Monday, December 14, 2015

12/14 Climate pact, Youth Earth Summit, no-copper brakes, steelhead suit, coal bust, WQ, oil leak, oil fire

Elwha 12/9/15 (Tom Roorda and Coastal Watershed Inst.)
Nearly 200 nations pledge to slow global warming
Nearly 200 nations adopted the first global pact to fight climate change on Saturday, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that don’t. The “Paris agreement” aims to keep global temperatures from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100, a key demand of poor countries ravaged by rising sea levels and other effects of climate change. Loud applause erupted in the conference hall after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gaveled the agreement. Some delegates wept and others embraced. Karl Ritter, Seth Borenstein and Sylvie Corbet report. (Associated Press) See also: Gregor Robertson applauds climate change deal, promises Vancouver will 'drive the pace  Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Researchers, students convene at Youth Earth Summit
The orcas, salmon and sea stars of the Salish Sea are among local species surrounded by questions. Will sea stars recover from the wasting disease that pummeled the population in 2014? Do the seven baby whales born to the Southern Resident orca population this year mark a turning point for recovery of the endangered species? About 120 high school students from the region gathered Friday at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for the Youth Earth Summit to learn more about these sorts of issues, as well as explore environmental career options. Kimberly Cauvel report. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Washington State Says 'Give Salmon A Break' With Copper-Free Brakes
It has taken five years, but low-copper and copper-free brakes are now available in Washington. That’s because of a 2010 law designed to phase out the use of copper and other toxics in brake pads. Ian Wesley, the Better Brakes coordinator at the Washington State Department of Ecology, said each time you use your brakes, a bit of material gets deposited on the roadway. “From there it gets washed into streams and rivers where it’s harmful of salmon,” he said. “Even very trace levels of copper negatively impact salmons’ ability to smell.” Austin Jenkins reports. (NW Public Radio)

Conservation groups to sue feds over Puget Sound steelhead  Five conservation groups are planning to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service, saying the federal agency failed to complete a recovery plan for imperiled Puget Sound steelhead. Wild Fish Conservancy and others say the agency has not completed the plan, despite listing the fish as federally threatened in 2007. Such a plan sets out what needs to be done to prevent the species from going extinct. The groups filed its required notice of intent to sue last week. (Associated Press)

The Coal Bust
Already battered by plunging oil prices, Western Canada has another big problem: the collapse of coal. Alberta and British Columbia are suffering from the fallout of a severe downturn in the global coal market, brought on by China’s rapidly cooling industrial demand and the growing shift away from coal-fired electricity generation. It’s troubled times for an industry that’s long been a quietly powerful force in the Canadian economy. Kelly Cryderman and Brent Jang report. (Globe and Mail)

Survey finds continuing presence of E. coli at Irondale Beach County Park, but Quimper Peninsula water largely high quality
Septic waste is the leading cause of stream pollution by Escherichia coli, or E. coli, in the northern part of the Quimper Peninsula, and the worst area is Irondale Beach County Park, according to a two-year survey. Nevertheless, the study found that much of the area’s water is of high quality, Michael Dawson, lead environmental health specialist for the Jefferson County Water Quality Program, told about 20 people at the Nordland Garden Club last Thursday evening. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Cadboro Bay beach closed after possible oil leak
Cadboro-Gyro Park Beach has been closed until further notice because of what appears to be an oil leak from a derelict boat. Saanich Parks and Recreation officials are working with the coast guard to assess the situation brought to their attention by local residents late Sunday. Michael Reid reports. (Times Colonist)

Portland firefighters battle smoky tanker-car blaze
Portland firefighters battled a smoky fire Sunday that spread to eight railroad tanker cars and destroyed a fuel truck that crashed into the train Sunday morning. Portland police said the driver of the semitrailer truck was killed in the 8:30 a.m. crash, which is under investigation. No firefighter injuries were reported, said Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Terry Foster. The blaze was extinguished by 11 a.m. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST MON DEC 14 2015    

 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 NW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING LATE. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W  SWELL 13 FT AT 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE  AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
 LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT  11 SECONDS.
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