Monday, October 1, 2018

10/1 Coon-stripe shrimp, Growlers, green crab, BC LNG, 1631, oil by rail, orcas, plastics, Stopps award, MPAs, sea cucumbers

Coon-stripe shrimp [Jennifer Walker]
Coon-stripe Shrimp Pandalus danae
Coon-stripe Shrimp, also known as Dock Shrimp, are often seen on pilings and docks. It also inhabits rocky and sandy ocean floors to a depth of approximately 200 m or more. Adults tend to stay in the subtotal, while juveniles may be found in shallower areas. Its range extends from northern Alaska to northern Mexico. Coon-stripe shrimp are harvested by recreation and commercial fisheries. (Biodiversity of the Central Coast)

Navy's final EIS sticks with preferred alternative for Growlers
The Navy on Friday released its final environmental impact statement for increasing the number of Growler jets stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the number of practice flights to be taken at area airfields. The final environmental impact statement, or EIS, does not change the Navy’s previously announced plans, or what it has called its preferred alternative, for increasing the presence of EA-18G Growlers. The Navy’s plan is to add 36 Growlers to its Whidbey Island base and increase operations of those jets at Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville. Operations include field carrier landing practices, which the Navy says are needed to ensure pilots are prepared to land the aircraft on aircraft carriers at sea. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

‘Highly Aggressive’ Green Crabs From Canada Menace Maine’s Coast
In the “Crab Lab,” the limits of feisty green crabs from Maine are put to the test. Markus Frederich and his students at the University of New England in Maine placed about a dozen crabs in a bucket, pumped in nitrogen to deprive them of oxygen for 45 minutes and then put them on an underwater treadmill. Some crabs ran for as long as five minutes and still survived. “That is pretty wild,” Professor Frederich said. “Students were in awe.” Melissa Gomez reports. (NY Times)

2 of 5 investors grant final approval for $40B LNG Canada project
Two of the five primary investors in a proposed liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C. granted their final approval Friday for the development, bringing Canada's first major LNG project one step closer to becoming a reality. PetroChina and Kogas, of South Korea, have both announced their readiness to move forward with the $40-billion investment led by the joint venture LNG Canada. On Sunday, a report from Bloomberg said all five investors had approved the final investment decision according to unnamed sources, but LNG Canada said in a tweet it had not received a final investment decision. (CBC)

Shell, BP go separate ways as Washington voters consider fee on greenhouse-gas polluters
In speeches, reports and online posts, BP and Royal Dutch Shell leaders proclaim support for government rules that put a price on greenhouse-gas pollution resulting from the combustion of oil, natural gas and coal. But as Washington voters head toward a November vote on an initiative to impose a carbon fee on fossil fuels, the two oil giants have gone their separate ways. Shell, which operates the state’s second largest refinery, in Anacortes, has opted to sit on the sidelines of what has emerged as one of the most expensive initiative battles in Washington history. If approved, Initiative 1631 could serve as a model for other states.... For BP, this initiative is cause for alarm. The company has shoveled more than $6.3 million into the opposition campaign that so far has collected more than $20 million to denounce I-1631 as an unfair burden to consumers and small-business owners. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

More than 200,000 barrels of oil are now carried by rail each day, up from less than 30,000 in 2012
With many new pipeline projects stalled and existing ones running at capacity, oilpatch producers are turning increasingly to rail to transport their product — resulting in an eight-fold spike in the volume of oil travelling on Canada's railways since 2012. Proponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project first pitched the expansion in April 2012, touting the new capacity as a way to get much more Alberta crude to global markets abroad at better prices. Six years on, the project is facing new challenges after a bombshell Federal Court of Appeal decision quashed cabinet approval. Some Indigenous communities and environmental groups have welcomed the legal troubles besetting Trans Mountain — not to mention persistent delays to the Keystone XL and Line 3 projects, and the death of the Energy East and Northern Gateway projects. John Paul Tasker reports. (CBC)

Despite attention, orca population continues to shrink
Despite research, regulations and rallies calling for the protection and recovery of endangered Southern Resident orcas, the whale population that frequents the Salish Sea is at its lowest number since 1984. Thirty-four years ago, after the capture in the 1970s of dozens of the whales to be used for entertainment purposes, 74 Southern Resident orcas remained in the wild. Now, following the death of a calf in August and the suspected death this month of another orca, the population has again fallen to 74. Reaching that low comes 13 years after the whales received Endangered Species Act protection, seven years after rules limited how close boats can get, and three years after what was described as a “baby boom” among the iconic black and white mammals that are also known as killer whales or blackfish. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

B.C. recycled 1 billion drink containers last year — and it wants more
British Columbia kept one billion drink containers out of its landfills last year, and the non-profit organization in charge of recycling them is thirsty for more. Encorp, the organization that leads the B.C. beverage recycling program, is planning to boost the province's 75 per cent return rate by introducing a more convenient way for people to drop off their empty containers. (CBC)

Local groups test EPA program
Bent, broken, twisted and discolored items collected from the beach at Crandall Spit were laid out on a table Tuesday at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Items that could have come from a summer picnic — plastic water bottles, glass beer bottles, a Doritos bag, granola bar wrapper and the plastic handle of a kitchen knife — were among dozens of items and fragments of items recovered from the beach Monday. The items were sorted to help test a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency method for identifying trash recovered from places it doesn’t belong. Seven members of local environment groups and volunteer programs meticulously separated the items based on whether they were paper, plastic, metal or glass, whether they were whole or fragments, different sizes of fragments, or fit into specific categories such as construction debris. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Kailin, Doyle honored with Eleanor Stopps environmental award
Dr. Eloise Kailin of Blyn and Sara Doyle of Port Townsend have been awarded the 2018 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Kailin — longtime activist, president of Protect the Peninsula’s Future and co-founder of the Sequim-based Olympic Environmental Council — and Doyle, stewardship coordinator for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, were recognized for their environmental efforts at the Friday breakfast. The award is given in the name of Stopps, an active member of the Pacific Northwest conservation community. She founded the Admiralty Audubon Chapter and was the major force behind establishment of Protection island National Wildlife Refuge in 1982. She died in 2012 at the age of 92. Jeannie McMacken reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Fragmented Protections Fail Top Predators
Marine protected areas (MPAs), regions of the sea closed to harmful human activities, are effective in safeguarding coral ecosystems, which are often heavily used by coastal communities. But as new research shows, when MPAs are next to areas of high human activity, some of the benefits are lost—even in areas where fishers and others follow all the rules. The vast majority of MPAs are coastal, and coastal MPAs are often smaller and more fragmented than those far out at sea. The median area of coastal MPAs is less than 10 square kilometers, while large offshore MPAs, such as the Marae Moana ocean sanctuary around the Cook Islands, cover nearly two million square kilometers. These small pockets of protection do help the coastal ecosystem, yet a team of researchers led by Nicholas Graham, a marine ecologist at Lancaster University in England, found that around areas of high human activity, MPAs do virtually nothing to protect top predators. Natalie Slivinski reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Washington man gets prison for overharvesting sea cucumbers, must pay $1.5M
The owner of a Washington seafood company has been sentenced to two years in prison for overharvesting sea cucumbers and must pay $1.5 million in restitution — the second large bust of illegal sea-cucumber trade in the U.S. West in just over a year. Hoon Namkoong, 62, was also sentenced Friday to three years of post-prison supervision. He pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Seattle to underreporting the number of sea cucumbers he bought from tribal and nontribal fisheries in the Puget Sound by nearly 250,000 pounds between 2014 and 2016. His company, Orient Seafood Production, then sold them to seafood buyers in Asia and the U.S. The illegal harvest amounted to nearly 20 percent of the total allowed harvest of the sea creatures statewide, said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes, and did serious damage to the Puget Sound. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  243 AM PDT Mon Oct 1 2018  

TODAY  SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt early. Wind  waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less early. W swell 4 ft at  9 seconds. Showers likely. 

 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds. Showers likely.

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