Thursday, February 12, 2015

2/12 Shell drilling, Victoria sewage, ocean acid test, fish farm flap

“The Dancers” Drumbeg Park (Laurie MacBride)
Afloat in the Salish Sea
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Just over 30 years ago I moved from Vancouver Island, to put down new roots on the much smaller island of Gabriola. A west-coaster from birth and an islander all my life, I continue to love this little jewel of a place, afloat in the Salish Sea. And on an almost daily basis, I continue to find photographic inspiration here – which is why I’m focusing my new show (opening Feb. 16) on images of Gabriola. “The Dancers”... is one of five photos of Gabriola’s Drumbeg Park in the show…"

New blog: Get Smart With Phone, Rockfish Rebound, Fight IS By Shooting Back
When we get smart, smart phones can change the world; rockfish rebound so now let’s eat; why don’t gun-rights activists go to Syria and Iraq instead of wasting their time trying to get arrested in Olympia?

Port of Seattle inks 2-year lease for Shell oil fleet
The Port of Seattle on Monday signed a lease that allows short-term moorage and vessel operations for a Shell oil fleet assembled to conduct exploration off Alaska’s North Slope. The lease with Foss Maritime is expected to pay the port $13.17 million over two years. It covers 50 acres of the 156-acre Terminal 5, according to a message Wednesday from port CEO Theodore Fick to Patti Goldman of EarthJustice, which represents environmental groups opposed to the port being used a support base for Shell exploration. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

CRD conundrum: new sewage ideas could cost millions in funding
The Capital Regional District may have to walk away from $83.4 million in federal grant money as it explores innovative options for its sewage treatment program, some local politicians said Wednesday. “Ultimately, we do we want the federal government to participate. Of course we do,” Saanich Coun. Vic Derman told members of the core area sewage committee on Wednesday. “But we don’t really want to get ourselves in a situation where we are tied to an overly expensive solution because it’s coming along with some federal dollars. That makes no sense.” Part of the CRD’s approved liquid waste management plan has called for a biosolids processing centre at the Hartland Road landfill where sludge (the stuff left over from sewage treatment) would be piped and processed using anaerobic digestion to produce biosolids which could be used as a fuel substitute, produce biogas and recover phosphorus. Derman has long been arguing the CRD should explore alternate technologies such as gasification, which could be cheaper, require less land and also handle kitchen scraps and garbage. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

An acid test for the high seas
IN MANY ways, litmus paper is the perfect scientific sensor. It is cheap, requires no power or skill to use and delivers instant results. Blue paper turns red in acids. Red paper turns blue in alkalis. And that is all you need to know. In the real world, though, things are a bit more complicated. … Measuring pH accurately needs special equipment. And in the rough and tumble of the sea rather than on the calm of the laboratory bench, that equipment needs to be robust, as well. Making such marine measurements is important, however, in order to track the acidification of the ocean which is being brought about by rising carbon-dioxide levels in the air. The XPRIZE foundation, a charity that runs technology competitions, has therefore put up $2m in prize money, to be awarded to those inventors who can come up with devices which will do that tracking best. And on February 9th, in Seattle Aquarium, the competitors started going mano a mano.  (The Economist)

Lawsuit dropped after College of Veterinarians of B.C. agrees to investigate fish researcher’s complaint
Ecojustice said Wednesday that a B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit against the College of Veterinarians of B.C. is being dropped after the college agreed to investigate a complaint by independent fish researcher Alexandra Morton. The suit said that Morton had lodged a written complaint with the College on Sept. 13, 2013, over “incorrect information” provided in a confidential memorandum dated Aug. 1, 2007, from Mark Sheppard to the provincial Minister of Agriculture and Lands. Ecojustice asserted that Sheppard, then an aquatic animal health vet for the province, “advised that live Atlantic salmon eggs are not imported to B.C. and are not allowed to be imported to B.C.; these facts are false.” Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU FEB 12 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN A
 CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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