Monday, April 25, 2016

4/25 Coal port, Earth Day, oil spill, Vic sewer, Portage Bay, ocean-fertilizing, Surfrider

Kayaktivists (Dean Rutz/Seattle Times)
Earth Day on Elliott Bay
Kayaktivists from breakfreepnw.org and other organizations launched a flotilla of kayaks to put luminary and an Earth Day message on Elliott Bay Friday evening. The group, which set out from Alki, sought to draw attention to the Paris World Climate Agreement, and dire warnings of climate change. In mid May, the group will be active again at the March Point refineries in Anacortes.  Dean Rutz reports. (Seattle Times)

Feds deciding if coal-export project violates tribal rights
For centuries, Lummi tribal fishermen have harvested, dug up clams and fished for salmon in the tidelands and waters of northwest Washington state. Now, the tribe says a proposed $700 million project to build the nation’s largest coal-export terminal threatens that way of life. The tribe last year asked federal regulators to deny permits for project, saying it would interfere with the tribe’s treaty-reserved fishing rights. The Gateway Pacific Terminal, a venture between SSA Marine and Cloud Peak Energy, would handle up to 54 million metric tons of dry bulk commodities, mostly coal, at a deep water port at Cherry Point. Coal would be shipped by train from Montana and Wyoming for export to Asia. If the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the permitting process, finds that the proposed terminal would disrupt the tribe’s rights to fish in its traditional areas, it won’t issue permits. A decision is expected this week. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press) See also:  Lummi Nation Cherry Point Coal Terminal Decision by End of April  Richard Walker reports. (Indian Country Today)

Earth Day: a time to consider diverse accomplishments
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "On this Earth Day, I would like to share some “environmental victories” at the national level, take note of advancements in environmental education at the state and local levels, recognize a global climate accomplishment at the international level and celebrate the birthday of John Muir, a giant in the conservation movement…."

#EarthDay: The High Cost Of Eco-Activism
World leaders have celebrated Earth Day today by gathering in New York to sign a historic climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But some of the most vital environmental work is being done by ordinary citizens with extraordinary courage. People like subsistence farmers and tribal leaders in the poorest countries are standing up to some of the world's most powerful industries. And a growing number of them have been attacked — and sometimes murdered — for trying to protect the environment. Nurith Aizenman reports. (NPR)

Earth Day: Recycling, reducing measures need to be convenient for people, prof says
Earth Day encourages the protection of the environment, but on this day — and the other 364 days of the year — there will still be many who won't use reusable cups, cut down their driving or compost and recycle. That's because it's not convenient enough, says a professor who studies the psychological reasons why people take environmental action. "Awareness alone is not enough to change behaviour, we actually need to provide solutions, suggestions, alternatives to current practice so that people can actually change," said Jiaying Zhao, an assistant professor at UBC's Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the department of psychology. Gavin Fisher reports. (CBC)

Is Washington ready for the next big oil spill?
On a calm, clear afternoon in December 1985, the Arco Anchorage made a routine stop in Port Angeles. It was killing time, waiting its turn to drop off 814,000 barrels of Alaskan crude oil at the Cherry Point Refinery, 22 miles north of Bellingham. Somehow, despite perfect conditions, the Anchorage ran aground. Rocks on the ocean bottom tore two long slits through ship’s hull; the oil began to leak immediately. Over the next few hours, 239,000 gallons of oil spilled into the harbor. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

Victoria seeks input on sewage plant site at Monday meeting
Victorians will get their first chance Monday to weigh in on the plan to bury a sewage-treatment plant under the park at Clover Point. A public meeting, planned for the Crystal Garden, is being billed as an opportunity to talk about guidelines in siting sewage-treatment plants in general. But with the Capital Regional District’s preferred option being a treatment plant at Clover Point, Mayor Lisa Helps has little doubt that it will be the focus of much of the discussion…. But, she noted, the plan could change. Some Fairfield residents who are opposed to Clover Point would be OK with a site nearby, Helps said. And a site in Rock Bay, just to the north of downtown, is still under consideration. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Pollution could restrict shellfish harvesting in Portage Bay 
The state could restrict commercial shellfish harvesting on up to 300 additional acres in Portage Bay because of pollution caused by fecal coliform bacteria. That decision will be made in the coming months. The bay was among more than 100 commercial shellfish harvesting areas looked at by the Washington State Department of Health during its annual evaluation of water quality. The state could downgrade those acres from the current “approved” to “conditionally approved.” Or the state could close them altogether. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Controversial Haida Gwaii ocean fertilizing experiment pitched to Chile
The federal government is still investigating an experiment off the West Coast almost four years ago aimed at boosting salmon stocks that sparked an international outcry. Now a former director and operations officer of Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. says he wants to carry out another ocean-fertilizing exercise, this time off South America. Jason McNamee says the company Oceaneos, where he serves as chief operations officer, has been in talks about fertilizing the ocean with iron with the Chilean government, which could not be reached for comment. Geordon Omand reports. (Canadian Press)

Peninsula man earns national award from Surfrider Foundation for work on behalf of oceans, beaches
A North Olympic Peninsula man has been given a national award for work to protect oceans and beaches. Arnold Schouten, the former co-owner of Hartnagel Building Supply and Angeles Millwork in Port Angeles, was given the Surfrider Foundation’s Coastal Impact Wavemaker award for 2015. He is a member of the Surfrider Olympic Peninsula Chapter and the Clallam Marine Resources Committee…. The awards recognize individuals and companies for volunteer efforts to fulfill Surfrider’s mission of protecting the ocean and beaches. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  258 AM PDT MON APR 25 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 AFTERNOON  

TODAY
 NW WIND 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 9 TO 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE  OF SHOWERS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES  1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 7 TO 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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