Death of Orca L-112 and Tufted Puffins view of Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach, OR). Ta...

A view of Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach, OR). Taken July, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ed Johnson

Here in Cannon Beach, today begins our annual Earth Day Celebration, the 12 Days of Earth Day, , kicked off this morning on the beach @ world famous Haystack Rock. The morning event was coordinated by Nala Cardillo, Director of the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, with assistance from the kids at Cannon Beach Elementary School and the Cannon Beach Day Care Center. They welcomed the Tufted Puffins back to Haystack Rock. As of a few days ago, sadly no puffins had arrived.  Too their demise I have a suspensions that some of the same factors that contributed to the death of Orca L-122 may have been at play in this case as well.  Note I said may have, since they like Orica’s depend on diving to secure their food each day. They mate for life and have very strong family bounds, raft together during the winter and just prior to establishing their nesting colonies on preferred offshore sea protected rocks as is the case @ Haystack Rock.  I might add this is best place for observation in the lower 48 states. It is also know that following breeding they move northward along the coast all the way to areas off Northern British Columbia. If you look at the tracking of Orca L-26 as posted in the following article you will see documentation of this whale being in the same vicinity that these puffins must pass through as they migrate. The puffins young after fledging are at this point too small to fly and are led by their fathers. Fortunately for the Orcas under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, they are protected, with the exception  of Navy training and testing activities being conducted in the Northwest Naval Testing and Training Area. The puffins are not considered in the same fashion and being so small are undetectable based on the jargon in place to supposedly protect marine mammals.

When I first came on board with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program as an original paid staff member in 1985, the numbers of nesting burros numbered well over 300 active sites, last year only around 30 if my memory is correct.  My total point here is that something is changing which is causing a drastic reduction in marine dependent animals to be taking a nose dive. My major complaint rests with the naval use of sonar and detention of exploding underwater bombs. Their killing impact on all forms of life in the sea must be addressed. If you follow the link below to its conclusion you will join me along with thousands of other like-minded citizens, led by Ken Balcomb and so many others in asking for a complete investigation into the deaths of Victoria, Orca L-112.

Reactor radiation working up food chain!

By Edward Johnson

Limerick Nuclear Power Plant with steam rising

Recently I posted a blog titled, “Titanic Sails from Fukushima” . I thought I had added a sufficient number of tags which should have attracted some interest. Unfortunately,  it did not. In that article I attempted to illustrate how devastating  the effects of radiation can be on even the smallest members of the food chain. Once subjected to radiation in the form of Iodine 131, low-level bacteria/algae forms Protococcus, as well as phytoplankton and seaweeds, specifically brown algae will eventually mutate and die.

The long term effects of course go all the way up the food chain effecting marine mammals the top of consumers in the ocean .  The Dahl Porpoises, Western Pacific Grey Whales, and Humpback Whale( 21 marine mammal species in all which can be found in article by Whiting that follows) as top end consumers will undoubtedly be effected in the long-term if not short-term.

The news earlier this week as indicated in the article above places sand lance from waters adjacent to the Fukushima Nuclear facility to be contaminated and no longer to be sold or eaten by the public. Sand Lances are familiar to the Oregon Coast where we live. They are part of the  diet of our locally famous Tufted Puffins that can be found  at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, OR.

The consequences of this revelation mean that bottom dwellers such as the identified sand lance have picked up potentially lethal amount of radiation and for certain will transfer it to marine seabirds, marine mammals, and other sea and shore life  in that region or any other consumer as well. Gray Whales in this case, those migrating along the Pacific side of Japan will be effected. As filter feeders who actually use their pectoral fins to dig up the sandy near shore bottoms in search of  food, which becomes suspended,  will be impacted.
This afternoon I came across this blog post by Candace  Calloway, entitled, “How Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Might Affect Whales And Dolphins” . In the article she discusses the nearshore currents along this same coastal area will circulate these contaminated waters throughout the Western Pacific to eventually impact the regions beyond.   Candace Whiting a volunteer at the Whale Museum located at Friday Harbor, Washington. Follow the link below to access this terrific. article


Here is another great article, WDCS International – News

The experts will claim that the dilution is a solution. I would argue just the opposite,   certain organisms are bio accumulators and will certainly suffer the consequences.The only answer is the voice of the people. Oregonians ended nuclear power by the initiative process and affectively shut down our only plant, The Trojan Nuclear Plant formerly of Ranier, OR. Until answers to the storage issues are solved Oregon will have NO Nukes.

We must work to stop the building of more nuclear power plants in the U.S. Right now the government is proposing  to use the $36 billion for nuclear power. Now is the time to make our voices heard,  the nuclear party is over!!