Monday, September 21, 2015

9/21 "S.O.S' Act, B'ham waterfront, BC highway, no log, killing birds, BC LNG, Shell drill, Gov's Pt

Biggs killer whales (Pacific Wild)
If you like to watch: Bigg's killer whales prey on Stellar sea lions
8/25/15 Outer Coast field cam. Check out the live video of the Great Bear Rain forest, too. (Pacific Wild)

Puget Sound 'S.O.S.' Act announced by congressmen
…. Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck decided the Sound needs emergency help. At the 23rd Salmon Homecoming on Saturday morning, they announced their plan to present a new bill to Congress, called PUGET SOS. They will introduce it to the U.S. House next week…. The bill would define Puget Sound as a nationally significant body of water under the Clean Water Act. It would create a Puget Sound Recovery Program Office in the EPA. It also protects the future of tribal treaty fishing rights. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Massive overhaul of Bellingham waterfront underway
After two decades of planning, some of the most visible cleanup projects along Bellingham’s contaminated waterfront are making progress. From dredging to demolition, hundreds of workers are currently preparing downtown sites near the former Georgia-Pacific Corp. pulp and tissue operations for rebuilding, which could start within a few years. The efforts represent tens of millions of dollars in projects planned for and approved by the Port of Bellingham, city of Bellingham, Washington state Department of Ecology, and other agencies, and represent one of the largest waterfront cleanup efforts in the state. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

B.C. to study highway connection to Sunshine Coast
The B.C. government plans to study the feasibility of a highway or bridge connection to the province's Sunshine Coast, says Transportation Minister Todd Stone. Right now, the only methods to travel from the Lower Mainland to the coastal region northwest of Vancouver is by air or by water — mainly ferry services. (CBC) See also: Fixed-link study: "everything is on the table"  Martha Perkins reports. (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

Logging protesters win temporary victory on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/logging-protest-sunshine-coast-1.3235878
Protesters fighting plans to log an old-growth forest on the Sunshine Coast are celebrating a temporary victory after construction of a logging road was halted temporarily. The protesters, who have set up camp near Roberts Creek, say the area is an important bear habitat that will be destroyed if the trees come down. Hans Penner has been taking turns blocking access to a service road in the Dakota Creek area of Mount Elphinstone, where the government has plans to auction off 53 hectares of old-growth timber, including ancient balsam, hemlock and yellow cedar. (CBC)

Killing cormorants to save salmon: 11,000 in crosshairs of controversial program
EAST SAND ISLAND, COLUMBIA RIVER ESTUARY — Shots ring out — boom, boom, boom, boom — then there’s a splash: government agents gunning for double-crested cormorants have hit their mark again. Federal agents have stalked this tiny uninhabited island with night-vision goggles and silencers, blasting birds on the nest. They have oiled more than 5,000 eggs to suffocate the embryos within. And now, they have taken to the water, firing at double-crested cormorants with shotguns under a federal program intended to boost juvenile salmon and steelhead survival. They killed more than 500 cormorants in just the past week, including five Brandt’s cormorants not intended to be targeted. Under the controversial four-year federal cormorant culling program under way since Memorial Day, federal agents could eventually kill as many as 11,000 adult double-crested cormorants and destroy even more nests. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Lax Kw’alaams First Nation moves to veto LNG plan
The Lax Kw’alaams First Nation is seeking aboriginal title to Lelu Island and Flora Bank, creating a legal obstacle for a Malaysian-led consortium that wants to build an $11.4-billion terminal to export liquefied natural gas from British Columbia. The aboriginal group will file a notice of civil claim to launch the legal action (this) week in the B.C. Supreme Court, Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece said in an interview on Friday. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Shell report says Alaska oil exploration program brings $172.7 million to Puget Sound communities
Shell Oil, preparing to return its offshore Arctic drilling fleet to Puget Sound as early as next month, has released a study saying that this year and next its controversial Alaska oil exploration program will pump $172.7 million directly into the Puget Sound economy. That spending is expected to support 1,590 jobs and generate $125 million in wages and $312 million in total economic output, which includes direct, indirect and induced impacts, according to an economic impact study released Wednesday. Coral Garnick reports. (McClatchy) See also: Shell study details $1 million economic benefit for Port Angeles from Polar Pioneer oil rig  (Peninsula Daily News)

Oil terminal review won’t be expanded despite new details
The state agency examining the impacts of what would be the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal in Vancouver says it won’t broaden its analysis in the face of new contract details showing the facility could be expanded or that a second one could be built in the future. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council said it doesn’t need to widen its analysis of the facility proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. at the Port of Vancouver in response to Kristen Boyles, an attorney for Earthjustice who had requested the expanded review. That’s because the companies haven’t changed their permit application, submitted more than two years ago, to seek “an increased capacity, expanded or new facility,” according to Stephen Posner, manager for the evaluation council. To date, he said, the analysis of the proposed oil terminal, including development of a draft environmental impact statement, is “based on a maximum capacity to receive an average of 360,000 barrels per day.” Aaron Corvin reports. (Columbian)

Prime real estate at Governors Point goes on auction block
Governors Point, the 125-acre peninsula south of Bellingham that has been in the same family for a half century, will go to the highest bidder next month at auction. Roger Sahlin, whose father acquired Governors Point piece by piece in the 1960s, is seeking Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington. The auction will be held Oct. 8 in Seattle. Only bidders who have paid earnest money will be able to attend, said Douglas Johnson, managing director of CBRE Auction Services. Bids will start at $3.5 million. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON SEP 21 2015
TODAY
NW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...EASING TO 10 KT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
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