Tuesday, May 29, 2018

5/29 Cockscomb, $4.5B BC pipe, Scotch broom, spill claim, Lolita, whale watch, imidacloprid, red snow, bunny boom

Hich Cockscomb [Ron Wolf/Flickr]
High Cockscomb Anoplarchus purpurescens
The High Cockscomb is found in the Eastern Pacific: Pribilof Islands, Alaska to Santa Rosa Island and Trinidad Bay, southern California. Usually found in intertidal areas under rocks. May remain out of water under rocks or seaweed. Green algae is an important food item but may also feed on polychaete worms, crustaceans and mollusks. Breathes air and can remain out of water for 15-25 hours if kept moist. Spawning individuals are territorial. The female guards the egg mass deposited between rocks and shells by bending her body over the eggs. She fans the eggs by moving the posterior part of her body). (FishBase)


Liberal government to buy Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5B
The Liberal government will buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and infrastructure related to the expansion project for $4.5 billion. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is announcing details of the agreement reached with Kinder Morgan at a news conference with Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, and CBCNews.ca is carrying it live now. "Make no mistake, this is an investment in Canada's future," Morneau said. He said the government does not intend to be a long-term owner. Kinder Morgan will also hold a teleconference this morning. CBC News reported Monday that Morneau has reached an agreement in principle with Kinder Morgan, the company behind the project. (CBC)

Canada's oil feud could spill down to Washington state
Two Canadian provinces’ feud over an oil pipeline could boost gasoline prices and oil tanker traffic here in Washington state. British Columbia has been fighting a pipeline project that would triple the amount of tar sands oil piped from Alberta to the Canadian coast near Vancouver. The pipeline expansion, scheduled to be completed by 2021, could also lead to a quintupling of oil-tanker traffic through British Columbia and Washington state waters. The dispute over Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has led Alberta to issue a threat to British Columbia. It was no small threat: Those taps on the Trans Mountain pipeline control most of British Columbia’s oil. They also control the flow of between one-tenth and one-third of the crude oil processed by Washington state’s five refineries on the shores of Puget Sound. Disruption of the Albertan supply could boost gas prices on both sides of the border.John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Crews cleaning up oil spill at Kinder Morgan station north of Kamloops, B.C.
Crews using an emergency response trailer and vacuum trucks are working to clean up a crude oil spill at a Kinder Morgan station north of Kamloops, B.C. The provincial Ministry of Environment said a flow meter has leaked about 100 litres of crude oil into the ground at the Darfield station. It said no waterways have been affected, and the spill has been contained within station property. (Canadian Press)

Pro-pipeline expansion rallies held in five B.C. cities Saturday
Rallies were held Saturday in five B.C. cities to support the Trans Mountain pipeline project, as the deadline looms this week for Kinder Morgan to decide whether to build its $7.4-billion pipeline expansion. A group consisting of workers from the resource and business sectors called Suits and Boots held demonstrations in Langley, Kitimat, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson and Smithers. Speakers at the Langley event, which drew a crowd of around 150 people, included Liberal MLA Laurie Throness and Cheam First Nations Chief Ernie Crey, an outspoken advocate for the project. The rallies were held to bolster support for Kinder Morgan ahead of the Texas-based company’s May 31 deadline to receive certainty that the project can be built despite strong opposition in B.C. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Indigenous chiefs, activists rally against Kinder Morgan pipeline in Montreal Three prominent Quebec-area Indigenous chiefs are denouncing Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. (CBC)

Battling Scotch broom along Olympic's Hoh River that threatens fish, forests
....Brought to the United States from the British Isles and central Europe as an ornamental and for erosion control, Scotch broom is a nuisance familiar to anyone in Western Washington, where it chokes pastures, roadsides, fencelines and any bare ground it can get ahold of. Here along the Hoh River and in other Olympic Peninsula salmon strongholds, it is threatening prime salmon habitat. The plant establishes a monoculture that grows 15 feet in height, and each plant every year can pump out 12,000 seeds viable for up to 90 years. Wiley and tough as wire, Scotch broom quickly occupies new areas, out-competing other plants and preventing normal growth of native species. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Vancouver files claim against owners of vessel that leaked fuel in 2015
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the city has filed a claim in federal court against the owner of a vessel that spilled fuel off the city's coast in 2015. Robertson says three years after the MV Marathassa spilled 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into English Bay, the city still hasn't been paid back for about $550,000 it spent on response efforts. The claim, filed last month and announced today, is the latest step in the city's efforts to get compensation for its role in the response.(Canadian Press) See also: Pollution fund mum on why city was offered just 30% of spill cleanup tally  Denise Ryan reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. marine mammal expert says moving killer whale from Miami a death sentence
A B.C. marine mammal expert is throwing cold water on an idea to repatriate a southern resident killer whale to the waters off the West Coast, where it was was born. "I think this could be a very cruel and inhumane thing to do," said Andrew Trites, who is the director of the University of B.C.'s Marine Mammal Research Unit. "Lolita is not a young whale.".... On Saturday, members of Washington state's Lummi Nation, completed a journey to Miami with an 1,800 kilogram totem pole to display at the aquarium. It's part of an $8.5-million US effort to bring the whale back to the Salish Sea. Jewell James, a Lummi Nation carver says it's time Seaquarium gave up the animal, which he said has been forced for 48 years to perform twice a day. James describes the whale's tank as a prison cell. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

'It's the wild west out here': Gulf Islanders raise alarm over whale-watching fleet sizes
Some residents of the southern Gulf Islands are worried too many whale watching boats are chasing too few killer whales—stressing the already at-risk species....  Residents report they've seen fleets of up to 25 vessels chasing orca pods during the busy summer months when whale watching is at its peak. They say the problem is compounded because there are no regulations to govern the number of whale-watching boats permitted to track killer whales.Eric Rankin reports. (CBC) See also: Whale watchers update guidelines; Canada to restrict salmon fishing  Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Ghosts under the oyster bed: why the Washington Department of Ecology rejected a new pesticide for oyster farms
On April 9, 2018, the Washington State Department of Ecology (DoE) responded to a request from the Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) to approve the use of the pesticide imidacloprid to control burrowing ghost shrimp in oyster beds. Specifically, the WGHOGA had applied for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, a key component of the national Clean Water Act which allows for the discharge of chemicals and wastewater into the environment. The DoE’s tentative decision to reject the permit application raises some questions about water quality standards, agricultural practices, and the future of shellfish farming in Washington, especially for members of the public who may not have been following the three-year process from permit application to the DoE’s rejection letter. Danielle Edelman reports. (School of Marine Affairs Currents)

WWU researcher continues watermelon snow project
Mount Baker and the surrounding North Cascades are known for their white-capped peaks and blue-toned glaciers, but there’s a lesser-known hue also found in the high-elevation snow. Algae can cast a light pink tint across large swaths of snow or form pinkish-red pockets and pools as the snow melts, making for a colorful display called watermelon snow. A research project inspired by watermelon snow on Glacier Peak in the North Cascades southeast of Darrington is now in its sixth year, and in that time it has grown substantially. Western Washington University biology professor Robin Kodner, who is leading “The Living Snow Project,” shared updates about the research Wednesday as part of the university’s annual “Science and the UniverCity” lecture series that is free and open to the public. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Richmond rabbit shelter at max capacity as problem bunnies run amok
A Richmond rabbit shelter that's trying to contain the city's swelling feral rabbit problem says its kennels are full. For years, feral bunnies have been munching on lawns, gardens, and farms in Richmond — much to the chagrin of local businesses and residents. According to the city, the bulk of the rabbits are descendants from rabbits that were released into the wild by owners or got loose from farms or homes — and have multiplied rapidly. Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

Lack of Indigenous voices at Columbia River Treaty talks 'total slap in the face'
The leader of a B.C. First Nation says it's a "total slap in the face" that Indigenous peoples will not be at the table when Canada and the United States renegotiate the Columbia River Treaty. Chief Wayne Christian called it "quite disturbing" that the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and two other B.C. Nations won't be involved in next week's discussions. "With the prime minister's words of 'nation to nation' in the era of reconciliation and him talking to the world and the United Nations and the implementation of [the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] and all of those things, he's basically been lying to the world," Christian told Daybreak South host Chris Walker. (CBC)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  218 AM PDT Tue May 29 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT   

TODAY  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming NW 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft building to 2 to 4 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 7 ft at 10 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft at 8 seconds. A  slight chance of showers after midnight.


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