2016 – The year in review

December 2016 closes our 20th year and with it, we can celebrate a major conservation success.

On behalf of the entire Raincoast team, I am proud to provide you a link to download Tracking Raincoast into 2017. In this latest edition, you will find news on all our conservation programs, our research and the wolves, bears, killer whales, salmon and other species your support helps us to protect. Tracking Raincoast celebrates our progress and shares with you the first insight into our focus for 2017.

December 2016 closes our 20th year and with it, we can celebrate a major conservation success. In November, the federal government finally stopped the Northern Gateway proposal and vowed to impose a north coast oil tanker ban. You helped make this possible, enabling our scientific studies, legal challenges and public outreach that included art expeditions and film documentaries that inspired communities from Toronto to Tofino, Kitimat to California.


We now need to press repeat. While rejecting Northern Gateway, the Trudeau government approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion and its plan to deliver 890,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day to Vancouver. Oil-tanker traffic through the Salish Sea would see a seven-fold increase above existing levels to more than 800 in-and-out bound transits annually.

This tanker route transects habitat that is critical for the survival and recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. While the possibility of a large oil spill could be catastrophic for these whales, Raincoast’s Population Viability Analysis—conducted by a team of international scientists—shows that even without incident, the noise alone from the increased shipping would significantly increase the chance of extinction for the Southern Residents. When cumulative effects are added, their likelihood of extinction in the next century is highly probable.

Extinction of the Southern Residents isn’t something we need to accept. Although resident killer whales in the Salish Sea are endangered, our analysis tells us that if Chinook (spring) salmon—their primary food—can be increased and vessel disturbance and noise reduced, recovery for Southern Resident killer whales is possible.

We have already brought this message to international audiences and today we launched a second legal challenge to the Kinder Morgan approval. We now urgently need to build on this momentum and stop Kinder Morgan while advancing bold and tangible killer whale recovery efforts in the Salish Sea. Given their status, Southern Resident killer whales are our top priority for 2017.

Please take action for killer whales during this season of giving and make a donation today. Making a donation today allows us to hit the ground running in 2017 for the killer whales and all the wildlife of BC’s coast, including the Salish Sea. We look forward to the next shared conservation success.

On behalf of the Raincoast team, please accept our gratitude and warm wishes,

Chris Genovali

Chris Genovali
Executive Director
Raincoast Conservation Foundation

PS Donations received by December 31 are eligible for a 2016 tax receipt

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.