Thursday, January 16, 2014

1/16 Oil tax loophole, BC fishfarms, derelict boats, B'ham Bay, Rock Bay, Sochi orcas, Bristol Bay, radioactive fish

Maple in the midden (Laurie MacBride)
If you like to watch: A Salty Surprise: the Midden Maple
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "This Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) stands on the beach – below the highwater mark – in Montague Harbour Marine Park on Galiano Island. It’s an unusual setting for a large tree: Bigleaf maples often grow alongside streams, but that’s fresh water. This one must endure having its roots bathed in salt water with every day’s high tide..."

And if your really like to watch: Elephant Seal Pup Born at Race Rocks

Upcoming: Ways of Whales Workshop, Sat. Jan. 25, Coupeville
"Saving Iconic Pacific Northwest Species -  Southern Resident Orcas and Salmon" is the theme and the workshop will end with a panel discussion on salmon and Southern Resident orca recovery actions. Register at Orca Network. 

Enviro Groups Urge Lawmakers To Close Tax Loophole Benefiting Oil Companies
More than 20 environmental groups have joined together with a common priority this short legislative session: close what they say is a huge loophole benefiting big oil companies. The Environmental Priorities Coalition includes big names like the Sierra Club, American Rivers, Fuse and the Cascade Bicycle Club. They don’t always see eye to eye on things, but when it comes to oil companies and the state tax structure, they’re all sure something’s not quite right. “There’s no economic argument for this tax exemption and preferential rate, in any way,” said Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, the prime sponsor of a bill that would close the state’s biggest-ever tax loopholes. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. And: WA Environmental Groups’ Legislative Focus: Oil Trains

B.C. fish farmers see opportunity as DFO lifts licence freeze
The lifting a moratorium on new fish-farm applications on British Columbia’s coast won’t lead to “a free-for-all” of new requests, according to an industry spokeswoman. Ottawa put applications on hold in 2011 while the Cohen Commission investigating the state of Pacific salmon fishery. However, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea quietly lifted the freeze several months ago.

State files charges against 2 derelict boat owners
Criminal charges have been filed against the owners of two derelict vessels that recently sank and leaked hundreds of gallons of fuel into Puget Sound, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday.... Stephen C. Mason was charged in Pierce County Superior Court with causing the 167-foot Helena Star to become abandoned, and discharging pollutants into state waters. The Helena Star sank last January in the Hylebos Waterway and took down another vessel tied to it. Separately, Anthony R. Smith was charged in Kitsap County Superior Court with theft, causing a vessel to become abandoned and discharging pollutants into state waters. The state alleges Smith failed to pay moorage fees after moving the 57-foot historic tugboat Chikamauga to Eagle Harbor Marina in February 2013 and also failed to address the deteriorating condition of his boat. The tugboat sank last October, dumping a few hundred gallons of petroleum products into the water.

Decline in Bellingham Bay marine life eludes quick diagnosis
To the non-scientist, it looks obvious: The decline in marine life at the bottom of Bellingham Bay is what we would expect in a bay used as a dump for industrial waste, human sewage, garbage and polluted stormwater over many decades. But marine researchers say it's not that simple. Valerie Partridge, one of the authors of a recent Washington Department of Ecology study of Bellingham Bay sediment quality, said she doesn't feel she has evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict man-made pollution in this case. John Stark reports.

Bids solicited for 'complicated, expensive' Rock Bay cleanup
The federal and provincial governments are set to spend at least another $30 million to clean up the 100-year-old toxic stew of contaminants in Victoria’s Rock Bay area. Transport Canada opened bidding Wednesday on a contract to dam Rock Bay Harbour, drain the water and truck away hundreds of loads of contaminated soil. It’s the latest step in what has ballooned into one of most complicated and expensive contaminated site clean-up projects in B.C. Rob Shaw reports.

Sochi Winter Olympics' orca whale exhibit sparks outrage
Environmental groups and whale researchers are urging Olympic organizers to condemn the display of two captured killer whales at the Sochi Winter Games in Russia next month. A Russian company captured seven orcas in the sea of Okhotsk last summer, northeast of Japan, and is preparing to ship two of them to its aquarium in Sochi to cash in on the Olympics.

EPA: Mining poses risks to Bristol Bay salmon
A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint. Becky Bohrer reports.

Scientists Say Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radioactivity In Fish
Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 hit Japan. That’s made many people nervous about eating fish caught on this side of the Pacific Ocean. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 852 AM PST THU JAN 16 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 13 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG WITH VISIBILITIES OF 1 NM OR LESS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG WITH VISIBILITIES OF 1 NM OR LESS.

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"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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