Friday, January 15, 2016

1/15 Tanker spills, BC refineries, Evergreen State, pipeline drilling, BC boating, RadioLab, Adventuress

 Acanthonus armatus (Royal B.C. Museum/CBC)
Assfish goes on display at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria
The Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria has put on display a fish with a large head, small brain and unflattering name: a bony-eared assfish. The deep-sea creature, about 30 centimetres long, was caught by scientists 10 years ago in Queen Charlotte Sound, off the north end of Vancouver Island. Formally named Acanthonus armatus, the species is known to inhabit Pacific Ocean waters, but this is the first one caught off the coast of North America, said Gavin Hanke, the museum's curator of vertebrate zoology. The specimen is featured in "Finding Fishes," the first exhibition in the museum's new Pocket Gallery. The alcove — formerly the museum's coat check area — will showcase rarely seen items from the museum's collections in three-month rotating displays. Mike Fuhrmann reports. (Canadian Press)

Tanker Spills on the Decline 
Over half-way into this decade and the downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues, says the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). For the last three and a half decades the average number of incidents involving large oil spills, i.e. greater than 700 tons, from tankers has progressively reduced and since 2010 stands at an average of 1.8 per year. (Maritime Executive)

B.C. sees two competing oil refinery proposals near Kitimat
British Columbia now has two competing proposals for oil refineries near Kitimat, both betting that pipeline projects have become so unpalatable that plans to ship Alberta bitumen by rail are more likely to be approved. The bitumen refinery projects add to the 20 B.C. proposals to export liquefied natural gas. Experts say only a handful of LNG ventures have a realistic chance amid fierce global competition. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

“Evergreen State” ferry to retire after 62 years on the job
Ike was president, America was in the middle of a Cold War, “Rock Around The Clock” was at the top of the charts, and Marilyn Monroe married Joe Dimaggio. The year was 1954. And Washington state’s oldest active ferry, the “Evergreen State,” had just been built. Now, after six decades of shuttling people and cars across Puget Sound, that ferry is being retired – decommissioned and sold – after 62 years of service. (KCPQ)

Kinder Morgan drilling around Westridge dock
Kinder Morgan is drilling boreholes around the Westridge Marine Terminal – similar to the survey work that spurred mass protests on Burnaby Mountain last fall. In a company notice distributed to residents and obtained by the NOW, Kinder Morgan states the work will continue until Feb. 29, and it involves drilling and testing samples to help plan the expansion of the dock. “There is a barge out in the water where there will be some equipment, and there will be a small crane,” said Lisa Clement, a media relations staffer for project. “It is for geo-tech work for expansion for Westridge.” Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion plan to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline includes expanding the Westridge Marine Terminal, where tankers fill up with crude. Rebecca Nathanson reports. (Burnaby Now)

Water fight pits boaters and marine operators against the port
We are blessed here with access to the Fraser River, one of North America’s great rivers, the Strait of Georgia, the Gulf Islands and beyond. It’s part of why Metro Vancouver is so attractive and so livable. It’s also key to the region’s economic viability. But demand for water access for industrial, residential and recreational use far outstrips supply, which has sent prices soaring and led to increasingly hostile confrontations over who deserves to use this increasingly scarce resource, particularly when the land is publicly owned and controlled by Port Metro Vancouver. The federal agency is at the nexus of battles over expansion of the coal port and increased tanker traffic. But it’s also in a less known fight with small marina owners, recreational boaters and float homeowners along the Fraser River all the way up to Langley. Daphne Bramham reports. (Vancouver Sun)

‘RadioLab’ event in Tacoma to focus on Puget Sound water issues 
It’s easy to forget about water when you’re surrounded by it. But before all that rain and sprinkler runoff reaches Puget Sound, it first flows down streams, streets and ditches. Along the way it can pick up some nasty pollutants. Water, and everything it washes downstream, will be the theme of “Inside RadioLab with Robert Krulwich” on Jan. 22 at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma. Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Port Townsend students get hands-on education with schooner Adventuress
A group of third-graders had their first experience working and learning on the schooner Adventuress on Thursday. About 60 students split into smaller groups to learn about marine life, navigation and boat operation. “It’s a good thing anytime that you can get kids out of a classroom and give them an opportunity to correlate what they learn in the classroom with real things,” said Caitlin Harrison, former Port Townsend Education Foundation president and a chaperone on the field trip. “It’s one thing to see a picture of a bird in a book. It’s another to watch them catch a fish,” she said. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST FRI JAN 15 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 

TODAY
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 6 FT AT  10 SECONDS BUILDING TO 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE  AFTERNOON.

TONIGHT
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT  AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN AFTER  MIDNIGHT.

SAT
 E WIND 20 TO 30 KT BECOMING S 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13  SECONDS BUILDING TO 14 FT AT 20 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN  SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.

SAT NIGHT
 NE WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING E 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 15 FT AT 19  SECONDS.

SUN
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  COMBINED SEAS 13 TO 15 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 17 SECONDS.

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