Wednesday, August 17, 2016

8/17 Heat wave, BC pipe, fish plan, chum, bad crabber, grounded ship, oil train fines, GBH habitat

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Secrets of the Mist
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "We slipped through the narrow entrance into Bottleneck Inlet one afternoon, when the lowering cloud cover made visibility too poor to continue our journey up Finlayson Channel. We weren’t sure what to expect, but it proved a perfect anchorage: excellent protection, the right depths, good holding and plenty of swinging room…. I felt a sense of profound beauty and mystery in this remote place – as I have felt in so many places along the BC coast during my lifetime of boating…."

Warning issued as heat wave to hit Metro Vancouver  Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun) NWS issues 'Excessive Heat Watch' for Seattle area  Jim Guy reports. (KING)

City of Vancouver begins final push against Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion
For years, the City of Vancouver has led a concerted campaign against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which could see nearly 900,000 barrels of crude oil a day shipped to Vancouver's harbour. Tuesday, the city began what could be its final push. "There is no question from our analysis it's not worth the risk. In fact, it's not in Canada's interest," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, at the first of three days of hearings held by a federal panel reviewing the project…. The project was given approval, subject to 157 conditions, by the National Energy Board in May, and the federal government must make a final decision by the end of the year. In the interim, the ministerial panel has been tasked with meeting with communities along the 1,000-kilometre route between Edmonton and the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, B.C., which was originally built in 1953.  Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Washington Farm Bureau rips Puget Sound plan
The Washington Farm Bureau has broadly criticized a state and federal plan to breach dikes and inundate hundreds of acres of farmland in Whatcom and Skagit counties to create fish habitat. The farm bureau says a recent report by the Army Corps of Engineers understates the loss of farmland in Skagit County and undervalues agriculture in both counties…. The corps and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have been working for more than a decade on a plan to roll back “ecological degradation” in Puget Sound. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

Saving salmon in the wild – is chum the king?
Chum rule. In the same toxic stormwater brew that killed coho salmon in less than three hours, their chum cousins did just fine. It’s a king-sized mystery that Washington State University researcher Jenifer McIntyre is trying to solve. The answer, she said, will tell an important story…. Wild salmon are a symbol of survival in the Pacific Northwest. The fish fuel the region’s economy, define the culture and fortify culinary needs and traditions. With this in mind, McIntyre is working with researchers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to figure out practical ways to prevent human-tainted streams from snatching the future from these iconic fish. Linda Weiford reports. (WSU News) See also: Chum salmon resistant to stormwater toxins  Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Commercial crab fisherman fined $20K for harvest in contaminated zone
A haul of crab last summer off the Sunshine Coast has netted a Burnaby man a $20,000 fine, for harvesting Dungeness crab from an area closed due to dioxin contamination. Burnaby resident Danny My Ho, skipper of the vessel New Star, has pleaded guilty to four violations of the Fisheries Act, according to a release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The vessel's electronic monitoring data and logbook revealed that Ho had been harvesting crab between August 15 and 26, 2015, inside an area near Roberts Creek that was closed due to dioxin contamination. (CBC)

Grounded Bulk Carrier Refloated in Washington
The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an incident involving a motor vessel that grounded in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Washington, Friday night. The motor vessel Rosco Palm, a 751-foot Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship reportedly ran aground at 7:49 p.m. on Friday night, refloated, moved to a few miles upstream to mitigate collision risk and then grounded while at anchor on sand bottom while waiting for first light assessment. The vessel has refloated with the tide at 7:40 am and there is no indication of pollution being discharged. Michelle Howard reports. (MarineLink)

City Council removes controversial oil and coal train fines from ballot
Spokane will not be the test site for unprecedented local regulation of trains moving coal and oil, at least not this fall. Three weeks after putting on the ballot an ordinance that would fine railroad operators up to $261 per car carrying flammable crude or coal through downtown Spokane, the City Council voted 5-2 on Monday to withdraw the measure. Supporters cited the certainty of a successful legal challenge to the proposal and a desire to recruit more partners concerned about derailments. City Council President Ben Stuckart, who led the charge with a PowerPoint on July 25 depicting a dozen fiery oil train derailments, said he now believed the fine would expose the citizens to too much legal liability. Kip Hill reports. (Spokesman-Review)

Olympia will buy 2.75 acres to protect great blue heron habitat
The Olympia City Council has approved the purchase of two properties near the city’s lone great blue heron colony in the West Bay woods. The deal will add about 2.75 acres to the area that surrounds and protects the colony, also known as a rookery or heronry. About 15 nests are perched high in the trees off Rogers Street Northwest near the Olympia Food Co-Op where the birds have lived for more than 40 years. The city’s goal with acquiring both properties is to expand its inventory of open space and wildlife habitat. Another goal is to create trail connections between the Northwest Olympia Neighborhood and the West Bay waterfront, for example. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  304 AM PDT WED AUG 17 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM PDT EARLY THIS
 MORNING  

TODAY
 SW WIND TO 15 TO 25 KT EARLY...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT.  WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT EARLY...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6  FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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