Monday, February 19, 2018

2/19 Octo week, salmon pen problems, orca bill dies, BC pipe, Mandt's black guillemots, Native sovereignty

Octopus at Seattle Aquarium [Alan Berner/Seattle Times]
Octopus Week at Seattle Aquarium
One octopus was being released into the Window on Washington Waters exhibit Friday at the Seattle Aquarium as part of Octopus Week. On Saturday, the aquarium will release another octopus into Puget Sound at noon. Alan Berner reports. (Seattle Times)

Cooke Aquaculture inspection finds problems at 2 other Atlantic salmon pens 
Deficiencies have been found at Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound by an independent inspector, the state Department of Natural Resources reports. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz ordered inspections of all nine of Cooke’s net pens after a catastrophic collapse of one of its net pens at Cypress Island in the San Juans last August, allowing more than 200,000 Atlantic salmon to escape into the Salish Sea. The latest inspections from the contractor hired by the state, Mott MacDonald of Edmonds, found deficiencies at Cooke’s operations at its Hope Island and Rich Passage facilities, according to the reports released Friday. Problems included poor condition and deterioration of some anchor lines, surface rust and corrosion on parts of the facilities and concern about whether anchors were inside the boundaries of the net-pen leases. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Orca protection bill stumbles and dies on state Senate floor
State legislation that would increase protection for Puget Sound’s killer whales died this week amidst confusing action on the Senate floor. Now, orca advocates are pushing a narrower bill approved by the House to limit remote-controlled aircraft around whales, while they also hope for a $3-million budget appropriation to support other orca protection measures. Whether people should be allowed to fly a drone around the endangered Southern Resident orcas seems to be the issue stirring up the most attention in the Legislature — although it is a small part of the overall effort. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

B.C. to appeal NEB ruling on Trans Mountain bylaw
British Columbia's government is appealing a decision that allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass local regulations in constructing its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The National Energy Board ruled in December that the company is not required to comply with two sections of the City of Burnaby's bylaws on land and tree clearances. Kinder Morgan had argued the bylaws were unconstitutional because they hindered its ability to go ahead with the federally approved project. The provincial government said in a statement Saturday that it has filed leave to appeal the board's ruling with the Federal Court of Appeal. Gemma Karstens-Smith reports. (Canadian Press) See also: Burnaby seeks appeal over tree-cutting permits involving Trans Mountain pipeline The City of Burnaby wants to appeal a National Energy Board decision that exempts Kinder Morgan from local land and tree clearance bylaws in the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Canadian Press)

Alberta’s Notley wants action on B.C. pipeline impasse by next week
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she wants progress soon in the impasse between her province and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline or she will ratchet up the pressure. “We’d like to see some evidence of progress next week or you will hear more from us about other strategies that might be going forward,” Notley said Friday. “(In the meantime) we’re giving everybody space to have conversations.” Dean Bennett reports. (Financial Post)

The Study Of One Bird, 43 Years In The Making 
George Divoky is a scientist in Seattle, at least most of the year. But don’t expect to find him around here during the summertime. He’ll be on a small, flat little island in the Arctic Ocean, off the Alaska coast, called Cooper Island. Back in 1975, Divoky was doing survey work there, when he came across a colony of arctic birds called Mandt’s Black Guillemots. They’re little pigeon-sized birds with bright red legs, and they’re one of the few seabird species that depend year-round on sea ice. Gabriel Spitzer & Kevin Kniestedt report. (KNKX)

Tribes call on Washington to respect Native sovereignty
The federal tax overhaul passed in December is "completely unacceptable" to Native Americans, just another example of what can happen when tribes are not included in federal decision-making, a tribal leader said Monday. National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel said in the annual State of Indian Nations address that the government-to-government relationship between tribes and Washington is even more important now, as the federal government pushes more control toward the states. (Cronkite News)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  416 AM PST Mon Feb 19 2018  
TODAY
 NE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming light. Wind waves 1 to 3  ft subsiding to less than 1 ft. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds.
TONIGHT
 SE wind 10 kt or less. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W  swell 5 ft at 14 seconds.

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