We are really good at speaking up for a Safe Salish Sea! This time, we have to speak up loudly enough for Canada to hear us.
There are 20 new and expanding terminal projects proposed for the Salish Sea. If they all happen, shipping traffic will increase by nearly 40%. Of all these new ships, 91% of them are Canada-bound and our islands are along that route. What happens in Canada doesn’t necessarily stay in Canada.
In February 2016, we commented on the proposed expansion for the Centerm container terminal on Vancouver BC’s East Side, but it appears that they weren’t listening to anyone beyond their front door. Now they are asking for comments on Round 2 of the Environmental Review phase. Canada needs to hear from us — again. Let’s be more than 91% strong so they can’t ignore us!
Here’s what you can tell The Vancouver Port Authority (to make the letter even more effective, please include some personal reasons why you want them to listen to your concerns):
To the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority:
The Salish Sea is my home and my economy and quality of life depends upon the health of this marine ecosystem.
The Environmental Review process for the Centerm Expansion Project is inadequate in that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is permitting this project without a thorough cumulative impacts analysis. As of November 2016, 91% of all vessel traffic from new and expanding terminal projects in the Salish Sea is destined for Canada. The Centerm Expansion Project’s proposed additional two transits per week may not pose significant consequences in and of themselves, however, the cumulative impacts of all recently permitted and proposed projects would, and they must be addressed — along the entire vessel route to open ocean and not only limited to Centerm Terminal and Vancouver Harbour.
Your assessment that Vancouver Harbour has the capacity to safely handle this increase in vessel traffic references a comparison of the Port of Vancouver to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This provides no assurance that the Salish Sea’s narrow channels and strong currents can safely accommodate both more vessel traffic and larger ships.
Please recognize the value of the US-based Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV) in Neah Bay. A similar oil spill prevention resource is needed for response in the vicinity of Turn Point/Arachne Reef — a location of high environmental value and rated with the greatest level of navigation complexity for the entire passage (to and from Vancouver BC ports). I urge the Port of Vancouver to require an ERTV at Turn Point/Arachne Reef in order to mitigate the cumulative impacts of vessel traffic going to and from the Port of Vancouver.
The cumulative vessel noise impacts to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales should be addressed along the entire vessel route that includes their critical habitat. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO program is an important mitigation measure for managing the impact of shipping activities on at-risk whales, however additional measures are needed — such as requiring all ships to be accredited as quiet by ship classification societies.
Thank you for your serious consideration of my comments.
COMMENTS DUE: Friday, June 2, 2017
Port of Vancouver: “Vessel numbers, now and into the future”
Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections
Centerm Expansion Project
Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase – Round 2 Discussion Paper and Feedback Form
CBC News: “East Van residents vow to save ‘sacred park’ from planned Port of Vancouver expansion”
“A key to quieter seas: half of ship noise comes from 15% of the fleet”