Wednesday, March 8, 2017

3/8 Rockfish, NOAA cuts, oil spill, BC LNG, belugas, Victoria 'Big One,' poop woes, Kuterra, pipeline switch

Canary rockfish, Sebastes pinniger [Wikipedia]
Canary Rockfish
According to NOAA Fisheries: "Canary rockfish are large rockfish that reach up to 2.5 feet (77 cm) in length and 10 pounds (4 kg) in weight. Adults have bright yellow to orange mottling over gray, 3 orange stripes across the head, and orange fins. Animals less than 14 inches long have dark markings on the posterior part of the spiny dorsal fin and gray along the lateral line. Rockfishes are unusual among the bony fishes in that fertilization and embryo development is internal and female rockfish give birth to live larval young. Larvae are found in surface waters and may be distributed over a wide area extending several hundred miles offshore." NOAA Fisheries will remove the canary rockfish from the list of threatened and endangered species in Puget Sound on March 24th because the Puget Sound species is not genetically different from the coastal species.

Trump pitches tsunami of cuts to NOAA
The Trump administration is planning a tsunami of budget cuts to the federal government's chief climate science agency, gutting Northwest programs from Pacific Coast salmon recovery to ocean weather buoys, to preparation for tsunamis. A six-page listing of proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, first obtained by The Washington Post, shows elimination of such programs as Sea Grant, a major research and outreach effort that works in fields ranging from oil spill prevention to teacher training. The University of Washington receives about $35 million in program funding from NOAA each year. But cuts would be felt in such programs as Coastal Resiliency Grants, important to Native American tribes. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Oily sheen from B.C. diesel spill can't be recovered but will evaporate, officials say
An oily rainbow-like sheen on the water left by a diesel fuel spill off the north coast of Vancouver Island cannot be cleaned up, sparking concerns for a nearby First Nation that relies on clam digging for food and economic security. The thin layer of fuel, which covered a 5.5-kilometre radius at one point outside the salmon farm where the spill originated, has been deemed unrecoverable because it cannot be captured by skimmer vessels or sorbent materials, British Columbia's Environment Ministry said. Fuel has made contact with some shorelines in the Burdwood Island group, a sensitive area teeming with clam beds that the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation says are crucial to its economy. Laura Kane reports. (CBC)

Maps: The 20 LNG Proposals Vying for BC’s Shores
A new Sightline report details the potential for liquefied natural gas to take hold in British Columbia. Tarika Powell reports. (Sightline)

Vancouver Park Board holding special meeting tonight on future of whales at Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Park Board is expecting a full house and dozens of speakers tonight, for a special meeting on the future of captive whales at the Vancouver Aquarium. The board will consider four options, which range from embracing the aquarium's plans for expansion, to holding a city-wide plebiscite on the matter to banning captive cetaceans altogether. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

City of Victoria commissioned report details potential devastation of the 'Big One'
A report commissioned by the City of Victoria says 4,000 buildings could be destroyed if a catastrophic earthquake hits. That means nearly 40 per cent of the city's buildings, as well as much of the water and sewage infrastructure, could be destroyed in a magnitude 9 megathrust earthquake. Kirstie Hudson reports. (CBC)

Float switches may have failed at flooded West Point wastewater plant
Amid dueling calls for an independent investigation into the flood that extensively damaged the West Point wastewater-treatment plant, King County wastewater managers Tuesday revealed preliminary findings into the causes of the flood. While still ongoing, the review, so far, points to failed float switches that allowed raw sewage and stormwater to keep pouring into the plant at maximum flow during a rainstorm. That happened even as crew members struggled to restart failed pumps that were supposed to be taking treated water from it. The result, as minutes ticked by, was a catastrophic flood as wastewater surged into the plant uncontrolled and cascaded down the stairs to destroy electrical panels, wiring, motors and more in the region’s largest wastewater-treatment plant. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Kuterra seeks buyer of partner to expand land-based salmon farm
B.C.’s only land-based Atlantic salmon farm, Kuterra, has been ordered to wind down operations by the Namgis First Nation, even as the company seeks a buyer or partner to pursue expansion. The order from the Namgis council to the Kuterra board came after talks broke down with a potential buyer for the farm late last year, according to documents circulated to band members. The Namgis First Nation owns Kuterra, which was built with $9.5 million in government and charitable funding, including $3 million from Tides Canada. Now that funding is running out, Kuterra is looking for new investment, likely from the private sector. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

AP fact check: How Trump's Keystone XL story fell apart 
It was a nice story while it lasted. Moments from signing orders to advance the stalled Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, President Donald Trump comes up with the idea of requiring the projects to use pipes and steel made in the U.S. He inserts a “little clause” to that effect and vows the projects will only happen if his buy-American mandate is met. Now, it turns out, those projects are advancing without it. In recent days, the White House exempted Keystone XL from the rule. Calvin Woodward reports. (Associated Press) See also: Dakota Access Pipeline Court Challenge Denied, Oil Could Flow As Soon As Next Week  Angus Chen reports. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED MAR 8 2017  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND BECOMING SE 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT BECOMING 2 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W  SWELL 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING THEN RAIN IN THE  AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING NW TO 10 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.  RAIN IN THE EVENING THEN RAIN LIKELY 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 (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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