Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1/15 Bufflehead, WA enviro health, green diversity, Snake dams breach, rats, Trump's trees

Bufflehead [Audubon Field Guide]
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
Our smallest North American duck. Spring and fall migrant; common winter resident in sheltered bays. Dives for small mollusks, crustaceans, and small fishes. In spring often seen in flocks close to shore. Courting male darts forward, bobs head, and displays white crest. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

New Washington map shows why environmental health is a justice issue; see the risks in your area 
Tyrone Beason at the Seattle Times writes: "Most of us use maps to help us know where we’re going. As a journalist, I’m just as intrigued by maps that tell us where we’ve been, who we are, what we’re made of and how we treat each other. So I was especially interested in last week’s unveiling of an online, interactive map of Washington state that lets users see, for the first time, how their communities rank for environmental-health hazards like diesel emissions, potential lead exposure and proximity to toxic waste. The Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map doesn’t just show these risk factors. It also breaks down socioeconomic characteristics for this state’s 1,458 U.S. census tracts. And it lets you overlay the environmental data with the social data to create maps that reveal where people are most and least at-risk for health issues. It’s available to the public and free to use. This new tool is impressive, the culmination of two years of work by the statewide environmental-justice coalition Front and Centered, state agencies and a research team led by University of Washington doctoral student Esther Min, along with guidance gleaned from community listening sessions around the state, including with tribes, farmworkers and the elderly, all of whom face greater health risks from pollution...."

The green movement has a diversity problem. And it is getting worse 
The number of people of color working at the nation’s top green organizations is shrinking. Green 2.0, an initiative launched in 2013 to increase racial diversity in the environmental movement, released its second annual diversity report card this week. Across the board, large NGOs and foundations are getting poor marks. The disparity highlighted in the report is most pronounced when it comes to senior staff positions at foundations: from 2017 to 2018, the number of people of color in this group fell from 33 percent to just 4 percent. The report did not say what accounted for this drop. Meanwhile, the proportion of white senior staff at foundations rose from 67 percent to 96 percent. Environmental NGOs fared a little better. The number of senior staff of color rose from 14 to 21 percent. But racial diversity within the ranks of full-time NGO staff and board members fell slightly. Justine Calma reports. (Grist)

Study on tearing down Snake River dams is a waste of taxpayer money, says letter to governor
A proposal to spend $750,000 of Washington state taxpayer money to study the economic and social impacts of tearing down the Lower Snake River Dams is not sitting well with Tri-City-area supporters of the dams. They’ve drafted a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee saying the study would be a waste. The latest push to remove four Snake River dams is tied to the decline of the population of the iconic orca, or killer whale, population off the Washington coast. The orcas rely on chinook salmon, including from the Snake River, for most of their food.... But the study proposed by the governor duplicates federal studies and would be a waste of state dollars, it said. Drafters of the letter — a loose coalition that put together the Riverfest festival in September in Columbia Park in Kennewick to provide information on the benefits of hydroelectric dams— are presenting the letter at public meetings of Mid-Columbia governments and asking for signatures. Annette Cary reports. (Sri-City Herald)

Rat infestations plague Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and even Haida Gwaii
Respirators, rat droppings and bait made from bacon grease are a near-daily part of Mike Kowbel's life. He owns the X-Terminators, which helps eliminate rat infestations from homes and businesses in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.... Kowbel and other exterminators are on the front line tackling a massive rodent problem in Vancouver and surrounding area.  A substantial shipping industry coupled with a mild climate makes the Pacific Northwest a hotbed for rat infestations. Micki Cowan reports. (CBC)

Trump’s executive order will cut more forest trees — and some of the public’s tools to stop it
With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires. The declaration, issued the Friday before Christmas, reflects Trump’s interest in forest management since a spate of wildfires ravaged California last year. While many scientists and Western governors have urged federal officials to adopt a suite of policies to tackle the problem, including cuts in greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the president has focused on expanding timber sales. The executive order instructs the secretaries of agriculture and interior to consider harvesting a total of 4.4 billion board feet of timber from forest land managed by their agencies on millions of acres, and put it up for sale. The order would translate into a 31 percent increase in forest service logging since 2017. Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin report. (Washington Post)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  828 PM PST Mon Jan 14 2019   
 E wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 to 2 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 7 ft at 15 seconds. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 7 ft at 14 seconds.

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