Federal agencies moving too slowly for salmon

Blue OregonBy Amy BairdAugust 4, 2012A year ago, US District Judge James Redden ruled the federal plan to restore endangered Columbia-Snake salmon illegal. At the time, he cited the existing federal policy as "arbitrary and capricious," making it the 4th federal plan, and 3rd in a row, that has failed to stand up to the Endangered Species Act. In his August 2011 ruling, Judge Redden (who has Read More…

Latest Lake Washington sockeye and chinook counts from Ballard Locks

The Seattle TimesBy Mark YuasaAugust 3, 2012The Lake Washington sockeye returns continue to drop off, but chinook are starting to build.Through Thursday, Aug. 2 the inseason count provided by Mike Mahovlich, a Muckleshoot Tribal biologist, is now up to 144,177 compared to the preseason forecast of 45,871. The single-day counts are: 1,633 fish on June 12; 687 on June 13; 532 on June 14; 2,183 on Read More…

Lead contamination makes North Portland’s Willamette Cove unsafe

The OregonianBy Scott LearnAugust 3, 2012Willamette Cove's east parcel, a closed but still popular beach near the east end of the Willamette River railroad bridge, has high levels of lead contamination in the sand and should be avoided, the Oregon Health Authority says.The beach property, a former site for many industries, is now vacant and owned by the Metro regional government. It's fenced, Read More…

Washington announces new rain runoff requirements

The Seattle TimesBy Manuel ValdesAugust 1, 2012Washington state will begin requiring municipalities to use "rain gardens" and pervious pavement in new urban developments to combat rainwater pollution to the state's rivers and lakes and to the Puget Sound, officials announced Wednesday.The new "low-impact development" practices will be phased in over the next few years in an attempt to minimize Read More…

Deep-sea squid breaks off its own arms to confuse predators

SmithsonianAugust 3, 2012Octopoteuthis deletron, a species of squid found deep in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, has many natural predators: elephant seals, giant grenadier fish and the mysterious Perrin’s beaked whale.To protect itself, the squid has developed a a rather unusual defensive mechanism, recently discovered by cephalopod researcher Stephanie Bush of the University of Rhode Read More…

Researcher’s fish-eye view could offer insights for human vision

Medical X PressBy Elizabeth K. GardnerAugust 2, 2012 A Purdue University student's research project related to zebrafish eye development could lead to a better understanding of vision problems that affect billions of people worldwide.Zeran Li, as an undergraduate student in biological sciences, led a research team that uncovered an enzyme's role in the regulation of eye size in the fish. If the Read More…

Melanoma-like lesions seen in Australian trout for first time

The Huffington PostAugust 1, 2012The first case of skin cancer in a wild marine fish population looks eerily similar to the melanoma that plagues humans, researchers report today.Coral trout living on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are directly beneath the Antarctic ozone hole, the world's largest, which is the result of the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere that normally protects humans from Read More…

Laos’s Xayaburi dam project faces opposition throughout the region…

The DiplomatAugust 2, 2012The Mekong, a precious jewel of Southeast Asia, has become a critical battleground between hydropower dam projects and the survival of the world’s greatest freshwater fisheries.The future of this 4,880 km (3032 miles) long river may well be decided by what happens to the Xayaburi mega-dam project in Laos, the first of a cascade of 11 dam projects on the lower Read More…

The case for a leaner, meaner global fishing industry

ARS TechnicaBy James HollowayAugust 2, 2012Despite an eye-watering price tag of approximately $200 billion, the benefits of a concerted effort to restore global fisheries outweigh the costs, according to a new report published in PLoS ONE. The authors claim that such a scheme would pay for itself in 12 years, and see a net gain (if you'll pardon the expression) of up to $1400 billion after 50 Read More…

In wake of changing ocean, marine reserves increase resilience

California Majority ReportBy Kaitilin GaffneyAugust 2, 2012California got a lot of bad news this week with the release of the state's report on climate change. According to that study, we're likely to be facing more heat waves, rising seas and increased coastal flooding, among other risks.But in the wake of these predicted changes, there is some good news about our ocean's ability to rebound - Read More…