Did you know that 4 of Washington State’s 5 refineries are located in the federally endangered Southern Resident orcas habitat in the Salish Sea?
Marine terminal projects associated with these refineries increase vessel traffic. Impacts from marine vessels to the Southern Residents include ship strikes, hearing loss, emissions, ability to communicate and successfully hunt for scarce prey, and oil spills. We’ve been working hard on two expanding refineries to make sure these projects do not negatively impact our environment and or our economy. First some good news, then 3 other ways you can help us hold the line for the Southern Resident orcas…
Help us hold the line to protect our waters! Here are some ways you can help today:
1. Show your support and join us on November 1st as we stand up for the Southern Resident orcas and communities in regard to the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery’s Expansion (Whatcom County Council Chambers in Bellingham, 311 Grand Ave., 1 – 5 p.m.).
Friends of the San Juans will argue in Whatcom County that the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery needs to evaluate impacts of increased vessel traffic on Southern Resident orcas. This expanded facility would store 15,960,000 gallons of oil-roughly 4,960,000 more gallons than what spilled into Alaska’s Prince William Sound during the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
Friends is asking the refinery to quantify all project-related vessel traffic and evaluate the project-related vessel traffic’s potential adverse impacts, including oil spill risk, to the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas, their designated critical habitat, the Salish Sea ecosystem, and neighboring communities. We also seek independent monitoring of vessel traffic.
2. Comment on the latest recommendations from the Orca Recovery Task Force by 5:00 p.m. on October 25.
The Governor’s Orca Recovery Task Force recently adopted 13 new recommendations and highlighted parts of the initial 36 recommendations identified in 2018 that need much more work to implement. All of these actions are needed to address the three threats the Southern Resident orcas face – lack of food, too much pollution, and too much noise and disturbance.
3. Comment on Cooke Aquaculture’s problematic proposal to farm biologically-engineered steelhead in the net pens they previously used to farm Atlantic salmon.