Thursday, February 18, 2016

2/18 Documentary sued, Colstrip plants, BC LNG, dye test, microbeads, Wings Over Water, whale watch

Beluga whales (Associated Press)
Vancouver Aquarium sues filmmaker over critical documentary
The Vancouver Aquarium is suing the maker of a critical documentary for alleged copyright violation. In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the aquarium is seeking an injunction to remove Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered from YouTube, Vimeo and a website set up to stream the hour-long film. The documentary raises questions about keeping and breeding cetaceans in captivity. Jason Proctor reports. (CBC)

State Senate passes bill involving Montana’s Colstrip plants
A bill that would authorize the state’s largest utility to create a fund to pay for the eventual shutdown of two coal-powered electricity plants in Montana easily passed Washington state’s Senate on Wednesday. Senate Bill 6248, which is being closely watched in Montana, passed 42-7 and heads to the House for consideration. The bill was amended to remove any provisions calling for the closure of two older coal-fired plants in the company town of Colstrip, Mont. Nicholas Geranios reports. (Associated Press)

B.C. LNG investment will yield long-term profits says energy analyst
The B.C. government made the right decision putting their eggs in the LNG basket, because the move will yield long-term profits, says one energy analyst. The B.C. Liberals are putting $100 million of taxpayers' money into a LNG prosperity fund and say more money will be added when the LNG industry takes off in B.C. But the industry itself is warning that with oil prices falling the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Some economists, however, maintain the future is bright for the natural gas industry because of climate change agreements. (CBC)

Dye tests help find failing septic systems
With dozens of pollution sources including septic systems and livestock in the Samish River watershed, it’s not easy to pinpoint the origin of the fecal coliform bacteria found in the area. That hasn’t stopped Skagit County staff from continuing to scout out sources of the bacteria, which can indicate the presence of feces, and other potentially harmful bacteria. Sometimes that work lands staff in the lab, where they try to determine whether samples from streams in the watershed are contaminated. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Microbeads a macro problem says Vancouver environmental group
A Vancouver based environmental group is urging people in B.C. to participate in the federal government's move to ban microbeads from personal care products. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic added to all manner personal and household products — toothpaste, moisturizer, body scrubs, cosmetics, laundry and dishwasher detergents. The problem is the tiny beads get washed down the drain by the tonnes on a daily basis,accumulating in the world's oceans, lakes and rivers, and increasingly finding their way into the food chain. (CBC)

Wings Over Water festival returning
One of the county’s most popular yearly events is returning once more to Blaine and Birch Bay. Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival will return for its 14th year March 11–13. The area is a popular destination for bird watchers, as Blaine and Birch Bay are a major stop on the Pacific Flyway, a busy migratory route for hundreds of bird species. The event kicks off in the Semiahmoo Resort ballroom on Friday, March 11, with a special exhibition of birding photography and artwork. This year’s featured artist is Bellingham artist Bev Connor, who draws and paints through her studio, Dreaming Otter Arts. The exhibition begins at 6 p.m. (Northern Lights)

In the Salish Sea, Whale Watchers Frequently Getting Too Close
Anyone who has been whale watching from a small boat or kayak appreciates the excitement that comes from getting up close and personal. To hear the whales breathing, feel the spray against your skin, and experience their thunderous breaches can feel almost spiritual…. In the US Pacific Northwest, getting too close to whales is against the law—regulations designed to spare whales from the disturbances they may experience elsewhere. Yet all too often, whale watchers don’t follow the rules. The Whale Museum created Soundwatch in 1993 to educate boaters and track violations of US federal and state regulations and best-practice guidelines by commercial and private whale watchers in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, where the big draw is an endangered population of 85 southern resident killer whales. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals sail out to predictably see the whales in Haro Strait, part of the Salish Sea shared with British Columbia. Last year, Soundwatch counted 1,635 infractions during 393 hours of observation during peak whale-watching season, from May to September. Canadian commercial operators were responsible for 19 percent of the incidents, and US commercial operators for 11 percent. The biggest culprits, although there are also more of them: private recreational boaters, accounting for 60 percent of the breaches. The remainder involved kayakers, aircraft, and government, research, and commercial fishing vessels. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Derelict boats removed from Saanich beaches
Saanich public works staff got down to serious business Tuesday, using an excavator to cut up a 40-tonne cement hulk despoiling the Cadboro Bay Park waterfront since Dec. 5. The hulk, which washed toward shore during a windstorm Dec. 5, was too heavy to haul away and its former live-aboard owner financially unable to pay for the costly cleanup. Municipal staff also cleared away a yellow sailboat that washed up at Gyro Park in the same storm. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  245 AM PST THU FEB 18 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH LATE FRIDAY
 NIGHT  

TODAY
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT  13 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF AFTERNOON TSTMS.

TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT  12 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

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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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