Big oil eyes B.C. coast

Marine mammals have made a remarkable recovery in this province, but that could be erased by a catastrophic oil spill.

Georgia Straight
By Charlie Smith

Since 2004, scientists have been travelling up and down the B.C. coast on the Achiever, a steel-hulled, 22-metre sloop owned by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. In this time, they have covered more than 14,000 kilometres, recorded more than 2,000 sightings of marine mammals, and logged almost 15,000 sightings of marine birds.From 2005 to 2008, they focused their efforts on the Queen Charlotte Basin, which stretches from north of Vancouver Island to Dixon Entrance on the Alaskan border. The scientists and crew weathered hurricane-force winds along proposed oil-tanker routes, according to a report released in late March called What’s at Stake: The Cost of Oil on British Columbia’s Priceless Coast.

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