Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12/14 Rick Perry, KM spill, sewage ban, diversity, smelt, Columbia cleanup, better net

Where Do Worms Go in Winter?
Some earthworms choose to live their whole lives in the ground's upper layer of soil and leaves. These earthworms never burrow deep into the soil, so cold winter temperatures kill them. To keep their species alive, however, they lay eggs in tiny sacks that protect the eggs from freezing or drying out during the winter. In the spring, the eggs hatch and a whole new group of worms is born to repeat the life cycle. Other earthworms, such as the night crawlers often used as fish bait, live close to the surface in warm weather and down deep in cold weather. When winter hits, these worms burrow down below the frost line. (Wonderopolis

Trump taps former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head Energy Department he once vowed to abolish
President-elect Donald Trump has picked Rick Perry to head the Energy Department, said two people familiar with the decision, seeking to put the former Texas governor in control of an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it. Perry, who ran for president in the past two election cycles, is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels, whose production he championed while serving as governor for 14 years. Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report. (Washington Post)

'No such thing as an oil spill clean up': is the Trans Mountain Pipeline a ticking time bomb?
Despite assurances from Canada's minister of transport that Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline is safe, environmentalists in B.C. fear the expansion is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.  Christianne Wilhelmson, the executive director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, said that B.C.'s current spill responses is not effective even for the ships currently operating in the region. "There is no such thing as an oil spill clean-up. There is no such thing as world class spill response. These are two terms that we use a lot that are actually meaningless," she said. The expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, whose approval by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was announced in late November, will bring almost 300 extra oil tankers to the Port of Vancouver every year.    Michelle Ghoussoub reports. (CBC)

EPA backs ban on sewage release in Puget Sound
A proposed ban on releasing sewage from vessels in Puget Sound got a big boost this week. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday endorsed a state plan that would make the sound a 'no-discharge zone' for ship and boat sewage, whether treated or untreated. Proposed by the state Department of Ecology, the plan needs the EPA's approval under Clean Water Act guidelines. The EPA will accept public comment until Dec. 7. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Bias Hinders Diversity in Hiring for Environmental Organizations
Diversity at the leadership level in the environmental sector remains low despite a high proportion of well-educated and qualified people of color in the United States, according to a report released last Thursday. The problem: systemic bias in the hiring process, but also environmental organizations’ unwillingness to mandate diversity when using a search firm. Diversity Derailed: Limited Demand, Effort and Results in Environmental C-Suite Searches, produced by Green 2.0, found that nearly 90 percent of search consultants – which are frequently used by mainstream environmental NGOs and foundations – have encountered bias on the part of the organizations using them during their search for senior-level positions…. The result? People of color account for just 12 to 16 percent of the staff at mainstream environmental organizations. And there’s even less diversity in upper management, according to Green 2.0 executive director Whitney Tome. Anthony Advincula reports. (New American Media)

Meat and potatoes of the marine food system’ returns
Smelt, a tiny fish with big importance, is the latest species to show rapid recovery after the fall of the Elwha River dams. The marine waters near the Elwha's mouth have experienced a 20-fold increase in surf smelt abundance since the dams were removed two years ago, according to a study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Surf smelt are a schooling fish that grow a bit bigger than sardines. They and other forage fish, such as herring and sand lance, are key food sources for seabirds, marine mammals and salmon. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Columbia River Cleanup Bill Passes Congress
Cleaning up and monitoring toxics in the Columbia River Basin could now be a little easier. Congress recently passed a bill that would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to start a voluntary grant program for environmental cleanup in the Columbia River system. The Columbia River Basin, which was named as a “large aquatic ecosystem” in 2006, was the only system of that sort that didn’t receive dedicated funding to reduce toxins. Others included Puget Sound, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. Courtney Flatt reports. (OPB)

Fishermen Team Up With Scientists To Make A More Selective Net
Some New England fishermen are pinning their hopes on a new kind of trawl net being used in the Gulf of Maine, one that scoops up abundant flatfish such as flounder and sole while avoiding species such as cod, which are in severe decline. For centuries, cod were plentiful and a prime target for the Gulf of Maine fleet. But in recent years, catch quotas have been drastically reduced as the number of cod of reproductive age have dropped perilously low. Fred Bever reports. (Maine Public Broadcasting/KNKX)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED DEC 14 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 E WIND 20 TO 25 KT BECOMING 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 NE WIND 15 TO 25 KT BECOMING E 10 TO 20 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

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