More than three years after first proposed, “critical habitat” has been designated for Puget Sound steelhead, a prized fish whose population has declined drastically in the Puget Sound region. The new designation, announced last week, is the first time that critical habitat has ever been designated on the east side of the Kitsap Peninsula. Steelhead were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2007, and this critical habitat designation is required under federal law to protect habitats — in this case streams — that are considered essential to the recovery of the species. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways) Also: Experts agree: Coho fishing must be reduced this year to save species Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)
Revisiting McLoughlin sewage plant would mean war, Helps says
The company that won the bid to build a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point two years ago for $170 million says it could build the plant today for an extra $20 million, says Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. Harbour Resource Partners “have come forward with an update on their March 2014 numbers which suggest that March 2016 costs would be approximately $20 million more,” Jensen said Thursday. Jensen plans to provide correspondence from Harbour Resource Partners to the next Capital Regional District sewage committee meeting. If his numbers prove right, $190 million for a regional plant represents a whopping saving compared with Rock Bay in Victoria, the current lowest-cost option, which is estimated at $692 million, including $393 million for liquid waste treatment, $67.2 million for land and $32.5 million for a new outfall at Clover Point. But Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who chairs the sewage committee, said going back to McLoughlin means going to war. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)
B.C. premier helps broker deal on carbon ‘tax’
With B.C. Premier Christy Clark playing a peacemaker role, Canada’s divided first ministers struck a compromise “Vancouver Accord” on Thursday that is intended to get Canada on the road to sharply reduced carbon emissions by 2030. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his provincial and territorial counterparts agreed to a “suite” of tools, from public transit investment to green technology, aimed at reducing emissions. But their commitment on the biggest ticket item, and by far the most troublesome and divisive matter, was far from clear…. The accord, he told a news conference, includes a unanimous agreement that “carbon pricing” has to be part of Canada’s strategy. The formal agreement said they all supported “carbon pricing mechanisms adapted to each province’s and territory’s specific circumstances.” Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Knowledge about the natural world in kindergarten predicts later success on science tests
Low-income and minority children score much lower on national 8th-grade science tests than their white and more advantaged peers, but those gaps already exist before kids start kindergarten. Less-advantaged kids are less likely to know, for example, what a fireman does, or explain what trains and planes have in common, or describe the seasons — the kinds of questions they might answer on a general knowledge test given in kindergarten, according to a study published recently in the journal Educational Researcher. The study found that basic background knowledge about the natural and social world in kindergarten was the best predictor of how well children would perform on science tests in elementary and middle school. John Higgins reports. (Seattle Times)
Pipeline expansion plan raises worries about oil spills
…. KIRO 7 asked Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) if the Canadians are sufficiently prepared to handle oil spills. Her answer: "No." Cantwell said the problem is the type of oil coming from the tar sands, a heavy crude called diluted bitumen. "This is not the Exxon Valdez," Cantwell said. "It's worse because the product will sink." In 2014, during a Senate hearing for the then-nominee for Coast Guard commandant, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Cantwell asked Zukunft about readiness for oil spill cleanup. He responded that there's good technology to remove oil from the surface, but "once it settles on the sea floor our technology is lacking." "With the Coast Guard saying they don't have a plan to deal with it, we shouldn't take the risk," Cantwell told KIRO 7 in January. Graham Johnson reports.
Barges run aground along Victoria's Dallas Road
One of two barges carrying construction debris and a crane which ran aground along Victoria's Dallas Road during a storm last night has been refloated. The first of the barges carrying the crane was refloated by a crew from Seaspan around 10 a.m. PT Mike Laanela reports. (CBC News)
Firefighters Possibly Exposed To Contaminated Wastewater According To New Criminal Charges
The health of Washington firefighters is at the heart of a new criminal case filed by the state. Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed criminal charges Tuesday against George Campbell and his company Broadband Environmental Service Inc. The company does wastewater sampling and monitoring, and submits much of its data to the Department of Ecology. Broadband ran a reclaimed water facility at the state patrol's fire training academy in North Bend for about six years from 2009-2014. The attorney general contends that during that time Campbell submitted false water quality data 177 times. Ferguson said that may have led to contaminated water being sprayed directly on firefighters, structures and the surrounding land. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)
If you like to watch: Heron cam in Stanley Park will broadcast in HD quality
A new $4,900 camera at Stanley Park is broadcasting a live feed of the Vancouver park's heron population. The camera will offer nature enthusiasts better access to the birds and give scientists studying the heron colony a closer look, said the Vancouver Park Board, which is behind the initiative…. The colony, which consists of about 300 herons, is home to around 100 active nests that produced 175 fledgling herons in 2015. It's located behind the park board offices in Stanley Park. (CBC)
Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 240 AM PST FRI MAR 4 2016
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT THIS MORNING. COMBINED SEAS 15 TO 16 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 18 TO 19 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 14 TO 15 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 13 FT AT 13 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 9 TO 12 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS.
SUN S WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 12 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
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