Thursday, June 19, 2014

6/19 Duwamish restoration, Kukutail Preserve, BC LNG, climate, Vic sewer, oil train, Navy noise, fish-eating spiders

Listen up. Stephen Colbert's Bald Eagle: Wait! That sounds like a .... Red-tailed Hawk!
Watch Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, and you'll see a Bald Eagle streak across the screen, screaming, talons outstretched, ferocious, majestic. But - in the spirit of truthiness - we must declare that the bird you hear is not a Bald Eagle, but a Red-tailed Hawk. Be sure to read the story about Stephen, Jr. - a real Bald Eagle named after Stephen Colbert. Ellen Blackstone reports. (BirdNote)

Boeing's new Duwamish chapter
Boeing made history on a one-mile stretch of the Duwamish River, twice.   First, during World War II, it defied the odds by churning out 12,000 B-17 Bombers. Today [Wednesday] it celebrated the largest restoration project in the history of the lower Duwamish River. Boeing replaced its giant buildings and hangars with 170,000 native plants on a redesigned river bank. The stretch of river across from the South Park neighborhood is especially important to migrating salmon. It's where they get their first taste of salt water before heading out to sea. The project converted the area from a rapidly flowing channel squeezed between steep man-made banks to a slower, meandering river with side channels where fish can rest and get used to the change. The project is part of a $100,000,000 restoration budget that satisfies state and federal agencies overseeing the work. Gary Chittim reports. (KING)

Kukutali Preserve opens to the public  
Skagit County already boasts the state’s most popular state park, a wealth of natural resources and rich Native American history and culture. Those treasured features have collided in the Kukutali Preserve, which has become the nation’s first park land where state and tribal control overlaps... It opened to the public Monday as a pedestrian-only addition to Deception Pass State Park and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation, four years after state parks and the Swinomish purchased the land together. It was a special day for many state parks employees and Swinomish tribal members who labored over a co-management plan for years. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

B.C. premier warned to stand firm against Northern Gateway project or face LNG backlash
The day after Ottawa approved the $7.9-billion Northern Gateway pipeline, some B.C. aboriginal leaders warned Premier Christy Clark to stand firm against the project or risk jeopardizing First Nations’ support for LNG. Clark has pinned her growth strategy for B.C. on liquefied natural gas, banking on five plants supporting 75,000 jobs and fuelling an $100-billion prosperity fund. (Analysts, however, suggest there will likely only be one or two built). Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Former EPA chiefs say it’s time to act on climate change
Four administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who served under Republican presidents told a Senate panel Wednesday that climate change is real and the federal government has the responsibility and the legal authority to combat it. While saying they might differ on the details of how U.S. officials should react, the former administrators said the cost of delay — or of doing nothing — was high. Chris Adams reports. (McClatchy)

‘Free’ sewage-treatment plant offer an insult, Esquimalt mayor says
Esquimalt taxpayers could have a sewage treatment system built at no cost if Esquimalt council reverses an earlier decision and allows the Capital Regional District to build a treatment plant at McLoughlin Point. But Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins called the offer an insult to residents. Members of the CRD’s liquid waste management committee are recommending the regional district offer Esquimalt $19 million to cover its share of capital costs for allowing the plant at McLoughlin Point. Desjardins said rejection of McLoughlin Point was never about money. She said hundreds of residents spoke at four nights of public hearings in opposition to McLoughlin over issues ranging from the site being too small and at risk of a tsunami to inadequacy of secondary treatment. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Feds: Oil train details not security sensitive
U.S. transportation officials said Wednesday that details about volatile oil train shipments are not sensitive security information, after railroads sought to keep the material from the public following a string of fiery accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered railroads to give state officials specifics on oil-train routes and volumes so emergency responders can better prepare for accidents. Railroads have convinced some states to sign agreements restricting the information's release for business and security reasons. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

How does navy blasting affect marine mammals?
A B.C. conservation biologist wants the Royal Canadian Navy to conduct more research on the effects of underwater blasts on marine mammals. Dr. Rob Williams says scientists have documented whales and porpoises killed by blast effects from underwater tests by the U.S. Navy, but there is little empirical research. That's why he wants the Canadian navy to work with scientists when it sets off blasts in the ocean around Vancouver Island. (CBC) See also: B.C. residents deeply divided on whales, dolphins in captivity, according to survey

Volunteers track beach health at Boulevard Park in second year of study
Eleanor Hines and Wendy Courtemanche crouch on part of the restored beach exposed by low tide at Boulevard Park and study the life on the rocks near their knees Sunday, June 15.... The Bellingham residents were among the trained volunteers who took part in a monitoring project, now in its second year, on two stretches of beach at one of the city's most popular parks Saturday, June 14, and Sunday. The goal of last weekend's survey - conducted on exposed shoreline on both sides of The Woods Coffee - was to see what intertidal species were there, how many, and how they were affected by the city of Bellingham's restoration of one of the beaches. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Scientists find fish-eating spiders around the world
Spiders are pretty well known as good hunters, feeding mainly on other insects. But new research is showing just how many of them are good at catching — and dining on — fish as well. The study in the journal PLOS ONE by zoologist and spider expert Martin Nyffeler, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and Bradley Pusey, from the University of Western Australia, documents more than 80 incidents of spiders killing fish across the world, confirming that spiders do not exclusively eat insects. Hoai-Tran Bui reports. (USA Today)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUN 19 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT AFTER NOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER NOON. W SWELL 4 FT
 AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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