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view of the calm ocean and sunrise at Hakai rocks

Working toward an Oil-Free Coast

One of the greatest threats to habitat quality on the BC coast is increased oil transport through these waters. The threat of harm from diluted bitumen spills and increased vessel traffic are the motivation for our work. Raincoast has worked for more than ten years against oil expansion projects in BC, through on-the-ground research, participation as intervenors in CEAA and NEB review processes, legal action in the courts, and grassroots activism.  The projects in our efforts for an Oil-Free Coast are listed below.

Trans Mountain Project

Light filled view of the active passage ways through the Salish Sea

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which plans to transport tar sands oil through the Salish Sea, threatens a wide range of coastal species, including the critical habitat of the endangered southern resident killer whales. Raincoast was an intervenor in the National Energy Board review process and are now legally challenging the NEB’s decision to approve the project.

Trans Mountain Project →

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project

Putting the Great Bear Rainforest at risk, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project posed serious implications for the wildlife of coastal British Columbia through habitat destruction associated with increased tanker traffic and the very real threat of diluted bitumen spills. Raincoast was an intervenor in the CEAA/ NEB (joint panel) review process and, along with First Nations, filed legal challenges to the project’s approval by the NEB and the federal government. Those legal challenges were successful and upheld by the Canadian Federal government.

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project →


A surfer slides ahead of the curl with giant trees looming in the background

In collaboration with Patagonia and accomplished film maker Chris Malloy, Raincoast set sail with a world-famous line up of US and Canadian surfers into the Great Bear Rainforest. Their goal was to produce an epic surf documentary while at the same time educating people as to the threats and potential impacts of the Northern Gateway project to both habitat and a way of life.

Groundswell →

Salish Sea Spill Map Project

A drift card and a humpback whale fluke

In response to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project and their inadequate oil spill modelling, Raincoast has launched an innovative study to determine the potential fate of oil spilled in the Salish Sea. Our real time, on-the-ground study has not only provided interesting results, but also educated the public to the very real possibility of oil washing up on their coastline.

Salish Sea Spill Map Project →

Art for an Oil-Free Coast

Dramatic painting of coastal evening by Chilie Thom

In 2012, fifty artists took up paintbrushes and carving tools in an effort to protect Canada’s fragile raincoast from the Northern Gateway project. The resultant original works of art were just the beginning and an art show, auction, book, and film ensued all to support our efforts to keep the coast Oil-Free. And it worked! The Northern Gateway Project was finally rejected in 2016. Books, videos and some art pieces are still available to purchase. Your support will be directed to stopping Kinder Morgan’s project in the Salish Sea.

Art for an Oil-Free Coast →