Monday, November 7, 2016

11/7 Eagle eye, orca safe zone, BC chum, BC pipe, spill response, Woodfibre LNG, Skagit future, Navy plans

Golden eagle sez: VOTE! (Don Baccus/BirdNote)
The Eagle Eye
The eye of an eagle is one of the most sensitive of any animal, and may weigh more than the eagle's brain. The secret to the exceptional vision lies in its retina. The density of rods and cones within a raptor's eye may be five times that of a human's. As the Golden Eagle rides hot-air thermals high into the air, it can spot even the slightest movement of its favorite prey, a rabbit, over a mile away. (BirdNote)

Orca protection zone of San Juan Island proposed by environmentalists 
U.S. environmental groups have proposed a 25-square-kilometre [15.5-square-mile] “protection zone” to prevent endangered southern resident killer whales from being disturbed by motorized vessels off Washington state’s San Juan Island in Haro Strait. The petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service was filed on Friday by Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Project Seawolf. The protection zone would prohibit private and commercial motorized vessels engaged in whale watching from April 1 to Sept. 30. A no-wake policy would apply to vessels simply transiting the zone. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Conservation groups petition feds to create safe zone for orcas near San Juan Island  Kyle Mittan reports. (Bellingham Herald)

'Largest' recorded chum salmon run: 2 million fish overload nets, burden boats
Record numbers of chum salmon — two million fish — returned to B.C's West Coast this year, bringing good news for fishermen fatigued by word of record lows of Fraser River sockeye…. That news got even better with the Johnstone Strait haul hitting 1.3 million fish. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC)

Canada to unveil coastal plan, faces BC v. Alberta choice on pipeline
The Trudeau government, put on notice by its own advisory panel that it must choose between B.C.’s interests and those of Alberta when deciding whether to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, is expected to announce a new coastal protection strategy within days. B.C. Premier Christy Clark has insisted for years that her government won’t allow an oilsands pipeline project to proceed unless Ottawa meets her conditions, which include the need for a “world-leading” marine and land-spill response regime. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, scheduled to be in Bella Bella Sunday to observe the impact of a recent diesel oil spill, told a Montreal audience that Ottawa is serious about protecting Canada’s coasts. He said Thursday that will announce details “in coming days” of a plan to improve tanker safety and spill response regimes on Canada’s coastlines. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. lays out West Coast spill response needs ahead of expected federal plan
British Columbia's demands for a world-leading marine oil spill response has a long list of requirements, including a coast guard base at Prince Rupert and a multimillion-dollar price tag for the federal government. The B.C. and federal governments have been in talks for months to develop a West Coast spill response system, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is expected to announce its plans on Monday. A provincial Environment Ministry official said in advance of the expected announcement there are 11 gaps in marine safety on the B.C. coast the federal government must address to ensure world-leading spill preparedness and response. (Canadian Press)

Woodfibre LNG plant one step closer to reality with First Nations support, says premier
Premier Christy Clark said LNG in B.C. is one step closer to becoming a reality with First Nations backing and funding in place, during a special announcement about the Woodfibre LNG project [Friday] near Squamish. She expects the $1.6-billion project will start shipping gas to Asian markets in 2020. The company's plan is to process natural gas — shipped by pipeline from Northern B.C.— into liquefied natural gas if permits are all secured. The company first proposed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant after buying the site in 2015, but plans to convert the historic pulp mill sparked loud environmental concerns. Richard Zussman and Yvette Brend report. (CBC)

Group finds Skagit River vulnerable to changing climate
On its path from the North Cascades to Skagit Bay, the Skagit River moves through a series of powerhouses to generate electricity. It is home to protected salmon and steelhead species, and it provides water for Skagit Valley farms and household use. A group of scientists monitoring the river system have concluded that those functions are at risk because the river “is highly vulnerable to climate change.” The Skagit Climate Science Consortium says river flow, water temperature and the movement of sediment in the Skagit River will change as rising global temperatures alter precipitation patterns, reduce snowpack and melt glaciers. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Navy finalizes plans for training in Puget Sound
The Navy has finalized a Northwest training and testing plan to include new biennial exercises in offshore waters and mine-warfare exercises in Puget Sound. The training is intended to help the Navy maintain combat-ready forces, and a statement released Friday said the impacts on human, natural and cultural environment “were carefully considered. The exercises are planned primarily within existing testing ranges and operating areas in Northwest waters and off southeast Alaska. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST MON NOV 7 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
 
TODAY
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING E 10 TO 20 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT IN THE  AFTERNOON. SW SWELL 11 FT AT 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 13 FT AT 12  SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF  RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 12 FT  AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN AFTER  MIDNIGHT.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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