Monday, June 17, 2013

6/17 Coal, orcas, save Puget Sound, Duwamish, Clayoquot Sound, oil and pipes, Elwha, bluebirds, ocean woes

Photo by Paul K. Anderson
Climate change was a central theme of a debate that saw Metro Vancouver pass a resolution Friday opposing new coal shipments from the Fraser River estuary. At issue is a proposed new $15-million coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks under review by Port Metro Vancouver, which will handle electricity-generating coal from Wyoming destined for Asia. While the only issue Metro Vancouver has jurisdiction over at the proposed terminal is air quality, board directors noted greenhouse gas emissions from coal are also a critical consideration. Gordon Hoekstra reports. Carbon emissions a factor in Metro Vancouver opposition to coal port  And, in Olympia on Tuesday: Council will consider anti-coal resolution  

COAL is a new documentary exploring the question of whether Northwest coal ports should be built — digging into the potential environmental consequences and meeting people from all sides of the issue who have much at stake. COAL is the result of months of reporting by EarthFix on the Northwest’s coal-export debate. See it on KCTS 9, Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m. COAL: The Documentary

If you like to watch: A pod of killer whales swam past Stanley Park and under the Lions Gate Bridge and into Vancouver Harbour on Friday, sparking a flurry of photos on Twitter and other social media. The Vancouver Aquarium says as many as eight whales were swimming and breaching in the waters this afternoon. Jen Derwojed, who works at the aquarium, said they were transient killer whales that were probably looking for food. Killer whales spotted near Vancouver's Stanley Park

Greenfleet Monitoring Expeditions sponsors a free screening of "Salmon Confidential" at Port Townsend's Rose Theater on Sunday, June 23, 11 AM. The film features Canadian biologist Alexandra Morton, who has been at the forefront of the salmon viruses issues associated with salmon farms worldwide - and the additional issues with the Canadian government suppressing the scientific findings.  

The Olympian editorializes: “Despite more than 25 years of effort at the federal, state and local level, the cleanup and recovery of Puget Sound remains an elusive goal. For every success story — think restoration of the Nisqually River estuary — there is more disturbing news. Just last week, the state Department of Ecology reported that the health of marine sediments, measured in part by the number and diversity of sediment-dwelling creatures, has declined over the past 10 years in central Puget Sound. Other, more iconic Puget Sound species, including orca whales and chinook salmon, also continue to absorb losses or fail to meet recovery goals. Just as the region starts coming to grips with stormwater controls and new development standards to reduce the volume of stormwater dumping into Puget Sound, new threats associated with climate change have reared their ugly heads. These include ocean acidification, which threatens a state shellfish industry that employs more than 3,200 people and contributes some $270 million a year to the economy. There are, however, some recent actions at the federal and soundwide levels that could pay dividends for Puget Sound in the years ahead...” Efforts to clean up, restore Puget Sound deserve support  And, from The Columbian's editorial page: "Puget Sound shows a couple of wildlife triumphs, but concerns persist" In Our View: Taking Care of a Treasure

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a cleanup plan for Seattle’s Duwamish River Superfund site. It will cost hundreds of millions of dollars but it could also mean jobs in the communities that have born the brunt of the pollution. Ashley Ahearn reports. Seattle’s Dirty River Offers Gift Of Green Jobs

The last time Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck teamed up on a big project, it shook the world. Now the environmental activists who, in 1993, helped organized one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history – the mass protests against logging in Clayoquot Sound – are back with another project. On the 20th anniversary of an event that saw 10,000 people blocking logging roads, the couple are hoping to once again mobilize public opinion in defence of Clayoquot Sound. Mr. Lewis said the current concerns are about the imminent threat of mining, the ongoing impact of fish farms, the continued logging of old-growth forest and the possibility that offshore oil tankers could begin travelling along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Mark Hume reports.  Environmental activists unite to further protect Clayoquot Sound  

The proponent and opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline will make their final pitches to a federal review panel starting Monday, at the last stage of public hearings before the panel issues its decision later this year. The company is slated to be the first to officially present their final argument at the hearings, but opponents made their case at a public rally Sunday in Terrace, B.C., a scenic northern city whose council passed a resolution last year opposing the project.  Federal panel to hear final pitch for, against Northern Gateway  

Finding tar balls linked to the BP oil spill isn't difficult on some Gulf Coast beaches, but the company and the government say it isn't common enough to keep sending out the crews that patrolled the sand for three years in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Tourist John Henson of Atlanta disagrees, particularly after going for a walk in the surf last week and coming back with dark, sticky stains on his feet. Henson said there were plenty of tar balls to remove from the stretch of beach where he spent a few days, regardless of what any company or government agency might say. Jay Reeves reports.  End of BP cleaning crews leaves questions on Gulf  

New habitat for juvenile fish is increasing dramatically in the Elwha River estuary and the shoreline of Freshwater Bay, a survey found last week. Sediment pouring out of the Elwha River after dam-removal work is causing a number of changes, said Anne Shaffer of the Coastal Watershed Institute, which organized the Friday field day.... The survey was part of the Nearshore Field Workshop, a day for members of the public to explore the changes in the estuary and the area around the Elwha River mouth, as well as in Freshwater Bay, where the river empties its water. Fish out of troubled waters: Field day held to examine habitat at Elwha River mouth

Seven young Western bluebirds in the Cowichan Valley were unceremoniously tipped upside down and given multi-coloured bands on their legs this week as the next step in an effort to reintroduce the birds to Vancouver Island. ....The birds’ movements, survival and reproduction will be monitored and recorded, said Kathryn Martell, Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team conservation specialist. The team is in the second year of a five-year project to reintroduce Western bluebirds and, so far, their success has surpassed expectations. Judith Lavoie reports. Bluebird recovery takes off in Cowichan Valley

The Whatcom County Council has heard the message again and again from the state: Your rural growth regulations don't comply with the law. The council seems to have its own response ready: It is ready for a fight.  Whatcom council ready to fight state over latest rural regulations

The ocean the Titanic sailed through just over 100 years ago was very different from the one we swim in today. Global warming is increasing ocean temperatures and harming marine food webs. Nitrogen run-off from fertilizers is causing coastal dead zones. A McGill-led international research team has now completed the first global study of changes that occurred in a crucial component of ocean chemistry, the nitrogen cycle, at the end of the last ice age. The results of their study confirm that oceans are good at balancing the nitrogen cycle on a global scale. But the data also shows that it is a slow process that may take many centuries, or even millennia, raising worries about the effects of the scale and speed of current changes in the ocean. Study of Oceans' Past Raises Worries About Their Future

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON JUN 17 2013
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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