Friday, September 18, 2015

9/18 Wildlife watch,,BC oysters, PA crabs, ferry link, salamanders, CA ESA, oil export ban, rail safety

Wolf, Pacific Wild (Ian McAllister/CBC)
If you like to watch: Great Bear Rainforest live cams capture wolves, seals and salmon at play
Now you can catch sea wolves playing, seals scratching themselves or salmon jumping from a stream through three live stream cameras set up in the Great Bear Rainforest. The Great Bear LIVE program has installed what it describes as non-invasive technology that captures the animals in their element. "It's a unique opportunity for people to see first hand what is happening here and see animals behaving in a natural way," explained Diana Chan, conservation biologist with Pacific Wild. Watch the live stream. (CBC)

If you like to watch: Transient orcas catch sea lion near Lopez Island
A private whale watching tour witnesses a group of transient orcas hunting for a meal. In this case, members of the T-137 group attacked a thousand-pound Stellar sea lion. According to Mystic Sea Charters, passenger Mike caught the hunt near Lopez Island on camera. Elizabeth Wiley reports. (KING)

B.C. raw oyster ban lifted by Vancouver Coastal Health
Oyster growers in B.C. are back in business after Vancouver Coastal Health lifted the ban on serving raw oysters that's been in place since August. All restaurants under VCH's jurisdiction have been required to cook any oysters served up to customers after an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection. (CBC)

Study: Eating large amounts of Port Angeles Harbor crab could raise risks of cancer
Eating a lot of crab from Port Angeles Harbor could increase the risk of cancer, according to 13-year-old research presented to the Clallam County Board of Health on Tuesday. The report issued in February 2005 stems from samples taken in 2002 mostly off the old Rayonier mill site, a firmer pulp mill that became a cleanup site in 2000. In 2007, a health warning against eating crab or shellfish from the harbor was issued. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

New ferry would link Victoria and Vancouver downtowns
A foot passenger ferry service between Vancouver and Victoria could soon be operating out of the Inner Harbour’s historic CPR Steamship Terminal, along with a deep ocean education centre affiliated with the University of Victoria. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority said Wednesday that it is negotiating long-term leases with two potential tenants: Riverside Marine, a major Australian marine operator and Ocean Networks Canada, which operates the NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories. Not only would the two potential tenants make the money-losing harbour authority viable, said CEO Ian Robertson, but help return the building to its maritime origins dating to 1905. He hopes tenancy agreements will be worked out by mid-November. Katherine Dedyna reports. (Times Colonist)

Pacific Northwest Salamanders May Qualify For Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says two salamanders in Oregon and Washington may qualify for Endangered Species Act protection. The findings on Tuesday about the Cascade torrent salamander and Columbia torrent salamander mean the agency will initiate full status reviews for the species to see if they warrant protection. The findings come in response to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center first asked for protection for the salamanders in 2012. The petition said they are increasingly rare because of habitat loss due primarily to logging and road building. The four-inch brown salamanders live in forest streams and are found only in a small stretch of the Cascades and Coast range. (Associated Press)

Canada sidesteps protection of endangered fish, study finds
Endangered and threatened marine fish species in Canada are routinely refused protection by the federal government, contrary to scientists' recommendations, a new study has found. In fact, the more endangered the fish are, the less likely they are to get protection under Canada's endangered species legislation, researchers at the University of Victoria and the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax report. "It's a bit of a perverse outcome," Julia Baum, a University of Victoria biologist who co-authored the report, said during an interview with CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks that airs Saturday…. And while the federal government says that species that aren't listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) will still get protection under the Fisheries Act, Baum and her colleagues found "absolutely no evidence" that that has ever happened. (CBC)

Chambers Creek dog park, beach reopen Friday
The off-leash dog park and access to the beach at Chambers Creek Regional Park will open Friday (Sept. 18)…. Close to 800 creosote piles and two dilapidated docks were removed from the water and beach area. Removal work began last fall but was completed during the park’s extended closure after the U.S. Open golf championship June 15-21 at the county-owned park and golf course. The piles and cement structures removed from the waterfront were left over from the site’s former operation as a gravel mine. Brynn Grimley reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

House moves one step closer to lifting ban on crude oil exports
The House Energy and Commerce Committee took a major step Thursday toward allowing crude oil exports from the United States. Three Democrats joined all of the Republicans on Thursday in voting for a bill that would lift the decades-old ban on exports. The tally was 31-19. The vote sends the legislation to the full House for final passage, something that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said would happen in the coming weeks. Republicans said the bill would benefit the economy, jobs, national security and other areas, while most Democrats decried it as a giveaway to oil companies that would threaten energy prices. Timothy Cama reports. (The Hill) See also: Does Anyone Even Want to Buy Crude Oil From the U.S.?  Sheela Tobben and Mark Shenk report. (Bloomberg)

Rail service crisis looms as Congress looks to modify safety law
President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the nation’s rail safety agency told lawmakers Thursday that the agency would hold railroads to a year-end deadline to install collision-avoidance technology even if it meant that freight and passengers could be left stranded. Congress set a Dec. 31, 2015, deadline for railroads to implement positive train control back in 2008. The Government Accountability Office reported Wednesday that few companies would actually make the deadline. That conclusion was no surprise: The GAO had warned Congress of it in another report two years ago. While lawmakers sought guidance from Sarah Feinberg, the Federal Railroad Administration’s acting administrator, on what she thought they should do about it, she told them that whether and how to extend the deadline was up to them. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

Court date set for Cape Roger Curtis dock lawsuit
A hearing date has been set for November 16 and 17 for a lawsuit filed by two property owners on Cape Roger Curtis against the municipality. The landowners want the courts to set aside Bylaw No. 381, 2015 which does not allow the building of any further docks at Cape Roger Curtis. They received permission from the province to build their docks 10 days prior to the adoption of the bylaw. Martha Perkins reports. (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI SEP 18 2015
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE
 OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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