Friday, February 9, 2018

2/9 Indian plum, net-pen phase-out, NEB scrapped, BC pipe protests, bitumen, Navy training, winter seabirds, WA wildlife, Kitsap creeks

Indian plum [NW Native Plant Database]
Indian Plum/Oso Berry Oemleria cerasiformis
A harbinger of spring with pendant, greenish-white clusters of flowers in early March, Indian Plum grows rapidly to 15 - 20.' The first deciduous native shrub in the Pacific northwest to flower, the Indian Plum is prized not only for its beauty but for the promise it conveys of longer days and lighter rains. The many long, slender stems grow erect in full sun but in the dappled shade they arch majestically. The foliage is a cheerful lime green, turning yellow in autumn. In early summer, olive size, bittersweet, purple berries dot the branches but are almost immediately eaten by birds. Native groups collected the berries for eating. Indian Plum is found from BC to California, west of the Cascade Mountains, USDA zones 8-9. It prefers moist sites in full to partial shade but will survive in full sun. (Hansen's NW Native Plant Database)

Washington state Senate OKs phasing out Atlantic salmon net-pen farming
Slamming the risks of Atlantic salmon farming in Washington waters, Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed a bill phasing out the industry that later passed the state Senate Thursday by a wide margin. The legislation, approved on a vote of 35-12, would end Atlantic salmon net-pen farming in Washington as existing leases terminate by 2025. The bill now heads to the House. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Ottawa to scrap National Energy Board, overhaul environmental assessment process for major projects
The federal Liberal government says it will streamline the approval process for major natural resources projects, scrapping the National Energy Board and empowering a new body to conduct more extensive consultation with groups affected by development. The changes are part of the largest overhaul of Canada's environmental assessment process in a generation. The new system comes after years of criticism that the National Energy Board, the regulator that weighs approval for construction of projects such as pipelines, was ill-suited to conduct environmental assessments or the Crown's duty to consult with Indigenous peoples. John Paul Tasker reports. (CBC)

Pipeline protesters move to Port Moody to stop workers from taking boats to Kinder Morgan site
About 20 pipeline protesters shifted their operations to Port Moody Thursday morning, after learning that the company had been transporting its workers by boat. Demonstrators, who oppose Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, have been blocking the company’s Westridge Marine Terminal construction site in Burnaby for several weeks. However, protester David Mivasair says they learned that the workers have been driving to the Reed Point Marina in Port Moody and taking boats to the Westridge site. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Trans Mountain pipeline protest in Coquitlam, B.C. sees 2 arrested  (Canadian Press)

InfoGraphic: What Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline will mean for B.C.'s coast-2017  (Globe and Mail)

Call for more oil spill research not a delaying tactic, says B.C. NDP
The B.C. NDP continues to reject suggestions that its call for more research into a diluted biutmen spill is an attempt to delay the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain….[B.C. Environment Minister George] Heyman said further work is indeed required — largely research into the how spilled bitumen "behaves." "There's a lack of knowledge identified by the Royal Society of Canada in a number of areas," said Heyman. He said those lacking areas include how bitumen reacts to different weather conditions and water temperatures, whether it sinks when mixed with sediment, how it can be transported safely and how it can be cleaned up effectively after a spill. (CBC)

More than 150 seek answers at Navy open house in Port Townsend on training plans
A small chorus sang songs of peace during the Navy’s open house in Port Townsend as people learned about the Navy’s proposal to increase special operations training around the Puget Sound. More than 150 people packed into Blue Heron Middle School on Wednesday night to air their concerns about the Navy’s plans and to learn about what the increased training would mean for people locally. The Navy received about 75 written comments. Many who attended expressed environmental concerns, but also said they were upset about the ever-increasing presence of the military in the area. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Winter Seabirds: Are there more or are they just more dispersed? It's a nuanced answer with climate playing a big role
If you're a birder, counting seabirds on a gray winter Puget Sound day is the place for you. While many species are in decline, there's a greater number of seabirds throughout the sound driven by migration from northern breeding grounds. But positive sightings don't always mean there's enough food. In the world of seabirds there's a lot of nuance with climate playing a big role. Martha Baskin reports. (PRX)

State seeks comment on endangered, threatened wildlife
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife is taking public comment on proposals to continue recognizing the North Cascades grizzly bear as endangered and to reclassify the sea otter as threatened…. The grizzly bear and sea otter are among 44 wildlife species listed by the state as sensitive, threatened or endangered, meaning human activity has or could put them at risk of extinction…. The agency’s draft review for grizzly bears concluded the bears have not been able to recovery from hunting and habitat loss. The species was once found in much of the Cascade Range…. As for the sea otter, although the state’s population had been eliminated due to hunting, the species began to recover in the 1960s and 1970s after being re-introduced, according to Fish & Wildlife. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Kitsap creeks getting cleaner but problem streams persist
Water quality is gradually improving in Kitsap creeks but a few stubbornly dirty streams still perplex experts, according to a report released this week by Kitsap Public Health District. Twenty-one of 66 creeks listed in the annual report met the state water quality standard last year, meaning tests showed consistently low bacteria levels. Another 22 creeks met part of the state standard, while 23 streams had consistently high bacteria levels and failed to meet the standard. The district renewed health advisories for five streams: Bjorgen, Little Scandia and Lofall creeks in North Kitsap, and Phinney and Ostrich Bay creeks in Bremerton. Advisories are issued for creeks that have high bacteria levels in summer months, when residents (especially children) are most likely to come in contact with the water. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  240 AM PST Fri Feb 9 2018  
 E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft  at 8 seconds.
 E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
 E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
 Light wind becoming S to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 16 seconds.
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming E 15 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 14 seconds.

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