Friday, October 19, 2018

10/19 Pine bunting, breaching dams, Sally Jewell, Port Alberni LNG, Hamilton town

Pine bunting [Maury Swoveland/BC Rare Bird Alert]
'A really, really significant sighting': Vancouver Island birdwatchers aflutter over unusual arrival
The B.C. birding community — in fact, the North American birding community — is aflutter over a sighting so rare it's sending birders flocking to Vancouver Island.  As birder and Rocky Point Bird Observatory volunteer Ann Nightingale puts it: "On a scale of 1 to 10, this is like a 100." The cause of all the excitement is the rare sighting of a pine bunting. The bird, which is native to temperate regions across Asia, was spotted in Uplands Park in Oak Bay in the Greater Victoria area. It's thought to be the first sighting in B.C. It also marks the first time the bird has been spotted south of Alaska, Nightingale said.  Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Breaching dams to save Northwest orcas is contentious issue
Calls to breach four hydroelectric dams in Washington state have grown louder in recent months as the plight of critically endangered Northwest orcas has captured global attention. Some argue the best way to get more salmon to the starving whales is to tear down four dams on the Lower Snake River, a tributary of the Columbia River, to help migrating fish. But federal agencies and others have pushed back, saying the dams provide benefits to the region in low-cost hydropower, navigation and recreation. Breaching the dams has long been contentious, but it’s gained renewed attention as the orcas have hit the lowest numbers in more than three decades. The whales struggle from pollution, boat noise and lack of chinook salmon, which have been declining because of dams, habitat loss and overfishing. Just 74 animals remain in the small group. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will guide UW's new climate initiative
Sally Jewell, the Obama-era interior secretary and former CEO of REI, is throwing her weight behind a new University of Washington institute that aims to tackle climate change by having faculty scientists plan for a warming world. Jewell served for nearly 12 years on the UW’s governing board of regents, so she knows a thing or two about how academics often fail to serve up practical solutions for real-world problems — even though they have the know-how. Providing that know-how is the goal of the new institute, called EarthLab. Katherine Long reports. (Seattle Times)

Port Alberni LNG plan submitted to provincial environmental office
The Kwispaa LNG project proposed for Port Alberni took a step forward Wednesday as its proponents submitted a project description to the provincial environmental assessment office. The filing will allow the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and its provincial equivalent to determine whether an environmental assessment is required and to provide information to any parties who may be affected by the project.  The Kwispaa LNG export facility, a joint project between Steelhead and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, is to feature floating production and storage units and is proposed to be built at Sarita Bay off land owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. The final investment decision for the project is scheduled for 2020 and, if it clears all regulatory hurdles, the 24-million-tonne capacity facility is expected to be operational in 2024. (Times Colonist)

Community reacts to plan to extend Hamilton onto drier ground
Town officials and the nonprofit Forterra are bringing the community of Hamilton into discussions about building a new portion of the town outside the Skagit River floodplain. A crowd of about 35 — mostly town residents — packed a meeting room Wednesday at Town Hall to ask questions and share opinions. The town and Forterra, which invests in environmentally conscious land-use projects in Washington, have partnered to determine how the town’s urban growth area could be transformed into an extension of the town where residents who are tired of being affected by floods could relocate. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  252 AM PDT Fri Oct 19 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds. Areas of fog in  the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 12 seconds. Areas of fog after midnight. 

SAT  SW wind to 10 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 11 seconds. Areas of fog in the  morning. 

SAT NIGHT  Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 11 seconds. 

SUN  Light wind becoming E to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds.


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