Friday, October 30, 2015

10/30 Hallowe'en weather, coal cut, safe train delay, WA carbon tax

Night crows (Carl Cook/BirdNote)
The Crows' Night Roost
Have you noticed groups of crows flying overhead in the late afternoon, wheeling and diving? These are American Crows with a purpose. They're headed to their night roost, a giant slumber party. Up to 40,000 crows in one space is not uncommon for a winter-time roost. Gathering at dusk, crows land in a tree, then scuffle and squawk, filtering down through the branches. (BirdNote) See also: Angry owl dive bombs pedestrians at Seattle park  (KOMO)

Ominous weather headed to PNW for Halloween weekend
The region's first fall storm is expected to blow through the Pacific Northwest just in time for Halloween. Washington State University's AgWeatherNet says a storm front will park over Washington, Oregon and Idaho by Saturday morning. Forecasts indicate sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph will ravage much of Washington, with gusts in the mountains possibly topping 50 mph, AgWeatherNet says. Showers and drizzle will also blanket the region. Eastern Washington's rain deposit is likely to be more intermittent, but the precipitation will be more steady in Western Washington. Two waves of heavier rain are expected to hit this weekend: Once Friday morning and again Friday night, continuing into Saturday morning. The chance of precipitation is 95 percent Saturday morning, but will go down to 55 percent in the evening, according to the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning throughout the Puget Sound region for this weekend. Lynsi Burton reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Fewer coal trains expected in Whatcom after Cloud Peak cuts
Montana’s largest coal producer expects to reduce shipments to Asia next year through a West Coast port, which should reduce coal-train traffic through Bellingham and other Whatcom County cities. Exports of the fuel from the United States continue to slide and coal producers face mounting pressure because of new pollution regulations and cheap natural gas. Cloud Peak Energy Inc. announced Wednesday, Oct. 28, that it had renegotiated its long-term agreement to ship coal through British Columbia’s Westshore Terminals. The Gillette, Wyoming-based company said production volumes at its Spring Creek Mine near Decker, Montana, would be reduced accordingly. Matthew Brown and Ralph Schwartz report. (Associated Press/Bellingham Herald)

Congress Delays Train Safety Technology Mandate 3 To 5 Years
Railroads across America will get at least another three years to make important safety improvements that could help prevent another deadly train derailment… Congress passed a bill to extend the December 31 deadline they gave the railroad industry. Railroads insisted they weren’t going to be able to meet those deadlines, forcing them to either stop service or break the law. Derek Valcourt reports. (CBS)

Washington Initiative To Create Carbon Tax Turns In Signatures
Supporters of a citizens’ initiative to create a new tax on carbon emissions in Washington state have delivered most of the petition signatures they need to put their issue before the legislature -- and then on the 2016 ballot. A line of climate change activists each carrying a box of petitions marched into the Washington Secretary of State's office Thursday with nearly 250,000 signatures. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI OCT 30 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 12 FT AT 11 SECONDS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT.
SUN
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 13 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, October 29, 2015

10/29 Bull trout, warm water, farm fish, BC LNG, precipitation, Shell drill, whale watch boat

Salvelinus confluentus ("grizzly bear of the fish world") USFWS
Skagit River a 'stronghold' for threatened bull trout
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a recovery plan for bull trout that highlights the Skagit River as a major player in existing populations of the fish on the Washington coast. According to the recovery plan, the upper and lower portions of the Skagit River are two of five places in the Coastal Recovery Unit that are “current population strongholds” for the fish, which have been listed as threatened since 1999 under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates it may spend $380 million on bull trout recovery in the coastal unit over the next 25 years. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Federal Fish Managers Brace For Another Warm Year In The Northwest
The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish. Seventy U.S. Fish & Wildlife managers passed around a microphone this week in a hotel conference room. They told scary stories about warm Northwest water. The Columbia River heated up this summer, and nearly the entire run of returning sockeye was lost. Anna King reports. (KPLU)

Atlantic farmed salmon routinely mislabeled as ‘wild,’ study finds
An Oceana investigation of salmon marketed during the winter months in the Midwest and East Coast found 43 percent of this fish mislabeled. Most often, Atlantic farmed salmon was falsely marketed as wild salmon, and restaurants mislabeled this fish much more frequently than grocery stores and retail markets. The investigation was based on  82 samples collected in Chicago, New York, Washington and Virginia, and all were analyzed to determine their salmon species. An earlier, and broader, Oceana survey of 384 salmon collected during the peak of the 2012 summer salmon season found that only 7 percent of the sampled fish was mislabeled. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Squamish Nation wants more input on proposed B.C. LNG plant given initial OK
The Squamish Nation says the B.C. government's conditional approval of a proposed liquefied natural gas export facility did not fully assess how the project would impact its aboriginal rights. Chief Ian Campbell says the province granted an environmental assessment certificate for the Woodfibre LNG plant this week without full consultation with the First Nation. Campbell says the Squamish Nation is looking forward to further discussions with the government because many of its own conditions for approving the facility are different than those set out in the certificate. (Canadian Press)

Finally! Significant Snowfall and Heavy Precipitation in Northwest Mountains
Cliff Mass writes: "We have waited a long time for this and finally it is close at hand:  significant mountain precipitation and snowfall over the Pacific Northwest…." (Weather Blog)

Towering Polar Pioneer oil rig returns to Port Angeles Harbor for month-long visit
The looming Polar Pioneer oil rig floated back into Port Angeles Harbor on Wednesday, escorted by a small flotilla as it concluded its two-week journey to the city from the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi Sea. The 355-foot-tall Transocean Ltd. rig was accompanied by an 87-foot U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat, three 25-foot response boats and four tugboats before dropping anchor, Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Shell Reports $7.4 Billion Loss, Blaming Low Oil And Gas Prices (KPLU/NPR)

Tofino whale-watching boat modifications raise concerns
The whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino, B.C., had undergone major modifications that may have caused it to become less stable, CBC News has learned. Last Sunday, six people were killed when the MV Leviathan II tipped over. The Transportation Safety Board said most of the passengers were crowded on one side of the outside deck, which may have destabilized the vessel when it was hit by a wave from the opposite side. The Leviathan II was originally built by Vancouver-based RivTow Industries in 1981 as a tug boat, and was named the Crown Forest 72-112. In 1996, it was converted into a whale-watching vessel and renamed. The major change to its design was a new deck added to the top of the vessel. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU OCT 29 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FOR FRIDAY
TODAY
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING... THEN RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10/28 Whale watch, BC oil, WA coal, Friends, BC LNG, Shell drill, port upgrades, viaducts

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Thirty Shades of Yellow
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "November tends to be damp, gray and dreary here on the west coast, so it’s a month I never anticipate with pleasure. Right now, with the darkness closing in earlier each day and that dreaded month fast approaching, I’m starting to crave a bit of extra light and colour. Thankfully, our Hardy kiwis and Bigleaf maples are managing to brighten up their respective corners of our yard – along with my spirits…."

This you need to see: This Is Your Century
Eric Becker's latest. Beautiful inspiration in 2:47. (weareshouting.com)

Tofino whale-watching boat capsized after wave struck, says TSB
Most of the passengers and crew on the whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino, B.C., on Sunday appear to have been on one side of the vessel's top deck when it was hit by a wave, the Transportation Safety Board said at a news conference in Tofino.  "This would have raised the centre of gravity, affecting the vessel's stability," said Marc-André Poisson, the TSB's director of marine investigations. He said the vessel then rolled and capsized.  (CBC) See also: 1998 Tofino whale-watching accident sparked call for regulation  Coroner says earlier incident that left 2 whale watchers dead will be reviewed as part of latest tragedy. Jason Proctor reports. (CBC)

Tsleil-Waututh Nation take NEB to court to stop Kinder Morgan hearing
Tsleil-Waututh Nation says the outgoing Harper government failed in its constitutional legal duty to adequately consult with their community when it began the NEB review of Kinder Morgan's proposed $5.4-billion Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion more than a year ago. The band is now seeking a court order to stop the hearing. The band believes the case will also add political pressure for the incoming Trudeau Liberals to act quickly on their election promise to overhaul the review of oil pipeline proposals. Oral hearings for citizens to speak up about the pipeline are set to begin in January 18-29 at a Burnaby casino and conference centre. Mychaylo Prystupa reports. (National Observer)

Coal, environmentalists spend $100K each on Whatcom charter measures
The company behind a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point is the biggest donor in a campaign fight over obscure ballot propositions in Whatcom County. The $101,089 spent by Pacific International Terminals was matched by environmentalists, who contributed at least $102,738, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. Both sides seek to amend the county charter in ways that would determine the political makeup of the County Council. The charter is essentially the county’s constitution, with rules for how the government is run and how officials are elected. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Small Non-Profit Leading Charge For International Protection Of Salish Sea
A small non-profit in the San Juan Islands has taken the lead in an international campaign to protect the Salish Sea from adverse effects of shipping. Currently, proposals for 14 new or upgraded export facilities for fossil fuels in British Columbia and five in northwestern Washington could dramatically increase shipping traffic through local waters. “We’ve found ourselves having to speak up time and time again for these fossil fuel projects that are coming through our waters,” said Stephanie Buffum, the executive director of Friends of the San Juans, a non-profit based in Friday Harbor that has worked to protect quality of life in the area for the past 35 years. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

LNG plant near Squamish clears first hurdle in environmental assessment
The Woodfibre LNG planted proposed for Squamish has cleared its first regulatory hurdle after being granted an environmental assessment certificate by the B.C. government. The certificate includes 25 conditions meant to mitigate the negative impacts construction and operation of the plant will have on things like marine life and water quality.  Squamish mayor Patricia Heintzman opposes the Woodfibre project and says she has questions about the certificate, including the conclusion the plant will generate $21-million per year in municipal taxes. (CBC)

TransCanada gets final regulatory approval for Prince Rupert natural gas pipeline
A proposed 900-kilometre gas pipeline in northern B.C. that would supply a liquefied natural gas terminal in Prince Rupert has final approval. TransCanada said Tuesday it has received 11 permits for its $6-billion Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. The permits cover the length of the pipeline that starts in Hudson’s Hope in northeast B.C., as well as compressors at the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. They are the final approval step for the pipeline that earlier received approval from the B.C. government following an environmental assessment. The pipeline is dependent on the LNG terminal being approved by the federal government and a final decision by Petronas to proceed. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Oil platform headed for Port Angeles near mouth of Strait
The Polar Pioneer oil rig, which is headed for Port Angeles Harbor, was near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday afternoon. The 355-foot-tall oil drilling platform was headed east at over 6 knots. The floating platform's tugs, Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave, were expected to arrive with the platform sometime after 2 a.m. today, according to a vessel tracking website, www.marinetraffic.com. (Peninsula Daily News)

Ports may need up to $1 billion to update terminals
Port commissioners from Tacoma and Seattle on Tuesday adopted their first budget for a new cargo alliance while warning they’ll have to spend hundreds of millions more to make the port facilities competitive with rivals. The $174.5 million included in the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s 5-year capital budget is “woefully inadequate to our needs,” asserted Tacoma Port Commissioner Don Meyer as the two commissions were preparing to accept the budget. Meyer predicted the alliance and the two ports will have to spend $800 million to $1 billion over the near future to equip the two ports to handle the new generation of mega-sized container ships. John Gille reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Vancouver viaducts to be removed, votes council
Vancouver city councillors have voted 5-4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, which connect the downtown core to neighbourhoods on the city's east side. "This is a once-in-a-generation city-building opportunity," said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a written statement. "There is no decision at the city that has been more scrutinized, studied, deliberated or consulted on than whether or not to remove the viaducts, and after four years, it is time to move forward." (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED OCT 28 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM PDT THIS MORNING
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS BY LATE MORNING. W SWELL BUILDING TO 8 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING... THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE
 EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/27 BC sea lice, Bowman Bay, fracking, Mukilteo terminal, F for FOIA

(PHOTO: Larry Hubbell)
If you like to watch: Trick or Treat
Larry Hubbell photographs and blogs: "This week I was attracted by the loudest cacophony of crow calls I have ever heard. It was not the usual sound of a dozen of crows harassing a perched predator. Nor was it the peaceful sound of crows gathering to roost for the night. The pine trees in the Arboretum were full of forty or fifty crows, calling chaotically. The noise was almost deafening…." (Union Bay Watch) [Thanks to Dan Pederson for the link.]

If you like to watch: Transient orca punts a seal 80 feet into the air near Victoria, BC!  (Roll.Focus. Productions)

B.C. salmon farmers to publish monthly sea lice numbers
B.C. salmon farmers will publish sea lice counts and treatment information monthly for every farm on the coast, according to the industry’s 2015 sustainability report released Monday. Sea lice are natural parasites of salmon that can be passed between fish in net-pen farms and wild stocks and make the fish more susceptible to infection and disease, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Juvenile wild salmon that acquire sea lice while migrating from fresh water to their ocean habitat may suffer increased mortality, studies show. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Beach at Bowman Bay to close for restoration
The beach at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park will be closed to the public Tuesday for a three-week shoreline restoration project. The beach area was developed into a fish hatchery in the 1940s and then crushed and buried on site in the 1970s, Deception Pass State Park Manager Jack Hartt said. The Northwest Straits Foundation is leading a project to restore 540 linear feet and about an acre of shoreline on the beach, according to a state parks news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Fracking, landslide blamed for contamination of Northern B.C. creek
A relentless landslide that's contaminated a source of drinking water near a community in northeastern B.C. has residents blaming oil and gas exploration's effects underground for causing the slide that's contaminating the creek with silt and heavy metals. Farmers and ranchers near Hudson's Hope say they've lost their sole water source and blame landslides on changes to underground aquifers and land stability because of nearby fracking and the effect of two nearby hydro dams, but officials say there is no proof of this. Betsy Trumpener reports. (CBC)

Feds kick in $10M for new Mukilteo ferry terminal
The state learned Monday it will be getting a $10 million federal grant that should be the final piece of funding required for the new Mukilteo ferry terminal. “These funds cement our ability to get a good project for the community,” said state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood. He, other lawmakers representing Snohomish and Island counties and state transportation officials have been trying for years to secure money to pay for the $129 million project that will put a new passenger terminal on the former tank farm site, one-third of a mile east of the existing facility.
Lawmakers earmarked chunks of dollars in the past two transportation budgets and then allocated $68.6 million in proceeds from the gas tax increase approved this summer. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

B.C. government gets an F in freedom of information audit
An organization representing Canada's newspapers says the B.C. government is failing to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests in a timely manner.  "They're basically operating outside of both the spirit and the letter of the law," said Fred Vallance-Jones a project leader with Newspapers Canada's audit. The audit was taken before the office of the B.C. privacy commissioner released its own report into the provincial government's practice of deleting emails. The report states: "British Columbia, with its 30-business-day legal standard, received an F for speed of responses and a B for completeness of disclosure." (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE OCT 27 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 15 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 16 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 8 FT AT 16 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, October 26, 2015

10/26 J53, boat deaths, culvert fix, shellfish land, marine protection, port vote, divestment, BC LNG

J17 and calf J53 (Simon Pidcock of Ocean EcoVentures/Seattle Times)
Experts have high hopes for survival of latest baby orca
The sixth orca calf born since December — and the fourth born into J pod — was spotted off the west coast of San Juan Island on Saturday. Two years of robust chinook salmon runs are being credited for the baby boom…. First spotted off the west coast of San Juan Island, J53 was a bit of a surprise and is the fourth calf born to J17 — a 38-year-old whale who is a grandmother to other orcas, J46 and J47, [according to Michael Harris of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.] Sara Jean Green reports. (Seattle Times)

1 still missing, 5 dead after whale watching boat capsizes off Tofino, B.C.  
Five people are dead and the search continues for one other after a whale watching boat capsized Sunday off the west coast of Vancouver Island, triggering a rescue effort that saw 21 others who were on board the vessel brought ashore. Lt.-Cmdr. Desmond James of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said the search for the missing person was called off late Sunday night and the RCMP was handling it as a missing-person case. (Canadian Press)

To help salmon, fixing culverts is key-- but state must find them all first
State officials were ordered more than two years ago to replace old culverts that block fish migration in the Puget Sound region. While the state is appealing that decision, officials are also making preparations to comply. And they’re realizing all their work could be for naught if they don’t fix other fish barriers, too — even ones that aren’t covered by the 2013 court injunction. Culverts are typically large pipes that allow water to pass under roadways. But they often block salmon and steelhead from reaching spawning grounds. That’s where state officials run into a problem: They don’t know where all the fish-blocking culverts in the state are, particularly the ones owned by city and county governments. Melissa Santos reports. (Olympian)

Taylor Shellfish sells land to state for conservation
Fifteen acres of land near the Taylor Shellfish hatchery has been added to the state-managed Dabob Bay Natural Area, the Northwest Watershed Institute announced. Taylor Shellfish Company sold four parcels totaling 15 acres of forested shoreline along Dabob Bay near Quilcene to the state Department of Natural Resources for $440,000 last month, said Peter Bahls, director of the nonprofit institute, which helped coordinate the project. (Peninsula Daily News)

More of the planet was protected in 2015 than ever. Few noticed because it was underwater
The Pacific island nation of Palau’s announced Thursday that it is designating a 193,000-square-mile fully protected marine reserve that would be the sixth largest such area in the world and would help protect over a thousand species of fish and some 700 species of coral. The news is even more momentous given that plans to set aside over 1 million square miles of highly protected ocean have now been announced in 2015 alone, more than during any prior year, according to figures provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That is an area bigger than Alaska and Texas combined. Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin report. (Washington Post)

Port of Seattle candidates’ views similar, backgrounds differ
The Port of Seattle commission seat that drew nine candidates for the primary is now a battle between two candidates who want to create jobs and expand business, but in an environmentally positive way. While the two candidates have similar positions on Port politics, their backgrounds set them apart: Fred Felleman’s experience is in maritime while Marion Yoshino’s is in economic development in airport communities. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

‘Kayakctivists’ take their divestment cause to a famous Medina address
If Bill and Melinda had gazed out over Lake Washington from their home on Saturday afternoon, they would have been treated to Seattle area’s latest “Kayakctivist” demonstration, and the chant: “Be the leader, Be the best, Do the right thing, Gates divest.” Ex-Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and 34 other activists braved the weather — it often rains when McGinn does waterfront events — in hopes of persuading the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to jettison oil and coal stocks from its multi-billion-dollar portfolio. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

LNG line eyes new route over aboriginal concerns
TransCanada is making pipeline route changes to lock up First Nation support for a leading proposed liquefied natural gas mega-project on the northwest coast of B.C. The Calgary-based company has announced it will apply in November for an alternative route along a stretch of the pipeline on its $4.7-billion Coastal GasLink project that will supply the Shell-led LNG Canada export terminal with a price tag of $40 billion. TransCanada said it did so after “extensive” consultations with aboriginal groups in the area of the alternative route. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT SUN OCT 25 2015
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
MON
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE MORNING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, October 23, 2015

10/23 Fall bird season, sky watching, 'Tacomacitis,' new tortoise species

Barrow’s goldeneye (WikiCommons)
Wintering species are arriving
The Sunshine Coast has four well-defined birding seasons, and we are now well into the fall season as our common wintering species begin to arrive for their winter residency. The most obvious of these species are Barrow’s goldeneyes and buffleheads, which return in huge numbers from their freshwater breeding lakes all across interior and northern Canada. As the interior water bodies begin to freeze over, the ducks return to the balmy waters of the Salish Sea to winter. Joe Harrison reported the first Barrow’s goldeneyes of the winter on Oct. 18 at Oyster Bay, Pender Harbour, one day later than last year. Tony Greenfeld writes. (Coast Reporter)

3 reasons to keep an eye on the sky in the next week
Look up! There are a several cool things happening in the night sky over the next week or so. First off, peaking early Thursday morning and in the evening is the Orionid meteor shower. It's an average meteor shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour. Compare that to the Geminids in December, which can produce over 100 per hour. Next, look to the east just before sunrise, and you'll see the conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Venus. This is pretty rare. It's when all three planets will be bunched up and clearly visible. And finally, on October 27 there will be a full Supermoon. It's the third Supermoon in as many months when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth. And it will look slightly larger and brighter than usual. Benjamin Dery reports. (KING)

‘Tacomacitis’ a centuries-old plague with no easy cure
Forget about cold and flu season. The most stubborn virus in Tacoma has been around as long as the city has fought for the name of its mountain, according to historical records. The Nose writes. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Genetics Probe Identifies New Galapagos Tortoise Species
A new species of giant tortoise has been discovered hiding in plain sight on Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. A population of about 250 animals living in an arid inland area of Santa Cruz island turns out to be so genetically distinct from the rest of the island’s tortoises that researchers have determined that it represents a separate species: Chelonoidis donfaustoi. (Scientific American)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PDT FRI OCT 23 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER
 MIDNIGHT.
SAT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10/22 Orca, geoduck, oil train, BC pipe, basking shark, Quiet Cove, tribe rights, melting, goose cull


J16 and calf (NOAA Fisheries)
Puget Sound’s killer whales looking fat and healthy
Seattle’s most celebrated residents — the J, K, and L pods of southern resident killer whales — are looking good. The population of the 81 endangered whales appear to be in excellent health. They are fat and sleek, and several appear to be pregnant. The news was revealed by photogrammetry: measurements made from photographs, that help scientists understand the health of whales and other wildlife. In the case of the orcas, photos and videos taken this summer by a drone helicopter about the size of a large pizza reveal the animals are looking fat and robust. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Vancouver Aquarium and U.S. agency team up for drone research of killer whales  Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Gear, not geoducks, impacts ecosystem if farming increases
The equipment used to farm geoducks, including PVC pipes and nets, might have a greater impact on the Puget Sound food web than the addition of the clams themselves. That’s one of the findings of the first major scientific study to examine the broad, long-term ecosystem effects of geoduck aquaculture in Puget Sound, published last week in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Journal of Marine Science. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

Skagit Valley Sounds Off
Not that Anacortes isn’t well acquainted—even friendly—with Shell Oil. They’ve lived together for 104 years. That long ago, Shell made its first venture into the U.S. gas and oil business with a terminal a few miles from where its refinery now operates. At Anacortes Middle School last week, a number of speakers critical of Shell’s proposed oil-by-rail project began by stressing that Shell has been an O.K. neighbor, an excellent employer and supporter of local schools.  Then they turned a verbal corner to say, “However…” The “however” is Bakken crude oil, the highly volatile feedstock Shell wishes to bring into the Skagit community by the trainload. The same that has made itself famous in 10 spectacular explosions in the United States and Canada since 2013. Bob Simmons reports. (Cascadia Weekly) See also: Residents ask for broad study of Shell’s oil-by-rail project  Joan Pringle reports. (Anacortes American)

Northern Gateway hopes to change Trudeau's mind
While on the campaign trail Justin Trudeau went on record with his strong opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline, so it would be fair to assume his election win means certain death for the project. But no so fast says Northern Gateway. Communications Manager Ivan Giesbrect told CBC in an emailed statement, "We look forward to the opportunity to sit down with the new Prime Minister and his government to provide an update on the progress of our project and our partnerships with First Nations and Métis people in Alberta and B.C." (CBC)

Basking shark populations teeter on the brink of extinction
With a massive body and a mouth that emerges from the deep blue like a man-made dungeon cell, the basking shark resembles a great and terrible monster. But this is an animal whose terror resides only in its appearance. This harmless creature floats through the water with its mouth agape under a bulbous nose feeding mainly on plankton. It is only its size and the industry of man that has brought the basking shark from an abundant population to the brink of extinction. Twenty years ago kayakers and boaters in the Salish Sea would have had a chance to see a fairly common dorsal fin that did not belong to a whale. The basking shark, who is named for “sunning” itself on the surface of the water, is called “sunfish” or “sailfish” in some parts of the world. Basking sharks in this region are often referred to as the gentle giant slaughtered almost into oblivion. Cali Bagby reports. (San Juan Journal)

Cleanup planned for Anacortes' Quiet Cove
An environmental cleanup project is in the planning stage for an old fuel yard in Anacortes. The state Department of Ecology says the cleanup could promote future development of the site. Ecology is working with the Port of Anacortes on the project, which would remove soil and water pollution on the property at 202 O. Ave. known as Quiet Cove. Kimberley Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

How will treaty rights influence environmental restoration?
Treaties signed 160 years ago guarantee Native Americans the right to take fish from Puget Sound for all time. A case now before the courts will help determine whether those same treaty rights place limits on how property is developed in the state of Washington. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week heard arguments about whether the state of Washington violated the treaties by building culverts that block or restrict the passage of salmon.... If the appeals court upholds a ruling by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez, the state could be obligated to fix about 1,000 culverts within 17 years at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion, according to state officials. That’s 1.9 billion with a “b.” Chris Dunagan explains. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Glacier melt in B.C. mountains reaches 'shocking' levels
You've heard about glaciers melting for years, but what happened last summer across Western Canada is different, because it's much faster — giving what one researcher calls a "sad window" into our future, where the glaciers are gone. In the past decade, the bluish-white ice of the tongue, or terminus, of the glacier has receded over 200 metres, at a rate of roughly 15 metres a year. This summer though, the melt rate accelerated dramatically to about two and half times that pace, says Brian Menounos, a geography professor and glacier researcher at the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George. Chris Brown and Chris Corday report. (CBC) See also: Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska 'is accelerating'  Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

43 Canada geese killed in region cull at $725 each
It cost about $31,200 — about $725 each — to capture and kill 43 Canada geese in a cull undertaken by the Capital Regional District this year. The CRD had a permit to cull up to 250 geese on private agricultural land on the Saanich Peninsula, but managed to bag just 43. While CRD staff said the project met objectives to test culling methods, some CRD directors wondered about the cost. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 244 AM PDT THU OCT 22 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 15 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10/21 Vancouver redone, Trudeau & BC pipes, salmon closures, sunscreen & corals

Vancouver redone (City of Vancouver/CBC)
City of Vancouver reveals artist renderings of viaduct-free downtown
City staff painted a picture Tuesday at council of what downtown Vancouver might look like with the removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts…. The proposal to remove the viaducts, which would cost up to $127 million, includes an "almost unheard of" increase in downtown park space. It also includes two new city blocks that would be used for social and market housing. (CBC)

Trudeau victory means uncertain future for pipeline projects
The Liberal victory in yesterday's federal election appears to be the nail in the coffin for one West Coast pipeline project, but the future of another remains unclear. Incoming-prime minister Justin Trudeau is on record saying he would kill the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal, which would carry crude oil from the Alberta oilsands to a tanker terminal on the North Coast of B.C. near Prince Rupert…. That leaves the proposed expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Alberta to Port Metro Vancouver on the South Coast of B.C. While Trudeau has promised to formalize the non-binding moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s North Coast passed by MP's in 2010 — that ban applies specifically to the North Coast. And that leaves leave the door open for Kinder Morgan, which is seeking approval from the NEB to twin the 50-year-old pipeline, tripling its capacity, and increasing the tanker traffic in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet on the South Coast. Mike Laanela reports. (CBC)

Salmon fishing closed on Skagit, Stillaguamish rivers
To protect lower than expected runs of returning coho salmon, fishing on the Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers is closed. The closure started Monday, according to a state Department of Fish & Wildlife news release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) Central Puget Sound salmon season closes three months early  The central Puget Sound’s salmon fishing season has ended more than three months early due to concerns about endangered chinook. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Chemicals In Sunscreen Are Harming Coral Reefs, Says New Study
New research about sunscreen’s damaging effects on coral reefs suggest that you might want to think twice before slathering it on. Reports about the harmful environmental effects of certain chemicals in the water have been circulated for years, but according to the authors of a new study released Tuesday, the chemicals in even one drop of sunscreen are enough to damage fragile coral reef systems. Some 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions wind up in coral reefs around the world each year. The ingredient oxybenzone leaches the coral of its nutrients and bleaches it white. It can also disrupt the development of fish and other wildlife. Laura Wagner reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 247 AM PDT WED OCT 21 2015
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN
 IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/20 Liberal win, weather cams, Hood Canal shellfish, Shell oil trains

Kingfisher (Tony Angell/BirdNote)
Tony Angell Reflects on Nature
Tony Angell, gazing on Puget Sound, writes: "From the beach below, that evocative perfume of the sea, decaying kelp, is wafted up on the breeze... Near the shore, disputing kingfishers rattle in their mercenary manner, chasing one another... Behind me, in the woods, a Cooper's hawk chants and ravens chortle and croak, composing poems and telling jokes. For the moment, at least, all is right with the world." You can read more in Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye. (BirdNote)

Justin Trudeau to be prime minister as Liberals surge to majority
Justin Trudeau will be Canada's next prime minister after leading the Liberal Party to a stunning majority government win, dashing the hopes of Stephen Harper, who had been seeking his fourth consecutive mandate, CBC News has projected. This will be the second time Canada will be led by a Trudeau, as the Liberal leader follows in the footsteps of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who served as prime minister for almost 16 years before retiring in 1984. Mark Gollom reports. (CBC) Results: Everything you want to know about last night's election  (CBC) Election 2015: 5 B.C. storylines from election night  (CBC)

If you like to watch: Best Northwest Weather Webcams
One of the great advances in weather observations during the past few years has been the advent of high-definition weather webcams that allows one to enjoy high-resolution views of sky, usually including informative animations.    In addition, there has been an explosion of moderate-resolution webcams all over the region and nation that allows one to explore the weather virtually. Cliff Mass reports. (Weather Blog)

S’Klallam Tribe proposes shellfish nursery to aid Hood Canal
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is looking to boost the oyster population in Hood Canal by building a shellfish nursery. The Kitsap Sun reports the tribe has submitted a development permit for a 1-acre structure that would float in the middle of Port Gamble Bay and produce up to 12 million oysters annually. S’Klallam Natural Resources Director Paul McCollum says the oyster population in the Hood Canal has declined over the years, which scientists attribute to ocean acidification. He says the nursery would increase the survival rate. (Associated Press)

Residents raise concerns about additional oil trains
Hundreds of people gathered Monday in Lynnwood to raise concerns about Shell's plan to transport additional oil trains through the region. Crude oil shipments have been transported by train from Montana and North Dakota to Washington since 2012. But additional trains carrying crude oil to a proposed Shell Oil rail unloading facility in Anacortes is creating pushback from the public.  The new site would be approximately 50 acres and would include three miles of new train track. On Monday night there was a protest outside the Lynnwood Convention Center before a planned public hearing. Russ Bowen reports. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PDT TUE OCT 20 2015
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/19 Elwha, vote, fish passage, Arctic drill, coal ports, Shell train, mussel power, buffleheads, new allies, orca breeding, saving turtles, Derek Kilmer

Elwha 10/15/15 (Tom Roorda/CWI)
Elwha Nearshore October 15, 2015
Anne Shaffer of Coastal Watershed Institute writes: "The last lovely days of low flow early fall in this captivating place and time. Thank you to Tom Roorda for continuing to provide these important photos. And what it means? The main river channel is much shorter and closer to its original length than in past months of dam removal. The delta on the other hand has grown by around 45 hectares and is much more diverse habitat wise. Fish use the new areas. They began using them as soon as the habitat was available. Upshot? Most of the new delta fish habitat is side channel and estuary-not main river channel. The quiet weather patterns should soon give way to fall winds, swell, and rain, and re-activate the marine and river hydrodynamic engines. This will include pushing sediment east where it is so sorely needed!"

What you need to know for Monday’s federal election
B.C. polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19. One of the longest federal election campaigns in Canadian history comes to a close at 7 p.m. Monday, after the final ballots are cast in British Columbia. Cindy Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

Judges hear Washington challenge to fish-passage ruling
In a case that could have implications for dams and development in the Northwest, federal appeals judges heard arguments Friday about whether Washington state should have to spend billions of dollars to replace large pipes that allow streams to pass under roadways — but which also block salmon from migrating upstream to their spawning grounds. The lawsuit is the latest twist in more than 40 years of litigation between Washington and Native American tribes over fishing rights since a federal court decision guaranteed the tribes the right to half of Northwest salmon harvest. Washington's tribes, backed by the U.S. Justice Department, sued the state in 2001, trying to force the state to replace the culverts with bridges or other structures that better allow fish to pass. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Seattle Enviros Celebrate Cancelation of Oil Drilling Leases In The Arctic
Local environmentalists are celebrating the Obama administration’s announcement that it is canceling upcoming auctions for drilling rights in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The Interior Department also announced it has denied requests for extensions of Arctic leases currently held by Shell and Statoil. Shell’s Arctic fleet became a lightning rod for activism in Seattle this summer, launched by flotillas of “Kayaktivists” and others opposed to drilling. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Wyoming and Montana to promote coal ports in Washington
A delegation of Wyoming and Montana state lawmakers and others are looking to highlight the economic importance of opening ports to export U.S. coal to Asian markets and counter arguments against the ports during a trip to Washington. “We hope to have a broader conversation about why these terminals are important not only to Washington state, but to the people and economies of Wyoming and Montana,” said Jocelyn McCabe, a spokeswoman for the Keep Washington Competitive group, which is sponsoring the visit on Monday. (Associated Press)

Refinery, rail lines: How far should EIS scope reach for Shell rail project?
Skagit County government and the state Department of Ecology are collecting public input on a project that, if built, would mean more oil trains moving through the Skagit Valley. Together, the agencies will review the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s East Gate Rail Project under the state Environmental Policy Act. But before starting an environmental impact statement, the agencies are trying to determine the scope of study. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) Some groups want rail EIS to extend beyond Shell refinery  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)  Shell wants limited EIS scope for oil-by-rail project Aaron Weinberg reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) Oil train hearing set for Monday in Lynnwood  Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Penn Cove mussels to help track pollution flowing into Puget Sound
Late at night when the tide is low enough, an army of volunteers will fan out along Puget Sound and help anchor cages of native Penn Cove mussels near the shore. Starting Oct. 26, the cages will go into 73 spots around Puget Sound. Eight of those will be in Whatcom County, with California Creek where it flows into Drayton Harbor as the farthest point to the north and Clark’s Point in Chuckanut Bay the southernmost spot. The cages will be put in over seven days, and the mussels will stay there until February 2016. Their job is to help scientists find out what contaminants are washing from land into the sound during fall and winter, when Western Washington is wet. The bivalves also will show how well efforts to protect Puget Sound against stormwater pollution are working over time. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Punctual ducks feted with All Buffleheads Day
Californians celebrate the punctuality of the swallows of Capistrano. So why don’t Islanders celebrate the annual arrival of bufflehead ducks? The bufflehead is every bit as regular as the swallows, arriving in the waters of Victoria and south Vancouver Island each Oct. 15 (plus or minus a day).
… Now the Friends of Shoal Harbour and Nature Canada are hoping to earn some recognition for the bufflehead’s remarkable punctuality. On Friday, B.C. Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon marked Oct. 15 as All Buffleheads Day. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

New alliance has big goals for salmon, orca recovery
Even with Endangered Species Act protection, two iconic Salish Sea species are struggling, and a newly formed alliance is calling attention to their plight. “It’s pretty critical that we have to do something, so let’s put the prey and predator together and let’s save them,” said Ken Balcomb, executive director of the Center for Whale Research based on San Juan Island. The center is one of many local, national and international groups that recently formed the Orca Salmon Alliance. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Critics of Snake River dams say it’s time to tear them down  The decades-old idea of breaching four giant dams that interfere with endangered salmon runs has gained new momentum Nicholas Geranios reports. (Associated Press)

SeaWorld to challenge Calif. ban on orca breeding
SeaWorld announced Thursday that it will challenge a state ruling that banned the company from breeding captive killer whales at its San Diego park. The announcement comes a week after the California Coastal Commission endorsed a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold orcas in San Diego. That ruling also outlined a series of restrictions on SeaWorld, including a ban on breeding and prohibitions on the sale, trade or transfer of the whales. Michael Blood reports. (Associated Press) See also: Orca pod spotted in Howe Sound  Tracey Tufnail reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Endangered western painted turtles get new beach
A population of western painted turtles in Burnaby will soon have a clean new home, free of the chunks of metallurgical coal they have been living with since a train derailed in their backyard last year. For the last few days, Deanna MacTavish and other members of the Coastal Painted Turtle Project have been digging turtle hatchlings out of a nesting beach near Silver Creek in Burnaby Lake Park. The group built the beach in 2010 and turtles were thriving there until a Canadian Pacific train operated by a Canadian National crew on CN tracks derailed in January 2014, dumping coal into the creek. When crews and officials arrived to clean up after the spill, they scrambled to dig up the nesting turtles before the machines moved in. The hatchlings that were saved were reared off site, then brought home later that spring. Matthew Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Feds eye refuges for cold-water species in 5 states
Federal scientists using new technologies have mapped what is being called a Cold Water Climate Shield, an area spanning five western states that could support viable populations of native species if the region continues its warming trend. Mapping the cold-water refuges for cutthroat trout, a favored sport fish among anglers, and threatened bull trout could help resource managers make decisions aimed at preserving populations of those and other cold-water native species in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Wyoming. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Conservancy names Rep. Derek Kilmer ‘Champion of Nature’
The Nature Conservancy in Washington state has given U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer its “Champion of Nature” award. Mike Stevens, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Washington state, presented the award Oct. 8 after he and members of the organization’s trustee board and staff traveled to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired Sept. 30. Kilmer, a Democrat from Gig Harbor and a Port Angeles native, represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 245 AM PDT MON OCT 19 2015
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING. RAIN THROUGH THE DAY.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, October 16, 2015

10/16 Humpbacks, BC LNG, Columbia coal, train derail, NW drought, disaster prep, Jude Rubin

Humpback (Andrew Lees/KING)
Humpback whales resurging in Salish Sea  
After traveling north for the summer, humpback whales have migrated back to the Salish Sea. The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) said they've resurfaced in record numbers. “We’ve seen more humpbacks this year than ever, and they’re popping up now everywhere, in the San Juan Islands, Georgia Strait, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, Rosario Strait, Saanich Inlet – repopulating the areas where they were once abundant pre-whaling," said Captain Mark Malleson, veteran whale watch captain for Prince of Whales Whale Watching. " Very exciting time out there now.” Kate Clark reports. (KING)

New blog: Wow! “Clean Up Puget Sound— Now”
Hadn’t heard that in a while so it got me excited last Friday when I saw the Seattle Times editorial headline, “Stop political inaction, clean up Puget Sound — now”. The problem, according to its editorial board, is — guess what? -- politics. The solution, according to its editorial board, is — guess what? -- more politics….

Pacific NorthWest planning 2016 LNG start despite legal challenge
The president of Pacific NorthWest LNG says the energy consortium is poised to start construction next year, undaunted by a native group’s legal challenge of the project’s proposed British Columbia site for exporting liquefied natural gas. “We’re shovel ready, and ready to move ahead as soon as we’ve got the final federal government approvals and final permits,” Michael Culbert said in an interview during an international LNG conference in Vancouver. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is expected to rule in early 2016 on the proposal submitted by Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Review of coal-export project on Columbia River delayed
Local, state and federal regulators have delayed their review of a coal export project along the Columbia River near Longview. The state Department of Ecology said Thursday that a draft environmental impact statement would be out next year, not in November as scheduled. The agency says more time is needed to "ensure reliable and accurate data is used to carry out objective and rigorous" evaluations. Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview wants to build a facility to handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. The coal would arrive on trains from Montana and Wyoming and exported by ships to Asia. (Associated Press)

Nobody injured, nothing spilled in Tacoma train derailment
Nobody was hurt Thursday afternoon when seven cars of a freight train derailed in Tacoma. Gus Melonas with Burlington Northern Sante Fe said the six-engine, 106-car train was heading from Pasco to Seattle when the last seven cars derailed near State Route 509 and Interstate 705 in Tacoma. The train was carrying flour, rock products and ethanol, but the cars that went off the rails were empty, Melonas said. (KOMO)

NOAA: El Nino Means More Drought For Eastern Washington
The latest El Nino forecast report is out from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- and it looks like the drought will continue into next year for most of Washington. NOAA releases regular temperature and precipitation predictions and the latest information confirms what it has been saying for months. El Nino is expected to be very strong in the Pacific at least through January, but the impact on Washington state will be mixed. Lisa Brooks reports. (KUOW) See also: Did the Pacific Northwest Pass the Global Warming Stress Test? Cliff Mass answers. (Weather Blog)

Floods, fires, slides: Experts at Seattle summit bracing for disasters
U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell traveled to Washington Thursday to discuss heightened risk of natural disasters because of climate change. In Oso, Snohomish County, slammed by a mudslide that claimed 43 lives last year, Jewell and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, watched an earthquake- preparedness drill and walked the disaster site. And later in Seattle, Jewell met with a panel of scientists, environmental and tribal leaders on the topics of fire, floods, earthquakes, landslides, sea-level rise and more. Preparedness was the watchword. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

'Bag Monster' conservation leader recognized with Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award in Port Townsend
Judith “Jude” Rubin, who has worked in support of a variety of environmental causes, is this year's recipient of the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award.  “On behalf of the many hundreds of people who collaborated on these important projects, I am deeply honored to accept this award,” Rubin, 50, said Thursday. Rubin's selection for the 11th annual award was announced at a Wednesday breakfast at Fort Worden State Park. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PDT FRI OCT 16 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10/15 Shellfish areas, Kply cleanup, oil port fires, Woodfibre LNG, Whatcom coal fight

(Andy Bronson/Everett Herald)
Photo: Great blue heron seeks a soft landing
A great blue heron on a fishing expedition prepares to land by GoGo’s Lake on Fourth St. SE Wednesday. The road leads into Spencer Island Park in Everett. (Everett Herald)

1,000 acres of Puget Sound shellfish harvesting areas open
Washington health officials say they've been able to open about 1,000 acres of shellfish harvesting areas in Puget Sound thanks to improved water quality. The pollution-reduction efforts included eliminating pollution sources, modifications in wastewater treatment and inspections of private septic systems. The biggest area to re-open was about 700 acres in Clallam County's Dungeness Bay. Other recent successes were at Ketron Island in Pierce County and Poverty Bay in King County. (Associated Press)

Port Angeles KPly site cleanup costs climb $2.13 million due to more contaminated soil
Dirty dirt costs a lot to dump. The price of cleaning up the former KPly mill site on Marine Drive leaped another $2.13 million Tuesday thanks to the need to truck away 16,600 more tons of contaminated soil. That comes atop the $1.36 million Port of Port Angeles commissioners approved last month for an additional 15,000 tons of soil that's been fouled by a variety of fuels, other hydrocarbons and assorted pollutants. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Vancouver [WA] firefighters union opposes oil terminal at port  Citing threats to public safety, the head of Vancouver’s firefighters union  told Port of Vancouver commissioners Tuesday that the union opposes a proposal to build the nation’s largest rail-to-ship oil-transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The city is “not staffed appropriately” and “we don’t have the training, and we don’t have the equipment to effectively respond to an emergency at the oil terminal,” Mark Johnston, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Union IAFF Local 452, told port commissioners during the port’s regular public meeting. The meeting was packed with opponents of the oil terminal (one attendee spoke favorably about the terminal) who blasted the port for hiding information from people and ignoring their safety concerns. Aaron Corvin reports. (Columbian)

Squamish First Nation approves environmental agreement for Woodfibre LNG
The Squamish First Nation council voted Wednesday to approve an environmental assessment agreement for the controversial $1.6-billion Woodfibre LNG project that has divided its own band members. Squamish Chief Ian Campbell said in an interview that the agreement is an important step in the development's ultimate approval. Similar agreements remain to be signed with FortisBC and the B.C. government. Economic impact benefit agreements also remain to be negotiated. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Coal fight spills into Whatcom’s ‘constitution’
Coal interests and environmentalists have pitched a war of words and money over propositions on the Nov. 3 ballot in Whatcom County. None of the moves have proved to be illegal. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PDT THU OCT 15 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10/14 Shell train, BC LNG, uni, Puyallup stormwater, rent-a-chicken

Herring gull (Tom Murray/BirdNote)
The Little Red Spot on a Gull's Bill
In the mid-20th Century, Dutch scientist Niko Tinbergen studied nesting Herring Gulls. He noticed that newly hatched chicks were fed by their parents only after they pecked at the adults' bills. Tinbergen devised experiments that varied the shape and coloration of the adult's bill. It became clear that the red spot on the adult gull's bill was a crucial visual cue in a chick's demands to be fed, and thus its survival. Learn more about Herring Gulls and about Tinbergen's research. (BirdNote)

Critical voices heard at Shell EIS scoping meeting
Those critical of a proposed oil train facility at Shell Puget Sound Refinery dominated the discussion Tuesday at a public comment meeting regarding the project.  The expansion would give Shell the ability to handle crude oil trains, and would increase the number of trains traveling through the state. County government and the state Department of Ecology are putting together an environmental impact statement on Shell's project, and will use public comment to help determine the scope of the EIS. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

B.C. LNG industry ready to take ‘final steps’: Finance Minister
British Columbia’s fledgling liquefied natural gas industry will overcome the slump in energy markets while addressing aboriginal concerns, the province’s Finance Minister says. LNG prices are weak in Asia, but the backers of major projects on Canada’s West Coast are taking a long-term view, said Mike de Jong, who will be delivering a speech on Wednesday at the start of an international LNG conference in Vancouver. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail) See also: Prince Rupert's Pacific LNG project faces new challenge  Gitxsan First Nation says it was not consulted on Prince Rupert gas pipeline Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Sea urchin, or uni, is a popular B.C. delicacy — but not in B.C.
As the weather turns colder, some of the most prized sea urchin in the world is being caught right now off the coast of B.C. The spiny creatures are treasured in Japan, where Canada will export much of the haul. There, sea urchin is called "uni," and is considered a delicacy. (CBC)

Puyallup set to divert more than 687,000 gallons of stormwater annually
…. At 3:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 16), a ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the opening of Puyallup’s latest Low-Impact Development along the 400 block of 3rd Street Northeast and the 200 block of 4th Avenue Northeast. The project comprised the change of 28,874 square feet of concrete surfaces from impervious to pervious. The city saved on the cost of replacing storm drainage facilities in this area because the project components will retain stormwater runoff onsite and not allow it into the storm system. The amount of stormwater prevented from entering the storm system annually will be more than 687,000 gallons. Andrew Fickes reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Rent-a-chicken business taking flight in Kamloops
When Ron and Marie McGivern decided to get into the rental market, they didn't choose to start renting properties — they chose chickens. Starting next spring, they plan to be renting local residents a package including two or four laying hens, a few large bags of feed, food and water dishes, a portable chicken coop and a set of instructions, all delivered to their door. The two-hen starter package runs $425 plus tax, while the deluxe four-hen package is $600 plus tax. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED OCT 14 2015
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11
 SECONDS.
--
"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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow on Twitter.


Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told