Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17 BC fracking, Shell spill, Oly Park plan, lege post-mortem, Everett cleanup, Tla'amin treaty, salmon quotas

Hellebore (Laurie MacBride)
If you like to watch: Under Hellebore Skirts
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I have two types of hellebore plants in the border garden beside our house, and I’ve blogged about them once before. But that was in late spring, when their colours were more subdued and their carpels (ovaries) were huge with seed. This year I caught them much earlier, before the seeds had started to form...."

Take some time to watch: Forage fish populations as an indicator of Puget Sound recovery  

March 13 legislative forum. (1.12:17/TVW)

More to watch: 'Tides of Change' explores the health of ocean waters off North Olympic Peninsula  
"Tides of Change" is a new Science Minute Movie by the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of Olympic National Park with coastal ecologist Steve Fradkin as he traverses “one of the most wild, scenic coastlines in North America” to monitor the health of the park's rocky intertidal community. (Peninsula Daily News)

B.C. environmental groups in court to argue against water use for fracking
A coalition of environmental groups will be in a Vancouver court Monday arguing against the use of river and lake water for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club of B.C. have taken court action against B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission and energy company Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). The coalition alleges the commission has allowed up to millions of litres of fresh water annually to be drained from lakes, streams and rivers, where it’s then mixed with chemicals and sand and injected under high pressure into the ground to release natural gas. Steven Chua reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Shell reports crude-oil spill at Anacortes refinery
About 6,300 gallons of crude oil spilled this morning (Saturday) at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes. Shell spokeswoman Destin Singleton said the leak was entirely contained to the site. A Coast Guard flyover confirmed that no oil spilled into local waters, said Lisa Copeland, spokeswoman with the state Department of Ecology. Copeland said the refinery was transferring crude oil from a storage tank to a pipeline when a hose burst. The company has begun cleaning up the spill. Jay Greene reports. (Seattle Times)

Olympic National Park seeks comments on wilderness stewardship plan options
The public is invited to mix and match elements of four preliminary alternatives outlined for managing wilderness in Olympic National Park. Park staff are seeking public input on preliminary alternatives for the park’s first Wilderness Stewardship Plan before it puts together its draft environmental impact statement. The final plan, expected to be put into effect in late 2015, will guide management of most of the 922,650-acre park for the next 15 to 20 years. Comment can be made in person at meetings in Port Angeles and Forks this week and in Port Townsend next week. Comments also can be made in writing by mail or online by May 17. Arwyn Rice and Leah Leach report. (Peninsula Daily News)

Legislature met its expectations (very low ones)
"...The official state oyster is the Olympia – not the Stellar Bay or the Pacific. The official state waterfall is Palouse Falls, not Snoqualmie Falls or Wallace Falls. But the colors on the official state seal? Any dang thing you want them to be. I hear House Democrats are considering plaid." Peter Callaghan recounts the legislative session. (Tacoma News Tribune)

If you like to watch: Dolphins, orcas delight watchers in Vancouver, Squamish
If you kept a close eye on the waters near Vancouver and Squamish this weekend, you may have seen the dolphins and even some orcas. At least two pods of Pacific white-sided dolphins were spotted by paddlers, boaters and seawall walkers off Vancouver's West End, in the False Creek area and off Kitsilano on Sunday, though many more visited Howe Sound the previous three days. (CBC)

Grant allows Everett to make list of which polluted areas to clean
There are more than 1,000 places in Everett where gas stations, dry cleaners, auto repair shops or other small industries operated in the years when environmental rules were not as strict as they are today. Oil, gasoline and chemicals at such businesses were not handled as carefully as they are now, Everett planning director Allan Giffen said. Most of those parcels are believed to contain some level of pollution. Everett now has a federal grant to determine which of the parcels should be the first to be cleaned up. Bill Sheets reports. (Everett Herald)

Self-determination for Tla’amin First Nation one step closer
The B.C. government says it’s one step closer to ratifying a treaty that would grant self-determination to the Tla’amin First Nation. The government says it has signed an agreement that would spell out the band’s ownership and management of minerals, forestry and other resources on treaty lands as well as fishing and gathering rights. The government says the treaty will provide the band with a $29.7 million capital transfer, $6.9 million in economic development funding and a $250,000 fishing vessel fund. It also grants the band more than 8,000 hectares of land, which includes 1,900 hectares of former Tla’amin reserve land and 6,405 hectares of former provincial land. (Vancouver Sun)

Ocean salmon quota options reflect strong runs
Under options approved this week, recreation anglers fishing off the Washington coast this year could see a higher catch quota for chinook salmon and certainly higher coho quotas. The three alternatives for ocean fishing, approved late Thursday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, are in response to projections of a higher abundance of hatchery chinook and a significant increase in the number of coho bound for the Columbia River. The council establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast. Chinook options range from 47,500 to 60,000 fish, while the coho options range from 159,600 to 193,200 fish. Jeffery Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
NW WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 5 TO 7 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT IN THE
 AFTERNOON. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 6 FT AT 13
 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
--
"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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