Wednesday, December 5, 2018

12/5 Francis Point, murrelet plan, Navy ospreys, dead birds, BC pipe, suing Big Oil, WA plastic ban, Roberts Bank terminal study

Francis Point Park [Laurie MacBride]
The Trail to Francis Point
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "On a dry day, Francis Point Provincial Park on BC’s Sunshine Coast provides a good opportunity for boaters whose legs are itching for exercise – as ours were this past summer, when we set out to walk there from our anchorage in Gerrans Bay, about a mile away in Pender Harbour. The day was hot, the skies were clear, and once we reached the shoreline portion of the trail, the views across to Texada Island and north up Malaspina Strait were glorious...."

This little seabird lives in tall trees that Washington state may cut down to support schools
Marbled murrelets have one of the more bizarre daily routines in the avian world: They spend the day diving deep beneath coastal waters to catch small fish. In the evening twilight, they fly home through the air at 60 miles an hour, flapping hard — like potatoes with wings — to reach their mossy nests in the tops of old trees, as much as 50 miles inland. Before dawn, they make the same commute in reverse. This dependence on big trees has them in trouble. The little seabird was put on the federal threatened-species list a quarter century ago, but even so, Murrelet numbers have fallen by about half in Washington since 2001. Now Washington state officials are launching a long-term strategy to keep a little bird with a long commute from going extinct. The Washington Department of Natural Resources is taking public comment through Thursday, Dec. 6, on its proposal to protect most of the threatened bird’s nesting habitat on state land, but to allow 38,000 acres of those coastal forests to be logged over the next 50 years. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Navy hoping to discourage pair of ospreys from nesting on Bremerton's mothballed ships
Bremerton's fleet of inactive mothballed Navy vessels has become the nesting grounds of choice for a pair of ospreys, and the Navy is working on a plan to encourage the birds to make their homes somewhere other than at the top of the expensive federal property. The Navy hasn't secured the funding required to construct the alternative nesting sites, but officials have started the preliminary planning phase.  The towers will most likely be tall platforms constructed close to the mothball fleet with a similar view and features the ospreys have become accustomed to. Julianne Stanford reports. (Kitsap Sun)

‘To throw away these birds in this manner is disgusting,’ wildlife officer says
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recovered 50 dead ducks and geese Friday from along a stretch of Weidkamp Road east of Lynden, and the Whatcom County chapter of the Northwest Washington Waterfowl Association has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible. Wildlife officer Joshua Koontz told The Bellingham Herald in an interview Tuesday that a bus driver reported seeing the carcasses in the middle of the road near West Badger Road and in the roadside ditch Friday, and Koontz went out and collected 50 birds that had been dumped. Koontz said he spoke area residents who had not noticed the rotting birds before that morning. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

B.C. chief says one major oil spill could ruin her nation’s economy
Leaders from several north-coast B.C. First Nations say if the Senate doesn’t approve a bill barring super-sized oil tankers from the region, their thriving but fragile marine-based economies will die. The bill is already a sore point between the federal government and Alberta. Indigenous communities also disagree on the ban: nearly three dozen First Nations are behind a $16-billion pipeline proposal that has no future if supertankers can’t carry Fort McMurray oil away from the port in Prince Rupert, B.C. Marilyn Slett, chief of the Heiltsuk Nation and president of the Coastal First Nations alliance of nine B.C. bands, said Tuesday that coastal B.C. nations have been speaking out against tankers in their waters for decades. (Canadian Press) See also: The Warning of the Black Fish  Tim Johnson writes. (Cascade Weekly)

Trudeau apologizes for First Nation consultation failures on Trans Mountain pipeline
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he didn't expect "unanimity" from First Nations on the Trans Mountain pipeline project but apologized for his government's failure on consultation after a speech to the Assembly of First Nations on Tuesday.  Trudeau took the podium at the annual AFN December meeting in the wake of two recent major announcements by his government on Indigenous issues — child welfare legislation and a reform of the way Ottawa handles historic claims. In a rare move, Trudeau, who has spoken to the AFN more times than any other prime minister, stayed to take unscripted questions from the floor. (CBC)

Fishermen Sue Big Oil For Its Role In Climate Change
While oil companies built seawalls and elevated their oil rigs to protect critical production infrastructure from the rising sea level, they concealed from the public the knowledge that burning fossil fuels could have catastrophic impacts on the biosphere. That's what citizens and local governments across the United States are asserting in lawsuits against oil, gas, and coal companies. Plaintiffs in the cases have alleged that fossil fuel producers knowingly subjected the entire planet and future generations to the dire consequences of their actions. On Nov. 14, fishermen in California and Oregon joined the legal fray by filing suit against 30 companies, mainly oil producers. Alastair Bland reports. (NPR)

Plastic Oceans Plastic Bags State Kicks off Campaign for a Statewide Reusable Bag Bill
The campaign for a reusable statewide bag bill kicked off this month. Environmental organizations and their legislative allies hope to build off existing 23 local ordinances already in place in Washington and introduce the bill in the 2019 legislative session. Proponents say there are more than 86 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans with the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash for every foot of coastline spilling into oceans annually. Martha Baskin reports. (PRX)

Field Studies Continue for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is continuing field studies in December 2018 as part of ongoing environmental and technical work for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) Project. Since 2011, the Port Authority has been conducting field studies at Roberts Bank and the surrounding areas that build on previous scientific work as well as address existing information gaps. According to the Port, the purpose of these studies is to determine the physical conditions (e.g., temperature and salinity) influencing biofilm presence and distribution at Roberts Bank. The Roberts Bank study area is located in the upper and mid intertidal zones north of the Roberts Bank causeway. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed new three-berth marine container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia, approximately 35 km south of Vancouver. (Dredging Today)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  226 AM PST Wed Dec 5 2018   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 6 seconds. 
TONIGHT  E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 11 seconds.

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