Orca Network News - August, 2003
the Southern Resident orcas,
orcas worldwide, and their habitats
August 1, 2003 through August 31, 2003.
August 29, 2003 (Seattle Times) A lone orca living in Canada has been injured in an apparent collision with a boat on the west coast of Vancouver Island, prompting renewed calls to have the killer whale reunited with its relatives in Puget Sound.
L-98, nicknamed Luna, collided with a sport fisherman's boat in Nootka Sound last Thursday or Friday, receiving a deep 6-inch gash in the head. It's unclear whether the boat's propeller was moving or even if the orca hit it, but the impact was hard enough to break its mounting bracket, said Ed Thorburn, enforcement officer for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
Thorburn has seen L-98 cut other times since it first appeared on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 2001, with the orca regularly playing with logs and prawn traps. The orca has been seen since the accident and appears in good health.
Marilyn Joyce, marine-mammal coordinator for DFO, said L-98's cut was small and "certainly is not impacting him at all."
Still, she said L-98's situation has changed since May, when the agency decided to hold off on a relocation.
At the time, the orca was swimming farther afield and the agency hoped it might reunite with the southern residents on its own. Also, the agency feared a failed reunion could lead to L-98 being placed in an aquarium.
But this summer, the DFO saw more people in Nootka Sound paying attention to the orca. DFO will ask its panel of experts to look again at relocation, said Joyce.
Reported injury steps up concerns for stray orca August 29, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Luna injured, hasn't been seen since
August 27, 2003 (National Post) Luna, the orphaned orca living alone in the waters off Gold River, was cut by a boat's propeller blade Monday.
The deep gash is above Luna's eye. It is approximately 15 to 20 centimetres long and about three centimetres deep - deep enough to reveal blubber.
The impact of the collision disabled the boat and it had to be towed.
No one has seen Luna since the incident.
Whale experts have warned from the beginning that the orca's love of humans and boats could put it in danger
Federal Court Restricts Global Deployment of Navy Sonar
August 26, 2003 (Environmental News Service) Conservation Groups Say Ruling Protects Whales and Other Marine Life From Injury and Death
(See Orca Network SONAR page for background on the effects of Navy sonar.)
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge ruled today that the Navy's plan to deploy a new high-intensity sonar system violates numerous federal environmental laws and could endanger whales, porpoises and fish. In a 73-page opinion, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte barred the Navy's planned around-the-world deployment and ordered the Navy to reduce the system's potential harm to marine mammals and fish by negotiating limits on its use with conservation groups who had sued over its deployment.
The sonar system, known as Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar (or LFA), relies on extremely loud, low-frequency sound to detect submarines at great distances. According to the Navy's own studies, LFA generates sounds up to 140 decibels even more than 300 miles away from the sonar source. Many scientists believe that blasting such intense sounds over large expanses of the ocean could harm entire populations of whales, porpoises and fish. During testing off the California coast, noise from a single LFA system was detected across the breadth of the North Pacific Ocean.
The mass stranding of multiple whale species in the Bahamas in March 2000 and the simultaneous disappearance of the region's entire population of beaked whales intensified these concerns. A federal investigation identified testing of a U.S. Navy mid-frequency active sonar system as the cause. Last September, mass strandings occurred in the Canary Islands as a result of military sonar, and in the Gulf of California as the likely result of an acoustic geophysical survey using extremely loud air guns.
Most recently, more than a dozen harbor porpoises were found dead on the beach near the San Juan Islands soon after the Navy tested active sonar in the Haro Strait in May. Videotape shows a pod of orca whales in the foreground behaving erratically as the Shoup, a U.S. Navy vessel, emits loud sonar blasts. Recent tests on one of the harbor porpoises revealed injuries consistent with acoustic trauma.
Navy Sonar Tests Captured On Videotape August 26, 2003 (KOMO-TV)
State 'leases' water to help salmon
August 26, 2003 (Bremerton Sun) Seventeen farmers in the Dungeness River watershed near Sequim will forgo a fall crop of hay or alfalfa this year to provide extra water for salmon to migrate. In return, the participating farmers will share about $244,000 -- ranging between $1,450 and $63,000, depending on how much land a farmer takes out of production.
The total land area removed from production is about 1,400 acres.
The idea of paying farmers not to take their legal quota of water is part of an aggressive effort to restore salmon and other fish on the Dungeness River -- one of the most diverse ecosystems in the state, officials say.
The Washington Department of Ecology is considering similar programs for 16 watersheds throughout Washington, including the Quilcene watershed on the Olympic Peninsula, according to Tom Fitzsimmons, the agency's director.
"We hope to replicate these types of projects across the state to help restore depleted stream flows," he said.
Salmon commission funds dry up
August 26, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) The Pacific Salmon Commission, which manages fishing of endangered salmon in the United States and Canada, is running out of money and could close by the end of the year.
The commission, which is funded equally by the two countries under a 1985 treaty, brokered a major agreement in 1999 that sharply reduced the catch of Pacific Northwest salmon off the coast of Canada.
Salmon runs in the Northwest have reached record levels in recent years, in part because of the agreement.
But the Vancouver, B.C.-based agency may be forced to close because Congress has refused to fund the U.S. share of its budget -- about $1.1 million.
"It's a major issue," said Larry Cassidy, a U.S. commissioner from Washington state. "Loss of the commission would mean our ability to manage chinook fisheries coastwide (on both sides of the border) would be dramatically impaired."
Bush rejects razing dams to make way for salmon
August 26, 2003 (Environmental News Service) President Bush waded deeper into controversy over his environmental policies in the Pacific Northwest recently as he rejected calls for hydroelectric dams to be razed to make way for endangered migrating salmon.
Bush viewed water ladders at Washington's Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, meant to help the fish get up and down the Snake River to spawn, after facing several thousand demonstrators angry about issues from the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq to proposed forest thinning in Oregon.
On a break from his August vacation at his Texas ranch to visit states that were problems for the Republicans in the 2000 elections, Bush also spoke to key figures in the Washington economy.
Bush called for cooperation among environmentalists, farmers, and the government to allow conservation of natural resources as well as preservation of important economic assets such as the dam, which is a regional power provider.
"We can have good, clean hydroelectric power and salmon restoration going on at the same time," Bush said at the dam, one of eight that spawning salmon and returning juveniles must navigate along the Snake and Columbia Rivers. "We've got an energy problem in America. We don't need to be breaching any dams that are providing electricity," he added.
Common ground is sought for fish and crops to thrive
August 25, 2003 (Seattle Times) Swinomish tribal scientists are trying to find a way for two food sources to thrive in Gail Thulen's fields: salmon in the channels running through the crops he has planted there. The murky waters that wind through Thulen's wheat, potatoes and peas would be flowing with clear, cool salt water if it weren't for tide gates that protect them from the nearby Swinomish Channel.
The 100-year-old gates cap pipes leading to and from the channel, ensuring that water drains out of the fields during low tide but doesn't return as the tide rises.
Farmers built the gates in the early 1900s to transform a salty swamp into the farmland, but the gates also turned winding streams of water into cloudy, salmonless drainage ditches.
The gates are now at the forefront of a controversy about Skagit County's salmon population. It's impossible for salmon to get through them to the channels, which are an important habitat as the fish adapt to salt water before they swim out to sea, said Todd Mitchell, a Swinomish Environmental Specialist.
Researchers from the Swinomish Tribe and the Skagit System Cooperative - a natural-resources consortium of the Swinomish, Upper Skagit and Sauk-Suiattle tribes - plan to install new, "self-regulating" tide gates next year, which will let some salt water and salmon through.
The researchers hope to create five miles of salmon habitat. The soil underneath Thulen's crops and the water in the channels will be monitored in case the tide gates need adjustment.
Salmon Restoration Begins with Habitat - Bush administration favors projects rather than dam breaching
August 22, 2003 (Vancouver Columbian) Lena's Lake, inaccessible to chum salmon and people alike, is a long way from the national media attention and fanfare that will accompany President Bush's visit to the Pacific Northwest.
But federal officials say it's here, at a dammed lake behind a locked fence, where they expect real progress to be made.
Biologists expect chum salmon will benefit from draining Lena's Lake and restoring the natural creekbed. Across the Columbia River basin, federal officials point to dozens of similar projects intended to offset the environmental damage wrought by a network of federal dams.
Such projects are important, conservationists say, but they pale in comparison to the benefits of removing Snake River dams.
"All those things are worth doing," said Glen Spain, regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "The question is, do they add up to enough? Most scientists have looked at it and said, 'No, they will not result in enough benefit to really address the problem.' It will cost several times the total value of the dams to do those projects, with no certain result."
Salmon or parks -- Bush record in dispute
August 22, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Environmentalists say campaign pledges unfulfilled.
The president's critics say he hasn't spent the money promised and isn't implementing policies that will save the Northwest's endangered fish or restore neglected national parks. They accuse Bush of touring pretty settings and exaggerating some of his accomplishments to buoy an environmental track record they consider shameful.
His supporters challenge that view, saying Bush has done a lot to protect nature, including "huge progress" on park maintenance.
There is widespread agreement that the impressive runs are the result of cooler ocean temperatures, which bring with them abundant, nourishing food for the salmon and drive south some of their most persistent predators. Besides, the salmon returning now were for the most part born before Bush was even sworn into office.
"His policies didn't really have anything to do with these fish," said Nathan Mantua, a research scientist with the University of Washington's Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
Bush's tour of the West Coast, Obey said, is meant to spruce up his environmental image.
"It's the playbook," Obey said, referring to a memorandum crafted by Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster and strategist, meant to remodel the party's message. Luntz said the environment was one issue on which Bush was "most vulnerable."
The memo goes on to lay out a strategy for Republicans to win the "environmental communications battle" through softening language and dropping catch phrases. In one of its few policy recommendations, it tells the party to become "a champion" of national parks.
After five years, Keiko still needs help
August 21, 2003 (Victoria Times-Colonist) Keiko, the celebrity whale moved from a cramped concrete pool in Mexico to Iceland's fijords at a cost of millions of dollars, is still unable to live independently but his rescuers haven't given up.
Since being relocated five years ago, the orca that starred in the 1993 box office hit Free Willy has taken major steps, such as swimming last summer from Iceland to Norway where he now lives. But he refuses to permanently join his wild brethern.
Original plans of reintroducing the 25-year-old Keiko to the wild to live with other whales full time now appear to be "lofty," Baird said. "That scenario is unlikely in so far as other whales are not likely to take in a stray."
Instead, Baird counts success by steps. A major achievement came last year when Keiko spent several weeks with wild whales in waters off Iceland, foraging in the ocean before swimming 1,400 kilometres to Norway. "It has just been milestone after milestone."
Resident killer whales living off Victoria feast mainly on salmon, but Keiko and other Icelandic whales rely on herring as their staple. This past winter was unusual because herring did not come into the fjords of Norway as expected.
That meant Keiko's diet has been supplemented by 40 to 60 kilograms of frozen herring daily. He is also taken for his regular walks to keep him in shape.
The wild whales will head north past the bay from September to November and when they pass, Keiko will be led out of the bay to join them, if he wishes.
Monitoring devices track his every move and Ocean Futures staff are always in the distance watching over the whale.
Whales in Norwegian waters are not studied to the extent the populations in B.C. are, where every whale has a name and photo identification based on body markings and distinctive differences in their fins and tails.
Absence of U.S. money imperils salmon agency
August 21, 2003 (Vancouver Sun) The Pacific Salmon Commission, which manages salmon for Canada and the United States, is facing extinction by the end of the year unless the U.S. government comes forward with $1.5 million in funding.
"I would suspect by the end of the calendar year we will be out of funds. We would have to cease all programs and we would have to let staff go," commission executive director Tom Kowal said Wednesday in an interview after confirming the U.S. state department has failed to forward its share of funds.
Kowal said Canada has paid its share in full and the commission is attempting to run for as long as possible on those funds. He said the U.S. funds, which should have been paid in installments, should have been received by now.
Kowal said Canadian Fisheries Minister Robert Thibault has already sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. complaining of the lack of funding.
The Pacific Northwest Hits Jackpot Of Salmon
August 20, 2003 (Washington Post) When President Bush shows up this week in the Pacific Northwest -- where wild salmon are an almost sacred signifier of environmental well-being -- he will likely boast about the huge numbers of salmon crowding the Columbia and other local rivers.
In the past two years, returns of salmon from the Pacific have reached levels not seen in four decades. For the first time since 1965, Indian tribes along the Columbia River have been allowed to net summer chinook salmon and sell them on the riverbank.
On the surface, at least, the numbers suggest that the Bush administration is skillfully protecting salmon from the killing effects of federal dams and habitat loss. That explains why Bush, with polls showing skepticism about his record on the environment, has scheduled a salmon event along the Snake River in eastern Washington.
The White House has said he will appear Friday at Ice Harbor Dam, one of four large dams on the lower Snake that some environmentalists argue should be breached to improve passage for endangered salmon. Bush vowed in 2000 that he would never allow any of the hydroelectric dams on the Snake to be knocked down, saying that salmon could recover with the dams in place.
There is, however, widespread annoyance and anger at the Bush administration on the part of many local salmon scientists and Indian tribal leaders. They say the extraordinary returns of salmon are nothing more than a lucky break for a White House that is not paying much attention to salmon issues.
Court ruling closes ditches to aid fish
August 20, 2003 (Seattle Times) The federal government can close Methow Valley irrigation ditches that cross federal land to provide additional water to help endangered fish runs, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The decision by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a setback for the Early Winters Ditch Co., Okanogan County and four irrigators.
The irrigators argued that the Forest Service did not have the right under the Endangered Species Act to deny long-standing water rights to farmers. But the appellate court, in an unpublished opinion released last week, disagreed.
"The permits themselves, from their inception, provided the government with unqualified discretion to restrict or terminate the rights of way," the opinion said.
Our Troubled Sound: Duwamish muck headed for Tacoma
August 17, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Delays in telling the public, arsenic cleanup raise concern.
King County officials are proposing to dump contaminated dirt and sand from one of Seattle's worst pollution hot spots -- enough to fill 7,000 dump trucks -- into Commencement Bay in Tacoma.
The idea, originally hatched by a unit of Occidental Chemical Corp. and the Port of Tacoma, would safely encapsulate pollution from Seattle's Duwamish River, government officials say, saving about $1 million that would be used to clean up more pollution.
But environmental activists, resentful that they learned of the plan by accident instead of being told directly, are outraged.
"We do not want to be the dumping ground for other areas," said Leslie Ann Rose, policy analyst for Citizens for a Healthy Bay in Tacoma.
Government officials defend the project as environmentally sound and fiscally responsible.
Being alone threatens Luna and humans, too
August 17, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) It worked for Springer -- it's time for Luna. The Seattle Aquarium supports immediate efforts to return Luna, the wayward orca from northern Vancouver Island. Since 2001, this 4-year-old killer whale has been swimming alone in Nootka Sound on the island's west coast. This is considered beyond the normal range of its L-pod family members, one of three southern community pods commonly seen in Washington waters.
Without his natural companions, Luna has become dangerously comfortable with human contact and boats. This poses a threat both to his long-term health and to people. In addition, the Puget Sound population of orcas is listed as a "depleted species" by the federal government, with a population of about 82 whales presently compared with an estimate of 120 animals in the 1960s. The number of breeding males is critically low. As Luna reaches maturity in his teens, he will become an invaluable member of the Sound's orca gene pool.
Judge favors pesticide-free zones on some West Coast salmon streams
August 15, 2003 (Seattle Times) A federal lawsuit to protect threatened salmon and steelhead from pesticides is likely to result in hundreds of miles of no-spray buffers along streams and waterways that stretch from Washington to Southern California.
The new restrictions are expected to hit hardest the vegetable and fruit farmers who grow high-value, chemical-intensive crops, according to documents submitted for a federal-court hearing yesterday in Seattle.
U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour plans to have the new protections in place in time for next spring's farming season. His order is expected to push back pesticide use along hundreds of miles of waterways that harbor salmon and steelhead runs protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Salmon streams with healthy runs would not gain the protection.
The ruling was a big win for the Washington Toxics Coalition, which joined with an Oregon-based environmental group and two fisheries groups to file the lawsuit in 2001.
They cited National Marine Fisheries Services studies and other reports that showed subtle - but damaging - effects that some pesticides can have on salmon even at levels as low as parts per billion.
Lolita the orca spurs big debate
August 14, 2003 (Skagit Valley Herald) Maybe someday marine biologists will decipher the clicks and squeals of orca language.
Until then, the debate whether to free the remaining captive orcas of the world will be for humans to decide.
Environmental activists here say captive orcas can adapt to life in the wild, but the aquarium park industry says the cause is hopeless.
Swirling in her Miami Seaquarium tank at the center of an almost forgotten local version of the debate is Lolita, a roughly 38-year-old orca that Whidbey Island activists want to bring back home -- "Free Willy" style.
Lolita is believed to have long outlived the other 56 orcas from the J, K and L pods that were rounded up in Washington's waters in the 1970s. Whale wranglers sold 45 to aquariums. (Some died before they could be sold.) The population for the three pods is now 82 whales, which frequent the waters near the San Juan Islands and in Puget Sound every summer and fall.
The average life span for a male orca is 30 years, while females average about 50 years, and some of the local whales still living here have reached the age of 90. Berta said.
Researchers also have observed the pod's social structure and how L pod interacts with other pods.
They know that all three pods get together on occasion in a superpod. The different pods line up and face each other and then burst forth in what looks like a celebration, jumping out of the water and mixing their ranks.
That type of cultural behavior, plus the knowledge that orcas have among the largest brains of any mammals, causes Garrett and other researchers to say that society has a moral obligation to release orcas from captivity.
In the Northwest: Activists pounded away, and Icicle will flow again
August 13, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Watching the contractor move in equipment that will remove New Deal-vintage dams and weirs from a stream that forms one of the Cascades' deepest canyons, Dick Rieman was still trying to convince himself: "This is REALLY gonna happen."
The retired United Airlines pilot has worked for seven years to reopen the original channel of Icicle Creek as spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead trout.
The first phase of the work, which started yesterday, will take at most three weeks to complete.
When the Icicle channel is undammed -- by popular demand -- a stream that drains the highest peaks and lakes of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness will get a lot more fish-friendly. Its glacier-fed water will no longer heat up, as happened during great droughts of the 1970s, and kill thousands of fish.
Beached Whale Dies Near Seaside
August 11, 2003 (KOIN TV) A whale died this weekend after beaching near Seaside.
Marine mammal experts say the whale may have overheated from the sun beating down on its dark skin.
The 33-foot-long mammal is set to be removed from the beach Monday morning, and taken for a necropsy.
The animal was alive when it beached Sunday during a volleyball tournament, and beachgoers tried to push it back into the water. But police stopped them, fearing that someone would be injured by the thrashing animal.
Salmon duel - Native fish face threat from escaped invaders
August 11, 2003 (The Olympian) The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to kill more than 200 Atlantic salmon in Scatter Creek, a small Thurston County stream that feeds into the Chehalis River. Why does the state want to kill about 200 6- to 7-inch fish that were recently found in the south county creek?
State biologists say there's a chance that the Atlantic salmon could survive in the river, migrate down the Chehalis River to the ocean, get big and return to reproduce -- and eventually push out native coho salmon and cutthroat trout by introducing diseases, pushing them off prime spawning areas and eating their food -- and even their young.
The reason: Atlantic salmon, which are native to the East Coast and Europe, don't behave like the region's native salmon. They don't all die off after spawning, and some live on to feast on young native fish -- and produce even more Atlantics.
Atlantics often don't have the strong homing instinct Pacific salmon do, and often move on to new rivers or streams, spreading the problem into remote waters.
"Some of us worry that the population of Atlantic salmon could change the status of Pacific salmon as we know it," Piorkowski said.
"British Columbia and Washington told us that Atlantic salmon would never escape, but they did. They told us that they would die if they escaped to salt water, but they didn't. They told us that they wouldn't enter streams, but they did. They told us that they wouldn't successfully spawn, but they did."
Salmon streams are being spruced up
August 11, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) The city is adding culverts, a fish ladder, logs and treetops to three streams to help salmon navigate.
The projects will bring the streams up to state standards and are taking place at Richards Creek at Bannerwood Park, the Mercer Slough Fish Ladder and Valley Creek.
The city is removing barriers and creating more habitat for the fish. Officials hope more salmon will return to city waters to spawn. The three projects, which cost $711,000, are to be finished by next month.
Luna should return home
August 10, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial) Bring Luna home.
As Canadian authorities study what to do with the lone orca, returning him to Washington waters appears to be the best course of action.
It's a decision that rests partially in Canada with federal officials and, to an extent rarely mentioned, tribal nations on the coast. But Americans should have a voice, too.
The lost 4-year-old is from Puget Sound, where orcas number just over 80. We need every orca possible here.
Luna apparently became separated from his pod while swimming past Vancouver Island. Since 2001, he has been alone in Nootka Sound on the island's West Coast.
As a Post-Intelligencer news story reported Thursday, a lot of people look at the killer whale and see loneliness. Probably for good reason: Orcas are extremely social and maintain close family relationships.
They also worry that a return to Puget Sound might cause more risky encounters with busier boat traffic. If things got bad enough, they say, he might have to be placed in an aquarium -- a terrible option.
'This Is Another Smoking Gun'
August 8, 2003 (KOMO-TV) "This is very severe hemorrhaging."
Ken Balcomb says new pictures of the brain of a harbor porpoise that died in Puget Sound last May are very telling.
The pictures show signs of severe trauma.
"This is another smoking gun for me that we've got a consistent trauma here," says whale researcher Balcomb.
Balcomb says the evidence convinces him that Navy sonar killed the porpoises.
Government scientists examined 11 porpoises that washed ashore. But they won't release any evidence until all the lab results are in. They tell KOMO 4 News that will take at least two more months.
But Congress plans to decide next month whether to exempt the Navy from the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Balcomb says, "I'm concerned that the design of the whole investigation is intended to slow things down."
The investigation should tell us if Navy sonar killed the 11 porpoises. The USS Shoup used sonar on a training exercise off San Juan Island.
In a rare coincidence, whale researchers using underwater hydrophones, recorded the sound and its effect on killer whales.
Within days, dead porpoises started washing up.
Three months later, the National Marine Fisheries is still investigating.
Navy Lt. Bill Couch says, "The Navy is very interested in the results, we are sensitive to the plight of marine mammals in Puget Sound so it's important to wait for those final results."
National Marine Fisheries says its investigation into the porpoise deaths is completely separate from the congressional debate over marine mammal protection.
But Balcomb believes the government should know what killed the porpoises before it decides whether to allow the Navy to ignore rules protecting marine mammals.
Online petition drive supports returning Luna to pod
August 8, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Activists have launched an online petition drive to persuade the Canadian government to try to reunite the orphan orca Luna with his whale family, or pod.
The 4-year-old orca, apparently lost, was separated from his pod about two years ago and has been in the back bays of northwestern Vancouver Island.
Because of his aggressively playful antics, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is considering a reunification attempt, along with other options, including putting the whale in an aquarium.
About 1,500 people have signed the petition so far, said activist Rene Halliburton of Campbell River, B.C.
Luna belongs to a pod that hangs out around the San Juan Islands this time of year.
The petition is at www.petitionpetition.com/cgi/petition.cgi?id=5960
Future of 'sad' orca presents dilemma
August 7, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Luna and the boat will be back. But the whale is lonely, say folks around here. He's following boats because they're the closest thing he knows to his own kind.
Canadian authorities decided two months ago to leave the 4-year-old orca alone. But now they are reconsidering and plan to announce a decision as early as this week.
If they decide to take action, they could put Luna in an aquarium. Or they may try to reunite Luna with his pod, which hangs out around the San Juan Islands this time of year.
The second look was prompted in part by accusations that a boater, frustrated when the orca prevented him from docking, smacked the animal with a board. Also this summer, the whale kept a fishing party from docking, forcing the men to stay on the water overnight. Then this week, the whale started interfering with salmon fishermen in the area.
"I'd say most people get it -- that he's separated from his family, lonely," Anderson said. "The odd person says he should be shot like a grizzly."
Anderson was at the dock on behalf of the Veins of Life Watershed Society, a Victoria environmental group under contract to the Canadian government to monitor activity at the docks and inform visitors about rules against approaching the orca.
Hoping salmon run through new stream, wetlands
August 4, 2003 (Seattle Times) Along the Hylebos Creek's course from its headwaters near the SeaTac Mall parking lot to Tacoma's Commencement Bay, salmon face highway crossings, acres of pavement and the "Death Ditch," a sterile, man-made stretch of river near Interstate 5.
Historically, one of the most productive salmon streams in the Puget Sound region, Hylebos Creek once was home to strong chinook, chum, coho and steelhead runs.
Despite the obstacles and development pressures, volunteers spotted glimmers of hope in 2000 - chinook returning to spawn.
"There are enough signs of biological resilience and diversity that it's not warranted to call (restoration) a lost cause by any means," said Chris Carrel, executive director of Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands.
In an effort to link up the remaining fragments of fish-friendly habitat, Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands today will announce plans to create a 10-mile-long stream and wetlands preserve with the financial backing of government agencies and other conservation groups. Purchasing the land alone could cost $4 million.
"We're hoping this can serve as a model for other urban watersheds," Carrel said.
Puget Sound-Off: Strong opposition to huge radar dome
August 1, 2003 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) There are no mixed signals from city officials about the Pentagon's proposal to park a giant radar dome on a barge on the waterfront: They don't want it.
Other communities around Gardner Bay have also weighed in against the SBX, an acronym for the Sea-Based Test X-band Radar, an experimental anti-ballistic missile, high-frequency radar system that would rise 25 stories high.
Everett is one of six places on the short list for the dome-capped floating platform, big enough to fill Husky Stadium.
The Pentagon sees the SBX as a crucial piece of the effort to build an anti-missile shield over the United States in these days of rogue nations and terror threats.
The idea is to aim a focused beam to track a warhead in space and distinguish it from decoys.
So how do readers feel about putting the SBX in Everett?
YOU SOUND OFF
"I vote NO on the SBX coming to Everett. Who is the enemy? Where are the targets? Who are the victims? What are the effects of this microwave array? Why weren't the communities directly affected allowed to participate in the EIS review? What's the big rush? The answers are blowin' in the wind."