3 Actions for the Salish Sea – March 2017

Dear Safe Shippers,
You are powerful! You made Salish Sea Stands Lobby Day a success! You showed up in Olympia, stood on the Capitol steps, and sat at the table with our representatives.
Three days after we made our impressive showing in Olympia, HB 1611 (the Oil Transportation Safety Bill we are supporting) passed out of the House Environment Committee and is now before the House Finance Committee. To keep our Salish Sea safe, we need to keep up the pressure to make sure this bill passes.
Action 1: Support HB 1611
Before March 3, please call or email the members of the House Finance Committee to ask them to support this bill and send it to the full House for a vote. Tell them a little bit about yourself and why you care about safe transport of oil through our Salish Sea. If you make time for only one phone call or email, please contact the chair — our islands’ own Representative Kris Lytton.

Rep. Kristine Lytton (D), Chair: (360) 786-7800; Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Noel Frame (D), Vice-chair: (360) 786-7814; Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Terry Nealey (R): (360) 786-7828; Terry.Nealey@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Ed Orcutt (R): (360) 786-7990; Ed.Orcutt@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Cary Condotta (R): (360) 786-7954; Cary.Condotta@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Laurie Dolan (D): (360) 786-7940; Laurie.Dolan@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Gerry Pollet (D): (360) 786-7886; Gerry.Pollet@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Larry Springer (D): (360) 786-7822; Larry.Springer@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R): (360) 786-7846; Drew.Stokesbary@leg.wa.gov

Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R): (360) 786-7912; JT.Wilcox@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Sharon Wylie (D): (360) 786-7924; Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov

About HB 1611: 



Action 2: Comment on the Centerm Expansion Project

The project: Centerm is a container ship terminal in Vancouver BC and it wants to expand. This expansion would mean 120 more transits of cargo container ships per year traveling past our shores through Haro Strait with many of these ships larger than those currently transiting our waters.

Why Safe Shippers care: Increased shipping through lower Georgia Strait, Boundary Pass, Haro Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca means increased vessel noise that impacts our resident orcas and other marine species, and increased risks of accidents and oil spills in the Salish Sea. Because the San Juan Islands are vulnerable to any negative impacts from this expansion, we need to take this opportunity to speak up.

Comment by March 24:

By mail: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Attn: Centerm Expansion Project Team
100 The Pointe, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver BC, V6C 3T4
By phone: 1-604-665-9563

What to ask for: 

1. Ask Centerm to mitigate the impacts from their expansion’s increased risk of accidents and oil spills involving their container ships along the entire vessel route to open ocean. This mitigation should include the funding of an emergency response rescue tug that is underway 24/7 in Haro Strait/Boundary Pass near the 70-degree turn at Turn Point which is one the most dangerous passageways in our shared waters with Canada.
2. Ask for mitigations to the project’s vessel noise impacts along the entire vessel route to open ocean. These mitigations should specifically address the impacts to our resident orca whales. Centerm is only looking at project impacts to the marine environment and wildlife in Vancouver’s harbor, stating that the “proposed increase of vessel calls to Centerm by one vessel per week would add little additional risk to marine mammals interacting with vessels.” This project will clearly impact critical marine environments and endangered species along the entire vessel route to open ocean.
3. Ask Centerm to hold an open house or small group meeting here in San Juan County (currently only scheduled for Vancouver BC) where many of us who will be directly affected by this project live.
4. Ask our San Juan County Council to submit comments and to ask for Centerm to hold an open house or small group meeting here on San Juan County.
More about the Centerm expansion project:



Action 3: Attend the Marine Resource Committee hearing on the NOAA-proposed Whale Protection Zone.
Wednesday, March 1 • 8:30am • Legislative Hearing Room, 555 2nd Street, Friday Harbor

Our County needs to hear from you so they know how to best represent islanders in their comment to NOAA regarding a proposed seasonal no-boats zone off the western side of San Juan Island.

NOAA is requesting public input on a petition submitted by three conservation organizations as a measure to help save the Southern Resident Killer Whale. A NOAA study has shown that the whales are under siege from a triad of threats: water pollution, vessel noise, and lack of food. ALL THREE of these threats must be tackled if we are to save our island icons. Mitigation from the noise pollution threat is being addressed with this protection zone proposal. Please attend the hearing, listen to what other islanders have to say, and use your voice to speak for the whales.

The NOAA proposal:

About the petition:



March 1 MRC Meeting: http://www.sanjuanco.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03012017-1392

If unable to attend the meeting, you may submit comments directly to NOAA (by April 13): 

By the comment portal: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0152

Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

By mail: Lynne Barre, NMFS West Coast Region, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle WA 98115


Thank you, Safe Shippers, for all you do to advocate for healthy orcas and safe waters!