Friday, September 25, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 25 2020

 

[Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0]

Aloha Koala Friday!
The koala or, inaccurately, koala bear is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae and its closest living relatives are the wombats, which are members of the family Vombatidae.


A bouncing baby orca boy! And other promising killer whale news from Puget Sound
On the day the orca baby was born, the whales partied into the night.

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species
With $597,000 from the federal government, Islands Trust Conservancy will be able to launch a program for endangered species protection.

An Alaska Mine Project Might Be Bigger Than Acknowledged
Executives overseeing the development of a long-disputed copper and gold mine in Alaska were recorded saying they expected the project to become much bigger, and operate for much longer, than outlined in the proposal that is awaiting final approval by the Army Corps of Engineers. Alaska mining executive resigns a day after caught on tape boasting of his ties to GOP politicians Tom Collier, who stood to get a $12.4 million bonus if Pebble Mine went ahead, resigned in the wake of secretly recorded talks with environmentalists posing as potential investors.

As wildfire smoke endangers health indoors and out, questions arise about government response
The massive smoke waves that engulfed the Pacific Northwest this month are likely only a start to a climate-fueled health crisis in the Pacific Northwest of staggering breadth and depth.

So there’s going to be a fall election in B.C.: has the NDP kept its environmental promises?
The NDP rose to power in 2017 vowing to take action on climate change, old-growth logging, the Trans Mountain pipeline, endangered species and more.

Little Action from Canadian Government as Deadline to Remove Salmon Farms Looms Eight years ago, the Cohen Commission gave Fisheries and Oceans Canada a deadline to prove salmon farms do not threaten wild sockeye. B.C. First Nations demand removal of open-net salmon farms near Campbell River, B.C.
A total of 101 B.C. First Nations, wilderness tourism operators, and commercial and sport fishing groups have united in a show of solidarity to demand the federal government take action on the collapse of Fraser River salmon stocks by ordering the removal of open-net fish farms near Campbell River.

Climate action will be ‘cornerstone’ of Canada’s economic recovery plan: throne speech
From creating thousands of jobs in energy efficiency building retrofits to cutting the tax rate for green manufacturing companies, the Trudeau government has amped up its commitments to tackle climate change.

Fisheries officials seize 316 Canadian crab traps set in U.S. water as part of annual sting
Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have seized 316 crab traps they claim were illegally set in U.S. water this month, as part of an annual enforcement operation coordinated with their American counterparts.

Supreme Court Could Give Trump Second Chance at Environmental Rollbacks
President Trump has initiated the most aggressive environmental deregulation agenda in modern history, but as his first term drives to a close, many of his policies are being cut down by the courts — even by Republican-appointed jurists who the administration had hoped would be friendly.


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, September 18, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 18 2020

 

World bamboo day celebration

Aloha World Bamboo Day!
Bamboo, (subfamily Bambusoideae), subfamily of tall treelike grasses of the family Poaceae, comprising more than 115 genera and 1,400 species. Bamboos are distributed in tropical and subtropical to mild temperate regions, with the heaviest concentration and largest number of species in East and Southeast Asia and on islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans. A few species of the genus Arundinaria are native to the southern United States, where they form dense canebrakes along riverbanks and in marshy areas.

Oil Demand Has Collapsed, And It Won't Come Back Any Time Soon
2020 is shaping up to be an extraordinarily bad year for oil.

‘Tons and tons of fishing equipment’: B.C. tour operators clean up ocean debris during coronavirus pandemic
Waste from fishing industry accounts for about 70 per cent of garbage collected in 61-tonne haul, according to captain on expedition supported by provincial government.

Port again wins millions in grant money for mill site revamp
A major effort to bring jobs back to a prime waterfront property is back on track after the project’s financing plan hit a snag earlier this year. The Port of Everett has won nearly $18 million in federal funding to help pay for the construction of a new cargo terminal on the roughly 60-acre site, which once was the home of a Kimberly-Clark paper and pulp mill.

U.S.-Canada border shutdown likely to extend through November, Ottawa cool to more exemptions - sources
The United States and Canada are likely to extend border restrictions until at least the end of November as coronavirus cases spike in some states, according to well-placed Washington and Ottawa sources.

EPA Sued Over Washington State’s ‘Outdated’ Water Quality Rules
The EPA should be ordered to work with Washington state to update its more than 20-year-old water quality standards for toxic pollutants, a conservation group says in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court.

What Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Mean for Global Warming
President Trump has made dismantling federal climate policies a centerpiece of his administration. A new analysis from the Rhodium Group finds those rollbacks add up to a lot more planet-warming emissions.

Endangered wildlife, habitat burned in Washington wildfires; years of effort to boost populations wiped out
Entire wildlife areas have been destroyed and endangered populations of animals gravely depleted by wildfires burning in Eastern Washington. Much of the area burned east of the mountains included shrub-steppe habitat.

Major oil product shipping group invests $10M in Kalama methanol plant
The proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant this week received a $10 million investment from a major international shipping company, which also agreed to ship a portion of the methanol made at the plant.

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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, September 11, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 11 2020

 


Aloha Women's Baseball Day!
Women's Baseball Day commemorates that day in 1875, when the first women's baseball game where fans were charged and players were paid took place. It was between "Blondes" and "Brunettes" and was held in Springfield, Illinois. Prior to this, women had played baseball at Vassar College, starting in 1866. Teams of "Bloomer Girls" played across the country from the 1890's to the 1930's. Between 1943 and 1954, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League existed, where 600 women competed in the sport professionally. Since 2004, women's baseball teams from around the world have competed in the Women's Baseball World Cup.


Orca Tahlequah is a mother again
Mother orca Tahlequah has had her baby.

Roberts Bank Terminal 2 decision delayed as Wilkinson flags ‘gaps’ in addressing project’s risks
Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has requested detailed information from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority about potential harms to chinook salmon and critically endangered southern resident killer whales.

Trump, Calling Himself ‘the No. 1 Environmental President,’ Green Washes His Record
President Trump, who has vowed to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change, loosened restrictions on toxic air pollution, rolled back clean water protections and removed climate change from a list of national security threats, stood in front of supporters in Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday and declared himself “a great environmentalist.”

Salmon Subsidies Get Tossed Aside
Since the 1990s, people have been tossing salmon carcasses into previously prosperous salmon rivers—a bid to revitalize these ecosystems. But a new study, the first to assess the long-term benefits of these salmon-tossing efforts, has found the activity less effective than hoped.

The standoff at this Pierce County bridge 50 years ago codified tribal treaty fishing rights
A deep red modern span stretches over Pacific Highway on the bridge that links Tacoma to Fife, carrying a steady stream of cars and trucks over the Puyallup River. The bridge and an older portion of it nearby were recently renamed by the City of Tacoma in collaboration with the Puyallup Tribe.

Washington AG sues to prevent oil and gas development on Arctic Refuge coastal plain
Washington state is joining 14 other states in suing to block exploration and prevent oil and gas development in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday.

Comments sought on Cooke Aquaculture permit
The state Department of Ecology is accepting comments on a draft permit that would allow Cooke Aquaculture to raise steelhead trout in four net pens in Puget Sound, including one near Hope Island in Skagit County.

B.C. salmon farms regularly under-counting sea lice, study finds
Discrepancies between the number of sea lice found on farmed salmon during in-house company checks and the number recorded when counts are audited by Fisheries and Oceans Canada reveal that salmon farming companies are regularly under-reporting the number of lice on their fish, a newly released study has found.

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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, September 4, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review September 4 2020

Aloha National Wildlife Friday!
National Wildlife Day focuses on endangered species, preservation, and conservation efforts around the world. Wildlife doesn’t only exist in the forest or outside the city limits. Look closely. The creatures and animals sharing our world live under our feet and in the sky above us. Our rivers, lakes and oceans are teeming with wildlife of all sizes. It’s essential to understand how we impact the habitats that animals need to survive. Their homes supply their food and shelter.

Proposed Roberts Bank terminal will add cargo capacity — but at what cost to Salish Sea
In the shadow of the contested Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is another major Canadian infrastructure project that could bring major changes to shipping traffic in waters shared by British Columbia and Washington.

Rare treat: endangered orcas return to Salish Sea in search of scarce salmon
After six weeks away from its usual summer splashing grounds, the J pod of endangered orcas returned en masse to the west side of San Juan Island Tuesday morning.

Closing Canadian fisheries would help rebuild stocks and lead to economic gains: study
At least a quarter of major fish stocks in Canada are in decline, but efforts to rebuild them  — such as closing fisheries or setting catch limits — are often met with strong opposition due to negative socioeconomic effects.

Washington Ecology finds new climate impacts from Kalama methanol plant
An environmental analysis released Wednesday by the Washington Department of Ecology found additional sources of greenhouse gas emissions from the $2 billion methanol project proposed on the lower Columbia River.


More green crabs found in Padilla Bay
More invasive European green crabs have been found in Padilla Bay this week.
Fight underway against invasive crab in Samish Bay The invasion of the European green crab in local waters continues. In Samish Bay, what began as the discovery of a few of the crabs in Taylor Shellfish Farm’s aquaculture beds in January 2019 has this summer grown into a full-fledged trapping effort.

Drilling, mines, other projects hastened by Trump order
Documents provided to The Associated Press show the Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump administration rolls back Obama-era rule aimed at limiting toxic wastewater from coal plants
The Trump administration on Monday weakened a 2015 regulation that would have forced coal plants to treat wastewater with more modern, effective methods in order to curb toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury from contaminating lakes, rivers and streams near their facilities

EPA chief criticizes Democratic governors, vows to concentrate on cleaning up vulnerable communities in a second Trump term
Andrew Wheeler outlined a vision for the future that emphasizes economic development in poor communities over tackling climate change. 

Vancouver Aquarium closing to the public until further notice as COVID-19 losses continue
The Vancouver Aquarium announced Monday more than 200 staff members are being laid off, primarily from the operations sector, as the aquarium closes to the public in an effort to save money after months of financial loss.

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, August 21, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review August 21, 2020

 

Aloha Hawaii Statehood Friday!
Hawaii’s Statehood Day commemorates Hawaii’s admission as a state on August 21, 1959. After overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893, the United States in 1898 annexed Hawaii for strategic reasons during the Spanish-American War. During World War II, Oahu served as the command post for the US operations in the Pacific. After the war, two-thirds of the residents favored statehood. However, because of the many ethnicities present, there was resistance to Hawaii’s statehood from segregated southern states. A primary election took place in Hawaii on June 27, 1959, and various statehood propositions received many votes on that day. Following the certification of the election results, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation on August 21, 1959, declaring Hawaii to be the 50th state. This was known as Admission Day until 2001.

30 Years of OPA90: Legislation to Prevent Another Exxon Valdez
30 years ago today, a new law controlling the oil and gas industry was adopted in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Now some fear those regulations are being rolled back.

Trump administration announces plans to drill in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday announced plans for an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, clearing the way for drilling in the remote Alaskan area.

Four reasons 2020 is set to see the lowest Fraser River sockeye salmon return on record
Even a low-ball prediction for the number of sockeye returning to B.C. river was too high and First Nations and conservationists say government mismanagement and lice infestations are partly to blame.  B.C. Indigenous leaders call for emergency closure of Fraser River fishery, saying stocks have collapsed  First Nations groups in British Columbia are calling on the federal fisheries minister to issue an emergency order to close all sockeye fisheries on the Fraser River.

Public lands chief hangs on despite nomination getting nixed
A former oil industry attorney will continue calling the shots for a government agency that oversees nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the U.S. West, despite the White House saying over the weekend that President Donald Trump would withdraw the nomination of William Perry Pendley.

Endangered Species Act protections sought for a Northwest freshwater mussel
A 2017 analysis that looked at historic versus recent distributing areas of the species and found that the populations have declined by almost 50% of its historic range and it has been accelerating in recent years.

Metro Vancouver’s Biggest Sewage Plant Is Getting an Upgrade. Many Are Watching
Metro Vancouver’s plan to clean up wastewater from its largest treatment plant is welcome, say environmental advocates. But more details are needed to ensure everything will be done to protect the Fraser River and Salish Sea, they warn.

Climate change is causing more rain in the North. That’s bad news for permafrost
New study shows wetter weather is thawing the frozen ground that covers a quarter of the northern hemisphere, threatening to release massive stores of carbon.

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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, August 14, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review August 14, 2020

 

Aloha Social Security Friday!
The original Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935,and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfare and social insurance programs.


British Columbia’s looming extinction crisis
Canada’s westernmost province markets itself as 'Super, Natural, B.C.,' but more than 2,000 species of animals and plants are at risk of disappearing — and unlike six other provinces, B.C. still has no endangered species law, despite the NDP's election promise to introduce one.

Trump administration wants to reduce critical habitat for northern spotted owls
The Trump administration is proposing to eliminate protections for imperiled northern spotted owls by taking back critical habitat status from more than 200,000 acres of public forests in Oregon.

'Quite dire': Fraser River sockeye salmon run expected to be worst ever recorded
This year is shaping up to be the worst for sockeye salmon in the Fraser River since tracking began in 1893, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Quoting ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ judge strikes down Trump administration rollback of historic law protecting birds
A federal judge in New York has invalidated rule changes by the Trump administration that allowed individuals and corporations to kill scores of birds as long as they could prove they did not intentionally set out to do so.

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish
Approval to kill up to 840 sea lions in a portion of the Columbia River and its tributaries over the next five years to boost the survival of salmon and steelhead at risk of extinction is expected from federal officials Friday.

Trump's Methane Rollback That Big Oil Doesn't Want
Despite opposition from the oil and gas industry it aims to help, the Trump administration is rolling back an Obama-era rule designed to reduce climate-warming methane emissions.

Global Warming Could Unlock Carbon From Tropical Soil
Humble dirt could pack an unexpected climate punch, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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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, August 7, 2020

Salish Sea News Week in Review August 7 2020


Aloha National Lighthouse Day!

The Kīlauea Lighthouse, known today as the Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse, is a 52-foot structure situated on a rocky peninsula 180 feet above the Pacific Ocean on the island of Kauai.  Built in the historic era of lighthouses in the U.S., it was commissioned as the Kīlauea Point Light Station on May 1, 1913.  One hundred years later on May 1, 2013 it was dedicated to U.S. Senator Inouye who was instrumental in raising the private and public funds necessary for the restoration of the lighthouse.

Environmental group wants to buy the rights to Puget Sound net pen sites
An environmental group is proposing to take over and hold in trust four sites throughout Puget Sound that have for years been used to farm fish.

Don’t blame COVID-19 for new Site C dam cost overruns and delays, energy experts say
The Site C dam project is facing unknown cost overruns, schedule delays and such profound geotechnical problems that its overall health has been classified as “red,” meaning the project is in serious trouble, according to two overdue project reports released by BC Hydro on Friday.

New fish trap on White River can handle a million salmon a year, biggest facility in nation
They were impaled and exhausted, weakened, or left dying in waves: pink salmon by the thousands, defeated by a nearly 80-year-old fish trap and dam on this waterway that also harmed spring chinook, the prize diet of endangered southern resident killer whales. But no more.

Appeals court: NOAA can't make rules for offshore fish farms
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a decision that throws out rules regulating fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico. The law granting authority over fisheries to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not also let the agency set rules for offshore fish farms, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its on Monday.

Federal Study Recommends Keeping Snake River Dams In Place, With Congress Having Final Say
The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies.

Trump administration seeks limits on what can be ‘habitat’ for imperiled species
The Trump administration is proposing to define what land and water can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals — potentially excluding areas that species could use in the future.

No environmental charges as 6th anniversary of Mt. Polley mine dam collapse looms
Nearly six years after the collapse of the tailings dam at Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley mine, no charges for environmental damage have been laid and there is no word on timing of a decision.

Another Washington dam removal — and 37 more miles of salmon habitat restored
Washington’s dam-busting summer is still rolling, with two more dams coming down on the Pilchuck River, opening 37 miles of habitat to salmon for the first time in more than a century.

President Trump signs bill permanently funding Land and Water Conservation Fund
A landmark bill committing $900 million a year for land conservation and a one-time $9.5 billion boost to help catch up over the next five years on maintenance needs at national parks was signed into law by President Donald Trump Monday.

Agreement between province, BC Hydro, First Nation, ends legal fight over Site C
A British Columbia First Nation has ended its legal battle against the provincial government and BC Hydro over the Site C dam, a project the nation originally claimed was a $1-billion treaty violation.

UBC loses appeal of conviction for dumping ammonia into stream
The University of B.C. has lost its appeal of a $1.155-million fine and conviction for allowing ammonia to be discharged from the Thunderbird ice rinks into a tributary of the Fraser River.

B.C.’s emissions reach highest levels since 2001
Greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. spiked in 2018, reaching the highest levels since 2001, with oil and gas extraction, off-road industrial transport and heavy-duty diesel vehicles among the culprits, according to data released by the provincial government on Thursday.

U.S. court allows Dakota Access oil pipeline to stay open, but permit status unclear
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday said the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) does not have to be shut and drained per a lower court order, but a legal battle continued over the permit that allowed the line to be finished.

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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