Friday, May 22, 2015

5/22 Shell train, Derek Corrigan, BC Ferries, clean water, grease, anti-drill barge, halibut, wetlands bank

Plankton (Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions)
Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain
What’s at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small … smaller than you can see. Microbes in the ocean! There are (and scientists have done the math) trillions of microorganisms in the ocean: plankton, bacteria, krill (they’re maybe bigger than “micro,” but not by much), viruses, protists and archaea (they’re like bacteria, but they aren’t bacteria). Christopher Joyce reports. (NPR)

Judge grants county’s motion to dismiss Shell lawsuit; EIS to continue as planned
A lawsuit filed by Shell over Skagit County’s plans to conduct an environmental impact statement on Shell’s proposed unloading oil facility in Anacortes was dismissed Thursday by a Skagit County Superior Court judge. The EIS for the Shell Puget Sound Refinery unloading facility will go forward as planned after Judge Michael E. Rickert granted the county’s motion to dismiss Shell’s request for judicial review. Rickert said the lawsuit Shell brought against the county in March is premature because the scope of the EIS has not been determined. Shannen Kuest reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan ready to end career with pipeline arrest
If push comes to shove, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan is prepared to end his political career getting arrested over the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. Those were Corrigan's words to a packed audience at Wednesday night's BROKE meeting at Forest Grove Elementary. He says he would be 'very proud' to go out standing his ground. Jennifer Moreau reports. (Burnaby Now)

BC Ferries cancels cuts to major routes between Vancouver Island and mainland
BC Ferries is dropping plans to cut sailings on its major routes — including Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen to Duke Point, and Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay — and says it will look elsewhere to find savings. The provincial ferry corporation announced two years ago it was looking at saving $4.9 million by reducing service between Vancouver Island and the mainland, as part of a multi-year proposal to save $19 million across the ferry system. Sailings were axed on 16 minor routes in April 2014, and BC Ferries said it would announce service level reductions on the major routes by 2016. But on Thursday the ferry corporation announced it had a second look, and decided the cuts don't make economic sense. (CBC)

Obama Set to Strengthen Federal Role in Clean Water Regulation
The Obama administration is expected in the coming days to announce a major clean water regulation that would restore the federal government’s authority to limit pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. Environmentalists have praised the new rule, calling it an important step that would lead to significantly cleaner natural bodies of water and healthier drinking water. But it has attracted fierce opposition from several business interests, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers and a national association of golf course owners. Opponents contend that the rule would stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners’ rights. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Arctic-Drilling Protesters To Move Barge After Damaging Popular Dive Site
Protesters of Arctic drilling have run afoul of the ocean environment in their own small way. In addition to assembling a flotilla of kayaks on Seattle's Elliott Bay last weekend, the activists brought in a construction barge. It's a solar-powered platform for protests against Shell Oil's plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean. But the protesters anchored their solar barge over one of Seattle's most popular sites for scuba diving. Divers complained this week on Facebook about the protest barge's anchors.  They said anchor lines were snagging pilings and other old debris that's turned into habitat over the years. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

How to get people to stop pouring grease down the drain is Metro Vancouver's $2 million question.
Many people wouldn’t think twice — say, on a Sunday, post-brunch — about cleaning a little one’s sticky fingers with a wet wipe, flushing it, and then washing a greasy frying pan with soap and water. Stop doing that, says Metro Vancouver. Cooking grease and wet wipes in the sewer system cost Metro Vancouver and its municipalities about $2.25 million a year, said Jeff Gogol, an environmental regulatory planner with Metro Vancouver’s liquid waste services division. (Vancouver Sun)

Shellfish harvesting ban lifted for most Whatcom beaches
The state Department of Health has reopened most beaches in Whatcom County to recreational shellfish harvesting after the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning dropped to safe levels. The ban had affected beaches from Sandy Point north to the border, including Point Roberts, but is now lifted. It was the second biotoxin related closure in less than a month. Portage Bay remains closed to the harvest of varnish clams. (Bellingham Herald)

How B.C. halibut became more expensive than Angus beef tenderloin
Supply and demand has led to a major increase in the price of halibut in B.C. With the abundance of halibut available across the province going down, pricing has skyrocketed over the last decade making the fish more expensive than some prized meat cuts. Ten years ago, the price of halibut in Prince Rupert averaged under $12 per pound. Now, that price has shot up to $27 per pound across the city. (CBC)

Kelso wetlands mitigation bank moves forward
A lush tract of land is about to get more lucrative for Kelso by staying just how it is. City Council members voted Tuesday to grant Forterra NW a conservation easement to 240 acres of land along the Coweeman River and into the hills east of Aldercrest Road. The move takes the city a step closer to establishing a 440-acre “mitigation bank,” a process started two years ago. Mitigation banks allow developers to buy credits to offset ecological disturbances their developments will cause, City Manager Steve Taylor said. Brooks Johnson reports. (Longview Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI MAY 22 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
MON
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT.
--
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