Friday, June 27, 2014

6/27 First Nation win, oil risks, fish-farm regs, language laws, rhino auklets

Rhinoceros Auklet (Bob Whitney/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Monitoring Rhinoceros Auklets on Protection Island
The nesting colony of Rhinoceros Auklets on Washington State’s Protection Island is among the largest in the world. The birds’ breeding success reflects the health of surrounding marine waters. Scientists are monitoring the type, number, and food value of the fish the adults provide. And to find out how the chicks are faring, they’re snaking fiber-optic infrared cameras mounted on long cables into the burrows! (BirdNote)

Tsilhqot'in First Nation granted B.C. title claim in Supreme Court ruling
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted declaration of aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia to the Tsilhqot'in First Nation, the first time the court has made such a ruling regarding aboriginal land. The unanimous 8-0 decision released Thursday resolves many important legal questions, such as how to determine aboriginal title and whether provincial laws apply to those lands. It will apply wherever there are outstanding land claims. The decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, also has implications for future economic or resource development on First Nations lands. (CBC) See also:  Land claims court ruling reshapes resource sector nationwide  Kathryn Blaze Carlson reports. (Globe and Mail)

BC's Rising Oil Spill Risk Threatens Otters: Washington State Report
New risks from Canadian oil tanker spills confront the 1,100 sea otters living around the Olympic Peninsula, said an internal report of March 2014 by the Washington State Ecology Department. The otters live from Point Grenville to Neah Bay on the rocky and perilous west coast of the state, about half of them around Destruction Island. Their cousins who share the Salish Sea north of the B.C. border are considered an endangered species in Canada. "The relative risk of an oil spill occurring near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca may increase by over four times with the development of new oil transport facilities in British Columbia, Canada and Washington State," said the report. These include the Northern Gateway plan, the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion, and proposed changes at Delta Port. Stanley Tromp reports. (The Tyee) See also: Kinder Morgan’s oil spill cost estimates rejected by U.S. EPA  Mychaylo Prystupa reports. (Vancouver Observer)

The oil boom in one slick infographic
Oil, oil everywhere! It’s coming … by sea, by rail, and by pipeline. Over the past five years, domestic oil production has jumped by 50 percent. The boom adds up to a mess of oil – and oil data. Click on this interactive infographic to see how much of the black stuff has been flowing domestically, and why the Northwest may be in for a crude awakening... Amber Cortes reports. (Grist)

Oil train dangers extend past Bakken
The dangers posed by a spike in oil shipments by rail extend beyond crude from the booming Bakken region of the Northern Plains and include oil produced elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada, U.S. safety officials and lawmakers said. Acting National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart said all crude shipments are flammable and can damage the environment — not just the Bakken shipments involved in a series of fiery accidents. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

DFO aims to streamline fish-farm regulations
Amendments to federal Fisheries Act regulations will specifically allow salmon farmers to treat their fish with pesticides and drugs as part of its effort to streamline aquaculture regulation, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced Thursday. The Fisheries Act’s anti-pollution measures prohibit anyone from dumping anything that would harm fish or fish habitat, unless authorized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Shea said the rules proposed Thursday will streamline the regulation of aquaculture — which is now governed by 10 different federal acts — within DFO and help give an industry that is worth $2 billion a year to the Canadian economy a chance to grow. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Environment Canada tornado tweets stalled by language laws
Meteorologists in the United States use Twitter to push weather warnings to the public, but that doesn't happen in Canada — official bilingualism has proved a barrier to weather warning tweets. Canadian meteorologists are not authorized to tweet because all government communication has to follow Canada’s language laws, according to Environment Canada's executive director of national programs Ken Macdonald.... Macdonald said Environment Canada is working on software that would make this possible, but it's not ready yet. (CBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 402 AM PDT FRI JUN 27 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PDT TODAY
TODAY
E WIND RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT BY MIDMORNING...THEN BECOMING SW 10 KT ABOUT MIDDAY. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING.
 W SWELL 2 TO 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN TAPERING OFF TO SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
SAT
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL BUILDING TO 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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