Thursday, May 19, 2016

5/19 Transients, BC oil port, BC LNG, hungry bears, Salish Sea Stewards, BC rats, 'saving' wildlife

Transient orca (Heather MacIntyre/Maya's Whale Watching)
Transient orcas visiting northwest waters in record number
Now deemed “resident transients,” mammal-eating orcas are becoming familiar visitors to northwest waters. "I remember Dr. John Ford (head of the Cetacean Research Program at the Pacific Biological Station) telling me at least 10 years ago that by this time we’d start seeing an influx of transient killer whales in the Salish Sea, and he was right,” explained Capt. Mark Malleson, of Prince of Whales Whale Watching. Scientists and whale watchers report that a boom in the pinniped population -- seals and sea lions --means a set table for the orcas. (KIRO)

U.S. tribes mobilize against giant proposed Canadian pipeline, oil export terminal
An oil pipeline bigger than Keystone XL, which would put 40 tankers a month into waters shared by the U.S. and Canada, is expected to get a green light -- with conditions -- Thursday afternoon by Canada's National Energy Board. But the battle over Kinder Morgan Inc.'s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline system is far from over.  Four Puget Sound Native American tribes have joined with aboriginal First Nations in British Columbia and climate activists to resist the proposed project.  The pipeline would carry up to 890,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta's tar sands to Burnaby, just east of Vancouver. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Central Saanich says no to Malahat LNG proposal
The District of Central Saanich has expressed strong opposition to the proposed Malahat Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project being touted by company Steelhead LNG and members from the community were right behind them. On May 9, President of Steelhead LNG Victor Ojeda gave a presentation to the municipality, with technical advisor Ian Hill and the CEO of the Malahat First Nation, Renee Racette. Carlie Connolly reports. (Peninsula News Review)

Low salmon stocks cause increased interactions between bears and humans: study
Low salmon stocks in B.C. waterways cause an increase in conflicts between humans and bears, and killing problem bears doesn't actually reduce the frequency of human-bear interactions. That's according to a new study by B.C. researchers — published in Scientific Reports — which looked at 35 years of data relating to conflicts between humans and grizzly bears in B.C. For bear populations that feed on spawning salmon, the study found that for every 50-per-cent decrease in salmon populations, the annual number of bears killed per square kilometre increased by an average of 20 per cent. Gavin Fisher reports. (CBC)

B.C. premier says it’s time Ottawa approves LNG, but denies linkage to oil pipelines
B.C. Premier Christy Clark says it’s long past time for the federal government to issue environmental permits for a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminal in Prince Rupert. Clark’s demand ups the pressure on the Trudeau Liberals, who have so far avoided hard decisions on resource projects that are being squeezed between pro-development premiers and environmental and indigenous opponents. But the B.C. premier isn’t laying the blame at the feet of the Liberal government elected last October, saying the bid by Indonesian giant Petronas for its Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal began more than three years ago. (Canadian Press)

Third class of Salish Sea Stewards ready for summer
The third class of Salish Sea Stewards is ready to hit area beaches in the name of citizen science, after graduating Tuesday from the program. The Salish Sea Stewards is a one-of-a-kind program in the region dedicated to educating and training volunteers to help with area research, outreach and events. The work the stewards do to help nonprofit and government agencies collect data is important in the efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound, Northwest Straits Commission Director Ginny Broadhurst said during the graduation. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Parks Canada airbombs poison pellets to wipe out rats in B.C. national park
Parks Canada says it has wiped out invasive rats on two islands in Haida Gwaii, B.C., helping important seabirds species recover by doing so…. The news comes on the heels of the first State of North America's Birds report, that found one third of birds in North America are threatened with extinction, especially ocean birds. The rats threaten seabirds like ancient murrelets — a species at risk that is culturally significant to the Haida Nation — by eating their eggs and chicks. Maryse Zeidler reports. (CBC)

‘Save’ a baby bison? Visitors to our coast once ‘rescued’ a seal pup
The recent incident at Yellowstone has tongues wagging about tourists’ naiveté. Park rangers and wilderness experts in the Northwest try to be sympathetic to people who are perhaps new to the outdoors. But still, they’re sometimes left shaking their heads. Eric Lacitis reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT THU MAY 19 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT  12 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS. 
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF  SHOWERS.

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