Tuesday, December 3, 2019

12/3 Noble fir, BC pipe, net-pen settlement, Fraser river salmon, Roberts Bank project, octopus, wildfire tax

Noble fir
Noble fir Abies procera
The noble fir, also called red fir and Christmastree, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington.

Trans Mountain to start construction on pipeline expansion
Trans Mountain Corp. is preparing to officially start construction on its pipeline expansion after years of delay. On Tuesday, Trans Mountain president and CEO Ian Anderson, federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan, provincial Energy Minister Sonya Savage, as well as representatives from local governments and the Enoch Cree Nation will officially mark the start of construction at an event near Acheson, Alta., west of Edmonton. The Crown corporation that owns the project has already mobilized its workforce and restarted some work at the pipeline's terminals, since the federal Liberal government approved the $7.4-billion expansion for the second time earlier this year.  The Federal Court of Appeal is currently reviewing an appeal by Indigenous groups of that second approval. Sarah Rieger reports. (CBC)

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $2.75M to settle lawsuit over salmon net-pen collapse
Cooke Aquaculture has reached a settlement to pay $2.75 million in legal fees and to fund Puget Sound restoration projects, putting an end to a Clean Water Act lawsuit that followed the 2017 collapse of one of the fish-farming company’s net-pen structures. The nonprofit Wild Fish Conservancy, an advocacy group that opposes fish farming in open water, initiated its lawsuit against Cooke in August 2017, about a week after a Cooke net pen near Cypress Island collapsed. State regulators would later say the company’s negligence led to the collapse and determined that as many as 263,000 Atlantic salmon escaped the floating cage structure and into Puget Sound. Fears did not materialize that the escaped salmon would survive and spread in Washington waters long-term. Some were concerned they could be a threat to native salmon. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Fraser River most critically endangered river in B.C: Outdoor council
The combined impacts of habitat destruction, fisheries management and climate change on the Fraser River are at their most damaging point since the Outdoor Recreation Council began compiling data 40 years ago. Steelhead runs in the largest tributaries of the Fraser are on the brink of extinction. The spawning population in the Thompson watershed is estimated to be 86 fish, according to a recent update from the ministry of forests, lands and natural resources. The Chilcotin watershed has only 39 steelhead likely to spawn. Non-selective net fishing for salmon is undercutting conservation and habitat restoration efforts intended to save the Fraser River steelhead from blinking out of existence, said Mark Angelo, chairman of the 100,000-member ORC. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Biologist 'gobsmacked' the salmon sperm he helped freeze 20 years ago may now boost a dwindling stock
After a particularly bad year for salmon returns because of a landslide near Big Bar, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council partnered with the Spruce City Wildlife Association in Prince George, to use salmon sperm they cryogenically froze 20 years ago, to try to replenish a Chinook salmon stock. Dustin Snyder, a spokesperson for the Spruce City Wildlife Association, said that 1,600 out of the 2,000 eggs they fertilized in September have survived. This is lower than what they usually see when using fresh salmon sperm, or milt, but they are excited to be reintroducing genetic diversity that has likely been lost. Biologist Brian Harvey helped the Carrier Sekani collect the milt 20 years ago in the Endako River and was "gobsmacked" when he heard they're now successfully using it. Dominika Lirette reports. (CBC)

Field Studies Continue for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is continuing field studies in December 2019 as part of ongoing environmental and technical work for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. Since 2011, the Port Authority has been conducting field studies at Roberts Bank and the surrounding areas that build on previous scientific work as well as address existing information gaps. According to the Port, the purpose of these studies is to determine the physical conditions (e.g., temperature and salinity) influencing biofilm presence and distribution at Roberts Bank. The Roberts Bank study area is located in the upper and mid intertidal zones north of the Roberts Bank causeway. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed new three-berth marine container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia, approximately 35 km south of Vancouver. (DredgingToday)

The Octopus from Outer Space
Seattle’s most beguiling sea creatures were once feared and hunted—and even wrestled—for sport. But new research and a few surprising encounters are changing how we view them. A story in eight parts.  James Ross Gardner writes. (SeattleMet)

New tax proposed to protect Washington from looming wildfire crisis
State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says a new tax is needed to help protect Washington during the upcoming wildfire season. But the plan is getting a cold reception from Republicans at the state Legislature...Franz is proposing a new way to bring in money each year for firefighting and fire prevention -- a tax. Her plan would hike Washington residents' insurance tax rate for property and casualty by $1 each month for the average household. It is estimated to generate $63 million annually.   Keith Eldridge reports. (KOMO)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  213 AM PST Tue Dec 3 2019   
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds  building to 6 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A chance of rain  in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 14 seconds. Rain.

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