Thursday, December 22, 2022

Salish Sea News Week in Review December 23 2022


Editor's Note: Here's to wishing you the best of the holiday season and good fortune and health in  2023. For those who are able to support not-for-profit community news, please donate to Salish Current before year's end to grow journalism that's free to read, independent and free of ads. Thank you! Mike Sato.

Gävle goat [WikiCommons]

Aloha Julebukk Friday!
Julebukk (Yule goat) is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin is Germanic pagan and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw. The Yule goat in Nordic countries today is best known as a Christmas ornament. Large versions of this ornament are frequently erected in towns and cities around Christmas time – a tradition started with the Gävle goat in the 1960s.

Tacoutche Tesse, the Northwest’s great ghost river — Part 4: The death of a thousand cut-offs
The plight of wild salmon and the waters that support them is about big things but also a lot of little, unassuming places: creeks and sloughs and flooded fields and braided side channels.

Biodiversity agreement to protect planet reached at UN conference in Montreal
Negotiators in Montreal have finalized an agreement to halt and reverse the destruction of nature by protecting 30 per cent of the world's land, water and marine areas by 2030, as well as the mobilization, by 2030, of at least $200 billion US per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from all sources, both public and private.

A 3.5-million-pound problem: More than a million chickens near Pasco have bird flu
More than a million chickens at a farm in Franklin County, Washington, are set to be destroyed because of bird flu. Officials are deliberating how to transport, bury, compost, or incinerate the birds.

Swelling school of seaweed farmers looking to anchor in Northwest waters
Prospective kelp growers who want to join the handful of existing commercial seaweed farms in the Pacific Northwest are having to contend with a lengthy permitting process. It's gotten contentious in a few cases, but even so, at least a couple of new seaweed farms stand on the cusp of approval. Also: Can kelp farming help save our marine environment? (10/7/22)

WA adopts zero-emission standards for car sales by 2035
All new cars sold in the state of Washington must be mostly emission-free by 2035.On Monday, the Washington State Department of Ecology updated its Clean Vehicles Program to require all new cars sold in the state by 2035 to be electric, hydrogen-fueled or hybrid with at least 50 miles of electric-only range.

What’s next for WA aluminum manufacturing? The fight goes on
The hard-fought battle to reopen a “green” aluminum plant near Bellingham came to a halt this month. But it may not be the end. A new Department of Defense report to Congress says production of aluminum, specifically high-purity aluminum, may need a boost from the Defense Production Act. Also: Intalco restart: can ‘green’ aluminum get ‘clean’ power? (7/21/22)

Puget Sound This Weekend: King Tides and Climate Change
At 7 am Christmas morning, when most of us will be focused on tinsel and eggnog, Puget Sound will fill to capacity — its highest level in a year. The sound will bulge to more than 1,000 square miles. Beaches will all but disappear.

The quest continues for a nutrient reduction plan
Human sources of nitrogen in Puget Sound have been blamed for increasing the intensity of algae blooms, lowering oxygen to critical levels, and impairing sea life. In response, officials with the Washington Department of Ecology are developing a Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Plan to strategically reduce nitrogen in various places.

Salmon People: A tribal fishing family’s fight to preserve a way of life
When the salmon are running up the Columbia River, Native fishermen are there with them. They live, eat and sleep at the river. Their children grow up at the river. They catch salmon for subsistence, for ceremonies, and for their living.

Canada made big promises to save nature at COP15. Will it follow through?
196 countries set new global targets to stop the biodiversity crisis. The test now is to put words into action.

Did salmon actually use the Skagit River before the Seattle dams were built?
Seattle City Light argues that salmon in significant numbers never accessed the stretches of the river where its dams and reservoirs now stand and the utility should not be required to take on the major infrastructure work of adding fish passage. Many others disagree.

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 Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, December 16, 2022

Salish Sea News Week in Review December 16 2022

Editor's Note: Salish Sea News and Weather will not use its Twitter account.

Margaret Mean in Samoa [WikiCommons]

Aloha Margaret Mead Friday
Margaret Mead, born in 1901, was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and the 1970s. Her theory of imprinting found that children learn by watching adult behavior. A decade later, Mead qualified her nature vs. nurture stance when she analyzed the ways in which motherhood serves to reinforce male and female roles in all societies. She is oft quoted as saying: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 

More ‘forever chemicals’ found in WA drinking water as cleanup costs mount
..."Forever chemicals" or PFAS can increase health risks for certain cancers and other diseases when present in drinking water in minuscule concentrations measured in parts per trillion. Lakewood [WA] is one of more than a dozen Washington public water systems with detections above levels defined by the state to be suitable for long-term consumption — and widespread testing is just ramping up.  

Captains of big ships eased up on the throttle during trial slowdown to help endangered orcas
The majority of captains of big commercial ships entering and leaving Puget Sound are cooperating with a request to slow down temporarily to reduce underwater noise impacts to the Pacific Northwest's critically endangered killer whales.

Campaign to expand Olympic wilderness nears finish line after 15 years
...Buffeted by political headwinds facing wilderness expansion and undeterred by false starts over the years, campaigners believe the finish line for the conservation proposal known as Wild Olympics has never been closer. A lame duck Senate may establish several new, federally protected public lands, and Washington state conservation advocates have converged on Capitol Hill in D.C. for a final push.

Documents raise concerns feds backing off commitment to phase out fish farms in B.C. by 2025
Critics say they fear an ongoing public consultation about open-net pen fish farms has a ‘foregone conclusion’ to leave fish farms in the water, to the detriment of wild salmon.  Also see: Tacoutche Tesse, the Northwest’s great ghost river — Part 3: Saving wild salmon versus the net pen industry

Seattle woman donates island near Gabriola as nature reserve
Family of the late Betty Swift hopes Link Island becomes a location for climate-change research.

A network of computer models is predicting the future of Puget Sound
The Puget Sound Institute on Wednesday announced a three-year, $4.8 million dollar project to study the dynamics of Puget Sound’s changing ecosystem. The Puget Sound Integrated Modeling Framework combines a network of computer models to look at how different factors like urban growth and climate change will influence the health of Puget Sound.

Cooke Aquaculture files suit over terminated net pen leases in WA
Cooke Aquaculture has filed an appeal in Thurston County Superior Court against Washington’s decision to terminate its leases for fin fish net pens in state waters.

Highest number of humpback whales recorded in Salish Sea
There have been 396 individual humpback whales documented in the Salish Sea, including 34 mothers with their first-year calves, compared to 2017 when 293 whales were documented.

Pioneering whale researcher and advocate Ken Balcomb has died
Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, was 82. Balcomb kept track of the population of southern resident orcas starting in 1976. His pioneering photo-identification work provided individual profiles of all the whales in the three endangered pods – J, K and L.

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 Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, December 9, 2022

Salish Sea News Week in Review December 9 2022

Aloha Llama Friday!

National Llama Day is claimed to have been first celebrated in 1932, after it was recognized how important the llama was in Canada, following a drought in the province of Manitoba, where many livestock died, especially sheep. Maybe that's not entirely true but for those who may confuse the Dalai Lama with the llama: the llama is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with others as a herd. Their wool is soft and contains only a small amount of lanolin. Llamas can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions.

Southern Resident Killer Whale Vessel Adaptive Management Legislative Report
A new report released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recommends that the Legislature increase the vessel buffer for recreational boaters, commercial whale watching operators, and guided paddle tours around Southern Resident killer whales to 1,000 yards to further support orca recovery.

Rules set to cut carbon emissions by 20% over next 12 years in Washington state
The Washington State Department of Ecology has finished writing the rules for the Clean Fuel Standard, a program that requires a 20% reduction in 2017 transportation emissions over 12 years.

If There Is a ‘Male Malaise’ With Work, Could One Answer Be at Sea?
As concerns about labor force participation among American men mount, maritime transportation firms are desperate for new mariners.

Clamshells Face the Acid Test
As acidification threatens shellfish along North America’s Pacific Coast, Indigenous sea gardens offer solutions.

Port Townsend recognizes legal rights of southern resident orcas
A growing legal movement seeks to recognize the rights of nature. Activists in the Northwest are celebrating a first here: the city of Port Townsend, Washington, this week recognized the inherent rights of southern resident orcas.

Bering Sea crab collapse spurs push for stronger conservation measures
...[The] North Pacific Fishery Management Council this week will consider what protective measures should go into a plan to help rebuild snow crab populations, and a request to exclude more fleets this winter from a swath of the Bering Sea — known as the “savings zone” — where king crab mate.

Murder kittens: outdoor cats take heavy toll on wildlife
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the domesticated cat as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. Biologists have estimated that free-roaming cats kill 1 billion to 4 billion birds and 6 billion to 22 billion small mammals a year in the contiguous United States, more than any other cause of mortality.

Puget Sound wastewater plants may need billions to meet state mandates
An effort to protect Puget Sound's marine life has ignited a debate over a new environmental mandate that wastewater treatment plants say will cost billions and lacks clear science to back it up. The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a permit, effective in January 2022, that requires municipal wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Sound — there are 58 of them — to reduce the amount of certain nutrients in their discharge.

West Coast commercial Dungeness crab season delayed again
The West Coast commercial fishing season for Dungeness crab is being delayed through the rest of the month. That means holiday menus will be planned without the popular Northwest seafood.

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 Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, December 2, 2022

Salish Sea News Week in Review December 2 2022

Aloha Mutt Friday!
National Mutt Day celebrates mixed breed dogs, and the goal of the day is to embrace, save, and celebrate mixed breed dogs by creating awareness about the great numbers of them in animal shelters that are in need of a home. The hoped for result of the day is that people visit animal shelters and adopt a mixed breed dog, or possibly donate their time and money to shelters.

Big picture view of the Salish Sea emerges in richly detailed map
Jeff Clark thought the existing maps of the Salish Sea didn’t have enough detail. So he set out to make a much more detailed map, “to increase the geographic literacy of the area.” The result is The Essential Geography of The Salish Sea, a wall-sized map that gives viewers a “big picture view” of the Salish Sea bioregion.

Here’s why the West Coast Dungeness crab season has been delayed
Oregon’s most valuable commercial fishery, Dungeness crab, will have its season delayed from its traditional Dec. 1 start date because of low meat yields.

Chinook threshold decreased for endangered orcas
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has decreased the number of chinook salmon it allocates each year to feed Southern Resident orca whales. The number is important because added conservation measures to ensure adequate food for the Southern Residents can only be put in place if that number is not reached.

Invasive crab population keeps booming in Washington
Trappers have caught nearly a quarter million European green crabs in Washington waters so far in 2022. This year’s record-smashing tally of the invasive species—248,000 caught as of Oct. 31—is more than twice the total caught last year along Washington shorelines.

What drives Puget Sound's 'underwater Amazon'?
What drives Puget Sound's 'underwater Amazon'? The interaction between fresh and salt water stokes an engine that drives water circulation throughout the entire basin, something intensely important to the understanding and management of Puget Sound.

Is B.C.’s $6 billion commitment to Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada still economically viable?
B.C. estimates it will earn $23 billion over 40 years once LNG Canada gets going, but net-zero pledges raise questions about whether global demand for gas will hold up over the project’s lifespan.

Port of Vancouver's 'ambitious' zero-emissions plan praised, but critics say LNG stands in the way
Canada's largest port has committed to becoming a zero-carbon port by 2050, a transition still in its infancy but has been dubbed ambitious by clean shipping advocates, as calls to dramatically reduce the industry's carbon footprint by that time grow louder and more urgent.

Vanishing lichens a sign rare B.C. rainforest is approaching ecological collapse
Lichens are a canary in the coal mine for the inland temperate rainforest and their demise is sounding the alarm about widespread biodiversity loss.

Washington tribe tests its rights to commercial net pen fish farming
An executive order from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources earlier this month aims to end commercial net pen fish farming in Washington’s public waters. Cooke Aquaculture is in a joint venture with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to farm two species of native fish in net pens in Port Angeles Harbor and the tribe wants to proceed with its fish farming.

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 Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told