Monday, July 7, 2014

7/7 Sockeye, orcas, Vic sewer, flood plane, Kinder Morgan, 'all chiefs' meet, Skagit streams, green crowdsourcing, SeaWorld, dark profits

Fraser River sockeye (CBC)
Massive sockeye salmon run forecast for Osoyoos Lake
What is potentially one of the largest returns of sockeye salmon in the last 80 years has begun making its way up the Columbia River to tributaries in B.C., with tens of thousands of fish now passing fish counters every day. Howie Wright, a fish biologist with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, said up to 300,000 fish are expected to make the 1,000 kilometre journey and cross over Wells Dam south of Osoyoos Lake, with about 100,000 eventually forecast to reach the local spawning grounds. (CBC)

Orca expert's dire warning about Puget Sound orcas
One of the world’s most respected Orca researchers is warning we are at the survival crossroads for the Pacific Northwest pods. The endangered Southern Resident Orcas that frequent Puget Sound are not rebuilding their numbers as hoped. Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research, is doing what he’s done for 40 years. Photographing and recording the Southern Resident orcas. Gary Chittim reports. (KING5)

Don’t count on funding to build multiple sewage plants, CRD told
Greater Victoria municipalities wanting to go it on their own for sewage treatment should not assume provincial funding as part of their plans, says B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak. And the province will not extend its 2018 funding deadline for the Capital Regional District to have sewage treatment in place, Polak said in a letter to CRD chairman Alastair Bryson. The current project agreement makes the CRD solely responsible for all aspects of the project and lays out clear timelines that must be met, Polak said. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Prime Vancouver property designated flood plain
Some of the most expensive and densely developed land in Vancouver has been designated as flood plain, including a significant area around False Creek, a new map issued by the city Thursday reveals. And an amended building bylaw raises by roughly one metre — to 4.6 metres — the level of construction for new homes within the flood plain, anticipating impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels.

Kinder Morgan criticized for lack of detail on its Trans Mountain pipeline plan
Kinder Morgan Inc. has come under fire for the responses it has given to hundreds of questions filed with the National Energy Board concerning its Trans Mountain pipeline project, with Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver, the city and the provincial government all demanding the company be ordered to answer properly.... The City of Vancouver has also complained, saying that the company failed to answer 145 of the 394 questions it submitted. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Christy Clark schedules ‘all chiefs’ meeting with First Nations leaders, provincial cabinet
Premier Christy Clark is inviting First Nations leaders across the province to attend an “all chiefs” meeting with her cabinet in September. The gathering is the first of its kind since Clark became premier, and will give aboriginal leaders and provincial cabinet ministers an opportunity for face-to-face discussions. (Vancouver Sun)

Volunteers monitor pulse of Skagit streams
Once a month, Becky Rosencrans and Jeanette Redmond meet at Pomona Grange Park to check the vitals of Friday Creek. They lean in just enough to take its temperature and collect two jars of fluids. They then travel to three other sites where they repeat the process for Swede, Thomas and Willard creeks. The water samples are later analyzed for turbidity and fecal coliform, which are indicators for the health of the streams. Rosencrans and Redmond are two of 73 volunteers with the Skagit Conservation District’s Stream Team program. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Heald)

Web users join hunt for Hawaii tree invaders
US conservationists and a satellite imagery company have teamed up to use the power of crowdsourcing to halt the spread of destructive invasive plants. Species such as the Australian tree fern are using up vital water supplies within native forests on Hawaii, home to unique species found nowhere else. So far, more than 5,000 people have visited the website. To date, each pixel of the images of the forest has been scrutinised by web users at least 50 times. Mark Kinver reports. (BBC)

Some SeaWorld mammals survive longer in captivity
Since the release of a highly-critical documentary last year, SeaWorld Entertainment has been condemned by animal rights activists distressed over the condition of its killer whales. But annual survival rates for some of the most common marine mammals -- including killer whales -- at SeaWorld's three parks are near the top of all U.S. parks and aquariums, an analysis of five decades of federal data by The Associated Press showed.  Mike Schneider reports. (Associated Press)

Billionaire clean-energy advocate’s dark past: coal profits
To environmentalists across Australia, it is a baffling anachronism in an era of climate change: the construction of a 4,000-acre mine in New South Wales that will churn out carbon-laden coal for the next 30 years.... The project had an unlikely financial backer in the United States: billionaire Tom Steyer, the most influential environmentalist in U.S. politics, who has vowed to spend $100 million this year to defeat candidates who oppose policies to combat climate change. Michael Barbaro and Coral Davenport report. (NYTimes)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 837 PM PDT SUN JUL 6 2014
MON
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. AREAS OF
 MORNING FOG.
MON NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

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