Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10/26 Sunk tug, wave power, renewables, WA tribe demands, BC LNG sued, outdoor education

Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall
As the days get shorter and the temperature cools, the food-producing chlorophyll in a plant's green leaves breaks down and the green color disappears making the yellow and orange colors in the leaves more prominent. Other chemical changes may occur which may give rise to reddish and purple fall leaf colors. Where the stem is attached to the tree, a special layer of cells forms and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf and the tree seals the cut. The leaf is blown off or falls of its own weight, leaving a leaf scar. (from Environmental Information Series)

Sunken B.C. tug's tanks now pumped out, thousands of litres of oil not recovered
More than 90,000 litres of diesel have yet to be accounted for after a group overseeing cleanup of a spill from a submerged tug on British Columbia's central coast said the tanks aboard the Nathan E. Stewart have been pumped out. Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett said members of her First Nation were on local beaches Tuesday trying to limit pollution after fuel soiled the shoreline along the renowned Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.'s central coast. "The crews have been raking the beaches physically with a rake to try and bring up the diesel that's trapped. We understand the diesel's trapped up to eight inches below the surface and then they flush it out with water and then they repeat that," she said. (Canadian Press) See also: Sinking of tug off B.C. coast prompts disaster-response rethink  (Canadian Press)

West Coast waves a world-class energy resource, researchers say
University of Victoria researchers say that as a future source of abundant renewable energy, the waves off Vancouver Island's west coast are really swell. The university's West Coast Wave Initiative is launching a fifth monitoring buoy next month to measure the energy potential off the coast of Vancouver Island. ​Brad Buckham, the director of the West Coast Wave Initiative, said the west coast of Vancouver Island is a world-class resource for future wave energy development. Deborah Wilson reports. (CBC)

Renewable energy capacity overtakes coal 
The International Energy Agency says that the world's capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal. The IEA says in a new report that last year, renewables accounted for more than half of the increase in power capacity. The report says half a million solar panels were installed every day last year around the world. In China, it says, there were two wind turbines set up every hour. Andrew Walker reports. (BBC)

Washington tribes call for better land protections amid Dakota Access Pipeline protests
American Indian tribes in Washington state on Tuesday called on President Barack Obama to overhaul the way the federal government consults with tribes on fossil fuel export and other projects. The Yakama Nation, Lummi Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Spokane Tribe released a five-point plan they say will improve the consultation process, protect sacred sites and provide greater recognition of tribal rights. Among the provisions, the tribal leaders want the Army Corps of Engineers to do a regionwide environmental review of fossil fuel export proposals, one that takes into account the overall impact that individual projects will have on tribes in the region. They also want Obama to strengthen an executive order on Indian sacred sites by including language about the need for tribes to grant informed consent on infrastructure projects. (Associated Press)

Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project
Aboriginal and environmental groups will file lawsuits on Thursday against the government of Canada to overturn the permit for a controversial $27 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia. The lawsuits will name Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), which owns a majority stake in the project, as an associated party, representatives of the aboriginal and environmental groups told Reuters this week. Canada in September gave the green light for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project in northern British Columbia with 190 conditions, despite concerns it would destroy a critical salmon habitat and produce a large amount of greenhouse gases. A. Ananthalakshmi reports. (Thomson Reuters)

Oregon weighs whether all kids should get outdoor education
Each year, thousands of Oregon parents hug their kids goodbye and send them tramping into the wilderness for up to a week to learn about their state’s natural wonders. The Outdoor School program was groundbreaking when it started more than a half-century ago.… At the program’s heyday, 90 percent of sixth-graders spent the week testing water samples, studying fungi and digging through topsoil. Today, just half of Oregon’s 11- and 12-year-olds take part, mostly through a patchwork of grants, fundraising, parent fees and charitable donations…. Now, backers of a statewide ballot measure want to use a slice of lottery proceeds to guarantee a week of Outdoor School for all children. If it passes, the measure would make Oregon the only state with dedicated funding for outdoor education, including students in charter, private and home schools, said Sarah Bodor, policy director for the North American Association for Environmental Education.  Gillian Flaccus reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  245 AM PDT WED OCT 26 2016  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 
TODAY
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITH A  DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
 S WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 7 FT  AT 9 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 11 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE  EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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