Drift Card Project Shows the impact of an Oil Spill – Globe and Mail

Experiment using plywood cards shows the effects of a major oil spill on the Strait, San Juans and beyond.

An interesting experiment generates unexpected results. And shows how vulnerable we all are to the massive increase in oil tankers that the Canadian Government is hell-bent on creating in the Straits just outside our windows. This issue is trans-border. The San Juans will be one of the first hit by a major spill. The beaches along the Strait are next.

A small piece of plywood that washed up in Haida Gwaii shows the potentially massive reach of an oil spill in the Salish Sea, say environmental groups studying the risks associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/drift-card-project-shows-potential-impact-of-oil-spill/article16845002/

Mystery kelp found in Strait at Elwha River mouth – PDN

An uncommon species of kelp was found last week off the Elwha River mouth — possibly a species that has not been seen there before. A team of scientists found the kelp, thought to be Laminaria ephemera or Laminaria yezoensis, during a survey of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the Elwha River mouth and brought it to the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier for temporary safekeeping. “There is something strange going here, something different,” said Steve Rubin, a fishery biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Arwyn Rice reports.

Read the whole story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130919/news/309199984/mystery-kelp-found-in-strait-at-elwha-river-mouth

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Halibut and Ling Cod fishing season set.

Season will open in May. Hood Canal and South Puget Sound being closed to help protect the rockfish population, which could be argued is similarly threatened in the Strait, but for some reason the State scientists felt that the populations there are healthy enough to support more by catch.

We hope all you fishermen will stick to one Halibut a day, and report your catch. Your reporting helps make the science better, and ultimately leads to you being able to your grandchildren being able to fish. Given the current trend, that’s seriously in doubt.

Be aware that the Seattle Times is preparing to put a pay wall into affect. Soon you may have to subscribe to get any content from them. I recommend that anyone that appreciates getting substantial local news subscribe to their local papers. Us bloggers don’t get paid to go out and gather the news. The newspapers do, if ever so poorly since the Internet has hobbled their profit model.

Puget Sound getting ready for halibut seasons similar to last year’s
The Seattle Times

Halibut fishing will be closed in Hood Canal (Area 12) as well as
south-central and southern Puget Sound (Areas 11 and 13) to protect
endangered rockfish …
<http://seattletimes.com/html/othersports/2020525080_outn10.html

Nice short video showing forage fish in action in the Strait

When you see the fish diving at the herring balls, this is likely what’s happening under the water.

http://www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org/video.htm

Caffeine flushed into Pacific Ocean stresses marine life–CBC

So my question is: Is Caffeine ‘legacy’ as well as modern? Does it have a half life? Is this the caffeine that was dumped by our fathers in the 30s into the Sound after drinking coffee? Or is it modern?

Caffeine has become a significant pollutant in the ocean off the U.S. Pacific Northwest, according to a university researcher. Elise Granek, a marine ecologist at Portland State University in Oregon, sampled waters up and down the Oregon coast and found measurable levels of caffeine…Granek, who did all her initial research in the waters off Oregon, said she’s curious about caffeine levels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between southern Vancouver Island and the Washington coast. That’s where Victoria pumps untreated sewage effluent directly into its coastal waters, and won’t have a sewage treatment facility in place until 2018.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/08/28/bc-ocean-caffeine.html

Victoria should brace for rising sea levels, more storms: climate change report – Vancouver Sun

Our neighbors across the Strait assess what climate change might mean to us on the Strait.

A risk assessment on climate change for the City of Victoria says it needs to start work now to prepare for rising sea levels, more storms, wetter winters and drier summers. The assessment looks at the projected risks the city will face with changes in climate conditions by 2050. The report predicts temperatures in Victoria could rise by more than two degrees by 2050, the amount of summer rain could drop by 32 per cent, while winter precipitation may jump 14 per cent, along with a similar increase in the number of intense storms.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Victoria+should+brace+rising+levels+more+storms+climate+change/7109202/story.html

June 4th: Silence is not an option in Canada

Things are not going well for environmental protection on the north side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Since Canadian voters elected a majority conservative government and PM, an all out slashing of social and environmental programs is underway. Programs that have long supported environmental protection and science are falling away. The most immediate concern for those of us on this side of the Strait, is the removal of tanker monitoring to somewhere near Ottawa. This would be like moving our Coast Guard monitoring to Chicago. When governments let their guards down, is usually when mistakes happen, and get compounded. Given the ease by which oil spreads on water. We must be helping our friends on the other side to restore these disastrous cuts before we are cleaning up a mess that will be “our” mess too. Letting federal officials, like Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and others, know that you are concerned about this, would be a good start. On June 4th, Canadian environmental groups and others are planning a ‘black out’ day to alert the public to the threat.
_____________________________________________

Georgia Strait Alliance writes: ‘In recent memory, there has never been such an open attack by our federal government on our environment and the civil society that is its voice. And that is why there has never been a more important time for us to speak up. So on June 4th Georgia Strait Alliance is joining organizations, businesses, unions, bloggers and individuals from across the country to “Black Out, Speak Out”.’

http://georgiastraitalliance.blogspot.ca/2012/05/june-4th-silence-is-not-option.html

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