EVENT: Green New Deal Town Hall PT 4/21

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Marine Science Center planning future renovation – PT Leader

Big changes ahead for our little science center.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is working together with the Fort Worden Public Development Authority and Washington State Parks to come up with a long-term vision for the rehabilitation of marine facilities at Fort Worden. These facilities include the boat launch, pier, aquarium and museum located at the beach at Fort Worden. Washington State Parks has received funding to replace the boat launch and pier, said Michael Hankinson, a planner with State Parks. The Marine Science Center is planning to update their facilities at the same time, to create a unified waterfront area and expand their marine education programs. State Parks will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. on April 18 at the Fort Worden Commons to hear input on the possible rehabilitation designs of that area. (Port Townsend Leader)

Marine Science Center planning future renovation

When the Glaciers Disappear, Those Species Will Go Extinct’ – NY Times

I once read that a tribe in South America has an end of world saying, “When the snow leaves the mountains the world will end.”  This is a modern corollary.

When it was built in the early 1900s, the road into Mount Rainier National Park from the west passed near the foot of the Nisqually Glacier, one of the mountain’s longest. Visitors could stop for ice cream at a stand built among the glacial boulders and gaze in awe at the ice. The ice cream stand is long gone. The glacier now ends more than a mile farther up the mountain. As surely as they are melting elsewhere around the world, glaciers are disappearing in North America, too. This great melting will affect ecosystems and the creatures within them, like the salmon that spawn in meltwater streams. This is on top of the effects on the water that billions of people drink, the crops they grow and the energy they need. Glacier-fed ecosystems are delicately balanced, populated by species that have adapted to the unique conditions of the streams. As glaciers shrink and meltwater eventually declines, changes in water temperature, nutrient content and other characteristics will disrupt those natural communities. Henry Fountain, Max Whittaker and Jeremy White report. (NY Times)

When the Glaciers Disappear, Those Species Will Go Extinct’

2019 salmon seasons set – Skagit Valley Herald

Coho opportunity up, chinook down.

State and tribal fishery co-managers reached an agreement Monday, setting the general salmon fishing seasons for the remainder of 2019. The seasons include increased opportunity to fish for coho salmon but less opportunity to fish for chinook salmon, in part due to efforts to conserve fish for the endangered Southern Resident orca whales that eat chinook. Pink salmon fisheries will also be limited in Puget Sound. Limiting salmon fisheries could also help the orcas by reducing the number of fishing boats, which create noise that interferes with the whales’ ability to communicate and hunt, according to a state Department of Fish & Wildlife news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

2019 salmon seasons set

State lawmakers pass sweeping protections for Puget Sound orcas – MyNorthwest

Yes, it did happen. Congratulations to all who helped push us to completion, especially Governor Jay Inslee.

The Washington state House and Senate passed four bills this month providing sweeping protections for Puget Sound’s ailing orca population. The quartet of bills were passed between April 10 and April 15, and cover a variety of measures, including whale watching, pollution, and more. Each legislative body passed amendments which need to be approved by their counterparts before heading to the governor’s desk for final approval. The first to get the OK from the House and Senate was HB 1579, providing aid to the endangered Chinook salmon population, the primary prey for Puget Sound’s orcas. [The other bills are HB 1578, SB 5577, and SB 5135] (MyNorthwest)

State lawmakers pass sweeping protections for Puget Sound orcas

Salmon Fisheries Set As Managers Start Process To Protect Endangered Orcas -CBC

More news from the fishing front.

The organization that sets limits for commercial, recreational and tribal salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest wrapped up their work Tuesday at a meeting in Northern California. The Pacific Fisheries Management Council bases the limits on salmon run projections up and down the coast. While the chinook salmon catch will be slightly lower than last year, the coho fishery in Washington and northern Oregon will be much improved. Recreational anglers would benefit most from this. In addition, the council is starting work on plans to rebuild five Northwest fish runs considered to be “overfished,” a technical designation for when the three-year average of salmon returning to a river to spawn falls below a threshold set by fishery managers…. The overfished runs include fall Chinook from the Klamath and Sacramento rivers and coho from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Snohomish and Queets rivers. Over the next few months, the council will determine if fishing limits should be adjusted next year to help increase the number of salmon. Jes Burns reports. (OPB) See also: Federal chinook salmon fishing restrictions get mixed reviews Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)


Salmon Fisheries Set As Managers Start Process To Protect Endangered Orcas



Legislature won’t ban orca-watching boats in Puget Sound – Investigate West

The power of business over science. Not even a moratorium to see if it helps for a year or two. Will the last whale watch boat turn out the lights when you leave the San Juans when the resident orca pod are extinct? Thanks.

Washington legislators came into their 2019 session brimming with proposals to help rescue Puget Sound’s imperiled orcas. But now they have dropped one of the most important – and controversial – ideas: A three-year moratorium on commercial whale watching. Lawmakers denied Gov. Jay Inslee’s attempt to force commercial whale-watching boats to keep extra distance from three groups of orcas that summer in the waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea between Washington and Canada. In doing so, they turned down a key recommendation from an overwhelming majority of a group of nearly 50 researchers, state and tribal officials and others who served on the Southern Resident Orca Task Force. Rachel Nielsen reports. (InvestigateWest)

Legislature won’t ban orca-watching boats in Puget Sound

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