Friday, November 17, 2017

11/17 Dr. Kruckeberg, spill response, Keystone spill, ocean energy, Colstrip, monument docs, big king, Kevin Van De Wege, Bill Nye

Dr. Kruckeberg [Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens]
Dr. Arthur Rice Kruckeberg
Dr. Kruckeberg retired in 1989 from the University of Washington as Professor Emeritus of Botany. He authored six books, including Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest and The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. Dr. Kruckeberg and his wife Maureen S. Kruckeberg founded the Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens in Shoreline. Dr. Kruckeberg died in 2016 at the age of 96. (Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens)

B.C. First Nation says it has created world-class spill response plan
A British Columbia First Nation has released a plan it says will give it a leading role in oil spill prevention and response on the province's central coast. A report from the Heiltsuk Nation calls for the creation of an Indigenous Marine Response Centre capable of responding within five hours along a 350 kilometre stretch of the coast. The centre proposal follows what the report calls the "inadequate, slow and unsafe" response to the October 2016 grounding of the tug the Nathan E. Stewart that spilled about 110,000 litres of diesel and other contaminants…. The report says the proposed centre, on Denny Island across from Bella Bella, and satellite operations dotted along the central coast, would need a total investment of $111.5 million to be operational by next summer. (Canadian Press)

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210K Gallons Of Oil In South Dakota
TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday. Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated. Officials don’t believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems from the spill onto agricultural land, said Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which has dispatched a staff member to the site. (Associated Press)

Researchers hope to harness ocean's power to light remote B.C. communities 
Dozens of remote towns on the B.C. coast, including Indigenous communities, still rely on diesel generators for power. A group of researchers at the University of Victoria is hoping to change that by harnessing energy from wind, waves and tides. Their goal is to reduce the need for noisy, smelly, carbon-belching generators — as well as the fuel barges that supply them…. The federal government has invested $1.4 million to establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery at UVic. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC) See also: Oceans May Host Next Wave Of Renewable Energy   Jeff Brady reports. (NPR)

Activists, Officials Demand Colstrip Closure Date
Climate change activists and elected officials in Washington state are criticizing Puget Sound Energy's new long-range power generation plan. They say the utility isn't moving fast enough toward 100 percent renewable energy sources. That includes stating definitively that Puget Sound will shut down the Colstrip electricity plant in 2025. Nathanial Jones, the mayor pro tem of Olympia, Washington, says rising sea levels due to climate change threaten billions of dollars worth of development in his city…. Jones is part of a campaign to move one of the northwest's largest utilities, Puget Sound Energy, to 100 percent carbon free power sources. Puget Sound Energy is part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired electricity plant. Doug Howell with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign says getting a closure date for Colstrip is a top priority. Eric Whitney reports. (Montana Public Radio)

Justice Department Won't Release National Monument Documents 
Documents possibly outlining legal justifications for President Donald Trump to shrink national monuments don’t have to be provided to an Idaho environmental law firm because they’re protected communications, federal officials say. The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Advocates for the West seeking the information…. The environmental law firm filed a public records request for documents on the national monuments earlier this year, and the Justice Department released more than 60 pages in May. The agency withheld 12 pages, however, contending they are protected by attorney-client privilege and intra-agency communication rules, making them exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

Check out this monster Chinook salmon just caught in B.C. 
Even in an area renowned as a mystical “lost world” of monster salmon — this salmon was particularly monstrous. When held aloft by Ted Walkus, a hereditary chief of the Wuikinuxv First Nation, its tail nearly brushed the ground. The animal’s jaws were large enough to encompass a human head. And it weighed in at 50 pounds (22.7 kg) — and that’s after two weeks of crash weight loss due to spawning. Tristin Hopper reports. (National Post)

Senator now chairs important natural resources committee
Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, was named the chair of Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks by fellow Democrats after a special election earlier this month that saw the Democrats pick up a seat and become the senate’s majority party. Many Fish and Wildlife bills get their start in this committee, and as chair, Van De Wege can hold hearings on legislation and determine (via committee vote) if they move forward. Van De Wege has sponsored bills that propose to regulate fishing guides, particularly out-of-state guides operating on steelhead and salmon rivers and streams. Michael Carman reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Bill Nye isn't just some science guy anymore
Famed science guy Bill Nye is looking a bit like Spock these days, with his long face and thick eyebrows that leap up at the outer edges. And much like the science officer on the starship Enterprise, Nye has a habit of drawing his mouth into a flat line when faced with illogical statements. But in the new documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy, the science evangelist comes off as more human than ever. Seattleite audiences were the first to make Nye’s acquaintance, thanks to his early stint with locally produced comedy show Almost Live! As a regular guest, he performed kooky science experiments and also had a recurring bit as Speed Walker, a dogged superhero in shiny shorts. Before landing that gig, Nye had worked as a mechanical engineer at Boeing, spending his weekends at Pacific Science Center as a volunteer “science explainer” and nights doing open-mic comedy. Brangien Davis reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Fri Nov 17 2017  
GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY
 AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at  8 seconds. Scattered showers.
TONIGHT
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. A chance of showers.
SAT
 S wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. A chance of rain.
SAT NIGHT
 S wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 6 to 7 ft with a dominant period of 8  seconds building to 8 to 10 ft with a dominant period of 9 seconds.
SUN
 S wind 30 to 40 kt becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Combined seas 12 to 15 ft with a dominant period of 11 seconds.

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