Friday, February 27, 2015

2/27 Crow gifts, new orca!, oil trains, BC LNG, sinking ship, Mountain Slough, Samish review, L Whatcom, Tofino salmon, PS Stewrds, Navy pier

Crow gifts (PHOTO: Katy Sewall/BBC)
The girl who gets gifts from birds
Lots of people love the birds in their garden, but it's rare for that affection to be reciprocated. One young girl in Seattle is luckier than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her gifts in return. Eight-year-old Gabi Mann sets a bead storage container on the dining room table, and clicks the lid open. This is her most precious collection. "You may take a few close looks," she says, "but don't touch." It's a warning she's most likely practised on her younger brother. She laughs after saying it though. She is happy for the audience. Katy Sewall reports. (BBC)

Feds Spot Third Baby Orca Born Recently to Imperiled Pods
U.S. scientists following endangered killer whales from a research vessel have spotted a newborn orca off the coast of Washington state. A biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says they spotted the calf on Wednesday with other whales in the "L'' pod, one of three families of southern resident killer whales that frequent inland Washington waters. It's the third baby born to the whale pods in recent months, bringing the Puget Sound's endangered population to 80, still dangerously low. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

The oil trains and the cities: How safe?
They gathered at dusk at the King Street Station with the words “No Exploding Oil Trains” projected on the station’s clock tower. Some held signs with four more words, “Not Under Our City.” The crowd wasn’t certain if any 100-car oil trains would enter the tunnel beneath them on the underground route past the Pike Place Market. But after two more oil train explosions this month, one in Ontario and another in West Virginia, the people gathered there Tuesday felt the time was ripe for another protest. Martha Baskin reports. (Crosscut)

Tax break a cash windfall for potential LNG developers in B.C.: UBC professor
The savings to LNG projects from a new federal tax measure introduced last week could be billions of dollars if three major export terminals were to be built on the B.C. coast. University of B.C. accounting professor Kin Lo has calculated that the tax measure would save LNG companies $75 million to $100 million over seven years for every $1 billion invested. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

HMCS Annapolis warship could sink accidentally off Gambier Island if not towed, says lawyer
A deteriorating former warship from the 1960s is on "borrowed time," and could sink accidentally within months, said a lawyer for the Artificial Reef Society of B.C. on Wednesday. Bryan Hicks told a Federal Court that HMCS Annapolis must be towed from Long Bay, also known as Port Graves, on Gambier Island, to nearby Halkett Bay Marine Park, so the society can finally sink it and create an artificial reef. Hicks is in court fighting an application from the Save Halkett Bay Marine Park group to stop the sinking of the ship, which was sold in 2008 to the society for sinking in the marine park for the benefit of divers and marine life. Laurie Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

Kent District delays plans to excavate endangered species hot spot in Fraser Valley
The province has granted the District of Kent authorization to dredge within Mountain Slough, habitat for endangered fish and frogs, to reduce the flood risk to local farms. Dredging, including here at the confluence with McCallum Slough, must be completed by March 15. An environmental expert must be present to monitor the flood works. The District of Kent says it is putting on hold a controversial plan to excavate within Mountain Slough — a hot spot for endangered species in the Fraser Valley. The excavation is intended to reduce flood risk for local farmers. Mayor John Van Laerhoven said in an interview Wednesday that farmers agreed to the delay after the Sto:lo First Nation said the work would carry less environmental risk if undertaken in the summer. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

If you like to watch: NASA's historic views of Seattle region (SeattlePI.Com)

Annual Samish water pollution review starts Sunday
Sunday marks the start of March, and a reminder for many that spring is on the horizon. In Samish Bay, Sunday marks the beginning of another four-month pollution evaluation. Last year the watershed failed the state Department of Health assessment within the first three weeks, much to the disappointment of Clean Samish Initiative partners. The initiative has been working since 2009 to reduce the amount of fecal coliform entering the waterway. Fecal coliform bacteria is an indicator that human or animal feces are present, which can cause illness if consumed. Historically, most Samish water pollution events have been documented between March and June. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Homeowner buy-in needed to meet Lake Whatcom cleanup goal
The next time a Lake Whatcom resident hears from the city or county, it may be to commit to some serious and probably expensive yard work. Bellingham and Whatcom County are funding the next phase of a program that pays homeowners up to $6,000 to partially cover the cost of systems that will capture stormwater from the property and filter out the phosphorus. The new program is part of a comprehensive five-year plan to clean up Lake Whatcom, for 2015-19. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Tofino salmon agency faces uncertain future
A small group of volunteers that has been working to restore some Vancouver Island salmon rivers that are so remote they can only be accessed by horseback may have reached the end of the road. Doug Palfrey, the driving force behind the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society (TSES) for nearly 30 years, sent a short e-mail to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) this week announcing that his group can’t continue saving endangered Chinook stocks in Clayoquot Sound. Mr. Palfrey wrote that $7,000 annual funding under DFO’s Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) simply isn’t enough. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

EarthCorps and Hazel Miller Foundation support Puget Sound Stewards
EarthCorps is becoming a common sight around town. EarthCorps crews, which are made up of young adult environmental leaders from around the US and the world, have been monitoring and restoring habitat at Edmonds Marsh for the past two years. Now, with support from the Hazel Miller Foundation, EarthCorps and the City of Edmonds are launching a Puget Sound Stewards Program in Edmonds. Puget Sound Stewards are committed volunteers trained in the management of habitat restoration sites and volunteer their time and effort to ensure long-term health of these natural areas. (Edmonds Beacon)

Port of Port Angeles offers alternative to Navy's plan for new pier at Ediz Hook Coast Guard station
The Port of Port Angeles has made a last-ditch, last-minute effort to convince the Navy to use existing port docking facilities instead of building a new pier for submarine-escort vessels at the Coast Guard station on Ediz Hook. Port commissioners approved a draft version of a one-page proposal at their meeting Tuesday. They directed Environmental Manager Jesse Waknitz to revise and send it to the Navy on Wednesday. Wednesday was the deadline for public comments on Naval Base Kitsap's “Description of Proposed Action and Alternatives” for the pier and support facilities. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 236 AM PST FRI FEB 27 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT LATE IN THE MORNING. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
NE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
NE WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 2 FT AT 8 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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