Thursday, April 14, 2016

4/14 L95, #SSEC16, storm surge, methanol plant, PSE LNG, rainwater, Vic sewer, oyster seeding

L95 (PHOTO: Dave Ellifrit)
Death of breeding-age male orca worries scientists
The recent appearance of two dead whales off Vancouver Island — one infant and one young adult — has whale researchers concerned about the population. Of the two, researchers are mostly worried about the death of the adult, a male known as L95, which at 20 was just entering prime breeding age. The death of the calf, a female about two weeks old, is not unusual. John Ford, whale research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said the loss of any adult of breeding age is worrisome, with the overall population of southern resident killer whales down to about 82. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

New data dampens prospects
Confirmation that baby orca J54 is a male has dropped a bitter pill into the otherwise sweet news of a seeming population boom for the southern resident killer whale population over the past year. Naturalists working with the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island recently captured photographic evidence of markings on the calf’s belly that prove earlier suspicions that J54 is male. The information is concerning to wildlife biologists because there is only one known female of eight surviving calves born between Dec. 30, 2014 and Jan. 18, 2016. The sex of two calves is still to be determined, but one of them is also suspected to be male. Elizabeth Nolan reports. (Gulf Islands Driftwood)

New blog: #SSEC16— Hold On To That Blue Marble
Canadian astronaut and scientist Roberta Bondar gave an inspired and inspiring keynote address to kick off the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC, on Wednesday. Capacity attendance of 1200 folks will be sharing information and experiences during the three-day meeting…

National climate change report warns of risk of storm surges on B.C.'s coast
Flooding from storm-surges — an abnormal rise of sea water generated by a storm — is a greater threat to communities along B.C.'s coast than the rising sea level alone. That is one of the findings from Canada's Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate, a new national report from Natural Resources Canada exploring the impacts of climate change on Canada's coasts.   Nathan Vadeboncoeur, the lead author of the West Coast chapter of the report, said that the height of waves is related to water depth, so as the sea level rises the waves generated during a storm are going to be higher and more powerful. Cavin Fisher reports. (CBC)

Study lays out economic impact of methanol plant 
The backer of a methanol plant for the Tacoma Tideflats has released an economic impact study that shows the plant will be an economic boon for the region during its five-year construction phase. Once it’s up and running, the Northwest Innovation Works plant will support jobs above the living wage, the report states. The study, conducted for Northwest Innovation Works by ECONorthwest, says the company expects local spending of $1.3 billion of the $3.6 billion cost of the plant in 2018 dollars. ECONorthwest is a consulting firm with 41 years’ experience in economics, finance and planning. Kate Martin reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

PSE seeks court assist to prevent release of gas-storage records
Citing fears of a terrorist attack, Puget Sound Energy has filed a legal complaint that would prevent the city of Tacoma from disclosing records related to the siting of a planned liquid natural gas terminal on the Tacoma Tideflats. The complaint filed Monday in Pierce County Superior Court names the city and environmental activist John Carlton, who sought city-held records of a hazard assessment associated with the storage facility. PSE is seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction to stop the city’s planned release of the records to Carlton. A hearing on the restraining order is set for Wednesday afternoon (April 13). Sean Robinson reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Vancouver looks into collecting 90 per cent of rainwater
The City of Vancouver is looking into a plan to capture and treat 90 per cent of the rain that falls in the city, turning it from a nuisance to a resource. Staff are seeking $1.5 million to create a green infrastructure team that would push for a citywide network of rain gardens, permeable pavements and green roofs to capture rain before it pollutes nearby waters. Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Province assigns facilitator to build sewage ‘road map’
The B.C. government has assigned a former deputy minister to help the Capital Regional District develop a detailed sewage plan. Peter Milburn, an ex-deputy minister of finance and transportation, will act as a “facilitator” on the project, Community Minister Peter Fassbender said Wednesday. (Times Colonist)

Tidelands near Sequim Bay's John Wayne Marina to be studied, seeded with native Olympia oysters
Tidelands near John Wayne Marina will be studied and parts of them seeded to create a new Olympia oyster bed in Sequim Bay. In a 2-1 vote, the commissioners agreed to allow the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee to study a portion of Sequim Bay tidelands, adjacent to the south side of the jetty, and seed it with oysters beginning in 2017. Commissioners Colleen McAleer and Steve Burke voted in favor of the oyster beds, while Commissioner Connie Beauvais voted against the use of the property. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  258 AM PDT THU APR 14 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 EVENING  

TODAY
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 12 FT  AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO  10 FT AT 13 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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