Wednesday, November 6, 2019

11/6 Western toad, Puget Sound shorelines, pipeline protest, 'climate emergency,' Tacoma LNG, BC pipe appeal, BC indigenous rights

Western Toad [Burke Museum]
Western toad Anaxyrus boreas
This species is declining severely in Whatcom County and throughout the Puget Lowlands. Once one of the most common amphibian species in the region, sightings of western toads in the lowlands are now rare...This species occurs in a variety of forested, brush and mountain meadow areas. They breed in ponds, shallow lakes, or side channels of rivers. Eggs are laid in mid spring and deposited on the bottom in water less than 0.5 meters deep. Hatchlings and tadpoles live in the warmest, shallowest water available. Toadlets often move in mass after metamorphosis and these armies can be found crossing county roads. (Whatcom County Amphibian Monitoring Program)

Feds agree to more environmental scrutiny of sea walls, bulkheads on Puget Sound shoreline 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will give more scrutiny to sea walls, bulkheads or other armoring of the Puget Sound shoreline under a court-approved plan to resolve a lawsuit. Scientists have found that such shoreline development, though it may ease erosion, can cause serious damage to areas that are vital to some marine life, such as spawning forage fish, at the base of the Puget Sound food chain. Many of these projects typically have been exempt from federal review, but the new Seattle District Army Corps plan calls for oversight on a “case by case basis,” according to a filing last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle... Environmentalists say that the lawsuit was not intended to stop a property owner from putting in protection if it is essential to protecting a structure. But they hope the new process, which is expected to involve consultations with National Marine Fisheries Service, will lead to more ecologically sensitive armoring projects and take into greater account the cumulative effects of armoring the shoreline. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery
Young activists interrupted the delivery of a controversial pipeline to a port in southern Washington at daybreak on Tuesday, once again taking the lead in the climate fight. Tuesday’s protest by Portland Rising Tide was part of a continuing effort to disrupt the opening of project that expands a pipeline running from Edmonton, Alberta, to the coast of British Columbia and would open export markets to hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands. Climbers flanked by kayaks chained themselves to a pier on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, intending to intercept the delivery of pipe manufactured in India for the project. (The Guardian)

More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’
A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provides six broad policy goals that must be met to address it. The analysis is a stark departure from recent scientific assessments of global warming, such as those of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in that it does not couch its conclusions in the language of uncertainties, and it does prescribe policies. The study, called the “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency,” marks the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favor of labeling climate change an “emergency,” which the study notes is caused by many human trends that are together increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Andrew Freedman reports. (Washington Post)

Controversial Tacoma energy project set to open in 2021
The work site bustles with construction equipment. A tall tower stands at the far end of the site. At nearly six stories tall, it will be a first for Washington state. This site is where Puget Sound Energy will make about a half-million gallons a day of liquid natural gas, or LNG, and store about eight million gallons of it. LNG is just like the gas that heats your stove or water heater in your home. But when it’s super cold, like -260 degrees Fahrenheit cold, it takes up far less space...Diesel fuel currently powers most shipping around the planet. Dirty and polluting, it’s something that’s being slowly phased out. Liquid Natural Gas is often called a “bridge fuel” to a greener future of energy. While LNG is still a fossil fuel, it produces fewer greenhouse gases and burns significantly cleaner than diesel. Tim Joyce reports. (Q13FOX)

First Nation, other groups seek leave to appeal Trans Mountain ruling
A British Columbia First Nation and three environmental groups hope to appeal a Federal Court of Appeal decision that limited their ability to challenge the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in court. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Ecojustice, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Living Oceans Society announced Tuesday they are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Federal Court of Appeal decided in September that it would allow six First Nations, including the Tsleil-Waututh, to challenge the pipeline project but ruled arguments could only focus on the latest round of Indigenous consultation. The Tsleil-Waututh says the court is wrong not to consider its arguments that Canada failed to justify infringement of its Aboriginal rights and title or obtain its consent for the B.C.-to-Alberta pipeline expansion. (Canadian Press)

First Nations, B.C. cabinet discuss updating laws to align with UN declaration 
British Columbia's Indigenous leaders and provincial cabinet members are holding their annual meeting and Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says, for the first time in six years, he has a sense of hope. Phillip spoke at the opening news conference in Vancouver on Tuesday, saying he is thrilled the provincial government has embraced the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but that enormous work lies ahead. Premier John Horgan's government introduced Bill 41 last month, mandating B.C. to update laws and policies to align with the UN declaration and becoming the first province in Canada to commit to implementing the document. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  207 AM PST Wed Nov 6 2019   
 E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 3 ft  at 12 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3  ft at 11 seconds.

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