Monday, December 17, 2018

12/17 Sculpin, BC fish farms, Zinke out, climate changes, Kalama methanol, oil investors, Elwha beaver

Tide pool sculpin [Stuart Halewood/Wikimedia]
Tide pool Sculpin Oligocottus maculosus
Pugnacious. Found in almost every tide pool. Tolerant of great changes in temperature, salinity and oxygen content; can even climb partly out of water for an extended period of time. Catches tiny crustaceans and darts after pieces of larger animals that fall into tide pool or shallows. Alaska to southern California. (Marine Life of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

17 fish farms could all be phased out under new agreement between B.C. government, First Nations
Seventeen open-pen fish farms in B.C.'s Broughton Archipelago could all be phased out by 2023 under a new agreement between First Nations and the provincial government, the premier announced Friday. However, under the terms of the agreement, seven of the sites could be spared. The plan includes room for aquaculture companies to come to agreements with First Nations to continue operations beyond 2023 at those seven sites, according to the province.. The decision is part of a set of recommendations reached through a government-to-government consultation between the province and the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, 'Namgis and Mamalilikulla First Nations. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC) See also: Broughton-area First Nations reach deal with B.C. on fish farms  Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Interior Secretary Zinke resigns amid investigations
Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted his resignation to the White House on Saturday, facing intense pressure from the White House amid multiple probes tied to his real estate dealings in Montana and conduct while in office. President Donald Trump announced Zinke’s exit via twitter Saturday morning, and offered praise for the embattled Interior chief. Darryl Fears, Juliet Eilperin and Josh Dawsey report. (Washington Post) See also: Zinke’s Likely Successor Is a Former Oil Lobbyist Who Has Influenced Trump’s Energy Policy  With Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke departing at the end of the year, the agency will likely be run, at least for a time, by its deputy secretary, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist who has played a central role in enacting President Trump’s agenda of rolling back conservation measures and opening up public lands to drilling and mining. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Warm, dry summers taking toll on area trees, plants
Throughout some of Skagit County's traditionally lush, green forests, some trees and leaves are turning brown — a sign of plants starved for water and in distress. Foresters, forest advocates and public lands managers are seeing this in areas from Anacortes to Mount Vernon after several summers that were hotter and drier than normal. Western red cedars, sword ferns and salal are some of the species that have dried out during the past several summers, in some cases making them more vulnerable to disease. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Climate Negotiators Reach an Overtime Deal to Keep Paris Pact Alive  Brad Pumer reports. (NYT Times)

About 600 attend hearing on proposed Kalama methanol plan, and most were opposed
A proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama took heavy criticism Thursday night from an audience of about 600 people, many from outside Cowlitz County. Wearing anti-methanol red shirts, opponents packed the Cowlitz Expo Center for a four-hour public hearing held by the Port of Kalama on the plant’s potential impact on global climate change. The hearing had to be extended an hour, to 10 p.m., because of the size of the audience and demands to speak. Of the 498 people who signed up for a lottery for a chance to testify, 352 of them, or 71 percent, were from outside Cowlitz County. Attendees from Portland alone (109) nearly doubled the number of people from Longview (54) or Kalama (58). Rose Lundy and Katie Fairbanks report. (Longview Daily News) See also: Would a $2 billion gas-to-methanol plant in Washington state help combat climate change?   Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about
Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet. But, while cement - the key ingredient in concrete - has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint. Cement is the source of about 8% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world - behind China and the US. It contributes more CO2 than aviation fuel (2.5%) and is not far behind the global agriculture business (12%).  Lucy Rodgers reports. (BBC)

Oilpatch stays home from B.C. conference after Whistler mayor calls for climate-change compensation
Oilpatch pushback to a letter written by the mayor of Whistler, B.C., has led to the cancellation​ of the energy-related portion of a high-profile investment conference held in the mountain community. In a recent letter, Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton asked the head of oilsands giant Canadian Natural Resources to commit to pay for its "fair share of the costs of climate change being experienced by Whistler."   After the missive became public this week, a number of companies decided they would not participate in the investment conference, hosted in Whistler by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Tony Seskus and Kyle Bakx report. (CBC)

Beaver return to the Elwha nearshore
Anne Shaffer of Coastal Watershed Institute writes: "Ending the year on an upnote. Eight empty months after the Elwha nearshore beaver was killed on the west levee, a new set of beaver have moved in. Beaver are crucial to the ecosystem restoration of the Elwha lower river, but are also challenged by the remaining impediments there, including the dike which they have to cross to get from their lodge to the river...."

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  837 AM PST Mon Dec 17 2018   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
  
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 17 ft  at 17 seconds. Showers likely in the morning then rain in the  afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 SE wind 20 to 30 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 15 ft at 15 seconds.  Rain.

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