Monday, February 18, 2019

2/18 Race Rocks, BC pipe, BC LNG, US 'waters,' Lake Erie rights, David Lopeman, orca rules, Octo Week, Edith Iglauer

Race Rocks light [Wikipedia]
Race Rocks Light
Race Rocks Light is one of the first two lighthouses that were built on the west coast of Canada, financed by the British Government and illuminated in 1860. It is the only lighthouse on that coast built of rock, (granite) purportedly quarried in Scotland, and topped with sandstone quarried on Gabriola Island. The Islands of Race Rocks are located just off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Victoria, British Columbia. Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is also a designated Marine Protected Area  managed by the staff and students at Pearson College, and is available as a resource for research and education. (Wikipedia)

Federal cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline
Canada’s energy regulator will tell the federal government this week whether it still thinks the Trans Mountain pipeline should be expanded, but cabinet’s final say on the project’s future is still several months away. The National Energy Board is reconsidering the project’s impact on marine life, including highly endangered southern resident killer whales, after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled last year that the NEB’s 2016 approval failed to properly take into account how the whales would be affected by having additional oil tankers in their waters. The report’s delivery will start the clock on a 90-day deadline for cabinet to decide whether the controversial project will proceed, a deadline officials are already signalling could be pushed back. Mia Rabson reports. (Canadian Press)

Steelhead LNG halts work on Kwispaa LNG project
In a letter posted to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations website, the First Nation says they’ve received notification that Steelhead LNG has stopped work on the Kwispaa LNG Project. The letter dated February 15, 2019, says “We are deeply disappointed, and over the coming weeks your government will evaluate the implications  of this decision by Steelhead LNG, identify all go‐forward options, and assess how best to advance the interests of our citizens.” The letter doesn’t say why the project has been halted, and Steelhead LNG has not released any information about the announcement. Steelhead LNG was supposed to source natural gas for the LNG facility from various producers in northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta. Steelhead was supposed to build a pipeline from the Chetwynd area to Williams Lake area, southwest to Powell River, then across the Salish Sea to the Kwispaa LNG facility on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Adam Reaburn reports. (Energeticcity)

Work suspended on pipeline after ancient First Nation tools found
Coastal GasLink says it has suspended pipeline work south of Houston, B.C., while claims of the discovery of Indigenous artifacts on the site are investigated. The company says it has cordoned off the area, requested that a qualified archeologist visit the site and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission will conduct another site visit to investigate the claims. It says an archeological impact assessment for the site was approved in 2016, but the company and its archeologists were not able to conduct on-site fieldwork during the regulatory and permitting process due to road access issues. (Canadian Press)

'Waters of the United States redefinition' notice
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) propose to establish a revised definition of the term ‘waters of the United States’. Comments must be received by 15 April. 84 Fed. Reg. 4154 (2/14/19) Federal Register Notice.

Legal Rights for Lake Erie? Voters in Ohio City Will Decide
The failing health of Lake Erie, the world’s 11th largest lake, is at the heart of one of the most unusual questions to appear on an American ballot: Should a body of water be given rights normally associated with those granted to a person? Voters in Toledo, Ohio, will be asked this month to decide whether Lake Erie, which supports the economies of four states, one Canadian province and the cities of Toledo, Cleveland and Buffalo, has the legal right “to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.” The peculiar ballot question comes amid a string of environmental calamities at the lake — poisonous algal blooms in summer, runoff containing fertilizer and animal manure, and a constant threat from invasive fish. But this special election is not merely symbolic. It is legal strategy: If the lake gets legal rights, the theory goes, people can sue polluters on its behalf. Timothy Williams reports. (NY Times)

Longtime Squaxin Island Tribal Chairman David E. Lopeman remembered for 'leadership and will' 
David E. Lopeman, longtime chairman of the Squaxin Island Tribe, is remembered as a staunch supporter of the tribe’s sovereignty and a champion of much of its business development. Mr. Lopeman, 75, died in his sleep at his home in Kamilche on Jan. 9, according to the tribe. He served on the Squaxin Island Tribal Council for 30 years — 24 as chairman — and those who knew him say he had a hand in everything. Asia Fields reports. (Seattle Times)

Lawmakers propose new watercraft restrictions to save southern resident orcas
Lawmakers, whale watchers and environmentalists reached a rare consensus at a hearing on a proposed speed limit for boats operating near Puget Sound’s endangered southern resident orcas this week. However, they were less successful when it came to measures that would restrict commercial and other whale watching activities in the area. Senate Bill 5577 would make it illegal for a person to operate a vessel over seven knots in speed within a half nautical mile of southern resident orcas. It would also be unlawful for any whale watch vessel to approach within 650 yards of the orcas until Jan. 1, 2023. Current regulations prohibit vessels from approaching within 200 yards of a southern resident orca or positioning themselves within 400 yards of the expected path of the animals. Sean Harding reports. (Bainbridge Reporter)

Killer whales eat dolphins. So why are these dolphins tempting fate?
Killer whales are the only predators that regularly kill and devour Pacific white-sided dolphins off the B.C. and Washington coasts. So researchers were surprised when drone footage showed such dolphins playing within a few fin-spans of killer whales' toothy jaws.... It turns out the dolphins have nothing to fear from these particular killer whales, also known as orcas. Southern resident killer whales are nearly physically identical to, very genetically similar to, and officially the same species as dolphin-eating Bigg's killer whales that roam the same waters. But it just so happens that southern resident killer whales are strict pescatarians that avoid all red meat, although they eat fish. Somehow, the dolphins can tell the difference. Emily Chung reports. (CBC)

Raise your hands if you like octopus 
The Seattle Aquarium kicked off Octopus Week on Saturday, Feb. 16, with the release of a 65-pound giant Pacific octopus named Dash into Puget Sound. The cephalopod celebration continues through Sunday, Feb. 24. For a schedule of events, see: Alan Berner reports. (Seattle Times)

Writer Edith Iglauer's legacy on the B.C. fishing village she made home
Iglauer, 101, passed away on Feb. 13, 2019 in Sechelt, B.C.... Iglauer travelled to the Arctic, writing about Inuit-run co-operatives and the ice road network. She wrote memorable profiles of prominent Canadians like Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, artist Bill Reid, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Then, for a story on West Coast commercial fishing, Iglauer came to Pender Harbour on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast. It was an assignment that would change the trajectory of her life. Iglauer, who had since divorced her first husband in 1966, met commercial salmon-trawler John Daly. The unconventional couple fell in love, married and she moved to the area where she would spend the rest of her life.  Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  317 AM PST Mon Feb 18 2019   
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 15 seconds. 
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 5 ft at  14 seconds.

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