Monday, December 5, 2016

12/5 No DAPL, spill plan, KM, seafood diet, Scott Is., wind power, Deltaport, Navy training, NW pipe, salmon map, fishers, swans, Drayton shellfish

Entering Malibu Rapids (Laurie MacBride)
Running the Gauntlet
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "The crown jewel of our Marine Parks, Princess Louisa Inlet, is tucked far into BC’s Coast Mountain Range. To get there you have to run a gauntlet of challenges" such as the lengthy cruise and timing transit over Malibu Rapids.

Tribes celebrate as Corps rejects Dakota Access pipeline easement
In the Dakota language, “Oahe” means “A Place to Stand.” On Sunday, Lake Oahe — the spot where the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline was supposed to cross the Missouri River — became just that for indigenous people around the world and their allies. Following months of review and protests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would not provide the last easement needed by Energy Transfer Partners, of Houston, Texas, to cross under the Missouri River and complete the pipeline through four states. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: The Northwest braces for its own Standing Rock  Nick Turner and Joe Copeland report. (Crosscut)

Washington state ‘very concerned’ Canada pipeline spill plan lacking
Canada’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline is raising concerns with Washington state officials, who say they have not received adequate assurances that U.S. waters will be protected in the event of an oil tanker spill. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office says he doesn’t have enough details of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledged $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan to know if enough spill prevention measures will be in place, or that the state would be protected in the event of a spill…. The planned pipeline also faces opposition from Seattle politicians who, like their counterparts in Vancouver, are opposed to any expansion of the oil industry, and who openly support the protesters at Standing Rock who are against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It has also generated promises of court fights from First Nations on both sides of the border. Jeff Lee reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Beyond the hippie stereotype: A closer look at the opposition to Trans Mountain
A conversation about tripling your money on a tech start up might seem out of place at an anti-pipeline march, but not so in Vancouver. When thousands of protestors made their way from City Hall to downtown a few weeks ago, chatter about stock options and where to go for ramen after the rally could be heard alongside the traditional indigenous drumming and chants of "Hey, hey, Trudeau, Kinder Morgan's got to go". Whether or not the Prime Minister heard those calls, it's become clear since he approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that his decision — no matter how it was cast — wasn't going to find any middle ground…. Vancouver, with its weed dispensaries, kombucha cafes and growler-toting hipsters, is easy to stereotype. But that doesn't mean the protestors should be dismissed as a bunch of West coast hippies who don't understand what makes the national economy go. Paul Haavardsrud reports. (CBC)

Coastal Indigenous people eat 15 times more seafood than non-Indigenous, study reveals
A new study out of the University of British Columbia could change the way policies regarding fisheries and Indigenous human rights are considered. The study found coastal Indigenous people eat on average 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous communities within the same country. Lead researcher Andrews Cisneros-Montemayor says these findings show the scale and significance of seafood consumption by Indigenous people. (Canadian Press)

British Columbia's Scott Islands proposed as National Wildlife Area
The federal government has announced it will protect the waters and coastline around a set of five islands off the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island known as the Scott Islands, which are home to 40 per cent of all breeding seabirds in the Canadian Pacific…. The area is home to more than two million seabirds, which is the highest concentration of seabirds in British Columbia. It also serves as the most important nesting and breeding ground for seabirds in the province. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Wind turbines generating regret; $100,000 turbines to create $1.50 in electricity monthly
Three windmill-like turbines loom motionless over the city of Port Angeles’ new Waterfront Park. The $107,516 spires stand immobile more than two months after they were erected and more than a year after the city council approved them. Once they are working to generate electricity, they will produce so little power — $1.50 worth of electricity a month in savings — that at least one council member is regretting her decision to purchase them. They have not been activated because the city is involved in an inspection-related dispute with the manufacturer, UGE International Ltd. of New York City, Community and Economic Development Director Nathan West said last week. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

The Questionable Science of Vancouver's Port Expansion
…. Deltaport is Canada’s largest container terminal and integral to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, also known as the Port of Vancouver, a crown corporation whose 27 terminals in Metro Vancouver generate CAN $9.7-billion in direct gross domestic product. And although the port already has four container terminals, it now wants to expand at Roberts Bank. If this development at the southernmost edge of the Fraser River delta—known as Terminal 2—goes ahead, the cranes could soon be loading four or five container ships at a time instead of two, making Roberts Bank one of the busiest container shipping hubs in North America. But as biologists and birdwatchers know all too well, the delta is already one of nature’s critical transportation hubs. Recognized by an international treaty as a vital wetland, the Fraser delta plays host to millions of migrating birds each year. Gulls and snow geese, dunlin and coots all pass through the estuary’s 22,000 hectares, each seeking its preferred habitat. Some flock to the marshes, others to the water or the fields. But one species, the western sandpiper, is particularly picky about where it sets down in the spring. It largely gravitates to a relatively small patch of mudflats on Roberts Bank, just to the north of Deltaport’s long causeway. Here it feeds on insects, worms, crustaceans, and a snot-like substance called biofilm, the true ecological value of which scientists are still trying to understand. Amorina Kingdon reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Forest Service accepting comments on permit for Navy electronic warfare training
The U.S. Forest Service is accepting comments on its draft decision, announced this week, to grant a special-use permit for the Navy’s $11.5 million electronic warfare training project. The five-year permit would allow deployment of three camper-sized mobile transmitters at 11 cleared roadside locations in Olympic National Forest near the Quinault reservation. Three sites are in Clallam County, three are in Jefferson County and five are in Grays Harbor County. The training consists of Navy jets interfacing with mobile transmitters that would emit electromagnetic signals that pilots would target in warfare exercises. (Peninsula Daily News)

Northwest Pipeline calls off expansion plans 
A natural gas pipeline expansion project that would have included work on sections of pipeline in Skagit County was called off earlier this year. Williams, the parent company of Northwest Pipeline LCC, withdrew pending applications in April, company spokeswoman Sara Delgado said. The 3,900-mile Northwest Pipeline moves natural gas across six states, from Utah to Washington, according to Williams’ website. Williams had proposed replacing sections of the pipeline to increase the volume of natural gas that could be transported. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the project in August 2015 and planned to release a final EIS in June 2016. But when Oregon LNG announced in April that it was scrapping its proposed pipeline expansion and terminal project in Warrenton, Oregon, Williams called off its project. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Interactive map brings together extensive salmon information
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes about SalmonScape, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's interactive, computer mapping system. SalmonScape shows 'salmon streams across the state (click “hydrography”); salmon migration by species (“fish distribution”); stream blockages (“fish passage”); and hatcheries, fish traps and major dams (“facilities”).'

Release of fishers at Mount Rainier marks second season of reintroducing the species to the Cascades
There are new tracks in the snow at Mount Rainier National Park, created by the 10 fishers released Friday near Longmire. The release, the first inside the park, is part of multiagency, multinational effort to restore fishers — members of the weasel family, related to otters, badgers and wolverines — in Washington where they have not been seen in more than 50 years. The four females and six males that scampered away through the trees were the first of 40 animals hoped to be released in the park this winter. The next release could happen as soon as next week. Jeffrey P. Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

State seeks reports of dead or unhealthy swans
With the return of migratory birds that winter in the Skagit Valley, the state is asking the public to report unhealthy trumpeter swans. For several years, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife has collected information about sick, injured and dead swans from Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties. The agency uses the information to determine the impact of lead poisoning on the birds, according to a news release. Using lead pellets for hunting waterfowl has been banned for about 25 years, but some pellets are still in fields where swans find food, according to the release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Blaine to celebrate ‘legacy’ of shellfish harvest in Drayton Harbor 
A community gathering Dec. 16 will celebrate a 21-year cleanup effort that led to 810 acres of recreational and commercial shellfish grounds in Drayton Harbor being reopened to year-round harvesting. The event will be at the oyster bar in Blaine owned by the Drayton Harbor Oyster Co., which has a commercial operation growing Pacific oysters on 30 acres in Drayton Harbor. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

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