Friday, May 22, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 22 2020

Aloha Canadian Immigrants Friday!
Canadian Immigrants Day celebrates those who have immigrated to the United States from Canada. The first wave of Canadian immigrants arrived in the 1860s; they were largely unskilled and came for factory jobs. A second wave arrived between 1900 and 1930, and were pushed by the discrimination they had faced in employment, education, and because of their religion. During the last half of the twentieth century, especially after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, there was a diversification of Canadian immigrants which included students, those looking to reunite with their families, educated professionals, and retirees with wishes to move to a warmer climate.

New steelhead strategy would include increased fishing and more hatcheries
Strategies to keep steelhead fishing alive while restoring steelhead populations to rivers in Puget Sound are spelled out in the “Quicksilver Portfolio," a document unveiled Friday before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic
With the turn of the season, as the sun more often lights up area waters with a sparkle, locals and visitors alike are usually drawn to the docks to pursue a glimpse of the region’s whales. Not this year.

Puget Sound cargo shipping drops sharply as coronavirus pandemic stalls trade
As cargo volumes to major Washington ports fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, shippers are canceling sailings and ports are shutting their gates to trucking operations some days of the week, causing backups, delays and container shortages.

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis 
Americans’ positions on climate change have remained largely unshaken by the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, according to a new national survey that showed acceptance of the reality of global warming at record highs in some categories.

Whatcom will consider another temporary limit on fuel shipments from Cherry Point
Whatcom County Council members will consider another temporary ban on shipment of unrefined fossil fuels from the oil refineries at the Cherry Point industrial area west of Ferndale.

Canada, US extend border closure to non-essential travel
Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep their border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

EPA releases plan to keep water in Columbia, Snake rivers cool enough for salmon
Salmon need cold water to survive. Dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers are making the water too hot, in some places by as much as 5 degrees. Now, after a drawn-out lawsuit and direction from the state of Washington, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has released plan to change that.   The state Department of Ecology used its authority under the Clean Water Act to require the federal operators of eight dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers to keep the water at 68 degrees or lower. Right now, it’s routinely hitting 72 or 73 degrees in parts of the system.


Wheeler defends pandemic rollbacks
EPA's moves to roll back a number of regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic came under fire (Wednesday) on Capitol Hill. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who appeared (Wednesday) morning before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for an oversight hearing.

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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 15 2020

Aloha Endangered Species Friday!
The United States Congress created Endangered Species Day in 2006 for learning why it's important to protect endangered species, for learning how to take part in protection efforts, and for celebrating species that have recovered as a result of these efforts. [PHOTO: Juvenile orca hunting chinook salmon; John Durban/NOAA]



Construction of expanded Trans Mountain pipeline to begin soon in B.C.
Construction will soon ramp up on the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil export pipeline, including the installation of pipe in British Columbia where opposition to the project has been loudest.

Port of Everett work forges ahead at Kimberly-Clark site
The Port of Everett is forging on with a major restoration of the former Kimberly-Clark mill site, even as the port faces empty commercial space and canceled events elsewhere.

B.C. health officials adamant Canada-U.S. border should remain closed to visitors
B.C. health officials are adamant the Canada-U.S. border should not reopen to visitors anytime soon as the clock ticks down on the agreement currently banning non-essential travel set to expire May 21.

Pandemic gives Pacific Northwest whales a respite from din of underwater noise 
American and Canadian marine scientists are trying to establish whether Pacific Northwest whales benefit from the current drop in boat traffic and underwater noise.

B.C. health officials say cruise ships not welcome this summer
B.C. health officials say passengers will not be permitted to disembark if cruise ships arrive at the province's ports later this summer although it's still unclear if the federal government will decide whether to resume the cruise ship season on July 1.

Seattle-based Holland America Line announces 2,000 layoffs, other measures as coronavirus halts cruise sailings worldwide
Cruise line Holland America, headquartered in Seattle, will lay off close to 2,000 employees and will furlough or reduce the hours or pay of its remaining shoreside employees,

Trump administration says Washington state overstepped with oil train law
The Trump administration on Monday moved to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil shipments by rail following a string of explosive accidents.

A big chunk of federal coronavirus help for Washington State Ferries
A $39.2 million federal grant, part of Congress' big COVID-19 relief package, will go to the Washington Department of Transportation to maintain commuter ferry service across Puget Sound.

Columbia, Snake river dam operators must make plan to keep waters cold enough for salmon survival
The Washington state Department of Ecology, in a historic move, has required federal operators of eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers to create a plan to keep the waters cold enough for adult salmon survival.


This year’s herring spawn events in Puget Sound were the largest in decades
There’s uncertainty about the precise extent and the size of the spawning due to stay-at-home restrictions limiting observation and measurement, but it’s clear that this has been a big year for herring.

Nine U.S. states sue EPA for easing environmental enforcement amid pandemic
Nine states on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for relaxing a range of companies’ compliance and monitoring requirements with federal clean air and water laws in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

B.C. premier and energy minister announce $120M plan to clean up orphan and dormant oil and gas wells
B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial Energy Minister Bruce Ralston announced plans Wednesday to use $120 million in federal funds to clean up thousands of so-called orphan oil and gas wells.

Trump Executive Order Opens the Door for Massive Industrial Fish Farms in Oceans
Last week, the Trump administration announced an executive order opening the door for large-scale fish farming.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 8 2020

Aloha Fintastic Friday!
Fantastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice was created by WhaleTimes and celebrates and raises awareness for sharks, and is geared towards children. It encourages them to get involved in shark conservation efforts and to help change public opinion about sharks—from fear to appreciation and from hate to love. Not only is the day dedicated to sharks, but to other elasmobranchs like rays and skates as well.

Federal Environmental Policies During Pandemic Raise Concerns Across Northwest
State agencies and advocates have been alarmed by federal environmental policy rollbacks that continue unabated by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Green groups sue over Trump rollback of Obama-era waterway protections
Two separate coalitions of environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Wednesday, challenging a rollback of protections for the nation’s waterways.

What rock-bottom natural gas prices mean for Canada’s aspiring LNG industry
10 things you should know as the coronavirus pandemic ‘implodes’ the already-shaky economics of exporting Canadian liquefied natural gas.

Field Studies Continue for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is continuing field studies in May 2020 as part of ongoing environmental and technical work for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.

Island butterfly earns endangered species listing
The island marble butterfly found only in San Juan County will be recognized as an endangered species, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced Monday.

The Energy 202: Big Oil posts big losses during coronavirus crisis
The numbers are in: We now know just how badly the country's top oil drillers were hit by the coronavirus-fueled downturn.

The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List
After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo.

New regulations to protect killer whales ask fishermen to stop fishing near whales year round
For the second year in a row the Government of Canada is enacting restrictions to help protect the southern resident killer whale population. The new rules from Fisheries and Oceans Canada include protecting access to chinook salmon, reducing contaminants affecting killer whales and their prey and asking all vessels to "go slow" when whales are around.

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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, May 1, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 1 2020

 
Aloha May Day Friday!
May Day is a spring holiday in many cultures, and a national holiday in many European countries. It stemmed from ancient celebrations which included Floralia, a Roman festival honoring the flower goddess Flora; Walpurgis Night, which was celebrated by Germanic countries; Beltane, a Gaelic holiday; and Anthesteria, a Greek festival. In some European pagan cultures, it was seen as the first day of summer, while the summer solstice was celebrated as Midsummer. Celebrants would get up early and gather flowers and branches to decorate their houses with. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day.


B.C.'s tourism industry prepares for a bleak summer
This month was supposed to be the start of the busiest cruise season in Metro Vancouver history, but the cruise industry — and the province's tourism industry as a whole — is looking at a much more subdued season altogether due to COVID-19.

Trans Mountain, LNG Canada say they are on track despite pandemic
Energy projects like an LNG Canada export terminal and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may face short-term setbacks but the pandemic and oil price crash shouldn't threaten their long-term viability, economists say.

Warm-water ‘blobs’ significantly diminish salmon, other fish populations, study says
A new study suggests that the resulting decline in commercial fishing by 2050 could be twice as great as previously estimated by climate scientists.

'Salmon cannon' coming to help threatened Fraser River fish bypass rock slide
Spawning salmon will be shot through a 160 metre-long pneumatic tube running over the Big Bar slide.

Port of Seattle delays controversial new cruise terminal as it pares spending due to coronavirus
Port of Seattle Commissions shaved nearly $70 million from the Port’s 2020 budget, including by postponing the controversial $100 million redevelopment of a downtown pier into a cruise terminal.

Court To Hear Appeal Over Federal Pipeline Permitting Decision
Great Falls Federal Judge Brian Morris Tuesday granted the government’s request for an expedited appeal but kept in place a hold on projects using Nationwide Permit 12.

Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise
Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships.


‘Status quo is not working,’ tribes say, as Seattle begins relicensing Skagit River Hydro 
Seattle City Light will go through a detailed federal process over the next five years, to meet regulations to keep operating the 100-year-old Skagit River Hydroelectric Project.


Preparing For the Next Spill
On Canada’s west coast, oil spill cleanup capacity is expanding. But is it enough?

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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 24, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 24 2020

Aloha Arbor Friday!
The holiday's name comes from the Latin word arbor, which means tree. In 1594, the mayor of the Spanish village of MondoƱedo organized a tree-planting festival—the first festival of its kind. Another Spanish village, Villanueva de la Sierra, held the first Arbor Day in 1805. In America, Arbor Day got its start in 1872. Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist, and his wife, Caroline, moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1854, the year Nebraska became a territory. They bought 160 acres of land, which was mostly desolate, and planted trees and shrubs on it. Morton began writing about the value of trees in the Nebraska City News, Nebraska's first newspaper, where he was the editor. In 1872, Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture the idea for a day for everyone in Nebraska to plant trees. Arbor Day became an official state holiday in Nebraska in 1885. It was designated to take place on April 22, on Morton's birthday. But it wasn't until 1970 when Arbor Day became National Arbor Day. Although the holiday had always been held towards the end of April, it was also at this time that the day began being celebrated nationally on the last Friday of the month.


What coronavirus tells us about climate change on Earth Day's 50th anniversary
The Seattle Times headline on Seattle’s first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was prescient. So much so, it could have been written on this year’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


US Supreme Court Rules Against Maui In Major Clean Water Case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Maui County can’t skirt the Clean Water Act by merely pumping its sewage into groundwater before discharging it into the ocean.

On Earth Day, activists call for environmental justice in the face of the coronavirus pandemic
Washington’s broadest coalition of climate activists is using the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to call for a just recovery from COVID-19.

Ten Years after Deepwater Horizon, Worries Remain
Efforts to clean up the lingering effects of the oil spill are well underway, but secrecy and deregulation have returned to the Gulf, raising the specter of a repeat. Boyce Upholt reports.


White House readies push to slash regulations as major part of its coronavirus economic recovery plan
Senior White House and Trump administration officials are planning to launch a sweeping effort in the coming days to repeal or suspend federal regulations affecting businesses.

EPA Finalizes Rollback of Water Pollution Safeguards
Pulling the plug on the eve of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency eliminated critical pollution rules from the Obama era that had safeguarded at-risk ecosystems and drinking water across the country.


E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury
The Trump administration on Thursday  weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants.

SeaDoc Awards Salish Sea Science Prize to Crab Team 
Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team is winner of the SeaDoc Society’s 2020 Salish Sea Science Prize, which comes with a $2,000 no-strings-attached cash award.

Ecology: Saving Dynamic Coastal Wetland Habitat
The Washington State Department of Ecology has secured grants worth more than $5 million that will help locals restore and enhance nearly 500 acres of coastal wetlands and 17,500 feet of marine shoreline in Jefferson, Kitsap, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties.


The great data freeze: How the pandemic will set back environmental science
With the majority of environment-focused scientists, natural resource managers and field technicians who study and maintain the natural world working remotely to flatten the curve, the flow of crucial data yielded by fieldwork has essentially been frozen.

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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 17, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 17 2020

Aloha Bat Friday!
There are at least 900 species of bats, and some experts say there are close to 1,200. This means that bats make up between a fifth and a quarter of the world's mammal population. Many bats hibernate during the winter, meaning that April 17 is a fitting time for Bat Appreciation Day, as many are waking up around this time of year. Others that live in the Northern Hemisphere migrate south for the winter. In general, bats like to live in warmer areas near the equator. Some bats can eat 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour, and can consume their body weight in insects in a night! Bats have also historically been important because of their droppings, called guano. Guano is an excellent fertilizer, and once was a very important commodity.


50 years ago, the global Earth Day movement was born — and so was WWU’s Huxley College, both shaping national environmental conversation
On April 22, 1970, environmentalists marching on the first Earth Day shook the nation out of what had become a long, pollution-riddled slumber — the ugly byproduct of the Industrial Age.

E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury
The Trump administration on Thursday  weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.

EPA charts path to suspend hazardous waste cleanup amid coronavirus
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday announced that the cleanup of hazardous waste sites and other pollution spills may be slowed or paused during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cooke Aquaculture applies to modify permits for steelhead farming in Puget Sound
Cooke Aquaculture wants to use its fish farming pens off the southern coast of Bainbridge Island to raise rainbow trout.

2020 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Register now for the 2020 virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. Digital program opening April 20; Virtual Conference April 21-22.

EPA to leave pollution standards unchanged, against recommendations of its own scientists
The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a proposal to retain, without changes, standards for particulate matter pollution, going against the recommendations of the agency's own scientists.

Vancouver Aquarium losing millions, could close permanently
The Vancouver Aquarium will close permanently within two months unless it receives immediate financial support.

Expanding Canada’s Biggest Port Will Be a Blow to Wildlife
The long-awaited federal assessment of the contentious Terminal 2 expansion of the Roberts Bank shipping terminal, 30 kilometers south of Vancouver, British Columbia, is finally ready, and it cites a daunting list of problems, including the potential for serious harm to the region’s killer whales and salmon.

Federal judge cancels Keystone pipeline permit
A federal judge has canceled a key permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline, stating it was issued without proper assessment of the project's environmental impact.



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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Friday, April 10, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 10 2020

Aloha ASPCA Friday!
The American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the first animal welfare organization of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, was created on April 10, 1866. It works with shelters and humane societies across the country, with the mission of preventing cruelty to animals. Its founder, Henry Bergh, was inspired to create the organization after seeing a carthorse being beaten by its drivers. The organization, which has its headquarters in New York City, became the model for many other humane organizations across the country.


Overflowing Oil Tanks Have Traders Eyeing Rail Cars for Storage
Oil companies are turning to rail cars to stash the crude they can’t sell, as the world runs out of places to store a growing glut of cheap barrels. North American producers, refiners and traders are now looking to store excess oil in rail yards in Texas.

'A remarkable thing': Salmon fry born from sperm frozen 20 years ago set to be released
A new generation of salmon is entering the world amid a global pandemic. Salmon fry, whose origin story begins 20 years ago, are being cared for by biologists in Prince George, B.C.

Oil Companies Are Collapsing Due to Coronavirus, but Wind and Solar Energy Keep Growing
A few years ago, the kind of double-digit drop in oil and gas prices the world is experiencing now because of the coronavirus pandemic might have increased the use of fossil fuels and hurt renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms.

Natural Gas Glut Moves Offshore
Liquefied natural gas traders are following the latest trend in the oil market by storing huge amounts of the commodity on tankers, hoping prices will rise before the ship docks.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada pulls at-sea observers from fishing boats due to coronavirus pandemic
Fishermen rely on observers to keep the industry honest. Now they’re worried about maintaining a level playing field.

An Unexpected Coronavirus Casualty: Plastic Reduction Efforts
In a matter of days, hard-won bans to reduce the use of plastics — and particularly plastic shopping sacks — across the U.S. have come under fire amid worries about the virus clinging to reusable bags, cups and straws.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority calls panel findings on Terminal 2 'workable'
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has responded to the environmental impact report of a federally appointed panel last month, saying the findings - that the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would cause significant adverse impact - are "sensible and workable."

COVID-19: Reduced Metro Vancouver air pollution key to a flatter curve
Vehicle traffic is down 47 per cent within Vancouver’s city limits and down 55 per cent in the downtown core since non-essential businesses were shut down to control the spread of COVID-19

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These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told