Thursday, May 10, 2018

5/10 Buttercup, salmon ban, no-go zone, BC pipe, tanker ban, fire & flood, Lolita, Sound Plunge, coal cost

Creeping buttercup [Western Isles Wildflowers]
Creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens
Commonly found in moist, disturbed sites like fields pastures, gardens, lawns, ditches and clearings. Many members of the Ranunculaceae contain chemicals that can cause severe inflammation of tissues of mouth, throat and digestive tract if swallowed. The irritant compound protoanemonin causes redness and blistering when the leaves are applied to the skin. (Plants of the Pacific NW Coast)

Widespread recreational salmon fishing ban issued on B.C.'s North Coast
Low numbers of returning salmon has forced the complete shutdown of recreational salmon fishing in the Skeena River watershed on B.C.'s North Coast. A ban has also been placed on recreational chinook fishing in the Nass River watershed. In addition, chinook fishing has been limited to catch-and-release only across the entire North Coast area. Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued the advisory on its website Tuesday, saying the bans were effective immediately. (CBC)

Voluntary no-go area on San Juan Island stirs conflict over orcas
Fishermen in the San Juan Islands are being asked to make sacrifices this summer to help Puget Sound’s fish-eating killer whales. Whether the voluntary actions will make much difference is open to speculation.... The idea of protecting the whales by reducing fishing seasons was considered all during negotiations between state and tribal salmon managers this spring in a discussion known as the North of Falcon process. Fishing seasons were reduced, in part to protect low numbers of chinook salmon returning to Hood Canal and critical streams in northern Puget Sound..... It isn’t clear how much the quarter-mile closure zone will help the orcas, even if every boater complies with the voluntary measure. The goal is to offer the whales more fish to eat and to reduce the noise and interference of boats, which can affect their ability to hunt for salmon. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Burnaby files pipeline appeal to Supreme Court of Canada
The City of Burnaby has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the construction of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project after lower courts and the National Energy Board rejected its challenge. The city is appealing a ruling which said Kinder Morgan is not required to comply with two sections of Burnaby's bylaws on land and tree clearances as it expands the pipeline, which will triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving between the Edmonton-area and port facilities in Burnaby. (CBC) See also: Paddling protesters arrested after attaching themselves to pipeline terminal's floating fence  (CBC) And also: NestlĂ© and Kinder Morgan come to agreement over Trans Mountain pipeline route  Chantelle Bellrichard reports. (CBC) And also: Vancouver mayor says Kinder Morgan pipeline won't get built 'based on the resistance on the ground'  Natalie Obiko Pearson reports.(Bloomberg)

Activists claim victory as Trudeau's oil tanker ban passes Commons
As environmentalists bemoan the Liberal government's promise to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, Ottawa handed them a victory of sorts last night with the passage of a tanker moratorium bill that will prohibit tankers carrying crude oil from loading or unloading at ports in northern British Columbia. Bill C-48, which passed the House of Commons along party lines and is now headed to the Senate for its second legislative phase, was introduced after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet vetoed Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline — a project that would have carried crude from Alberta through northern B.C. to a tanker terminal in Kitimat for export to Asia. At the time, Trudeau said it would be a mistake to move crude through the pristine Great Bear rainforest, describing the region as the "jewel" of B.C. The legislation — which would ban tankers capable of carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of oil from an area that stretches from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border — has been both celebrated and pilloried by local Indigenous peoples. John Paul Tasker reports. (CBC)

Are fires and floods the new normal for B.C.?
nsurance payouts for water damage attributed to extreme weather have been on the rise across the country since the 1980s, with flooding recently passing wildfires as the main driver of damage. “We often talk about the future threat that climate change brings, but we should really be talking about the new weather reality that we face today,” said Aaron Sutherland, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Pacific Region. Payouts due to natural disasters have risen from just a few hundred million dollars a year to at or above $1 billion a year nationally every year since 2009, as floods increasingly wreak havoc. “We are seeing more incidence of flood and more incidence of severe weather as a result of climate change,” he said. ‘The new normal is changing all the time.” Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Lolita the orca was taken from Puget Sound. The Lummi want her back
At Penn Cove, on the north end of Whidbey Island, gulls and other birds fly overhead, and a muddy beach leads down to the water. It’s quiet today, but, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was the place whale catchers came to capture orcas. They threw noisemakers into the water to drive pods of orcas into the narrow cove, then blocked the way out and pulled the baby whales out of the water.Nearly 50 orcas from the Salish Sea's population were captured this way. Today, only one of those whales is still alive. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW/EarthFix)

Orcas make rare appearance near Astoria Bridge
.... Fishermen occasionally see orcas in the Columbia River plume, a rich feeding ground where the river’s outflow meets the ocean, and in recent years, orcas were spotted foraging near the mouth of Washington state’s Willapa Bay. In April, three to four orcas were captured on video coming into Tillamook Bay while others lingered around an entrance buoy. But this is first time researchers can recall transient killer whales being spotted and identified in the Columbia River estuary, so near the bridge. Katie Frankowicz reports. (Associated Press)

If you like to watch: Puget Sound Plunge
On May 8, groups celebrated the new designation of Puget Sound and its associated waters as a No Discharge Zone. This means that raw sewage discharge is prohibited from all boats. Friends of the Earth, futurewise, Puget Soundkeeper, Sierra Club and Washington Environmental Council dove in.

Washington state regulators tell utilities to tally social costs of carbon emissions
State regulators this week stepped up their activism on the climate front by telling three utilities to reconsider the carbon-emission costs of producing electricity from coal and other fossil fuels. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission directives were sent to Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corp and Pacific Power, which collectively serve more than 1.47 million state customers from a mix of coal, natural gas and renewable power. The commission asks the utilities to assign a hefty cost to carbon emissions, a pollution source that scientists say is driving climate change. This would be for planning purposes, and not used to try to justify higher rates. But such an accounting would bolster the financial case for the three utilities to hasten their planned exit from the Colstrip Generating Plant, a major Montana coal plant in which each as an ownership stake. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  233 AM PDT Thu May 10 2018   
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. Showers in the  morning then showers likely in the afternoon. 
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 13 seconds. A slight chance  of showers in the evening.

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