Monday, October 3, 2016

10/3 More green crabs, First Nations & royalty, Petronas, I-732, new flood maps, oil activist sued

(PHOTO: Jeff Polken/BirdNote)
Gull Identification
Relatively few gull species are common nesters in the Lower 48. But in October, both the variety and number of gulls increase dramatically. Gulls that nested in Alaska or Canada fly south to spend winter in more temperate climates. Western Gulls are present in the West all year, mostly near the coast. Mew Gulls turn up in the winter along the West Coast, and Herring Gulls can be seen in the East. October is an ideal time to learn which gull is which. Seen here, top to bottom, are Western, Thayer's, and Glaucous-wing Gulls. (BirdNote)

Invasive green crabs found in Padilla Bay
An invasion has begun in Padilla Bay, with European green crabs infiltrating the mudflats and settling in among native shore crabs. Green crabs are an invasive species that flourishes in a variety of habitats, enabling it to crowd out other wildlife. Four green crabs have been found and removed from the area. The first was found by chance, and this week three others were lured out through a trapping effort. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)  See also: More invasive crabs found; wider search will resume next spring Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

First Nations use royal visit as platform to talk reconciliation, environment
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured British Columbia and the Yukon over the past week, they heard impassioned speeches on reconciliation and saw protest T-shirts emblazoned with slogans opposing oil and liquefied natural gas. The focus on First Nations issues was already built into Prince William and Kate's itinerary, with stops in Bella Bella, the home of the Great Bear Rainforest, and Haida Gwaii, a remote and stunning archipelago sacred to some aboriginal people. Some indigenous leaders embraced the opportunity to criticize their federal and provincial governments in front of the duke and duchess. But there's a long tradition of aboriginal people appealing directly to the Royal Family, experts say. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

Petronas not considering sale of interest in Pacific NorthWest LNG
Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas says it's not considering selling its stake in a proposed multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas export terminal in B.C. The company issued a statement yesterday saying it "categorically denies" allegations made in a news report that selling its stake in the Pacific NorthWest LNG project was up for consideration. The federal government gave conditional approval earlier this week to the $36-billion venture, which is located on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert on B.C.'s northern coast. Petronas says it will continue working with its partners including the B.C. government to study those conditions before making any decisions on how to move forward with the project. (Canadian Press)

You'd think the Sierra Club would back carbon-cutting I-732 -- but you'd be wrong
The Sierra Club has faced an internal backlash in Washington state over a decision to withhold support for a fall ballot measure that would impose a carbon tax on fossil fuels. Initiative 732 would gradually ramp up the price of coal, oil and natural gas — while reducing other taxes — in an attempt to lower emissions that spur climate change. Some executive committee members of the Washington state chapter — defying instructions from national staff — conducted a disputed August vote to try to shift the club to a neutral position on the ballot measure. But their motion was never recognized by the national Sierra Club, which found that any vote would violate Robert’s Rules of Order and the group’s political endorsement guidelines, according to club emails obtained by The Seattle Times. The turmoil within the Sierra Club over the carbon tax reflects a broader fault line in the state environmental and social-justice community about how to tackle climate change. The Sierra Club has lined up with a host of other groups that are talking about an alternate proposal — possibly for a future state ballot — that would raise surplus revenue to invest in clean-energy and other pollution-reducing projects. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

New Maps Label Much Of New Orleans Out Of Flood Hazard Area
On Friday, New Orleans received new flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Overnight, more than half the population moved out of the so-called high-risk zone. But with half the city at or below sea level and memories of massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago, some residents are worried these new maps send the wrong message…. The new maps are like a bureaucratic magic trick. At the stroke of midnight, the federal government waved its wand, and Friday morning more than half of New Orleans woke up in a land safe from storms and flooding. Statistically. For insurance purposes. Ryan Kailath (NPR)

Court to hear suit against Deepwater Horizon spill activists
When Karen Savage and Cherri Foytlin wrote an article about the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill of 2010, they thought it might get a few moments of attention and then fade away. More than three years later, Savage and Foytlin are still defending their article after being sued by a scientific consulting company. The battle is headed to the highest court in Massachusetts. Arguments are scheduled for Friday, a week after “Deepwater Horizon,” a film starring Mark Wahlberg, opens in theaters. Their 2013 article, which appeared in The Huffington Post, questioned the independence of ChemRisk, a firm that published a study that found that the Gulf disaster did not expose cleanup workers to harmful levels of several airborne chemical compounds released by the explosion…. The case is expected to explore the scope of a Massachusetts law aimed at discouraging lawsuits intended to silence people who speak out on issues of public interest. Savage and Foytlin claim ChemRisk’s lawsuit falls into that category of litigation, known as Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  852 PM PDT SUN OCT 2 2016  

MON
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF  SHOWERS.
MON NIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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