Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6/10 Spotted owls, BC drought, adopted orcas, Shell drill, BC LNG, BP Cherry Pt., Gary Greene

Spotted Owls (JaredHobbs/EarthFix)
Spotted owl numbers not only down but also at faster rate
Scientists report that after two decades of attempts to save the species, northern spotted owl numbers in the Northwest are still on the decline — and at a faster rate. The threatened bird nests in old trees and is at the heart of a decades-long struggle over the fate of the region's old-growth forests. Scientists at a conference Tuesday in Vancouver, Washington, reported that owl numbers are now dropping at an annual rate of 3.8 percent, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Glen Sachet. Five years ago, the rate was 2.8 percent. Tim Fought reports. (Associated Press) See also: Where Things Stand For Northwest Forests Under The Clinton Plan  Jes Burns reports. (EarthFix)

Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii on alert for drought conditions
Water experts are warning of drought-like conditions in Metro Vancouver this summer, and parts of the province are already on high alert.  With record-low snow packs, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources says Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii can expect serious water shortages unless significant rainfall comes by the end of June. B.C.'s water stewardship manager Valerie Cameron says those areas have been designated as very dry, or level three on the province's drought levels gauge system. That is just one level shy of the worst drought conditions and it is the earliest the province has designated the regions to level three conditions this early in the year. (CBC) See also: Island residents warned of serious water shortages  Dan Fumano reports. (The Province)

New allies in killer whale recovery? Orcas adopted by Obama girls
Gary Weiss has witnessed first-hand how having friends in high places can help further an important cause. And, that’s a big reason why the photographs of a certain two Southern resident killer whales are likely tacked up on a wall somewhere in the White House by now, or perhaps on the refrigerator. The daughters of the First Family of the United States, Malia and Sasha Obama, recently became united with two members of J-pod through the Friday Harbor Whale Museum’s Orca Adoption Program. Dr. Weiss presented a pair of adoption certificates and accompanying memorabilia to the president as gifts for his daughters girls at a May 27 roundtable discussion in Washington D.C. Scott Rasmussen reports. (San Juan Journal)

Six 'grannies' detained in Seattle during Shell rig protest
Six older women were detained by Seattle police on Tuesday during a protest to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig that activists believe may depart this week to resume fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, authorities said. The six, members of an activist group known as the Seattle Raging Grannies, were questioned and released by police after blocking railroad tracks near the Port of Seattle, police spokesman Patrick Michaud said. bout two dozen other protesters had left the port but were expected back on Wednesday, he said. Victoria Cavaliere reports. (Reuters)

Beyond “kayak-tivism”: Three ways to actually halt offshore drilling in Alaska 

Drew Atkins proposed: "1. Making Arctic safety a cause; 2. Going after Shell’s core business; 3. Forcing Hillary Clinton to oppose it." (Crosscut)

Federal review of leading LNG project in northwest B.C. halted again
A federal review of Pacific NorthWest LNG has been halted a third time as the company has been told to provide more information on its effects on a sensitive salmon-rearing habitat. The consortium, led by Malaysian state-controlled Petronas, was asked in February to provide three-dimensional modelling data demonstrating the effects of sediment and changed water currents from the project on Flora Bank. The bank in the Skeena River estuary contains eelgrass beds critical for juvenile-salmon rearing. Gord Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

BP Cherry Point oil train facility gets extra track
By the end of June, crews at BP Cherry Point refinery are expected to complete an additional rail loop at the crude oil train unloading facility off Grandview Road. The third loop allows for more room to store empty crude oil tank cars until they can be taken away by BNSF Railway, BP spokesman Scott Dean said in an email. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Hidden world beneath the sea
Marine geologist Gary Greene will treat islanders to an absorbing visual tour of the hidden subsea world around the San Juan Archipelago, showing the strikingly beautiful sonar images he has been recording for the past 20 years. This Orcas Currents lecture is on Thursday, June 11 and is cosponsored by Coates Vineyards and the Northwest Straits Foundation. It begins at 5:30 p.m. in Orcas Center, with a reception to follow sponsored by the Orcas Food Coop. Admission is free. (Islands Sounder)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED JUN 10 2015
TODAY
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

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