Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3/24 Samish Bay poop, Surrey Docks coal, ocean acid, NEB free speech, Shell drill, oil spills, BC skiing

Blau Oyster Company
Samish Bay misses upgrade target, partners keep eye to the future
Despite the efforts of more than 20 groups and organizations working for years to clean the Samish watershed, it has again failed a state pollution evaluation. That means the bay cannot get an upgrade this year, but Clean Samish Initiative partners remain hopeful that the watershed will eventually make the mark. Last year, Samish Bay failed the state Department of Health’s eligibility test for a shellfish harvest upgrade within the first three weeks. This year it held out only a few days longer. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Fraser Surrey Docks seeks to pump coal waste water into Metro Vancouver’s sewer system
Fraser Surrey Docks is asking Metro Vancouver for a permit to discharge treated waste water from its planned coal transfer facility into the regional sewage system. The company’s permit application says it is proposing “comprehensive water-based dust suppression systems” that will generate run-off, as will washing down of machinery. Rain that falls on the coal piles would also be collected. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Ocean acidification: Research here will add to what we know
Mira Lutz of Anacoretes is an Extended Education faculty member for Western Washington University. She provides a short tutorial on ocean acidification: "We folk of Fidalgo are island dwellers. We look over bays and channels, straits and coves as a normal course of commutes. We take in the beauty and bounty of scenic vistas, a good day’s catch and life is as it should be. Yet we hear all is not as it should be under the surface. There are toxins from dumping and runoff accumulating in the food web from plankton to killer whales, and something even more fundamental. The pH level of the ocean — the entire ocean — is decreasing at geologically unprecedented rates…." (Anacortes American)

Environmental advocates take NEB fight to Supreme Court
An environmental organization and a group of concerned citizens are asking the Supreme Court of Canada to hear a complaint that the National Energy Board is violating their rights to free speech. ForestEthics Advocacy Association, and several individuals who live near the route of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, say the NEB is acting unfairly in limiting who can speak at the public hearings and in restricting the topics to be discussed. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Seattle worries Arctic drilling would impact its port
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is poised to help Shell clear a major hurdle in its effort to resume drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean, despite opposition from her hometown of Seattle, where the company’s drilling fleet would be moored at the city’s port. All nine members of the Seattle City Council signed a letter on Monday calling on Jewell to block the Arctic drilling, said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who spearheaded the effort.,,, Jewell is expected, possibly as early as Wednesday, to sign off on the revised environmental impact statement for Shell’s Chukchi Sea lease, a major step toward the company’s goal of drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer. Sean Cockerham reports. (McClatchy)

'Small' Oil Spills Can Add Up To Big Costs
State Fish and Wildlife Biologist Brian McDonald is careful not to raise his voice as he approaches a row of baby cribs in a warehouse in Pasco, Washington. Each one holds mallard ducks…. The ducks were hit by an oil spill in Sunnyside earlier this month. McDonald says oil coats the ducks’ feathers and breaks down their natural waterproofing, “so each time they go into the water, it’s like a scuba diver going in without a wetsuit.” Though they don’t always make headlines, 95 percent of oil spills in the U.S. are relatively small — less than the size of a tanker truck you might see on the highway. Washington State’s Department of Ecology responds to about 400 oil spills a year, nearly all of them a few thousand gallons or less. Rowan Moore Gerety reports. (Northwest Public Radio)

Mt. Seymour, Cypress Mountain close for ski season
Mt. Seymour and Cypress Mountain announced Monday that their ski resorts were closing early after a dismal season of meagre snowfall. "We made a huge amount of quality snow during the season but got virtually wiped out on four separate occasions with unearthly amounts of rain," Cypress said in an email to season passholders…. Mt. Seymour has been on standby and was operating its Mystery Peak Express and the Goldie Magic Carpet simultaneously for 12 days. It's now offering season passholders an 88 per cent credit towards the next season. Tamara Baluja reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE MAR 24 2015
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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