontribal salmon fishing along the West Coast when the fish are needed to help the Northwest’s endangered killer whales.

With 3 pregnant J pod orcas, boaters told to keep away
With three pregnant J pod orcas in local waters, boaters are being asked to keep their distance and commercial tour operators are being told to stay at least a nautical half-mile from the whales.

Why are Columbia River steelhead having such a bad year?
The bottom has dropped out of the steelhead population this year, and the fish’s mysterious ocean life is making it harder to know why.

At Friday Harbor Labs, scientists give sea stars a chance to shine
At the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories, scientists give sunflower sea stars a chance to shine.


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, September 10, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 10 2021

 

Aloha Large Hadron Collider Friday!
The world’s largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and first went live on this date in 2008. It is an 18-mile (27km) long experimental machine which passes through the French-Swiss border. The Collider was constructed to find the Higgs Boson particle, an elementary particle in physics.

Plugged in to the Salish Current?
Kids, the cohorts with the lowest vaccination rates, go back to the classroom. Read the story, "Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists," this week's offering in Salish Current.  It's open-access, ad-free, independent, fact-based, nonpartisan, not-for-profit, reader-supported journalism serving the Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit community. Give it a try with a free subscription to our weekly newsletter: mikesato772@gmail.com

Ferruginous hawks in Washington deemed endangered
The number of ferruginous hawks in Washington continues to decline.

Wild Olympics legislation on upswing
Sen. Patty Murray has high hopes that Wild Olympics legislation will be approved by the U.S. Senate after a decade of trying and failing at congressional passage.

Sea cucumber die-off near Vancouver Island prompts fears of wasting disease that nearly wiped out sea stars
When Kathleen Reed descended for her usual weekly dive off the coast of Nanaimo, B.C., last Saturday she was shocked by how many dead sea cucumbers she saw. Reed has completed more than 500 dives and says she'd never seen so many of the deep red echinoderms turned pale, limp and slimy.

In North Cascades, researchers, climbers watch Washington’s snowpack quickly melt, exposing glaciers’ retreat
Washington has the most glaciers of any state in the Lower 48. These frozen reservoirs of freshwater keep alpine streams flowing through summer, cool the rivers for salmon making their seasonal spawning journeys and provide humans drinking water and hydropower.

Baby J pod orca ailing; whale-watch tours ordered to keep away
Baby orca J56 is ailing and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued an emergency rule ordering commercial whale-watch tours to stay farther away to help her survive.

Marine Protected Area network off B.C. Coast could provide a template: West Coast Environmental Law
The federal government’s plan to conduct public consultations for a Marine Protected Area network off the coast of British Columbia could provide a template for how to manage oceans in the face of climate and ecological uncertainty.

From 4% to 45%: Biden Releases an Ambitious Plan for Solar Energy
The Biden administration on Wednesday released a plan to produce almost half of the nation’s electricity from the sun by 2050 as part of its effort to combat climate change.

With plenty of seals to eat, Bigg's orcas flooding Salish Sea; no longer regarded as 'transient'
The Orca Behaviour ­Institute based in Friday Harbor, ­Washington, says the Bigg’s orcas are in the Salish Sea in record numbers this year.

Fairy Creek logging protest surpasses Clayoquot Sound in arrests
The total surpasses the 856 arrests during protests against logging in Clayoquot Sound in 1993.

Swinomish threaten to sue over salmon habitat
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community sent the Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday a 60-day notice of intent to sue over what it says is the corps’ failure to uphold the federal Endangered Species Act, according to a news release from the tribe.

EPA to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking major gold mine
The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it would restore protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking the construction of a massive and controversial gold mine near the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.

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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