Thursday, March 26, 2015

3/26 BC lions, Vic sewage, oil tank cars, Shell drill, BC ferries, Skagit GI, slave seafood

The Lions of March (Laurie MacBride)
If you like to watch: The Lions of March
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I can’t recall whether March came in like a lamb or a lion this year – but I certainly won’t forget the lions that arrived mid-month. California sea lions, that is…. The reason they’re here is that a bumper run of spawning Pacific herring has arrived along our shores this year – creating a feast for Harbour seals, Bald eagles, masses of gulls and herds of sea lions, all chasing the little silvery, nutrient-rich fish. I’ve lived on Gabriola Island for 30 years, and though I’ve seen herring spawn along our other beaches, I’ve never seen it before at Drumbeg Park – where last week, the water in the bay turned milky white with herring spawn…." See also: Herring harvest continues to be controversial on B.C. coast  Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

New blog: Talking About Race, With or Without Coffee
It’s OK to talk about race if you have something to say about it and you’re not just talking about talking about race. I’ll start with a personal disclosure....

U.S. Rep. Kilmer urges Canada to stop dumping sewage from Victoria into Strait of Juan de Fuca
Maybe it's time for a Mr. Floatie comeback tour. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, on Wednesday urged the Canadian parliament to stop dumping raw sewage from Victoria into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Mr. Floatie is the 6-foot character, costumed as a bow-tie-wearing, sailor-capped piece of excrement, who tried to shame the Canadians into doing just that. But the Victoria suburb of Esquimalt declined to build a sewage treatment plant last spring. “It's time for Canada to solve this sewage problem,” Kilmer said Wednesday. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

‘Get them off rails now,’ Sen. Cantwell says of some oil tank cars
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced legislation on Wednesday that would immediately ban the least sturdy tank cars from carrying crude oil after a series of recent fiery train derailments. The bill also would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to regulate the volatility of crude oil transported by rail, particularly oil extracted from shale formations in North Dakota’s Bakken region. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

Port Of Seattle Rejects Calls To Cancel Arctic Drill Rig Lease
After nearly two hours of public testimony Tuesday, Seattle port commissioners upheld their decision to let Arctic oil-drilling rigs dock at the Port of Seattle. They did vote 5-0 to make it harder for Shell Oil to use the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 beyond the two-year term of the lease the port approved in January. Under the measure approved Tuesday, any changes or extensions to that lease would require a public process and a public vote by the Port of Seattle Commission. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

BC Ferry fares to increase April 1
Ferry fares are going up again in B.C., after the BC Ferries commissioner on Wednesday approved a tariff hike. A fee increase for vehicles and passengers of 3.9 per cent and a fuel rebate of one per cent will take effect April 1, so fares wil go up 2.9 per cent. On the northern routes, between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, fares will increase two per cent. BC Ferries said the fuel rebate should be in place all summer, and possibly into next year. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Canadian Press)

Corps requests Skagit River GI extension, more money
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking Skagit County to contribute $810,000 toward the next phase of a flood protection study and estimates it will take until the end of 2016 to complete. Those are the latest official cost and timeline estimates, which county officials received Friday from the corps. Finishing Phase 2 of the five-phase Skagit River General Investigation study is expected to cost an additional $1.89 million, according to the corps’ request. Of that, the county would contribute $810,000. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Investigation tracks slave-caught seafood to U.S. supply chain
The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home. Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States. Here, in the Indonesian island village of Benjina and the surrounding waters, hundreds of trapped men represent one of the most desperate links criss-crossing between companies and countries in the seafood industry. This intricate web of connections separates the fish we eat from the men who catch it, and obscures a brutal truth: Your seafood may come from slaves. Robin Mcdowell, Margie Mason & Martha Mendoza report. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 320 AM PDT THU MAR 26 2015
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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