Thursday, December 15, 2016

12/15 RZinke, pipe spill, Bit spills, pipe poll, offshore drill, PS vital signs, deer control

Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albs) occurs in dry woods and openings, generally at low elevations, from southern BC to California. The white, waxy-looking berries are considered poisonous by aboriginal peoples. They are given names like ‘corpse berry' or 'snake berry' in several languages. One Stl'atl'imx story identifies the berries as 'the saskatoon berries of the people in the Land of the Dead.' (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Trump Is Said to Offer Interior Job to Ryan Zinke, Montana Lawmaker
President-elect Donald J. Trump has offered the position of secretary of the interior to Montana’s freshman representative, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander, two officials familiar with Mr. Trump’s decision confirmed on Tuesday. The appointment of Mr. Zinke would round out Mr. Trump’s choices to lead the four agencies that will shape the future of the nation’s energy and climate change policies. Last week, he named Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has built a career out of suing the Environmental Protection Agency, to lead that office. On Tuesday, transition officials said he would name Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who vowed to eliminate the Energy Department, to run that agency. Mr. Trump has also chosen Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to head the State Department, which negotiates international climate change agreements. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Pipeline 150 miles from Dakota Access protests leaks 176,000 gallons of oil
A ruptured pipeline has spilled more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a hillside and a Little Missouri River tributary about 150 miles west of Cannon Ball, N.D., where thousands of activists have spent months fighting construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, state officials said Monday. A segment of the Belle Fourche Pipeline near Belfield, N.D., began leaking earlier this month, contaminating nearly six miles of the Ash Coulee Creek before cleanup workers contained it, Bill Suess, an environmental scientist from the North Dakota Department of Health, told the Associated Press. Derek Hawkins reports. (Washington Post)

Review of 9,000 Studies Finds We Know Squat About Bitumen Spills in Ocean Environments
Nobody knows how a spill of diluted bitumen would affect marine life or whether a bitumen spill in salt water could be adequately cleaned up, because basic research is lacking, says a new study.The peer-reviewed paper, which will be published later this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, looked at more than 9,000 studies of the effect of oilsands products on the marine environment. Judith Lavoie reports. (DeSmogBlog)

Majority of B.C. supports Trans Mountain pipeline, industry poll finds
More than half of British Columbians polled on behalf of an association representing Canada’s oil and gas industry support Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Fifty-four per cent of British Columbians polled said they support the federal government’s green-lighting of the Burnaby Mountain pipeline expansion, while 26 per cent opposed the project. The survey, which was conducted by Ipsos Canada for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, notes B.C.’s level of support for the Trans Mountain project is above the national average, which was recorded at 37 per cent. (Postmedia News)

West Coast Push Gets Under Way For Permanent Ban On Offshore Drilling
California Gov. Jerry Brown wants President Barack Obama to permanently ban new offshore oil and gas drilling in his state.  Brown says in a letter sent Tuesday to the president that allowing new drilling would be inconsistent with goals of reducing reliance on fossil fuels and combating climate change.  At an event launching the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, a new organization to protect oceans, Brown said he plans to ask Oregon and Washington to help him convince the current Administration to act.  There haven’t been any off-shore oil and gas lease sales off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California since 1984. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Implementation Strategies will target Puget Sound ‘Vital Signs’
New EPA-funded Implementation Strategies are designed to target Puget Sound recovery in the most direct and coordinated way ever conducted by state and federal agencies. We report on how these strategies will affect Puget Sound’s Vital Signs for years to come, and why you should care (a lot). Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Vancouver Humane Society report critical of captive whale programs
A new report from a group seeking to end the practice of keeping whales in captivity challenges claims by the Vancouver Aquarium and others that research on captive whales helps whales in the wild. The report, from the Vancouver Humane Society, Toronto-based Zoocheck and the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada, asserts that research drawn from captive whales and other cetaceans amount to a small fraction of the wider research done on these animals in the wild.  Glen Schaefer reports. (Vancouver Sun)

State changes status of several bird species
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission decided Monday to change the status of several bird species, including removing bald eagles and peregrine falcons from the state's list of protected species. Since DDT, a pesticide harmful to birds, was banned in the 1970s, bald eagle and peregrine falcon populations have recovered steadily, according to a news release. (Skagit Valley Herald)

B.C. town considers deer contraceptive to control animals eating up gardens
Residents of a picturesque community on Vancouver Island have had enough of deer munching on their prized gardens, so a group is looking at whether birth control might help rein in the population. Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen said the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society is trying to obtain an injectable contraceptive from the United States in an effort to curb the number of deer roaming around yards and on roads in the Victoria suburb. He said 11 deer were killed in a cull last year, but that approach was divisive, with some residents proposing a more humane way to deal with the animals while others wanted culls to continue as a way of stopping deer from using their tulips, roses and hedges as buffets. (Canadian Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  221 AM PST THU DEC 15 2016  

TODAY
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT  AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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