Thursday, December 6, 2018

12/6 Madrone, global carbon, BC climate plan, Tacoma refinery, 20o dolphins, Frognal trees, grants, Littleneck Beach, restoring McNeil Is., rain garden, 42nd LD election, Tacoma LNG

Pacific madrone [Laurie MacBride]
The Prize at the End of the Trail
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "In my previous post I described the trail at Francis Point Provincial Park, and how we were encouraged to carry on by a hiker who assured us we’d reach the end soon. 'You’ll know you’re there when you get to the arbutus trees,' he said casually. It was a hot day, and we’ve seen innumerable Arbutus menziesii over the years – they are, like my husband and me, native to our region – so it was tempting to give it a miss and head back to our boat for a cool drink. But I’m glad we carried on, because what greeted us at the end of the trail was no “ordinary” arbutus grove (if there is such a thing). This was a unique and expansive forest of brilliant orange trunks and limbs…"

'We are in trouble.' Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing. Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent. The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by nearly 5 percent emissions growth in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations throughout the world. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent. Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney report. (Washington Post)

Tax breaks at centre of B.C.'s long-term climate plan
B.C. has unveiled its long-awaited clean climate plan, outlining the province's strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the province by offering tax breaks for home retrofitting and zero-emission vehicles. The plan, Clean B.C., also redirects revenue from the carbon tax into incentives for the province's biggest industries to move to cleaner operations. "We want to make shifts: shifts in our home, shifts in our vehicles and shifts in our industry away from fossil fuels and into green energy," Premier John Horgan told reporters. Rhianna Schmunk reports. (CBC) See also: B.C.'s clean climate plan targets natural gas and oil sector  B.C.’s new greenhouse gas-emission target calls for a 40-per-cent reduction by 2030 over 2007 levels, a decrease of 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun) And also: 'LNG-sized gap' in B.C.'s climate plan raises questions about government's priorities  Liam Britten reports. (CBC)

With eye on discounted Bakken crude, Par Pacific buys refinery
A Houston-based energy infrastructure company will pay nearly $340 million for a Washington refinery advantaged because of its connection to Bakken crude. Par Pacific has agreed to acquire U.S. Oil & Refining Co.’s Tacoma, Washington-energy complex that includes a 42,000-bpd refinery and 107-rail car facility capable of handling nearly 60,000 bpd of Bakken and other crude sources from the Rockies or Canada.Par Pacific has been in talks with the private equity-backed U.S. Oil & Refining since the spring and now has a deal set that will help it connect crude from the Bakken and Western Canada to energy operations in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Much of the crude is used to make gasoline, distillate or asphalt. Barges and pipelines in Tacoma will move product that stays in the continental U.S. to West Coast locations. Luke Geiver reports. (North American Shale)

If you like to watch: 'Never seen anything like it': 200 dolphins spotted swimming from ferry
The day started off like any other ferry ride that Henry Irizawa has taken. He's lived in Comox for 10 years and was on a Tuesday morning ferry to Horseshoe Bay — one that he's done "at least 300 times." About 40 minutes into the trip, Irizawa recalls the captain came on the PA system to say a large pod of dolphins was swimming in front of the vessel.  Irizawa rushed onto the deck and and whipped out his phone. Tamara Baluja reports. (CBC)

Trees fall at Frognal development as activists look on 
A developer Wednesday began taking initial steps ahead of major logging and grading at the Picnic Point project. Neighbors and environmental groups oppose the 112-home subdivision, which they say poses risks to a salmon-bearing stream and could increase the chance of landslides. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Northwest Indian College awarded $3.5 million grant from National Science Foundation
Northwest Indian College’s Salish Sea Research Center was awarded a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant partners with Lummi Natural Resources and forms a network of other partners, which will focus on community-driven issues related to environmental impacts on the Salish Sea that affect Coast Salish peoples. The grant will fund the creation of the Tribal Advancement Enterprise Center for Community Marine Research. The center will give time, resources and space to facilitate research, drawing from local expertise to produce the next generation of indigenous scholars to serve as decision makers and intellectual resources for their communities. In total, the National Science Foundation gave $14 million to establish these centers and support scientific and engineering research at four tribal colleges around the country. (Bellingham Business Journal)

Russell Family Foundation Awards $2.3M In Grants
The Gig Harbor-based Russell Family Foundation this week announced it will award $2.3 million in grants to 25 nonprofits serving folks in the Pacific Northwest. The wide-ranging grants dispersal will assist groups that support and advocate for young women, students, houseless individuals, and minority communities, as well as environmental and economic equity groups. (Patch)

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe seeks to rename clamming beach
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is seeking to rename a beach at the mouth of Dean Creek near Blyn. The tribe filed paperwork with the state Department of Natural Resources to rename the beach to Littleneck Beach, a name it said honors the generations of S’Klallam ancestors who have gathered clams at that location. The beach is one of very few that naturally sustains colonies of native littleneck clams, according to the tribe. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily New)

McNeil Island becoming known for fish and wildlife, not just prison
Christopher Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "If you’ve heard of McNeil Island, you are probably thinking of a former federal or state prison in South Puget Sound — not the rare and exclusive habitat that has won high praise from fish and wildlife biologists. I never realized that McNeil Island was such a gem until I learned about state restoration plans that could lead to near-pristine conditions for the island, located about seven miles southwest of Tacoma. To be sure, more than 90 percent of the island’s 12-mile-long shoreline remains in a natural state, including large trees bending over the water . The restoration — the result of a longtime planning effort — will focus on discrete areas that have been highly degraded by human activities, some for more than a century...."

A rain garden can beautify your landscape and turn you into an environmental hero at the same time
YOU MAY FIND yourself in a beautiful house. With a beautiful wife. You may ask yourself, “Where does my rainwater go?” Even if you aren’t a Talking Heads fan, you should be asking that question. It’s important because if you live in the Seattle region, the runoff from your roof probably is affecting the water quality of Puget Sound. In many neighborhoods, runoff goes into an antiquated sewer system that overflows into the Sound during heavy storms. In other areas, it runs down the street directly into the Sound, after picking up some engine oil and garbage along the way. Both of these scenarios present hazards to the ecosystem. In fact, storm runoff is the largest source of pollution in the Sound, creating problems for fish, birds, vegetation and every other living thing that depends on fresh water. Colin McCrate writes. (Seattle Times)

Election recount affirms win of two Whatcom incumbents
A hand recount has confirmed the Nov. 6 election victories of two incumbents in the 42nd Legislative District of Whatcom County — races so close that extra ballot scrutiny was required under state law. Both state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and state Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden retained their seats, each by fewer than 100 votes out of more than 72,000 cast, according to the final Canvassing Board meeting Wednesday afternoon.... Ericksen won his third Senate term, defeating Democratic challenger Pinky Vargas, a Bellingham City Council member, by 45 votes —49.9 percent to 49.8 percent — out of 72,779 votes cast.... Van Werven won her third House term, defeating Democratic opponent Justin Boneau of Bellingham by 50 percent to 49.9 percent, or 81 votes. Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Silently withholding records - such as Tacoma LNG safety studies - betrays open government
The [Tacoma] News Tribune editorial board writes: "Here’s a refreshing lesson in government transparency, one that touches on Tacoma and the controversial liquefied natural gas plant being built on the Tideflats. You don’t always have a right to know every secret that Washington public officials are keeping from you. But you do always have a right to know the secret exists, and why they’re hiding it. When officials play cat-and-mouse games over documents whose disclosure could be sensitive or embarrassing, it’s called “silent withholding.” Washington’s exalted Public Records Act doesn’t condone misleading tactics, and the state Supreme Court reinforced the law in a 1994 decision that expressly bars silent withholding...."


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PST Thu Dec 6 2018   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 5 ft  at 18 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 17 seconds.


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