Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16 MLK Day, orca zone, acid crab, Scott Pruitt, WA lege, Clear Ck, bitumen, Squamish, Pt Gamble forest

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Celebrating MLK Day
"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, 1957.

Killer whales could have quiet space off Washington coast
The federal government is considering whether it should set up an area off Washington state’s San Juan Island where endangered killer whales would be protected from motorboats and other disturbances. Most motorized vessels would be banned under a proposed whale-protection zone sought by three conservation groups. (Associated Press)

Study predicts decline in Dungeness crab from ocean acidification 
Dungeness crab are forecast to take a hit from ocean acidification driven by fossil- fuel combustion, according to a study released this past week. Though the populations of the Dungeness crab fluctuate year by year, their overall abundance by 2063 could be about 30 percent lower, according to federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study,  Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators
A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma’s bucolic northeastern corner — much of it from neighboring Arkansas — was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general. His response: Put on the brakes. Rather than push for a federal judge to punish the companies by extracting perhaps tens of millions of dollars in damages, Oklahoma’s new chief law enforcement officer quietly negotiated a deal to simply study the problem further. The move came after he had taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from executives and lawyers for the poultry industry. Eric Lipton and Coral Davenport report. (NY Times)

Can environment break through Washington Legislature’s school-funding logjam?
Should fighting climate change translate into spending more on education? That’s what Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is advocating. Wrangling over this and related proposals to shore up longstanding education-funding shortages will likely overshadow most environmental issues in the 105-day legislative session that got under way this week.  Adiel Kaplan reports. (Investigate West)

Stormwater projects in Silverdale offer hope for a degraded Clear Creek
Detailed planning and design, followed by thoughtful construction projects, have begun to tame the stormwater menace in Clear Creek, an important salmon stream that runs through Silverdale in Central Kitsap. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

All over but the bitumen: why B.C. voters aren't done arguing about Trans Mountain's pipeline
'There are just some messes you can’t clean up,' says NDP Leader John Horgan. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC) See also: British Columbia: Skeptics question proposed ‘greenest’ oil refinery  Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. First Nation shapes a new approach with LNG project
The Squamish Nation has kept the same law firm on retainer for more than 50 years, helping assert its rights and title in its traditional territories, which span from parts of Vancouver to north of Howe Sound. When a proposal for a liquefied natural gas plant and shipping terminal landed on Chief Ian Campbell’s desk in May, 2013, the option to fight the development in court could have been an easy choice…. In a province divided between those who say “yes” to resource development and those who say “no,” the Squamish said “maybe.” They created their own environmental assessment process to decide for themselves if this project should earn their consent. ustine Hunter reports. (Globe & Mail)

Changes encourage low carbon-polluting development at Cherry Point
New policies that could affect the future of heavy industrial development and environmental health at Cherry Point will go back before the Whatcom County Council, as the county’s Planning Commission finished its recommendations Jan. 12. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Harvesting Under The Stars: A Night In The Life Of A Shellfish Farmer
Almost every night in the winter, there are hundreds of farmers at work along the Washington coast. The lights of their head lamps are just barely visible on the shoreline. They are shellfish farmers out harvesting clams, oysters, and geoducks. They are up at such late hours because of the tide. That’s when it’s lowest during the winter months. Allie Ferguson reports. (KNKX)

BC Centre for Disease Control issues public warning about oyster illness
When Ryan Johnson woke up Friday morning and read the news about an unexplained outbreak of oyster-related illness, he immediately took all B.C. oysters off the shelves at his three Daily Catch seafood shops. More than 70 people in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island have come down with what appears to be norovirus after eating raw or lightly cooked oysters at home or in restaurants since the beginning of December. More cases are expected to appear in the next few weeks, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Bethany Lindsay reports. (Vancouver Sun)

One Scientist’s Mission To Scan Every Fish On The Planet
In a tiny island laboratory in the Northwesternmost corner of Washington, one marine biologist is on a mission: scan every known fish species in the world. It’s a painstaking and smelly task, but one that promises to fundamentally change the way scientists and educators look at marine anatomy. Adam Summers, a fish expert at the University of Washington, has been 3-D scanning fish for decades, but it was always a complicated and expensive undertaking. Jared Rusk reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

A Not-So-Fine Kettle of Fish
That spicy tuna roll you order at your favorite sushi restaurant may not be tuna at all. And the yellowtail? It could be something else entirely. In fact, according to a new study, as much as half of nine types of fish sold in Los Angeles-area sushi restaurants may be mislabeled, despite tougher laws and increased media scrutiny in recent years. Julie Cohen reports. (UC Santa Barbara Current)

Saving the Port Gamble Forest, a natural jewel, from development: 'It's our heritage and it's our future'
A community effort is under way to protect 3,000 acres of land from development near Port Gamble to preserve access to trails and other recreation uses, wildlife habitat and water quality. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Winter lecture series to focus on Salish Sea
The annual winter lecture series hosted by the environmental nonprofit Friends of Skagit Beaches will focus this year on the Salish Sea. The series will launch Friday with a lecture from research biologist John Calambokidis about a recent increase in whale sightings in the area. The four lectures that make up the series are free and open to the public. One will be held each month through April at 7 p.m. Fridays at the Northwest Educational Service District 189 building, 1601 R. Ave., Anacortes. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  259 AM PST MON JAN 16 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
 THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN  IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS...  BUILDING TO 10 FT AT 17 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN LIKELY IN THE  EVENING...THEN RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, January 13, 2017

1/13 WA oil port, Fidalgo eelgrass, spill risk, BC pipe, grizzlies, orca menopause, vessel safety

Full Wolf Moon
The New England Algonquin tribes called the January full moon the Wolf Moon which appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. Some tribes called the January full moon the Snow Moon but most applied the name to the next full moon in February. They are the names the colonial Americans adopted as well. (Old Farmer's Almanac)

Court throws wrench in plans for big Washington oil terminal
The Washington Supreme Court threw a major wrench Thursday in plans for a big oil terminal on the coast, saying the proposal must be reviewed under a 1989 state law designed to protect marine life following the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. In the latest of a string of victories for tribal and environmental groups challenging fossil fuel projects in the Northwest, the justices unanimously reversed decisions by a state board and the state Court of Appeals, which held the Ocean Resources Management Act did not cover plans by Houston-based Contanda to ship crude out of Grays Harbor. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Study shows past decline in Fidalgo Bay eelgrass
A new study shows eelgrass in Fidalgo Bay has decreased since the 1990s, adding historical perspective to the state’s finding last year that the important marine plant has made recent gains in the bay. Eelgrass plays a key role in supporting wildlife, including Dungeness crabs and chinook salmon, and is an indicator of water quality…. The new study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Washington researchers concluded the amount of eelgrass overall in Puget Sound has not changed significantly since the 1970s…. Among findings for individual bays, some saw no change, some saw increases and some — including Fidalgo Bay — saw decreases. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Salish Sea Communications: Us vs Me, We vs I — Farewell Obama, Hello Trump
Tuesday night I listened to President Obama’s farewell speech and Wednesday morning I listened to president-elect Trump’s news conference. I was sad listening to my president say good-bye and angry listening to the president-elect spout off but aside from policy differences in the speech and the news conference, what struck me was the shift from “We can do it” to “I can do it.” (Read more…)

2016 Salish Sea Oil Spill Risk Mitigation Workshop
The 2016 Salish Sea Oil Spill Risk Mitigation Workshop Summary Report and Focus Sheet are now available online. 

B.C.'s environment minister defends Trans Mountain approval
Mary Polak cites federal government's marine safety response funding as a contributing factor. Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Grizzly bears in the North Cascades? Feds release plan to restore population
Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington but few have been sighted in recent decades. Federal officials want to restore the population, and on Thursday released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other sites and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land surrounding North Cascades National Park. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

How grandmother orcas help explain the evolution of menopause
The hot flashes, the hair loss, the bone depletion … menopause isn't fun. But you aren't alone: Shamu felt it, too.  New research from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the University of Exeter has shown that killer whales go through menopause for the same reasons humans do — and they might help explain the evolution of menopause for humans and orcas alike.  Torah Kachur reports. (CBC)

Sunken tugboat a consequence of letting foreign crews in Canadian waters, says union
Over 200 maritime workers gathered in Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert Thursday to protest what they view as "an attack on jobs" from the federal Liberal government. They say proposed changes will cost jobs and degrade environmental standards along Canadian coastlines. Concerns revolve around the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) and changes to the Canada Transportation Act. Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  215 AM PST FRI JAN 13 2017  

TODAY
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3  FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SAT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 14 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
 LIGHT WIND. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT  AT 17 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.
 

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, January 12, 2017

1/12 BC pipe OK, DAPL, Granny, Vic sewer, saving Blanchard Mtn, BC ferry, coal port, Gorge rail

Moon rainbow (Greg Johnson/KOMO)
WOW! Nighttime camera captures rare rainbow caused by the moon
Greg Johnson at SkunkBayWeather.com runs his HD time lapse cameras from his waterfront porch in Hansville all night and captured something that many of us will never see: a nighttime rainbow! With the brilliant full moon Monday morning, there was enough light to scatter in the drizzle that was falling to make an honest rainbow -- at 1:10 in the morning! Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO)

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion granted environmental certificate by B.C. government
The B.C. government has given the green light to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, after reaching an "unprecedented" agreement with Kinder Morgan for up to $1 billion in investment over 20 years…. B.C. was required to provide its own environmental assessment — separate from the National Energy Board's — after a court ruling stated it could not assign the matter on projects of this magnitude. That assessment came with 37 new conditions, above and beyond the 157 conditions required by the National Energy Board. (CBC) See also: B.C. backs oil pipeline that will put tankers in Salish Sea  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Patchwork of Dakota Access protests across US encouraged
The front lines of the battle against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline are shifting away from the dwindling encampment in North Dakota, with main opposing groups asking for activism to be spread around the U.S., a call heeded when a banner was unfurled during an NFL game on New Year's Day. The message also has evolved from a struggle against a single four-state pipeline to an effort to advance the rights of Native Americans, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says. Blake Nicholson reports. (Associated Press)

Granny, the orca, was seen in poor condition before her death
About a month before the Center for Whale Research last observed Granny, the killer whale, the elder orca was pictured in aerial photos by researchers from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The last aerial photos of Granny showed her to be in “poor body condition,” according to a report from marine mammal researcher John Durban on NOAA’s website. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Community meeting to discuss impact of sewage construction on Victoria's James Bay
Residents of a historic Victoria neighbourhood have a chance to learn about how sewage construction will affect their community at a public meeting [Wednesday night]…. The Capital Regional District is hosting the meeting, but officials have not shared the sewage design plans ahead of the event. Jean Paetkau reports. (CBC)

Race is on to protect entire 1,600-acre core of Blanchard Mountain from logging
The race is on to secure $7.7 million needed to protect all 1,600 forested acres on Blanchard Mountain in Skagit County from being logged. Gov. Jay Inslee set aside $1.5 million toward that total in his proposed budget, but supporters of full funding said this legislative session is the last chance to secure money for a 10-year agreement. If the money isn’t allocated, logging likely will begin this year on some part of the 1,600-acre core. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

BC Ferries' new Salish Orca arrives on West Coast
The first of three new vessels in the BC Ferries fleet has arrived in B.C. waters following a two-month long journey from Poland. The Salish Orca logged about 10,000 nautical miles and travelled through the Panama Canal on its way from the shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, where it was built. The journey took nearly two months. The Salish Class ships will be the first in the fleet powered by a dual system that can operate on liquid natural gas or diesel. Both fuels were tested during the journey, said BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Did DNR kill the coal project?
Has a state agency killed the proposed Millennium coal dock in Longview by denying the company a sublease needed to build two new docks on state aquatic lands in the Columbia River? Incredibly, seven years after Millennium first proposed the project, its legal standing to build the docks is still under question and perhaps subject to legal interpretation. And, in an ironic twist for a project that has been so furiously debated on its environmental issues, the state is citing financial concerns for blocking the mega-terminal. For their part, Millennium officials don’t think their $680 million project is dead. Marissa Luck reports. (Longview Daily News)

Union Pacific Sues For Exemption To Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area Rules
Union Pacific Railroad is suing Oregon’s Wasco County and Columbia River Gorge commissioners in an effort to push through a proposed track expansion. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the company asked a federal court to preempt a Wasco County ordinance that is blocking the company from expanding its track through the Columbia River Gorge. The railroad says the 5-mile track expansion would remove a chokepoint for freight trains near Mosier. A second track would allow trains moving in opposite directions to pass one another without stopping…. The railroad argues the court should preempt the county’s National Scenic Area Land Use and Development Ordinance because it “imposes an impermissible burden on interstate commerce.” Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  232 AM PST THU JAN 12 2017  

TODAY
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND  WAVES 1 TO 2 FT IN THE MORNING. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4  FT AT 11 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1/11 Snake R dams, toxic algae, ship toxins, fuel exports, high tide, Times layoff, chem ban, gold v fish

(BirdNote)
The Duck in the Sailor Suit
Today, we celebrate Donald Fauntleroy Duck, first sighted in Hollywood in 1934. Despite nearly 80 years on the big screen and more than 150 films and countless comic books to his credit, Donald's plumage has never changed. Donald doesn't migrate, but resides year round in Duckburg. To our knowledge, longtime sweetheart Daisy has never made Donald a father. But he does show a strong paternal instinct for a trio of unruly nephews. While he means well, he tends to get in over his head, but he somehow overcomes the odds. And that perhaps is why Donald Duck is still loved after all these years. (BirdNote)

Environmental groups want work halted on Snake River dams
Environmental groups are asking a federal court to halt 11 infrastructure projects on four lower Snake River dams in Washington state that could ultimately be removed if a pending review determines the dams need to come out to help salmon. The 45-page notice filed late Monday in Portland, Oregon, estimates the cost of the projects at $110 million. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Predicting Toxic Algae Blooms Just Got Easier
Scientists at Oregon State University have figured out a way to predict outbreaks of a dangerous neurotoxin called domoic acid in the Pacific Ocean. The toxin is produced during algae blooms and can make crab and shellfish unsafe to eat. A few years back, Oregon State University researcher Morgaine McKibben noticed that the ocean off Oregon had warmed considerably. It was part of a natural climate cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Aircraft carrier cleanup sparks pollution concerns
The Navy’s fast-tracked preparations to dismantle an old aircraft carrier could be putting Sinclair Inlet’s health in peril. Environmental regulators and local groups are concerned that the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is scraping toxic amounts of copper-based paint directly into the water from the hull of the USS Independence. The Navy plans to tow the 1,070-foot-long carrier to Brownsville, Texas, where it will be handed over to shipbreakers. It was scheduled to leave Bremerton two months ago. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Fossil fuel exports in the NW: Down but not out
Environmentalists are celebrating the recent news that Peter Goldmark, Washington State’s public lands commissioner, decided against leasing state-owned land in Longview for Millennium Bulk Terminal’s proposed coal export facility. Many say it’s a fatal blow to Millennium’s plan to export up to 44 million metric tons of Powder River Basin coal each year…. By denying Millennium the critical piece of land that it needs to build the facility, did Goldmark hand a final victory to those fighting along the Thin Green Line? Not according to Bill Chapman, Millennium Bulk President and C.E.O. “The decision today has no effect on the project,” he said in a statement. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

Tides flood rail lines near Edmonds, delaying Sounder commuters
It’s a transportation mess that’s classically Puget Sound — high tides flooded rail lines on Tuesday afternoon, delaying the north line Sounder commuter trains. Tides peaked at 12 feet around noon, tide tables show. That happens a few times a year, but transit officials say high winds combined with the tides to wash over the railway, which mostly hugs the shore of Puget Sound. Mike Lindblom reports. (Seattle Times)

After Buyouts and Layoffs, Nearly Two Dozen People Will Leave the Seattle Times Newsroom
Some names of who leaves, other shoes waiting to fall. Heidi Groover reports. (The Stranger)

Clallam county lifts ban on herbicide use
After years of debate, Clallam County has lifted a 26-year ban on herbicides as one weapon in the fight against noxious weeds on county roadsides. County commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve an ordinance that creates an “integrated weed management” chapter in the county code. The ordinance will be a blueprint for a publicly reviewed, annually updated noxious weed management plan that would allow the limited use of low-toxicity herbicides to control invasive plants that cannot be stopped by mowing, hand pulling, hydroseeding, introducing insects or other control methods. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Gold Vs. Fish: Groups Threaten To Sue Wash. State Over Suction Dredge Mining
A controversial recreational activity called “suction dredge mining” has led to moratoriums on the practice in California and Oregon. But Washington continues to allow it. Conservation groups have now threatened to sue the state unless new regulations are passed. Suction dredge miners use floating gas-powered vacuums to suck up gravel on the bottom of rivers and streams in search of gold flakes. Conservation groups say it’s destroying habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Stormwater Rising
The Washington State Supreme Court continues to strengthen and clarify water standards. Last week, the high court declined to hear the appeal of a Skagit County water rights decision. Skagit had denied a building permit because the water source was in conflict with a state rule requiring water be left in streams to protect fish. Lower courts had upheld the county’s authority to make land-use decisions based on the availability of water, and their ruling stands. It is a mirror of a decision handed down by the state Supreme Court last fall, which found Whatcom County had not sufficiently exercised its authority to protect instream flows. Denial of further review in the Skagit decision sends clear signals the high court is not likely to reconsider its finding against Whatcom. In another decision earlier this month, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court finding that state “vesting” law does not apply to clean water standards. Justices unanimously rejected an effort by counties and developers to weaken a key permit designed to reduced toxic runoff and protect waterways including Puget Sound. (Cascadia Weekly)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  243 AM PST WED JAN 11 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 E WIND 20 TO 30 KT EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT  AT 10 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1/10 KM ok, iced Fraser, Steller sea lion, Burrard bridges, marbled murrelet, Site C, BC LNG

[PHOTO: Laurie MacBride]
Secretly Awake and Watching
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Here on the West Coast, the predominant winter colours are green and brown – hues that I find restful and in a way, reassuring. With no foliage or flowers on the deciduous trees and vines, their architecture comes to the fore. Life seems simplified: whittled down to the basics, quiet and less complicated than during the growing season…." (read more)

The inside story of Kinder Morgan’s approval
Just three days after the Oct. 19, 2015 federal election, a half-dozen of the most powerful political insiders in the country gathered for dinner in the Byward Market, a historic section of the nation’s capital filled with high-end restaurants, boutiques, courtyards and artisan shops. Representing Justin Trudeau’s new government were his top two political advisers, Gerry Butts and Katie Telford. With them was the woman who at the time headed Canada’s public service, Privy Council Clerk Janice Charette. They were facing Brian Topp, a wily political tactician who recently stepped down as Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s chief of staff. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Salish Sea Communications: Are You Willing to Work 150 Years For Salmon Recovery?
In 1998, Washington Governor Gary Locke declared, regarding Puget Sound Chinook salmon, “extinction is not an option.” The recent State of Salmon 2016 summary issued by the state says, “It took more than 150 years to bring salmon to the brink of extinction; it may take just as long to bring them all the way back.” And it’s gotten worse for Puget Sound Chinook and steelhead over the last 15 years. Keep working? (read more)

Ice then and now: When the Fraser became a skating rink
Think it's cold now? There was a time when B.C.'s longest river froze from New Westminster to Surrey. Stephanie Mercier reports. (CBC)

Sinclair Broadcasting Group's Political Programming
Yesterday's news item about KOMO News ownership cutting newsroom staff [KOMO cuts positions in newsroom] elicited an interesting Wikipedia entry about Sinclair Broadcasting [KOMO's owners] partisan political programming.

Beached sea lion is cause for concern for Feiro Marine Life Center
Feiro Marine Life Center staff are asking people to stay away from a beached Steller sea lion at the Nippon Paper Industries USA mill near Ediz Hook. The sea lion has been at the beach since at least Friday, causing concern for Melissa Williams, executive director of the Marine Life Center. Why the sea lion has been at the beach for so long isn’t yet known, but it doesn’t seem to have any human-caused injuries, Williams said, adding that staff had checked on the sea lion Sunday. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Could Burrard Inlet bridges withstand an oil tanker collision?
Could a large ship hit and damage one of Burrard Inlet’s vital bridges? The possibility is being studied by the province because 40,000 oil tanker trips are scheduled through Vancouver Harbour in the next 50 years. Dirk Nyland, chief engineer at the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the strength of the piers of the Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) and Lions Gate bridges will be examined in relation to a federal code which governs the structural integrity with regards to hits by marine vessels. Kent Spencer reports. (Vancouver Sun)

How To Save The Marbled Murrelet? Conservationists Want More Habitat Protected In State Forests
How to protect marbled murrelet habitat in state-owned forests is in the spotlight this week in Washington, as the state’s Department of Natural Resources kicks off a series of public meetings on a range of strategies for a 50-year conservation plan of the endangered seabird. Marbled murrelets nest in old-growth trees, some of which are in prime areas for logging. The state has for many years had in place an interim conservation plan, because scientists wanted extra time to study what the bird needs. It wasn’t till the 1970s that they established the murrelets’ unusual habit of nesting high up in the forest canopy as much as 50 miles from the coastal areas where they feed. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Site C erosion problems won’t result in further penalty for BC Hydro
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency decided Monday not to take further enforcement action against B.C. Hydro for sediment problems last year at the $9-billion Site C dam project. Nicolas Courville, the agency’s senior enforcement officer, said in a letter to Hydro that he believes the provincial Crown corporation has taken the necessary steps to ensure that “erosion and sediment control contingency supplies” are stocked at three sites — the Moberly River construction bridge, the right bank drainage tunnel, and the right bank coffer dam. Hydro had faced the prospect of a federal order and summary fines of up to $200,000 on first offence and $400,000 on subsequent offences if the environmental problems had remained unaddressed at the construction site on the Peace River near Fort St. John. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. First Nation expected to launch court challenge of LNG approval
Members of a B.C. First Nation are expected to launch another legal challenge of a massive liquefied natural gas project proposed for the province's north coast. Several hereditary chiefs with the Gitxsan First Nation will be in Vancouver today to announce their opposition to the Pacific Northwest LNG project, a project backed by Malaysia's state oil company Petronas. The group's traditional territory is in northwestern B.C., near the area where a $11.4 billion LNG export terminal would be built close to Prince Rupert, B.C. (Canadian Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  222 AM PST TUE JAN 10 2017  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 
TODAY
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...RISING TO 30 TO 40 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 8 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF  11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 9 TO 11 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF  12 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
 NE WIND 30 TO 40 KT. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITH A  DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, January 9, 2017

1/9 J2, Tilikum, WA salmon, cedar die 0ff, stormwater rule, eelgrass, coal dock and much more

'Granny,' J2 (Traci Walter/Orca Network)
Catching up to the news after spending a week in a place where the weather suited my clothes…

105-year-old Puget Sound orca, 'Granny,' missing, considered dead
The oldest member of the small population of endangered Puget Sound orcas has been missing for months and is now likely dead, bringing the toll of dead or missing whales to seven in 2016, researchers reported. (Associated Press) J2 In Memoriam  (Center for Whale Research)

Killer whale Tilikum, linked to 3 human deaths, has died
Tilikum the orca has died after more than two decades at SeaWorld Orlando, where he gained notoriety for killing a trainer in 2010 and was later profiled in a documentary that helped sway popular opinion against keeping killer whales in captivity. (Associated Press)

Governor's report: Salmon remain in trouble in Washington
A new state report finds that salmon throughout Washington remain in trouble with many species not recovering and fishing harvests declining in recent decades. (Kitsap Sun)

Yellow cedar dying off
A type of tree that thrives in soggy soil from Alaska to Northern California and is valued for its commercial and cultural uses could become a noticeable casualty of climate warming over the next 50 years, an independent study has concluded. (Associated Press)

State Supreme Court upholds stormwater rules
A state Supreme Court decision has upheld stricter stormwater rules for building projects…. In last Thursday’s ruling, all nine Supreme Court justices agreed that projects predating mid-2015 would not be protected indefinitely under older, less-strict rules. That reversed an earlier appellate court decision. (Associated Press)

A bright spot in Puget Sound: Sealife-nurturing eelgrass beds are holding steady
A 40-year data trove shows the aquatic meadows that nurture baby salmon and herring have fluctuated in many bays, but haven’t declined overall. (Seattle Times)

DNR boss rejects Longview coal-export loading dock sublease
As he wraps up his final days in office, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Peter Goldmark has delivered a blow to a Longview coal-export terminal by rejecting a tidal-lands sublease needed for a loading dock. (Seattle Times)



If you have a dock, then add another, can you get more oil? BP study still unfinished
More than 15 years ago, BP Cherry Point refinery added a second wing to its oil transfer dock so it could receive more ships…. a dozen years after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with [Fred] Felleman and others that the second wing needed to have an environmental evaluation before it was built, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still has not completed the court-ordered study, and there’s no indication when it will be finished. (Bellingham Herald)
 


Anderson Island property acquired by Forterra in keystone move for preservation
Nearly 18 acres of Anderson Island coastline have been purchased, creating the largest protected marine park in South Puget Sound for salmon, wildlife and public access. (Seattle Times)

Vancouver in its longest cold snap in over 30 years
We're at 33 days and counting — but there's a way to go before the record is broken (CBC)

BC Hydro facing federal order, heavy fines for Site C sediment and erosion problems
BC Hydro is facing a federal order as early as Friday and potential fines of up to $400,000 due to erosion and sediment problems at the $9-billion Site C dam project in the province’s northeast. (Vancouver Sun)

Lummis, dairy farmers agree on first steps to clean up Portage Bay
Seven dairy farms in Whatcom County have reached an agreement with Lummi Nation to keep their cows’ manure out of Portage Bay and to compensate the tribe’s shellfish harvesters for the loss of their ability to harvest because of fecal coliform pollution there. (Bellingham Herald)

Seattle Times to cut newsroom jobs 
The state’s largest newsroom, facing falling ad revenue, will be reduced by almost two dozen positions, even as it plans to restructure how it publishes in print and online. (Seattle Times) KOMO cuts positions in newsroom The job cuts, which include the TV station’s investigative reporting team, are believed to part of layoffs that KOMO’s owner, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, is instituting at its stations. (Seattle Times)

Supreme Court won't hear water rights case
The state Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will not hear the water rights case brought by Richard and Marnie Fox…. The couple has been trying for years to get a building permit for property they own between Hamilton and Lyman, but Skagit County will not grant a permit for fear of violating the state Department of Ecology’s instream flow rule. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Study mulls costs of building ferries out of state
A new study tackles a nagging question of whether it’s cheaper for Washington State Ferries to have vessels built at shipyards in other states. And it found the state could pay less in construction costs but endure a short-term hit to its economy. (The Herald of Everett)

Five oil spill-response bases eagerly awaited on Vancouver Island 
While opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is widespread on Vancouver Island, some communities are looking forward to promised new oil spill response bases. (Times Colonist)

West Coast Lawmakers Seek Ban On Offshore Drilling
West Coast lawmakers are seeking a permanent ban on offshore drilling along the coast of Washington, Oregon and California. Democrat-sponsored bills have been introduced into both the Senate and House of Representatives. (OPB/EarthFix)

NOAA plans to open federal waters in Pacific to fish farming
As traditional commercial fishing is threatening fish populations worldwide, U.S. officials are working on a plan to expand fish farming into federal waters around the Pacific Ocean. (Associated Press)

DNR cuts chances of Cherry Point pier, honors Lummi Nation request to protect land
A marine area once set aside for a proposed fourth shipping pier at Cherry Point will be included in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and likely protected from development. (Bellingham Herald)

Coho salmon rescuers between a rock and a hard place
The fate of a wild salmon run on the Seymour River hangs on a giant rock the size of a bus. The rock is barring the way to spawning grounds for 40,000 coho — the biggest wild run of its kind on the North Shore. (Vancouver Sun)

Sewage controversy in Greater Victoria finally circled the drain in 2016
It took residents, politicians and even Americans living across the Juan de Fuca Strait raising a stink, but 2016 was the year the Greater Victoria region finally settled on a plan to stop dumping raw sewage into the ocean. (CBC)

Ecology report recommends state adopt stricter emission limits
A new state Department of Ecology report says deeper cuts in carbon emissions are required in the next 35 years to help Washington defend against damaging effects of climate change. The study quietly released earlier this month recommends adopting emission limits imposed in California and several other states that are nearly twice as stringent as existing Washington law. (Herald of Everett)

Fishing Rule Aims To Do For All Marine Mammals What It Did For The Dolphin
… (A) new rule that takes effect this week seeks to protect marine mammals from becoming bycatch. The rule requires foreign fisheries exporting seafood to the U.S. to ensure that they don't hurt or kill marine mammals. (NPR)

Media mogul David Black makes another pitch for his northern refinery
Media mogul David Black says Canada is ignoring the potential for refining oil here on the West Coast to its peril, and adds that his own oil refinery proposal could present the solution. (CBC)

AltaGas planning to build B.C.'s first propane export terminal
A Calgary energy company says it plans to build the first propane export terminal on Canada's West Coast, after receiving approval from federal regulators earlier last year. AltaGas announced Tuesday it plans to start construction on the roughly $475-million Ridley Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C., with the goal of exporting propane by early 2019. (CBC)

Five-year clamming closure lifted at Kalaloch
For the first time in nearly five years, a section of Olympic National Park coastline will open for clamming. Kalaloch Beach will host 10 razor clamming dates spread over four months this year. The two January days are set for Sunday and Monday. (Kitsap Sun)

Stream restoration helps salmon return to Pacific Rim National Park
Parks Canada says salmon have returned to spawn in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino, B.C., thanks to a restoration project in one of the largest creeks in the area. (CBC)

New Life Along Washington State’s Elwha River
It’s been only two years since the removal of the last of the dams that obstructed the Elwha River, in Washington State, but already species are returning. (The New Yorker)


Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  238 AM PST MON JAN 9 2017  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH LATE TUESDAY
 NIGHT  
TODAY
 SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING S 5 TO 15 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. S SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.  SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

12/28 'Fight On,' Paul Bannick's 'Owls,' berry farm fine, Puget Sound habitat

Salish Sea News and Weather will take a break and return after the first week of the new year. Thank you, readers, for doing your part on behalf of the health of our Salish Sea.

Salish Sea Communications blog: “Happy New Year”-- No! “Fight On”-- Yes!
"It’s been difficult this holiday season to wish others “Happy New Year” without it sounding like a prayer. In closing out 2016, I need to focus on how I enter 2017. The Brexit vote for the UK to leave the EU was reported the morning I flew into Edinburgh in June…."

Listen up: Owls: The Otherworldly Creatures Who Need Our Help: A Conversation with Paul Bannick, Conservationist & Photographer 
“You do not find owls – owls find you. Their camouflage conceals them until you catch a fleeting glimpse of broad, soft wings illuminated by the setting sun or, more likely, the moon.” In this audio rich conversation with Paul Bannick, conservationist and photographer about his latest book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls, we hear the owl's message and what North America's 19 distinct species need to survive. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Acre Radio)

Whatcom berry farmer fined for illegal water use
A Whatcom County berry grower was fined $102,000 for illegally watering raspberries and failing to submit records on water use. The Washington Department of Ecology fined Gurjant “George” Sandhu for separate violations on two farms he operates in Whatcom County. The first fine is $90,000 for illegally irrigating a 220-acre raspberry farm. The second is a $12,000 penalty for not submitting water use records for a 120-acre blueberry farm, according to the agency’s news release. At the raspberry farm, the department said Sandhu irrigated for at least two years without approved water rights. Ecology attempted to work with Sandhu to bring the farm into compliance, but he refused assistance, according to the news release. At the blueberry farm, Sandhu was required to submit accurate water use data as part of a settlement for illegal water use. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Federal action a great start on protecting Puget Sound habitat
CONGRESS and President Obama gave the Puget Sound a remarkable holiday gift. They made a historic commitment to protect and restore Puget Sound by authorizing $451 million worth of habitat restoration, as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The president signed it Dec. 16. This tremendous milestone represents years of work by state and regional advocates who developed and prioritized projects supporting salmon restoration and biodiversity. Seattle Times Editorial Board writes. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED DEC 28 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
   TODAY  W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING S 10 TO 20 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11  TO 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN  LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES BUILDING TO 2 TO  4 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 10 FT AT 14 SECONDS  AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN.

--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told