Friday, September 1, 2017

9/1 BC oil, ship pilots, Atlantic salmon, warm oceans, toxic fish & shellfish, Site C dam, clean PSE, PS recovery

Vine maple [Tony Perodeau]
Vine Maple Acer circinatum
NW native Vine Maple, a small deciduous tree, has some of the best fall colors of all natives. It's a tough little guy that does well as an understory beneath tall evergreens. A quick grower to 10-15 feet, it has multiple trunks and spreads to 20' widths, much like a vine. It likes moisture but will thrive in drought after established as long as it has a little shade (does not enjoy intense heat). Blooms with white flowers in spring. A lovely addition to any landscape and provides local wildlife with food and nesting places…. To distinguish between Vine Maple and its close relative Douglas maple (Acer glabrum) count the lobes dividing the leaf margin, if the number is between 3 to 5 instead of 7 to 9 then you have a Douglas Maple. (Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database)

National Energy Board OKs Trans Mountain expansion of Burnaby terminal 
The National Energy Board says the Trans Mountain pipeline project has met conditions required for the expansion of its Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C. Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada, has plans to expand the terminal's dock to load three tankers, up from one, and increase the number of delivery lines connected to its other Burnaby terminal. The board says in a letter to Kinder Morgan published on its website Wednesday that there are 157 conditions imposed on the project overall and the pre-construction conditions specifically pertaining to the terminal have now been satisfied. (Canadian Press)

Return To The Salish Sea: Pacific Pilotage Authority’s Brian Young
A big issue in the Salish Sea right now is concern about increasing oil tanker traffic. Plans by Kinder Morgan to expand its Trans-Mountain pipeline could more than triple the amount of crude oil arriving at the pipeline’s terminus in Vancouver, B.C. “There’ll definitely be more work for pilots…if the project comes to fruition,” says Brian Young, Director of Marine Operations for Canada’s Pacific Pilotage Authority in Vancouver. The agency oversees marine pilots. These mariners are experts on the underwater topography, weather and other maritime conditions of the Salish Sea. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

That Atlantic salmon farm was on its last legs — and Washington state knew it
Cooke Aquaculture and state officials knew at least six months ago that the floating salmon farm that collapsed in August was "nearing the end of serviceable life," with accelerating corrosion eating away at its hinges and steel structure. Even so, they agreed to fill the damaged structure with a full load of 3.1 million pounds of Atlantic salmon in an area regularly swept by strong currents. The end result: approximately 162,000 fish from another ocean breaking out and spreading throughout Puget Sound and into Canadian waters. Some have swum up to 150 miles away, into the Pacific Ocean off the outer coast of Vancouver Island. Tribes and environmental groups fear the sudden influx of aquatic predators could mean trouble for the region’s already-beleaguered Pacific salmon. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

First Nations, environmentalists occupy B.C. salmon farm
A group of First Nations and environmentalists are occupying a salmon farm near Alert Bay, B.C., and say they won't leave until the provincial and federal governments revoke permits for the facility. Ernest Alfred, a traditional leader from the 'Namgis, Tlowitsis and Mamalilikulla First Nations, said he and other protesters arrived six days ago at the farm owned by Marine Harvest Canada on Swanson Island and are now building a shelter. He said the farm is threatening their traditional way of life by impacting wild salmon and herring stocks, and he's also demanding an overall end to open-net fish farming in the sensitive Broughton Archipelago area. Laura Kane reports. (CBC) See also: B.C. First Nations occupy a second salmon farm as company raises safety concerns  (Canadian Press)

Federal permit for salmon farm east of Port Angeles depends on state, local action
Federal action on a permit for Cooke Aquaculture’s proposed $9 million fish farm east of downtown Port Angeles depends on decisions by state and local officials, federal and county officials said Wednesday. The Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency — with involvement by the Coast Guard — for the permit under the U.S. Rivers and Harbors Act, Corps spokesman Patricia Graesser said. She said Endangered Species Act consultation is ongoing with the National Marine Fisheries Service. But for the Corps to finalize a permit, Corps officials would need a determination on the permit’s consistency with the U.S. Coastal Zone Management Act. The state Department of Ecology makes that determination, Clallam County Planning Manager Steve Gray of the Department of Community Development said Wednesday. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Atlantic Salmon Escape Fans Opposition To Company's Proposed New Fish Farm Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Q&A: So Why Are Atlantic Salmon In The Northwest? t
Courtney Flatt of EarthFix asks and answers.

Warming oceans may cause the world's fish to shrink, study suggests
As climate change continues to warm the world's oceans, a new study suggests the fish that inhabit them may, in response, shrink in size as much as 30 per cent in the next 30 years. The study, published in Global Change Biology, found that fish size drops about 30 per cent for every degree of ocean temperature increase. Climate modelling used in the study predicts a "moderate" average ocean temperature increase of about one degree within 30 years. Daniel Pauly, a professor at UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and one of the study's co-authors, says the trend is already being noticed in areas like the North Sea. Matt Meuse reports. (CBC)

PCBs in fish remain steady while other toxics decline
A new study shows a surprising decline in some toxic chemicals in Puget Sound fish, while levels of PCBs increased in some cases. Scientists say the study shows that banning toxic chemicals can work, but old contaminants remain a challenge as they continue to wash into Puget Sound. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Lethal levels of PSP found in shellfish sampled at Fort Flagler
Marine biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning have been detected at lethal concentrations in shellfish samples collected from Fort Flagler State Park, the county health department reported Wednesday.  Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) concentrations have risen to more than 1,000 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish tissue, said Michael Dawson of Jefferson County Environmental Health. The closure level is 80 micrograms. (Peninsula Daily News)

United Nations panel calls for halt of B.C.'s Site C dam
A United Nations panel says the construction of British Columbia's $8.8-billion Site C dam should be halted until there is a full review of how it would affect Indigenous land. The recommendation is contained in a report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which has completed its periodic review of how Canada complies with the world body's treaty to end racial discrimination. The recommendation comes three weeks after British Columbia's NDP government requested a review of what had been a signature megaproject for former premier Christy Clark. (Canadian Press)

Can customers push Puget Sound Energy towards a 100% clean energy clean diet?
At a packed public hearing, majority testimony urged the state's largest private utility, Puget Sound Energy, to shed all fossil fuels – 60% of its energy comes from coal and gas – and adopt a clean energy diet. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will decide whether the utility can increase rates by year's end, but the most contentious issue is what energy mix PSE will use now and into the future. Martha Baskin reports.

Partners in Puget Sound Recovery
The leaders of Puget Sound Partnership's new Implementation Strategies include several state agencies. Among them are the Department of Ecology, the Department of Health, the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. The Puget Sound Partnership continues its role as a facilitator and organizer in the process, and other partners include regional tribes, the Puget Sound Federal Task Force and a variety of stakeholders and nonprofits. A new web site has been launched to update progress. Jeff Rice writes. (Puget Sound Institute)

Baker to Bay Symposium
The Whatcom Watersheds Information Network in association with multiple sponsors is hosting the 2017 Baker to Bay Symposium at the Ferndale Event Center. This two-day event, with speakers, posters, exhibits, and an evening reception on the first day, will bring together stakeholders, managers, tribes, governments, businesses, community members, and scientists to share information about ecosystem recovery actions in Whatcom County in a manner that combines and coordinates data/research with community interests and needs. Community Perspectives, Challenges, and Solutions - September 20, 2017; State of the Science - September 21, 2017. Registration closes September 15.

Now, here’s your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PDT Fri Sep 1 2017  
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 10 seconds.
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.
SAT
 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.
SUN
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
SUN NIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
MON
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 3 ft.

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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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