Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12/24 Flood, shoreline coalition, species surveys, First Nation consult, quakes, 'no go' zone, bird flu, Navy sonar

Loving That Light (PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Welcoming Back the Light
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "We all crave a bit of extra light at this time of year, especially those of us who live under the often-grey skies of BC’s wet coast. I spotted the seagulls in the photo above, enjoying some winter afternoon sunshine on the sandstone shore of Drumbeg Park on Gabriola Island – and by their relaxed looks I think they were appreciating it every bit as much as I was…."

New blog: Last Minute Shopping Thoughts
"If the 25th is your big day, then you really ought to be done with the shopping. Here’s to hoping you stayed within a reasonable budget in giving gifts that, well, mean something. I think affordable and meaningful over the years has become more and more difficult to achieve…."

Coastal flood advisory for Wednesday morning in Whatcom County
Low-lying coastal areas of Whatcom County could get some flooding Wednesday morning, Dec. 24. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory in effect from 5 to 10 a.m. Wednesday. Tidal overflow around high tide, which will be at 7:48 a.m. at Cherry Point, could cause some flooding. Areas of Birch Bay and Boulevard Park in Bellingham are among those where flooding is common. (Bellingham Herald)

Land trusts form coalition to protect Puget Sound
Skagit Land Trust has joined 13 other trusts across the state in forming the Shoreline Conservation Collaborative whose goal is to increase shoreline conservation to protect and restore Puget Sound. Over the next decade, the group aims to permanently protect 150 shoreline properties and restore an additional 30 shoreline properties. Of that, they hope to bring a minimum of 5,280 linear feet of shoreline under protection, and restore a minimum of 2,500 feet of marine shoreline in Skagit County specifically, Skagit Land Trust Executive Director Molly Doran said. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Environmentalists disagree over Inslee's agenda
"In yesterday's Fizz, I channelled local environmentalists who were grousing about Gov. Jay Inslee's carbon cap and trade plan; Inslee is proposing a $12 chit per-ton per-year on the state's biggest polluters (factories that emit 25,000 metric tons of GHG per year), gradually ratcheting down the chits from current estimated 94 million metric tons of CO2 until there are only enough chits left for 44 million metric tons total in the statewide system by 2050. About 130 big polluters will be trading the carbon allowances.  The complaint? $400 million of the expected $1 billion in first biennium carbon allowance revenue will go to Gov. Inslee's concomitant transportation plan which is lopsided in spending on new roads and road maintenance vs. multimodal transit dollars. A bit Sisyphean the environmental critics scoffed…." Josh Felt reports. (Seattle Met)

Science Fiction Becomes Reality For Species Surveys
On the original “Star Trek” series, landing parties from the starship Enterprise used a versatile device they called the Tricorder to instantly read out what was in their surroundings. So imagine being able to detect rare or invasive species, study biodiversity or to estimate fish abundance with just a scoop of air or a dip of water. It would be like science fiction come true. The Tricorder was dreamed up in the mid-1960s. Now more than 40 years later, environmental researchers and surveyors can match Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock — sort of. Science fiction is indeed becoming reality through a new sampling technology called environmental DNA. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network/EarthFix)

Ottawa should have consulted First Nation over environmental laws  
A Federal Court ruling that found Ottawa should have consulted an Alberta First Nation before passing sweeping changes to environmental laws should be a “wake-up call” to government, says an environmental law group. In 2012, a pair of omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, made changes to Canada’s environmental, navigable water and fisheries laws in an effort to streamline and expedite approval of resource projects. It sparked widespread criticism from First Nations and environmental groups, who helped launch the Idle No More movement in protest…. Last Friday, Federal Court Judge Roger Hughes ruled the federal government erred when it failed to consult with the Mikisew Cree before introducing the changes to parliament since those changes will clearly affect their right to use their traditional territory, particularly their hunting and fishing rights. The court did not grant an injunction requested by the Mikisew Cree against any new laws. But the ruling does open the door to the “neutron bomb” of overturning future laws if governments continue to fail to consult with First Nations, said Jessica Clogg, senior counsel for West Coast Environmental Law. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Earthquake 'swarm' strikes off B.C. coast, but no sign of the 'Big One'
A 'swarm' of earthquakes struck off the coast of B.C. over the weekend, but there is no evidence that means that a large quake is imminent, says geological researcher Dr. Honn Kao. Earthquakes Canada reported five earthquakes measuring from 4.0 to 5.0 in magnitude, all striking about midway between the northern end of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii on Saturday and Sunday. (CBC)

Push for 'No Go' zone revitalized in attempt to limit stress on whales
In the wake of the death of J32, a pregnant female of the Southern Resident orca whales, a call to action resurfaced last week for a "No-Go" whale protection zone off the westside of San Juan Island. Orca Relief Citizens Alliance is urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to adopt its outline and begin the formal public process of establishing a no-go zone. Emily Greenberg reports. (San Juan Journal)

State seeks help to track bird flu
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks the public’s help in testing waterfowl and other wild birds for a type of avian influenza that has killed thousands of domestic birds in British Columbia and was recently detected in wild Washington and Oregon birds. While the virus poses no apparent threat to human health, it can be deadly to domestic poultry. State wildlife managers ask anyone who sees a sick or dead bird, whether wild or domestic, to report it. They will also seek samples from hunters’ harvest to test for the disease, an effort that will be focused on Skagit and four other counties. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Avian flu spreads to first backyard coop in Langley

Navy seeks public comment on sonar use in training with supplement to environmental impact statement
The U.S. Navy has completed a supplement to an environmental impact statement that examines the proposed increased use of sonar in the Northwest Training and Testing Area. The Northwest Training and Testing Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement is available for public review and comment online. The Navy is accepting comments through Feb. 2. The draft environmental impact study and supplement for the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area are separate from a controversial electronic warfare training project in the Olympic Military Operations Area for which the Navy is seeking U.S. Forest Service permits.   (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED DEC 24 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON
 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS IN
 THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
NW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
THU
NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
THU NIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
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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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