West Coast Ocean Acidification Rates Among Highest In World – KUOW

These findings spell bad news for our shellfish industry as well as our fisheries. It appears we are ground zero for ocean acidification and we have a administration in Washington D.C. that ignores any science that doesn’t fit it’s narrative. It’s all up to us folks. Thankfully we have a governor and representatives  in Olympia that still do believe in science.

The United States is stepping away from the Paris Climate Agreement, but the consequences of climate change will be more difficult to leave behind. Take ocean acidification, a major emerging threat to West Coast fisheries.

Researchers at Oregon State University have recorded some of the highest levels of ocean acidification in the world – and they exist right off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.tinyurl.com/y7sjphuy

‘Bold actions’ to save Puget Sound salmon gain qualified support – Chris Dunagan

Tribes now looking at next steps to save remaining salmon stocks.

Native American tribes in the Puget Sound region are calling for “bold actions” to reverse the decline of Puget Sound Chinook salmon, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Such actions would include:
— Protecting all remaining salmon habitat in and around Puget Sound with more consistent and enforceable land-use regulations;
— Preventing water uses that would limit salmon recovery;
— Improving management of predators, including the seals and sea lions that eat Chinook; and
— Increasing dramatically the current spending on salmon recovery — some 50- to 100-fold — with perhaps additional new funding sources to be added.
The ideas were presented to the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council on Thursday by tribal representative Dave Herrera, speaking for the Puget Sound Tribal Management Conference. “The way we are managing lands is not working,” Herrera said. “It may be working for people, but it is not working for fish.” Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

http://www.pugetsoundinstitute.org/2017/05/bold-actions-to-save-puget-sound-salmon-gain-qualified-support/

Disabled tug towed into Port Angeles harbor-PDN

We dodged a big bullet on Wednesday. A disabled tug, towing a barge that if I had to guess was loaded with bunker fuel, was aided by the rescue tug from Neah Bay. A reminder that many of us, from Fred Felleman (currently a Port Commissioner in Seattle), People for Puget Sound (Kathy Fletcher, and their staff and board, myself included), the Makah Tribe, and especially then Representative now Senator Keven Van De Wege (who was awarded environmentalist of the year by People for Puget Sound for this bill) pushed a bill over the goal line after 11 years of trying to get this tug funded in Neah Bay.  Whatever small costs per year to keep this tug operational pales in comparison to the environmental damage done to the Strait and coast if this disabled tug was allowed to go ashore.

The 113-foot Mauna Loa along with its 320-foot barge were met by the crew of tug vessel Lauren Foss of Neah Bay, which is towing the disabled vessel to Port Angeles. It is expected to arrive at 11 p.m. tonight.  (Wednesday evening)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/disabled-tug-towed-into-port-angeles-harbor/

On the Trail of an Oil Tanker – The Globe and Mail

What is happening now, and what our future will increasingly look like until we, at some distant point in time, wean ourselves off petroleum. That is not going to happen soon. We will be very lucky not to have an Exxon Valdez oil spill in the Strait or the San Juans.

Don’t miss the incredible interactive web illustration that goes with this.

The Globe follows the Eser K, carrying more than 356,000 barrels of Alberta crude oil destined for California, through the most hazardous stretch in B.C. waters to observe the risks and safeguards in place, Justine Hunter reports from aboard the Seaspan Raven

On the Trail of a oil Tanker

More concerns raised about flame retardants – NY Times

The New York Times has a story that is quite disturbing, about new concerns with flame retardants, found in almost every home and office these days. It now looks like they could be the root cause of a cat wasting disease that has been rampant throughout the U.S. and the developed world. Our State Senator Kevin van de Wege has been a leader in trying to get these chemicals permanently banned in our state and with this article, perhaps he can finally convince remaining holdouts to get these chemicals banned from our homes.  PBDEs are found throughout Puget Sound waters. They likely are found in our fish. And they are found in our homes. Almost every couch seat cushion contains them. As does our electronics. You can help by letting Senator Van de Wege know you want to see him push to get this finalized next legislative session.

British Columbia Green Party shakes the vote

Expanding their reach from 1 to 3 members of Parliament, the BC Green party under the leadership of Andrew Weaver, has shaken BC politics to it’s core. The current situation after the vote showed Premiere Christie Clark losing her majority and having to form the first minority government in 65 years. Credit the Green Party for this change.

The Greens have obviously brought better candidates to the election, and some races are still too close to call. But Clark was clear that she is going to be governing from a minority position.

It is great to see a party that has been unable to bring significant candidates that can win to a position to influence the ability to govern. The tradeoffs to be made to allow Clark to continue governing means that the environment and other key Green issues, are going to be heard in a new and more significant way.

I like Vaughn Palmer’s take on the outcome.

Vaughn Palmer: Not sure who won yet, but Christy Clark definitely lost

Invasive Green Crabs found in Dungeness Refuge

This just in. The finding of these crabs in Dungeness  changes everything. This is a very real threat to our marine life as well as our sewer system outfalls, among other things. Those of us in the Marine Resources Committees and the county people, have known that green crabs were found randomly in isolated numbers west along the Canadian coast, and there have been limited findings of them at a few places around the north Sound. With this discovery though it means there is no turning back and stopping them is going to be very problematic, if it’s even possible. One crab can eat up to 45 clams a day and they reproduce worse than bunny rabbits or rats.

According to the USDA:

Impact: Preys on bivalves and other crustaceans, such as soft-shell clams and scallops (Grosholz and Ruiz 2002)

Heads up that 12 European green crab have been caught so far since last week at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. We have been working with USFWS and WA Sea Grant to support a limited rapid response and planning on setting up a stakeholder meeting in the next couple weeks to discuss implications and options. We’ve been in contact with Kelly Toy of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Allen Pleus
WDFW AIS and BW Unit Lead
(360) 902-2724 office
Allen.Pleus@dfw.wa.gov<mailto:Allen.Pleus@dfw.wa.gov>

Here is a fun short video about them.

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