Friday, February 12, 2016

2/12 Bird count, B'ham buoy, methanol, port expansion, helping orcas, Edmonds pier, BC treaty

Northern cardinal (Jeff Rogerson/BirdNote)
Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
Who's out there? The annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15, 2016, is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Birdwatchers across the country count birds and then report the numbers on-line. Although it may seem that crows are everywhere, the Northern Cardinal is reported on the most lists nearly every year, far above the crow. Well, if there's a male cardinal at your feeder, it is pretty hard to miss!  There's no cost, and you don't need to register. Learn more and sign up. (BirdNote)

Bellingham Bay buoy an opportunity to observe marine waters for Northwest Indian College, world
The Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction, through its education partner the University of Washington, is deploying an oceanographic observing buoy in Bellingham Bay this week that will allow Northwest Indian College students both hands-on experience with the technology as well as the ability to study the data from their computers, through the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, NANOOS. (UW Today)

Tacoma's Methanol Plant Proposal Draws A Critical Crowd
Hundreds of people crowded into a Tacoma convention center Wednesday night to voice concerns about a methanol refinery proposed for the city’s Tideflats. If it’s built, the refinery would be the largest of its kind in the world. It would take natural gas from British Columbia and convert it to methanol. Then it would be shipped to China to make plastics. The $3.4 billion dollar plant is one of three proposed for Washington and Oregon by Northwest Innovation Works, a company backed by the Chinese government. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW) See also: Federal Way votes to oppose Tacoma methanol plant  John Langeler reports. (KING) See also: South Sound opposition opens up against Tacoma methanol proposal  Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Port Metro Vancouver expansion would boost container capacity by two-thirds
Port Metro Vancouver is planning a major expansion for Centerm — one of the largest container terminals in the region. About 20 per cent of container goods shipped through the city are already handled at Centerm and if the $320-million project goes ahead next year, container capacity at the Burrard Inlet terminal would be boosted by two-thirds by 2019. It’s a big jump, but according to the latest plans, that extra capacity can be won with a relatively small increase in overall footprint. Matthew Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

How Helping Salmon Could Save Puget Sounds' Baby Orcas
When the new baby orca L120 was spotted in just off of San Juan Island in Puget Sound, Ken Balcomb passed out cigars to celebrate. But the long-time killer whale researcher knew that the southern resident orca pods needed a lot more than one new member. That was back in September 2014. Their numbers were down to 78, the smallest since 1985. L120 was the first baby orca born in two years. “It’s a minor celebration,” Balcomb said at the time. “What we need is eight or nine of these celebrations any given year. We want to have more reproductive females in this population in the next decade or two. We have to replace the breeding population.” Stephen Hegg reports. (KCTS)

Students working to update signs at Edmonds Pier
As visitors stroll the 944-foot fishing pier on the city's waterfront, it's hard to draw your attention away from the views of Puget Sound and snow-capped peaks in the Olympic Mountains. But at several points along the pier are large color posters about the birds, fish, orcas and other creatures living nearby. The sun-bleached informational signs, though, are showing their wear. So when a project was first announced to temporarily close the pier this spring to allow reconstruction of its foundation, Edmonds-Woodway students saw it as an opportunity to also consider what types of new informational signs and other improvements could be made on the pier. Ian Terry reports. (Everett Herald)

Yale First Nation rejects B.C. treaty, citing ‘critical flaws’
In a surprise development, a treaty that was celebrated by the B.C. government when it was first signed in 2013 has been rejected by the Yale First Nation, just months before it was to go into effect. In a brief statement Thursday, the small band of about 150 members said it would not be following through on implementation – the final stage in treaty-making…. Yale Chief Ken Hansen, who was recently elected to lead the band – located in the Fraser Canyon north of Hope – declined to answer questions. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST FRI FEB 12 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH
 SATURDAY AFTERNOON  

TODAY
 SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 11 FT  AT 16 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING S 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 15 SECONDS.  SHOWERS.

SAT
 SW WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT  14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS IN THE  AFTERNOON.

SAT NIGHT
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

SUN
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
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