Tuesday, May 8, 2018

5/8 Velella velella, GiveBig, fish farms, BC pipe, gas emissions, fossil fuel $s, fish kill, Pruitt's EPA, orcas

Velella Velella [PHOTO: Pet McMahon]
Velella Velella
Pat McMahon writes: "It is that time of year again when large numbers of Velella Velella (By the Wind Sailor) wash ashore to briefly turn the beach a beautiful blue until they quickly dry up and turn white. Velella are hydrozoans who live at the surface of the ocean with the sail part of their body above the water. The sail seems to help them distribute in the open ocean but they are only able to sail down wind. On the Washington Coast you see mostly the left hand sail orientation as seen on the left side of the picture. If you look long enough you may find a right handed Velella as seen in the picture to the right."

Give Big
Wednesday, May 9 is GIVEBIG, a one-day online giving campaign to raise funds for local nonprofits. Join us and GIVEBIG for all!

Salmon study findings spur calls for fish-farm regulation in British Columbia
B.C Agriculture Minister Lana Popham is calling on Ottawa to step up its regulation of aquaculture on the West Coast after a scientific study raised new concerns about the presence of a virus in farmed Pacific salmon. “Obviously, we have huge concerns,” Ms. Popham said on Monday after the release of a scientific paper from the Pacific Salmon Foundation that found “strong evidence” that a virus in farmed Atlantic salmon from B.C. − piscine reovirus (PRV) − is responsible for related diseases in farmed Chinook salmon. If confirmed, it means wild Pacific salmon are at greater risk of infection, the researchers say. “DFO needs to do some work,” Ms. Popham said in an interview. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Demonstrators arrested after disrupting Seattle traffic in protest of Trans Mountain pipeline
Police arrested about a dozen demonstrators who were protesting tar-sands development and the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada on Monday, after they occupied the lobby of the Russell Financial Center and shut down traffic at Second Avenue and Pine Street with four teepees erected in the middle of the road. Chase Bank in particular was targeted for its investment in the Trans Mountain Pipeline.... Police diverted traffic around the area. Interim Police Chief Carmen Best was present, and protesters were eventually told to disperse or face arrest. About a dozen remained in the street, and they were peacefully placed in restraints and loaded onto a police van. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. Indigenous leaders to speak at Kinder Morgan AGM in Houston
Two B.C. Indigenous leaders have announced an "emergency" trip to Houston to "warn" investors at Kinder Morgan's Annual General Meeting about proceeding with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band near Chase, B.C., and Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nations Sacred Trust Initiative say they will present an overview of Indigenous opposition to the project.... The main argument Wilson and George will present is that Aboriginal people hold the underlying title to land that the pipeline expansion will be crossing — so it is their approval that is needed, not the federal or provincial governments'. "It's got to be pointed out that the opposition is backed by the recognition of our Aboriginal and title rights by the Canadian constitution and the over 150 court decision that were won by First Nations," said Wilson. Wilson and George have been given a proxy by the Comptroller of the State of New York, which will allow them to speak at the Wednesday meeting. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

B.C. sets new targets to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2040
British Columbia’s government is counting on businesses, communities and residents to help fight climate change over the coming decades, the province’s environment minister said Monday. George Heyman has introduced legislation that includes new targets for dramatic cuts to carbon pollution, aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years. By 2040, the province wants emission levels to be slashed by 60 per cent, Heyman said. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press)
Government Revenue from Fossil Fuels in Sharp Decline
A comprehensive report on Canada’s energy sector says the nation’s remaining fossil fuels “are being sold off in an environment of low prices with minimal and declining returns to governments.” More than 30 years ago many Canadian governments earned substantial income from oil and gas production primarily through royalties or taxes, but that is no longer the case, says the report. Royalty revenue from hydrocarbon production has plummeted 63 per cent since 2000, and corporate taxes earned by government on drilling and refining activity have declined more than 50 per cent. Andrew Nikiforuk reports. (The Tyee)

'Total devastation': Dozens of fish killed in North, West Vancouver streams
Dead cutthroat trout, about 76 in total, littering the banks and stream bed of West Vancouver's Larson Creek last week provided a grim reminder of how fragile the ecosystems near our towns and cities can be. "It sounds melodramatic, but for us it's total devastation; I have no idea if there are any fish left in this creek," said John Barker, the president of the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society. On Monday, Barker inspected the little pool that was created to give fish a habitat in the creek, adjacent to Gleneagles golf course, but he couldn't find any trace of the fish that were there a week earlier.... The deaths are being blamed on construction work across the street, where crews are doing a ground stabilization project. The Ministry of Transportation provided CBC News with a written statement, saying "the incident which occurred at Larson Creek as a result of construction was unexpected and unacceptable, and the ministry is working with the contractor to ensure this type of incident won't happen again." Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

E.P.A. Emails Show an Effort to Shield Pruitt From Public Scrutiny
It was supposed to be a town hall meeting where Iowa ranchers could ask questions directly of Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. But when the agency learned that anyone would be free to ask something, they decided to script the questions themselves. “My sincere apologies,” an E.P.A. official wrote to the rancher who would be moderating the event. “We cannot do open q&a from the crowd.” She then proposed several simple questions for him to ask Mr. Pruitt, including: “What has it been like to work with President Trump?” Details about the December event, and dozens of other official appearances from Mr. Pruitt’s scandal-plagued first year at the E.P.A., have until now been hidden from public view as a result of an extraordinary effort by Mr. Pruitt and his staff to maintain strict secrecy about the bulk of his daily schedule. But a new cache of emails covering most of Mr. Pruitt’s first year at the E.P.A. offer a detailed look inside the agency’s aggressive efforts to conceal his activities as a public servant. The more than 10,000 documents, made public as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Sierra Club, show that the agency’s close control of Mr. Pruitt’s events is driven more by a desire to avoid tough questions from the public than by concerns about security, contradicting Mr. Pruitt’s longstanding defense of his secretiveness. Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman report. (NY Times)

Help the whales, help the humans
Jackie Hildering is passionate about whales, and she wants to educate everyone on the importance of protecting the killer whales for both their sake and humanity’s. Hildering, co-founder of Marine Education and Research Society, presented for SeaDoc Society and Camp Orkila’s Marine Lecture Series talk on April 19. “I think right from the start you should be questioning what my expertise is,” Hildering said. “I’m an escaped biology teacher from the Netherlands.” Hailing from Port McNeill, British Columbia, Hildering explained that she was born and raised in Canada but had moved to be a teacher and school administrator in the Netherlands for more than a decade. On a visit home to Canada, her friends took her on a whale watching tour and changed her life forever. Mandi Johnson reports. (Islands Weekly)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  302 AM PDT Tue May 8 2018   
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. A slight  chance of rain in the afternoon. 
 W wind to 10 kt becoming SW after midnight. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 10 seconds. Rain.

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