Wednesday, October 3, 2018

10/3 Sapsucker, saving whales, BC pipe, xylene permit, BC LNG, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Fraser sturgeon

Red-breasted Sapsucker [Brian E. Small]
Red-breasted Sapsucker Sphyrapicus ruber
The Red-breasted Sapsucker is a denizen of the coniferous forests of the northern Pacific Coast, usually found at middle or lower elevations. Hummingbirds of several species make use of sapsucker feeding holes and come to rely on them. The Rufous Hummingbird is closely associated with the Red-breasted Sapsucker. It nests near sap wells and may follow the woodpecker around during the day, feeding at the wells the sapsucker keeps flowing. The oldest recorded Red-breasted Sapsucker was at least 5 years old when it was found after being hit by a car. It lived in British Columbia. (All About Birds)

Is Ottawa's save-the-whales strategy 'too little, too late'?
Canada's environmental watchdog says the federal government waited to take specific action to protect some of its most at-risk whales until the majestic creatures were already in great peril. In her latest round of audits released today., Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand said Canada had the tools to safeguard North Atlantic right whales, Southern resident killer whales and other marine mammals from being hit by ships, tangled in fishing gear or losing their food sources — but it waited until after 12 right whales died in a single summer and the killer whale population was on the verge of extinction.... Her office also looked at how well Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are controlling the risk of toxic substances and found there is still a long way to go. Gelfand said she was pleased to see the government finally following its own directive to do strategic environmental assessments of all policies, plans and programs considered by cabinet, including the potential economic, social and environmental impacts. Mia Rabson reports. (Canadian Press)

Feds restarting Indigenous talks over pipeline, won't appeal Trans Mountain court decision
The federal government will not appeal the court decision that tore up cabinet approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appointing former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities. Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the government does not intend to start the phase-three Indigenous consultations from the beginning, but will use them to address the weaknesses that led to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August. The court found that while the government did spend several months in 2016 meeting with Indigenous communities concerned about the pipeline, those consultations were largely note-taking exercises and the government did not do anything to address the concerns that were raised. (Canadian Press)


State board denies appeal of Andeavor Anacortes refinery permit
The state Shoreline Hearings Board dismissed an appeal this week of a permit and environmental analysis for an Andeavor Anacortes Refinery project. The refinery’s Clean Products Upgrade Project has been contentious due to environmental concerns. The appeal, brought by a coalition of environmental groups, pertained to a shoreline development permit issued by Skagit County and the thoroughness of an Environmental Impact Statement that assesses the project. The project will include upgrading and building new equipment to reduce sulfur in fuels, reduce emissions from the refinery and enable the extraction of xylene during the refining process for shipment to Asia. The refinery plans to produce 15,000 barrels of xylene per day, which would increase vessel traffic by 60 trips per year. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
B.C.'s greenhouse gas commitments in question with LNG Canada project approval
Residents in this coastal town shrugged off on Tuesday environmental concerns over LNG Canada’s official decision to proceed with a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the outskirts of town. Environmental groups claim that absent of a big shift in policy, the project could cause B.C. to miss its legislated targets for greenhouse gas emissions. But the province claims it is building a plan that could – with a little more work – cover the environmental impact of the mega–project. LNG Canada estimates construction on the project will take five years, after which the company could provide natural gas “to countries where imported gas could displace more carbon intensive energy sources and help address global climate change and air pollution.” Matt Robinson & Rob Shaw report. (Vancouver Sun)

New film celebrates the history of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and I was pleased to see that producer/director Shane Anderson and Pacific Rivers are allowing the documentary “Run Wild Run Free” to be shown online for three days before the film goes back into limited showings. The documentary is filled with historical clips and still images of free-flowing rivers kept free by law as well as some rivers that became blocked by dams. The production captures a sense of the politics surrounding the struggle to get the law passed and then to designate specific rivers as wild and scenic. What seemed like monumental struggles at the time now seems like child’s play in today’s world of uncompromising conflict. “Run Wild Run Free” is scheduled to be shown online through Thursday."

Giant stranded sturgeon rescued on the Fraser River
A 2.5 metre, 135 kilogram sturgeon that became stranded in shallow water off the Fraser River near Agassiz has been given a new lease on life after RCMP First Nations Police (FNP) organized a rescue mission. FNP, government biologists and volunteers from the Lower Fraser River Guardians wrestled the giant fish into a sling before loading it into a shallow tank in the back of a pickup truck. They then drove the precious cargo to the main part of the river and performed the operation in reverse to release it.  Biologists estimate the sturgeon to be approximately 75 years old based on its weight and length. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  238 AM PDT Wed Oct 3 2018   

TODAY  E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 9 seconds. 

TONIGHT  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming light. Wind waves 2 ft or  less. W swell 5 ft at 14 seconds.


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