|(PHOTO: Mike Siegel/Seattle Times)|
…. Tens of thousands of locals give their time every year to give a boost to Mother Nature, working through an unusually rich variety of nonprofit environmental groups. Are Puget Sound’s shorelines, salmon streams, ancient forests and alpine meadows its volunteer “church?” The numbers say yes. On a recent Friday morning, a group of about 20 hip-wadered worshippers from the non-ordained Church of Puget Sound, Clean Shorelines, gathered at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park, carried a large plastic tub to the shore and did what they’ve been trained to do: unfurl a fine-meshed net about 10 yards into the water, in a loop, to conduct a “beach seine” in five separate spots, carefully recording marine life. Ron Judd reports. (Seattle Times)
Project to reroute Squalicum Creek wins national award
A project to reroute Squalicum Creek away from Sunset Pond in order to improve water quality and habitat has been named Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association. In the summer of 2015, Bellingham work crews rerouted nearly a mile of Squalicum Creek around Sunset Pond into a newly created channel that provides better habitat for salmon and that supports other fish, birds, and mammals. The project also eliminated fish passage barriers along James Street and Interstate 5, opening up more than 22 miles of salmon habitat upstream. (Bellingham Herald)
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway may be resuscitated as Trudeau wavers on tanker moratorium
Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipeline may get a new lease on life as the Canadian government wavers on a planned tanker moratorium that was previously thought to spell the end for the project. Officials are weighing what types of petroleum products may be exempt from any moratorium, and whether certain tankers could be allowed, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged in November to “formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic” on British Columbia’s northern coast. But cabinet ministers are noncommittal on its precise implications, while federals officials have regularly declined to comment on Northern Gateway’s prospects. Josh Wingrove and Jeremy van Loon report. (Bloomberg News)
Trans Mountain pipeline project to require B.C. environmental test
About six weeks before the National Energy Board was due to make a recommendation on the Trans Mountain pipeline, the company behind the project was told a British Columbia provincial environmental assessment will now be required. B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) put up a new hurdle when it advised Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, that the expansion project will have to pass provincial scrutiny before it can proceed. In a letter dated March 17, Kevin Jardine, associate deputy minister of the EAO, informed Mr. Anderson that because of a B.C. Supreme Court decision related to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project, the province cannot assign environmental assessment responsibilities solely to the NEB. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)
UVic prof creates digital guide to plants, animals on B.C. coast
An innovative app created by a University of Victoria professor is giving people around the world the ability to experience the vast, diverse beauty of British Columbia's coast. Ecologist Brian Starzomski and his team have catalogued more than 700 species in the Great Bear Rainforest and logged them in a new digital field guide called "Central Coast Biodiversity." Their work can be accessed through a smartphone or tablet app, or on a computer, to help people identify unfamiliar plants and animals…. The free app currently includes an inventory of 210 plants, 80 birds, 120 seaweeds, 190 marine invertebrates, and 20 mammals and reptiles. Gemma Karstens-Smith reports. (Canadian Press)
No More Squaw Bay: Name Change Coming
A Washington state committee will give final consideration in May to changing the name of Squaw Bay, on Shaw Island, to a Lummi Nation place name for the island. Many more changes could follow. Last fall, state Sen. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, worked with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, and a resident to have a lake and creek in Chelan County renamed for a 19th century African-American pioneer. The lake and creek formerly bore a name considered to be offensive.... The process to change names on official geographic maps is initiated by the public; anyone who wishes to make a change can initiate it by filling out a form and delivering it to the state Committee on Geographic Names. Among the community-initiated changes on the committee’s May 19 agenda: renaming Squaw Bay on Shaw Island, one of the San Juan Islands in the middle of the Salish Sea, to Sq’emenen Bay. Hereditary chief Tsilixw James said Sq’emenen – pronounced sqe-men-en – is the Lummi name for Shaw Island, which is part of Lummi’s historical territory. The change will then go to the state Board on Geographic Names for final approval. Richard Walker reports. (Indian Country Today Media Network)
Scientists study ecological fallout of sea star die-off
Marine scientists with the Vancouver Aquarium were on — and under — the water in Howe Sound near West Vancouver on Monday taking a close look at how a serious decline in starfish is affecting the rest of the marine ecosystem…. But the Vancouver Aquarium's researchers weren't seeking sea stars — they were inspecting kelp, the so-called underwater forests that serve as a food source for countless marine species. They're about halfway through a two and a half year study examining the trophic cascade. "Trophic cascade means that there's an alternating effect at each level of food chain," explained [Jessica] Schultz. "Sea stars decline and their prey item — which is the urchins — increase drastically, and then [we see] the subsequent decline of their food, which is the kelp." Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)
5th annual Fidalgo Shoreline Academy
Friends of Skagit Beaches presents on May 14 keynote speaker Chris Jordan whose work includes documenting the tragedies of Midway Island's starving albatrosses who mistake our floating plastic for food. The day's program also includes a variety of programs and interpretive walks exploring the Salish Sea marine environments and cultures. Fidalgo Bay Resort, Anacortes, 9 am - 3:30 pm. Purchase tickets by May 12.
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 247 AM PDT TUE APR 26 2016
TODAY VARIABLE WIND 10 KT OR LESS. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 TO 8 FT AT 11 OR 12 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 TO 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
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