Monday, April 23, 2012

4/23 No pipeline, geoducks, Oly oysters, Stellar sea lions, BC Chinook, fish eaters risk, PSE coal

Deepwater Horizon gusher (April 20, 2010)
New blog: “It’s not Brussels, that’s for sure.” Travel Notes: If This Is Monday, This Must Be Baltimore  

Opposition to the expansion of oil giant Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline reached a fever pitch Sunday as thousands of people jammed Commercial Drive to rally for Earth Day. The public gathering is the first of its kind since the April 12 announcement that the Texas-based company will seek to more than double the amount of crude oil that flows from Alberta to Burnaby, to 850,000 barrels a day from the present 300,000. The increase, spurred by higher than expected demand from Asian markets, would see tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet jump to nearly 365 tankers per year, up from about 70. Thousands protest in Vancouver against Kinder Morgan pipeline project  

Mike Doherty, a Callam County commissioner, and Lovel Pratt, a San Juan County Councilmember, speak out: Reflections on the 2nd Anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill

Washington geoducks long have been Puget Sound's highest-value seafood. But a confluence of regional and global events recently has sent geoduck prices soaring far higher. Where a perfect, pearly white, 2.5-pound geoduck once brought $20 at the dock, a similar clam in the past year sometimes sold for three times more. In a restaurant in China, where 95 percent of the region's geoducks land, top-grade clams are selling for $100 to $150 or more — per pound. Craig Welch reports: China's demand for geoducks sends prices, profits soaring in NW

The effort to restore native Olympia oysters to Puget Sound will take an important step forward later this year, when a permanent oyster hatchery will be built in Manchester. The 1,500-square-foot hatchery — designed to produce up to 1 million baby oysters a year — will be constructed at Manchester Research Station, a federal facility operated by Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Oyster hatchery to be built at Manchester Research Station

Steller sea lions from Alaska's Panhandle to California's Channel Islands have reached recovery targets and should be removed from the endangered-species list, according to the federal agency that oversees them. The eastern population of the marine mammal has increased from about 34,000 in 1997 to 70,000 in 2010, according to federal officials. Steller sea lions may be taken off endangered-species list

A Father's Day fishing derby that usually generates about $400,000 for the Greater Victoria economy was cancelled Friday because organizers cannot find out if they will be allowed to catch chinook salmon. Sports fishers are waiting anxiously for a decision from Department of Fisheries and Oceans on a possible summer closure of the chinook fishery in Juan de Fuca Strait because some of the fish caught are from depleted Fraser River runs.  'Heartbreaker' as fishing derby cut  

“Washington uses one of the lowest fish consumption rates in the nation to set water quality standards, but we have some of the highest fish-consuming populations in the nation,” said David McBride of the state Department of Health.  Fish consumption rates spike among American Indians, recreational fishers and people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, studies conducted in Washington indicate. Some members of Puget Sound tribes eat up to 12 ounces of fish per day. “The paradox of eating fish is that it provides benefits but also has risks,” McBride said last week during a meeting in Spokane. “Our current discharge standards … don’t protect you." Becky Kramer reports: Low standards for water put fish eaters at heightened risk   

A new coalition considers Puget Sound Energy (PSE) a utility company with a split personality. On one hand, it is making impressive investments in wind and solar power. On the other, it is still a major owner of the second-largest coal plant in the western United States.  Coal-Free PSE is urging the utility to give up its stake in the Colstrip Generating Facility in Montana, which is involved in its third lawsuit over water pollution in the past decade. Colstrip supplies about one-third of its power to PSE; the remainder is divided between other co-owner utilities, including two that also serve Washington customers, PacifiCorp and Avista.  WA Utility Urged to Break MT Coal Connection  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON APR 23 2012
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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