Friday, March 24, 2017

3/24 Herring, EPA, Keystone, Tacoma tideflats, Tesoro DEIS, deer mice, Victoria bags, woodpeckers

If you like to watch: Beauty and the Feast: When Herring Come to Spawn
Every spring, nature puts on a breathtaking display on the British Columbia coast. The waters turn milky white as millions of male herring release sperm, while the female fish lay billions of pinhead-sized eggs. Both the eggs and the fish themselves are a critical post-winter food source for animals from bears to bald eagles, whales to wolves, and herons to humans. Travel to the BC Central Coast to watch the show! (Hakai Institute)

Here's Why the Environmental Protection Agency Was Created
The Cuyahoga River burst into flames, while the Potomac stunk from the hundreds of millions of gallons of waste added to its waters every single day. As the Environmental Protection Agency becomes the subject of focus for major cuts under President Trump's proposed budget — and as the U.N. marks World Water Day on Wednesday — it's worth looking back at the moment in time when the EPA was first created, and why Richard Nixon saw a need for the agency to exist. Lily Rothman reports. (Time)

U.S., in Reversal, Issues Permit for Keystone Oil Pipeline
The Trump administration announced Friday that it would issue a permit for construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, a long-disputed project that would link producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast. The announcement by the State Department reversed the position of the Obama administration. It followed a 60-day review that was set in motion as one of the first acts of President Trump’s tenure. (NY Times)

Rethinking The Future Of Tacoma's Industrial Tideflats
Tacoma has a decades-old reputation as an industrial city. But leaders say it’s time to rethink which specific industries are welcome. A City Council proposal would direct the Planning Commission to draft new land-use recommendations for Tacoma’s industrial tideflats area, which includes the Port of Tacoma. Neighbors of the tideflats have formed a vocal block of opposition to recent industrial projects, citing safety and environmental worries. Will James reports. (KNKX)

Draft EIS released for Tesoro refinery project
Skagit County released today a draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, for a proposed project at the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery. The draft EIS is open for public comment through May 8, according to a news release.  An open house and public hearing is set for 4 to 8 p.m. April 17 in the Anacortes High School gym and Brodniak Hall, at 1600 20th St. The proposal, called the Tesoro Anacortes Clean Products Upgrade Project, would enable the refinery to produce 15,000 barrels of xylene per day through the refining process and sell it as a product separate from its various fuel products. The proposal would also reduce the amount of sulfur in fuel products processed at the refinery and capture emissions from marine vessels at the refinery dock. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Deer mice: Cute, but potentially deadly carriers of hantavirus
The deer mouse might be cutest among our problematic rodents. The tiny creature sports big eyes, large ears and a white underbelly. But, it can be deadly, too. The tiny rodent is known to carry hantavirus, a rare, often fatal disease. Deer mice excrete hantavirus in urine, saliva and droppings, according to the Washington Department of Health (DOH). People most commonly contract the virus when those materials are stirred up and the virus becomes airborne. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Victoria mulls over a ban on plastic bags from stores — again
Victoria is considering following in the footsteps of Fort McMurray and Kenya, at least when it comes to trying to reduce the use of plastic bags. In 2015, city council voted to have staff look into a ban on single-use retail plastic bags. Since then, staff has presented numerous recommendations on the issue, but a ban has never been approved. Now, the idea is back before council and it's already raising concerns for some members of the local business community.  Jean Paetkau reports. (CBC)

With spring comes the menace of the woodpecker
hey may be hungry, horny or busy building a nest for their young. Those are some of the reasons woodpeckers might be pecking against the walls of your home in spring, according to Ann Nightingale, a bird expert who works with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory in Victoria. Nightingale says woodpeckers are especially active in early spring so home owners shouldn't be surprised to hear drumming against their walls. Jean Paetkau reports. (CBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  248 AM PDT FRI MAR 24 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
 
TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT DURING THE  MORNING. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL  9 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN  THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 S WIND 15 TO 25 KT BECOMING SW 10 TO 20 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS.  SHOWERS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN THE EVENING.
SAT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT  AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN  THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
 SW WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT  12 SECONDS.

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