Thursday, June 23, 2016

623 Seastar die-off effect, oil train, no oil port, Species at Risk, Vancouver Exit, Ray Hilborn, boo to Inslee

Shelf cloud, 6/20 (Amberlynn White/KOMO)
Atmosphere shows off in amazing ways this past week
The past week has been quite exciting for cloud aficionados around the Pacific Northwest as we've been treated to a number of amazing displays. Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO)

Sea star die-off leads to kelp 'clearcut' in Howe Sound, scientists find
The massive die-off of sea stars in B.C.'s Howe Sound has had a domino effect on other creatures, resulting in the virtual clearcut of kelp forests in the area, scientists have found. The mysterious wasting disease hit in 2013, killing sea stars from Mexico to Alaska in what has been described as one of the largest wildlife die-offs ever recorded. In Howe Sound, 90 per cent of the sunflower star disappeared in a matter of weeks, said Jessia Schultz, lead author on a study by SFU and Vancouver Aquarium researchers published in PeerJ. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Union Pacific to resume oil trains in Columbia River Gorge
Heavy-duty trains with thousands of gallons of crude oil in tow will soon begin rolling through the scenic Columbia River Gorge for the first time since a fiery derailment in early June. Union Pacific on Wednesday announced plans to resume operations at some point this week.  Kristena Hansen reports. (Associated Press)

Washington state agency seeks denial of oil-terminal project
A Washington state agency in charge of protecting millions of acres of state land from wildfires is opposing a proposal to build an oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, citing risks of blazes from increased train traffic and other concerns. The Department of Natural Resources urged a state energy panel to recommend that the project be rejected, according to a brief filed ahead of hearings that begin Monday. The city of Vancouver also filed a brief stating its opposition to the project. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Canada lists nine B.C. species for first time under Species at Risk Act
Canada is listing nine B.C. species under the Species at Risk Act for the first time, ranging from a fly found in the South Okanagan to a lichen found in older forests within the Rocky Mountain Trench. The federal decision follows the recommendations of a national group of scientific experts, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC chair Eric Taylor, a zoology professor at the University of B.C., said Tuesday: “This is just one of several positive signs the government is taking species at-risk seriously.” SARA requires the federal government to develop recovery and management plans for species listed. The act makes it illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture, or take an individual of a listed species, or to damage or destroy its residence. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Jack Knox: New political party pitches Island as 11th province
While listening to Victoria’s Robin Richardson talk about his new political party, a thought springs to mind: How many separatist movements does Vancouver Island need? There was the shadowy Sovereign State of Vancouver Island faction that emerged, briefly, in 2013 to demand that we get a divorce from the rest of Canada. That was also the year the unrelated Vancouver Island Province group popped up with a petition calling for our Pacific paradise to become Canada’s 11th province. Now we have a third organization, the Vancouver Island Party, officially unveiled today. It also seeks provincehood. Jack Knox reports. (Times Colonist)

UW backs fishery professor in research dispute with Greenpeace
The University of Washington, in a review launched by a Greenpeace complaint, has found that fishery professor Ray Hilborn did not violate university policies when he took money from the seafood industry for research published in academic journals. Hilborn is a prominent UW professor with an international profile who has accused Greenpeace of overstating the impacts of fishing on marine resources. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Inslee’s commitment to the environment questioned
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s strategy as a warrior for the environment is once again coming under fire from other fighters in the environmentalist movement. They’re angry the state Department of Ecology he oversees is appealing a court order requiring new clean air rules be adopted by the end of the year, even though Inslee himself lauded that legal decision in statements issued by his office and campaign last month. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  256 AM PDT THU JUN 23 2016  

TODAY
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN  THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT  W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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