Climate Activists in Pacific Northwest Fight Construction of World’s Largest Methanol Refinery – Green Currents

Highly controversial proposal at the mouth of one of most important ecological river deltas.

Climate activists in the Pacific Northwest have rallied against a tsunami of fossil export proposals over the last five years:  coal, oil and the latest, petrochemical projects. The fight against a proposal to build the world’s largest methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River using fracked gas may be their biggest fight to date. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Currents)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40900-climate-activists-in-pacific-northwest-fight-construction-of-world-s-largest-methanol-refinery

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/

Study says predators may play major role in chinook salmon declines – Salish Sea Currents

This isn’t really new news, we’ve known the seals and sea lions are taking lots of salmon, but it does add more science to the already known problem of not enough salmon and too many predators.

Seals and sea lions are taking a major bite out of the threatened chinook salmon population in Puget Sound, and the competition for food could be having repercussions for endangered Southern Resident killer whales, according to a new study. Seals and sea lions are eating about 1.4 million pounds of Puget Sound chinook each year — about nine times more than they were eating in 1970, according to the report [ Estimates of Chinook salmon consumption in Washington State inland waters by four marine mammal predators from 1970 – 2015 http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0203?src=recsys&journalCode=cjfas&#.WIoSpIV3rEO ], published online this month in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/is/predators-chinook

Federal Action Plan for Puget Sound released as Trump enters office – Watching our Waterways

Another concern to see what will happen to the Puget Sound recovery efforts.

Two days before Donald Trump became president, the Puget Sound Federal Task Force released a draft of the federal action plan for the recovery of Puget Sound. The Trump transition raises uncertainty about the future of this plan, but at least the incoming administration has a document to work with, as described by Steve Kopecky of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2017/01/26/federal-action-plan-for-puget-sound-released-as-trump-enters-office/

Meat and potatoes of the marine food system’ returns – Kitsap Sun

More very good news from the Elwha.

Smelt, a tiny fish with big importance, is the latest species to show rapid recovery after the fall of the Elwha River dams. The marine waters near the Elwha’s mouth have experienced a 20-fold increase in surf smelt abundance since the dams were removed two years ago, according to a study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Surf smelt are a schooling fish that grow a bit bigger than sardines. They and other forage fish, such as herring and sand lance, are key food sources for seabirds, marine mammals and salmon. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

http://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/local/communities/2016/11/10/meat-and-potatoes-of-the-marine-food-system-returns-to-elwha/94375420/

West Coast Fisheries Hit Hard By Poor Ocean Conditions – KUOW

Outlook this year for fisheries has not been good. Story comes complete with charts on the fall.

United States commercial fisheries are doing fine overall, but fishermen on the West Coast are hurting. An 2015 annual report out Wednesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a stark fall-off in the big seafood money-makers in the Pacific Northwest.

Read the whole article here.

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