Mussels on drugs found near Victoria sewage outfalls – CBC

For years, Victorians of all political stripes have been discounting their lack of a sewage system. Every time I’ve put a story up here, a couple of Victorians have, out of the blue, weighed in. I’ve even heard younger Victorians, who claim to be “green” tell me to my face that, “it’s no big deal” that their raw sewage has been pouring into the Strait for decades after every other city on the Strait and Salish Sea seems to have put in tertiary or secondary treatment systems. I rarely ever challenge them when they do that, as it’s pointless to argue with people who refuse to even look at scientific data. Well, the CBC finally looked into it, and the unfortunate joke is on them, as they have likely been poisoning themselves and their children if they have been eating any of the shellfish or bottom feeders from the area around their city.

As stated in the article, the sewage treatment plant *should* remove many of these chemicals. Now it is up to the local environmental departments to get the message out that people should not be dumping their pharmaceuticals and other chemicals down the sink or in the toilet. My hope is that, in some distant time, we will actually stop dumping *all* our wastes into the Straits and Salish Sea. Composting toilets have advanced to a place where we should be able to end the expensive and stupid habit that we have picked up in the last 100 years. While it was an improvement over what came before it, we have paid a price for it. There are no free lunches.

Monitoring by the Capital Regional District has found high concentrations of antidepressants, as well as other pharmaceuticals and personal care products in shellfish near the sewage outfalls around Victoria.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sewage-victoria-crd-drugs-contamination-mussels-pharmaceuticals-1.4537222?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

Blooming marvellous: drones give B.C. researchers new view of ‘enormous’ jellyfish clusters – Canadian Press

Some cool news uses for drones.

Technology is allowing researchers in British Columbia to study blooms of jellyfish and their impact on the ocean in a whole new way. UBC oceanography professor Brian Hunt and undergraduate student Jessica Schaub have been using drones to get a better picture of the size and composition of clusters of moon jellyfish off B.C.’s central coast. Images from cameras soaring high above the ocean provide a bird’s-eye view that can’t be replicated on the water, Hunt said. Gemma Karstens-Smith reports. (Canadian Press)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/jellyfish-blooms-bc-1.4522141

Latest on Trans Mountain Pipeline

I can’t imagine it will be actually blocked permanently, but the newly elected politicians in B.C. need to follow through on campaign promises to angry voters.  Stayed tuned for the inevitable additional news on this.

Trans Mountain pipeline work stopped before it starts in British Columbia  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/trans-mountain-pipeline-work-stopped-before-it-starts-in-british-columbia/

The British Columbia provincial government has monkey-wrenched the start of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, announcingThursday that it is taking legal and administrative steps to stop the project. At issue is inadequate consultation by developer Kinder Morgan with First Nations, said George Heyman, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, in a news conference in Victoria. The company must complete consultations with First Nations on several environmental aspects of the project not yet addressed, and may not begin work on public land until it does so, Heyman said. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

See also: B.C. joins legal battles against Trans Mountain pipeline expansionhttp://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/live-b-c-government-to-announce-steps-against-trans-mountain-pipeline Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

And also: B.C.’s impending Kinder Morgan challenge is another straw on a very beleaguered camel http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/kinder-morgan-legal-challenge-ndp-august-2017-1.4243022 Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

New species of flying squirrel discovered in Pacific Northwest – CBC

Still amazing that they are finding new species. And they are not even close relatives!

The northern flying squirrel can be found throughout British Columbia — but a new study has found that those living on the coast are a completely different species from those found inland for about a million years. The authors of the study analyzed the DNA of flying squirrel specimens collected throughout the Pacific Northwest, previously thought to be the exclusive domain of the northern flying squirrel. But those found on the Pacific coast between southern B.C. and northern California turned out to be genetically distinct from those found further inland. Matt Meuse reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/new-flying-squirrel-species-1.4154875

 

British Columbia Green Party shakes the vote

Expanding their reach from 1 to 3 members of Parliament, the BC Green party under the leadership of Andrew Weaver, has shaken BC politics to it’s core. The current situation after the vote showed Premiere Christie Clark losing her majority and having to form the first minority government in 65 years. Credit the Green Party for this change.

The Greens have obviously brought better candidates to the election, and some races are still too close to call. But Clark was clear that she is going to be governing from a minority position.

It is great to see a party that has been unable to bring significant candidates that can win to a position to influence the ability to govern. The tradeoffs to be made to allow Clark to continue governing means that the environment and other key Green issues, are going to be heard in a new and more significant way.

I like Vaughn Palmer’s take on the outcome.

Vaughn Palmer: Not sure who won yet, but Christy Clark definitely lost

Fisheries minister to announce protection for ancient glass sponge reefs – CBC via Vancouver Sun

Good news! And a good reason to continue creating Marine Protected Areas here.

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc is expected to announce today a long-awaited Marine Protected Area for Canada’s rare glass sponge reefs, found on the B.C. coast. The kind of glass sponge found in B.C. was thought to have died off 40 million years ago, before the discovery of fragile living reefs in Hecate Strait, near Haida Gwaii, in 1987…. A Marine Protected Area is a zone in the ocean designated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with tighter regulations, meant to conserve and protect something endangered, unique or ecologically important. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/leblanc-sponge-announcement-1.3984590

See also: BC: Fishermen to fight feds over expected ban near Hecate Strait reefs http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/fishermen-to-fight-feds-over-expected-b-c-ban-near-fragile-hecate-strait-reefs Rick Eagland reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Incredible new film from the BC Coast

Filmmaker Tavish Campbell has published an astonishingly beautiful ode to the B.C. coast. Take three minutes, go full screen, and watch one of the best new films I’ve seen in a while. Congratulations to Tavish for just doing a spectacular job.

 

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