Monday, June 24, 2019

6/24 Hummer, Otter Is, UBC ammonia, BC pipe, industry oil lobby, Skagit MRC, Padden zebra mussels

Ruby-throated hummingbird [Audubon Field Guide]
Audubon and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
John James Audubon, the French naturalist who spent his adult life studying and painting portraits of the birds of North America, described a hummingbird as a “glittering fragment of the rainbow.” The only hummingbird species that Audubon ever observed in nature was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a summer visitor to eastern North America. Hummingbirds have a symbiotic relationship with flowers: The hummingbirds buzz in close to drink the sweet nectar that the flowers make....Birds do it, and bees do it, and Audubon knew it. He noted in his journal that hummingbirds “advance on fairy wings, carefully visiting every opening flower cup.” (Frances Wood/BirdNote)

On I-5’s edge, biologists revive a vanishing world for salmon
This is what nature intended. Lush vegetation to either side of the brackish channel called to mind the Deep South bayou country, if only for lack of comparable landscapes. This certainly wasn’t Louisiana. There were no live oaks with Spanish moss, alligators or copperheads. This was the Snohomish River estuary. On Otter Island, one of the few largely intact pieces of natural tidal marsh between Everett and Marysville, spruce trees grow stunted amongst Oregon grape, salal and sedge. One April morning, clouds filtered the sun, almost hinting at a rainbow. Bald eagles watched stoically from branches high above. Mallard ducks, mergansers and blue herons occasionally flapped by below them. The water, however, held the most significant sight for a group of habitat and floodplain experts poking around the islet on an aluminum-hulled boat. Thousands of juvenile chum salmon parr, no longer than a pinky finger, darted through submerged grass along the near-pristine banks. In the months ahead, their salmonid relatives, the endangered Chinook, would arrive from upriver.... People who have lived much of their life rushing past this landscape on nearby I-5 could be forgiven for being awestruck. It shouldn’t look exotic, but it does. Much of the area once resembled Otter Island, until settlers built dikes to convert the soggy, low-lying earth to farmland. By the early 20th century, that had happened throughout the Snohomish River delta, and the region’s other river systems. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

UBC fined $1.2M for releasing ammonia into Fraser River tributary
Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued hefty fines to the University of British Columbia and CIMCO Refrigeration for releasing ammonia-laden water into a tributary of the Fraser River in Vancouver. According to a written statement, UBC was fined $1.2 million and CIMCO $800,000 stemming from a complaint about an ammonia odour at an outfall ditch connected to Booming Ground Creek in Pacific Spirit Regional Park on Sept. 12, 2014. The ministry says UBC and CIMCO were fixing the refrigeration system at Thunderbird Arena at the university's Vancouver campus when they purged residual ammonia vapours from the system into a storm drain that flowed into a ditch and then the creek. (CBC)

TMX approval was already factored in to Paris emissions target, fisheries minister says
The Liberal cabinet's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will not make it harder for Canada to meet the emission reduction targets it agreed to in Paris, says Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Adding another line to the existing TMX would triple the line's capacity to 900 barrels a day, significantly adding to Canada's overall emissions. Wilkinson told CBC News' The House that increase of 13 to 15 megatonnes in annual emissions is a big number, but it was already accounted for when Canada agreed in Paris to reduce its emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.... But many environmentalists and climate scientists insist Canada is not on track to meet even the 2030 target, and question the government's commitment to the goal. The Parliamentary Budget Officer reached a similar conclusion this week — that, based on the government's current emissions projections, Canada would still fall well short of its emissions target of 513 megatonnes. (CBC)

Industry responsible for 80 per cent of Senate lobbying linked to Bill C-69
Lobbyists from industry and related groups — primarily from the oil and gas industry — met 224 times with the Senate on new environmental assessment law, while environmental groups had just 36 meetings. (Sharon J. Riley and Sarah Cox report. (The Narwhal)

Marine Resources Committee celebrates 20 years of work
On any given day, volunteers and members of the Skagit Marine Resources Committee might be found on area beaches, playing with their families or doing work such as setting traps for invasive species.... For 20 years, the committee — one of seven formed in the region under the Northwest Straits Initiative — has done that type of work in Skagit County. Congress authorized the initiative in 1998 in an effort to establish community-driven conservation in the area. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald( See also: Area environmental education programs grow  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

They’re smaller than grains of rice, but these pests could end recreation in Lake Padden
Lake Padden could be closed to recreation if the spread of a dark snail that’s smaller than a grain of rice can’t be contained, the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department warned. The New Zealand mudsnail is an invasive species that’s been found on Lake Padden’s northwest side, which is a popular access point for swimming, casual fishing and boating at the park, the Parks Department said in a news release. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  241 AM PDT Mon Jun 24 2019   
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. N  swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. N swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.

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