Friday, June 10, 2016

6/10 EnviroIssues, Georgia Strait protection, salmon passage, geoducks, tsunami refuge, saving birds

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
Green PR Firm Secretly Working for Oil and Petrochemical Industry
Consulting firm EnviroIssues is a longstanding fixture of the Northwest’s sustainability community. Known mostly for its work with local governments, the company is generally well respected and considered “a white hat” in a field liberally populated with unscrupulous characters. Of themselves, EnviroIssues says: “Our names says it all—we help make the natural and built communities where we live, work, and play better places by tackling some of the thorniest public policy and environmental issues of our day.” Unfortunately, EnviroIssues’ green reputation is undeserved. The firm in fact works for several controversial oil and petrochemical companies, shepherding them through the environmental reviews that communities and decision makers depend on to assess projects’ local impacts. These include the highly controversial Tacoma methanol proposal and major oil-by-rail projects at Vancouver and Grays Harbor, Washington. What’s more, Sightline’s research uncovered a troubling pattern of potential conflicts of interest. The firm’s unusual access to government agencies could allow it to grease the skids for some of the Northwest’s most controversial fossil fuel projects. Eric de Place and Nick Abraham report. (Sightline)

Tanker proposals renew push for Georgia Strait marine conservation area
Proponents of a National Marine Conservation Area in the southern Strait of Georgia say the long-standing proposal would put economic sustainability before large-scale industrialization. According to New Democrat MLA Gary Holman, Parks Canada recently hired several new staff to examine the idea of a conservation area spanning from Gabriola Island to Oak Bay. (Metro News)

Culvert project will improve passage for salmon | Expect detours, closures on SR 16 and 116 through November
As you drive on Highway 16 in Gorst later this month through November, you may feel a little like a salmon trying to maneuver a culvert back to its spawning grounds in its natal stream. Consider it a metaphor for the work that will be done: Replacing small culverts that hamper fish migration to and from Anderson Creek with larger, 18-foot-wide box culverts. Richard Walker and Allison Trunkey report. (Port Orchard Independent)

A Rather Bizarre Bivalve Stirs Controversy in the Puget Sound
The Asian market for the odd-looking giant clams known as geoducks has spawned a growing aquaculture industry in Washington's Puget Sound. But coastal homeowners and some conservationists are concerned about the impact of these farming operations on the sound’s ecosystem. Ben Goldfarb reports. (Environment 360)

‘It will happen here’: Washington Coast school builds nation’s first tsunami refuge 
The new gym at Ocosta Elementary outside Westport is strong enough to withstand a megaquake and tsunami — and can shelter at least 2,000 people on its roof. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

UBC researchers work to save endangered woodpeckers
UBC forestry researchers are using radio devices to track endangered woodpeckers in B.C., hoping to save the birds from disappearing. Williamson's sapsucker — a medium-size woodpecker — is mostly found in the U.S. However there is a small population in B.C.  The birds are listed as an endangered species in B.C., with only 400 pairs left in the province, usually scattered throughout the Kootenay and Okanagan regions. It is estimated they could disappear completely by 2025. Habitat loss, caused by factors such as tree cutting, is driving the decline. Daisy Xiong reports. (CBC)

Owl hugs man — or not
They call Doug Pojeky the bird whisperer. And now that photos of Pojeky, 40, being hugged by an owl have been shared thousands of times on Facebook, “they” have expanded from a small group of rescue workers to people around the world. Karen Workman reports. (NY Times)

Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living
The modern city is a place where a vibrant array of ideas, sights, sounds and smells intermingle to spawn creativity, expression and innovation. We are drawn to the noise, the constant connectivity and the delicious food. Simply put, society is tuned to the pulse of the city — but at what cost? That’s the question explored in a recent Science perspective piece co-authored by University of Washington researcher Peter Kahn. Its authors discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  250 AM PDT FRI JUN 10 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT  AT 8 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND AFTERNOON TSTMS.
TONIGHT AND SAT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W  SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4  FT AT 7 SECONDS.
SUN
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 7  SECONDS.
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