Friday, May 24, 2019

5/24 Pika, Delta port, oil spill drill, bitumen limit, Navy tests. BC drought, methane conversion, Kimberly-Clark, Pomeroy Park

American pika [WikiMedia]
American pika Ochotona princeps
The American pika, known in the 19th century as the "little chief hare," is found in the mountains of western North America from central British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to the US states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and New Mexico.They live in boulder fields at or above the tree line. They are herbivorous, smaller relatives of rabbits and hares. (Wikipedia)

Whales vs. trade: Environmentalists push back against proposed port terminal in Delta
A proposed new marine container terminal in Delta, B.C., is facing pushback from environmentalists who believe the project will threaten whales and the salmon they depend on for survival. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would create 108 hectares of new industrial land and build a new terminal with up to three berths for container ships. According to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the project will generate 1,500 terminal jobs. An independent federal review panel is currently considering arguments from industry and environmentalists. Margot Venton, a lawyer with Ecojustice, an environmental law firm fighting the case on behalf of environmental groups, said "the relationship between salmon and whales is hitting a critical point" and the project will exacerbate the problems already facing killer whales in the Salish Sea. Bridgette Watson reports. (CBC)

Canadian, U.S Coast Guards practice working together in case of cross border oil spill
Adequate oil spill response is paramount to maintain the health of the oceans. That’s why both the U.S and Canadian Coast guard, along with their spill response partners, were practising their joint response during a two-day simulated drill. They started in Port Angeles on Wednesday and then on Thursday, they were in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.... More than 5,000 deep sea vessels travel through the Salish Sea in designated shipping lanes each year on both sides of the border. Luisa Alvarez reports. (CHEK)

Trans Mountain: court to rule if B.C. can limit bitumen
A British Columbia court is set to rule Friday whether the province can restrict shipments of diluted bitumen through its borders, in what will be a crucial decision for the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The province filed a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal that asked whether it had the constitutional authority to create a permitting regime for companies that want to increase their flow of oilsands crude. B.C. argued the law is aimed at protecting its lands, rivers and lakes from hazardous substances, but Alberta and the federal government have said the goal is to delay or block the pipeline expansion. Laura Kane reports. (National)

Thousands of marine animals at risk in Pacific Northwest from Navy tech tests, documents show
The Navy’s latest testing and training proposal in the Northwest reveals the secretive military branch’s futuristic technology and planned war-game maneuvers. It also outlines how Navy sonar and explosives could harm marine animals. The nearly 1,800-page document, two volumes of Navy bureaucratese, details proposals to test the Navy’s rail-gun system (it can fire projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound), pilot mine-detecting underwater drones and fly its airborne surveillance drone at 50,000 feet. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Drought: low snowpack, dry weather a concern across B.C., prairies
Drought forecasts from Agriculture Canada show most of British Columbia is abnormally dry or enduring some level of drought, similar to dry conditions that are being experienced across a swath of Western Canada. Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016 and the B.C. River Forecast Centre says they are among the lowest in the last 40 years. It also says diminished snowpacks and early snow melt due to a warm spring increase the likelihood of low flows in rivers and streams across the province this summer. (Canadian Press)

Stanford researchers outline vision for profitable climate change solution
A relatively simple process could help turn the tide of climate change while also turning a healthy profit. That’s one of the hopeful visions outlined in a new Stanford-led paper that highlights a seemingly counterintuitive solution: converting one greenhouse gas into another.
A conceptual drawing of an industrial array for converting methane (CH4) to carbon dioxide (CO2) using catalytic materials called zeolites (CUII and FEIV). The study, published in Nature Sustainability on May 20, describes a potential process for converting the extremely potent greenhouse gas methane into carbon dioxide, which is a much less potent driver of global warming. The idea of intentionally releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere may seem surprising, but the authors argue that swapping methane for carbon dioxide is a significant net benefit for the climate. Rob Jordan reports. (Stanford News)

Port questions two companies’ deal to buy Kimberly-Clark site 
Two maritime companies have announced a deal to buy most of Kimberly-Clark’s former mill property, even as the Port of Everett considers condemning the land for public use. Representatives for Pacific Stevedoring and Glacier Fish Co. said Thursday they plan to buy 58 acres of the waterfront site for headquarters and operations. A cold storage warehouse, facilities to prepare food for resale, and office space would bring as many as 1,200 jobs to the waterfront, Pacific Stevedoring owner Andrew Murphy and Glacier President Jim Johnson said. Plans also include a working wharf. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

No-contact advisory issued for Pomeroy Park beach
A popular Puget Sound swimming beach is off limits ahead of the holiday weekend because of high levels of bacteria in the water. The Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory on Thursday for Pomeroy Park swimming beach in Manchester because of high levels of a bacteria called Enterococci, according to a press release... Enterococci bacteria indicate the presence of fecal pollution in the water, according to the health district, but specific sources of such pollution have not yet been identified. (Kitsap Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PDT Fri May 24 2019   
 W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft  at 9 seconds. 
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at 10 seconds. 
 W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the afternoon.  W swell 10 ft at 11 seconds subsiding to 7 ft at 10 seconds in  the afternoon. A chance of showers in the afternoon. 
 W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 10 seconds. 
 NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at  9 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 9 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft.

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