Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5/14 BC forests, vineyard snail, Duwamish, Steven Stark, beach litter, green budget, coal export, Skagit floods

Vineyard Snail
Vote today in B.C. provincial elections from 8 a.m. To 8 p.m.

New maps of B.C.’s forests put together by conservation groups using provincial government data show 74 per cent of productive old-growth forests has been logged and much of the remaining old growth is made up of small, stunted trees. On the valley bottoms, where the largest old-growth trees grow, 91 per cent has been logged, leaving only nine per cent of the classic old forest with iconic trees, the maps show. Victoria conservationist Vicky Husband said it’s an ecological crisis due to a century of overcutting the biggest and best trees. Judith Lavoie reports. Maps show impact of overcutting old-growth forests, conservation groups say


The vineyard snail, an invasive species from the Mediterranean, only measures one inch in diameter at full maturity, but it has proven a sizable nuisance and financial burden for the Port of Tacoma in Washington state. The snail arrived on Washington state shore's in 2007, most likely aboard a ship traveling from Europe or Australia, where the snail is a common agricultural pest. Eradication efforts seemingly were successful, and the snail hasn’t been spotted since. But the effects of its brief appearance have been far-reaching, as the Port of Tacoma continues to deal with the financial fallout of a tussle with the Environmental Protection Agency over the port's eradication techniques. In its effort to rid the local waters of the troublesome snail, the Port of Tacoma razed four acres of protected wetlands without proper permitting, as required by the EPA. In 2010, the agency cited the port for the violation. Since then, the port has spent some $500,000 in legal fees trying to negotiate a settlement with the EPA. Last week, the port's commission voted to spend another $4.1 million to redevelop a portion of wetland farther inland as part of its settlement with the EPA. Brooks Hays reports. Small snail causes large problems for Washington port

A new report released Monday (May 13) examines the potential health impacts of the Duwamish River cleanup on Native American tribes and other people who use the river or live or work nearby. The Health Impact Assessment report was produced by researchers at the UW School of Public Health in collaboration with community health researchers from Just Health Action and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group. “Our findings demonstrate that EPA’s cleanup plan will significantly impact particular communities,” said Dr. William Daniell, an environmental and occupational epidemiologist and associate professor in the UW School of Public Health. EPA’s proposed plan will reduce health risks, but it will not succeed in meeting the levels obtained in Puget Sound. Nor will resident seafood be safe to eat for subsistence fishers or for Native American tribal members. Elizabeth Sharpe writes. New report released on health impacts of Duwamish River cleanup  

A century’s worth of contamination to the city’s only river is about to get a $305 million cleanup. Before finalizing a decision on the proposed plan, the Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public to weigh in. Ashley Ahearn reports. Time To Speak Is Now On $305m Duwamish Cleanup Plan

Steven Stark spent his childhood summers walking up and down the shoreline of Point Roberts, a stick in one hand and a bucket in the other. He’d look for bubbles, jam the stick four or five inches into the ground and bring up a crab. The bigger the bubbles, Stark says, the larger the crab. That was a different era when Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) people regularly travelled to the southern end of the point, freely crossing the international border that bisects it, he says. In October 2011, Steven Stark and his deckhand were arrested by U.S. border agents while collecting crab traps in Boundary Bay, the body of water east of the point. They were approximately 700 metres south of the border. Joel Barde and Carlos Tello report. One BC fisherman's fight for cross-border native rights

It’s a beach bummer. Shorelines worldwide are clogged with trash, so much so that during their annual cleanup last year, volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy picked up refuse that weighed as much as 10 Boeing 747 jumbo jets. Cigarettes, food packaging and plastic bottles topped the list from the 2012 cleanup. Debris from the Japanese tsunami and Hurricane Sandy also marred some U.S. beaches, the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit group that works on ocean protection, reported Monday. Volunteers turned up some weird stuff, too: mattresses, candles, toothbrushes and sports balls. More than 550,000 people picked up in excess of 10 million pounds of trash along 17,719 miles of international coastlines in September during the Ocean Conservancy’s annual cleanup.  Erika Bolstad reports. Beach litter mars U.S. – and world’s – coastlines   See also: Tsunami debris, garbage plucked from Clayoquot Sound beaches

As the special legislative session gets underway in Olympia, Gov. Jay Inslee says some of the most important parts of his two-year budget proposal are investments in clean energy. During a fundraiser for the nonprofit group Climate Solutions on Monday, the governor said he is pushing for a state budget that includes funds to start a new research center at the University of Washington. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Inslee issues greenest-yet budget pledge for Climate Solutions  

Kinder Morgan's decision to drop plans to build three coal terminals in Oregon could mean more U.S. coal exports heading north by rail to the ports of Metro Vancouver, local environmentalists say. Kevin Washbrook, the spokesman for Voters Taking Action for Climate Change, says he was happy to learn that Kinder Morgan scrapped the terminals in Oregon on Wednesday. But now he's worried it means more coal trains will be heading north to Vancouver from Wyoming and Montana. More U.S. coal exports destined for Vancouver's port, say environmentalists

Skagit County officials will attend two public meetings Wednesday to explain changes to proposals aimed at reducing the impact of catastrophic flooding. But not everyone is happy with the changes, which some say would better protect urban areas at the expense of rural lands. ... The proposals outline three “alternatives” for protecting the valley from the floods that would course down the Skagit River in a once-in-a-century flood: Kate Martin reports. Flood alternatives have some concerned  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 207 AM PDT TUE MAY 14 2013
TODAY
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING E AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS.
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