This is something we need you to understand about oil tanker traffic on the west coast.
We are writing from Haida Gwaii, the islands off western Canada, a Major migratory route for seabirds, salmon and whales.
South is Gwaii Haanas, a #1 National Geographic world destination, and “the only place on Earth to be protected from mountain top to sea floor”. Canada and the Haida Nation committed to its protection as an “essential” safeguard for “one of the world’s great natural and cultural treasures”.
Across on the mainland is the Great Bear Rainforest, home to B.C.’s provincial animal, the white ‘spirit’ bear, protected by a provincial multi-sector land use agreement.
Between the Islands and the mainland lies the shallow Hecate Strait – the fourth most dangerous body of water in the world. Shell Oil recorded winter waves of 20 m (65 ft.) and higher.
The problem: Enbridge, Canada and China plan to run 250+ supertankers a year – carrying bitumen, returning with foreign bilge water – through Hecate Strait and past the shores of Gwaii Haanas.
The seas here are exceptionally rich. We feel responsible for keeping this part alive, for our children and yours.
Our livelihoods are at stake – existing jobs and a healthy planet depend on a living ocean. It is definitely in the national interest to use our water resources wisely and sustainably.
We know that marine oil spills are inevitable, and that there is neither technology nor accountability for a real clean-up.