Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9 Bird worth, Vic sewer, owl ESA, BC LNG, tribe treaty, fishing whales, water price, flatfish, BC spill, coral reefs

(PHOTO: Bari Bookout/Flickr)
Surveys Put A Price Tag On Urban Birds
Rather than asking people about the economic value of charismatic or endangered species, a new study asks city-dwellers about birds in their backyards and parks. Researchers compared two types of common birds—finches and corvids—in Seattle and Berlin, asking residents how much they would pay to conserve the species and what they spend, if anything, on bird food. In Seattle, the answer is $120 million a year and in Berlin, $70 million. Michelle Ma reports. (UW News)

Federal funding extended for Greater Victoria sewage and bridge
Greater Victoria’s two biggest infrastructure projects have been granted extensions on federal funding offers, giving local government officials a bit of relief. Both the Johnson Street Bridge and the Capital Regional District’s wastewater-treatment projects were given an extra year to meet deadlines before losing a combined $104.4 million in support. Nils Jensen, chairman of the CRD core-area liquid-waste management committee, said the extension was crucial to wastewater treatment plans. The extension was granted based on an aggressive work plan with key objectives and milestones. Amy Smart and Lindsay Kines report. (Times Colonist)

Wildlife Officials Consider Endangered Listing For Spotted Owl
The Northwest’s most iconic bird could get a conservation boost in the coming years. On Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing it will review the protection status of the Northern Spotted Owl. The result could be an endangered species listing. The owl was first listed as threatened in 1990. It was the height of the “Timber Wars” in the Northwest and the listing became a pivotal moment in the region’s cultural and economic history. It led to a temporary ban on logging in federal old growth forests and eventually to the Northwest Forest Plan, which cut logging on national forests and other federal land by more than 80 percent. Jes Burn reports (EarthFix)

Opposition to Woodfibre LNG heats up in Squamish
Opposition to the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant is escalating in Squamish and Howe Sound, where a protest — not the first — involving hundreds of opponents marched through downtown Squamish Sunday venting their rage at the plan. Although the plant’s supporters value the project’s potential tax base and promised jobs, critics believe the future of Squamish — recently cited as one of just two Canadian destinations in the New York Times’s list of 52 best places in the world to visit in 2015 — is largely in tourism and outdoor recreation, and that Woodfibre LNG’s alleged negative environmental impacts don’t square with that.  Brian Morton reports. (Vancouver Sun)

First Nations to sign tentative treaty deal but future of process in doubt
A group of five First Nations on southern Vancouver Island is expected to sign a tentative treaty settlement on Thursday – even as some of the key participants reconsider the slow and costly process of settling modern-day treaties. The agreement-in-principle between the Te’Mexw Treaty Association, Ottawa and Victoria is being inked in the B.C. capital with all the ceremony that is expected after almost 21 years of negotiations. But the talks are not over – the parties will now move to the “final agreement” stage. Meanwhile, the future for other First Nations that are further behind in the treaty process is in question. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Fish-stealing whales take bite out of black-cod harvest
Frustrated Alaska fishermen have tried tactics like blasting heavy metal music from their boats to keep whales from stealing fish from their lines. To protect their catch, they are now talking about abandoning hooks and lines in favor of baited traps. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Putting A Price On Water
When you turn on the tap and water comes out, there’s a tendency to think it’s free. But increasingly, there’s a push to recognize water as the precious commodity it is, by putting a higher price on it. Water as the oil of the 21st Century was the headline on an event in Seattle put on by the Clean Tech Alliance. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Plan would reopen fishing for flatfish in Hood Canal
Flatfish have recovered enough in Hood Canal that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing a limited renewal of fishing for flounder, sole and other species in Quilcene Bay and the northern portion of Dabob Bay. Recreational fishing would be opened for flounder, sole and other flatfish except halibut. The state Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear public testimony on the proposal at 10:15 a.m. Friday during its meeting at the Capital Events Center, 6005 Tyee Drive S.W. in Tumwater. The commission meeting begins today. This issue is on Friday’s agenda. (Peninsula Daily News)

Crews investigate apparent oil spill in English Bay
Crews are working to clean up what appears to be an oil spill in English Bay. An emergency response team was called in to deal with an oily substance coating the water on the east side of the bay at about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Port Metro Vancouver received multiple reports about the spill before calling in the coast guard. The coast guard and marine response teams worked into the night co-ordinating efforts to recover the substance and pinpoint its source. (Canadian Press)

Recipe for saving coral reefs: Add more fish
Fish are the key ingredients in a new recipe to diagnose and restore degraded coral reef ecosystems, according to scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, WCS, James Cook University, and other organizations in a new study in the journal Nature. For overfished coral reef systems, restoring fish populations that perform key roles will in turn restore ecological functions critical to recovery. For moderately or lightly fished reefs, the recipe requires knowing which fish to catch, how many, and which to leave behind. (Science Daily)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU APR 9 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 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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