Monday, September 26, 2016

9/26 Green crab, BC LNG, oil export ban, coal port health, BP taxes, aquatic reserve, aquariums

(PHOTO: Joan Hilts/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Cacklers and Canadas
Cackling Geese resemble a toy version of Canadas. Just a bit bigger than a Mallard, this compact goose has a dark breast, short neck, and stubby bill. Its small voice fits nicely its small size… Although once considered a diminutive form of Canada Goose, recent genetic research shows Cacklers to be a separate species. They breed along the coast of Alaska and winter from Washington south to Mexico. [Listen for the difference.] (BirdNote)

Second invasive green crab discovered in northern Puget Sound
A second European green crab has been found in Puget Sound, this one in Padilla Bay — about 30 miles southeast of where the first one was discovered about three weeks ago. Green crabs are an invasive species known to devour a variety of native species and alter habitats where they have become established. Keeping green crabs out of Puget Sound has been a goal of state officials for years. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Trudeau's pipeline remark puts focus on Pacific Northwest LNG project
"The Great Bear rainforest is no place for a crude oil pipeline and I haven't changed my opinion on that." That was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's specific response to a question this week about the proposed Enbridge-backed Northern Gateway pipeline through B.C.'s north. In opposition, his comments about pipelines moving through this part of the province were less precise. Trudeau did not include the words "crude oil" in earlier declarations, as he did twice on Tuesday. That phrase would suggest Trudeau isn't necessarily opposed to all pipelines through the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, just those carrying diluted bitumen from the oilsands. John Paul Tasker reports. (CBC) See also: Clock ticking down on final decision for $36B Pacific NorthWest LNG project   Ian Bikis reports. (Canadian Press)

Should Whatcom County ban crude oil exports?
People can give Whatcom County officials their thoughts during two public hearings Tuesday, Sept. 27, on a temporary policy to not allow new applications or permits for unrefined fossil fuel shipments through Cherry Point. The Whatcom County Council will take input on a 60-day emergency moratorium on applications and permits for expanded shipment of unrefined fossil fuels that was passed on Aug. 9, as well as on an interim moratorium that would extend the policy another six months. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

State, county to launch health study on coal terminal
Cowlitz County and state officials are launching a study to further examine potential health impacts of the proposed coal export dock in Longview. The study — the first of its kind for a project in Cowlitz County — will be conducted by state Department of Health under the direction of a steering committee made up of citizens. The committee will meet for the first time from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Longview Public Library auditorium…. The separate health study is not a legal requirement for the permitting process for Millennium Bulk Terminals’ $680 million project. However, state officials say the study will address other questions about health that will not be covered in the state environmental impact statement. Marissa Luck reports. (Longview Daily News)

Whatcom County settles BP refinery tax dispute
Whatcom County and BP Cherry Point refinery have settled a 3-year-long tax dispute over how valuable the refinery is, releasing millions in back taxes that other taxpayers had to make up for in the interim. BP will wind up paying more than $4.6 million in back taxes, plus interest. With the Aug. 9 settlement, the refinery wound up saving more than $4.8 million in taxes for that period, and any interest that would have accrued on that amount, according to county documents. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Pierce County’s Lake Kapowsin becomes home to state’s first freshwater aquatic reserve
Pierce County’s Lake Kapowsin, formed by a volcanic mudflow eons ago, has been named the state’s first freshwater aquatic reserve. The designation by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark on Thursday will preserve the lake’s distinctive aquatic profile, but won’t protect its shores from commercial development. The designation was a victory for preservationists who had argued the 515-acre lake should be preserved for scientific research, hunting and fishing, but it was a defeat for advocates of turning part of the lake and its shore into a world-class rowing course and park. John Gillie reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)  See also: State officials eye large expansions of 2 conservation areas  (Associated Press)

Aquariums fight for people to care about warming, over-fished oceans
For the hundreds of marine and freshwater experts in Vancouver this week at the International Aquarium Congress, there is no shortage of pressing issues to be discussed.  Overfishing, climate change, plastics and chemicals are but a few of the hot topics on the agenda, but one of the biggest challenges aquariums face today is not a scientific endeavour, per se: it's how to make people care.  Maryse Zeidler reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT MON SEP 26 2016  

TODAY
 E WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT  11 SECONDS. CHANCE OF RAIN.

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