Friday, December 18, 2015

12/18 Oil trains, energy policy, fish label, no fine Polley mine, sea sponge, flooding, sea lions, sand world

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
A Golden Feast
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Anchored off the mouth of the Goldstream River at the head of Saanich Inlet, we were just starting to cook dinner when I heard some sudden loud splashes very close to our boat. In the brilliant, low-angle, golden light of a late September evening, it took my brain a few moments to decipher what my eyes were seeing. A pair of seals had surfaced beside us, where they were wrestling a large salmon into submission…."

More Northwest Oil Trains Could Result From Lifting Export Ban
A budget deal that’s heading for final action Friday includes a provision that could create international demand for American oil — and help make the case for building rail-to-ship export terminals on the West Coast. The fiscal package includes a repeal of the 40-year-old ban on exporting domestically produced oil. The spending bill is seen as vital to avert another government shutdown and to keep many popular tax breaks and spending programs in place. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)

New blog: A Call For Energy Policy Reform in Washington 
Guest blogger Russ Borgmann writes: "The industrialized world is experiencing an energy renaissance.  And the U.S. is at the nexus of that regeneration. There are several beacons signaling this new energy landscape…."

Congress to require labeling of ‘Frankenfish,’ genetically engineered salmon
The Food and Drug Administration must lay out guidelines for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered salmon and interstate commerce of the fish will not be allowed without guidelines in place, according to a provision inserted in Congress’ new omnibus spending bill…. The Food and Drug Administration approved genetically engineered salmon earlier this fall, saying there is “no biologically relevant difference in the nutritional profile of (modified) salmon compared to that of other farm-raised Atlantic salmon.” Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

No charges under B.C.’s mining laws for failure of Mount Polley mine dam
No charges are being issued under the province's mining laws against Imperial Metals' over the catastrophic failure of its Mount Polley mine dam. Following a more than one-year investigation, B.C.'s chief inspector of mines has not recommended charges be forwarded to Crown counsel over the dam failure on Aug. 4, 2014. The failure of the rock-and-earth dam released 21 million cubic metres of water and finely-ground rock containing potentially toxic metals into the Quesnel Lake watershed…. There will also be no fines or penalties issued either, as B.C.'s mining legislation and regulations do not allow for administrative actions. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

If you like to watch: Type of sea sponge thought to be extinct discovered off B.C. coast  In 1987, scientists discovered that B.C.'s Hecate Straight is home to rare Glass Sponges. (Globe and Mail)

Interstate 5 under water? UW scientists’ app shows dramatic potential of climate change
Depending on where you live, communities in the Seattle region have already been hit by three to four destructive floods this winter — floods that usually come once a year, if at all — as local rivers swell over their banks and gush into neighborhoods, farmland and commercial areas. And the flooding is expected to only get worse as global temperatures continue to rise, despite the newly announced Paris climate accord that aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions. So scientists at the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group have developed detailed models and interactive maps to better understand what the flooding might look like in a warmer world — and it’s not a pretty picture. Their effort, which focused on the Snohomish River north of Seattle, found that for the so-called 10-year flood (an event that has a 10 percent chance of occurring annually), the area flooded by the river is expected to increase between 19 and 74 percent by later this century compared to levels seen at the end of the 20th Century. Lisa Stiffler reports. (Geekwire)

Port commissioner wants to sue the feds over sea lions
Commissioner Bill Hunsinger wants the Port of Astoria to go after the federal government regarding sea lions. Port of Astoria Commissioner Bill Hunsinger said the agency should do something — potentially litigation — against the federal government regarding California sea lions in the Columbia River…. Hunsinger, a commercial fisherman, said the agency needs to do something before the smelt start running early next year. The small, oily eulachons are a popular diet for male California sea lions migrating by the thousands north between breeding seasons, along with endangered salmon runs and anything else seasonal and abundant. Edward Stratton reports. (Daily Astorian)

Of sand and chakras
Douglas Todd writes: …. The Secrets of Sand: A Journey Into the Amazing Microscopic World of Sand… is a virtual tour of the tiny world of sand, which is a never-ending source of awe to the lead author, Gary Greenberg, a photographer with a PhD in biomedical research. He helps us see many wonders in a grain of sand, drawing us to gain a fuller aesthetic and scientific understanding of it. “The miracles of nature are tangible, and they can be seen directly through the microscope… When we commune with nature, we become conscious of our connection with the universe,” says Greenberg, who can be found at sandgrains.com (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST FRI DEC 18 2015  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON
 

TODAY
 W WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT IN THE  AFTERNOON. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

TONIGHT
 S WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE  EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

SAT
 S WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W  SWELL 12 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

SAT NIGHT
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W  SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS.

SUN
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT  13 SECONDS.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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