TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.
No April Meeting
As I’m sure you would expect, there will be no group meetings until further notice.
John Day River Permits Now on Sale
Permits ranging from $16 to $26 will be required this year, for running the river between May 1 and July 15. The various permits went on sale March 4. The Statesman Journal provides details: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/02/29/john-day-river-float-permits-clarno-cottonwood-service-creek-painted-hills/4874115002/
OSMB Seeking Newberg Pool Rules Comment
The Oregon State Marine Board is seeking public comment on proposed rules for towed watersport equipment. The proposed rules are intended to limit conflicts and environmental damage caused by the operation of these devices. You can find the rules, here: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/RulemakingNotice_NewbergPool.pdf
Comments will be accepted through March 22, and may be directed here: email@example.com
Feds Find Willamette Wake Surfing May Hurt Salmon
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has informed the Oregon State Marine Board that wake surfing on the Willamette River poses a potential threat to fish populations, specifically threatened salmon and steelhead. To permit such fish to be endangered would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act. (As noted above, in Paddlesports and the Outdoors, the OSMB is currently considering placing limits on wake surfing in the Newberg Pool area.) OPB has this story: https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-willamette-river-wake-surfing-salmon-harm-regulations/
State’s Response to Radioactive Dumping “A Joke”
After it was discovered that some 2 million pounds of radioactive waste was illegally dumped in an Oregon landfill, the State of Oregon’s response has allowed the perpetrators to avoid any meaningful consequences. The Oregonian elaborates: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/02/oregons-response-to-illegal-radioactive-waste-dumping-is-a-joke.html
Fragmented Habitat, Fractured Ecosystems, and Wildlife in Florida
Rampant development has gripped Florida for decades upon decades, and the environment has paid a steep price. Taking a deep dive into the plight of the state’s Florida Wildlife Corridor, The Bitter Southerner exposes the realities on the ground, in the Sunshine State: https://bittersoutherner.com/a-corridor-runs-through-it-everglades
Solar Storms Found to Impair Whale Navigation
Recent research points to solar storms, a.k.a. geomagnetic storms, as navigational disruptors affecting the migration of grey whales. The conclusions come from analyzing decades of data. The Smithsonian explains: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/solar-storms-might-throw-migrating-whales-course-180974278/
Fish Oil Health Claims – Just More Snake Oil?
A large study from Britain seems to belie the broad claims for fish oil supplements. Studying the data from over 100,000 participants, researchers concluded the supplements had little, if any health benefits. They did, however, still recommend eating fish. The BBC reports: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51674313.
Wildfire Smoke Thought to Cause Permanent Health Damage
Wildfires have become an increasing threat, from Europe to Australia, from California to Brazil. In their wake, it appears the fires leave behind life-long harm to people’s health, in addition to their more tangible depredations. The BBC explores the issue: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51313538
Plastic Containers – Really Safe for Food?
It may come as a surprise, given the decades for which plastic has been used to store foods, but the jury is still out whether the containers pose a health risk. While some plastics, like those containing BPA, have come under close scrutiny in recent years, the overall safety of plastics for food storage and processing has been suspect for some time. The Guardian investigates: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/18/are-plastic-containers-safe-to-use-food-experts
People’s Poll Wildlife Photo Winners
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award is out, and the BBC provides a dazzling gallery of the top images that competed: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51465064
Underwater Photographer of the Year
French photographer Greg Lecoeur has won this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year Award. His thrilling photo of seals playing around an iceberg can be found on this Smithsonian page, along with some breathtaking category winners: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dazzling-display-seals-wins-2020-underwater-photographer-year-award-180974266/
Thomas Creek, Gilkey Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 7 ± mi.
Join us for a first spring fling on a popular, fun, but flow dependent local run. We will watch the water levels, and redirect if need be.
Zach Urness Visits the Illinois River
The Statesman Journal reporter took a whitewater rafting journey on Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Illinois River, and has the photos to prove it. The Illinois is highly regarded for its rapids, and is considered a challenge for even world-class boaters. https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2017/02/15/illinois-river-rafting-green-wall-oregon-rogue-kayaking/97949480/
Updated Tide Tables and River Conditions Links
The Cascades Paddlers River Conditions Page, a handy list of links featuring river and environmental conditions reports, has been updated. A link to NOAA’s tide prediction services is particularly timely, as 2020 is the last year the agency will publish tide table books. Meanwhile, NOAA’s page offering sun and moon tables is currently unavailable, so the link has been changed to provide the Sunrise-Sunset.org‘s tables.
MIT Researchers Untangle Knot Mysteries
Knowing your knots is a basic boating and outdoor skill. But which is the best knot in a given situation? Scientists and mathematicians at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made recent progress in definitively identifying which knot has the best characteristics for a given application. SciTechDaily reports: https://scitechdaily.com/what-exactly-makes-one-knot-better-than-another-has-not-been-well-understood-until-now/
Dungeness Crabs Hammered by Ocean Acidification
Shellfish worldwide are suffering from the devastating effects of ocean acidification. It should come as no surprise, then, Oregon’s Dungeness crabs are suffering, too. While more sensitive species have already shown marked effects from the acidification of our coastal waters, the crabs have proven more resilient. Now, as those waters continue to acidify at a much higher rate than the world’s average, the crabs are feeling it. The Oregonian explains: https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2020/01/ocean-acidification-is-impacting-dungeness-crabs-oregons-most-valuable-fishery-study-shows.html
Flushable Wipes – A Sewage Nightmare
Research has shown that the great majority of products sold as “flushable” simply do not break down adequately to warrant the designation. The predictable results are clogged sewage treatment systems and additional municipal expense. To quote one professional, “Wipes are kryptonite — they should not be flushed.” Examining the situation is Undark: https://undark.org/2019/12/23/flushable-wipes/
The Statesman Journal also has an apropos article: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/01/27/sewage-spills-keizer-claggett-creek-mill-creek-turner/4591162002/
Missing Ocean Plastics – The 99%
It may come as a surprise, given the attention the observable plastics in the ocean receive, but 99 percent of the plastic known to enter the ocean is missing. Where did it go? Well, answers are starting to come in, and they aren’t encouraging. The Guardian reports: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/31/ocean-plastic-we-cant-see
Garden Plants to Attract Native Bees
While honeybees get the attention, the common European honeybee is not native, and they actually make matters worse for our imperiled native bees. Carefully choosing your garden plants can help, however. Oregon State University Extension Service has composed a list of 25 garden plants which will attract and help to sustain Oregon’s own wild bees: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/25-plants-attracting-native-bees-garden
Plastic Bags Are Winning
While Oregon is one of a handful of states which prohibit plastic bags for numerous uses, many more have enacted legislation protecting these environmental malefactors. The chemical industry has money to burn fighting environmental action, and Politico has the story: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/20/plastic-bags-have-lobbyists-winning-100587
Big Pharma Jacks Prices for The New Year
Drug price increases continue to outstrip inflation by a significant margin, while the evidence of price gouging continues to accrue, along with plump industry profits. It would seem the rich get richer while the poor get sicker. Ars Technica looks at the figures: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/big-pharma-celebrates-new-year-by-raising-prices-on-over-250-drugs/
At the same time, some major health insurers, fed up with spiraling pharmaceutical prices, are collaborating to fight back. The partnership has initiated a nonprofit organization aimed at producing popular medications which can sell for a much lower cost. Again, Ars Technica reports: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/sick-of-big-pharmas-pricing-health-insurers-pledge-55m-for-cheap-generics/
Do Vegan Diets Impact Intelligence?
While the findings are not without controversy, much of the research to date has suggested that vegans have a hard time avoiding a cognitive hit from their lifestyle. The BBC investigates: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200127-how-a-vegan-diet-could-affect-your-intelligence
Counterfeit Refrigerator Water Filters – A Health Hazard
It has come to light that many of the replacement water filters for popular refrigerators sold online are counterfeits, some posing real health risks. Even generally accepted sites like Amazon or eBay are host to such products. The Oregonian details why the buyer should beware: https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2020/01/buy-a-new-refrigerator-water-filter-it-might-be-a-dangerous-fake.html
The BigPicture Natural World Photo Contest
The winners of the California Academy of Science’s 2019 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition provide a gallery of stunning delights, at My Modern Met: https://mymodernmet.com/big-picture-photo-contest-2019/
2019 Ocean Art Contest Photos
The Underwater Photography Guide’s 2019 Ocean Art Contest winners offer spectacular views of the oceans and their denizens. Bored Panda shares: https://www.boredpanda.com/ocean-art-contest-winners-2019/
Wiki Loves Earth Photo Contest Winners 2019
Once again the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual Wiki Loves Earth photography contest has produced some breathtaking winners. You can find them here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/news/2019/12/02/imagination-becomes-reality-in-the-winners-of-the-2019-wiki-loves-earth-photo-contest/