Friday, April 19, 2013

4/19 B'ham mercury, killer net, CG boat, Fraser dredge, Kitimat oil, bluebirds, Robert Ballard

Environmental cleanup excavations are turning up more mercury than expected in a small area of the old Georgia-Pacific Corp. mill site, and that could add as much as $1.4 million to the project's cost. Brian Gouran, environmental site manager for the Port of Bellingham, said the discovery of additional high mercury concentrations means more tainted soil will have to be stabilized with cement and sulfur for packaging before shipment by truck to an approved landfill in Oregon. John Stark reports. More mercury found, boosting cost of Bellingham waterfront cleanup

A deadly fishing net, first reported in November abandoned in Hood Canal, was removed last week by enforcement officers for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Sgt. Ted Jackson of the agency said he felt compelled to take action when he received no response from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, which had previously investigated and removed a portion of the net. The net was abandoned just north of Big Anderson Creek near Holly. Jackson said the net was still catching marine life before it was removed Friday. He estimated that between 60 and 80 crabs, mostly dead, were tangled in the net along with several sand dabs, a type of flounder. Chris Dunagan reports. Fishing net on Hood Canal removed after five months

The federal government has activated the new inshore rescue boat in Stanley Park, following the controversial closure of the Kits Coast Guard base. Tony Booth, with the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, said the boat docked at HMCS Discovery was ready for service as of Monday at 4 p.m. He noted that as of Thursday morning, the centre had not yet sent the rescue boat on any emergency calls. The inshore station will operate 24 hours a day seven days a week by three rotating Coast Guard staff using a rigid inflatable dinghy. Response times are expected to be 30 minutes or less, and the crew will service English Bay and Howe Sound. Tiffany Crawford reports. New Coast Guard rescue boat ready for action in English Bay, Howe Sound  

After years of lobbying by local business owners, dredging of the Fraser River channels that run through Ladner and Steveston is slated to begin this summer. "We have all the money in hand, all the approvals, nothing's standing in the way," said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson. Local governments in Delta and Richmond, as well as the province and Port Metro Vancouver, committed $10 million in funding last December. A request for proposal to begin the work was issued earlier this month, with a goal of starting the dredging in June, Delta city staff told council on Monday.  Fraser River dredging to start in June

China's largest bank will be helping to finance the proposed Kitimat refinery, which would process oil from the Alberta oilsands in B.C., instead of the raw bitumen being shipped overseas. B.C. media mogul David Black said he has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for the proposed refinery that is estimated to cost $25 billion. Black, who was in Beijing on Thursday, did not say how much money ICBC will provide, only that the bank has expressed interest in loaning money to the enterprise, functioning as a co-ordinator to get other banks involved, and providing engineering and construction help to build the refinery. China's largest bank in deal to finance Kitimat refinery

Three of the Western bluebirds introduced to Vancouver Island last year have returned to the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve — the first sign a complex reintroduction program is working. “Since we are working to restore a self-sustaining population of Western bluebirds on Vancouver Island, we are very excited about the return of some of the bluebirds raised at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in 2012,” said Gary Slater of the Ecostudies Institute, the group helping relocate birds from Washington state to the Island. Two of the returning birds were brought to Cowichan as babies with their parents last year, while the other hatched in Cowichan. Judith Lavoie reports.  Bluebirds' return to Cowichan Valley a sign of success for reintroduction program  

Deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard turned to his eager audience. Pointing to an image on a big screen at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, he asked: "What's that?" Kids shouted out the obvious answer: "Earth." "Funny," Ballard told the crowd, "most of it is water." He has been a Naval Reserve commander and a University of Rhode Island oceanography professor. He spent 30 years at the nonprofit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Of all his discoveries, he is best known for finding the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic. He has seen places few will ever go. Now, thanks to renovations and new technology at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club and curriculum related to Ballard's explorations, kids here will experience underwater exploration. Julie Muhlstein reports. Immersing kids in STEM subjects  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 306 AM PDT FRI APR 19 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM PDT EARLY THIS MORNING
TODAY
W WIND TO 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN
 THIS MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
SAT
W WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.

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